A Stupid Movie For Jerks

"Weak"

A Stupid Movie For Jerks Review


If you're brazen enough to call your film A Stupid Movie for Jerks, you better be delivering something outrageous, or at the very least, wildly entertaining. The last thing you want to do is live up to your title, or have your audience feeling similarly labeled. Sextuple threat Mike Sarti (he wrote, acted, scored, directed, photographed, and edited the film) seems to think that simply being incredibly odd will make up for a myriad of motion picture problems. He's clearly suffering from some sort of cinematic delusion.

Ever since the seventh grade, Sam (Jason Sheinkopf) and Mike (Sarti) have been pals. Best buddies. Amigos. One night, after a slack-adasical meal at the local diner, they challenge each other to a race. Mike asks his friend if he will hold his wallet. As they begin to run, he yells "robbery." The cops show up and arrest them both. Turns out, the entire friendship was nothing more than an elaborate set up for a seven-years-in-the-making prank. Mike ends up in jail, and Sam's life unravels. Five years later, the two meet up again. Sam is homeless, friendless, and jobless. Mike is teaching blind people to be independent. He invites his old mark to help out. But Sam is not that gullible -- or is he?

Like a private joke between two people that can never be explained to anyone outside their insular little clique, A Stupid Movie for Jerks generates more entertainment questions than satisfactory conclusions. Sarti seems like a nice enough guy, and his visual flair offers several true movie moments. But for every shot of an abandoned high school or glowing neon diner, there are sequences that leave your head itching and your brain equally sore. An aging Rudy Ray Moore shows up to give our filmmaker some considered cult blaxploitation zing. But then the artist formerly (and better) known as Dolemite does little except deliver his scripted lines. Equally frustrating, a group of sightless students are set up like cartoonish parodies of the handi-capable. Sarti does nothing with them, either.

Instead, the vast majority of A Stupid Movie for Jerks is taken up with meandering, circular conversations between Mike and Sam. Sheinkopf has one reaction -- call it a vacant, shrugged-shoulders emptiness -- while Sarti is the king of repeated sentiments. Mike constantly reminding his conned compadre that he spent years pretending to be his friend just to have him arrested may seem clever and cutting at first, but by the 37th time you could really care less. Similarly, a showdown with a table of Bible-thumping Christians ends with a dull thud, not the smart-alecky putdowns and offensive philosophical digs the situation mandates.

In some ways, A Stupid Movie for Jerks is like an extraterrestrial's interpretation of life in the United States. It looks like a mainstream movie (at least in the traditional sense) but functions on a level of creativity that has little or no resemblance to what we on planet earth traditionally consider to be cinema. Again, Sarti does have a good eye -- there are memorable shots and interesting compositions everywhere -- but his script is a scattered mess. Its arch antics are only made worse by the complete lack of acting competence. While those looking for something off the beaten path may actually enjoy this self-conscious effort, many will sense its message getting very lost in the insular translation.



A Stupid Movie For Jerks

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 23rd June 2007

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Mike Sarti

Producer: , Jonathon Hockman

Also starring:

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