By Jude Cole (Portland, OR)
All Things Random and Phalanx Film & Video score big time with their latest comedy, Greg’s Guardian Angel. Cheers especially to writer Dan Conrad for his sharp and very funny script. All Things Random and Phalanx Film & Video are a spirited group; let’s hope they continue this success into future projects.
All nice guy Greg (Greg Vorob) wants to do is live his life in harmony. He goes to work, for the unusually named SPATCO (What could they possibly manufacture?) and tries to live his life on the straight and narrow path. One day, he’s paid a visit by his guardian angel (Elmer J. Santos) whose job it is to make sure that Greg stays on that straight and narrow path and while the relationship proves fruitful in the beginning, by the end of All Things Random and Phalanx Film & Videos hilarious 11 minute short, this angel proves to be one royal pain in the butt.
All Things Random and Phalanx Film & Video have collaborated on several projects over the years, but the results have always been a mixed bag. Critics have often taken issue with their projects’ poor quality, especially in the visuals department and I have to agree with my colleagues on the assessment of their previous works. Their pilot Overcrowded from 2007 proved to be a bit of a misguided mess, suffering from too many subplots and some downright sloppy camera work, while their recent effort Marty and Doug’s New Religion was a step in the right direction, but also shared many of the same technical problems as Overcrowded.
With Greg’s Guardian Angel though, they’ve hit a home run. It’s the funniest, sharpest work they have produced yet, thanks largely to Dan Conrad’s script, which is right on the money and Dan Kowalski’s direction and camera work, which is focused and assured.
I think the biggest issue that I’ve had with the groups work in the past is that it often looked too improvised and thrown together, perhaps trying a little too hard to mirror what Christopher Guest and his troupe have done so successfully on films like Waiting For Guffman and Best in Show. In the case of Greg’s Guardian Angel, the whole package seems more put together and the results are a real delight.
Greg Vorob shines as the earnest and likable Greg, while Elmer J. Santos is an absolute riot as the angel, complete with Orson Welles-like voice. From the supporting cast Jack Moran and Timothy J. Cox shine bright as Greg’s grinning and gregarious bosses.
A vast improvement on their previous projects, All Things Random and Phalanx Film & Video’s Greg’s Guardian Angel is definitely worth a look.
For information on Greg’s Guardian Angel, please visit: www.gregsguardianangel.com