Welcome to Cinema Six, an independent movie theatre with a slightly odd staff, a dangerous goose in the parking lot, and 5 state of the art digital screens. Nobody speaks of the sixth. And so begins the hilarious journey into the world of independent cinema with Coming Distractions. Directed by Mikelle Virey and written by Marc Reyer Grant, this pilot episode for a series that I can only hoped finds some funding and a home, follows newly hired manager Rebecca (Felicia Simone), as she begins work at Cinema Six. She starts her first day be meeting the unique staff, including owner David Darvis (David Huband), head manager Andrew (Justin Mader), and staff Jordan (Mathew Edmondson), Sunny (Sofie Uretsky), Isobel (Berkley Silverman), and Frank (David Webster). Rebecca is also introduced to her first set of problems when a pornographic image is found in one of their video games, as well as the goose that stalks the parking lot, attacking people before vanishing into the night again.
I’m not sure about everybody else out there, but it’s always been my secret dream to work in a movie theatre or a video store. With that second option pretty much eliminated, I’m forced to dream of a day when I can dish out butter substitute myself. While I wait, there’s always Coming Distractions to hold me over. With a pilot episode available to view on YouTube now, plans for an entire season are already underway, and viewer support is what the team behind the series is looking for.
This is an hilarious look at some of the very strange happenings at an independent theatre, and in case you’re wondering, all of these events have actually happened. Shot at Film.Ca Cinemas in Oakville, things like an angry goose in the parking lot and some inappropriate images found in a video game console, have actually occurred there. The creators promise there are plenty of other crazy stories to tell, and after watching the first episode, you’ll be dying to hear more.
Right away, there are plenty of little mysteries to be explored, as well as some moments that will be hilarious to watch play out over the course of more episodes. Cinema Six only has 5 theatres, and the sixth is a story that nobody wants to talk about. With so many weird things going on, and the rather odd staff, the story behind why nobody talks about the sixth theatre is something that has to be a wild one. There’s George, the wild goose in the parking lot, who may actually be trying to steal the show, and the few moments he is on screen are fantastic.
Throw in staff members like Jordan, who has an intense desire to perform well, but perhaps lacks the skill to actually do it, or Sunny, who is definitely on the borderline of unstable, and you’ve got a comedy hit. Coming Distractions certainly has an odd sense of humour, which is great because many of the punchlines come out of left field. It may feel like a sitcom, but the comedy steers clear of the obvious jokes. It also features a few movie trailer spoofs, with the pilot episode featuring a preview of Cardinal Kickboxer II, a film that Cinema Six gets to screen a week in advance. The preview is funny, but it would be great to see it be expanded a little. Think of it like a teaser. It would be great to see a full spoof trailer show up in the future, but even at this kind of teaser level, it would still be amazing to see at least one show up in every episode.
The cast do a great job all around, and a rivalry is set up between Cinema Six and Mega Film Plex where Rebecca used to work. Her old co-workers Haley (Torri Webster) and Herbert (Nathan McLeod) are the reason Rebecca left Mega Film Plex, the corporate rival of independent Cinema Six, and they plan to do anything they can to ruin their competition and have Rebecca come crawling back for a job. They’re classic Boris and Natasha type villains, with their elaborate plans never panning out for them.
All this is found in the pilot episode, and it all works wonderfully. The comedy is great, the performances are strong, and the show looks incredible. To make things even more entertaining, both Cinema Six and Mega Film Plex have Twitter accounts where they take jabs at each other. You have to love that they’re building this world for everybody to take part in, and I’m really hoping to see a lot more of the Cinema Six staff in the future. Be sure to head over to their YouTube page to check out the pilot episode.