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Review: 'The Brass Teapot'

May 15, 2013 12:24 p.m.

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews "The Brass Teapot" at the Digital Gym Cinema.

Related Story: Review: 'The Brass Teapot'


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

The new micro cinema inside the Media Arts Center’s Digital Gym on El Cajon Blvd is expanding film choices for San Diego audiences. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando says it’s taking a break from documentaries and foreign fare for the indie comedy “The Brass Teapot.”

Aladdin’s lamp may have granted the person who possessed it 3 wishes but an ancient brass teapot offers its owners an endless flow of money… but at a price.

CLIP I’m so sorry for this John. [slap]… What the hell?... Look, look… What, you are giving me money to hit me?... No the teapot is.

Alice and John are a young couple down on their luck. She’s can’t get a job and he just lost his. But then Alice finds a special brass teapot that spits out money every time they get hurt. And if that sounds too good to be true it is. At least that’s what a mysterious Asian man tries to get them to realize. He explains it’s 2000 years old and has been through some famous hands but went missing in a Nazi concentration camp.

CLIP If there is one ounce of evil or hatred in either one of you, the teapot will draw it out… we’re in total control we’re good people…This is how it always starts…

The problem is the teapot demands more pain or more victims to keep the money flowing. The film has a bit of an O. Henry feel to its premise but it runs a more predictable course in spinning its moral tale. The leads, Juno Temple and Michael Angarano, are appealing, and director Ramaa Mosley keeps her dark comedy brightly paced. It’s a funny film that asks the serious question of how far we’d go for what is essentially just a little bit of cash.

“The Brass Teapot” opens next Friday at the new Digital Gym Cinema at 29th and El Cajon.