Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Fine-Tune" Youngstown World Movie Premiere at Ford Family Recital Hall



I was invited last night to the world premiere of the made in Youngstown movie, "Fine-Tune". The premiere was held in front of an almost packed house at the Ford Recital Hall in the DeYor Performing Arts Centre. Youngstown native Chris Rutushin, returned to the area to shoot a film based on his family and it's Italian heritage, after an Emmy winning turn in broadcast news in Las Vegas, and learning behind the scenes of his craft at the Today Show in New York. The movie provides a slice of life view of a typical Italian family, circa early 1970's Youngstown Ohio. Shot entirely on locations familiar to most Mahoning Valley residents, Fine-Tune, is a light nostalgic ride through a time not too long ago.


The premiere was a who's who of young and old, in those that are vocal in championing our city and putting their words, actions and money, where their mouth's are. Fine-Tune's Executive Producer, Tony LaRiccia, and his lovely wife and thespian in the film, Mary, were welcoming invited guests, and seen mingling were Janko from "I Will Shout Youngstown" blog, Phil Kidd, Youngstown's Downtown Director, Khaled Tabbera and his band the Zou, and many, many more. I was honored to be invited by the Maluso Family, who's patriarch John Maluso, pretty much steals the show as "Grandpa". John's wife Claire, former downtown Youngstown Director was greeting the crowd and singing Youngstown's praises as always along with the talents of the director, cast and crew of the film. Mary Jo Maluso was beaming with pride about her fathers work in the film, as was her husband and musical partner Rick Blackson, who was equally proud of his father-in-law. Together, Rick and Mary Jo's company, Beyond Broadway Entertainment, are excited about the surge of artistic talent that is energizing in Youngstown, and have some exciting plans of their own for the City to be announced in the coming months.


The film itself was overall, very enthusiastically recieved by those in attendance at the premiere. The premiere's opening remarks compared the independent nature of the film, to "Napoleon Dynamite", that captured the slice of life exploits of the underdogs in society, and went on to gross over a million dollars in box office and rentals. Running a production company, it is not fair for me to review the artistic merits of the film, because we all have our own production biases. I will say that the set decoration and mood of the film, certainly captured the look and feel of the period. There was a good mixture of comedy and plot development. The acting was enjoyable and fun, and let you see the characters as well rounded. The themes of family interaction, responsibility, race, and friendship, ring true to the period and contrast how far we have come, and how much we have remained the same. Some inside and mainstream jokes had the audience laughing in all the right places, and of course, being a hometown film for a hometown audience, some of the biggest applause came at the opening and ending credits, in recognition of the work of both friends and neighbors that collaborated in the making of this film.


Congratulations to Chris Rutushin and his crew for turning his dream into a reality and creating his own, "Accent On Youngstown," with his film inspired by his family and the City where he was raised. Check out the trailer below, and look for this film to come to a theater near you. I am sure that no matter what happens in the extremely competitive film distribution business, you will hear a lot more about "Fine-Tune", and where you can watch it for yourself.



8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I also went and saw the movie last night. This was not a good movie at all. I'm really sorry. Of course it went over well at the showing, it was all friends and family. I also know that alot of people are friends with people associated with the movie so it's hard to be honest. But when you commented on you couldn't rate the movie on your blog. That's a nice way of saying it wasn't that good. Look I feel bad too that it bombed. And it really bombed. There were times I almost fell asleep. The story was boring. The writing was flat. The acting was atrocious. And the race issue was borderline offensive. As someone who is suppose to review a film means you must have knowledge of film and what's good. I dont' know. I want people to strive and do good in this town. And there are some very talented people. But it doesn't mean that everyone is talented. It doesn't mean that every movie made from Youngstown is going to be a hit. I guarantee most people did not like this movie and are just keeping it to themselves. But reviewers like yourself need to be honest!

Accent Media, LLC said...

Just to clarify, this blog and myself are from a production company, we make commercials, video, television, etc., it is not my job to review movies, or I would have made a full review on this one. As far as my comments meaning I did not like it, please do not put words into my mouth. Are there things I would do from a production standpoint that I think could improve it, sure, but as I said, everyone in my business will say that. I did enjoy the movie last night. Was it the best movie I have seen in years, no, was it enjoyable, yes. I agree it was a soft crowd last night, as I said, the biggest applause was the beginning and ending credits, but give a filmmaker his due, and this was a big production that people put a lot of work into. Does it take talent to make a movie of that size come into fruition, sure it does. And by the way, I dont think the race theme was offensive at all, I have seen some of the same issues here in 2008, remember this was 30 years ago when it was REALLY present. Anyway, you are entitled to your opinion, and you will have some that agree with you, and some that wont. I just am proud someone from the area took on the project and hope more people will do so in the future. As you said, there are some talented people in this community........S

Anonymous said...

I was there, as well. I salute all the hard work that went into it.

Anonymous said...

i also saw the movie as well and yeah it wasn't the best movie ever made. There were some good things and there were some things that needed work. I do believe in honesty. I also think its hard for people to say how they really feel because of soo many people involved in the project and everyone knows everyone. But this is Chris's first movie. And i'm sure most directors first movies weren't hits. It takes time and practice. It's a learning experience. I'm anxious to see his next film and see how grows as a director.

Elbert Hubbard said...

"To escape criticism - do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

Vincent Scacchetti said...

Kudos to Chris Rutushin and the cast and crew for their efforts. I thought that Fine-Tune's screening was a huge success and a much needed boost of positive energy for Youngstown and it's creative minds.

For those of you "anonymous" bloggers - constructive criticism can be a powerful tool to amend and sharpen the image of an artistic object - but take off your fucking skirts and stand behind your words!

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Anonymous said...

You know what movie I like? "Jumpin' Jack Flash" with Whoopi Goldberg. Anyone ever see that? I love it at the end when Darth Vader realizes that he still has good in him.