Xtra Credit (2009)
Directed by Martin Jay Weiss
Written by Anthony Jaswinski
Produced by Brian Martinez, Erik Olson, Larry Levinson, Robert A. Halmi
Starring Micah Alberti, Marina Black, Pooch Hall, Melissa Ordway, Nina Siemaszko, John Littlefield, Garrison Koch, Mitch Pileggi, Dawn Olivieri
In neglect of his gorgeous, goodhearted girlfriend (Ordway), a boneheaded burglar reformed as a zookeeper and collegian is senselessly seduced by his professor of sociology (Black) shortly before he’s framed for the murder of her husband (Pileggi).
It’s so timeworn that Jaswinski’s script may as well be conglomerated, completed Mad Libs treating of erotic thrillers. Those few turns of his plot that can’t be foretold are farcically ill-conceived, and its criminal machinations are exhaustively elucidated in numerous conversations and cutbacks, not one of which is necessary. His sexual situations play out like softcore porno. Our protagonist is unstable, unfaithful, unlikable, wantonly pugnacious, completely corruptible, and as thick as molasses. Only his sweetheart is at all gratifying.
Direction & editing
Weiss could’ve achieved mediocrity if his every single scene wasn’t twofold to sixfold overshot, and attendantly overcut. Worse, Jennifer Jean Cacavas afflicted every transition and telephonic discourse with dopey wipes and split screens of double, triple, and quadruple juxtapositions to laborious and embarrassing effect.
Nobody would notice Todd Barron’s stock photography if subwindows of those split screens weren’t hideously colorized.
To be fair, this cast can’t be faulted for their burdenous material. Lumberingly handsome Alberti doesn’t quite seem mentally disabled, and Hall amuses occasionally as his gaudily garbed, rebarbative roommate. One can only wonder why charmless, leathery, nascently haggard Black was cast as a seductress, especially when her inferiority to adoring, adorable Ordway belies their cheater’s impetus. Chunky Siemaszko hams risibly with smirks weirdly twisted, possibly symptomatic of palsy.
Steven Burton’s music by numbers is less chafing than that of DJsNeverEndingStory, which in turn is marginally more bearable than numerous cuts by negligible pussy rock bands.
Obviously, this is atrocious, if more watchable than the past decade’s waves of woke programming. Bottom feeders never had so many options.