David: Hello everyone! It’s been quite a bit since we’ve done a joint review, so we figured we’d get back at it. Today we’re covering a suggestion by actor Tim Cox (Twitter handle is @TimothyJCoxAct for those that want to follow someone busy in the independent film community). He sent in Reina, which was written and directed by Philip Vickery. The film is a short about a guy on probably the worst date of his life, after a pretty traumatic loss. Here’s the film’s IMDB page.
Shannon, what were your initial thoughts on Reina?
Shannon: I thought Reina was entertaining and I found myself giggling (while trying to be quiet and watching it on my phone in public) at several of the things that happen in the film, in particular the scenes in the bar. I feel like I found myself liking this short film because of the humor behind it, but also because I would probably think the same way as a lot of the characters about what the main guy is talking about and feeling.
David, what did you think about the short initially?
David: I thought you would like the film, mainly because of the subject matter. Also, I found myself thinking of you with the main girl, Michelle. You just seem to have similar vocal styles I think. Plus, let’s be real, the film has a dog in it, so you’re going to give it a better rating.
I actually really liked the film - I thought the idea behind it was funny, the execution was good, and there were very few moments that I thought didn’t work. I also like the fact that they use the opening act to bury expectations, leading you down roads you don’t expect. I know I never would have expected the film to lead to Russian mobsters fond of the use of “Bro”!
I think that leads me to what I enjoyed most about the film - the dialogue was really well-written. It takes a lot to set a bunch of mobsters in a bar and have the dialogue still come off as humorous, but throwing in the different pop culturisms (like bro) in their language beautifully illustrates how difficult English as a language can be for a non-native speaker. Couple that with some really fun interactions between Seth and Michelle, and it lends to a realism that few shorts that we watch really match.
Did you have a favorite part?
Shannon: I think my favorite part would have to be with the mobsters in the bar. Like you said, the dialogue there was great and it’s the point in the film that turned itself into a comedy for me. Their culturistic terms came off perfectly during their banter with each other. As for the girl in the film, during this part the look on her face when she found out he was talking about a dog was priceless. I agree, I probably would have reacted in the same way, except I would have been upset just like the guy was about Reina.
I also liked the ending, but who wouldn’t? What about you? I know, it’s a short film, but what was your favorite part?
David: I really liked the mobster played by Travis Mitchell, Sergei. I think his performance perfectly embodied the feeling that Vickery was going for.
Technically the film is solid as well. There was a bit of a lighting miscue when the film first transitioned to the bar, in the sense that I didn’t think the lighting was set up correctly. It seems like it was set up for the later scene, so maybe it was just a matter of moving the lights around enough to get all the shots right. But overall, technically, the film was very solidly shot.
I’m going to go ahead and give my rating of an “A-”. Reina is a short sweet film that will probably capture the heart of any dog lover. What’s your rating Shannon?
Shannon: I agree, if you are a dog lover, you’re going to enjoy this short film. I’m going to give it a “Loved It” rating. It was fun to watch and just makes you happy.
David and Shannon write about movies.