Friday, October 18, 2013


ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW. (October 15, 2013 @Somerville Theatre).

A remarkable feat of filmmaking! It combines guerilla-style-shot footage on location in Disneyworld with some simple strategic effects work and an intrepid cast to tell the story of an average American family's fried crack-up of a misadventure in the happiest place on earth (tm). I'm pretty sure you can tell if you'll enjoy it by whether or not you like the trailer.

Spoilery brain dump follows…

The conceit that allows for the twisted weirdness of the film is a combination of the father's won't-quit libido (he insists on following a couple of French-speaking teen waifs around the park) and a CDC alert about the spread of something called the cat flu. Apparently, the father has it, and the things he sees and experiences are tainted by the fever and delirium it brings on.

I was hoping for an overarching conspiracy/master plan to connect everything, but while there are hints of more, the explanation of the weirdness experienced by the family really does seem to start and stop with the flu.

For a while I thought an "Owl Creek" scenario, with cat flu being the cause of demise might fit, but it doesn't quite account for everything. For instance, one of the extra tail endings involves an alternate version of Dad showing up at the hotel with a different family just as his body is being driven away. A nice tease of… something.

Altho, I suppose Dad could actually be Owl-Creeking seeing his own body taken away… Maybe it does cover everything. Hrm…

There's some weirdness with the father's behavior in regards to his relation to and responsibilities involving the kids. At first it seems like he might be a stepfather or mother's boyfriend, and during a flu trip (during "It's A Small World" I think), he sees/hears his wife tell him, "You're not his father, you know." But over the balance of the film, he seems to own the legit fatherhood role, if pretty irresponsibly.

Dad. He begins his last full day at Disney out on the balcony of his hotel room, talking to his boss on the phone. Just before (?) the boss informs Dad that he's been let go, he tells him that he absolutely has to try the "Soarin'!" ride. After the phone call, the Boy wakes up and locks his father out on the balcony then goes back to sleep next to his mom on the bed. Dad then calls Mom from the balcony, who wakes up and answers, "Where are you?"

Also while he's out there, he notices a van pulling up to the front of the hotel and some kind of jumpsuited technician or operator get out and look up in his direction. He sees the same thing the next day.

Hrm… I'm confused now about how many days pass in the course of the movie. I thought it was one full day, but maybe it's two.

On the monorail ride over to the park, the Dad notices the French-speaking waifs in their car. They seem to take a shine to the Boy, but one of them might be making eyes at him as well. In any case, he takes every opportunity throughout the day to follow them around the park, which isn't difficult, as they consistently cross paths even when it seems he's lost them. In a hotel gift shop, his wife even notices that he's looking at a "Learn Just Enough French" book, and at the hotel pool, he shamelessly swims over to the girls while ignoring his son (who's just fine).

Late in the day, after cleaning up his bloody sock in a public restroom (he cuts his foot on broken glass in the hotel room), one of the waifs actually approaches him and invites him to join her and her friends. She says something about only wanting to help him, or save him, I think, but tempted as Dad is, he rejects her offer. Her farewell response is a face-spraying spit-take, flashed back to later when Dad apparently connects it to his cat flu symptoms. Kinda thin. And weird, considering it's an intentional spit-take and delivered long after he starts suffering hallucinations. Maybe she was trying to immunize him?

Note that at the fireworks show that night, the waifs are holding hands with the two boys they meet at the pool. The combination of pose and shot had me thinking "ritual" somehow.

At one point in the day Mom asks Dad, "Did you have another blackout?" as if he's had blackouts before. In this case, when Mom asks, Dad has *not* actually had one. However, later, after he meets the Witch, he seems to lose time between talking with her on the bench and then having her pendant slap him in the face while having sex.

I like this actor. He reminds me of a mix of Ken Marino and Harrison Ford. Together with the kid who plays his son in this, I'd dig seeing them in another/other creepy movie scenarios.

The Boy. The Siemens scientist guy berates Dad for not following directions. Apparently his boss w the accent, who fired him over the phone that morning, was supposed to tell him to take the boy to a certain ride (Soarin'?), and the scientist guy had to work to manipulate things—shutting down the Buzz Lightyear ride—so that would work out. But it seems like it didn't, because Mom took the Boy and Dad took the Girl to Soarin'. The Siemens scientist's focus on the Boy seems like a Good Direction storywise.It's the Boy who locks him out on the balcony in the morning. It's the Boy's eyes that go completely black during Dad's first weirdout. It's the Boy who closes the bathroom door on his cat-flu-ridden Dad in the hotel room the next early morning. It's the Boy whom the Disney henchman focuses on when they arrive to remove Dad's cat-transmogrified body. I would have liked to have seen the Boy as some kind of chosen one. Maybe a reincarnation of W? Maybe the second generation result of an experiment performed on Dad when he visited Epcot as a child?

Cat Flu. Would have liked to have had this to be revealed as a product of the Siemens secret lab. Or Disney. Something that is released on the theme park's patrons to turn them into new theme park workers or attractions. Maybe it was a failed such thing, a prototype Tigger Flu? Dad was coughing hairballs into the toilet (but we never saw him lick his arms or anything : P) and when the Disney henchmen check his body in the morning, he has cat's eyes.

The Mom. By the end of the film, she seems to be succumbing to the flu as well. When she spots the Parisian girl passing by, the girl's face morphs into something demonic.

The Girl. She starts the movie afraid of witches but learns that they're not real. Then she gets abducted by the sex-princess-witch, but comes to no harm. Dad finds her pretending to be Sleeping Beauty, apparently happily engaged in a make-believe game w the Witch. She skins her knee when the Rascal's bully of a son knocks her down. Dad takes her to a Disney first aid station where a hot Disney nurse cleans and bandaids the Girl's knee while Dad does some unsubtle ogling. It's here where we learn that anyone might be a host for a new brand of flu. We see a CDC poster warning of "Cat Flu" on the wall behind her. When Dad and the Girl leave the infirmary, the nurse breaks down and cries, apparently broken up over their imminent doom.

Sex-Princess-Witch. A married woman who befriends Dad while they watch their kids playing in some little safe zone of the park. She wonders aloud at when/under what conditions it's okay and becomes not okay for a person to embrace a total stranger. This in light of seeing kids hugging make-believe princesses at the park. She claims that Japanese businessmen pay top dollar to see these princesses after hours. She then takes it back as a joke.

Later, she reveals that she used to be one of these princesses.

Yeah, see, there's a lot going on here. A lot of potentially great and fun stuff. Unfortunately (for me), they're all given equal weight and discredit in the end by the death of Dad by cat flu. I kinda wish that this had been three or four shorts in a possibly interconnected anthology about a family that meets its end at Disneyworld, with causes ranging from simple human nature to flu-induced delirium to social/bio-engineering conspiracy.

Still, it's a pretty awesome trip. If you're at all intrigued by the idea of this film or its making, you should see it. =)

Keep on keepin on~

P.S. As a lovely bonus, we got the most perfect trailer before the screening =)

P.P.S. Did any screening of this film actually bring the lights up for the Intermission? Didn't happen in mine, and I didn't register it as a demarcation point between a first, slightly fried part of the film, and a second, totally gonzo wackjob part of the film.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Please sponsor! The moviegoer you save might be you!

But it's probably me. =)

Donate/sponsor my 2013 Watch-A-Thon run!
For about two dollars, you can buy a soda, regular or diet…

For just two dollars a film at the Watch-A-Thon, you can help the Brattle Theatre keep thousands of moviegoers fed with buckets of popcorn, salt and butter optional…

For about two dollars, you can also buy a cup of coffee…

For just two dollars a film at the Watch-A-Thon, you can help the Brattle Theatre save moviegoers from salt-and-butter-induced dehydration by keeping drinks, soft and hard, hot and cold, pouring at their concessions counter…

For about two dollars, you can buy a couple of donuts, filled or frosted…

Mmmm… Frosted… Rarrr…

What? Huh? Was I saying something? Oh yes—


For just two dollars a film at the Watch-A-Thon, you can help the Brattle Theatre keep moviegoers illuminated by the digital and celluloid brilliance of the greatest, funniest, darkest, funnest, truest, smartest, coolest, and most fried films available. Films that open minds and punch hearts. Films that get you thinking, talking, laughing, and crying…*

Why don't you click this link right now and show your support? With just one not-too-complicated payment of $24**, you can start to change the life of a moviegoer forever. And if you join me at the Brattle sometime, you'll find that life could be your own.

Thanks for your support.

Keep on keepin on~

* What? Yeah, that's right, crying. What? I suppose you're gonna say you've never seen SHAUN OF THE DEAD or STAR TREK II?

** A suggested, not required, amount. Based on the number of films presented in this year's Watch-A-Thon and—"I want my two dollars!"

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Please support the Unofficial Film School of Boston, the Brattle Theater—

Monday, October 07, 2013

2013 Watch-A-Thon: Security Alert (not! =)

Please support the Unofficial Film School of Boston, the Brattle Theater—

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Dearest Customer,

As part of security measures, we regularly screen activity in the internets mail system for the traffic connected to the Brattle Theatre. I am recently contacting you after noticing an issue on your account.

Our system detected unusual Brattle Theatre inactivity linked to your electronic mail account, please follow the world wide web hyperlink below to fill the Watch-A-Thon form and ensure that your account we will not require to suspend and operation of the theater to proceed:


Note: If you are not fill the application your account will be permanently undisenabled and we look forward to your benefit from added monies (in US Dollars currency) of continued picture motion services.

This is serious matters of securing your privates and funds for advantage to this community as well to your taxation and promotion of arts culture. Please do not disregard.

Much appreciations for timely action,
Saul Overman, Esq.
Watch-A-Thon Division, Brattle Theatre

* If you would to join yourself to our Watch-A-Thon team of 2013, please examine the instructions here:


** And also option so attend any or every Watch-A-Thon events of cinema as listed here for 12 and 13 October:


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Thanks! =)

Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

THE WORLD'S END: the end is nigh (in Boston, at least)

UPDATE! October 3, 2013. THE WORLD'S END *CONTINUES* at the Capitol Theatre in Arlington!

Greetings, Programs!

"Urgent" "news"—It looks like this is the last week that THE WORLD'S END plays on the big screen in Bostonia. It's currently playing at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square and the Regal Fenway in Boston.

Fenway's got it at 6:40pm thru Thursday and 9:55pm thru Wednesday…

The Somerville is playing it at 4:45pm and 9:40pm thru Thursday…

I'm game for any of those showtimes (tonight's included), with a preference for the Davis Square location (alas, it's no longer playing in the main room). Anyone wanna join me for one night, five friends, twelve pubs, sixty pints, aka BARMAGEDDON? Let me know!

And, hey! Y'know what, forget me (difficult, I know) and just go see it! =)

And for those of you beyond the Boston movie zone, look up your local options and get out there and see THE WORLD'S END in a theater before it's gone!

Keep on keepin on~

P.S. If you can't remember why you should see it—my (no spoiler) pitch.

P.P.S. Also, check out IN A WORLD… It started a week or two later, so you've got more time, but no lollygagging!

P.P.P.S. Can you spare a buck or twenty to help secure the fortune of a Nigerian Prince of an independent movie theater?—please support my Watch-A-Thon madness =)