Talk about a “feel good” film written by a local Jersey guy and directed by his rock star son! I’m talking about the movie, Bully, which was written by Joe Campanelli and directed by his son, Santino “Noir” Campanelli, who some might recognize as the former lead singer of popular Jersey rockers, Scarlet Carson. Santino’s been posting a lot on Facebook about this movie that he worked on with his dad, so when it came to the Garden State Film Festival as a screening, I jumped at the opportunity to see it!
The film stars newcomer Tucker Albrizzi, who is now on NBC’s A.P. Bio, the legendary Danny Trejo or Machete, and Soprano star Vincent Pastore a.k.a. Big Pussy. Bully is your typical high school story about an overweight kid, who gets bullied by the school bully until a former boxer by the name of “Action Jackson” helps Tucker (who plays Jimmy) and introduces him to a boxing trainer (played by Trejo), and teaches him how to fight. Needless to say, Jimmy learns to fight and is challenged by the school bully to an after school fight. We’ve all experienced this before when we were in school. I don’t want to spoil the end, but since we’ve all experienced this before, we all know how it turns out!
Joe Campanelli wrote a well-thought out and witty script, and the young actors that he casted for Bully really brought the movie to life. Even the supporting cast members — like Jimmy’s best friends — got me to chuckle a few times throughout the film. Again, this is a nod to Campanelli’s witty script. Santino handled most of the music direction with his new band Rogue Star, but he also tapped New York City rockers Midnight Mob to contribute some music as well.
Needless to say, Bully ended up winning an award at the Garden State Film Festival and Santino told me that the movie also signed a distribution deal, so expect to see this movie out soon! Trust me, you will love it!