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By Doug Brunell | August 1, 2007

Right off the bat this film has a lot of things in it I absolutely hate. There are cartoon-like criminals, some piss poor acting, a cooler-than-thou attitude, a plot that borders on ridiculous, and a song and dance number. Those things are usually deal breakers in my book, but for some reason this film is oddly endearing. Those minuses (with the exception of the dumb criminals who act like they are out of a Disney feature) actually work for it. It’s a lot like neurosurgery. I don’t know how it works, but I know it does.

The film concerns itself with Abraham Ashley (played by writer Bevan B. Bell in a role he seemingly wrote for himself), a con man/nut case who gets involved with the mysterious Guitar Man (Ralph Hatley). They plan to rob a Federal District Reserve Bank of some $70 million with the help of some friends. Along the way debts must be paid and everyone screws over everyone else (a given in this type of comedy crime caper). It almost ends exactly like you’d expect it to, only not.
The film’s best asset is its characters. They are the kind of people you’d probably want to hang out with, but would never really trust. They have their quirks, but none of them are too over the top (even Abraham, who is guilty of that cooler-than-thou attitude mentioned earlier, is fairly subdued for the most part). The real bad guys are strangely likable, too, and one of them is actually fairly menacing.

“Divine Manipulation of the Threads” does a fine balancing act between a serious crime movie and a comedy, and it does it fairly well. Made on “virtually no budget,” this film proves you don’t need a lot of cash to create something that is not only entertaining, but stylish and unique, as well. I don’t know if this film will set up the group of filmmakers and actors for better things, but I can see a further-adventures-of type situation coming out of this, and that’s one movie I’d definitely want to see.

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