Film Review: TOO SOON? (UK, Comedy)

 A sharp witty comedy coming out of the UK, TOO SOON, directed by Natalie Neagle and Sally Samad, is a fun and political romp down the rabbit hole of politically correct law breaking.

When a young shopkeeper stops an Egyptian woman from shoplifting, the tables are turned with the rule-breaking breaks into a passionate breakdown of who really owns the bread. Is it the European store, or the country the bread came from- this lady’s country, she might add.

Humorously uncomfortable, gritty, witty and bright, TOO SOON must be commended on several key points. It boasts dazzling comedic performances from both actresses, has a smooth, glossy visual appeal and strikes very current in our modern age.

Perhaps another element of story that must be noted, is the efficiency of story. With one scene, approximately two shots and only three minutes, a full story is generated, complete with conflict, dramatic tension, comedy and a killer twist.

Well done, TOO SOON. A delight and savvy comic romp.

PLAYED at the January 2018 Comedy/Drama Festival. 

Review by Kierston Drier

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TOO SOON?, 3min., UK, Comedy
Directed by Natalie Neagle & Sally Samad

In this short, we see an awkward encounter in a supermarket car park as a new comedy duo take a satirical swipe at imperialism.

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Film Reivew: HEDDA NEEDS HELP, USA, Comedy 

Director Lisa Baron delivers us a comic gem on a silver platter in the form the HEDDA NEEDS HELP. Enter Hedda- a sweet and wide-eyed innocent with the good-natured optimism of a classic buffoon. Bent on being a poet, she thinks she’s found a foothold in when she agrees to dog sit the dog of a famous poet while he goes on vacation with his wife. Sadly, her plan to wiggle into his good graces goes awry when she finds the dog dead in the apartment. Thus begins an uncomfortable but undeniable comedic escalation of circumstance while Hedda attempts to cover-up (and then dispose of) his mistakes.


You will laugh afresh with each new antic and despite the increasing severity of the events, you cannot stop yourself from loving Hedda. She personifies the endearingly eager and earnest hope for success that so many do- and the lack of foresight that some are also equally guilty of. A charming and at times befuddling romp through a comic wonderland, HEDDA NEEDS HELP is bright, charmingly, excellently cast and most importantly- hilarious.

Review by Kierston Drier

HEDDA NEEDS HELP, 14min, USA, Comedy 
Directed by Lisa Baron

Hedda Needs Help tells the tale of Hedda, an aspiring poet and undying optimist, tasked with watching the most prized possession of Manhattan’s acclaimed poet, Albert Stein: his dog. But when Hedda accidentally kills her big break we find that no one fails quite like Hedda, as she carries the weight of her problems around Manhattan in this all too real comedy gone awry.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Film Review: FIRM WITH PURPOSE, USA, Comedy 

This raucous five minute comedy is a sharp, witty romp through a devoted mother and an emotional human-resources specialists on a job interview. FIRM WITH PURPOSE is bright, sparkling with humor and dazzling with situational comedy that very well may have you thinking “I think I know someone just like this.” When a supportive mother goes to an interview in place of her daughter to interview in her stead, she locks into an emotional climb up a comical staircase with the employer, leading to some surprising twists and turns.


Directors Tia Ayers and Shannon Ayers Swanson have done an excellent job with this work. A simple story that packs a powerfully effective comic punch, FIRM WITH PURPOSE is sure to please baby-boomers and millennials alike.

Review by Kierston Drier

Under 5min. Film: DAN, 1min, UK, Comedy

Played at the Under 5 Minute June 2017 Film Festival

DAN, 1min, UK, Comedy
Directed by Uzo OlehDan and Steve are identical twins that live together. Steve is fed up with being guilted into covering for Dan’s frequent “sick” days from work. So Steve decides to get himself (as Dan) fired.

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Review by Kierston Drier

Stunningly short and still marvelously funny, this one minute UK comedy is laugh-a-minute brilliance. An twin begs his identical brother to take his place at his office job so he can have a day off. But his fed-up twin decides to wreak havoc instead. Bright, tight and witty, this piece is seamlessly efficient, colorful, fun and even sports a great twist. It has breathless pacing and delivers its comedy at lighting face speed.

Perhaps what sets this piece apart is that is is exactly the length it needs to be. True craftsmanship and professionalism can be found in a piece that knows when to stop- because it leaves you wanting more. And you will want more when you watch DAN?

Movie Review: MASC ONLY (USA) LGBT, Comedy

Played at the June 2017 LGBT Toronto Film Festival

Directed by Drew Droege

Gay best friends, Tommy and Wesley, unwittingly venture to an intimidating party hosted by the gay elite. 

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Review by Kierston Drier

This racus American Comic short is a delight to the senses. Tommy is a young gay man living in New York and frustrated with his life. Why? Because he lives in the classic cliche of his community. His friends, even his best friend Wesley, are vain, superficial, sassy and larger-than-life. Acquaintances and potential lovers distill him down to a walking stereotype and it’s getting on his nerves.

Yet when Wesley invites Tommy to a party hosted by upper class gay elite, Wesley goes- looking for love, lust, a good time? He’s not sure, but something fun has to happen, right?

What is brilliant about MASC ONLY is that our character it butting against the bubble he’s been put in, while still having to actively engage in it. And this deeper social commentary is hidden within the piece, covered over by layers and layers of raucous, laugh-a-minute comedy. The piece has no bad lines, no dead air and no dull moments. It escalates higher and higher with physical and visual comedy, while still sparkling with wit. The performances are fantastic! You will laugh at every turn, but you will leave the theatre thinking.

This piece looks like a comedy and acts like a comedy, but within it beats the heart of deep social satire. A worthy watch indeed. To director Drew Droege, well done.



Film Review: HAVE A LITTLE FAITH, 12min, USA, Comedy

Played at the April 2017 LA FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Directed by Ashton Avila

A rebellious teenager is determined to get kicked out of her new Christian High School and teach the new boy she meets there what it really means to “have a little Faith”.

Review by Kierston Drier:

We all remember that one person in high school. They walked in a shook up your world- they oozed coolness or bravado. For Thomas, that girl is new student Faith, who wanders into his Christian prep school with her skirt hiked high, blowing bubble gum in his face. A manic-pixie-dream-girl with attitude. Enter offbeat comic gem that is Have A Little Faith directed by Ashton Avila.

Fresh, bright and funny, this is a charmingly little coming-of-age story. When Faith offers to have sex with Thomas he doesn’t actually seem to believe it- but then it happens! What keeps this story fresh and unique, is that it shows the honest, awkward and, yet- sweet moments that these two share while the try to get it on in the school auditorium.

Another great thing in this piece, is the performances. Faith is a rebellious, irresponsible troublemaker who is impossible not to like, and Thomas is a good boy bitten by the craziness that is adolescence. This piece also has some of the best closing music for it’s ending sequence. It is sometimes refreshing to take a step back into youth, when experiences were new and aching to be seized. Have A Little Faith will refresh you, for sure.

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Film Review: WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN, 9min, UK, Comedy

Played at the March 2017 COMEDY Film Festival

Directed by Charlie Francis

Amanda is pulled away from a one-night stand to rescue her best friend Nick. The young gay man’s mother is on her way. Will out-and-proud gay women Amanda bury her pride and act as girlfriend?

Review by Kierston Drier:

This UK comedy from Charlie Francis is a gem that is worthy of copious replays. There is nothing but the deepest platonic affection that would propel Amanda to ditch her sexy one-night stand to save her gay-best friend.

Why does he need saving? His mother is visiting and doesn’t know he’s gay. She needs to be the beard.

What transpires is part slapstick, part wit and all genius. Every frame is full of visual comedy and ever line crackles with character in this laugh-a-second joy ride. Best of all, it has a heart-stoppingly hilarious twist ending.

When A Man Loves A Woman will show you the lengths we will sometimes go for our friends and the lesson we learn- like honesty being the best policy. With actors boasting exceptional comic timing and a great concept full of fun, this is a piece you’ll want to watch over and over again.

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Film Review: PROVERBIAL LUCK (Austria) Comedy

Played at the November 2016 Best of Under 5 Minute FEEDBACK Film Festival.

  MOVIE POSTERPROVERBIAL LUCK, 5min, Austria, Romance/Comedy
Directed by Dave Lojek

Idioms garnish our language, but are often hard to translate. This comedy helps to illustrate them and tells the story of two neighbours, who become enamoured. The “foam-beater” (boaster) Hanspeter throws an eye after an addleheaded Annemarie, but she just “shows him the bird” (indicates that he is chuckoo). So he has to “jump over his shadow” (take the plunge) and get a foot in her door. Amusement for all proverb fans who love to make whoopee, gaze into the pale blue yonder, or get to the point.

REVIEW by Kierston Drier: 

This five minute Austrian comedy has a bright, light, whimsical feel,  much like the well-loved French film Amelie. Full of colour, innocence and delight, PROVERBIAL LUCK tells an offbeat love story littered with the follies of language.


Taking a literal spin on pun, idioms and other figures-of-speech, the audience gets the feeling that our unlikely lovers are trapped in a world they never made- one where our casual turns of phrase have literal meanings.


Had this film not has superb subtitling (Hats off to the human being who expertly translated comparable figures of speech for the English-speaking audience) this film could have been much more confusing- although no less enjoyable.


PROVERBIAL LUCK is a wacky little gem of a comedy, that has mastery at making us laugh at the unfortunate characters while also laughing at ourselves.



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Short Film Movie Review: YO SOY PEDRO (10min, France, Sci-Fi/Comedy)

YO SOY PEDRO was the winner of Best Musical Score at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in January 2016. 

  MOVIE POSTERYO SOY PEDRO, 10min, France, Sci-Fi/Comedy
Directed by Jordan Inconstant

1977. Mackenzie and Banks are two Americans cops who encounter an alien that has just crashed. The police take him for a film actor and decide to bring it back to Hollywood studios. 

Movie Review by Amanda Lomonaco:

Yo Soy Pedro is one of the most unique films I have seen in a while, and it took me a little discussion with other audience members in order to truly appreciate it in all its glory. I guess that just serves as all the more proof of how misunderstood the science fiction genre can be. Nevertheless once I got a better handle on it, I realized how great of an example this film was that science fiction doesn’t need complex story-lines or super expensive production values to create quality entertainment.

Jordan Inconstant’s short film could not embody the director’s own name more. A Hollywood based film, spoken almost entirely in French, with extremely obvious, not-so-special effects Yo Soy Pedro manages to embrace two different genres while still making a political statement. Tired of watching numerous films based in different countries where everyone speaks English, Inconstant decided to create one in the United States, where everyone speaks French. Moreover, he adds to his critique of Holywood cinema by very poorly dubbing the only supposedly Spanish speaking actor in the film. In fact, despite my fluency with the language I could barely tell it was even Spanish that he was speaking – thank goodness for subtitles.

It’s impossible not to appreciate the cleverness of Inconstant’s creation, through everything from his plotline, to his production values, to his intricate use of language. Inconstant proves that he is able to laugh at himself, and at the film industry as a whole, while still embracing it with all its flaws. He not only seizes at Hollywood’s cheesiest cliches, he subverts them so cleverly that you could watch his film repeatedly and discover a new facet each time.

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to declare this film is for everyone, but it certainly has a strong appeal to a well-informed cinemaphile. In fact, for fans of Tim Burton, I have to admit some aspects of this film reminded me quite a bit of Ed Wood.Anyone who’s seen Burton’s infamous flop will quickly understand why Yo Soy Pedro might incite equally mixed reactions. If you’re a fan of clever, self-reflexive Hollywood comedy, give Inconstant’s film a shot. If he doesn’t have you on the floor laughing, he’ll at the very least be able to force our an involuntary smile from you.

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Movie Review: ZOOLANDER 2 (USA 2016) ***

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zoolander_2ZOOLANDER 2 (USA 2016) ***
Directed by Ben Stiller

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penélope Cruz, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Christine Taylor

Review by Gilbert Seah

ZOOLANDER and ZOOLANDER 2 are milder versions of Sasha Baron Cohen’s BRUNO which are still pretty wild for most audiences unfamiliar with films like these that satirize the fashion/modelling industry.

It took a while, 15 years, since the first ZOOLANDER (2001) also directed by Ben Stiller hit the screens. It has been a long wait – the stars have grown older, and the plot makes use of the fact. Whatever goes on in the movie does not make much sense, but famous pop stars are being killed as they are protecting the Chosen One. “You can’t kill us all.” utters Justin Bieber, the 6th pop star killed in a year, before he kicks the bucket after posing on Instagram. Even Madonna has struck her last pose! Who is the Chosen One and who is the villain? As outrageous as the plot is, the twist is even more outrageous than anything found in any film in a while. Hilarious? It is in a way if one sits back and ponder over what has occurred. The script, by no less than 4 writers including Stiller, Justin Theroux (the writer of AMERICAN PSYCHO who also appears in the film as an evil DJ) is actually hilarious, though it might not seem so on first appearance. Perhaps ZOOLANDER 2 should be seen a second time to digest the mayhem on screen.

So, the not-so bright Zoolander (Stiller) is drawn out of recluse together with fellow model, Hansel (Owen Wilson). The villain is Mugatu (Will Farrell hamming it up, the most he can ever muster), engineering his escape from fashion prison. (Don’t ask!)

Not everything is original in the film. A lot of the jokes are similar to ZOOLANDER 1 and the ending sexy cat fight between two beauties, Penelope Cruz and Milla Jovovich, to the delight of all the males watching is way too similar to the scene from the French film (that did not get released here), OSS 117 NEST OF SPIES, directed by THE ARTIST’s Michel Hazanavicius.

The star cameo list is staggering. They include Bieber and real life fashion icons, Valentino, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger and Anna Wintour. The trouble is that these icons are not immediately recognizable, but their names are emphasized at least so audiences know who they are. Of the recognizable star cameos, Susan Sarandon (doing a ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW routine), Milla Jovovich, Macaulay Culkin, Billy Zane, Katy Perry, Sting and Neil deGrasse Tyson strut their stuff, all playing themselves. But the best of these belong to Benedict Cumberbatch who surprises as he plays All, a transgender looking super model so full of himself that he marries himself.

ZOOLANDER 2 plays like a spy spoof as well as a satire of the fashion/model industry. Hate it or love it, my partner best described the film as “not that funny but sill entertaining.” Yes, and the film has lots of energy! But audiences not in the know might be totally bewildered at the goings-on!

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