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The Great Mall Reversal (* * * drama,  95min): The story of a hapless photo lab tech and camera salesman who manages to mess up so many orders so badly that he is "sent back down" to what his store manager calls "the minor leagues." This "minor league" job is at a soda fountain in the mall where he'd worked before "graduating" to the photo lab position. Curious entanglements with a hairdresser force him to navigate the mall using only the "servant's corridors" which run behind all of the stores and hide the trash compactors and full-throated cardboard bailers from the view of customers. The tech soon finds himself in the thrall of a revolutionary counter culture of anti-mall shy men or Gophers who cannot endure the gazes of beautiful women and are planning to overthrow the current mall "regime" and force all of the stores in the mall to gate up their fronts and do business out of their back doors. Their plan works but soon so many shoppers crowd the mall's back corridors that the Gophers find themselves constantly harassed, tackled and depanted, their pants invariably wrapped several times around their faces. The situation grows intolerable, so the lab tech, with a renovated resume, appears in the locker room of a local newspaper and improbably talks the editor into giving him "one last shot at the Big Time" by promising an exclusive "insider scoop" about what has come to be known as "The Great Mall Reversal." Triumphantly, he runs into the mall, waving a copy of the paper in which his "Dispatches From the Mall-Hole" story appears. Incidentally, everyone is clapping. . . in slow motion. (PG-13, ~IS, ~SAP)

Writing in Silence ( * comedy, 84min): Though this gag-laden, writing-related farce begins in, of all places, the tiny two-bedroom rent-a-home of a wanna-be-writer (played by Mark O'Neil) and his wife (grudgingly played by Annette O'Neil), most of the film's zany antics actually take place in the wanna-be-writer's simple, orthodox mind. Sitting down at his computer to write late one night, the writer remembers the day his wife and her sister abandoned him to his sister-in-law's large, empty-ish house. Left to his own devices, he remembers ransacking the house, pursued room to room by their jittery white Chihuahua (Paco), in search of his sister-in-law's sexual aids and his brother-in-law's porno stash. Of course, he finds nothing and ends up settling for the bookmarked porno sites on their home computer to which he masturbates dutifully into his own hand at their desk. Afterward, unable to meet the Chihuahua's accusatory glare, he is so anxious about leaving even the faintest trace of his activities that he ends up wiping down the entire room with Swiffer Hand Wipes, and, afraid the flagrant airing (and flagellating) of his genitals in the room might leave some kind of, albeit faint, odor behind, sprays down the entire house with Lysol. Awakening in the present, he seizes the opportunity, while his wife is sleeping, to masturbate into the shower drain, all the while imagining the shower stall to be the one he'd used in his sister-in-law's house, her inviolable shower, off the guest bedroom, upstairs. (Film not rated, ~CC, ~IS)

FDR (**** drama, 120 min): FDR's death in 1941 is not admitted by the administration for some three years. The corpse of FDR, puppeted from a helicopter, daily meets with senior White House advisors and the Vice President Harry Truman out on the White House lawn. Truman grows skeptical of FDR's being alive one day when the president's head keeps banging off the table. All of the advisors mimic the president, whacking their heads off the table, as food debris, papers, leaves, grass and flakes of FDR's fungus ridden flesh whorl all about them, stirred by the chopper blades into a turbulent whirlwind of presidential damnation. Only Truman's head is hard enough to withstand the pounding and the rest of the administration soon dies off. (TV-PG, ~IS, ~SAP)

Spam From the President (no stars, 85min): This zany sequel to Writing in Silence takes up where the original left off finding our wanna-be-writer rushing from the shower to the computer in order to edit the text of the story he's just written. Through a monotonous series of flashbacks in juxtaposition to scenes comprising his corrections, we realize that, fearing reprisals from his family, he has changed the names in this new version to read "wanna-be-painter, painter's wife, stranger woman we don't know, and the stranger woman's house."The painter does not masturbate in the room, at the desk, into his own hand, but rather "carefully and respectfully, reading a printed-out fundraising letter (Spam) from President Bush, over the stranger woman's toilet on which toilet paper had been arranged to catch errant spillage." The scene in which he imagines himself in his sister-in-law's private, "inviolable" upstairs shower is changed to "he did not shower in the shower the stranger woman had told him not to shower in." (~CC, ~IS)

Relentless Paco (* * movie short, 29min): A jittery, white Chihuahua's encounter with a guilt-afflicted young, starving painter who, having broken into the house for food, hackneyedly shakes a paint tube in a meticulously kept white mudroom until it explodes and soils everything, including the dog itself, with magenta oil paint. The weeping painter, afraid his boss will find out, erases the word "sister" everywhere it appears until it is clear to everyone outside watching that what he's done was not wrong. He heaps everything into the washing machine, a futile gesture that only pinkens the dog, the paint settling only deeper into the dog's laundered fur and into the husband's white shirts and the wife's silk dainties. The painter has no choice but to leave with all of these things -- dog, clothes, underwear -- in a suitcase embarking upon a pat ending in which he drags these things in the mud behind him until he is up to his neck in the mud and, finally, the mud -- it swallows him. (~IS, ~SAP)

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