movinG (RePost from the old Ryan’s Reviews site)

Description (from the box):
“movinG” deals with the true story of the secret lifestyle of strippers: the drugs (particularly GHB), the sex, and the dysfunctionalism that keeps them in the job they love to hate, but hate to leave. This hilarious comedy makes fun of religious hypocrisy, sex, and ethnic stereotypes, proving that real life is stranger than reel life. You’ll be offended, but guaranteed to laugh at the same time.

Major Cast:
J. Fabian as Fabian, Elvin Bibiloni as Elvin, Robin Arcuri as Jackie, Robert Byars as Dre

Written and Directed by J. Fabian

movinG is a classic example of “write what you know.” J. Fabian – writer, producer, director, lead actor, and actor in several other minor roles – created the idea for this film while helping his fellow male stripper, Elvin Bibiloni, move one night. According to their myspace, “there was encounters with Elvin’s ex-girlfriend and her big black boyfriend who tried to kick their ass as well as a flamboyant drag queen who tried to pick Elvin up.” This gave the duo the idea to make a film about their lives. movinG plays out like a hyper-real version of the strip-club life; while it did not feel “real,” the film felt like reality on steroids. Keeping to the “write what you know” mantra that is fueling this film, J. Fabian plays “Fabian,” Elvin Bibiloni plays “Elvin,” and the film deals with two male strippers moving out of an apartment, doing lots of GHB, and reminiscing.

The film does not have much cohesive plot, and really feels more like a bunch of vignettes with the moving out used to fill the space between the stories told. These stories are pretty wild – the perils of dating strippers, GHB doses and overdoses, parodying Britney Spears, meeting God, and sex, sex, and more sex! I was impressed while watching the film with both the full crowds in the strip club (extras are hard to get when your budget is miniscule) and the extreme amount of nudity for such a small budget. I came to realize that this film must be very autobiographical, and that the filmmakers themselves (and the actors / actresses willing to get naked) MUST ACTUALLY BE strippers – a fact I later confirmed at the aforementioned myspace site. This made the mystery as to how you get so many naked people on such a low budget not so mysterious.

movinG wants to be a Kevin Smith film, but does not make it. There is a lot, I mean a LOT, of talking in this movie, and much of that dialogue is decently witty. Unfortunately, many of the people delivering these pages upon pages of talking just don’t have the acting chops to pull it off. Some of the dialogue shines, especially some of Fabian’s lines, but much more of the dialogue feels like it was just being read; like the fact that the actor or actress got the line right was good enough, even if there wasn’t much behind the delivery. I’m sure that this goes back to the people available to fill the nude roles – when you’re budget is low you use whomever will get naked and pretend to fuck – even if their acting is sub-par.

J. Fabian and his cinematographer, Andy Stark, did a good job on the direction / composition of the film. There are many interesting camera angles and moves, and overall the picture quality – while obviously DV – is decent. There are some major technical setbacks to deal with in movinG, such as the poor quality sound (there was a lot of dialogue I just could not make out, and the voice-overs sound like they were recorded on a home PC with a low-quality mic), and varying lighting quality – some places the lighting, while not extraordinary, did a good job, other scenes in the film I could not see what the hell was going on or the actor’s faces.

Overall I felt that movinG shows promise, especially in the writing. If next time J. Fabian can find subject matter that does not require so many sex / nude scenes, and therefore have more quality actors to choose from, I think he could make a really good film. I just don’t think this was it. However, it gets a couple bonus points on the overall rating for the gratuitous nudity – both male and female – that is just about unheard of in films of this budget. I hope to see a future effort from J. Fabian, because I do feel that movinG was full of promise, that just wasn’t quite fully realized.

Overall 4 / 10

movinG is not on the imdb.

movinG does not appear to be for sale.

movinG site: http://www.myspace.com/movin_g

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