Friday, February 28, 2014

Streaming: HARD TIMES proves passable Viagra comedy from Tom Reeve and Michael O'Mahony

The idea for this movie is a lot better than its final execution. That's faint praise, I suppose, and there are some funny moments and a deal of charm, as well, in this Irish-village-idiots-pull-a-heist comedy, HARD TIMES (formerly known as Holy Water), from director Tom Reeve and screenwriter Michael O'Mahony -- which is now available to stream via Netflix. If bearded men in nun drag turns you on (and I admit, this usually does draw a laugh or two) then this may indeed be your cup of Irish breakfast tea. And the idea of hiding your heist -- a truckload of Viagra -- in the local well from which the little village's famous holy water is drawn, also would appear to have some comic potential.

Director Reeve, shown at right, and screenwriter O'Mahony, however, are only so-so in the mining-of-laughs department. Their tale, which takes place in a lovely and bucolic seaside village from which the lovelorn like to leap to their death, involves a crew of those "delightful village rogues" that have graced Irish imports for, what? -- at least half a century now. One of the more deservedly successful was 1998s Waking Ned Devine, and the most recent of which is probably Grabbers, the rather amazing monster-movie-in-an-Irish-seaside-village, complete with a raft of funny characters. Hard Times is nowhere near the level of either film, but it manages to touch the hem of their garments, so to speak.

Though it boasts a good cast -- led by John Lynch (on poster, top, and above, left, as one of those "nuns"), who provides by far the most fun -- what that cast must deal with is a so-so script and direction that dawdles, at best, and really holds things up, at worst. Audiences who watch a lot of movies will find themselves way ahead of the plot twists most of the time. (The Pfizer truck supposedly loaded with Viagra plays quite a large role in the proceedings, though the credits tell us that Pfizer absolutely had no part in this film. Really? The product placement alone must have sold a ton of those little blue pills.)

Also along for the ride are Linda Hamilton (above, left) and Tommy "Tiny" Lister (above, center), as American security personnel come to "fix" things. They don't, of course, and everything they do do is telegraphed a week ahead of time.

There's romance blooming here and there, and once the Viagra begins releasing into the water source, there's the expected rutting. It's all fairly funny, but you can write the script yourself as you move along. Religion (above) takes its licks, gently, and we even get some mild, would-be gay humor, plus a little nudity, sort of....

Hard Times -- running 93 minutes and with English subtitles, in case the dialect's too thick -- is available now via Netflix streaming and perhaps elsewhere, too.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Streaming tip: Stacie Passon's CONCUSSION shows us what a bump on the head can do

Never for one moment uninteresting, yet forever making us want to get deeper into things as it glides along the surface of its main character's life, CONCUSSION, the writing/directing debut of actress Stacie Passon (shown below), is one of the better movies I've seen in some time about the lives of present-day lesbians and how they manage work, love, family (including children). The movie begin with the delivery of a bad bump on the head, as a ball thrown by one of those children bloodies the side of the face of our heroine, Abby (Robin Weigart). Whether this event itself causes a kind of disconnect in Abby's life or that disconnect was fully there, waiting to be exposed, is up for grabs. But what happens from here onwards makes for quite the change in our working housewife's life.

Abby already has a career as a successful woman who locates real estate that "needs work," does that work, and then sells at a tidy profit. She is also married to a woman with her own successful career, and the pair have two children: a boy and a girl who are, one assumes, pretty normal and relatively happy. But all this -- which would be plenty on the plate of most people I know -- is somehow not enough. Via some happenstance involving friends, clients, co-workers and their "connections," Abby comes upon the opportunity to act as an escort -- which, after a bit of coaxing and working out her own "rules of the game," she does. How she manages all this is the meat of the movie. Why she does it, why she needs to, we never really learn.

Consequently the movie skates along, quite nicely for the most part on the surface of things. We see these "connections" made, and they are certainly believable enough; we watch as client after client is serviced by Abby -- often psychologically, as much as sexually; and then, at last, we watch things (sort of) fall apart.

Some movie-makers would use this kind of story as an excuse for heavy melodrama, or maybe something in the thriller genre, not to mention the possibility of high (or low) comedy. Ms Passon opts for none of the above. Instead she goes for almost mundane reality, and the result, as I note above, is never uninteresting. But so much remains out of sight and mind.

Does this woman love her children? Is she even capable of this? It certainly doesn't show in what we see. Which makes us worry for those kids' future. The relationship between spouses is also fraught and barely probed. Both women have their problems and issues, it is clear. By the end they may have begun to work on this. Or maybe not. They might simply go back to that all-surface life.

Performances are fine right down the line. Everyone is so good in fact, that we want to know more about them all -- from the elusive, shy client played by Laila Robins to the the pert little girlfriend (played by, I believe, Emily Kinney) of Abby's contractor, who has set up this entire escort service. But the movie, such as it is, belongs to Ms Weigert, who is as usual, quite good, so far as she is allowed to go. Which is, again, all glistening surface.

The core, which is missing from Abby's character (we never see her prior to getting that titular concussion), is also missing from the movie itself. This makes it unusual, certainly -- as if this is the life we'll have once those pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers have taken over completely. I don't know that this is anything like what Ms Passon wanted to achieve. But it is something of an achievement, granted an odd one, nonetheless. You can watch the movie now on Netflix streaming, Amazon Instant Video, and probably elsewhere, too.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

On VOD, an original: Don Swaynos' quirky, jerky (as in full-of-jerks) PICTURES OF SUPERHEROES

One of the odd pleasures of writing about film is that you never know how one good movie may lead you to another. Case in point: Earlier this month, TrustMovies covered and very much enjoyed Bryan Poyser's Austin-based rom-com Love & Air Sex, which, though TM didn't know it at the time, was edited, and very well, by a fellow named Don Swaynos. After that post was published, Mr. Swaynos got in touch with TM, asking if he might want to watch Swaynos' first full-length narrative film, PICTURES OF SUPERHEROES, which only recently made its VODebut. Turns out that Swaynos also edited Pit Stop (click the link and scroll down), another recent film that TM enjoyed quite a bit. So, yes, I agreed: Bring it on, and let's see what transpires.

What transpires is... something else. This is one inspired, bizarre, quirky movie that is filled with, uh, males jerks (hence my rather unusual use of the adjectival form in the headline above) who surround a very put-upon female, the result of which is one original movie. Swaynos, shown at right, has given us one of the most sheerly odd films I've ever seen. And yet it is accessible. Sort of. This "almost accessibility" is what makes the movie so much fun. It is coming from a place of reality, an alternate universe if you will, but a jumping-off point from which most of us can observe and perhaps begin to identify.

Our heroine Marie, quietly but very fetchingly played by Kerri Lendo (above), works as a maid. However, Marie, who has just been fired, appears to have also recently learned that the crew of maids she works with is actually a ring of prostitutes. That she herself has not been included in this ring and has been used only for cleaning purposes is apparently due to her somewhat plain-Jane looks and rather sour attitude.

On this same day of sudden unemployment, Marie is also dumped by her utterly self-involved boyfriend, Phil (Byron Brown, caricatured on the poster at left, with one of his best lines of dialog shown at top).

As Marie goes off to hunt down some new job, she is almost immediately spied by a fellow who of course needs a cleaning woman and so asks/demands/begs Marie to come work for him. Just like that? Exactly. This is a movie, after all, so what's a poor, unemployed, recently dumped damsel to do? You got it.

Marie's "work" leads her to one bizarre character after another -- begin-ning with this new employer, Eric, played like nothing you've will have seen by Shannon McCormack (shown above), moving on to one of Eric's clients, a "money man" (Sonny Carl Davis) intent on reliving a scene from a certain Demi Moore movie. Unfortunately he has the wrong movie.

We also meet Eric's "surprise" roommate Joe (John Merriman, above, right, with Ms Lendo), a sort of big-baby/man who insists that "candy is better than vegetables." There's a meet-the-parents moment that is one for the books, a bizarre kind of "celebrity roast," and a scene in which a character goes homicidal in an almost kindly but bizarre fashion. The movie gives that old saying, "We're all connected" quite new meaning.

But how and why are we connected? After awhile you'll begin to wonder just what Mr. Swaynos is trying to say. Is this movie about the world of work -- or, yikes, Capitalism (be very afraid, Kyle Smith!) -- as it sometimes appears: a reflection of the absolute meaningless-ness of modern living? There is this absolutely strange and wonderful image of  liquids -- coke, coffee -- being poured onto a floor simply to dirty it up. This is repeated often enough to become a kind of major refrain and/or clue.

The film is also about the human need (expressed here mostly by the males) to have life the way we want it, no matter what. The bits of dialog seen on these posters (above and below, and all designed by Pit Stop filmmaker Yen Tan) seem to indicate the primacy of this need, no matter how crazy the result may be.

Is the movie anti-men? The jerks here are all male, for sure, and yet their jerkiness is so thorough that it does not seem to benefit them one whit. The film's title, too, is ironic as hell. Do we want, or ever need "meaning" here? I don't know. But I do know that Pictures of Superheroes is a genuine American independent, not popped from any ready-made-mold that you'll be able to easily reference. It is uber-quirky but also very funny. Which makes it a must-see of sorts.

The movie, from Jollyville Pictures and running just 70 minutes, is available now for purchase or rental via the VOD and streaming sources found here. And although Netflix is not as yet among this group, I hope it will be soon. Or eventually.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Land of the Wolf: BAM screens 35mm restoration of Czech classic, F. Vlacil's MARKETA LAZAROVA

The following post is by our occasional 
guest critic and writer, Lee Liberman.

The medieval world created by Czech filmmaker Frantisek Vlacil for his operatic film of wonder, MARKETA LAZAROVA, does not square with your usual medieval genre piece. It appears to be a story about warring clans, but the plot is subordinate to what may be its real reason for being -- to give its audience a taste of the state of numbed existence that results from anarchy and repression. Voted by Czech critics and film-makers their nation's greatest film some 30 years after its release in 1967, it will be screened at BAM Cinématek in Brooklyn from Feb 28-March 6 and is also available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones novels and HBO series are by contrast gorgeous winged-dragon versions of medieval clan warfare -- plot and character driven. Vlacil's medieval canvas is a black and white nightmare in which plots and people are fogged over but you know bad things are happening from which you'd like to wake up.

The Middle or Dark Ages gave us popular tales of romance and struggle -- of which the Mists of Avalon, Arthurian legends, Tristan and Isolde, Braveheart, Robin Hood are just a few. It is that period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance in which anarchy and brute struggle for survival replaced national identity and citizenship. Roman infrastructure was crumbling away, its systems of governing and taxation long gone, leaving rival clans on their own to battle each other and/or local kings over turf, honor, resources. 

Director Vlacil, shown at left, places his clan grudge match in the 1200's in a stone-age version of the Dark Ages (stylistically more like the period than most). To get his cast in primal struggle mode, he seques-tered them in the Bohemian forests living off the land in rags and skins for several years. He succeeded -- the affect they deliver on celluloid calls to mind the old zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead. During the 1960's while Vlacil was making his film, the Czechs were under Soviet control. Marketa's story, ostensibly apolitical, may be a device created by a storyteller unable to criticize real-time Soviet domination for its numbing effects.

In the end the film is a political statement, if not an obvious one -- set many hundreds years earlier so as to be hard to label as contemporary dissent. It depicts a Middle Ages world lurching between extremes of catatonia and violence caused by poverty, geographic isolation, and shifting national identity in its own game of thrones. (The film's source novel was written in 1931 by Czech novelist, Vladislav Vancura -- executed by the Nazi's in 1942 for resistance to occupation. A translation of the novel is in progress by Alex Zucker.)

Shakespeare gave us a more humanistic view of clan grudge match in Romeo and Juliet in which Prince Escalus shows up to scold the battling Montagues and Capulets, now grieving the deaths of their children. "All are punished," he says. The Bard has brought all to tragedy and tears; the Prince represents civil order. 

The Saxon nobility in Vlacil's film also represent governing order, but as with all factions in Marketa Lazarova, no one character or group wins our sympathy, empathy, or judgment over another; not one tear falls for victims, and no positioning favors justice or order. Vlacil has us watch murder, crucifixion, incest, rape, mutilation, marriage of a live woman to a corpse, the devouring of human remains by wolves and more. But we are numbed by disjointed dialogue and jagged changes of scene; it's easier not to look closely, not have any feelings at all. The titular character, Marketa (above), a teenage virgin promised to the cloister (below), does not appear until midway in the film, always with the flat, unfocused eyes of a starved dog. She is raped and abducted by an enemy who has just crucified her father (two photos up) but we are told she falls in love with her rapist and rejects the nuns -- all without a shred of emotion, save the muffled undercurrent of rage that propels the action.

The narrator's opening disclaimer puts us off the importance of plot: "This tale was cobbled together almost at random and hardly merits praise." And from the first frame, the viewer's senses are drowned visually in a wide-screen black-white panorama of human squalor in stark winter and swampy spring accompanied by a gorgeous score of keening chorales, tolling bells, and constant subliminal muttering -- easy to watch but difficult to follow (this descriptive imagery paraphrased from J Hoberman of the NYReview, July 2013). In fact we literally feel catapulted and then submerged into the forest world, aided by then-novel camera work, jerky perspective shifts, and the use of lenses that focus near and far in rapid succession, just as the human eye refocuses constantly. The viewer is as fogged over about violent plottings as we are ignorant of the deals going down on the street corners of our own daily lives; one simply screens out excess stimuli. The immersion in Vlasic's sensually enveloping physical environment replaces what otherwise might be a proper narrative spun out to historical, moral, or emotional purpose. You are simply in the scene and had better keep head down or risk an arrow lodged in the eye.

If you want program notes, there are many plot outlines on line, though being armed with detail does not create involvement; it helps reinforce how much the director has been distracting you from caring about who is doing what to whom. Three groups drive the action -- the pagan clan of professional bandits, the Kosliks, the for-ostentatious-display-only Christian family of Lazar merchants, and the more civilized German knights dispatched to bring order. This fabric is roughed up by a menacing pack of wolves (seen at top) poised to pounce, and mellowed by heavenly white-lit nuns (two photos above), wandering monk Bernard (below, who carries around the severed head of his beloved sheep), and Katerina, a pagan witch. Bernard and Katerina babble nonsense, predisposing the viewer to ignore them both equally, which is to say, to slide right on by any tension that may be here between the church and the old pagan ways.

Thus 'show' by the director and 'tell' by the narrator cause the details of plot and the impulse to take sides to be sidelined without judgment or pity. Rather the viewer submits to the tapestry of chimes, ringing bells, and heavenly voices; ducks to avoid projectiles; and cowers watching humans skirmish for remains along with the wolf pack. (One is reminded of nature programs about survival of the fittest among the beasts of the Serengeti.) While the effect is stark and beautiful, it is not a narrative that inspires the viewer to know or care about Marketa, her relatives or enemies, or be aroused by their deeds. As an artist craving freedom, the filmmaker appears to have wanted his audience to experience what dissociation and numbness feel like. After near 3 hours in Vlacil's land of disorder, one exits the theater quite relieved to return to our own land with all its faults.

As a footnote, the young Czech actress who played Marketa, Magda Vasaryova, is now a famous liberal dlplomat and politician in her mid-sixties. (That's she, below, at a screening of the film during the 2011 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.) Film director Vlacil was a painter and graphic designer as well as prolific filmmaker. He died in 1999.

BAM Cinématek's week-long run of Marketa Lazarova extends from this Friday, February 28 through Thursday, March 6. For screening times, directions to BAM, etc. -- simply click here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Nifty/violent/old-fashioned/new-fangled fun: David Grovic's colorful neo-noir, THE BAG MAN

What fun is this -- a real movie-movie that fairly screams neo-noir, yet with a color palette never seen in any noir (at least since Leave Her to Heaven, and this one's much more day-glo-ish); has a tight 'n twisty plot involving trust, betrayal, and what's-in-that-bag; and features a cast to die for, including some first-class "known quantities" working at or near their best, along with some newer-and-not-so-known performers who shine as brightly as do those "stars." THE BAG MAN -- directed by David Grovic and co-written by him, along with Paul Conway, from an original screenplay by actor James Russo, all of whom I gather were inspired by a story called The Cat by Marie-Louise von Franz -- is absolutely as fast-moving and entertaining a movie as you could ask for.

Mr. Grovic, shown at left, breaks his film into three very clear sections. The first (the set-up) and the last (the denouement) are short and sweet. The very long middle section, which houses the twisty plot and climax, is full to the brim with surprise, shock and suspense, along with some dark comedy, a little irony, mega-violence and a high body count but not, thankfully, much undue blood and gore (we see what we have to, but the filmmaker doesn't revel in it, Tarantino-style). Instead, the creative staff does a kind of homage to that cool/hot style of Hollywood noir.

They must love those old movies, for they honor them well, while also using the current tricks-of-the-trade to make their movie move speedily and friskily. Just take a gander at the tacky, broken-down motel with its neon sign and garish, moody lighting, as our maybe-hero and maybe-heroine, stand around bickering and bantering. Yet the movie-makers are also smart enough to ensure that their plot thickens and quickens, delivering plenty of excitement and simmering sexuality to keep us on our marks -- and the characters on theirs.

Details of that plot are best left for you to peruse as the movie rolls along, but  I do have to recommend that you at the very least hang on until a certain scene unfurls -- an original if I've ever seen one. It takes place in and around a car, and although that car finally gets moving, this is not -- thankfully -- a car chase. Instead it's something original: swift, shocking, funny and riveting. Though there's plenty more good stuff, before and after, I must recommend The Bag Man for this singular, hold-your-breath scene alone.

Grovic has cast his film interestingly and well. In one of the lead roles is John Cusack (above, left), an actor who's been working a lot lately, turning in excellent performances, even in movies that were not always first-rate, as is this one. As his leading lady, we have an actress -- Rebecca Da Costa (above, right) -- who has made a few films so far, all unseen by me. I hope this movie sets Ms Da Costa on the fast track because she gives it her all, and that turns out to be quite a lot. Sexy, smart, devious and appealing, she's just about everything a neo-noir heroine/femme fatale should be. She and Cusack work together wonderfully well.

In the third role is an old friend of moviegoers, Robert De Niro (above), who has often been accused over the past decade or so, of phoning in certain performances. Well, the actor is so good here -- specific, resonant, charismatic -- that if you didn't already know who he was, you'd come out of this movie raving, "That guy's gonna be a star!"

In smaller roles, everyone shines -- from the always-fun Crispin Glover (wheelchair-bound, four photos up) as the motel manager to Dominic Purcell (above) as a local cop, Martin Klebba as a tiny-but-naughty henchman, and Sticky Fingaz -- the typing of whose ridiculous name makes my own fingers wince. (If it's going to Fingaz instead of fingers, oughtn't it also be Stickee instead of Sticky? Well, it's all too schticky.) In any case, Mr. Fingaz turns in a good performance, as well.

I may be over-rating this piece of toss-away entertainment. But, damn, The Bag Man is so entertaining (and so smart in so many ways) that it deserves an extra accolade. Consider the above exactly that.

The movie -- another good one from Cinedigm -- opens this Friday, February 28, at AMC theaters all around the country in fifteen cities. Here in NYC, it'll play at the AMC Empire 25. In Los Angeles, you'll find it at the Universal Citywalk Stadium 19. It will also play Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tampa and Washington DC. Consult your local listings in those cities to find the particular AMC theater.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

(A)SEXUAL: Angela Tucker's documentary explores folk who feel no sexual attraction

In our current times of internet porn of every sort and sex appearing more regularly and obviously in everything from television to movies, advertising, fashion and (you name it), what's the poor asexual to do? And just what is an asexual? That subject is something that the 2012 documentary, (A)SEXUAL, from filmmaker Angela Tucker (shown below, who helped produce the currently heralded doc The New Black) aims to find out. It does this via mostly one young man, a fellow named David Jay, who, according to this documentary, has pretty much single-handedly brought to the world's attention the plight of the asexual person: someone who simply feels no sexual attraction -- hetero, homo, or anything in between -- toward another human being.

According to the statistics provided by this film, when Mr. Jay (shown below) began his drumming up interest in the subject, there were but a handful of confessed asexuals on record. Within a short time, thanks to Jay's endeavors and the worldwide web, there were thousands of them. Because, initially, there were no scientific studies done on asexuals (there are still, today, very few of these) -- there are plenty of 'em done on "sexuals," since that's what most of us are -- it is difficult to drum up a whole lot of what we might call real evidence. Hence this condition, along with the movie about it, is mostly anecdotal. Within the anecdotes, however, patterns begin to emerge.

One of these, if we go by what we see and hear from some of those interviewed, is that this "condition" may possibly be traced to a fear of sexuality, intimacy, self-worth or giving over, along with a number of other feelings and behavior that a competent therapist might better diagnose. This is not to say that in some folk, no sexual attraction lurks at all. But, as even Mr. Jay himself admits, due to the lack of firm evidence from scientific studies, this is difficult to quantify in any way. (Gays and lesbians have been shown to exhibit genetic differences, so what about asexuals? Somebody is probably doing research on this, even as I write....)

So we're left with anecdotes and the faces, bodies and voices of the people Ms Tucker follows and interviews over what looks like a few years' time. Fortunately, these folk are pretty interesting, even if the movie begins to run down a little before its short 75-minute running time has finished. A young girl named Poonam (above, left, with David) is certainly adorable, and a couple who claim asexuality and have a workable relationship even manages to marry by movie's end. A possible connection is also posited between asexuals and Asperger syndrome, which makes some sense to me.

But does David or any of this male crew ever have hard-ons or wet dreams? They do, it comes out, though what induces those erections and flowing seminal fluid remains unexplored. We note a connection to the GLBT community, which is ironic, since so much of that community is so heavily engaged in sexuality. The reaction to these asexuals from those attending a gay pride parade is generally rather silly, however. We even hear from that ubiquitous sex columnist Dan Savage, who tries to be fair but who also seems to find the idea of asexuality a little questionable.

By the end of the film, our David admits that he is now willing to at least try a relationship that includes sex. Well, good luck to him. And to the rest of these people we've met, still struggling with being outsiders in a already marginalized community. You can view (A)sexual now via Netflix streaming -- and maybe elsewhere.

Streaming: Ian Roumain/Michael Schwartz's THAT GUY... WHO WAS IN THAT THING

For anyone interested in the profession of on-screen acting -- movies, TV, cable -- or in the industry in general, this recent documentary (from 2012) ought to be shoo-in viewing. THAT GUY... WHO WAS IN THAT THING (clever title!) documents the lives, professional and otherwise, of some 18 "character" actors ranging from the quite well-known (Oscar-nominated Bruce Davison, shown below, and Emmy-winning Zelko Ivanek) to oft-seen but not-so-oft remembered by name (Timothy Omundson and Wade Williams).

Among these, there is but one black actor (Rick Worthy, shown below) and -- hello -- no women whatsoever. Well, the filmmakers do interview briefly a female talent agent and casting director, along with a couple of male counterparts. Perhaps, even as I write this, they're working on the sequel, That Gal...Who was in That Thing. But don't bet on it. For whatever reason, the percentage of white males in this movie generally mirrors the views of powerful Hollywood suits a propos the place of blacks and women in the industry.

All this is not to say that this smart and entertaining little documentary, put together by first-time filmmakers Ian Roumain and Michael Schwartz, isn't quite interesting and often a lot of fun. It's both -- and more -- as it probes these guys for the skinny on their careers, hopes, dreams and disappointments -- and how they juggle all this to manage a decent income and maybe a family life.
Some are more forth-coming than others (Mr. Williams and Mr. Worthy seem the most talkative), but there is little we hear that isn't worth listening to as, one by one, these guys ring bell after bell about acting, friendship, jealousy and, yes, depression. Some of this might even give certain younger viewers second thoughts about entering the acting profession. Almost all the guys hate auditions (some things never change), but few of them seem willing to stop what they're doing and are happy to have -- or have had -- their career. (One of them, Stanley Kamel, shown above, has died since the film was completed.)

The devil, as they say, is in the details, and there are plenty of those here. We learn that Ivanek, above, is color blind, and that he also has an action figure made for one of his roles. And yes, most of these guys have appeared in one or another (or several) permutations of the Star Trek franchise -- which, for whatever you may think of it, has at least provided many actors with a lot of work

Craig Fairbrass (above), Xander Berkeley, Zach Grenier, Paul Guilfoyle, Robert Joy (below) -- they're all present and accounted for, and each has his own special post to fill and story to tell. One of these stories, repeated by several, is all about how pay for acting jobs is going way down, while what you are expected to do and the hours you must put in continue to rise.

One of the most interesting sections of the film is told us by that woman, talent agent Donna Massetti, who leads us through the maze of auditioning for a TV pilot, along with what happens (or doesn't) afterwards.

A real "learning experience" and a must-see if you want to discover what's behind some of the many male faces you've grown to know and love over the years, That Guy...Who Was in That Thing, running just 78 minutes, is available now via Netflix Streaming and perhaps elsewhere, too.