The Scent of Rain and Lightning (2017)


A young woman searches for answers but finds herself under constant threats in this adaptation of a Nancy Pickard novel.

Jody Linder has suffered for many years since the death of her parents. However, she has learned that the man who was imprisoned for the murders, Billy Croyle, has been paroled. Upset at the revelation, Jody confronts Billy’s son Collin, who was responsible for the parole when he revealed the truth that he was with his father the night of the apparent murders. Jody decides to find out what really happened to her parents the night of the murders.

As Jody begins her investigation, she finds herself going to places and meeting people who were involved in her family. She slowly begins to discover that Billy, who has gone crazy since being imprisoned and has a motive of revenge against the Linder family. When Jody finally finds herself convinced that Billy wasn’t responsible for the murders, she searches to find the truth and may find that the real murders may be closer than she ever expected.

Director Blake Robbins, along with screenwriters Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison, took Nancy Pickard’s novel and crafted an interesting tale that meshes a modern day investigation and flashbacks that slowly unveil what happened the night our lead character Jody’s parents were murdered. The film opens alone with the release of the accused murderer, Billy Croyle, played in a ultimately maniacal performance by Brad Carter.

Maika Monroe does well as the embittered Jody, who seems to have suffered quite a lot since the death of her parents. She finds herself a very angry woman, still holding onto that grudge when she confronts Collin, the son of Billy, played by Logan Miller. However, upon slowly learning that Billy may not be responsible, she decides to take up with her “rival” to find out the truth about what happened. One would expect a romance between Jody and Collin, but this is truly not the case. Instead, it is a simple case of two people learning to find out what happened.

In the flashback sequences, Justin Chatwin and Maggie Grace (who also served as a producer) play Jody’s parents, who seem to go from having a loving marriage to a tumultuous one plagued by Chatwin’s character always working on the family farm or traveling to help make money and Grace’s possible rumors of infidelity with people close to the couple. The biggest twist and shock of the film comes in the ultimately revelation of what really happened that night, which ends the film after a shocking confrontation.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning will keep viewers engaged once the story comes in full swing. A juxtaposition of flashbacks and present day, driven by the cast, really moves the story along. Add the shocking finale and you have a movie worth checking out.


SP Releasing present a No Coast Production present in association with Gerber Pictures and KP’s Remain. Director: Blake Robbins. Producers: Michael Davis, Blake Robbins, Jeff Robison, Casey Twenter, Kevin Waller, Jeff Johnson, Dan Koetting, and Maggie Grace. Writers: Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison; based on the novel by Nancy Pickard. Cinematography: Lyn Moncrief. Editing: Lauren Clark Carroll.

Cast: Maika Monroe, Logan Miller, Brad Carter, Will Patton, Bonnie Bedelia, Mark Webber, Aaron Poole, Maggie Grace, Justin Chatwin, Meg Crosbie, Jackson A. Dunn.


REVIEW: Jail Breakers (2002)

jailbreakers southkorea-icon

2002, Cinema Service/Director’s Home Pictures

Kim Sang-Jin
Kang Woo-Suk
Park Jung-Woo
Jeong Kwang-Seok
Ko Im-Pyo

Sol Kyung-Gu (Yu Jae-Pil)
Cha Seung-Won (Choi Mu-Seok)
Song Yun-Ah (Han Kyung-Soon)
Kang Sung-Jin (Yong Min-Sun)
Kang Shin-Il (The Warden)
Yoo Hae-Jin (Kyung-Soon’s Fiancee)

The unlikeliest of escaped prisoners make for a buddy team in this hilarious comedy from director Kim Sang-Jin.

Since his incarceration for stealing, Choi Mu-Seok has unsuccessfully attempted to escape. He explains his story to a group of prisoners in a rehabilitation group. He was once a bike messenger who since having an accident felt shunned by society. He no longer knew right from wrong and stole bread from a local vendor while still in his cast. While he made three failed attempts, he’s been taking his time with a fourth escape, in which he has been digging a tunnel with a spoon.

Yu Jae-Pil is a fellow prisoner who meets Mu-Seok by chance. When Jae-Pil’s girlfriend Kyung-Soon informs him that she is planning to get married and can no longer wait for him, this sends the prisoner in a spiral of insanity. Determined to get his girl back, Jae-Pil convinces Mu-Seok to let him escape along with him. The two successfully escape and begin to enjoy their newfound freedom. Until they learn in the newspapers that on the annual Amnesty Day, where a select amount of prisoners are let go because of good behavior, they are selected to be a part of that list. As if finding a way back to prison isn’t going to be enough trouble, gang leader Yong Min-Sun has caused chaos in the prison and has taken over the prison.

For years, fans have seen films about people escaping from prison, whether they were drama, action, or comedy. However, what happens when you escape but learn you are up to be paroled, and you have to go back to prison but it’s not that easy? That is what this film from Kim Sang-Jin attempts to answer in quite comedic manner.

Sol Gyung-Ku and Cha Seung-Won are pretty funny as the buddy team of escaped prisoners Jae-Pil and Mu-Seok. Jae-Pil only has one thing on his mind in terms of his escape. His love for Kyung-Soon, played by Song Yun-Ah, makes Jae-Pil a lunatic. When he learns in prison that she is planning to get married, he loses his mind only a jilted boyfriend can. It is when Jae-Pil learns who his girlfriend’s new fiancée is, he really goes ballistic. As for Mu-Seok, he only intends to escape because he felt the whole time he was unjustly jailed because he felt shunned by society. While his flashback takes place during the opening credits, Jae-Pil is given two flashbacks sporadically in the film.

While the main plot involves the boys attempting to return to prison when the warden agrees to forgo them if they make it back without notice, the warden himself gets in a major pickle with a gang leader who takes over the prison. This is the major subplot that eventually does connect with the plot of the boys attempting to return to prison with some very funny consequences, especially the so-called “love triangle” between Jae-Pil, Kyung-Soon, and her new fiancée.

Jail Breakers is a very funny Korean comedy about what to do if you escape prison and have to return when you are selected for parole but have to deal with so much in the process. Sol Kyung-Gu and Cha Seung-Won’s funny performances really make this a standout Korean film.