Mr. Movie

'9th & Bay' can't keep critics at bay

The next-to-last offering in Carmike’s annual Independent Film Festival is 9th & Bay.

Writer/director Nick Lanciano stars as himself in his own movie. Why not? It’s his own real-life story.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

Before marriage and the family, Lanciano dreamed of being a moviemaker. He is also a former pro boxer.

The film starts when Lanciano owned a failing satellite installation business. He’s behind on the bills and the collectors are calling. Lanciano refuses to bag the business and get a job because he doesn’t want to work for someone else. Being under another’s thumb has no appeal.

Lanciano wants to be a filmmaker or somehow find work in the business of making movies. Judging by the quality of Lunciano’s film — he ought to reconsider.

The point of Lunciano’s story is that dreams die hard. It’s a good one.

Every interview for a film-related job demonstrates exceptional qualifications. They also lead to questions of education. Lunciano has no college background. No degree — qualified or not — and its bye, bye job.

Lanciano’s frustrations are easy to understand. Getting through them are not. His script is often incoherent, and until the conclusion, he sings the same note over and over.

And Lunciano’s story is not that interesting. Also hurting the production is the quality of the cinematography, editing and the sound. And the supporting acting is terrible.

His movie — ironically — is not a total loss. While the guy isn’t a very good filmmaker and you can understand why he can’t find work in the business, he is a terrific actor. Early in the movie — which is filmed in Philadelphia — Lanciano’s personality and acting style are reminiscent of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa. He’s incredibly likable, very natural and easy to watch.

Earlier, a suggestion was offered that Lanciano ought to not make movies. What he shouldn’t do is stop seeking supporting acting gigs or even a starring role.

But please, don’t write or direct.

Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars

Rated R for mature themes and language. It opens at the Carmike 12 on Tuesday, May 11.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.