Film-Forward Review: [FILM GEEK]

Reviews of Recent Independent, Foreign, & Documentary Films in Theaters and DVD/Home Video

Melik Malkasian as Scotty
Photo: First Run

Directed, Written & Edited by: James Westby.
Produced by: Bryd McDonald.
Director of Photography: Jason Hughes.
Music by: Jason Wells.
Released by: First Run.
Country of Origin: USA. 72 min. Not Rated.
With: Melik Malkasian & Tyler Gannon.

Each day Scotty Pelk clocks in at Video Connections, shrink-wraps VHS tapes, preaches Goddard, goes home with a movie or two, jerks off before updating his Website (which has had 0 unique hits since 1998) and begins the cycle anew – until he gets fired. Surely, something has to change then…right?

If Melik Malkasian had not played Scotty, this film would never have worked. His line readings of the ex-rental clerk – a character so ill-equipped for life that any successful (or mostly unsuccessful) social interaction with a woman results in his masturbating into a sink – are what make the movie’s mediocre jokes hilarious. But most of the actors can’t handle a script which calls for the absurd character interactions of Napoleon Dynamite. Instead, it is directed with the moderate realism of any ‘80s beaches and babes flick. So when Scotty’s living wet dream (a pretty girl reading about Cronenberg on the bus) enters at the halfway point and shifts the focus from Malkasian’s pratfalls, most of the laughs fade into groans.

But James Westby gets points for making a light, quirky film on such a tight budget. Though some of the humor may not work and it is a bit predictable, the dark comedy does have a trick up its sleeve. Just when you may think Film Geek has turned into a wan date flick, Westby doesn’t settle for a Hollywood ending (but a happy ending, so to speak). Zachary Jones
February 10, 2006



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