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Public Access Movie Review

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Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects won two Academy Awards (Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor) in 1995. Public Access is not in the same league, but it's an interesting first effort by a filmmaker who clearly learned a great deal from the experience. Whiley Pritcher (Ron Marquette) arrives in the small town of Brewster, and launches a public access call-in show with the theme: “What's wrong with Brewster?” A question more to the point might be: “What's wrong with Whiley Pritcher?” but we never hear the answer to that one (maybe he's an under-achieving relative of Keyser Soze!). Pritcher becomes as much of a celebrity as one can be in a backwater community like Brewster, and then…oh, watch it for yourself! Christopher McQuarrie collaborated with Michael Feit Dougan and Singer on the script (when he worked alone on Suspects, he won an Oscar). A promising start to what I hope will be long and increasingly fascinating careers for both Singer and McQuarrie.

1993 (R) 90m/C Ron Marquette, Dina Brooks, Burt Williams, Charles Kavanaugh, Larry Maxwell, Brandon Boyce; D: Bryan Singer; W: Bryan Singer, Christopher McQuarrie, Michael Feit Dougan; C: Bruce Douglas Johnson; M: John Ottman. Sundance Film Festival ‘93: Grand Jury Prize. VHS

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