In addition to this being a great opportunity for me, it's also a challenging one. It's one thing to write a review for a movie where you don't know anyone involved in the making of the film and you're pretty sure that none of them are going to actually be reading your review. It's another to write a review for a movie where you know and respect the director of the film and you know that he will be reading every word you write. There's a lot more pressure with that because what if you are asked by a friend to review a movie and you absolutely hate it? What do you say? That's why it would be really easy to just a write a positive review praising everything that was done in the film, that way everyone would be happy. But is that the right thing to do? If you praise something that's not deserving of praise, that helps no one. It's much better to be honest and say what you didn't like. That way there's room for improvement and progression. This is why I'll never sugar coat things. I like being honest. In this situation, before I watched the movie I thought to myself that if I ended up hating the movie, I would have the unique opportunity of giving my advice to a young director and thus I could be an instrument in actually helping this director improve in the future. Thus I became excited regardless of my experience with the movie.
For those of you who haven't seen this film, which at this point is pretty much everyone that wasn't involved in making it, Winning Formula is a comedy that follows a couple of Australian sisters that are on a vacation touring around the United States. While in Vegas, or near Vegas anyways, they find themselves in quite a predicament. Being that they're not exactly the sharpest tools in the shed, they make a string of bad decisions, one of which is betting on a turtle race which causes them to be $10,000 in debt to a notorious gangster. They have three weeks to pay off the debt or else they may actually get killed by this guy. No pressure. Being that I was one of the first to watch this movie and probably the first to right a review on it, I had absolutely no expectations. No trailer. No other opinions on the movie. Nothing. Just a brief description of the movie on their facebook and IMDb page. This makes for a fun experience. I don't often get the experience of going in knowing nothing about the movie given how closely I follow movie news, trailers, etc. So I enjoyed the opportunity. In this situation, however, it did take me a bit to get used to the movie. For the first 20 or 30 minutes of the movie, I wasn't enjoying myself at all. Things felt more annoying and confusing instead of being funny and clever. But once I got used to the style and the characters, they slowly grew on me and by the end I was enjoying myself.
So now that I've spent the last two paragraphs getting my gripes out, let me talk about the good aspects of this movie. First and foremost, the best part of the movie in my opinion was the cinematography and the editing. Even when a lot of other parts of the movie felt like they needed to be polished up a bit, these two aspects felt consistently professional throughout, so I'm going to name drop and give a round of applause to the director of photography, Colby Oliver, and the editor, Tim O'Neill. Great job guys. Due to a few classes I've taken in school recently, these are elements of film that I've been paying very close attention to of late and I was super impressed. It was a well shot film with a lot of great camera angles, perfect lighting, and smooth cuts. It definitely gave the movie a very profession feel which is a huge plus for an indie like this.
Now that I have talked your ear off, or rather burned your eyes out for having to read this whole review, I'll conclude by saying that I did in fact have a positive feeling towards this movie in the end. They have their first film festival coming up and I really hope there is a good reaction to that so that they can carry that momentum into whatever their eventual plans are with the movie. That said, I hope everyone involved in this project can look at this and realize that this isn't a perfect movie. There's a lot of things that could've been polished up to make this better, so I hope that Tyler Farr and his crew can look at this project, learn from it and come back with an even better film next time around. Anywho, I would recommend checking this film out. How can you do that? I have no idea. I suggest liking their facebook page, facebook.com/winningformulamovie, and closely following that because they are sure to post updates as opportunities to view the film become available. I'll be sure to keep you updated, too, when I find out so you make sure you like my facebook page for this blog as well, facebook.com/drogemiester. My grade for Winning Formula is a 7/10.