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October 8, 2015

On The Lot: Contestant Films

by JJ Hawkins, posted Aug 8th 2007 1:25PM

Adam, Jason, and Sam

(S01E15) It's a sad thing when the reveal of who's leaving a reality show is more interesting than the actual show.

Case in point, Zach went home this week and we were forced to hear his stifled crying while Adam, Jason, Will, and Sam were named the final four. I liked Zach, but his odes to such-and-such director were getting old and lacked any originality.

Tonight's guest judge was F. Gary Gray, director of The Italian Job, Set It Off, and Friday.

This week, America decided the log line for the final four: A man wakes up and finds himself in a dress but can't remember what happened the night before. Lame. What about: A man wakes up and finds that he's trapped inside a horrible reality show about directors trying to win a deal with Dreamworks?

Ah, I digress. This week's shorts played as followed:

#1 - Will - The Yes Men

Synopsis: Group of white-collar workers discover their boss in a dress after a dry cleaning mix-up.

Carrie - There was so much dialogue, I almost didn't recognize it as one of your films. It was a great look. Congratulations.
Gary - I thought it was funy and had god style. Maybe a little less music. Overall it was a success.
Garry - Everyone in the movie was funny which means the director was good. Excellent job.

I think the lead character was cast brilliantly. He was huge and looked like the last person you'd ever see in a dress, which was obviously the point. It was genuinely funny in some places, the music had the perfect whimsical theme, and the writing just worked. Great start to the evening.

#2 - Sam - Dressed For Success

Synopsis: Guy gets taught a lesson but it doesn't go exactly as planned.

Carrie - I thought this was a little reminiscent of Nine to Five and Saw. You can do stuff that's similar but it has to be incredibly original.
Gary - Started strong visually, but I agree. Your movie had two different tones, and you didn't manage it that well.
Garry - The pace could have been a little faster. Thought in general that this could have been a drop higher.

You know what this show is missing? A real asshole of a judge. I think Brett Ratner was going to fill that role, but he smelled the stink on this show after a single episode and disappeared. If we had an asshole judge, they wouldn't have used kid gloves with their critiques and told Sam that this film was an absolute mess. I really enjoyed his last attempts, but man, this one guaranteed that he'll be the one leaving after this week.

#3 - Adam - Army Guy

Synopsis: A soldier wakes up in a very strange house.

Carrie - One of the most innovative, freaky, fantastic films I have seen in this competition. I think it's one of the best things I've seen. Unbelievably inventive. Really, really awesome.
Gary - I think it was brave and you did a great job. It was really inventive. Amazing job.
Garry - I thought it was ambitious and you used all the tools of film making. Spectacular job.

Holy crap, that killed me! I watched it twice and I haven't wanted to do that with these films for a long, long time. I liked the little touches in the film like the brick wall that led to nowhere, the one doll whose crazy hair was teased out a little too much, and the rubber knife. I also thought the ending was killer and would actually be my own personal hell.

#4 - Jason - Oh Boy

Synopsis: A man wakes up to find he's at the end of a vengeful game.

Carrie - Jason, you have a signature in your films. There's a sweet sense of relationship in your films. Thought it was very good and liked it much better than your movie last week.
Gary - I think you're getting better. I feel like it was a little bit safe though.
Garry - Your films are good and they have gentleness in it. You know how to deal with the power of kindness very well and it will help you in your film career.

Yeah, it's official that Carrie and Garry are off their rockers. Jason's a decent director as far as his technical skills are concerned, but to say that this film has a "sweet sense of relationship" when it was about revenge and embarrassing someone is ludicrous. I know Jason thinks he's up there with Will in the final showdown, but maybe America will wise up and vote his butt home.

If you ask me, there is a pretty good split between the good movies tonight and the not so great movies. We'll see soon enough who makes it to the final cut. I'm hoping for Will and Adam at this point.

Favorite movies of the night:

Carrie - Army Guy
Gary - Army Guy
Garry - Army Guy
JJ - Army Guy

Best film of the night?
#1 - Will - The Yes Men21 (22.1%)
#2 - Sam - Dressed For Success3 (3.2%)
#3 - Adam - Army Guy67 (70.5%)
#4 - Jason - Oh Boy4 (4.2%)

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Adrianna's boobs should be declared the 8th and 9th wonders of the world.

August 09 2007 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I haven't seen On The Lot until last night. I usually watch NCIS. So I was totally new to this show.

I thought that Army Man was the best out of the lot. I liked the angle it wasn't as straight forward as everyone else's idea. Plus, I thought it was funny because I played with my GI Joes and my Barbies together all the time as a kid. But as for original, well yes it was like Twilight Zone and such, but despite that it was better than the others.

That poor Sam guy his was the worst. It didn't have the zing it needed.

Oh Boy was funny too. And The Yes Men was okay too.

August 08 2007 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

first, the winning Log Line. Mark Burnett Productions farmed out the entire contest to Creative Zing Promotions in Orlando, Florida. The woman who chose the winning Log Line rarely watched the show, and had no connection to DreamWorks or anyone in Hollywood. Adam gets points for refusing to make a movie about "a man in a dress" and using "a girl puts a ballet skirt on her brother's GI Joe Action Figure" instead. Will forgot one thing: to explain why a hard-driving executive didn't take off a dress before going to a business meeting. If you had to pick one Log Line to persuade people to stop watching, this was it.

August 08 2007 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, I immediately thought of the twilight zone episode. Adam did make a good movie, probably the best of the lot, but still too derivative to get overly excited about.

What I cannot believe is that Zach is gone. Yes, the last two movies were not his best but last week's was far superior to that crap Jason put out. I got the ending, but it was still a dud. No payoff for all the build-up. So many of his films rely on that base frat boy humour. it is just sort of juvenile. The waanabe gangsta talk and the bad bad clothes are wearing a little thin. The only explanation is all his good ole boy buddies are voting en masse for him. There are so few people voting, that is a winning formula.

August 08 2007 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love that Adrianna's only contribution to this show is her cleavage and revealing outfits. Why can't she be more like a Barker beauty? Silence is bliss.

August 08 2007 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As always on this show, good technique, lousy storytelling.

I agree that "Army Guy" was the best, but we all knew what was going on 15 seconds into it. And the same plot has been done many times before, from sci-fi anthologies to comedy skits (and, yes, "The Simpsons" did a version of it).

I wasn't surprised that two of the contestants went for humiliate-the-man plots, since so many of these films resemble beer commercials anyway (although in this case, they weren't even funny). And "The Yes Men" did have an old-fashioned, Coen Brothers-style sensibility (although it was most similar to "The Hudsucker Proxy," one of their worst films), but it seemed more frenetic than humorous.

And as always, the worst thing about this show was Jason's idiotic hats, and the best was Adriana's talented cleavage.

August 08 2007 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed Army Guy but can't gush over it like everyone else when it's a rehash of a Twilight Zone episode.

August 08 2007 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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