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Morris from America (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 13, 2016 by  



Chad Hartigan’s “Morris from America” is an entertaining and edgy coming-of-age film about a child from America having to get used to his new surrounding in Germany.  Featuring a wonderful performance by Craig Robinson and YouTube star Markees Christmas, “Morris from America” is a film that I definitely recommend!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Lichtblick Media GmbH and Beachside Films, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Morris from America

FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 91 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, (1:85:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

COMPANY: Lions Gate

RATED: R (Teen Drug Use and Partying, sexual Material, Brief Nudity and Language Throughout)

RELEASE DATE: November 8, 2016


Directed by Chad Hartigan

Written by Chad Hartigan

Produced by Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski, Gabriele Simon

Co-Produced: Arek Gielnik

Executive Producer: Michael B. Clark, Alex Turtletaub

Associate Producer: Rachel Moy

Music by Keegan DeWitt

Cinematography by Sean McElwee

Edited by Anne Fabini

Casting by Eyde Belasco, Manolya Mutlu

Production Design by Babett Klimmeck

Costume Design by Nana Kolbinger


Starring:

Markees Christmas as Morris Gentry

Craig Robinson as Curtis Gentry

Carla Juri as Inka

Patrick Guildenberg as Sven

Levin Henning as Bastian

Leon Badenhop as Rainer

Lina Keller as Katrin

Marie Loschhorn as Birgit

Josephine Becker as Nadine


A warm and winsome fish-out-of-water comedy starring Craig Robinson as an All-American dad who relocates to Germany with his reluctant teenage son.


From filmmaker/writer Chad Hartigan (“This is Martin Bonner”, “Luke and Brie Are on a First Date”) comes his American-German coming-of-age film “Morris from America”.

Starring Craig Robinson (“This is the End”, “Pineapple Express”, “The Office”), Markee Christmas (“Parker and the Crew”), Carla Juri (“Wetlands”, “Someone Like Me”, “180 Degrees”), Lina Keller (“Doc Meets Dorf”, “V8 – Die Rache des Nitros”, “SOKO Kismar”) and more.

The film was screened at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival earning Chad Hartigan a Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.

“Morris from America” revolves around a 13-year old teenager named Morris (voiced by Markee Christmas), who lives in Germany with his father Curtis (portrayed by Craig Robinson), a soccer coach.

For Morris, it’s not easy to live in a foreign country that is hard for him to communicate with others and often, he is stereotyped because he’s Black.

The only person outside of his father that he confides in is his German instructor Inka (portrayed by Carla Juri), who is concerned about Morris because he hasn’t made many friends.  And for Morris, it’s been difficult (considering he is the only Black student at his school) but he has fallen for his classmate Katrin (portrayed by Lina Keller), who is a rebel at school who likes to smoke, party and experiment with drugs.

But as Morris tries to fit in, he is often bullied by another German who teases him for being a Black person with no skills.  But Morris tries to be a rapper, acting gangster but in truth, he’s just a teen trying to fit in, in another country that may or may not accept him.  But will his friendship with Katrina lead him to take part in her lifestyle?

Meanwhile, his father Curtis has tried to fit in German for years and has tried to make a living as a soccer coach, while his wife raised Morris in America.  But when she has passed away, now Curtis tries to be a father raising his son.

But will Morris make any friends in Germany and how will his relationship with his father go in another country?


VIDEO:

“Morris from America” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality for the most part is very good. Closeups feature great detail and there is a good amount of grain that can be seen in the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Morris from America” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and features crystal clear dialogue and music.  The primary soundtrack showcases hip hop and dance music, so surround channels tend to showcase the musical beats.

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Morris from America” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with filmmaker/writer Chad Hartigan, actors Craig Robinson and Markees Christmas.
  • Making Morris from America – (11:22) Director Chad Hartigan and cast discuss the the film and the making of the film.
  • Bloopers – (2:34) Outtakes from “Morris from America”.
  • Deleted Scenes – (1:18) A deleted scene from the film.
  • Casting Tapes – (4:28) Footage from casting tapes featuring Markees Christmas and Lina Keller.

EXTRAS:

“Morris from America” comes with a slipcover and an UltraViolet code.


An entertaining coming-of-age film about a young Black teenager, Morris from America, trying to get used to his new surroundings in Germany.

While one can understand the challenges that Morris has to go through, from the language barrier to a whole new lifestyle.  As Morris is a young man, who grew up in New York loving hip hop and now living in Germany, where a lot of people think that because he’s Black, he can play basketball or has awesome athletic skills.

But Morris is not great in sports, he just likes to work on his craft of hip hop music, even though his new surroundings in Germany is about electronic music.

And it’s not easy when you can’t communicate with anyone or make friends easily.

Meanwhile, his father who has lived in Germany as a soccer coach for years, must now take care of Morris after his wife dies and while he still grieves, while he has lived in Germany for years, he’s just as alienated in his new surroundings like Morris and right now, father and son both need each other, no matter how difficult things may get.

A storyline based on the real-life experiences of filmmaker Chad Hartigan, the film stars YouTube star Markees Christmas in his first major film role.  Markees does a wonderful job of playing a teen going through awkward moments that teenagers go through but most of all, he seems like a natural and definitely see big things ahead for this young actor.

I was pleasantly surprised by Craig Robinson in more of a deeper role than the usual comedy roles that he stars in.  But the scenes with father and son are really cool scenes to watch as we see the discussion between father and son about old school hip hop and modern hip hop and the relationship seems natural.

And also, a good performance from German actress Lina Keller who plays the troublemaking, partygirl Katrin but also the only person that accepts Morris for the guy he is.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good.  Outdoor scenes are vibrant, closeups feature great detail and the films looks very good.  Lossless audio is primarily dialogue and music-driven and are both crystal clear.  There is also a good amount of special features included on Blu-ray.

Overall, Chad Hartigan’s “Morris from America” is an entertaining and edgy coming-of-age film about a child from America having to get used to his new surrounding in Germany.  Featuring a wonderful performance by Craig Robinson and YouTube star Markees Christmas, “Morris from America” is a film that I definitely recommend!






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