Review: ‘Bass Ackwards’

A project with a driver but too little gas in the tank.

A project with a driver but too little gas in the tank, Linas Phillips’ narrative debut, “Bass Ackwards,” takes a barely likable and woefully passive dweeb on the road for an endless trek from Seattle to the East Coast. The purpose may be self-discovery, or just biding time until something happens. Nothing does, nor is there any worthwhile attempt to serve the pic’s goal of merging reality and fiction. Boredom results. Cutting to the chase, distribution-wise, the pic is already available for iTunes download, Amazon VOD and DVD pre-order. Welcome to the future, of a sort.

Linas (the acting-challenged Phillips, who made a poor choice in casting himself in the semi-autobiographical role) gets kicked out of his buddy’s house, and is in a hopeless affair with a married woman (Davie-Blue). Reduced to tending a llama farm in Puget Sound, he decides to do a roadie in a VW van back to his parents in Boston. Along the way, he runs into a few oddballs with lives more compelling than Linas’. The many improv scenes tend to be shapeless, except for scene-stealing llamas.

Bass Ackwards

Production

A New Video and Zipline Entertainment (online) release of a Furnace Films/Woodrow/the Group Entertainment presentation in association with Zipline Entertainment. Produced by Thomas Woodrow. Executive producers, Mark Duplass, Marian Koltai-Levine. Co-producers, Gill Holland, Stu Pollard. Directed by Linas Phillips. Screenplay, Phillips, Davie-Blue, Jim Fletcher, Paul Lazar.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Sean Porter; editors, Phillips, Brent Jutkiewicz; music, Lori Goldston, Tara Jane ONeil. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Next), Jan. 25, 2010. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Linas Phillips, Davie-Blue, Alex Karpovsky, Jim Fletcher, Paul Lazar, Christian Palmer, Andrew Liam Pringle.

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