[First filed: August 31, 2008 @ 11:46]
Canberra’s Brian Cobb has made his first feature film as a producer and it’s opening at Dendy
on 4 September for a run from 18 September to 24 September.
Yesterday it had an advance screening at the National Museum as part of the Australian Film Institute award screenings.
The AFI members were a little surprised to have a large contingent of the hoi polloi turn up to see Brian’s work.
Having spent a few years working in cinemas both here and in England I was certainly intrigued by a movie about theater workers.
Apparently this film was originally planned as a series of shorts to be distributed through iTunes for playing on people’s ipods.
So in a way it’s a shame what could have really been something great in that format has been shoe-horned into a deeply flawed, if still very funny in parts, movie.
A major quibble I’ve got with it is that the idea of cinemas being the haunt of hard core movie-nerds frittering away their lives feeling superior to their customers doesn’t ring true in Australia. Our youth wage laws mean that most cinemas here are staffed by teenagers with no particular interest in movies and managers tend to be recruited out of fast food franchises. In other countries the stereotype is certainly true, but the movie is supposedly set in an Australian ‘plex.
In large part it feels like Clerks meets Fat Pizza. An impression reinforced by John Boxer once again playing a foul mouthed and abusive boss. To say nothing of the blatant Jay and Silent Bob rip offs.
The caper portion of the film wouldn’t cut the mustard on locally made children’s TV. And the female characters are either vacuous whores, or props waiting for the male protagonists to animate them. Other characters leap out of the woodwork undeveloped to take on crucial roles and advance the gimpy plot.
And yet… and yet… In the set pieces of cinema life it hits some good marks and is genuinely funny. The dialogue between AJ and Zeke goofing off in the box office hits some real high notes at times.
Basically if you love Kevin Smith movies you’ll be able to forgive this film its flaws, and have a great time.
But if you’re not a fan of that work then don’t torture yourself here.
If you’re looking for a more sustained insight into ‘plex life I highly recommend the multiplex comic.
More info on The Plex is available on the Racing Team Productions website.
UPDATE: My details on the cinema run were incorrect. The film is running at Dendy from 18 to 24 September.