Cyn (2007)

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Ranked #7,766
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Stephaine Michaels
Stephaine Michaels
Josh Randall
Josh Randall
Frank Rodriguez
Frank Rodriguez
Derek Latta
Derek Latta
Review by Chad
Added: June 16, 2007
In recent months, I've came to the realization that I hate short films. Wait, let me explain that: I love the concept of short films, that being to take an idea that doesn't warrant a feature length film and putting it on the screen, and one of my favorite films of the year thus far (Cannibal Flesh Riot!) was actually a short film. However, what I'm starting to hate is the vast majority of the short films which are hitting the market, festivals, and yes, even MySpace. Most of these films seem to miss the entire point of the short film structure, opting to use this format not to present a story, but to instead build up to a single joke or gore sequence. I like to laugh and I love some good gore, but having an entire film centered around one gag simply isn't for me.

This leads us to tonight's film, which is actually a trimmed down version of the upcoming feature film “Red Princess Blues.” The storyline for it is simple: the titular character Cyn (Stephaine Michaels) is strapped to a chair while her kidnappers (Josh Randall and Frank Rodriguez) contemplate what to do with her. Cyn eventually turns the tables on them courtesy of some nice mind games, and the end result of all of this is... well, pretty damned neat, but I won't spoil it.

There's not a whole lot to the storyline, granted, but keep in mind that this is a short film which clocks in at just a little over five minutes (that includes the ending credits). However, the storyline that is presented here is actually quite intriguing, and much like Ferrari's previous film of this nature (Broken), it sets the stage for an eventual feature length follow up nicely and definitely leaves the viewer breathlessly anticipating it in order to find out where the story goes from here.

I normally don't detail production notes and behind-the-scenes info in these reviews, but in this case, I have to make an exception. You see, Cyn came to be after Mr. Ferrari ranked in the top 100 of Steven Speilberg's “On the Lot” reality show, which prompted the producers of said show to ask him to create a short film in just six days. For under a thousand bucks, they did just that... and the results of this endeavor certainly doesn't come across as a thousand dollar, six day project. These guys really know how to stretch a dollar and make every last cent show up on the screen by way of special effects while still telling a great story, and if some studio bigwig ever decides to hand these guys nothing more than the equivalent of the catering bill for The Matrix 29, they could really create something for the ages.

Definitely check it out, and keep an eye out for the feature length version whenever it comes out. This film sets the stage for its eventual release wonderfully, as it tells an extremely compelling story while leaving the viewer wanting more. 9/10.
Review by Tristan
Added: October 18, 2007
First things first. Fuck! Why do we live in a world where awful films flood the theatres every month, and yet, something like this may never see the light of day? In 5 short minutes, this film made The Bride look like Meryl Streep.

Cynthia (Stephanie Michaels), or Cyn, wakes up tied to a chair while Mr. Sugar (Josh Randall) and Otto (Frank Rodriguez), her kidnappers, watch over her until their client arrives. This doesn't last long however, as she quickly gains the upper hand, compliments of some fine moves and clever mind games. All the while, they're being watched on CCTV by a mysterious man. Who is this man? Is he the client? Why was she kidnapped? Who calls themselves Mr. Sugar? Unfortunately these questions aren't answered in the film. So in that regard, I was disappointed. On the other hand, I'm very anxious to see just how the feature film would turn out. Alex Ferrari did a bang-up job of getting me pumped to see more. The ending of this film was set up wonderfully to continue the story, and damn if the final scene wasn't bloody good. A neat idea, nice visual effects, and it's actually pretty funny.

Rather than restate the budget details, I'll just agree with Chad that, for the money they had, they did a great job. Sure, the actual runtime of the film is 3 minutes, plus opening and end credits, but the whole package is amazing. The opening credits are an eye pleaser, but the end credits are unbelievable. They really look like something you'd see on a $30 million big budget movie. Seems odd to get all worked up about end credits, but they truly were something to marvel.

Find this movie. It really is a must-see. I think anybody can appreciate what Ferrari has done with a shoestring budget and even though I'm not a huge fan of action movies, I really enjoyed this. Even though it's independent, it's still good enough to entertain Joe Moviegoer, and that says a lot for a 5 minute movie.

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