November 11th, 2006

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

FLiFF Short Subject: “Guide Dog,” the subversive sequel to “Guard Dog”

Animated and directed by Bill Plympton, “Guide Dog” features the a character who is too eager to please. After the disastrous events from Oscar nominated “Guard Dog,” our hero, a nameless pug dog, is looking for a job. The big eyed dog sees a sign that says “Wanted: Guide Dog” and he answers the ad.

What follows is the Guide Dog”s three misadventures in providing SUNSational service to three blind clients. This short film (under 11 minutes) features a clever fade out gag. “Guide Dog” is not on the same plateau as “Guard Dog,” but I forward to the further misadventures of this mangy pug.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

FLiFF Short Subject: “Christopher Brennan Save the World”

Christopher Brennan is a high school kid who saves the world by working at a fast food restaurant. Like Lucy from the “Peanuts” cartoon, Brennan dispenses psychological counseling and advice to people using the Drive Thru. While saving the world, Brennan loses his soul when the girl of his dreams follows his advice and dates Brennan's rival.

While the 25 minute feature packs in too many characters and subplot, writer/director Jesse Dykstracreated a gem for any teen who has ever worked in a fast food restaurant during high school.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

FLiFF Short Subject: “Olyver Brody”

A distant relative of Freddy Krueger, this Florida State University produced movie tells the tale of Olyver Brody. Brody is a cursed man who sacrifices children to a witch. In return the witch provides an antidote to his curse,. After many years of living in this cursed relationship, Brody has a crisis of conscience.

“Olyver Brody” has an impressive opening, but suffers from too much story in too short of a time, 17 minutes.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

FLiFF Shorts Subject: “Snapshots of Henry”

“Snapshots of Henry” features two heterosexual couples who are neighbors. One couple has punk rock/hippie tendencies while the other couple with a child basically live a conservative lifestyle. When illness affects one of the couples, one character learns to accept responsibility for their actions.

A melancholy piece, one feels a sense of confessional tone to “Snapshots of Henry” from within the narrative. “Snapshots of Henry” will relate to anybody planning to attend their high school reunion.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

FLiFF Short Subject : “Man versus Monday”

“Man versus Monday” reeks of television sitcom.
We are introduced to a leading man who is a goofball, his domestic and professional life. Today's episode deals with our leading goof ball's conflict with a hit & run driver and the cable company. Can we say, double plotted??
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

FLiFF Short Subject : “Chez Lulu”

This 13 minute French short suffers from the worst moments of a Norman Lear sitcom, a lot of noise from prejudiced people that builds into a sappy conclusion.

Lulu is the owner of a Parisian Cafe who hosts eccentric extremists who only agree on one thing. The one thing is a universal desire for a community.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

FLiFF Shorts Subject : "A Little Light"

A 33 minute feature about a meter maid doing his job when the gravity of the universe comes undone. “A Little Light” suffers from too much plot and not enough character development. Alan Thicke portrays a celebrity with the wisdom of Yoda. Cute sight gags.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

FLiFF Short Subject “Across the Hall”

"Across the Hall" is a love triangle with no sharp edges. A guy is taking a bath when he gets a call from a frenzied friend. The friend believes that his girlfriend is cheating on him. Drunk and carrying firearms, the friend has followed his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend to a hotel room.

Guess what?
The guy on the telephone is cheating on his best friend and is in the hotel room.

“Across the Hall” fails where “The Shovel” succeeds, a thriller that loses it's suspense due to complicated plotting. Each character overacts and the climax is confusing, yet somehow predictable.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

FLiFF Short Subject: “Lose Yourself”

Johanna Cross writes and stars as herself, a marriage counselor battling personal domestic woes. Sadly “Lose Yourself” suffers because Cross is an inconsistent actress, Patricia Heaton would have nailed this role. To Cross' credit, she does provide some scenes with needed over-the-top energy and sarcastic put downs.

“Lose Yourself” is saved by an ensemble of players headed by Jonathon Silverman as Cross' husband, Zaul Rubinek as the boss and a very funny Dinah Manoff as the bosses' wife. The cute four eyed little girl from Sandra Bullock's comedy, “Hope Floats,” Mae Whitman, portrays a step daughter with body image issues.

This Neal Israel directed domestic comedy grows on the viewer and is saved by the performances of Rubinek, Manoff, Whitman and Silverman.