Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tribeca Day 4: A surprise, Mondo and I make a lunch date and Happy Easter INTRAMURAL,POINT AND SHOOT, GLASS CHIN and AN HONEST LIAR

Outside the SVA theater  on a lovely spring day

Happy Easter

Actually Easter kept the press screenings this morning quiet and sparsely attended. On the other hand my one public screening was packed to the rafters.

The day today was really just movies- which is good because I have a lot of films to write up and an interview to transcribe.

The first film of the day is the biggest and best cinema surprise of the festival-INTRAMURAL is a fall down funny spoof of every sports film ever made done in the style of a 1970's or 1980's low budget comedies like the ones that helped found Troma.

The plot of the film has a bunch of fifth year seniors getting their once mighty intramural football team back together. I don't want to spoil the jokes but they are funny, clever, vulgar, funny and really funny. Its a seemingly low brow comedy that's way more intelligent then you'd ever expect. How good is it? I was planning on leaving the film early on to catch something else but instead I ended up staying to the very last credit. I loved this film. (And yes it is fall down funny- the seats at Bow Tie Cinema have arm rests that lift up so I was sitting across a couple of seats like it was a couch- and when one of the games happened I was laughing so hard I almost fell over onto the floor.) A must see for anyone who likes to laugh.

The second film is the okay POINT AND SHOOT is the story of Matthew Van Dyke a young man with a wicked case of OCD and a burning desire for adventure. After traveling the world on motorcycle he ended up going to join the rebellion in Lybia. The story of what happened is the film. A good but unremarkable film, the film seems like any number of other films destined for PBS. For me the film suffers from telling the story but never really letting us know VanDyke. When the film ended I felt I knew his story but not the man. I think its worth seeing but I can't suggest paying theater prices to see it.

GLASS CHIN is one of my least favorite films at Tribeca.  A modern film noir it hits every god damn noir cliche with such wild abandon that I groaned as each one showed up. Its really a kind of an just fair film, but the technical skill of the filmmaking and the first rate performances which leads me to believe to believe that the writer should have known how horribly stupid the plot is.

The plot follows Bud Gordon, a retired boxer and failed restaurant owner who has offers to help train an up and coming fighter for HBO and a chance to open a new restaurant via a really really bad but really really slick man.

The problem is that the film has very little connection to reality. Things are WTF from the instant that Bud meets JJ since its never believable that some one as smart as Bud would buy into JJ's bullshit- especially since he knows how bad he is. I never really excepted Bud and his girlfriend being an item since they never seem to be on the same page. There are tons more problems including the ending hinging on a radio broadcast of a low level HBO prize fight (not in this day and age). I got to the point where I stayed just to see how stupid the plot would get...and it just kept getting worse and worse.

I really dislike this film.

Before the final film Mondo and I finally managed to make lunch plans for Tuesday. This may not sound like much considering that we've been trying to sit down together and just chill since Thanksgiving. One of the things I love about Tribeca is the chance to reconnect with friends.

The final film was a public screening of AN HONEST LIAR about James Randi. The screening was packed, and regrettably I missed friend Sam Juliano and his wife who were,unbeknownst to me at the screening as well. The film is a very good and it lays out Randi's life and battles against fake preachers and psychics.  The trouble for me is that as a life long fan (and occasional critic) of Randi, the film had nothing new in it other than seeing his partner. The film also steers away from some the darker episodes of Randi's life. If you don't know about Randi this is an excellent place to start. If you do know Randi you may want to wait for the eventual TV run.

After all that I headed home for Easter dinner- and an early trip to bed. I have to get up early tomorrow for more films and coverage of the red carpet for the showing of the film on the National Theater's production of Richard III.

1 comment:

  1. Aye Steve, I also regret not seeing you, but by George we will connect before the week is out!!!

    Nice to read that you too were not overly enamored of the overrated AN HONEST LIAR, which was the weakest of the six films I saw on Easter Sunday (yes Easter Sunday, and I will never live that down with my kids, though this may be the only time Tribeca and the holiday ever collide again):

    Alex in Venice *** 1/2
    An Honest Liar ***
    Brides ****
    In Order of Disappearance ****
    Silenced ****
    Tomorrow We Disappear ****

    Thanks for the tip on GLASS CHIN, which I may not replace with one of several other films I want to see. Sure I may actually like it more than you, but there was a telling aspect to some of the observations you made.