Fried Barry. My mind was bent! And not by the Mindbenders shorts, which were a bit tame in my opinion, maybe I am getting jaded. But in the movie Fried Barry, a drug addict is abducted by aliens, his body is taken over by one of them, and Barry/alien experiences stuff on Earth for the first time, mostly at night. Do not expect 3-act story structure. Barry goes from dance floor to flying over hills to rescuing child prisoners to giving a prostitute a big and very fast surprise, and Barry speaks very few words. Instead, Barry emotes with wide intense trying-to-comprehend eyes, a wild mop of hair, a mouth alternately stone-face Buster Keaton and Tina Turner’s Acid Queen, and a lanky, electro-shock moving body. Fried Barry reminded me of Joaquin Phoenix’s one-man-performance in Joker. The director told me others had made the same comparison. This movie pushes the hard-R line, but you have never seen anything like it. The soundtrack’s hard base beat is a match for Barry. He inspires me to create a character sorta like that, if that is physically possible. Fried Barry is one of a kind.
Asking For It. A comedy about a young woman being stalked, and stepping up to fight back. Actually, the young woman gets a lot of help from a tough, snarky, strong new roommate (Irene Morales). And no help at all from the police (best you-hate-him but he-makes-you-laugh obnoxious cop ever). I talked with Irene Morales, and she was much like her character, I wish I had more friends like her. When I asked the director and actress about what they like and dislike in women in today’s movies, and I said I have created a super heroine, the director said she disliked when the message is delivered with a overly heavy hand, and Irene said how can some superheroines run without their boobs flopping them off balance? I absolutely see her point, but I always wondered how their costumes do not give them super-wedgies while fighting the baddies. Maybe my mind is a bit lower than hers. They said the movie was about 10 percent improvised, and the cast knew how to toss in even better lines. Fun movie, great characters.
Breaking Fast. A gay muslim romantic comedy. I saw it in the California Theater in San Jose, and that was the right venue. It had the audience laughing and applauding. Before I saw it, I was concerned that the lead character would be too perfect, but the movie expertly played his niceness and his flaws. And when he meets his love interest, and they said they both loved Christopher Reeve’s Superman, I was rooting for them. But I loved even more the lead’s best buddy. A flamboyantly gay character: kinda swishy body language, his gay voice lets you know that he loves musicals, and I was a little surprised I liked him. A LOT! If you remember my review of the Catwoman movie (scroll to the last paragraph), its gay stereotype character made my blood pressure go nuclear. Why did I love the Breaking Fast best buddy? Because he was funny, confident, smart, and heartfelt. You laugh WITH him, not AT him. Breaking Fast knew the difference, and the director of Catwoman never will. (Did I mention that the food on the screen looked so good, I could have sworn I tasted it?)
The rest of Cinequest 2020 has been postponed to August. I intend to be there. I have other Cinequest movie reviews that I intend to post also. Stay tuned.