Campus Movie Fest Film Reviews and Winners

by Staff

Kevin Smead, Entertainment Editor

Andrew Younger, Assistant Entertainment Editor

“Lumberjack”

Andrew: Bro puns abound as a typical college bro shapes his identity around a recently purchased Hawaiian shirt. When he refuses to take off the shirt after a week his girlfriend steals it, inflicting severe chillaxing withdrawals.

Kevin: I believe the only reason this film was about a Hawaiian shirt that makes you “chill” is because the filmmakers wanted to see how many variations of the word “bro” they could work in. I say, good job.

“The Greatest Gift”

Andrew: This subtitled drama explores the strained relationship between a daughter and her father. The father re-gifts a jigsaw puzzle which reminds his daughter about happier times in her childhood. The puzzle is, presumably, the greatest gift because it has Pokémon on it.

Kevin: Oh man, foreign language family drama? What is this, Sundance? Solid writing, passable acting. Bonus points for subtitles.

“To the Moon and Back”

Andrew: In this drama with no dialogue, a woman with a rocket patch in her pocket hitchhikes back to civilization with a young guy. The two connect at a diner until he attempts to hold her hand and she turns him down. As he leaves, she notices he has the same rocket patch as her.

Kevin: Girl with a rocket pin tries to hitchhike. Girl meets boy. Girl and boy sit in diner. Boy has rocket ship pin. Love? I guess?

“The Choice”

Andrew: A pregnant college student believes she walked in on her boyfriend in bed with another girl and decides to have an abortion. When the boyfriend explains it was his brother having sex in his dorm room, the stability of their relationship remains in doubt.

Kevin: While this drama about a potential abortion was relatively well-done, it definitely extols the virtues of always answering your phone. Also, the film definition of, “that escalated quickly.”

“Hack”

Andrew: A high school senior is a victim of a hacked bank account, after putting money away in order to set up his college fund and support his family.

Kevin: Despite sweet shots of some delicious macaroni and cheese, one has to wonder who in their right mind just throws away bank statements without shredding them. If you’re that careless, you deserve to get your identity stolen.

“Rodent Replacement”

Andrew: A girlfriend realizes her boyfriend’s newly acquired guinea pig is actively trying to kill her in this horror-comedy. An excellent horror film soundtrack underscores the escalating tension between girlfriend and rodent.

Kevin: A+ guinea pig shots, solid script and humorous premise. Overall: pretty funny.

“Words from a Scientist”

Andew: Documentary about the medical research conducted by a scientist at UC San Diego.

Kevin: A five minute UCSD commercial. Good lab shots, though.

“F U G U E”

Andrew: Time travels in reverse as a homeless teen attempts to remember life events.

Kevin: No clue what it was about, but the director used some interesting cinematic techniques.

“Remembering the Rose”

Andrew: Continuing the evening’s theme of infidelity, a guy catches his girlfriend in flagrante delicto even though he only wanted to give her a rose. She chases after him and, in a dose of instant karma, gets hit by a car and killed. The boyfriend places the rose on her tombstone because he’s economical.

Kevin: I guess you could blame either party for this one. It could be the girlfriend’s fault, who didn’t listen to her boyfriend when he told her to not cross the street. It could also be the boyfriend’s fault, for he could have elaborated saying, “Hey wait, there’s a car, hold up,” instead of simply, “stay.” If things worked out, though, there wouldn’t be a reason to make a movie.

“Speechless”

Andrew: Partially animated comedy about a college student who never learned to talk. When a female student attempts to talk to him, he teaches himself how to speak in the most humorous way possible.

Kevin: Good everything. Cute premise, good acting, wonderful intro; it’s a definite stand out. This one will go far in the competition.

“Welcome to the Granted”

Andrew: A 21-year-old realizes how much he has left to learn and strives to appreciate life in the process.

Kevin: It’s well shot, but there’s no plot. It’s just a guy talking about how awesome he is.

“First”

Andrew: Two strangers experience deja vu while sitting in a cafe. The man has flashbacks about his first love while the woman struggles to remember where she met him.

Kevin: Interesting, but I couldn’t get past the odd lip synching. It was like watching a dubbed foreign film.

“Vagabond”

Andrew: Winner of the best fake beard award, “Vagabond” chronicles the life of a homeless man as he meanders the streets of San Diego and subsequently depresses the customers at an Italian restaurant.

Kevin: So, it starts with two people in a diner, but it’s really about a homeless person who tells us they choose to be homeless because it’s awesome and totally good for your soul. Wait, what did this have to do with people in the diner? Is it social commentary on materialism or something? Or did filming in a diner just look cool?

“On Letting Go”

Andrew: A college student struggles with seeing his ex-girlfriend on campus.

Kevin: Dead girlfriend movie number two. Nifty editing for the “she was dead the whole time!” effect.

“NoTron CCI: Cyber Crime Investigation”

Andrew: “CSI” parody about detectives who solve the case of a murderer who kills people by sending lethal viruses through the computer.

Kevin: Perfect CBS procedural-style intro, but it’s really about having good anti-virus protection. Did I mention Norton Anti-Virus is involved in this competition?

“Such a Lovely Day”

Andrew: A guy locks himself out of his apartment while only wearing a towel. When he interrupts his married neighbor during the middle of an affair to use her phone, her husband comes home and accuses the guy in the towel of sleeping with his wife.

Kevin: This one got a few laughs out of me. It boasted a strong cast, and the writing was pretty good. Also, solid acting with a few funny shots.

Andrew’s Top 5:

5. Lumberjack

4. To the Moon and Back

3. Such a Lovely Day

2. Rodent Replacement

1. Speechless

Kevin’s Top 5:

5. The Greatest Gift

4. F U G U E

3. Rodent Replacement

2. Such a Lovely Day

1. Speechless

Actual Winners:

Actress: Kimmy Weinberger, “The Choice”

Actor: David Butler, “Speechless”

Comedy: Rodent Replacement

Drama: Welcome to the Granted

Best Picture: Speechless

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