While Film Threat had nothing to do with Cinema Six, we do present a webseries by Singletree Productions, Film Festicles. While we maintain our ability to be objective, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point this connection out…
If I have one regret after watching Cinema Six, it is that I was not prepared for how insanely quotable the film is. Seriously, it is one hilarious line after another; I need to see it again just to keep track of them all. And maybe it seems like I’m overselling it, but Cinema Six is hilarious. If you’ve been following Mark Potts and Cole Selix over the years, this is the film where everything they got right in their other movies comes together to make one exceptionally great film (sometimes literally; fans of the filmmakers may enjoy that their Citizen Kane 3D remake is a featured film at the fictional cinema).
But I’m ahead of myself. Cinema Six is the story of a handful of employees of the Stanton Family Cinemas. Mason (John Merriman) finds himself battling with the decision over whether to become the manager of the theater. With one child at home and potentially another on the way, he’s torn behind the comfort of the theater and taking that next step in adulthood to a more stable profession (one that does involve him hanging out with employees far younger than he is and coming home after midnight). Dennis (Brand Rackley) is still broken up over a failed engagement, and he takes his sadness out on the various customers who visit the theater. Gabe (Mark Potts)… is an absolute mess of a human. Living in the projection booth and frightened to both talk to women or go to college, he’s the butt of everyone’s jokes, mainly because he’s so damn odd. Rounding out the crew are Leonard (Byron Brown) and Cassie (Lindsey Newell), who seem to hate each other but are having an affair, and Julia (Eloise Kropp), the rich youngster of the group that everyone hates.
When it comes to comic timing and wordplay, this film knocks it out of the park. There’s a sequence where Mason is just sitting in his office, checking voicemail messages, that is nothing more than that. And it had me cracking up; not only are the messages funny, but the guts it takes to leave a section of your film to nothing but a guy sitting and listening to phone messages was impressive. Sure, it could’ve failed horribly, but it didn’t at all; instead, it becomes one of my favorite parts of the film.
While previous projects by Potts and company were always quality with the funny, there has also been a bit of absurdity to them that made them feel almost cartoonish. With Cinema Six, the absurdity level hasn’t decreased so much as evolved into a more mature delivery. This is the type of mouth-raunchy comedy that I could seeing playing in multiplexes, if it can get a chance, but just as easily become a cult favorite on the festival circuit or when it comes home via VOD or whatever newfangled distribution nonsense will come along next.
I urge you, if you like to laugh, to find out where Cinema Six is playing next and go check it out; hopefully you’ll get your chance to enjoy it sooner rather than later. It’s quirky, awkward and naughty in all the right ways. It’s an easy parallel to say that it reminded me of Clerks (no s**t, abrasive employees dealing with odd customers while trying to sort out their lives on the job), but when I make the comparison I’m thinking less of the plot and more of the way Kevin Smith created a rhythm to his profane dialogue that elevated the entire experience into iconic status. Cinema Six has a similar groove to its profanity and hilarity, and I can’t praise that comic cadence enough. See the f*****g film as soon as you can!