On The Lot: Contestant Films (Automobiles)
(S01E14) Throughout the season I've commented on how many of the director's films end up looking more like car commercials thanks to the heavy placement of Ford vehicles throughout their features.
This week the problem was exacerbated because everyone had to make films using "automobiles" as a loose theme. I find it a little suspect that "automobiles" was considered the theme since in previous weeks we had genres like comedy, horror, action, and romantic comedy.
It almost feels like the sponsor forced this arrangement on the producers of the show. Maybe Ford is unhappy with the way the show has been performing in the ratings. Maybe this was planned all along. Either way, the result is the same. Fox has officially pimped On The Lot out to the auto industry. I hope they're proud.
This week Andrew and Zach had the lowest vote totals and Andrew ended up getting kicked off the lot.
Jason received the highest number of votes last week and as a prize got to work with Jerry O'Connell in his short. It seems really strange to implement something like this so late in the season, but whatever.
I don't even ask questions anymore. I just blindly accept whatever they throw at me and roll with it. Next week's genre could be a combination of "Snuff Films" and "Straight to DVD Softcore." I wouldn't so much as flinch.
Tonight's guest judge was Gary Ross director of Seabiscuit, Pleasantville, and Dave.
We also gained the displeasure of having Garry Marshall's sister Penny replace him this week. I consider this a downgrade because Penny makes Garry's ramblings sound Shakespearean by comparison.
#1 - Adam - Driving Under the Influence
Synopsis: Car radio causes people to dance.
Carrie - You clearly have something going on with musicals. This is really funny and I laughed very hard.
Gary - I think it was charming and unbelievably ambitious. Really wonderful, congratulations.
Penny - It was excellent.
Kind of cute kind of random. Adam has a thing for musicals and always manages to make them work considering the amount of time he's forced to cram everything into. Not a bad start to the night, but not a great one.
#2 - Sam - BackSeat Driving Test
Synopsis: Son tries to teach his backseat driving mother a lesson.
Carrie - This is the best thing you've done here and the most relatable.
Gary - Thought you did a really good job and it was technically proficient. I wish you'd have developed the relationship between the mother and son a bit more.
Penny - I thought you did an excellent job. It was one of your best films.
I think Sam's forte is taking situations a normal viewing audience can identify with and conveying that on the big screen. He's got a knack for it and pulled it off again tonight. My second favorite film of the evening.
#3 - Zach - The Bonus Feature 2
Synopsis: A sequel to the mediocre film he made last week.
Carrie - Well it was really gutsy and well made. I think you are so so talented but I want you to realize how
Gary - I thought it hung together on it's own. It was cohesive and a good job of storytelling.
Penny - Good job between a girl and a boy. I think the end scene should have been better.
Zach has been exposed. He's all effects and no story. The film looked really good, but once again it was completely underwhelming in the story department. I think it was a mistake to make a sequel to a film that didn't go over all that well to begin with. Then again, it happens all the time in Hollywood, so maybe Zach is just trying to fit in with his future peers.
#4 - Jason - The Move
Synopsis: Buddies play a prank on one another.
Carrie - I didn't completely get this. This took me off guard.
Gary - I was a little bit confused too. It's sort of a reversal of the setup. I didn't understand where the practical joke came from. The payoff needed to make sense.
Penny - I thought you directed Jerry very well, but I also didn't get this.
This is totally something my friends and I would have done in high school or college. I totally got this but the old ass judges couldn't seem to relate. I think the story needed some better build up to truly get across what was going on. Overall, it was still pretty entertaining and Jason did a good job of directing a movie star, assuming people still consider Jerry O'Connell a movie star.
#5 - Will - Road Rage 101
Synopsis: A guy stuck in traffic beats on his car, and his car decides to beat back on him.
Carrie - You are unbelievably original. It's always a pleasure to watch your films.
Gary - I liked it very much too and it was very well shot. I didn't quite feel the character of the car as much as I wanted to.
Penny - I think you're a wonderful film maker, but I think you could have done better.
I kept waiting for the airbag to go off in the final scene. It just seemed like the appropriate thing to happen particularly with the music appeared to apex during that sequence. Maybe that would have been to obvious of an ending, but it would have worked for me. That said, I actually liked this film the best. Well shot and well acted. I think this is becoming a two way race between Will and Sam with Zach coming in a distant third.
Favorite movies of the night:
Carrie - Driving Under the Influence
Gary - Driving Under the Influence
Garry - Backseat Driving Test
JJ - Road Rage 101
Next week all four movies will be inspired by the following log line suggested by a viewer: A man wakes up and finds himself in a dress but can't remember what happened the night before.