Review by Trisha
On February 25th, 2005, I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the premiere viewing
of "Justice For All" held at Regent University in Virginia Beach. Created under the
label of Strong Tower Productions and directed by Roger Spendlove, the film is an
independent student work done in the Western genre that stars noted actors such as DJ
Perry and Terry Jernigan -- two of our favorites.
The scope of the film deals with our hero, the "Oklahoma Kid" (DJ Perry), who seeks
justice for the death of a friend. Once justice is rendered, he tries to bring peace and
opportunity for a brighter future to a small backwoods shantytown he aspires to call "a
paradise". Or is it? The people of this small desolate town feel that peace and
prosperity, once they've had a taste of it, maybe isn't what they really want after all.
The first interview of the evening was with Austin TwoFeatherz. A relative newcomer
to film, TwoFeatherz is a man whose presence, both on film and in person, is striking.
When TwoFeatherz enters a room, you know it. He has a presence about him that
makes you take notice. A member of the Notoweega Nation, he stands proud of his
Indian heritage, and rightfully so. Extremely talented, his protrayal of the one willing
to take a stand beside the "Oklahoma Kid" in the film's ending is one that you wish
there was more of. With inevitable trouble lurking, he silently takes a stand as the Kid's
ally, and it is his added presence in this well-written story that helps to heighten the
film's breath-holding, cliff-hanging ending. I have no doubt that, if film is an avenue
this actor desires to pursue, we will surely see more of him in the future. I was
impressed with Austin TwoFeatherz, not just as an actor but also as a person. He was
genuine, he was honest, kind, committed to the interview... yes, genuine. With a firm
handshake and a smile that matched his sincerity, he was one I wished I had had more
time to interview that night.
I next spoke with John Pycior (pronnounced "Pitcher, like a baseball pitcher"). Pycior
has worked with Maverick Productions' Mystery Theater in Virginia Beach for the past
seven years and is certainly no stranger to acting. His portrayal as one of the
moral-lacking Becker brothers was impressive. An excellent bad guy on film, the
person behind the evil villian couldn't be more different. John Pycior is a kind and
inviting person with an enthusiasm about his work and the business of acting that is
hard to miss. His work with Maverick Productions is one that he is most proud of and
stands as a sound foundation to his professional acting background. I sat beside Pycior
during the premiere, and he was nice enough to take the time to point out various
people, things about the movie and to talk with me in some length afterwards about
certain facets of the business of acting. The nicest "bad guy" I've ever met!
Terry Jernigan portrays "Doc", the skeptical town physician. I will best describe
Jernigan as a talented and impressive man with chamelion-like ability (through
makeup, costume, and unmistakable talent) to transform totally into the character he
portrays. His charismatic warmth is hard to miss. We spoke at some length; laughing
and joking one moment about events or moments with actors such as Terry Knox and
Dan Haggerty, and then deeply serious at other moments as when discussing how to
create a character from such impressions as the type of clothes the character wears or
the shoes he walks in. He has great range both as a person and as an actor. He was
kind and courteous, a man of value with an unmistakable obligation and devotion to his
work. Yet, when speaking with him, he gave 100% of his attention to the interview.
Perhaps it is this quality of focused attention that enables Jernigan to create such
true-to-life and believable characters. His ability to transform in appearance, voice and
mannerisms into the character he protrays so well is, in my opinion, the mark of a true
actor. There are many actors, but few who do it well. Terry Jernigan does it well!
Roger Spendlove, Director and speaker at the premiere, is a most gracious person whose
love and commitment to his work is contagious. His ability to gather such a wide array
of gifted and talented actors, and to pull everything together to create such a captivating
film on a limited budget of time and facilities, shows true talent. With a firmly planted
faith, Spendlove's aspirations for the future are promising. Though just at the
beginning of his film career, we will surely hear the phrase "Directed by Roger
Spendlove" again in the world of cinematic creation.
And the film itself? The well-written screenplay by Todd Murphy about a man who,
having sought revenge for the death of a friend, tries to bring peace and a new hope to a
small backwoods town whose occupants aren't quite as enthusiastic or totally sold on
the new social changes. A great ending done, no doubt, with the gifted touch of Roger
Spendlove's direction, turely makes this a film you'll think about for days, and eagerly
want to see again.
Seldom do films and actors match so well in a story where moral values and the fight
between good and evil weigh the measures of justice -- "JUSTICE FOR ALL"!
February 25th, 2005