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August 27, 2015

On The Lot: Contestant Films (Action)

by JJ Hawkins, posted Jul 17th 2007 11:35PM
Adriana with the contestants who didn't get the boot.

(S01E11) I'm really surprised On The Lot has made it this long without getting yanked.

My suspicion is Fox doesn't quite have the guts to cancel a show produced by the venerable Steven Spielberg, but they're covertly doing everything in their power to get this stinker off the air. Hence, the double eliminations for the last two weeks.

By my calculations, if we continue cutting two people a week, we'll only be subjected to four or five more episodes tops.

I think this may be the first time I've ever consistently watched a show on a weekly basis while simultaneously wanting it to die.

Yup, this show is definitely an anomaly, but in the worst kind of way. Let's hope the world is never subjected to a show about the movie-making process ever again. It just doesn't seem to work.

Tonight's guest judge is Antoine Fuqua, director of hits like Training Day and Shooter.

#1 - Sam - Key Witness

Synopsis: A bounty hunter tracks down a key witness in a trial.

Carrie - I thought it was a lot of action and that that was very good. However, the action overwhelmed the movie for me.
Antoine - Well covered and a lot of style. Almost too much style over substance. You were caught up in the action a little too much, but you did a great job.
Garry - Some of the motivation was a little medium, but I thought it was a good job overall though.

Considering he had 1 1/2 minutes to work with, I thought Sam did a pretty extraordinary job. It was a little busy at times, and I didn't quite know why so much time elapsed before the second assailant above the dumpster started shooting at the bounty hunter and witness, but I'm just being nit picky. Good action, a nice bit of humor at the end, and serviceable acting. I liked it.

#2 - Jason - Sweet

Synopsis: Guy forgets his anniversary at the last minute.

Carrie - This is my favorite thing that you've done so far. Great visual style. Your wife should be very, very proud.
Antoine - You proved action doesn't have to be violent. You made me care, and you did it with style.
Garry - No blood, no one died, it was comical yet totally accessible. You did a terrific job.

Jason said if no one else gets this movie than his wife will. That's a great strategy, jackass, considering you're wife will be casting the solitary vote that keeps you in the competition. Brilliant. As it turns out after watching his film, I was pleasantly surprised with what he did. It was funny, well shot (aside from the weird black and white still reaction shots), and completely accessible because I have a similar panic attack every time a special occasion rolls around. Best film Jason's done.

#3 - Andrew - Zero 2 Sixty

Synopsis: Car salesman is forced to sell cars in an extraordinary situation.

Carrie - I thought you did a really, really good job. This was a really inventive idea, and I thought you did a good job with the action. Solid.
Antoine - You really did a good job, but I got a little lost in the action comedy drama. The character was interesting, but I couldn't quite understand his high pitch voice.
Garry - Very ambitious and well paced. I love a car chase.

The judges are idiots. This was a bad Ford commercial disguised as a car chase. Nothing more. The FBI agent was wholly uncertain with his confidence and unbelievable, the salesman was annoyingly annoying, and I can't figure out why he decided to join the FBI agent on a high speed chase. As far as the pursuit went, it wasn't completely horrible. However, the fact that the plot was so poor completely tarnished the action. Andrew will be heading home.

#4 - Kenny - The Losers

Synopsis: Dad takes on his son's bully in a downhill skateboard race.

Carrie - Kenny, you've got an awesome eye. You make some incredible looking films, but it's a little unbalanced. The stories aren't as developed as the films look. Work as hard on the story as you do the film.
Antoine - I felt the geography was a little all over the place, and the ending teetered away. You're good, but you need to trust your crew a little more.
Garry - I love that you're wild and abstract, but I was a little bewildered. The lizard confused me.

My vote was for Kenny to do the stunt himself in the hopes he would get hit by the car. Didn't happen. However, as the judges said, he ended up making a visually meaty film that was a little anorexic in the story department.

#5 - Mateen - Catch

Synopsis: A good samaritan attempts to catch a thief.

Carrie - I thought you did a good job with that. This was your best film so far. Good job.
Antoine - I though you put too much in two minutes at first, but watching it again I thought you did a good job.
Garry - I don't know that someone stealing money from a hat was a big enough deal to make a movie out of. I still think you did a good job.

So Garry - a guy stealing a hat full of money isn't a great reason to make a movie, but skateboarding downhill is? That just seemed like a strange thing to say because he's said a lot of nice things about plots that I found a bit on the unworthy side.

All in all, I thought Mateen had a decent film. He started out well, had a nice chase sequence in the middle, and tied everything up together at the end with a believable "catch" which I thought did a good job of explaining why an older gentleman was physically fit enough to take down a much younger thief. I think it was one of Mateen's better films.

Favorite movies of the night:

Carrie - Zero 2 Sixty
Antoine - Sweet
Garry - Sweet
JJ - Sweet

Best action film of the night?
#1 - Sam - Key Witness9 (11.3%)
#2 - Jason - Sweet59 (73.8%)
#3 - Andrew - Zero 2 Sixty4 (5.0%)
#4 - Kenny - The Losers2 (2.5%)
#5 - Mateen - Catch6 (7.5%)

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"I think this may be the first time I've ever consistently watched a show on a weekly basis while simultaneously wanting it to die."

I completely agree.

"Yup, this show is definitely an anomaly, but in the worst kind of way. Let's hope the world is never subjected to a show about the movie-making process ever again. It just doesn't seem to work."

I thought Project Greenlight was pretty interesting. But On The Lot just can't seem to find a groove. First it was about indie filmmakers struggling with nothing but their raw creative talent against impossible deadlines. Now they've got full Hollywood crews at their disposal. What's the deal?

July 20 2007 at 5:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Sweet" was my favorite film of the night as well, but it "borrowed" its concept from the German indie classic "Run Lola Run." That movie also featured a running protagonist whose actions inadvertently affected other people, and those effects were depicted with a series of B&W still photos. If you've never seen RLR, I highly recommend it as a rental.

July 19 2007 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Usually I agree with your opinions on the short films, but this time, I think I actually liked the Ford commercial...er... Zero to Sixty... best.

I mean, c'mon! It starred a grown-up version of TV's Chip from Kate and Allie! (aka Frederick Koehler) I almost watch this show solely for those "Chip!" moments. (I've been watching lots of Kate and Allie reruns on We lately.)

And you can TOTALLY watch this entire show in 20 minutes with FF. While FFing Gary, you can just say "My SIS-TAH Penny" over and over again to simulate the viewing experience.

July 18 2007 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Its not that bad if you FF through everything besides the films themselves. I mean what else would you be doing anyway.... surfing youtube?

July 18 2007 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show grows on you. It kinda helps if you are rooting for someone. (Go Zach!) The only reason that keeps me tuned in each week is the hope that Spielberg will make an appearance as the guest judge on the final ep.

July 18 2007 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was cleaning my apartment while watching, but I tuned in for Kenny's film because I wanted to see how far off the deep end he'd gone. It wasn't his worst; it actually wasn't half bad; the wakki-taxi-guy laugh still made an appearance though. What does that guy think that maniacal laughter is funny? It is, under the right circumstances, but you can't just throw it in wherever and whenever you want.

Other than that, I didn't really watch any of the others. This show is officially background noise for me.

July 18 2007 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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