blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Flying Car (2002, Kevin Smith)

Jeff Anderson and Brian O’Halloran star in THE FLYING CAR, directed by Kevin Smith for NBC.

Maybe halfway through The Flying Car, I noticed one of the retakes of Jeff Anderson. The short takes place while Anderson and Brian O’Halloran are stuck in a traffic jam. Smith is setting up the viewer for a joke while Anderson sets up O’Halloran for the same one. Great dialogue, excellent performance from Anderson. It’s a fine little thing.

Except then there’s the retake. There are a few of them, two on Anderson, maybe two on O’Halloran. The entire short is unimaginatively shot–Smith either shoots one or the other. No rapid fire exchanges in the same framing (which only happens twice).

Anyway, that retake. Smith shoots it from outside the car, showing the windshield and–presumably–reflections of the world outside. It immediately gives Car a different, better feel. It seems less gimmicky, more natural.

The dialogue and joke are great, but Smith’s lack of imagination hurts Car bad.

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