The Brass Teapot (2014)
A review - by Shlomoh Sherman
The Brass Teapot (2012)
Director: Ramaa Mosley
Writers: Tim Macy (screenplay), Ramaa Mosley (story)
Stars: Juno Temple, Michael Angarano, Alexis Bledel
Plot Keywords: money - greed - male nudity - vigilante - marijuana
Plot: When a couple discovers that a brass teapot makes them money whenever they hurt themselves, they must come to terms with how far they are willing to go.
Taglines: No Pain. No Gain.
Genres: Comedy - Fantasy - Thriller
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for violence, some sexual content, language and drug use
Release Date: April 15, 2013 (USA)
Filming Locations: 50 West Center Street, Beacon, New York, USA
Budget: $900,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $4,468 (USA) (5 April 2013)
Gross: $6,643 (USA) (12 April 2013)
Production Co: Atlantic Pictures (II), Laundry Films, Northern Lights Films
Runtime: 101 min
Soundtracks: Shoot It Up Written and Performed by The Amoeba People, Courtesy of M51 Records
This movie is a story of the Genie in a bottle. But in this story, the bottle is an ancient brass pot and the genie is the mysterious and malignant force, posing as a force of generosity, which produces unlimited money when in the presence of someone in pain.
John and Alice, a mid-20s couple, are facing a difficult time in our all too familiar economic era where a limited education [a bachelor degree!] keeps them from achieving career success. John has just lost his job and Alice cannot even get an interview for one.
As fate would have it, and it SEEMS like a welcome fate, one day while out for a drive, they come across what appears to be an antique or thrift shop. They wander in and Alice steps into a private back room where she discovers the Brass Pot which gives our story the name. Alice is overcome with the pot's beauty and on a whim runs out of the shop, having shop-lifted the brass pot.
John is understandably upset over his wife's thievery but Alice insists that she will not give it back.
The next day, Alice discovers that if she hurts herself, purposely or by accident, the pot becomes filled with dollar bills. When JOhn returns home later that day, Alice shows him the money she has found and explains the mystery of how she obtained it.
Needless to say, in their economic distress, they choose to utilize the power of the Brass Pot.
While they are accumulating hundreds of thousands, they are visited by several individuals, among them a pair of Hassidic Jews who claim that the pot belonged to their deceased grandmother who smuggled it out of a concentration camp, and a Chinese man, Dr. Ling, who tells them that despite what seems to be a monetary blessing, the pot is actually a vessel of the Dark Force and that it will utlimately lead them down the path of evil should they continue to hold on to it. Dr. Ling begs them to surrender the pot so that he may destroy it before it destroys them as it has done to many of its former oners over the past two millenia.
John and Alice must decide whether to believe him and give the pot over to him or to continue to hold on to it while ignoring his warning. A time pases, the couple discover that while becoming rich, they do seem to be moving away from their basic goodness and towards a truely evil life. They must choose just how far they will go to continue receiving the ill-gained cash.
What will they ultimately decide to do? I would not want to spoil the outcome for you. By all means, rent the film or look for it on TV.
The movie is based on a comic book series, "The Brass Teapot".
Did You Know?
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Juno Temple ... Alice
Michael Angarano ... John
Alexis Bledel ... Payton
Billy Magnussen ... Arnie
Alia Shawkat ... Louise
Bobby Moynihan ... Chuck
Steve Park ... Dr. Ling
Ben Rappaport ... Ricky
Lucy Walters ... Mary
Jack McBrayer ... Joe
Debra Monk ... Trudy
Michael Delaney ... Mr. Tutor
Tara Copeland ... Mrs. Tutor
Thomas Middleditch ... Gilad
Bob McClure ... Yoel