Blogger Kloipy Interviews ‘Underbelly Blues’ Director Phil Messerer

Kloipy: First off Phil, I wanted to say thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. I’m a fan of Thicker Than Water. Which was a tale of family coping with a daughter suffering from a severe case of vampirism. Although Thicker than Water had many humorous moments, it was also a very touching family drama. What was it about taking a new look at the now saturated market of vampires that made you want to put a very distinct twist on the genre? Phil: Just that. It seemed like every vampire flick was the same. Over the top, overly dramatic, and over produced. And none of them really gave the genre a realistic treatment. I mean what would it really be like to have a vampire living in your basement. One that required human blood and consequently human sacrifices for nourishment. I wanted to make a warts and all depiction of the vampire predicament. Chances are there’d be very little room for romance. Unless you consider blood and guts romantic. It’s something I never really understood. What the hell is so romantic about mass murdering creatures of the night? You’re supposed to run from them not spread your legs. But Hollywood has different ideas. There’s also a healthy dose of satire in TTW, something that I think raises it above pure popcorn fodder. The nice Christian family must grapple with morality. Family values win out at the expense of strangers’ corpses. Hence the title, Thicker Than Water. It’s a fun, challenging little flick. Author and vampire connoisseur, Gabrielle Faust, said that I tread a fine line between reverence...

Media Decay Reviews ‘Wild Cherry’

Wild Cherry is about 3 teen girls (Raymonde; LOST, Willis; Sorority Row, & Cavallari; The Hills) who are looking to lose their virginity.  It’s all going fine until they discover the long held tradition the football team has of picking and then deflowering virgin girls as a sort of game/ritual.  After this discovery they’re hell bent to get some revenge and also withhold sex. There is so much interesting stuff about Wild Cherry that I really liked.  I think a lot of other people will as well.  It’s basically an American Pie type movie, but skewed towards a female point of view, which is hardly ever actually present in these types of movies.  It also has a little bit of the male view but we’ll get into that more a little later.  I felt like director Dana Lustig did an exceptional job with what she had. Let’s start with the cast.  All young and not quite famous.  Recognizable though.  Perhaps the most recognizable is the lead Tania Raymonde who is best known as the character of Alex from LOST.  She’s great and is a perfect lead.  Her character is well written and multi-dimensional, and she herself does comedy and more dramatic scenes equally as great.  Rumer Willis plays one of her best friends and is also making a documentary about losing your virginity (clips from this movie within a movie are scattered throughout, although this isn’t clear at first and is a little confusing).  Another great performance.  Even the girl from the fake reality show The Hills, Kristen Cavallari, is wonderful as the other best friend.  A big problem though is that while separate all three girls performances are great,...

The Toronto Film Scene Reviews ‘At Home By Myself With You’

After viewing this charming, lighthearted romantic comedy (set and filmed in Toronto), I can safely say that director Kris Booth certainly made the very most of his tiny $40,000 budget! At Home is a small, sweet movie, filmed entirely in one woman’s apartment, and relying on the talents of its actors to carry it.   It centres on a young woman with a lot of phobias; lobsters, kissing, storms, and opening boxes.   In fact, Romy (Kristen Booth) hasn’t left her apartment in years.   She relies on her UPS delivery man, best friend Erin (Shauna MacDonald), and neighbour Bessie (Rosemary Dunsmore) to help her get the things she needs, and more importantly open the boxes of stuff that she’s ordered. Romy’s life begins to unravel when Bessie dies unexpectedly and her nephew (Aaron Abrams) moves in to clear out her apartment.   I won’t spoil the rest of it for you, but suffice it to say, this new neighbour makes Romy question a lot of things about her life, her future, and her phobias. The addition of Gordon Pinsent’s narration is spot-on (I kind of want him to narrate my life), but after it’s great opening sequence, the first 15 minutes are a bit slow.   However, director Booth quickly picks up the pace, the humour, and adds a little more emotional depth to the characters, and I quickly forgot about the slightly lacklustre beginning.   As the film progresses, the characters feel less and less like caricatures, and more like people. This is a sweet movie, charming and slightly goofy, filled with solid acting performances, especially those...

Thestar.com Reviews ‘At Home By Myself With You’

Kristin Booth plays a young agoraphobe in ‘At Home By Myself…With You.’ One of two micro-budgeted Canadian movies playing the Royal this week (the other is Zooey & Adam), At Home By Myself … With You has already earned some attention due to its director’s unique efforts to get the money to make it. Unlucky with the various funding agencies, Toronto filmmaker Kris Booth went with metaphorical hat in hand to friends, colleagues and strangers. A Facebook page named “I’m Making a Movie With Pocket Change” aided his campaign. After raising $42,000, he set to work on this debut feature with a similarly plucky group of local actors. Like so many Canadian filmmakers who’ve had to operate under severe budget constraints, Booth has limited the number of locations needed for his production to one (hey, it worked for Vincenzo Natali with Cube). In this case, it’s the brightly coloured apartment home of Romy (Kristin Booth, no relation to the director), a young agoraphobe who has not left her place in six years. It’s easy to see why she believes that “bad things happen” when she goes outside, seeing as previous excursions led to the tragic deaths of her parents, her first boyfriend and her dog. They also inspired the other phobias (e.g., lobsters, opening boxes) that add further complications to her daily life and her career as a travel agent. Romy clearly needs a reason to change and he arrives in the form of a handsome new neighbour who coyly refuses to tell her his name. Shenanigans ensue as they try to cope with each other’s many foibles. All romantic comedies thrive or...