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Ready Cash (2023)

Just days away from his life going down in flames, a drug-addicted Justin (Zach Meiser) turns to a mysterious organization. Out of cash and nowhere to go, Justin must reach out to this organization of which he knows nothing about–other than the fact that they’ve promised to dig him out of his financial hole. Ready Cash is a story of second chances–and Justin must trust the unknown if he wants to find success. This is the end of the line if he’s unwilling to take the plunge.


Ready Cash, very simply, is a wild ride. As the film progresses, what was once a story about struggle and addiction transforms into something far more left-of-center. This transition, for many, will be too far-fetched, and it will be difficult for some viewers to appreciate the things occurring throughout. That’s not to say that wild ideas can’t come to be in films, but this is such a drastic transition. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really appreciate the wild ride, and I appreciate that Writers Austin Shell and Chet Turner are willing to take chances–but the reality is that some viewers will struggle to appreciate Ready Cash as a result.

Sex plays a leading role in Ready Cash, existing from the opening moment until the film concludes. Oscar Wilde once said “Everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.” That truly comes into play throughout Ready Cash. Viewers understand quickly that sex throughout the film is very much about power rather than the act itself, and as the film plays out, viewers are pulled further and further into that reality. It’s important to understand this truth while watching Ready Cash, because the truth is that everything present in this film is about power–and it’s an important truth that we face in the real world as well. The fact that Shell and Turner (and Director Dylan M. Shell) are able to replicate what we see every single day in a way that we can understand (even when the content present in the film is so crazy) is impressive–but it’s also essential to the film. Without creating some sort of connection, the craziness that exists is lost on viewers, and I believe that film fails as a result. Once again, the Shells and Turner are able to bridge the gap between what is occurring on screen and what takes place in our daily lives, creating a bond between film and viewer, and propelling Ready Cash toward success.


I really enjoy the use of light to tell Justin’s story. Darkness exists in every facet of the film, but there’s still a clear transition as he prepares to make a huge decision, and the darkness that exists in those most pivotal moments amplifies all that viewers are seeing. Ready Cash is a perfect example of how small choices like the lighting can plan such a massive role in the reception of a film.


Ready Cash is an intimate film that attempts to reach viewers on a deeply emotional level. That comes from a series of choices made by Turner and the Shells. Viewers are able to appreciate Justin and understand the things that he is going through as a result of the intimacy of the cinematography and the fact that we are able to see each and every one of his facial expressions. He’s a wonderful actor for sure, but the ability to really capture all that he is presenting comes from the top, and it drives home the intimacy that begins in the opening seconds of Ready Cash.


Drugs, sex, and more fill the screen throughout the duration of Ready Cash–but these pieces of the puzzle are uniquely endearing as a result of the acting and the intimate nature of the film. There are some parts of Ready Cash that feel way too far-fetched, and the reality is that some viewers will turn up their noses to the idea that these things even exist in the film. However, the fact that we are made to appreciate these characters in the early going, and the film remains so intimate throughout, will allow most viewers to appreciate the things that they see and hear. Ready Cash feels experimental in a lot of ways, but it remains true to human emotion, and that keeps viewers intrigued from beginning to end.


Directed by Austin Shell & Dylan M. Shell.


Written by Austin Shell & Chet Turner.


Starring Zach Meiser, Sydney Jordan, James Dickey, Timothy J. Cox, Tracy Bedford, etc.


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/10


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