The Cinema Snob Movie, 2012.
Directed by Ryan Mitchelle.
Written and starring Brad Jones.
Also starring Jake Norvell, Noah Antwiler, Zachary La Voy, Jillian Zurawski.
When an exploitation filmmaker goes undercover as a pretentious film snob to obtain proper filming permits, he is thrust into a strange mystery surrounding the very secretive film commission.
Regular visitors to Thatguywiththeglasses.com or viewers of their movies Kickassia, Suburban Knights and To Boldly Flee may be aware of Brad Jones’ character The Cinema Snob and his brand of movie criticism. Visitors to his own site will have probably already seen this movie or are anticipating its arrival in the post. If you’re not one of these however, let me bring you up to speed.
The Cinema Snob is a character portrayed by writer Brad Jones who reviews exploitation movies from the view point of a pretentious film critic (based of a rant her saw Roger Ebert give about Friday The 13th Part V: The New Beginning). What started out life as a Youtube video has spawned its own life into his own website, a couple of other web series, 3 appearances in the aforementioned Thatguywiththeglasses.com movies and now his own feature length movie. But can a character about a guy who watches movies from his couch last a near 2 hour running time?
Well thankfully, much like the Angry Video Game Nerd movie (which had its trailer released recently), Jones and director Ryan Mitchelle have taken the idea of the character and expanded upon it. Brad Jones plays Craig Golightly, a struggling exploitation writer who along with director Neil Hall (Jake Norvell) are trying to get their movie Black Angus made but they need the correct permits from pretentious film snob Dan Phillips (Mitchelle). In order to get said permits, he takes on the guise of Vincent Dawn (The Cinema Snob) and infiltrates Phillips’ film snob group. While there he gets involved in a murder mystery as well as attracts the interest of Phillips’ wife Nancy (Jillian Zurawski).
Jones states in the filmmakers commentary that he didn’t want to make a movie that could just be enjoyed by fans of his Cinema Snob show and he has successfully done that. The in-jokes to his reviews are kept to a minimum and when they are used it’s within context of the plot rather than just being used as a cheap joke. It’s a credit to Jones that he has managed to create a movie which can be watched by a first time viewer to his work but yet remain faithful to the character.
However it’s not all roses, the movie does suffer from some issues most notably that the film isn’t all that well made. It looks nice and the framing is decent on almost every shot, but the film was clearly made with only an on-board mic and not a proper boom mic. Because of this, the sound is often unclear in certain shots but fine in others. It can be quite annoying at times as you find yourself fighting with the volume button between shots. But, having been a fan of Jones’ previous movies like Game Boys and Hooker With a Heart of Gold, I am kind of used to this “point and shoot” mentality.
And to be honest, it’s kind of hard to criticise the movie for this fault as it’s the sort of film that the characters Craig and Neill would make. The Cinema Snob Movie has the same cheap “point and shoot” vibe about it as Black Angus – albeit this one isn’t a blaxploitation about a black roller derby pro with a vengeance.
On the plus side of The Cinema Snob Movie, it’s a really funny and entertaining (if a little too long) film. Jones’ script is full of incredibly well-written dialogue and his mocking of the world of pretentious film snobs is hilarious. Having spoken with people like this in the past, it’s really funny to see it being parodied with perfection by a man who’s favourite film of all time is Caligula. While I feel the story is a little contrived and poorly handled at times, the dialogue exchanges between characters is fantastic and their ideas for other exploitation movies are laugh out loud hilarious (for example, Card Shark – where a casino gets flooded with sharks). Also for a group of people who aren’t really actors, they do a half decent job – especially in the supporting cast. Jake Norvell and Jillian Zurawski can be a bit wooden at times, but Jones’ charisma sees the film through from start to end.
While not a perfect film, The Cinema Snob Movie is an enjoyable no-budget affair made with a lot of heart and dedication. You can see the progression Jones has made as a writer and Mitchelle as a director. With some more time and a bigger budget, these two could really make a fantastic exploitation film that would rival a lot of the direct-to-DVD trash I’m used to picking up in the cheap section at ASDA. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll get to see Card Shark.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★
Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.