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By Mark Bell | July 18, 2007

Action short night! Maybe this show’ll finally find its pulse…

The Elimination…
Two are going home, and my money was on Shalini and Hilary for the boot. How’d I do on that bet? I was dead-on! Shalini and Hilary took the walk of shame, and we’re down to 8 filmmakers which, by the start of next week, will be down to 6. Almost done, friends… almost done…

The Judges…
It’s another week with “Postcards from the Edge” and “Pretty Woman,” with mystery guest filmmaker judge Antoine Fuqua. Kudos to finding a guest with some major league action film talent to help judge the action films.

The Shorts…
Action! Excitement! Bullets! Car chases! Hope they can pull it off without too many cliched moments.

“Key Witness” Directed by Sam Friedlander
Plot? Eh, who needs it when we can just shout exposition amid a gun fight. And the two guys handcuffed, jumping off a building? Don’t pull a “Lethal Weapon” unless you can back it up. Had a funny ending though.

“Sweet” Directed by Jason Epperson
BRILLIANT! Funny, turned the action on its ear, great ending. Amazing job, really happy for Jason.

“Zero2Sixty” Directed by Andrew Hunt
Why was an FBI agent chasing a masked, assault rifle-wielding robber through a car dealership? Anyway, the joke did get old, built slowly but the ending was pretty good. Not Andrew’s best, and following Epperson’s short was unfair to anybody, but… solid effort.

“The Losers” Directed by Kenny Luby
Another week of Kenny fighting with his crew, this time about a stunt. The short lacked any real pacing in the editing, it’s all flash and insanity, signifying very little. Too random for a short film, but Kenny should have a career in music videos by the time all of this is done.

“Catch” Directed by Mateen Kemet
Started off with great character development that was severely interrupted by gibberish action and a femme fatale ending straight out of left field… that was then saved at the last minute by a great twist ending. So, I’m conflicted on this one. Great beginning, great ending… middle not so much but… that ending was better’n most.

Final Thoughts…
Fuqua delivered brilliant advice and criticism. This episode is worth watching just to see his feedback. And, yes, I know I sound like a broken record but this time, for serious, Kenny had one of the worst two shorts. Please, send him home so we don’t have to suffer through anymore of his poorly-directed adventures in flashy-editing and gibberish story. Unfortunately, take Sam with him, but only because Sam’s short wasn’t as tight in the face of a strong week by most of the filmmakers (had the biggest drop of interest on the Mark Bell meter compared to the others). Maybe in previous week’s Sam’s short moves on, but this week was just too tough of a competition. I will say this, though: Sam is a good filmmaker, and I look forward to seeing what this guy can do outside of a reality TV situation.

Next week goes back to comedy, only now they’ll be romantic comedies. Expect lots of advice and 1920’s perversion from Marshall (“Like Jesus once said, it’s not the nails that hurts, its the lack of vision, eh, eh… but you’re a talented filmmaker, I like soup”). I’m looking forward to what should be the first of the final three episodes (if the double elimination continues, we’ll be down to two filmmakers in just two episodes).

– Mark Bell, Editor-Foiling-a-Robbery

Got your own opinion about this week’s screening episode? Are you one of the filmmakers? Join in the conversation at the Official “On the Lot” Discussion Thread.

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