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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Auteur Theory (Comedy)

The Auteur Theory (Comedy)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Film: B-



Someone is murdering student filmmakers for making bad movies and only the use of The Auteur Theory (2002) might uncover the killer.  Unfortunately, writer/director Evan Oppenheimer is clueless in how that really works and does not care, offering very hit or miss jokes about the movies.  What could have been another Cecil B. Demented (John Waters’ humor notwithstanding) turns into a film that should have been much funnier, but is as lazy as the student films that get mocked.


This would have been worse without the wandering British filmmaker (Alan Cox) doing a documentary about how the film festival featured was started by the father of a slain filmmaker himself.  Its send-ups of other filmmakers are lite at best, and references to older films are mixed.  One on the Batman films is especially bad, old, lame, and pointless.  The cast is pretty good, but they are not given enough to do.  Jeremy Sisto is of note here too, but this is a film that does not go far enough, proving that Oppenheimer will not have to know what his title refers t, because his films will never be at that level.


The letterboxed 1.85 X 1 image is above average, but looks good considering the different looks from all the student films featured.  An anamorphic transfer would have helped, but this will do.  The Ruurd M. Feneinga, Jr. /Chad Wilson cinematography is too flat at times, but is not bad otherwise.  The film was a Dolby theatrical release, with the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo offering limited Pro Logic type surrounds and the sound mix pushes to dialogue and sound effects too much towards the front speakers for its own good.  The only extras are some stills and a trailer.


The other thing that sabotages this film is the simple fact that it feels the need to be lightweight, so much so to the point that the film is almost making jokes about its jokes.  This kind of thing is destroying many potentially good films and that is what happened here.  Only those who get filmmaking will get anything out of The Auteur Theory.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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