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Overall Rating
3.66

Awesome: 3.45%
Worth A Look62.07%
Average: 31.03%
Pretty Bad: 3.45%
Total Crap: 0%

4 reviews, 5 user ratings


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Film Geek
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Why Scotty Is Awesome, by Scotty Pelk."
4 stars

The early scenes in "Film Geek" brought me right back to my days toiling at Blockbuster. I spent a lot of time shrink-wrapping empty VHS boxes, and I never thought I'd see that chore depicted in a film. I've also had that "black bars" argument with people clueless about letterboxing. Can't say I've ever wanked into a bathroom sink, though, unlike the socially inept hero. No, really.

Scotty Pelk (Melik Malkasian) is an idiot savant of film. He's the sort of obliviously enthusiastic geek you meet in all other kinds of fan obsession — put a human face in front of him and he rattles off names of directors, editors, cinematographers, blissfully unaware that his listeners aren't listening. Unfortunately, "encyclopedic film knowledge" doesn't qualify him to last long as a clerk at Video Connections, the kind of video chain that doesn't require film passion — just people who can work the register and come in on Saturdays. Scotty's overbearing customer service gets him fired.

Scotty meets an artsy chick named Niko (Tyler Gannon), whom he first spies reading a book on David Cronenberg. He's enthralled, though he doesn't actually seem much interested in her sexually or even romantically — he just wants someone pretty he can talk film with. Scotty seems so far removed from normal human interaction he's like a robot or an alien filtering life through what he's seen in movies. He's snobbish in some ways, though — unlike, say, Quentin Tarantino (the most famous video-store geek-made-good), who can usually find something to geekgasm about in any piece of crap, Scotty doesn't have an omnivorous appetite for movies. He name-checks the usual suspects (Buñuel, Bergman, Kieslowski) and disdains those who prefer Patch Adams to Memento. In short, Scotty is your typical film geek, without the quirks of taste that can make real film nerds interesting.

The IMDb informs me that Film Geek was first screened in early 2005, though it plays for all the world like a 1995 film. It's got the mid-'90s indie-flick soundtrack; it's got Scotty's website, with its laughably rudimentary design that evokes the Dark Ages of the internet; even the video stores (and Scotty's own cluttered room) seem to stock VHS exclusively. This is absolutely the kind of movie that we would've expected to see around the same time that films like If Lucy Fell and Sleep with Me and about ten different Parker Posey quirkfests came out — when every studio wanted their own Clerks and ponied up a couple mil to try to make that happen.

Still, Film Geek is amusing (and, at 72 minutes, in and out of there fast), with a diabolically dweeby performance by Melik Malkasian — who could pass for a younger M. Night Shyamalan (who was probably a lot like Scotty back in the day) (um, actually he probably still is a lot like Scotty). Not content to score easy laughs off Scotty, writer-director James Westby allows Scotty a kind of cracked dignity and innocence. We actually enjoy the denouement, though, oddly, it reminded me of an infamous catch-you-leaning-the-wrong-way passage in Stephen King's novel Pet Sematary.

Most actual film geeks will want to think they're above Scotty. Deep down, they aren't. As I've said elsewhere, everyone is geeky about something; I fail to see why NASCAR devotees, say, should feel superior to Trekkies, or vice versa. The only real difference is in the style of geekiness. "Film Geek" both parodies and honors its chosen geekology.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13732&reviewer=416
originally posted: 08/23/06 12:05:31
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User Comments

3/29/10 Bill Johnson I felt the film was more depressing than funny, but then I just lost my job, too. 3 stars
1/10/09 Amber Brown Could have been a family movie if it there wasn't cussing and masturbating, unnessecary. 2 stars
1/20/07 Indrid Cold Very rough around the edges, which is occasionally annoying. Good for a few laughs though. 3 stars
10/25/06 Pappy97 So is the happy ending what happened or was it fantasy? I believe it happened, but 3 stars
8/04/06 Bob Awesome! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Jan-2006 (NR)
  DVD: 22-Aug-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  James Westby

Written by
  James Westby

Cast
  Melik Malkasian
  Tyler Gannon
  Matt Morris



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