Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Philadelphia Film Festival: Day 4 through Day 6

Wow, there was a huge uptick in pageviews over the last day!   Apparently the public has spoken and they want to see me on TV.  Hopefully I will post more embarrassing video of my upcoming Friday segment early next week.  So look for that.
Alrighty, here are some more reviews of festival films.  Unfortunately, not so good ... not so good…

Do It Again                 Grade:  B-
‘Do it Again’ is a documentary about reporter Geoff Edgers’ mission to get 60’s British rock group ‘The Kinks’ back together again.  A film like this one, where you don't know if Edgers will be successful or not, really lives or dies based on how interesting the journey is, and even more so, how entertaining Edgers is on said journey.  Fortunately Edgers has a lot of charisma and comic delivery and timing, so the film works.  Edgers also managed to score interviews with Kinks fans supporting his mission including John Cusack, Zooey Deschanel, and Sting.   It's kind of a fun ride but ultimately not fulfilling.

Happy Poet               Grade:  C-
The ‘Happy Poet’ in this film is a very unlikeable loser.  This very unlikeable loser has no personality and no money whatsoever, but decides to try to get a loan to start a small business creating a very unlikeable organic vegetarian food truck.  Along the way, he somehow miraculously manages to attract a very likeable girl.  And so we are forced to witness an unlikeable romance.  And all of this is set to a VERY unlikeable soundtrack, which mainly consists of a grating single note on a piano played over and over again, as if by a petulant two year old.  But, with all of that said, there is surprisingly something likeable about this film.  It’s hard to put my finger on, but there is definitely some unexpected dry humor.  And the film was at least shot well.  So it wasn’t a total mess.  But it certainly ain’t great.

High School               Grade:  F
To me, this film was a complete mess.  It’s a dumb stoner high school comedy with some surprisingly good talent attached, including Adrian Brody, Michael Chiklis, and Colin Hanks.  And it even premiered earlier this year at Sundance.  So, I ask myself, am I missing something???  I could not wait for this film to end.  It’s a bad sign when the programmer and producer introduce the film by telling you you’ll enjoy it more if you happen to be high.  Well I wasn’t, and I didn’t.  I will admit, stoner high school comedies are not really my thing, but if you want to see better ones, go back to the classics like ‘Dazed and Confused’, or even ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’.  They’re not my favorites, but they’re light years better than this mess.
Tiny Furniture                        Grade:  F
Oy.  This could have been the longest hour and 45 minutes of my life.  The synopsis in the guide describes this as a just-out-of-college girl who moves home and basically does nothing.  Yup, that about sounds right.  The synopsis in the guide compares this film to early Woody Allen.  Ummmm, nope.  I love Woody Allen.  I couldn’t stand this film.  The synopsis in the guide also compared it to Noah Baumbach’s ‘Kicking and Screaming’.  OK that’s just blasphemy.  That movie is perfection.  This one is like watching a really bad film school project.  Really bad.

So I’m sure you’re all getting tired of reading about movies you’ve never heard of and will probably never hear of.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back with some new releases soon, including a revisiting of ‘Hereafter’ which opens Friday.   I first saw it at the Toronto Film Festival a month ago and just saw it again tonight so it’ll be fresh in my head for my upcoming review on FOX 35 Orlando this Friday.  Stay tuned…


  1. Dazed & Confused is one of my all time favorite movies. Sorry the movies are lackluster, but can't wait for your next Fox 35 appearance.

  2. Favorite word of this entire blog so far...oy!

  3. I cant help but think your expectations were high due to the synopsis etc. I try to see movies with no or little info so I can have a complete open mind about a film, whenever possible.
    While I dont think this movie is particularly good, it has something. I wouldn't call it a complete failure. I wasnt let down as much as caught up in the momentary depression which seemed an audience could get by osmosis. Oh, I think I just over talked this.

    Blog rocks!