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hrivnak

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20 reviews in total 
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Funny Stuff!, 12 July 2006
9/10

This was a hilarious musical comedy that played at the 48 Hour Film Project in Atlanta in 2006. It should have won a lot more awards, in my opinion, and features one of the funniest songs I've heard in a long time. Even though you'll be singing the song long after the film is over, it's not just a one-joke wonder. There's plenty of subtle comedic moments that you might miss if you aren't paying attention. I especially the part about drug screening.

Kudos to Keith Hooker and company for continually making funny films at a break-neck pace! I love watching their entries in the 48 Hour Film Project every year.

2 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Film with an identity crisis, 13 June 2006
5/10

Just got back from the screening of "Brothers of the Head" at the Atlanta Film Festival. What can I say about it? To tell the truth, I don't know what to make of the movie. It's really hard to tell if it's a comedy trying to be a drama, or a drama trying to be a comedy. It's mainly a drama, which has some funny moments. But to me, it felt like a film with an identity crisis.

Maybe it's because I was expecting it to be a comedy coming into it, but it just didn't work for me. I heard comparisons to Hedwig and the Angry Inch but those should be thrown out as the two movies are nothing alike, save the music.

The film was well done, I'll give it that, and it had excellent performances from the actors, especially the love interest (played by two different ladies for two different time periods) and the manager. But I found myself laughing at parts that a first played for comedy, then become deathly serious. I didn't know what was acceptable to laugh at. What starts out as a joke morphs into abuse at one point, in another one you start laughing, then you realize your laughing about a tumor.

It is a challenging film, and maybe if I went into it fresh, knowing it was a drama, I would've enjoyed it more. I did enjoy the music, even if it was rough around the edges. I wouldn't be opposed to picking up an album from "The Bang Bang" if it was well produced.

Well, conjoined twin rock stars... a drama... who'da thunk?

Another empty sequel, 22 March 2005
4/10

The problem with "The Ring Two" is not that it is poorly done, it's the fact that it doesn't make any sense. It doesn't follow any sort of logic at all, including the rules established in the first film. In fact, the video tape aspect so cleverly used in "The Ring" only gets a brief scene here and then is abandoned entirely. Yet, somehow, the evil forces make their way into the real world.

It's hard to write a review of this movie, because so little of it makes any sense at all... The performances and effects are well done, but there's nothing to tie it together, and as a result the movie because a string of cliché movie scares and never produces a satisfying result.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable indie comedy, 23 July 2004
7/10

I saw this film at the Atlanta ComiCon Film Festival. It was a highly enjoyable indie comedy. It has the feel of "Clerks," in that it isn't highly plot driven, just more of a character-driven story. The chase for the sexy chef is just an excuse for us to spend time with these crazy characters.

Logan Creighton does a great job as F.M., the "main" character. He plays the role subtly and does a good job of giving the audience a sympathetic (sometimes pathetic) character to root for. It seems we've all been in his shoes at one point or another.

His friend, Tank, is the more outgoing character. He's the driving force of adventure. Todd Robinson does a good job of portraying this wacky character, but giving him a human angle as well. To relate the film back to "Clerks," Tank is Randal to F.M.'s Dante. The relationship is very similar and it works well in this film...

The stories of Winona and Paul don't really add much to the story, but they are enjoyable in their own right.

I have to give a nod to Greg A. James as Mike Buda. He's hilarious and annoying at the same time. He does a great job at balancing the one-note character, so that he remains funny even as he's getting on your nerves.

"The Sexy Chef" is hardly original in its tone, but its the kind of movie that just makes you feel good. The characters are richly crafted by the writer, Ian Smith, so that you care for them throughout the film. I've mentioned "Clerks" several times in this review... it's not to say this film is derivative, but emotes the same kind of feeling to viewer. And besides, to be compared to one of the greatest indie films of all time is never a bad thing.

Definitely worth watching. Check it out.

I, Robot (2004)
Surprisingly good, 20 July 2004

Don't be confused by the trailers for this film. They are really just the lowest common denominator for the film. All the brain-dead action sequences make the trailer, but it is really more of a thinking film than the trailer would lead you to believe.

I read some of Asimov's work when I was younger and I never remembered any of the stories being a possible action film, but I think the writers have managed a good job of melding the spirit of Asimov's stories with a Will Smith action piece.

The film is exciting, well paced, with just enough humor. It brings up Asimov's issues subtly, without hitting you over the head too much. Smith's character is surprisingly complex underneath the surface and the writers do a good job building a nice backstory for the character.

There are some action/sci-fi cliches, to be sure, but they tend to work well in the flow of the story and they tend to avoid any laughable scenes... except one. Shia LeBouf's character is utter useless to the film and I would have like to have seen him cut out. He's there to play the comic-relief sidekick, though he only pops up in two scenes. He was entirely unnecessary, which is too bad as I like LeBouf as an actor. This role, however, was useless.

The effects shots were well done. Nothing spectacular or ground breaking, but the robots feel real. They are part of the scene and not just CGI recreations.

All in all, an enjoyable film that's better than the advertising would indicate. Well worth your money for a summer action popcorn muncher.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
One of the best films ever, 20 July 2004
10/10

This is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite films. I defy you to find a better-written, better-acted film than this one.

If you want an example of great dialogue, this is it. David Mamet is a master wordsmith and this is probably his greatest work. If one wants to study the art of dialogue, they should start with "Glengarry Glen Ross."

On top of the great script, is great performances by some of the best actors. Jack Lemmon is outstanding as the salesman at the end of his rope. Al Pacino is masterful, as usual, in his role as the shrewd and cocky Ricky Roma. Alan Arkin... absolutely fantastic. Even Kevin Spacey, who wasn't a household name at the time, puts in a great performance, which is underrated do to the other stars. And Alec Baldwin really should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance. It's just one scene, but it's one of the most spectacular acting performances ever put to film.

Some people may complain that this is really just a play, caught on film, but director James Foley does an excellent job of giving us a sense of place and tone. There's a bit of noir influence in some of his scenes, and the film is directed economically, so it doesn't feel like "just a play."

It's hard to believe that this film wasn't nominated for an Oscar. Al Pacino won an Academy Award that year, but it was for the wrong film ("Scent of a Woman"). Any one of these actors deserved it...

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
All in 48 hours? Wow., 16 July 2004
7/10

I'm very impressed that these folks pulled off a musical in only 48 hours, especially one with such great music. As part of the 48 Hour Film Project in Atlanta, 2004, this group had one of the best produced films, in terms of production value. This film looked wonderful. It also had some great acting to go along with the superb songs (one of which even contained the required "line of dialogue" from the contest rules).

My only complaint would be that the film just kind of ended. The main character seems to figure out that the mysterious orb is from aliens just out of the blue. And then, poof, the story just kind of ends. I would have liked to have seen a bit more to the story. I realize it is difficult given the time limitations (both in run time and in shooting time), as well as trying to fit the songs in. It just didn't leave me satisfied at the end.

That being said, the film was well done, humorous, and very impressive for a 48-hour project.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Funny funny stuff!, 16 July 2004
7/10

This short that was part of the Atlanta 48 Hour Film Project in 2004 is one of the funniest I've seen in a long time. It never has a dull moment and the acting is top notch. You can tell the actors had fun with their characters, especially the professor and the two nerds (one who just "always wanted to kill somebody"). The ending is priceless and the twist after the credits is truly funny.

The only thing I can harp on is the production value. Occasionally boom polls, crew members or extension cords can be seen in shots, but since it was a 48 hour production, I can definitely look past those technical flaws.

These guys and gals are really funny.

20 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Help, I'm confused, 16 July 2004

I'm not entirely sure what this film was about. The ending is so ambiguous, that I can't tell whether I liked it or not.

I was digging the film for the first 3/4 of the movie, but somewhere in the third act, it became extremely confusing and all the good will that had built up in the wonderful character performances (Favreau, Cook, Grammer, etc) gets lost in the weird hokey-pokey that occurs. I stop caring for these interesting characters because their story is superceded by some new-age stuff that I couldn't even comprehend.

Also, there are elements of the storyline that either take too long to resolve (who's the cowboy? what's in the bag?) or just are never resolved at all (some of the characters are built up, but then just sort of disappear).

Overall, I enjoyed this film, but the ending was a mess. Maybe I'm just not understanding it, but I think they intentionally made it ambiguous. In which case, I'd say that's its biggest flaw.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Hello, did somebody order a plot?, 16 July 2004
5/10

Hello, did somebody order a plot? If so, it never arrived.

I wanted to love "Anchorman" and I think Will Ferrell is usually hilarious, but this film just didn't work for me. While there were some very funny parts that had me laughing out loud, there seemed to be nothing coherent holding this film together. It just seemed to me like a bunch of skits loosely placed around an idea for a plot, rather than a full fleshed-out film.

Also, it too often went into lunacy instead of a straight-ahead story. I would have liked the story more if it were just about Ron Burgundy, obnoxious news anchor. But instead, we had total lapses of rational thought, for example, with the "rumble" between the various news teams or Burgundy's flute performance. It was things like that which took me out of the moment -- of 1970's San Diego -- and the movie lost all semblence of reality.

When it stuck to the more basic plot (old-school men vs. women's lib movement), the film felt more coherent and way funnier -- but the asides overwhelmed the plot...


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