King Jack Review – Moving Portrayal of a Bullied Life in Rural America

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

King Jack, from Whitewater Films and Buffalo Picture House, brings to the screen the story of how lives in a small southern town interweave and the inescapable class ceiling that fits airtight over the disenfranchised.

King Jack, written and directed by Felix Thompson, stars Charlie Plummer, Cory Nichols, Christian Madsen, Danny Flaherty, Erin Davie, Yainis Ynoa, Scarlett Lizbeth, Chloe Levine and Melvin Mogoli.

King Jack begins with Jack, our wanna be stud of a ‘tween, lanky, an outcast, living in the shadow of his older brother, Tom, played by Christian Madsen, spray painting a choice word on the garage door of his nemesis. Tired of being bullied, he decided to take matters into his own hands and let the world know.

Unfortunately he is caught, seen actually, and the bully, Shane played by Danny Flaherty, hunts him down as he seems to everyday and tortures him. Today however is Friday, the last weekend before school is out for the summer, and our stud-in-waiting Jack, is trying to work out a way he can maneuver past the trio of bullies, talk with the girls, secure a nod, wink, glance or hope of genuine interest and make it out alive.

The best laid plans of course, the bullies catch him, torture him in front of the girls, who fortunately have a Florence nightingale instinct and want to help, and well two out of three and he makes it home, alive.

Another day in small town, rural southern America. Today they get a message, Jack’s cousin, Ben, played by Cory Nichols, that he rarely sees needs to spend the weekend as his mother had an episode, a kind word for checked into the mental hospital for evaluation.

Now Jack feels responsible for his cousin, Ben, a chubby cute little guy, sad, quiet and really doesn’t want to be anywhere near this tiny hamlet of a town in the middle of who knows where.

Jack’s mom Karen, played by Erin Davie, doesn’t wield much control over Jack. Even in his poised on the edge of troubled teen status, there’s not much he can do in this one stop sign town that no one will find out about. Believing in his own anonymity, he has stayed just this side of trouble more out of fear than invitation.

Today, forced on orders of mom to be interested as Ben shows up, the two are doing adolescent things, playing baseball, riding bikes, discovering hidden secrets in local garbage until the town bully, Shane, again steps in to ruin everything.

The two are on the run with the hope of making it to the girl’s house where suddenly a boring boy’s day becomes “truth or dare” with parts becoming the general dare and ‘have you?’ the truth.

Shane and his trio of bad news bullies, show up at the girl’s house causing a fast getaway. By the end of the afternoon, Ben is taken hostage and pelted with paint bullets, Jack runs away scared for his life, Tom rescues both and send a strong message to Shane and his buddies.

The three bound by this terrible day stay quiet. As Jack is genuinely a nice kid, he hasn’t learned the art of deception, especially when the sultry voice of his affection calls and whispers a sweet invitation.

So needless to say, Jack finds himself in a bad, very bad, situation as the bullies mean business. Which is when out of nowhere, Ben, fresh off the pelted with paint balls afternoon wallops Shane with a commanding force and rescues Jack who once again was physically beaten badly this time by the town bullies.

King Jack presents bullying in a very raw form. Jack is a slight, lanky, thin, kid with no dad. His father, who knighted him with the name "King Jack" as he would ride him on his shoulders, died. The family struggles, unprepared financially and emotionally for the loss, the burdens, heaviness, the lack becomes unbearable

To the filmmakers credit the realities of modern American, entrenched effects of the economic recession in rural communities, are shown and the truth of life with the picture of hope dimming as the brighter future fades to black. The airtight glass ceiling that sealed a percentage of the population’s fate is effectively presented. Life is limited and it is shown.

King Jack held its world premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival where it took the top audience award winning the 2015 Narrative Feature Award. King Jack was also a selection for the Little Rock Film festival. 

Haute Tease

  • King Jack Review – Moving Portrayal of a Bullied Life in Rural America

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    King Jack, from Whitewater Films and Buffalo Picture House, brings to the screen the story of how lives in a small southern town interweave and the inescapable class ceiling that fits airtight over the disenfranchised.

  • SF Arts: San Francisco Stern Grove Outdoor Music Festival Prepares for 2019 Season

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    It's San Francisco's original outdoor admission-free music festival, a daylong party featuring the quintessential music experience: nature, food, joy and community. The 2019 Stern Grove Festival runs June 16 through August 18. The line-up will be announced April 4 at

  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Review – Enjoyable, A Masterpiece, Fun For All

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Captain Underpants from DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox Distribution, bring to the screen a charming imaginative adventure that shows the power of friendships, of collaborators, and the need for one true friend and fellow confidant.

  • Gold Review – Brilliant, A Thrill Ride from The Beginning

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    GOLD, from The Weinstein Company and TWC-Dimension, presents the amazing inspired by true events story of a larger than life, down on his luck, dreamer, who through a vision sees his future and follows it from Reno to the jungles of Indonesia.

  • Back to School Gift Guide: Products That Make The Grade

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With summer ending and the new school year in sight, now is the time to start planning your student’s success. Here are some inventive and otherwise snazzy finds that will have your child feeling good and looking great throughout the school day.  

  • People Exclusive: Husband of Murdered Texas Fitness Instructor Shares Theory on Who Killed His Wife: 'It Had to Be Someone She Knew'

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brandon Bevers, the husband of a Texas fitness instructor who was found dead inside a church last month just before she was to teach an early morning class, believes his wife knew her killer.

  • Brad’s Status Review – A Dour Retrospect With A Few Bright Moments

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brad's Status, from Plan B and Amazon Studios, presents a dour retrospect of an unfulfilled life, that doesn't measure up to truth and imaginings of his super successful college buddies, who seem to be living their dreams.

  • Tina Brown Exits The Daily Beast

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Uber editor Tina Brown is exiting Barry Diller’s The Daily Beast, the online magazine she helped create with the IAC/InterActiveCorp founder, when her current contract expires in January, she recently told staffers.

  • Fifty Shades Darker Review – A Steamy, Romantic, Sex in Seattle, Romp

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Fifty Shades Darker, from Universal Pictures, brings to the screen a steamy, sex in Seattle sequel, that has our two young lovers rekindling their romance, refining their technique, revisiting boundaries and taking things to a whole new level.

  • NYBFW ’18 MUSE by Berta Review – Bold Elegance, Intricate Detailing, Sensual Silhouettes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    MUSE by Berta has fast become the most popular and praised new bridal line worldwide. The contradicting mix of elegance and boldness makes this collection stand out as a highlight of this year’s New York Bridal Fashion Week presentations.

  • Brew Hop Tours San Diego Review - A Failsafe Destination for the Ultimate Any Day Gift

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Let's face it for some Dads, gifting a tie, a bottle of aftershave or a pair of slippers for Father’s Day just won’t do. And a belated gift or “fallback” card from a drugstore carousel reeks of desperation, or utter laziness. For many men, life is all about experiences and beer, lots and lots of beer.  

  • Money News: DOW, European Markets Up; Asian Markets Down; Nikkei Barely Recovers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, continued to defy analysts who predicted a market crash, closed the trading week up with strong triple digit gains setting the tone as the rally continued across the pond with mild gains and strong performances throughout the European Markets.

  • CNBC: As Coronavirus Kills Another Amazon Worker, The Company’s Response Is Adding To Employees’ Fears

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    An Amazon warehouse employee in Northeast Illinois passed away from the coronavirus, the company confirmed to CNBC. The employee died on April 18 and, according to sources, his last day at the facility was on March 19, 2020. 

  • Big Eyes Review – Delivers Wide Eyed Wonderment

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Big Eyes, from The Weinstein Company and Tim Burton Productions, brings to the screen the unusual and true story of the largest art fraud in American history as seen through the eyes of 1960's artist Margaret Keane.

  • COVID-19, Le Nouveau Compagnon De Voyage Français

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Le traitement de la crise du COVID-19 par le président de la République Emmanuel Macron et les gouvernements régionaux suscite à la fois des controverses et des critiques soulevant des questions concernant le drame humain qui a atteint un point d'ébullition.