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Caged Movie Review

alexander rand charlie san

Regardless of the budgetary constraints of Caged, which were clearly considerable, the stakes in this San Francisco indie by first-time director Rand Alexander are way too low for a feature. Charlie Caine (Michael Todd) has visions of being a director of commercials rather than the legal depositions his job requires him to record on video. But Charlie's life is as clueless as his ambitions. He goes to a bar to flirt with a girl friend where he knows that another girl friend is a waitress, then complains because the waitress isn't getting the message he's failed to deliver, that He's Moved On. Things get a little violent and the waitress gets hurt, although its obvious she still cares about Charlie. Worst of all, Charlie puts a kettle on the stove and leaves his apartment; the front door swings shut, trapping him between the locked front door and the locked security gate for DAYS. By this point, I'm thinking this guy is too stupid to live or for me to care about. There are funny lines and ideas in Caged, but the narrative, which sets up situations and then abandons them, hops all over the place. It's all supposed to be set against the backdrop of San Francisco's swing scene, but the soundtrack is basically wallpapered with old radio transcriptions of big band broadcasts from the 1940s. Videotapes are available through randFilms LTD., 1333 26th Avenue, San Francisco, California 94122. Played at San Francisco's Indie Fest in January 1999.

1997 90m/C Denis Liliegren, Samantha Sams, Barry Smith, Pete Marvel, Michael Todd, Rand Alexander, Brent Deal; D: Rand Alexander; W: Rand Alexander; C: Brent Deal.

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