ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT MOVIES
Review

'37: A Final Promise' has many dark and absurd secrets

'37: A Final Promise' follows a random and absurd path

Based in part on the story of author-life coach-stylist-musician Guy Blews, the film "37: A Final Promise" comes off as a paranormal and schizophrenic take on a Lifetime movie with themes of terminal illness and assisted suicide.

Randall Batinkoff co-writes, directs and stars as Adam — front man of a band who's apparently successful in producing mid-1990s metal rock but a guy who's also haunted by personal demons and thoughts of imminent death.

The film's sequence of events plays out with a certain randomness and absurdity, so Adam inexplicably snaps out of his gloom and doom to pick up the playing-hard-to-get Jemma (Scottie Thompson). Though Jemma seems perfectly healthy at first, she inexplicably suffers from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Meanwhile, her sister, Christina (Tricia Helfer), initially appears star-struck by Adam but then inexplicably demands that he leave Jemma alone.

So much of the courtship is erratic and nonsensical. Adam asks Jemma to quit her job on a whim, then takes her to get a psychic reading, also on a whim. Only Bruce Davison, playing the psychic who brings up Adam's dark past and conjures the expository back story, helps to give the ghostly subplot more sense than the main story line.

------------

"37: A Final Promise."

MPAA rating: None.

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.

Playing: At Laemmle's Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills. Also on VOD.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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