March 13, 2006

Movie Review: {censored}

Welcome to the review of the movie that I cannot tell you about. I cannot tell you who directed it, or who stars in it, or who wrote it, or any specific details of what goes on in the movie.

It all started this past Friday. I was at the movie theater waiting to see The Libertine, when I was approached by a young woman who asked if I was interested in being a part of a test audience for an upcoming Hollywood film. Being the movie fan I am, how could I say no? I had heard tales of these legendary events, but living in upstate New York, rarely have the opportunity to seek these holy grails of filmdom. Usually, when I hear about people who have seen these they are in big cities, like New York City and Los Angeles. As it turns out, this screening was going to be held at the local community college.

After expressing my interest, the next step was to try and get any information about the film that I could. Turns out, there was very little they were willing, or knowing, to offer. All that she would say was that it was a comedy. OK, I can deal with that, just had to wait a few days in anticipation.

Monday came, and I got to the theater at the school, and was disappointed by what I saw. Yes, the screening was still going on, but there was a very small turnout. At 5:30, those who had shown up, which seemed to be mainly the friends and family of the students involved in organizing it. I got myself a seat in the middle towards the front of the auditorium and watched the film.

The movie falls within the broad confines of romantic comedy. It has some recognizable names in it. Among the names I cannot tell you about are a guy who has starred in a trilogy of well received comedies, as well as worked with Woody Allen, and a girl who made a splash in the biggest grossing comedy of 2005. In the supporting cast is a guy who starred in one of the biggest science fiction trilogies ever. Then there is the writer/director who has been featured in a series of soft drink commercials, and a decade based series on VH1, not to mention a comedy time with a woman's name.

The film itself clocks in at a lean 85 minutes, and has some pretty darn funny scenes. The setup is completely contrived, but in some sort of other world logic it works. It is the kind of movie where, if the lead characters just had the conversation any real couple would have, it would have alleviated the need for most of the movie. That being the case, the film was still a fun ride. The comedy was completely random, yet everything pointed towards the inevitable conclusion. All of the actors played their parts well, buying into the situations they were placed in.

This was announced as being very early in the process. So early, in fact, that this was the first cut made. There was missing music, mismatched audio, unfinished effects, and end credits which was a scrolling series of the words "End Credits."

Following the conclusion of the film, there was a brief Q&A. We had a discussion of what worked, what didn't, which characters did you prefer, was the story unclear, what was the funniest moment, was the pacing good, questions along those lines. All this in an attempt to help the producers that were in attendance guide the film to a positive completion. Since it was so early in the process, they do not have a release date, but hopefully they will be able to complete a finalized print soon.

As an experience, I have to rank this pretty highly. It may not be the best movie I've ever seen, but it was fun to be a part of it. So, if any of you get the opportunity to be in a test audience, I say go for it.

The reason I didn't review the film is at the request of the producers, looking to keep the film quiet while they continue to work it up. I respect that. Perhaps when the release roles around I will be able to share my thoughts of this work print compared with the finished product.

Categories: , ,


Post a Comment