Four films you can see at Cinequest

Starting at standup. A truly evil murderer. Sleeping with strangers but not having sex. And an alien who took over the body of the wrong human. Here are four films that will screen at Cinequest, listed from best to worst.

B+ All Joking Aside

Dramas about comedians can be tricky, and although this one is more of a melodrama about comedians, it’s still a good one. Lovable Raylene Harewood carries the simple story of a young Brooklynite who learns standup with the help of a misanthropic former star. And no, this is not The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. This young woman dies on stage over and over before she learns how to pull laughs out of her reluctant audiences. Some of the supporting performances felt fake, and you can see some story points coming way too soon. But overall, it’s a heartwarming story about getting into a difficult kind of work.

B+ Disrupted

You’ll find surprisingly high production values in this Bay Area-set thriller, which is about as dark as noir gets. The protagonist is an aging, overweight, soon-to-be-homeless ex-con fighting with alcohol, rage, and other demons. Soon he’ll be fighting worse things. Beware: This is an extremely gruesome movie, with one major character who likes to kill people with brass knuckles. The story? Well, that’s kind of complicated – and you’ll have to figure out who is connected to who.

B- Closet

A young man gets an unusual job – sort of a cross between a counselor and a whore. He goes to people’s homes, talks with them, cuddles with them, and sleeps with them, but no sex. The company has strict rules about that. His clients include a sexy woman, a successful gay man who lost his closeted lover to suicide, and an old widow with strong feelings for her pet lizard. But this Japanese film is unshaped, and I wanted to know more about this man and more about some of his clients.

C+ Fried Barry

Gary Green gives an entertaining and funny performance as an alien’s mind stuck inside the body of a thoroughly useless heroin junkie. Individual scenes sometimes work, but the movie as a whole is disjointed and meaningless. The alien’s character arc seems to go in one direction and then, for no apparent reason, it goes elsewhere or just goes back to where it was. For instance, in one scene he magically saves a man suffering a heart attack, but we never see such capabilities again. This South African film is set in a grimy, crime-ravaged city that appears to be almost entirely white.

One thought on “Four films you can see at Cinequest

  1. Hi Lincoln,

    Thank you for writing about DISRUPTED and posting screening times and dates! There is also the world premiere on Friday, March 6th, 2020 at 8:45 p.m. in Redwood City at Century 20. We look forward to seeing movie enthusiasts at the screenings!

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