Americatown Movie Review
admovieso | April 4, 2012 | No comments
This original new movie, directed by Kenneth Price, is pretty shaky yet original at both its best and its worst. It’s a bizarre satire that stinks of amateurism. Americatown is full of new actors who play continually upbeat characters named after brands. Behind its cheerful façade, Americatown sticks it to capitalism. It’s a cheap parody of an easy target. This is Price’s second feature and stars a comedy group called Superkiiiids! From Wilmington, Delaware.
The setting of the new movie release is “land of the free-radicools.” It’s a mash-up of the platitudes of Middle America. Cory Howard plays Roosevelt Microsoft, the manager. He’s the “kiosk-man” and works with the goofy mayor, played by Jon Stafford. The mayor always seems to be heading towards a nervous breakdown. This movie picture starts with an infomercial that intentionally shakes up the audience and then flows into the comfy appeal of the town. The weirdness never stops. Mayor Roosevelt says hello to the newest citizen of Americatown, Plymouth Rayband, played by Jonathan Guggenheim, just as another citizen disappears. This brings the town’s population back to a utopian 1,000 people, up from the dip of one person, giving the town a population of 999. 999 would be a problem according to town census taker, Texas Instruments. Then there’s a crazy road trip that involves lots of American cities and monuments and connects the American state of mind. Roosevelt and Plymouth walk from Old Faithful to Mount Rushmore in a couple of minutes.
There is a goofy plot here but the audience has to get past the crummy digital video and harebrained design first. The big tragedy in the movie is a spilled cup of coffee. It looks like it might disrupt the whole town! Roosevelt goes looking for that one missing citizen and Plymouth takes over the kiosk. More weirdness ensues. A political candidate with a chain saw and some time travel now figure into the mix. Soon the viewer will figure out that America is everywhere….at the same time.
This upcoming movie is a hard one to explain. Price’s strange experimental style is hard to digest. “Americatown” seems to embody aspects of Robert Downey, Sr.’s “Putney Swope” and William Klein in “Mr. Freedom.” But deep down, “Americatown” is pretty much one hot mess. However, the feeling of the mess seems to give the movie the aura of a collage. Price gets across a strong statement on the shallowness of commercial branding. His work is worthy of philosopher Jean Baudrillard.
The style in “Americatown” seems more reminiscent of online videos than fine cinema. It would be great on You Tube where it would probably go viral. “Americatown is kind of like a long comedy sketch played by overworked sketch comics.