A scene from GAMES PEOPLE PLAY, directed by Two Trick Pony.

Games People Play (2011, Two Trick Pony)

Given its outstanding ending, one has to wonder if filmmaker (or filmmakers) Two Trick Pony came up with the rest of Games People Play to tell one joke.

As far as the filmmaking goes, Games is almost indescribably good. It reminds a little of the Coen Brothers, played more for humor. Zephyr Muntari’s editing is exceptionally tight; the filmmakers have a complete understanding of how to pace shots.

Pony’s composition is fantastic–Games is Panavision ratio and, after a somewhat slow start, it becomes clear Pony is going to use the whole frame to great advantage. Joel Pincosy’s photography is excellent.

So what’s the problem?

First, the writing. There are occasional amusing board game related comments, but by occasional I mean two or three in the entire short. Even when a joke’s funny, the accompanying dialogue is lame.

And Scott McCabe’s atrocious in an essential role.

Still, it’s beautifully made.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Written, directed and produced by Two Trick Pony; director of photography, Joel Pincosy; edited by Zephyr Muntari.

Starring Tory Stanton (Simon Simmons), Scott McCabe (Martin Bardley), Maria Giere Marquis (Jane), Linda-Ruth Cardozo (Lois), Ari Sigal (Gretchen), Bryan Quinn (Manny), Bradford Rex (Colonel Mustard) and Elizabeth Fomine (Daphne).

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