Review: Matt Cohen’s ‘Mama Bear’ Packed Full of Action and Heart
We’ve been talking about this for a while, but as you may know, Matt Cohen (Supernatural, General Hospital) directed a short film titled Mama Bear, written by Lee Ehlers.
Matt first told us about this project back in October, and he subsequently launched an Indiegogo campaign for it, raising over $40,000 where fans got perks like a digital screening of the short, Skype calls with him and other cast members, autographs, premiere tickets and more. Nerds and Beyond got to attend the premiere screening, where Matt screened the short for friends, family, and colleagues, showcasing just how hard he’s worked over the last few months. You can read about our experience here.
Recently, I got the chance to view the short myself. The runtime is a little over twelve minutes, but is a perfect amount of time to get the point across and tell a story – something that’s very hard to do in that amount of time. I don’t want to spoil much of it, but the short is everything I’d hoped it’d be. It tells the story of a mother, played by Mandy Musgrave, who is fighting to get a liver transplant for her young son. The short starts out by setting up the main plot, and you see a few cameos of people right away that you may recognize from Supernatural, such as Kim Rhodes, Gabriel Tigerman, Jim Beaver, Jason Manns and Briana Buckmaster.
What I really loved, is that throughout the entire short, it’s being narrated by Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Asmodeus on Supernatural), and his voiceover really adds depth to the short. The narrative goes back and forth between Parise’s character moving the story along, and the visual aid of diving in deeper to who Mandy’s character is and how the story ties together.
There’s more spectacular cameos made by Richard Speight, Jr., David Haydn-Jones, Adam Fergus and Matt Cohen, himself. Towards the end of the short, you get to a point where it ends and I remember saying, “Wait, that’s IT?!” It wasn’t that I was upset that was all the film had to offer – it was that I wanted the story to CONTINUE. I wanted to see more of how Mandy’s character arrived there, more of the backstory, more of her relationship with and how she was connected to all of these characters, and what had happened between them. After the short ended, I sat there with all of these questions. It’s really a testament to Cohen’s directing and storytelling, and the acting of all that were involved. I loved how bad-ass Mandy was, and how you really just wanted to see more of her character and watch her succeed. It’s really incredible that you can connect and root for a character such as Mandy’s in a small amount of time.
Cohen’s said multiple times that he hopes that this would be able to turn into a feature film or a series, and I could not agree more. This story has only scratched the surface, and there’s so much more to be unwrapped with these characters. Whether you dive more into the back story of Mandy’s character, how involved she really was with Matt’s character, and all the bad-ass action that you know happened in between for “Mama Bear” to protect her son and get him his liver.
There’s so much more to this story, and I can’t wait for Matt to hopefully have the chance to tell it.