Reach Me (2014)

Somehow, over the last several weeks, I’ve encountered more than three John Herzfeld movies — SwitchbackEscape Plan The ExtractorsCannonball (he acted in that Roger Corman produced film) — and now this film.

To get the cast he needed for this movie, Herzfeld started with old friend Sylvester Stallone, who he’s known since the two were roommates at University of Miami. Stallone’s participation led to other actors joining the cast at lower salaries. Herzfeld also brought on another old friend, Danny Aiello, who used the role of Father Paul to recover from the death of his son.

After the founder of Perfect 10 magazine Norman Zada backed out of his investment and sued the filmmakers for a million dollars (I’m not going to say that Zada is a copyright troll because I don’t have the millions to defend myself from libel, but the facts kind of speak for themselves if you look into his thirty lawsuits over the last few years). The film was finally funded via Indiegogo.

Reach Me is all about a self-help book that unites a world full of different characters. It’s based on Herzfeld’s memories of seeing prosperity theology-based televangelist Reverend Ike and reading Napoleon Hill’s self-help book, Think and Grow Rich.

Much like Magnolia or Crash, the story starts as unlinked characters before bringing them all together. There’s Kyra Sedwick as an ex-con, Thomas Jane as an undercover cop, Kelsey Grammer as a mob boss named Angelo AldoBrandini, Nelly as a hip hop star who claims to have written the book, Tom Berenger as the book’s actual author, Terry Crews as one of the author’s friends and even Danny Trejo, Chuck Zito, Tom Sizemore and Cary Elwes.

Stallone paints in the film and the cover of the book was actually painted by him. So there’s that. This is the kind of movie that I endured only because I’ve set the near-impossible goal of watching every single one of his films. Otherwise, I would have never had to suffer through it. If you told me that it was a religious movie, I’d almost believe you.

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