Reviewed by: L.J. Goldstein
LA International Short Film Festival

Film festivals are in abundance these days, and chances are if you attend one, you'll see some wonderful short films. One in particular that stands out is The Bully, written and directed by Nicholas Delfino, based upon a true story by Roger Dean Kiser. The Bully centers on Kiser himself played by Ted Pitsis. Upon entering a coffee shop one night where he reveals to a waitress (Jessica Anne Bogart) that he's just published a collection of short stories. As he's talking to her, he notices a man sitting in a booth who looks familiar to him. Later, Roger recognizes him as Tony Claxton (Danny Murphy) the kid who tormented him when they were younger.

Young Tony harasses Young Roger and Michael Joseph Pittario and Houston McCrillis portray the two with such conviction and realism, respectively than one feels for the young victim and wants to pull the bully off of him. When we return to the coffee shop, Roger is about to finally confront Tony, but when he sees that Tony is a paraplegic his heart goes out to him and the two now become friends.

This is a moving short shot with dazzling fervor by cinematographer Michael Off. His lighting works effectively in the nighttime scenes in the coffee shop and it adds to the mood of the story. Delfino's direction is so professionally done that it's well above amateur status. This admirable project is currently making the rounds at film festivals and ought to be seen by all attendees. It will tug at your heart and hope for more wonderful stories like this from director Delfino. - A

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Anne on
The former things have passed away....

Really good work with wonderful story and great visuals. Good camera work, soundtrack and acting performances, all made this film profesional quality. The story was good at touching home base personally. I remember seeing a few years after school, a girl who always made fun of any inadequacies others had. She was in a wheel chair after surgery, and I did not really feel regret for her. Her demeanor had not changed either. Then again, I have known many fools in school who have put that all behind them, while I have known many ofthe kids they picked on never being able to get over it. I think these two handled the situation - like they had done with their lives with the passing of time - in an applaudible manner. The ending description of the book's content, and the author's final VO narrative were a nice sentiment. Many horrible things can make us what we were in our lives. The point to this is what we choose to do from the lessons learned by such events, can make who we are - and who we will be. Nice work. -- August 4, 2003 - 11:29 PM

Review Id: 543338


Reviewed by: PLF on
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful

I loved this film. It was a topical story, with an interesting look into the unpredictability of our futures. I must be a bit more spiteful, because I wanted Roger to have a more vindictive moment with Tony - I guess I also wanted Roger to have had someone in his life too. In the short amount of time, you made me emotionally engaged with these characters. The production values were excellent. Really well cast too. I feel this film has alot of integrity. Well done! -- November 5, 2003 - 9:00 PM

Review Id: 597237

Reviewed by: Renee' on
Great stuff

I always love the story that puts the little one on top. Roger is spiritually, emotionally, and mentally rich. That's what I mean by 'on top.' It's a moralistic film, but it didn't seem very preachy. It seemed like a friend telling an account of what happened to him during the day. Actors of superb quality,the film looked polished, and the dialogue was clear, appropriate, and uncluttered. -- August 20, 2003 - 12:01 PM

Review Id: 553125

Reviewed by: LBarbarell on
Bully Bully

I have always loved diners and diner-like environments, so the opening sequence set me up to like this film. The setting had an Edward Hopper look to it and the subject was fittingly melancholy , harmonizing with the look of the film. I thought the acting was extremely natural on the part of the male characters, but less so for the females. The photography, sound recording, and editing were all top flight. I'm not sure I liked the VO at the end because it telegraphed a message that I think should have been conveyed within the filmed events themselves. It did leave me wanting to see more, which is a high recommendation. -- August 8, 2003 - 7:07 AM

Review Id: 545416

Producer Rik Ojeda and Director Nicholas Delfino chat on the set of The Bully.


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