Movies

B+

Film Geek

Genre: Comedy; Starring: Melik Malkasian, Tyler Gannon; Director: James Westby; Author: James Westby; Runtime (in minutes): 72; MPAA Rating: Unrated; Distributor: First Run Features

Quentin Tarantino’s career arc from video-store clerk to adjective may be an inspiration, but it’s also an exception. It’s the passion of obsessives like Scotty Pelk (Melik Malkasian), the title character in the perceptively hilarious rock-bottom-budget indie comedy Film Geek, that supplies video outlets with a renewable workforce. James Westby’s loving and self-aware homage to mouth-breathing boys who worship Wong Kar-Wai and can’t talk to girls is the opposite of Tarantino-esque: It’s Westby-ish, interspersing settings of biting social oafishness with spasms of film knowledge. The movie has the unstyled swing of a cult pic in its no-frills production values. And in Malkasian, Westby finds a muse with Buster Keaton eyes. Scotty’s website gets no traffic, his lack of tact costs him his job, and his sex life is in his head, with assistance from his hand. But Westby never mocks or Napoleon Dynamites his hero; he even introduces Scotty to a chick (Tyler Gannon) arty enough to talk about David Cronenberg and decent enough not to be mean. Which, actually, makes her truly cool.

Originally posted February 15 2006 — 12:00 AM EST

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