With all that’s going on, I decided not only to get back into reviews, but to do an old classic move of mine where I review two films at once. Because this year is unpredictable (more about that in a little bit) I went the unpredictable route of doing an old layout where I review two films. Normally, I do this with short films but this time around, one of them is a full length feature. Also, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to condense films with festivals being a no-go. How many have been canceled so far? I should hire somebody to do my math for me. But that will have to wait, so here we go with two Canadian films which recently got released.
The Announcement (Short Film)
Sometimes an unexpected incident happens. Given this year so far, so much unexpected is happening I’m hoping for a day when things slow down and everything seems so boring and mundane. Our story starts out with a woman named Olive (Carolina Bartczak) who has just come home limping and is trying hard to wash some blood off her hands. So what exactly did happen to Olive? Well, after we see her tour the extremely roomy house she’s in where she finds several clues (a bag of money, a gun, a portrait) we meet Jonny (Alex Mallari Jr) who’s more traumatized than she is. He goes to the fridge for a drink and then he comes across some clues too (a photograph, and a card). Eventually, Olive comes downstairs and things get heated between the two. They have to find a way to sort things out AND cope with whatever it is they did. The whole film seems super simple but in actuality, it’s not. To make it more complex, it was all done completely in just one shot. You get a whole tour of a house and the emptiness of it adds to the feel. As the journey goes upstairs and downstairs, it becomes twisted. But once you get to the end that’s when things really get you in the feels.
The Last Porno Show
As a reviewer there’s lots of stuff I watch and there are certain things I watch and wonder what I was thinking. I don’t know what to feel about this. The Last Porno Show starts out with two gentlemen auditioning for a show. One of them happens to be a man named Wayne (Nathanael Chadwick) who dreams of becoming an actor. After all, he’s bored of his day job and is trying to get the best out of his acting teacher (Frank D’Angelo). His life takes an interesting turn however when a cop comes to his home to make him the beneficiary of his deceased father, Al (Christian Aldo). Which means now he’s the proud owner of a bag of ashes and an adult theatre. Despite it being closed, Wayne decides to get in and investigate the theatre. It’s about to get sold, which is bad news for some of the tenants living there and the creepy old dudes who attend regularly. As he looks around the abandoned joint, he also gets flashbacks of his childhood and just how supportive and troublesome his father was. It turns out Wayne’s childhood was actually kind of flawed, given his father’s line of work thus causing all kinds of awkward happenings. Wayne does his best to tidy up the place and eventually it starts growing on him. When he tries out for an audition for a mature movie, he manages to impress the director Chad (Luke Correia-Damude) with his newfound methods and lets him try out another scene as an exercise. Eventually Chad gives Wayne the role. Wayne decides to get further into character by watching old pornos that his father used to watch and make. He also decides to try running the theatre for a w while to see what it was like being his father. Slowly overtime, Wayne starts to look more on his past and get more into character for what seems to be an opportunity for his first role, but will he ever end up selling the old theatre or keeping it? More importantly, he’s got to get more worked out with his character and try not to blend it with reality too much. As I mentioned, I don’t know what to make of this, while it may be awkward given the content matter, it does have its moments. The characters are well performed given the circumstances, the lighting is cool and artistic, and the plot is incredible no matter what the strangeness. You get a heartwarming feel when you see the connection between Wayne and Al but you also end up feeling sorry for poor Wayne given just how horrendous things were at times. The acting narration throughout some of the scenes gives good advice and interesting chilling vibes to the film. It’s an enjoyable view with a fair amount of awkwardness that pays off in a crazy feature that ends up being pretty disturbing when you get to the end and think things over. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it is what it is. You really learn when it comes to acting and filmmaking, there is such a thing as taking it too far.