Reviewed May 23, 2012
Joseph Alexander’s review:
Francine Driver (Carla Gugino) is an undercover cop whom, posing as an assassin meets with a potential client, Nick (Zachary Quinto), in a Los Angeles bar late one night. After mild ambivalence, Nick confesses to her that he wishes his wife dead. She agrees to the arrangement if she is met with twenty thousand dollars. Nick admits he does not have the money on him currently, but promises by the end of the night he will. After his eventual departure, Francine is acquainted with a young man, Henry (Aaron Tveit), whom after certain particular charms, steals her wallet, leaving her there in the bar alone as he leaves unnoticed. Francine’s wallet contains the recorded evidence that will incriminate Nick and put him behind bars.
It is then that Francine’s night truly begins as she attempts to hunt down Henry and locate her missing wallet. Her search takes her through a series of local bars in Los Angeles and not one is without an introduced character whom in some fashion, as part of the ensemble cast, is connected to another character throughout—aforementioned or no. Each character as well has their own, unique, story to tell and of course, life in which they live.
While it cannot be argued that Francine is essentially the film’s catalyst guised as a major character, she does in all actuality, share almost equivalent time on screen with the rest of the cast (Danny DeVito, Josh Hartnett, Zachary Quinto, Aaron Tveit, Rosario Dawson, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Robert Forster, etcetera). As Francine’s night unfolds the viewer discovers the life of each individual is linked to that of another and not one is any more or less relevant than the other.
However, not each character is entirely interesting. In fact, each is nearly forgettable. The performances themselves however are well-rounded, though again, nothing too spectacular. Gugino and Quinto hold the most notoriety here.
Writer and director Sebastian Gutierrez has written a script that is void of any real climatics or action in any degree. Instead the film is progressed through exchanges of dialogue encompassing a colorful variety of topics. These passings are often sharp, quick, full of wit, and allegedly carry some purpose or message.
While the lines are delivered with expertly dry candor, the point of these encounters isn’t quite explained with any real clarity. There are exceptions in which such story-telling is acceptable, and most often successful, but here these characters are faulted, one by one, from their enigmatic origins. Nor is it with any great care that these characters either individually or together develop. So separate from compassion is the viewer that he or she is merely a spectator to the lives of these persons rather than a partaking guest.
That said, the dialogue is as fun as one might expect from a film so heavily cast in it. There are as well, sequences which are as memorable as they are well-directed. Again, this is perhaps, alone, ten to twenty minutes of this hour and twenty minute feature.
It is immediately apparent that the film is shot on a SLR camera and this is undoubtedly the most admirable, if not hopeful, aspect of the film itself. Shot for the purpose of free distribution via internet streaming service, YouTube, the use of Canon’s 7D SLR camera is a light for all aspiring filmmakers no matter the level of education received or field of preference.
Girl Walks Into A Bar has an abundance of Hollywood names attached to its likeness all standing under the lovely iridescence of bar-light, affront a piece of equipment any hard working artist can so willingly afford. One’s own fantasy of shooting a feature film with the prominent actors of Hollywood, on say one’s very own T2i, appears all the more livable.
The cinematography is an agreeable mix of color and perspective angles. It as well displays with triumphant circulation the power of SLR cameras and too their endless capability.
Shot on Canon’s 7D over the course of an eleven day period, the sharp witted Girl Walks Into A Bar is by no standards consistent with an amateur production and while it certainly gives hope to young, penniless, filmmakers, it does suffer from lack of a purposeful identity.