Straight-to-VOD Thursday: Cinema Six
Ivan Radford | On 06, Feb 2014
Director: Mark Potts, Cole Selix
Cast: John Merriman, Brand Rackley, Mark Potts
Watch online: iTunes
Straight-to-VOD Thursday: From direct-to-iTunes indies to naff bargain bucket sequels, we look at films only available on VOD in the UK. This week, it’s slacker comedy Cinema Six.
Anyone who’s worked in a cinema can tell you it sucks. The endless shifts behind the popcorn counter. The moronic customer complaints. The cleaning up of vomit and puke. It was only a matter of time, then, until someone immortalised that eternal drudgery of multiplex life on the screen. How cathartic for it to been done with some wit to counteract the depressing reality.
“I’m getting out soon.” “When?” “I dunno.”
Mason (Merriman), Dennis (Rackley) and Gabe (Potts) are all trapped in the existential stasis of Stanton Family Cinemas. Caught between the concessions counter and the box office, their inability – and refusal – to move on with their adult lives is tied to their location as much as their perpetual immaturity. The bushy-bearded Mason uses the place to avoid serious conversations with his wife. Dennis is too busy moping to worry about anything else. And Gabe is more comfortable hiding behind a projector than talking to a human being.
But hey, at least they’re not the customers. “Y’all showing any movies with boobs?” drawls a guy in a cowboy hat. And he’s one of the nice ones.
There are some obvious notes and pop culture references that feel forced (Lost, anyone?), but Mark Potts and Cole Selix’s slacker comedy unfolds with enough laughs to warrant its succinct 80 minutes. Well, that and dick jokes.
In between the constant cock gags, though, the central cast manage to ground their characters – Rackley, in particular, ambles around like James McAvoy’s charming long-lost brother. Some of the female supporting roles are two-dimensional (a love interest here, a psychotic co-worker there) but the lead trio remain likeable fellas. Potts and Selix’s direction relies on their chemistry to keep the momentum going – and it works.
The film is perhaps best summed up by a surprise cameo near the end; a burst of hilarity that, like its character development, creeps up on you unawares.
“What’s a dick shit?” asks one, after a hostile insult. “It’s a dick that shits,” comes the reply. “I was over-thinking it.”
Cinema Six’s humour may feel uneven, but if you don’t analyse it too much, the realistic location and amiable ensemble make for an enjoyable night in, as far away from the multiplex as possible.