Director Jay Kanzle has created a most unusual film with practically everything happening inside a lonely little diner late at night. There are eight people who have ended up in The Sunrise Diner over the course of the evening, one or two of them are not nice characters at all and we can’t help wishing that something nasty happens to them. It’s a sort of ensemble piece to begin with as we learn who all the players are and get small snippets of info about their life’s as they argue or plan on how to better themselves. Eric Roberts’ mysterious character, Daniel is by far the most interesting and allowed Eric to give his acting wings a long overdue stretch while showing us that given the right part he’s still got it, and we find ourselves drawn more and more into trying to figure out just who or indeed ‘what’ he is.

This great little Independent, low budget film is sort of made up of four loosely interrelated stories (the main connection and focus is the diner) in which all the characters somehow find themselves in the diner. One can’t help but think back to the now famous honey bunny, diner scene from Pulp Fiction, although this has far too small a budget to attempt anything on such a grand scale. Apart from a sort of similar look and feel to Pulp, any similarity ends there. This film spins it’s wheels in the middle a little bit which isn’t too bad as the film isn’t paced all that fast to begin with but the interesting characters we see are good enough to hold our attention and amuse us. Basically this universe that the director has chosen to populate with the diner and it’s inhabitants is far from a standard one. This world is skewed and nothing and no one is what they seem but can we ever figure out what’s what and who’s who?

The bottom line is, it’s a touch on the slow side, the acting is good but at times it looks like the direction was off when certain scenes with characters talking to each other looked like the timing was out, it has an interesting story, all the characters are also interesting and the film held my attention from start to finish. I really enjoyed this film.

Grade: B

Review by E. Blackadder, special to Influx Magazine

Get in the conversation. Visit the Influx Forum.