Commentary - Computer Love

Friday, April 9, 2010

As is often the case, Tinsel & Tine goes through posting feast or famine. This weekend begins the Philadelphia Film Society Spring Preview Film Festival, sponsored by Pennsylvania Hospital, and by coincidence a new acquaintance, Harwood Duncan, (pictured) (see Cafe Centennial post) had his film premiere for a film called Computer Love Thursday night, so my weekend of screening got off to an early start!

You can't so much as own a hot dog stand without having a facebook page anymore; the reason being, it is an amazing marketing/promotional tool. The film's producers told me it was how they got the word out and IHouse (350+ seats) was packed! Plus, the co-writer/producer and director, Mike A. Pender seems to have been making a name for himself locally with a number of shorts.

Speaking of short, I think the women in attendance thought they were auditioning for another season of VH1's reality show Real Chance of Love. Skin tight dresses barely covering thighs and hooker heels was the main attire of the evening (sorry no example pic). I suppose they decided a movie about internet dating might lead to some off-line meeting and greeting. I didn't get the memo, I arrived in jeans, although paired with a really cute new spring blouse. I also met up with an old friend, Cindy Wood (see pic) she didn't get the memo either to dress for a club scene. She's pictured with yet another person associated with this film, Lloyd Booker. I swear, this film has producers, associates and partners coming out of the woodwork; even after going to the website, I can't get it straight as to everyone's involvement in the film, but it does take a village.

Computer Love features the film's co-writer/ producer, Atif R. Lanier as Kwe (profile name: 1XXXlongfellow) a buff, motivational speaker, writer and mentor, basically a brother who seems to have it going on, yet his materialistic girlfriend dumps him when he proposes with too small a ring.

After a couple of weeks of walking around in a heartbroken daze, one of his boyz convinces him to start internet dating, which becomes an addiction, more sexual addiction than dating addiction. Even the typical internet dating hazards of people showing up far older, uglier and fatter than their profile pictures, doesn't stop Kwe from hitting the sheets. In the wings is Yolanda (Nicole Tucker) a sisterly friend from his youth, just moved back into town.

When I watch Dancing with the Stars, I feel strongly that Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno should judge each performer on a curve based on their past experience in performing in front of an audience, age, agility, familiarity with training and I even feel like the women should be judged more leniently from the men in that they actually have more to learn.

So I try to follow my own sense of fair play when it comes to reviewing or as I prefer, commenting on independent films shot on digital, no gloss, no studio influence, with little backing. With that in mind, things like very poor lighting (especially for dark skin), music drowning out dialog and repeating scenes can be over looked if the script is good. The humor of Computer Love seemed to hit the right note, judging by the audience guffaws, but also judging by the early departure of many audience members, the script needed some major tightening, it feels really long, it doesn't arc or change levels, until the overly action packed ending, which is a complete departure from the anecdotal style of the rest of the film.

Lanier's acting ability is strong, he'd be particularly good in a TV sitcom. The film's opening and closing graphics are also done extremely well and fit cleverly with the internet dating theme.

Kudos on the super good cupcakes by Cookie Bottoms and Cognac (sorry missed the name of sponsor) served prior to the screening!

Personally, I would have preferred Computer Love showed a more favorable outlook on internet dating. One month ago I would never have said that, but now I can say the 1 out of 1000 odds of actually meeting a good mate online is worth the gamble.

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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