Phil Hall Nails it! Review of the short film Uncorked

I recently watched the film called Uncorked. Currently it cannot be seen online which to me makes it a bit more enticing to check out. It is a festival film, to be clear it is a perfect festival film, experimental, well-acted, well shot with the purity of early 90’s indie cinema but fresh and fun. Does it have to be in black and white? No, but neither did Clerks and that worked out alright for Kevin Smith. This film is essentially a 40 minute long monologue that is somehow extremely entertaining.

The entire film is one character going on a 40 minute monologue in one take. The character, a worn down middle-aged fellow, hilariously and continuous spouting misinformed home remedies for stress and high blood pressure, complaining about his wife or talking about his brothers encounters with UFO’s. To me the core of why the film works is that Phil Hall creates a likable idiot and the dialogue and format of the film are so earnest and non-pretentious that it’s almost impossible not to start chuckling at what he has created. The camera work  is very simple but effective. The whole film is basically one take with some cutaways carefully placed to show us a bit more of the environment. (P.S. The filmmakers actually only did one take of the actor’s performance) Now let’s talk about this actor. It just so happens that it’s Phil Hall the renowned film critic, author, actor and now at the very least producer/screenwriter. To put it all out there Phil Hall helped to start my film career. (For those who don’t know I’ve directed 8 features and counting) That being said he is an extremely gifted actor. The folks at Bloodbath Pictures and Hale Manor Productions, me included have cast him several times in our feature films. We have an inside joke about character actors like Phil Hall, Dick Boland, or Maggie Champagne (other Bloodbath Alumni). You just need to write them the weirdest dialogue you can think of, turn on the camera and watch them blow your mind. It’s like having our own Christopher Walkens at our disposal. Congrats to filmmakers EM Schrader, Aaron Sandler and Phil Hall for this film little film. I hope people like it like they should. I can’t say I’m surprised that Uncorked is such an entertaining watch. The film is written by one of the more prominent online Indie film critics New York City.

-Thomas Edward Seymour Tales from the Underground Filmmaker

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