Friday, October 31, 2014
THE FP (2011)
Written & Directed By: (The Trost Brothers) Brandon Trost & Jason Trost
Story By: Jason Trost
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost
Editor: Abe Levy
Cast: Jason Trost, Brandon Barrera, Art Hsu, Caitlyn Folley, James DeBello, Bryan Goddard, Lee Valmassy, Nick Principle, James Remar, Clifton Collins Jr., Sean Whalen
In a post apocalyptic future, two rival gangs fight for control of Frazier Park which for all intents purposes is the remaining inhabited world. Gangs settle disputes for leadership by playing "Beat Beat Revelation", a deadly version of a popular dance video game. The power of the land has shifted leaving the local alcoholics to become meth addicts and worse. Can J-tro overcome the obstacles necessary to redeem Frazier Park? Competitive dance-fight video game "Beat-Beat Revolution.
This film which started as a short which I saw online and was excited that it seemed to be a calling card to try I get funding for a feature. Once it was finally made into a feature I was excited to see it. After watching the feature I believe it should have maybe stayed that way or at least been a featurette which I imagine as a sort of feature film novella which is over the 30 minute time limit so it's too long to be a feature, but not exactly long enough to be a feature film exactly.
Because of the small budget, the Trost brothers could not obtain the rights to the "Dance Dance Revolution" series. Actor-Director Jason Trost is an avid "Dance Dance Revolution" player and created his own move-sets for the film.
The film is full of ideas that come along every once in awhile, but like other films it stretches it's main idea for too long and tries to get off on it. Which once the Initial factor of the premise wears off feels thin. The filmmakers try to keep it lovely by adding in other elements and humor to keep you interested in this desolate quite off futuristic landscape. Though it isn't packed enough with side stories or characters to keep your interest up. Making the film feel like a skit that goes on too long or whose premise isn't thick enough to warrant none the less keep an audiences attention for just about 90 minutes
Now while I can admire the film for being offbeat and kind of an homage to bad sci-fi 80's films you would find in the bargain bin at a video store. It keeps it's tongue firmly in cheek especially since the film is built more on a ridiculous comedic premise than anything else and adds a certain seriousness, drama and action that it can afford to invest in the rest of the film.
One of the problems is that the film tries so very hard to be campy and While it is admirable it tries too hard instead of letting it just be itself and letting either the audience not the film find the little joys and tidbits hay endear it. Instead it sets out to point out to the audience itself it's special moments playing them up that while funny don't have the intended impact.
Then film is good for what it is and that it sets out as I look forward to the future films of directors Jason and Brandon Trost, it just it feels like an almost movie. One that has plenty going for it. Just not living up to it's potential. The films feel similar in Spirit to those of ASTRON-6 The film collective whose films are low-budget homages to classic 80’s cinema while being exploitive themselves
The film achieves what it sets mountain creating a believable futuristic world in of itself and displaying why the way things are the way they are in the lawless wasteland.
Though I will say it has one hell of a shockingly original ending that feels like it fits in with the universe I created while being the ending I would believe a teenager would dream up. That fits into so many other films that rarely make it to theaters and being misogynistic though for all that comes before it. I not out of place in the mindset and Mileu of the film.
It is a wild ride that makes it's presence known. It shows promise but has a lot of rough edges.