02 February 2010

Handlebar: Steering Toward Disaster

Excellent news, folks: My filmmaking brothers in Michigan have an official premiere date for their groundbreaking new comedy feature, Handlebar. You can see it on Sunday, February 21st, at 7:00 pm at the Celebration Cinema in Lansing. If you can't make that, then you're in luck, because it will also be playing on the 22nd, 23rd, 26th, 27th, and 28th at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm each day. That's eleven shows for you to make! Frankly, if you're in Michigan, you don't have an excuse. Everyone should be there. EVERYONE!

If you're the type who needs to know the plot before seeing a movie (jeez, how demanding), then read this article, fan them on Facebook, or watch the trailer:

See? Like all the best movies, it has violence and comedy. What more could you possibly want? How about my personal Seal of Approval? Boom. Done. Has it. I've seen a portion of the first edit, and I was absolutely tickled by it. Tickled in an extremely manly way, of course. Speaking (relatively) seriously, the performances here are all top-notch, with Michael McCallum and Shane Hagedorn going balls out to make themselves as ridiculous as humanly possible. Just look at that punim:
Of course, if you are not in Michigan but still want to watch a great movie while supporting the truly independent arts, then the Handlebar store is open for business. You can individually purchase the DVD, the soundtrack, or the simply awesome poster with art by Dennis Preston, or you can get them all in one handy dandy bundle for $30.00. Cheap!

Some of you - probably my mother - are likely asking yourselves, "Say, Justin. Are you in this movie?" Sadly, the film lacks my devastating good looks, but based on my acting abilities that's probably for the best. I was a very minor player in dreaming up the story, however, and in telling you that tale, I help to illustrate just what a lengthy struggle creating any movie really is, particularly if you're out there on your own without a major studio to funnel you its illicit funds and cocaine.

Way back in...I'm going to say 2003, but it might have been 2004...Mike and I met up in an East Lansing restaurant then known as "Burger King." I dined on the 99 cent tacos, a menu item that was too perfect for this world - the restaurant did not sell them for very long, and so I stopped patronizing the establishment. No doubt this contributed to its current decline. We battered around story ideas, and came up with the initial beginnings of what would eventually become Handlebar. It was to be a short film about criminals who kidnap a spoiled rich boy for their boss, with everyone a complete incompetent.

We kept trading ideas for it around for another few years, and almost filmed it in...oh, I guess it was late 2005 or early 2006. My old age has made my memory spotty, and I don't have my OCD daily record calendars around to solidify my estimates. No matter. During this stage, we had a couple of setbacks, and the only thing of note that came out of it was the title. Friends, I do very much mean to boast when I tell you that I came up with that gem, perhaps the only thing of worth I have ever created. It came from the magnificent handlebar 'stache that Mike grew for the film, and from then on it stuck.

After I moved to New York, they grabbed hold of the story and completely turned it around. They made it better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster. They changed and expanded the characters and plot, made it funnier, more exciting, more entertaining.

The final result? Well, you can see that later this month. Buy your tickets now!

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to seeing this one. Since I'm not in Michigan anymore I guess I'll have to buy it.

    Also, the Leon link MADE MY DAY.