“Crossing Paths” is a short film about a boxer named Jimmy “The Bear” Forza (Dan Liebman) who must come to grips with his shortcomings in and outside of the ring. Directed by Paul Medico and written/produced by John K. Fiore this short tells a familiar story with an even more familiar backdrop.
Boxing movies themselves are filled with tropes and clichés that hound the genre. Embracing them is part of what makes them so entertaining to watch, but when things don’t quite work it can become a bit flat. While nobody gives a bad performance in this film the actors also are a tad wooden, the dialogue doesn’t help with everything being telegraphed harder than an amateur boxer. Fiore has potential as a screenwriter but he’s going to need to polish up his dramatic dialect. There is a genuinely solid scene where Jimmy talks with a janitor played by Booby Kenney. He does a good job and the material here works well; it elevates the short a bit but not on an outstanding level.
Medico is clearly a visual director and understands scope and angles within a film. The director of photography Chris Esper does a fantastic job with creating striking images with harsh lighting and moody angles. The color scheme is a lot better than most indie films and there is definitely a unique and cinematic look to the production.
Sound is a big issue on this film. Some characters’ dialogue came off way too soft and there wasn’t enough ADR opportunities seized in my opinion. It would have evened out the sound and made the overall product come off a tad more professional. There also isn’t a lot of sound mixing nor editing going on and so the world feels small. Little details like this once compiled could create magic for this production team. They have some legitimate talent and with practice they could release some stellar work. “Crossing Paths” isn’t a good short, but I’d be interested to see what this production team makes next.
You can check out the website for the cinematographer Chris Esper here: http://chrisesper.com