A decade after its initial release, writer/director Nicholson Williams’ film, The Beatnicks, is finally headed to DVD on on April 6th, 2010. It is rare in the entertainment industry that an overlooked independent film gets a second life years after it’s released, but unique journeys are what this film is all about.
The story focuses on the Beat Nicks, a musician Nick Nero (Norman Reedus) and poet Nick Beat (Mark Boone Junior) who make their home in the very laid back, quirky, dreamlike version of Los Angeles. Together they spend their days living hand to mouth, honing their craft and chasing their dream to become the next big thing on the hipster scene. The tide begins to turn for duo when they unearth a strange box on the beach, which contains the power to captivate any audience. With their discovery, the wheels of fate are set in motion and it seems that the duo is on there way to the top. Along the way Nick Nero crosses paths with a mysterious woman who is the fiancé of mafioso nightclub owner Mack Drake (Eric Roberts), while Nick Beat exchanges existential back and forths with a new agey restaurant owner. The road to success is a long, strange trip that leads our heroes to the bottom before they get their final shot at the gig of a lifetime and can return the box to its source.
Fan demand for this film is what brought it to DVD and for good reason. The biggest treat that the film provides are the incredible performances put in by Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints) and Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy). Both actors bring a realness and humor to their characters that endear them to the viewer and make them spring from the screen. In my opinion, both have been overlooked by Hollywood in the past decade. However, in the time since the film’s release, both Norman Reedus and Mark Boone Junior have continued to grow in their craft. ‘The Beatnicks’ provides one of the first glimpses of their depth and range as actors. There is something to be said for hard work and dedication. It is something that makes you stand out in your field. Judging from their more recent work, both actors are making the Hollywood system take notice and seem primed to tackle even more ambitious projects. If you’re looking for a unique independent film, with a interesting style and soundtrack, ‘The Beatnicks’ is definitely worth your time.