“A Movie” is a movie by a man who has made nearly 200 movies: the indefatigable Baltimore human fuel cell Jimmy Traynor. This time around, Traynor gets ecological in cleverly recycling one of his older films into this new 26-minute offering. The result is a diverting amusement with some genuine laughs.
“A Movie” is basically a running argument between a producer (Ben Schyan) and a director (Steve Kovalic) on how their latest effort is shaping up. Or, to be more precise, how it is not shaping up. The men can’t agree on anything – are the sets overdressed or underdressed, are the performances adequate or egregious, does it make sense to switch between monochrome and color, and (most amusing) whether the producer’s mother’s living room the right place to make a cop thriller.
The film they are making is, admittedly, no great shakes (a serial killer is slicing away the members of a local movie production company), and perhaps Traynor is acknowledging the inadequacies of some of his earlier and less-sophisticated efforts. Still, that film-within-a-film has some funny moments, particularly when one cop announces happily “Well, it’s two days and no one’s been killed” and when an out-of-nowhere gay romantic twist gives the impression that crime can pay very nicely.
Traynor himself has a relatively small part as one of the actors in the film-within-the-film, and he returns at the end of flick to get the director to sign a copy of his VHS video. A VHS video in 2006? Hmmm….