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Tucci Makes Trouble Look Good!

By Rob M. Worley
Courtesy of Comics2Film

Billy Tucci is well known in comic circles as being at the forefront of the independent comic publishing movement of the 1990s. His book Shi which Tucci wrote, illustrated and self-published enjoyed unprecedented sales for an independent book. In 2001, Tucci took his first steps into another storytelling medium by filming the live-action short comedy Some Trouble of a SeRRious Nature.

Comics2Film recently took a look at the 26:46 minute movie. This version of the movie is an extended director's cut. A shorter release is being prepped for the 2003 festival circuit.

The movie opens with a text scroll that sets up the premise for the movie: After the close of World War II, Bill McCarthy, Assistant Service Manager of Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft received a distressing letter of complaint from one Caleb Flerk. The missive raised eyebrows because Flerk claimed ownership of a F4U Corsair fighter plane, a craft sold only to the U.S. Military. Furthermore, Mr. Flerk, clearly a backwoods fellow, is woefully ill-prepared to be using such a vehicle (much less the typewriter that he wrote the letter with). The movie, then, is a comedic depiction of the circumstances described in Flerk's letter.

The film opens with a playful credit sequence that sets the tone for the comedy. Credit text is typed out in the broken-typewriter font and phonetic English that the main character favors. For example, Tucci's credit reads, "Ritten, Pradoozed n' directum by Boom-boOOm ToOochy."

From there we open on the Flerk homestead (a stereotypical hillbilly hangout, complete with moonshine jug, outdoor bath tub and confederate flag) where Flerk (played by Brian T. Finney), with two busted legs, hunts and pecks his way through his letter of complaint.

What follows then is the story of how a Navy pilot, having just gotten the news that the war is over, lands his F4U in Flerk's backyard, leaving the hick, and his snaggletoothed pal to take possession of the aircraft.

Brian T. Finney and brother Andrew Finney play the cerebrally-challenged compadres who assume ownership of the fighter plane. Both actors have experience playing bit parts in Hollywood productions. It should come as no surprise that they do a good job portraying the two yokels intent on using the war machine for, "sportin' about in the evenings, after chores."

Tucci makes an auspicious debut as a fiilmmaker. His camera work is very impressive. Although it's a low-budget affair, Some Trouble looks first-rate. There are a few sequences where we see the fighter plane in flight and our characters interacting with it. While I would have assumed such action sequences were impossible to do on a limited budget, Tucci does them and does them well.

Apparently some of the plane shots are CGI effects by John Vilardi. I say "apparently" because their integration with the rest of the movie is fairly seamless. There's only one shot that I was able to identify as CGI and even that one is top-notch. The rest are so well done you don't even notice them.

The comedy plays very broad and cartoony. Most laughs come from poking fun at the eccentric and none-too-bright residents of Hockeyjock. There're plenty of gags that rely on the town folks' fixations with spitting, farting and other scatological functions but the movie is mostly good for some laughs with some downright hilarious moments.

The short film financed by Executive Producer Andrew Steffens looks a lot more expensive than it actually is and is very polished for the work of a first-time filmmaker. All in all, Some Trouble is a promising start to a filmmaking career.

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