"Minimum Wage’ meanders through mountain town
It was low budget, coming in at under $20,000 to produce. Fortunately, the film isn’t short on talent. No, the talent and vision displayed in the film are definitely not “low budget,” despite the limited resources required to make the movie.
An odd mixture of family, friends and the leftovers from the best of the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival gathered at the plush Vilar Center to take in the first public screening of “Minimum Wage.”
A heated exchange between the main character, Edgar Chill (a blue-haired slacker) and a black cowboy by the name of Buck Rogers, leaves Edgar with a broken arm. Although a jury could debate the merits of getting into a brawl over a flicked “Sno-cap” chocolate candy, movie-goers at Saturday afternoon’s premiere at the Vilar Center witnessed what could happen when attorneys get involved.
As Edgar is introduced so is the premise of “Minimum Wage.” The film’s focus swirls around Edgar, a child of the ’90s with little ambition or drive. Folks in Edgar’s life comprise the edges of the plot, which is unclear at times.
After having his arm broken by an irate video store customer, Edgar and roommate Oscar share suggestive banter until a commercial for a shyster lawyer appears on the television. Of course, Edgar thinks himself a victim and decides to capitalize on his broken arm.
Victor Swindler, a personal injury attorney, is introduced via a solo confrontation with imaginary attackers – highlight of the film.
Jockeying a desk ringed with “homies,” a set of Hispanic-based collectable miniatures, the receptionist seems cool until her boss reveals that “she’s single.”
Edgar asks, and is denied, a date with the young lady. Her fancy turns around once Swindler reveals Edgar has a chance at a lucrative settlement.
The film was shot in “docu-drama” style, with a touch of creative editing during scenes that necessarily don’t move the plot forward, but make for light-hearted moments in the movie.
A couple of sexually oriented scenes, and one in particular, made the audience groan. Although unrated, the movie would have surely been rated “R” because of sexually explicit content, language and drug content.
“The scene” in “The World According to Garp” is relived in two separate clips in “Minimum Wage.” However, it is unclear what these scenes (and the motivations behind them) bring to the movie in cinematic terms.
Those living in the Eagle Valley will recognize several different locations. The video store in Avon, a toy store in Chapel Square and the Eagle Diner will spark recognition in locals.
In his opening comments to the collected crowd of about 300, Bricklin said he was going for something unique.
“We tried to do something different with this film,” Bricklin said. “But at the same time, it’s just a silly comedy.”
It is the creativity in “Minimum Wage” that makes it a decent movie. Creative camera angles and stacatto dialogue are strong points in the overall presentation of the film.
Bricklin asked the audience to fill out movie surveys after the 90-minute show. The survey selected several scenes from the movie and asked audience members for feedback. Bricklin said the feedback would be used to make further edits to the movie.
In that same vein, the movie will be taken to California for further technical editing and post-production editing.
The movie is overflowing with quality music from top-shelf performers.
Good or bad, Bricklin said the movie was “marketable.” Perhaps the movie will make more than “Minimum Wage.”