The Independent

"OK"

The Independent Review


Remember that great Z-grade 1969 protest picture "Brothers Divided," about the conjoined twins drafted to serve in Vietnam?

No? How about the blaxploitation classics "Venus De Mofo" and "The Foxy Chocolate Robot?" Or the tree-hugging girlie biker flick "The Eco-Angels"? Or the midget Gidget movie "Teenie Weenie Bikini Beach"?

Those don't ring a bell? Surely you've seen at least one of the 427 movies directed by schlock filmmaker Morty Fineman over the last 38 years, right?

Or maybe not, since he's actually just the invention of Stephen Kessler, co-writer and director of the amusingly deadpan mock documentary "The Independent." A giddy goof on the seedier side of Hollywood, the picture pays homage to the career of the (fictitiously) infamous and prolific, but entirely ungifted filmmaker who genuinely believes his no-budget T&A flicks are masterpieces of socially relevant cinema.

Starring Jerry Stiller (Ben's dad in real life and George Costanza's dad on "Seinfeld") in all his hollering-hubbub glory, this is basically a one-joke movie, but it's surprising how far Kessler can stretch the laughs.

Interviews are featured with Hollywood bigshots (Ron Howard, Ted Demme, Peter Bogdanovich and real-life schlockster Roger Corman, among others) talking about how Morty has inspired them. "Clips" from Morty's hilariously bad movies are highlighted. And for plot, "The Independent" follows the downward spiral of Fineman Films as the company goes bankrupt in the wake of an over-ambitious bomb -- the $30 million Costner-esque epic "The Whole Story of America," written by, directed by and starring Morty.

Janeane Garofalo is perfectly cast as Paloma, Morty's wry, dry cynical daughter who, under duress from her pest of a pop, becomes "president" of Fineman Films and tries to land new suckers -- backers! I mean backers! -- to pull them out of their freefall. In the mean time, the company has been evicted from its office and has set up shop in a cheap motel room while Morty pursues his latest dream of making a musical about a convicted serial killer.

Meanwhile Paloma cuts a deal with a film festival to feature a retrospective of Morty's films. Of course, it's a first-year film festival in a remote Arizona town desperate for cash flow now that the nearby nuclear test site has closed down.

Kessler directs "The Independent" with the kind of comedic counterfeit sincerity that is now standard mockumentary procedure, and while the film is reliably funny, it's largely forgettable. "Spinal Tap," this ain't.

If you're a tongue-in-cheek fan of bimbo-driven B-movies, "The Independent" should tickle your funny bone. But if you're a fan of these movies, you're also used to seeing them on video or Cinemax, and it won't be long before this picture will join them there. In other words, you might as well wait.



The Independent

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 12th March 2000

Distributed by: Arrow Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Marty Fineman, as Son, as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.