I was impressed, if for no other reason, with the ambition behind this Buffalo-based indie crime thriller from writers Jenna Ricker (who also directed) and Greg Stuhr (who stars). THE AMERICAN SIDE is set with the backdrop of Niagara Falls where a curious suicide has taken place, one that is being investigated by private detective Charles Paczynski (Stuhr). Like many modern stories about gumshoes, this one is largely overwritten and unnecessarily complicated, but that’s par for the course because the plot isn’t really the point. The twist with THE AMERICAN SIDE is that it dives headfirst into the mysteries surrounding the designs of engineer and futurist Nikola Tesla and subsequent suppression of his ideas by all manner of clandestine organizations during his time on earth (he died in 1943).

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