SF IndieFest 2012: “Clown (Klovn)”, “Juko’s Time Machine” and “No Look Pass” – Reviews and Trailers

Clown (Klovn)

Belguim’s movie version of the country’s popular episodic show of the same name has little to offer other than its resemblance of an extended road trip version of Curb Your Enthusiasm, only this seems to be directed by an 11-year-old boy fixated on shocking potty humor and wanting to replicate the closing photo montage of The Hangover.

The movie is scene after scene of two unlikable lead characters displaying lewd punchlines.  Having unlikable characters isn’t always a turnoff, in fact, there are a lot of films that focus on the antagonist that I love, but these characters in particular, Frank and Casper, were too uninterestingly juvenile for me to ever be invested in.

Those able to block out all the Curb Your Enthusiasm similarities and are looking to see something featuring a lot of child molestation humor might have a good time with this movie.  What else can I say – it wasn’t for me.  The only reason I’m giving this film two stars instead of one is because I now know what a shnozzle is and are looking forward to giving my fellow Filmbalayans one the next time I see them.

Juko’s Time Machine

There are way too many time travel movies that take themselves way too seriously and usually wind up being hit or miss, with most of them usually falling on the miss side.  However, comedic versions of theis subject have always wound up being hits, i.e., Back To The Future Trilogy, Time Bandits, Hot Tub Time Machine, 2 of the 3 Austin Powers movies, and most recently, Juko’s Time Machine.  I think this has to do with the filmmakers involved in the more comedic versions ability to recognize the absurdity of trying to convince an audience to take a movie’s reality at face value when the reality within the film is flawed.

To put it simply, traveling back in time is not only improbable, but impossible as well.  This is something I believe in, as does Stephen Hawking.  As for traveling forward in space, well that’s highly improbable now but entirely possible in the future.  Facts to back up my last two statements can be found here.

Anyway, where was I?  Ah yes, not taking movies on traveling back in time too seriously.  It’s a great formula for success, and Juko’s Time Machine is just the latest proof of that.

No Look Pass

On the surface, this coming-of-age story has all the tropes of an engaging documentary.  Closeted lesbian living out what her traditional Burmese parents deem the “American dream” – graduating from Harvard on a basketball scholarship.  Then, after facing adversity in her four years of academia, she must then face it again when she moves to Germany.  There she will play professionally and meet her new partner, a US military women whose very participation in the movie threatens her Army career.  The movie was shot before the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was shut down.

Unfortunately, the movie never rises above the made-for-television documentary humdrum and winds up coming across as a special hour-and-a-half long episode of MTV’s True Life: I’m a closeted Lebisan Burmese-American living in Germany.  Sure, it makes for a good television show, but I expect more from a cinematic documentary.


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Categories: IndieFest, Reviews

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