Bravado Entertainment is an amateur company that has been around for quite a while. They are one of the first contacts I made for Rusty Hoot Motion Pictures, and the head of Bravado, Alan Winston, has been friends with both Rusty Hoot and Random Foo for the last two years. Based in Corvalis, Oregon, Bravado’s mainstay is their Public Access TV show called “Delusions of Grandeur,” broadcast from KBVR, the college TV station at the University of Oregon. (actually, Oregon State University, but close enough)
Every term at “Delusions of Grandeur,” Alan has dedicated an episode to featuring amateur movies in a sort of film festival. Both Rusty Hoot and Random Foo have been featured on “Delusions of Grandeur” several times, and the exposure we have received as a result has been extremely valuable.
Sadly, this awesome outlet for amateur movie-makers is winding down. After the current term, it appears that “Delusions of Grandeur” will be going off the air. But that doesn’t mean that Bravado Entertainment will be going anywhere. In order to fill time on their show, the people at Bravado have produced dozens of shorts, some dramatic, and most, absolutely hilarious. They are best known for their “Star Wars Stop Motion Theater,” a very well done “Star Wars” parody featuring action figures. Most recently, they blew me away with a unique horror movie titled, “Dead Air,” about a killer stalking TV station employees. However the employees see their own gruesome deaths on the televisions just before they are murdered.
Bravado Entertainment is, in my opinion, one of the most talented amateur companies around, yet they are mostly unknown among our growing community. I have had the privilege of seeing almost all of their work, and for a while, I thought that “Dead Air” would be the last. Boy was I wrong. Alan Winston came out of the wood-work last week and sent me a compilation of their latest efforts, including their most recent “big” project, “Perfection Isn’t Easy.”
“Perfection Isn’t Easy,” written and directed by Alan Winston, is a film-noir style flick about a computer hacker named Eric Ferguson, who goes to a dance club and meets Sylvia Taylor, the wife of a software company CEO. She stays the night at Eric’s apartment, but the next morning, she’s gone. Eric later discovers that on the night of their meeting, Sylvia’s husband was murdered, and Eric is quickly implicated. Suddenly, Eric is thrown into a web of deceit where he can trust no-one, not Sylvia, the cops, or even his best friend.
“Perfection Isn’t Easy,” a title containing a genius reference to the truth revealed at the end, is by far one of Bravado’s best efforts. Although it lack the fun quality and pacing of the superior “Dead Air,” it still stands tall as a typical film noir with a modern twist involving computer intrigue. I thouroghly enjoyed the complicated plot, although I was disappointed to see that Sylvia’s true intentions are revealed very early in the story, ruining some of the mystery. Even so, the viewer is kept wondering where all of this is going, trying to figure out who’s in league with who.
Another aspect that makes this flick enjoyable is the references Bravado throws at themselves. Eric is a nerd who holes himself in his tiny apartment, always in front of the computer which is decorated with Star Wars figures. Both Sylvia and his best friend berate him for playing with these action figures, a hilarious reference to Bravado’s own nerdy impulses acted out in the “Star Wars Stop Motion Theater.” I also enjoyed the Matrix-esque scene where Eric gets off his computer for once, goes to a techno club, and meets a hot chick who turns his world upside down, very much like the “white rabbit” sequence in “The Matrix.”
This movie is good on many levels, great plot, good music selection, and unique cinematography. Winston chooses to bathe almost every scene in a greenish yellow light, creating a cool, unsettling effect. There really aren’t any huge problems with this movie, aside from the pacing which slows down in some places.
But the best part of this movie is definitely the acting. Paul Pistey does a competent job playing Eric Ferguson, and the entire supporting cast is believable in their roles. However the best acting comes from Clarissa Felice (sic), who portrays Sylvia Taylor. An often common problem with amateur movies is that the actors are not believable in certain roles because they simply look too young, or they lack the maturity to portray older characters. But not in this case. Clarissa Felice is absolutely perfect as Sylvia Taylor, never going out of character and always giving off a vibe that is cold and diabolic, yet in a demure way. She remains stone faced and calm, rarely allowing any hint of her true intentions surface, except through her intense gaze. Clarissa was perfectly cast and I applaud her performance in an otherwise difficult role.
Overall, “Perfection Isn’t Easy” is yet another great amateur flick and further proves to me that Bravado Entertainment is among the best. They certainly deserve recognition beyond their soon-to-be-over TV show. If you want to know more about Bravado Entertainment, you can visit their website at www.bravadoentertainment.com. Check them out, they have several other awesome amateur movies that you’re sure to enjoy.
Jared Hargrave, Rusty Hoot Pictures