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STUDIO: Buckley Brothers Productions
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 93 Minutes
-Commentary by The Buckley Brothers
Jake’s How-To is a Milwaukee produced coming-of-age feature comedy
about a beach volleyball prodigy struggling to find himself on and off
the court. Inspired by Milwaukee’s beach volleyball players.
Land-locked state college spring break!
Starring Kevin Oestenstad
Directed by Vincent Buckley
Milwaukee is the home of good beer. It’s also the home of a bunch of schlubs trying to be Volleyball players.
While I’m not familiar with the Chewer that created the film, I happen to see some of the staples that bring CHUD together as a greater family. Low-brow jokes, cleavage and uncouth humor are all the nectar of the Film Geek Gods. But, it’s hard to smoothe these tropes into one grand story. Unfortunately, Jake’s How To doesn’t make it work. Yet, I’m not willing to call it a bad film.
Don’t just act like Charbet. Be the Charbet!
The film is pretty good in that low-budget sense. I took a lot of shit the last time I made the differential between low and bigger films. It still is a different set of criteria that you apply to the work of smaller films. They’re doing it for less and often with no desire to see their work become the creme of the crop. It’s a gaggle of friends coming together with simple stories about simple things in order to make some nice side cash. This film is no different.
You gonna get raped.
You get a fairly simplistic story about beach bums from nowhere near the beach, as they try to hit all those typical youthful goals. Pussy, pride and more pussy. Lessons are learned and bonds are forged. That’s all that matters. If you try to delve past these superficial leanings for something more substantial, you’re going to get your little hand smacked. What you are watching here is the narrative equivalent of a demo reel. Can the creative team get from Point A to Point B? Does the film look decent and can you hear the dialogue?
If you cut it off, it won’t grow back. You are not a lizard.
Outside of these average criteria, you come down to the heart of the matter. Did I care for the story or anybody that dwelled within it? The simplest answer? No. But, you can only follow a simplistic quest for identity for so long before it starts to turn into a running strand of everything that had been seen prior. Jake’s How To isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it’s going to get the Buckley Brothers noticed. If I had to tack on a few suggestions, it would be to sharpen down the script. You had a good idea with the focus on the Beach Volleyball Crew, but that kind of drifted off into space. Also, hire a casting agency. You can find them on that cheap in your typical metro area. Pulling on your friends and local talent works to a point, but you need someone to address who works in what roles. The Buckley Brothers have something here and I look forward to what comes out next.
Somebody found their special purpose.
technical specs are decent for an indie production. You get some outtakes, trailers and a commentary from the production team. Those are decent special features for an upstart. While I might not have cared for the total package, I see a promising start for the Buckley Brothers. That’s why I recommend renting it, if you can find it.
6.7 out of 10