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Fare Games

Starring Eddie Estefan and Russell Stewart
Based on a story by Isaac Agami
Screenplay and Directed by Brian O'Hara
no website

IN SHORT: Collegiate level flick. [Not Rated]

Cranky is going to clue y'all in to the special code used by promotion materials for indie films, 'cuz I sit through enough of first timer flicks to know it. When you read a sentence like "The picture has received critical acclaim on the film festival circuit" it usually means the other post-collegiate film students are congratulating a fellow first timer on actually getting their project finished and shown on a big screen.

I'm speaking from personal experience as well -- and, no, you are not going to see any of my film student or post collegiate work on this site 'cuz I get enough dissmail from kidlets who tell me that I don't think hard enough about the meaning behind, or the troubles involved in making indie films. Truth is folks, you should be amazed that I have the stomach to sit through these films, always with an eye to find the potential gem in the sludge that I can recommend to you. Fare Games is not that gem. This flick looks just a shade better than all the other student films I sat through back in my days at Northwestern and NYU. It's an adequate and occasionally amusing story of two middle aged cab drivers, one married and one divorced, and their affairs with younger women.

Jimmy (Eddie Estefan) is the married one. Seventeen years and two kidlets later, Jimmy is still thinking with his other head, which leads to an affair with the 20 year old Jennifer (Marina Morgan) and the revelation that a quick romp in the sack is worth $98.75, the fare she owes he before the good naked stuff goes down. Martin (Russell Stewart), who has only a cat named Whiskey for company, befriends a topless dancer named Susie (Elizabeth Curtain) and, get this, is berated by his friend for messing with a younger woman. Martin and Susie are lonely as hell. Jennifer is manipulative. Jimmy's wife Barbara (Andre Leigh) is a shlub. There may be an interesting flick here, but the script by director Brian O'Hara doesn't deliver it.

Like most first time flicks, everyone is learning their jobs. Most of the actors don't know where to put their hands while they do their scenes. Director O'Hara pads the film with lots of street shots of New York, 'cuz there's not a lot you can do when virtually every scene is two characters talking. That's the curse of the low budget. Estefan's Jimmy comes off the best, as his character is an inveterate liar whose excuses to his wife as to why he was late getting home are the highlights of the flick. Fare Games may be loved on the festival circuit, but there's little about it that will make you happy to shell out big bucks for the movie ticket.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Fare Games, he would have paid . . .


So here's to producer Isaac Agami, who got his dream made, and cast himself in a nice, juicy and badly acted part, not once but twice.

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