Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Movie Review: "We Make Movies" (2016)

Director: Matt Tory
Year: 2016
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 51 minutes

A college student named Stevphen is the self-proclaimed "next Spielberg meets the guy who made Inception." He and a group of friends are making a movie for the upcoming Boehring film festival while a documentary crew chronicles the whole ordeal. 

"We Make Movies" is a nano-budget mockumentary written by, directed by and starring Matt Tory. He plays director Stevphen, who much like Tory himself makes nano-budget films and always believes he is one more movie away from his big break. Joining him are Jordan Hopwell, Zack Slort, Jonathan Holmes, Anne Crockett, and Matt Silver. These actors make up the cast and crew working on Stevphen's film, "A New Don...Part II." In what we imagine is art reflecting real life, the crew and cast are friends of Stevphen's, just as the majority of the cast is either a friend or family member of Matt Tory's. It's all very meta.
"I'm like a fat kid with asthma and cinema is my inhaler."
There is a lot to like about "We Make Movies." Much of the dialogue and the situations that happen here are really funny. We laughed quite a bit throughout the course of watching this feature. Because of its format and its cringe-worthy and awkward but mostly hilarious comedic stylings, we were reminded of the television show "The Office" on more than one occasion. We have seen a lot of different mockumentaries in the past and they are a great option for filmmakers with budgetary restrictions. They don't require multiple cameras, multiple angles, or any big special effects. A filmmaker gets to focus on a single oddball topic and run the jokes off of that. In fact, it was a smart choice for Tory to make his film about nano-budget/no-budget filmmaking. That way, the audience can play off any mediocre or bad acting as intentional since the characters are supposed to be bad actors, bad directors, and bad at what they do in general despite doing it with a lot of passion. All of these zany characters come together to make this bizarre but visionary movie with Tory's Stevphen helming the project. Other standouts include Leonard, pronounced "Leo-nard," played by Zack Slort, the movie's overbearing, diva of a star who keeps making progressively bigger demands, and Garth, played by Jonathan Holmes, who Stevphen thinks is the worst, especially when he tries to cozy up to his crush, lead actress Jessica, played by Anne Crockett.
"Garth, your silence is worrying me. Do you have 3 testicles?"
The one big critique we have about "We Make Movies" is that it does start to feel a bit long, especially as the drama gets laid on thick on towards the third act. Even though we were really into the first half of the movie, as we closed in on an hour of watch time, we started to think it was going to be wrapping up soon. When we looked to see how much longer it had, we were shocked to find out it still had an additional 50 minutes left. Some of the stuff that happens towards the end of the movie feels like unnecessary filler. Still, despite the low rent look of the movie, we had an overall enjoyable experience watching it. We love supporting indie movies and are glad this one was as funny as it looked. We can tell this was a labor of love for Matt Tory and everyone involved, and their enthusiasm is infectious.

*We were asked by Matt Tory himself to review this film, and we deeply apologize to him for the time it took to get this review out. You can watch this movie on Amazon Prime RIGHT NOW!*

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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