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The best thing about Cinequest is the fact that I get to hang out in the Hospitality suite and meet and greet a lot of the directors, writers, actors, and press. Now, this year, I had the honor of meeting a bunch of great people, and one of them, Mr. Adam Reist, director of the short film Back 2 One, and I got to talking about the Fanboy Planet site and he gave me a copy of an earlier short he had done called Supertalk. I didn't get around to watching it for a while, but if there was ever a short film made for the fanboy set, this is it.

Supertalk began with a contest in WIZARD. It made a challenge to readers to come up with a 5-minute movie on comics, something that you should never do, since our type are apt to try and meet the challenge. The boys got together and wrote it and filmed it, the result being Supertalk, a movie that goes over the time limit by 300%.

The film is the story of the Dr. Flora Harbinger show and a night's worth of callers. Dr. Flora, Kathleen Chalfant, is every bit the stone-cold bitch that her near-namesake can be. Chalfant plays her big, but not so big that you feel like it's merely an impression. She actually brings a fair amount to the character that you wouldn't expect from the real deal, and I found myself more interested in her than in the callers, which is odd when you consider that they were all superheroes.

Yep, every caller that night could be found in the pages of various Marvel and DC comics. All of them calling under their alter-egos, the jokes that you expect are all there: Clark wondering if Lois can "handle him," Diana wondering why she and Supes never hooked-up, Spiderman lamenting loss, and Robin questioning his relationship with Batman.

Those of us who are familiar with the comics will laugh, even though the jokes are obviously coming down the pipe. The calls are very well done, never feeling like a tired, one joke moment. Each is developed further, and the interaction between Dr. Flora and the callers are great. When the lines start crossing, things get funnier.

The callers' voices are played by some pretty big stars. Billy Crudup of Almost Famous, a few soap opera stars, and a couple of Broadway performers (including the awesome Alice Ripley) are the callers, though none of them appear as themselves on screen. The shots of the callers are handled so you never see their faces, which took some doing, but cinematographer Dylan Sanford handles things beautifully, making the shots work and giving a signature look to the film that works in both the gritty talk radio sense and the superhero worlds.

Shot in and around New York City, the production values were fantastic, and it felt like a film that a studio would have made for internal enjoyment, like the Trey Parker and Matt Stone films done for Universal.

This is the work of fanboys, and I missed a couple of jokes that were there, and I felt like I should know. It has been a while since I read any Hulk. It kept me going the whole way through, and at twenty minutes, it's longer than most of the short films I favor, and I was never bored. Maybe it could have been a couple of minutes shorter, but the pay off at the end, the classic twist that you knew had to be coming, makes it all worthwhile.

So, go, get thee to www.supertalkthemovie.com and find out all about it. See it! Recommend it to folks. Movies like this get made all the time, and this one is by far the best I've seen in ages, and almost none of them get much respect, regardless of quality. Supertalk is well worth searching out, and if folks get to talking, more fanboy-centric films may make their way to us.

All in all, I like me a good comic book comedy, and this one is really good.

Chris Garcia

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