Jayce Bartok

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The Cake Eaters Review


Grim
The Cake Eaters reminds me of what an IFC Original Soap Opera might look like. All of the characters are loosely interconnected in some non-specific small-town setting, and the individual stories so deliberately exist on separate planes that the film can never possibly attain coherence. It is episodic, melodramatic, and oddly tepid -- all of the emotions seem propelled by the disingenuous desire to make an Enlightening Indie Drama. Surely the film wants to be a thoughtful, profound emo-weepie, but it contains all the insight of a Hallmark Movie of the Week.

The film tells the very simple story of how three generations of men deal with the death of one woman, their mother (for two) and wife (for one). Aaron Stanford is the twentysomething slacker who works in a high school cafeteria and is very protective of his deceased mom. Bruce Dern plays the aging father who carries on a long-term affair with a local shopkeeper (Elizabeth Ashley). Jayce Bartok is the elder son, a struggling musician who returns home when he hears the sad news, apparently just to look morose as he walks around town.

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Picture - Jayce Bartok New York City, USA, Thursday 27th March 2008

Jayce Bartok Thursday 27th March 2008 13th Annual GEN ART Film Festival at the Diesel Store New York City, USA

Red Doors Review


OK
At last we left the quirky-family dramedy, it was thrusting us into a dilapidated VW van with Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear at the helm in the lovable, if not uneven Little Miss Sunshine. Now, in a stab at cultural accentuation, we are given Red Doors, the tale of the Wongs, an extremely dysfunctional Asian family living in the suburbs surrounding New York City. Too bad culture and tradition are used only as window dressing.

When Ed Wong (the reliable Tzi Ma) retires, he finds that the meaning in his life has been lost. His first way to regain it is to surround himself with old tapes of his three daughters and wife when they were growing up. It doesn't help to look at them now. His wife (Freda Foh Shen) has become a mechanical beast of nagging and criticism. Samantha (Jacqueline Kim), his eldest, has become all business, no soul, and gives all her time to her husband, who is likewise all business. His middle daughter, Julie (Elaine Kao), is a repressed lesbian who begins falling for a B-movie actress (Mia Riverton). And then there's Katie (Kathy Shao-Lin Lee), his youngest, a hip-hop dancer who shows her affection for her neighbor (Sebastian Stan) by pulling dangerous pranks. Ed attempts to commit suicide, but not one of the 40-plus attempts have been successful. Ed's finally conclusion: become a Buddhist and move to an upstate temple to study the religion. This, of course, sends the family into disarray.

Continue reading: Red Doors Review

101 Ways (The Things A Girl Will Do To Keep Her Volvo) Review


OK
101 ways? I only count two: waitressing and being a phone sex operator.

Jennifer B. Katz's lighthearted fable about love and bankruptcy is amusing and lightly entertaining, though its heroine Watson (Wendy Hoopes, best known as the voice of Jane and Quinn on MTV's Daria) isn't entirely sympathetic.

Continue reading: 101 Ways (The Things A Girl Will Do To Keep Her Volvo) Review

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