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February 5, 2005 / jnolen

SB Film Fest: Day 6

Films for today: The Works and Cutie Honey.

Reviews after the jump….

The Works

This film is an impressive debut by a whole team of people, many of whom were at the screening. it was the film’s world premiere, and most of the cast and crew came up from LA for the screening. This movie was apparently a self-funded effort (the festival director said that we would never believe how little it cost to make). The performances were strong on all sides. Joe W. Anthony as Victor, the protagonist, was particularly good. I feel certain that I’ve seen him in something before, but IMDB says no.

Kim Stodel and Jarrett Galante as Derek and Zack are particularly funny, in a Jay & Silent Bob kind of way. But no complaints about that. I liked Danielle Taddei as Eve, though her she reminded me of a less-annoying version of the love interest in that great 80s classic, Real Genius ( mostly her voice and her hair).

The story is well-written, subtle and understated. There’s not a great deal of dialogue, which I think was a great choice and allows Victor’s character to be unpacked in a much more natural way.

Overall, a very confident debut and an enjoyable movie. This film really deserves distribution — at least to IFC or the Sundance Channel.

Cutie Honey

(SBIFF synopsis here.) This movie was insane. Live action anime is the only possible description. Like the Power Rangers with a bigger budget. And more musical numbers. And more gratuitous semi-nudity.

Here’s the official site. All I can say is that they did a great job recreating the feel and the content of the anime in live action. Perfect costuming, perfect set design, cheeseball effects, ridiculously cloying ending and all.

The lead actress is a Japanese screen-idol named Eriko Sato. She plays a character who acts like a cute nine year old for most of the film (perhaps explained by the fact that she has no memories earlier than a year ago). But she’s in a hot, twenty-seven year old body. And I can’t even count how many times she changed outfits.

But I had a great time watching it. It was a ten o’clock show, and people were tired and kind of punchy and the audience was totally in to it. Laughing both with and at the movie. Apparently, the entire volunteer staff of the Film Fest has adopted this film as their own. They were all there, at ten o’clock on a Thursday, to watch this film for what was obviously the third or fourth time.

It’s a really an audience-pleasing film: There were twenty-something hipster-girls running around outside after the movie like karate-wielding superheroines. It was great. Definitely worth seeing, in the right context.

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