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By Mark Bell | August 8, 2007

It’s America’s Choice night, and America chose for each short to be based on the logline “a man wakes up in a dress, can’t remember anything that happened the night before.” Since this is a daily occurrence for me, it doesn’t seem that spectacular a premise but, well, America gets what America wants.

The Elimination…
And America saw fit to punish the one most deserving of being punished after last week’s shorts. Despite being the frontrunner for the majority of the episodes, Golden Boy and seeming lock for winner, Zach Lipovsky, was voted off the show. I’d be upset, but I predicted it would happen so… yay me?

The Judges…
Garry Marshall is back, Carrie Fisher never left and the guest judge is filmmaker F. Gary Gray. Here’s hoping the filmmakers “Set It Off”!

The Shorts…
The Final Four Filmmakers are Will, Adam, Sam and Jason. Here’s the fruits of their America’s Choice loins…

“The Yes Men” Directed by Will Bigham
Points for picking a not-so-obvious perspective and actually delivering a funny short. Became pretty predictable, but that doesn’t mean it was a poor effort. Will is definitely a contender to make it through to the top three.

“Dress for Success” Directed by Sam Friedlander
Derivative of “Saw” and “9 to 5,” sure, but a solid revenge tale against misogynists that was a positive effort, but not unbelievably brilliant or original. Still, for Sam, this is pretty good. Oh, and for the record, the guy who got his a*s slapped IS my next door neighbor Lou.

“Army Guy” Directed by Adam Stein
Thought it started poorly and random, but once I figured out the whole dollhouse thing, it got major points for being imaginative. However, it was too long once the joke became obvious, but not so much as to really hinder the entire effort. Loved the button where Army Guy realized he was, uh, not endowed too.

“Oh, Boy” Directed by Jason Epperson
Kept the audience guessing, and got to love when the geeks come home to claim their revenge. That said, the comedic timing was lacking in spots but overall was an impressive effort by Jason.

Final Thoughts…
Sam Friedlander has been a weak link for a few weeks now, so it’s no surprise that he finally tripped up in such a way that should have him sent home. It’s not that he made a bad short, beyond being derivative it was technically strong, but the other three filmmakers delivered shorts so strong that it made his appear even weaker by comparison. Thus, I predict the battle will be between Will, Jason and Adam. Sorry, Sam.

We’ve got one more round of shorts to go, and then the big finale in two weeks. Right now, finally, the ability to predict who will come out of the top three is too tight to call. For once, there’s some drama. I’ll be happy when this show is finally done, but at least it’s delivering on its potential… a bit 😉

– Mark Bell, Editor-in-a-Dress

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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