Smith’s verdict: Tanner Smith reviews Gerry Bruno’s The Bloodstone Diaries: The Thief of All Things

June 24, 2012

The Bloodstone Diaries: The Thief of All Things

The Bloodstone Diaries, Thief of All Things Trailer from Gerry Bruno on Vimeo.

By Tanner Smith

The Bloodstone Diaries: The Thief of All Things is what I’ve been waiting for since I first watched its predecessor, The Bloodstone Diaries: Sleeper. The Bloodstone Diaries is a supposed web series (I use the term “supposed” since it’s apparently screening at film festivals before hitting the Internet) that mixes fantasy with action. It’s about a young woman who possesses an ancient, magic jewel known as the Bloodstone and seeks revenge on those who killed her husband; these same people also seek her to possess the jewel themselves. Sleeper was a welcome beginning that left me wanting more. And I got more from The Thief of All Things, which is actually a prequel instead of a sequel. It shows the events leading up to most of what occurs in Sleeper.

We see the origins of Bettie Lawrence (Katy Allen), the heroine of the series. She lives in a homeless camp by the railroad tracks with her husband Sam (Ian Moore). Bettie is a standoffish, hostile person who doesn’t let anything get in her way (including the local reverend who preaches to most of the homeless) and is the one who goes into town to steal valuables from people’s cars, while Sam lives mainly by faith. Sam’s friend Anthony Pace (C. Tucker Steinmetz) lives the same way, as well as a belief in destiny. That’s why when he mentions the Bloodstone, said to be a jewel mostly formed of Jesus’ blood, Sam can’t help but be interested.

By the way, one of my favorite moments is when Sam researches the Bloodstone. How does Sam find out more about the Bloodstone? Wikipedia, of course! (Duh!) But it turns out that searching online for something mystical and said to be mythical gains the attention of the government. The next day, several men in black reach the homeless camp to hunt down Anthony and Sam, with Bettie in tow. But Anthony has a few tricks up his sleeve…

The central chase scene is well-executed and feels very intense. The special effects are seamless—there’s one slow-motion scene involving Anthony using the power of the Bloodstone to stop a pursuing car by making it float into the air, and it’s done so greatly that I wonder if Andrew McMurry of YouTube’s AndrewMFilms, with his After Effects skills, would be able to pull that off. There was a real quality put into this production, and the filmmakers obviously went all out to make this an exciting experience. For the most part, they succeed.

And it is nice to see the original owner of the Bloodstone, as well as the lives of Bettie and Sam before the events of Sleeper.

There are a few problems I have with the movie, though. For one thing, I can’t quite believe that the Bloodstone has been protected for centuries, one protector after the other. First of all, have the people before these men in black really had no avail whatsoever? And if they didn’t, wouldn’t they have just given up the search after seeing what the power of the Bloodstone can do? Other little weaknesses are the lame subtitles that appear over each new location—one of them being, “miles from nowhere” — and the unnecessary opening dream sequence that shows Bettie losing a fatally wounded Sam, obviously foreshadowing a future event.

It came as no surprise that both Sam and Anthony are dead by the end of The Thief of All Things, because of course, Bettie must be the new lone protector of the Bloodstone. But somehow, the ending of this film never really hit the right notes. It ended a little too quickly, and I could have used a little more development for Bettie, whose question of faith and sudden new responsibility have been set up for an emotional payoff that just isn’t there. Best we get is a deadly stare in Bettie’s eyes that closes the movie—To Be Continued to be sure; only the question is, to be continued in Sleeper or another story before or after Sleeper? Guess I’ll have to find out later.

Smith’s Verdict: ★★★

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