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PBIFF’13 MOVIE REVIEW: “Suburban Backlot”

April 12, 2013

Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 12.15.45 PMOnce in a while you need to watch a movie that is made for movie geeks, by movie geeks. While I’m sure “Suburban Backlot” may not be fore everyone, I found it’s overall premise amusing, and very relatable. Writer/director Austin Boggs takes his own personal film endeavors into account by creating a story about a rag tag bunch of film nerds who half ass it when it comes to making movies. Not to say that this movie was half assed, it was constructed quite well overall, the characters movie within the movie on the other hand is another story.

Toby (Bryan Patrick Moore), Ryan (Michael Martin), and Ted (MC Wreckshin) have been making home movies since they were kids, the time has come though that they need to mature, and so should their work. Ryan comes up with a brilliant script, FINALLY, called “American Zomby”, the ‘y’ is mean’t to be ‘ironic’. Ryan’s script is perfection at it’s overall best, but can it be produced with the love and passion it so desperately deserves? Things get dicy, as pre-production is rushed, the actual production is a mess, and love triangles interrupt everyones focus.

What I took away from “Suburban Backlot”, is how relatable these characters are. I know Ryan, I know Toby, and I know Ted, I have friends just like these guys, and we pretty much have shot shit just like them. The movie does something quite clever, much like what the 2002 documentary “Lost in La Mancha” did, this film teaches the viewers all the DON’TS regarding how to produce a successful picture, although you can argue that what the production of “American Zomby” did was little more amateurish than what Terry Gilliam tried to accomplish on his failed film.

For a shoestring low budget (shot on DSLR) feature film, the acting is surprisingly very good, ok, some supporting roles are not so good, but the three main guys can have fun with it.  You can tell that some of these characters are borrowing other comedic characters mannerisms, but I feel that was the point. These guys are such devoted movie geeks that sometimes they have to love their cinematic heroes to get by in real life. My only real complaint about the film was the length, it could definitely go through another recut, trim 15-20 min out and you’ve got a fluent picture. Comedies really don’t need to clock in at nearly 2 hours, unless your Judd Apatow.

I give major props to Mr. Boggs and his crew for accomplishing their first feature film, you can tell that a lot of fun went into the production of this film. I must say, I did NOT see that ending coming, was it smart to end on something so dark? You decide. Also, I dare any of you out there to find any other movie with a better (toy) lightsaber fight scene!

GRADE: B

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