The cast of ‘Stopping Utah’, all 19 of them, makes a review of the movie, and ALL of them, a rather large project. I think I’ll break it down to three parts. Part 1 the movie, part 2, the first half of the cast, and part 3, the second half of the cast. The actual synopsis for the movie is about 5 posts below, or you can look in the entertainment category. The quick version is, half the workers in this office comedy want to ‘off’ the boss, half want to keep him around.
This is the second Scott Thompson project I have seen, the first being ‘An Ideal Life’. That movie was a real eye opener. It being the first local independent film I had seen. It was nice seeing 3 of the same actors in this latest movie. One of the actors I would of loved to see in this latest venture, would of been Anna Boelman. She had an AMAZING performance in ‘An Ideal Life’. Plus, its unfair to compare the musical score of that movie, with this movie, Kent Weaver and Jamie Aaron Kelley may have had a once in a lifetime convergence.
If you have never seen a locally produced movie before, it takes a minute to get used to. Hollywood movies tend to be slick and flawless productions because they spend 4 months and tens of millions of dollars making them. They also tend to be vacuous, indistinguishable, boring, and offensive. The 2 Iowa films I have seen, have a rough edge now and again, but that is more then made up for in the warmth, “realness”, quality, and “feel” of an Iowa movie
Scott Thompson has written and directed this latest film. He has a definite talent for this. I have no idea how many films he has done now. Probably approaching a dozen (turns out he had done 32 at the time of this writing). The lighting, sets, and wardrobe, and editing, are good. Scott is a genius with casting. I can’t imagine ANYONE else playing the characters of Utah, Decker, Amelia, Patti, Angela, Skip, Sandy, and Clark.
In no way would I spoil the ending, so I’ll just pick out a few of my favorite parts. I thought the puppet scene where Jade is trying to send Utah over the edge was priceless. The two interviewees had a couple of great scenes while they waited. Any scene with Madeline in it. And the word association scenes with Patti from HR. Skip practicing his lines in the bathroom mirror to the longed for Sarah. Martin getting “physical”.
The bottom line is, ‘Stopping Utah’ is a fun and enjoyable movie. As with the previously mentioned ‘An Ideal Life’. For me, getting the DVD is a good idea, as they grow on you the second and third time around. And, for someone who is fed up with what Hollywood puts out, I’ll take an Iowa indie any time.
Stopping Utah: 4 stars