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Movie Review: The Innocence Saga

Brett Mauser's The Innocence Saga is an accomplishment to say the least. Ten movies, written-directed and edited by Brett himself- a cast numbering on the hundreds – and so many locations, it makes my head spin. The true brilliance of this series though is the depth in which Mr. Mauser delves into his characters. Actors come and go throughout the saga and sometimes, he suffers from the “Law and Order” effect meaning that actors can play multiple characters and not realize that Caroline from one movie is Angel in another.

Mr. Mauser has been accused by other reviewers of not giving his audience enough credit or intelligence to understand the series. Quite the contrary, he believes and more importantly, he expects his audience to be examining the tiniest molecule of evidence to the secret of the saga. Now, while I promised Mr. Mauser in any review that I write, I would not reveal the secret (Yes, the cross dresser is the second gunman who killed Bruce Willis on the grassy knoll!), I will agree with the tag line for the final movie “All will be revealed”. And the truth of the matter is that if one pays close enough attention in movies 1-9, the truth was already revealed. It was revealed in subtle statements and cautious actions of the characters. The most innocuous discussions and slight actions reveal the secret. Lines end up with double entendres – and a second viewing is absolutely critical to seeing how Mr. Mauser's story works.

With that being said, some will accuse Ponderous Productions and Brett Mauser of taking the easy route out... of writing himself into a corner and then just blithely ignoring that corner for the sake of expediency. To those that say that- I say Ha.... After watching the series from the beginning, the clues were always there. Most of us, and I include myself, were too busy with the red herrings and “the bigger picture” to see what was right in front of us. The true brilliance of this was that he included enough red herrings to make the obvious story the believable arc. It is in the nuance of which everything is presented that makes the viewer want to come back for more. The characters become members of the family and the viewer genuinely cares whether or not Mike and Tara will get back together – will Doughboy ever calm his ADD/Tourette's ridden brain down long enough to make a coherent sentence – Is Donovan really that evil? Is Caroline that evil or that much of a wench? How did Jax fit into that floral dress?

Each character plays an integral part of the story and the ten major characters- the characters which are on the journey- present the best and the worst of the Innocence Saga. And in that, they present the best and the worst of the Ponderous Universe. If one is familiar with the Ponderous' other flicks, one can see references to Serial Rabbit, Green and other quintessential planets in the Ponderous Universe. Yet, if Green and Serial Rabbit are the planets then Apocrypha (Part 10) is the sun. It is the one movie in the solar system upon which the others revolve. When the other films make reference to the 'secret', they do so in a tongue in cheek way. Apocrypha comes right out and says “Here is what it is... and here is how you missed it.”

As I said at the beginning of this review, many people have accused the saga of playing to the lowest common denominator. It takes going back through the entire series to see just how cerebral the series actually is – to find the nuances that were missed. The second viewing becomes a hunt for the clues. I believe that it took an ambitious man to write and to produce such a project. It takes a different kind of viewer to suspend their normal viewing habits and look inside for their boons and mirrors to reflect back the true meaning of the story.

Now, to put my fan girl love aside, I do believe that there is one major screw up in this film. And its a mistake that I am not sure I can necessarily forgive- although I can live with it. Mr. Mauser has professed as much of a love of a certain author and academic as I have. In fact, I've had long conversations with Mr. Mauser regarding the story (and as a matter of record, I am mentioned in the last film because I unknowingly stumbled upon the secret and being the blond that I was born as, didn't realize it until I was starting to watch Apocrypha at the premiere). It is with a heavy heart that I call Ponderous out on this. When he decided to reveal the secret to Mike Lorenzo, he used an outside character. A character who is near and dear to the hearts of the cast of the Innocence Saga but the wrong person to deliver the story. In keeping with the philosophy behind the Innocence Saga, it should have been Basa or even Doughboy to reveal the final story. With that being said, there was always an end and it was always apparent. I just mightily disagree with how the ending occurred.

So, if you have the time, please go this weekend to the Overtime Theater at the Blue Star Arts Gallery in San Antonio. The generous people at the Overtime have agreed to show the entire saga from start to finish this weekend. Come say hi to Brett Mauser, Amanda Nutting, Craig Rainey and many others who worked long hours to bring this story to life. Just remember there is always a guy named Smokey and everyone is not who they seem but who they really are.

If you are interested in more of Ponderous Productions movies, please check out their website at http://www.ponderousproductions.com

You can purchase many of their movies through their website, or you can check them out in Video on Demand through Amazon dot com as well as many are coming to Netflix.

And congratulate them on their newest movie “Bass Reeves” which will be released on DVD this February. It is going to be known as “All Hell to Pay” although, it will always be “Bass Reeves” to me. It has just shored up a major distribution deal- so congratulations to Brett Mauser and the rest of the Ponderous Family, which I count myself as a distant cousin



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