Timothy J. Cox, Oise Ohiwerei, David P.B. Stephens DIRECTED BY
Zachary Halfter SCREENPLAY
Zachary Halfter (Story), Stephen Pavlics RUNNING TIME
"Solutions" the Debut Feature from Zachary Halfter
Solutions is the latest short film to feature indie actor Timothy J. Cox, a regular contributor to The Independent Critic with a wide range of indies, mostly shorts, ranging from the truly sublime to the just plain godawful.
Solutions, the first film from director Zachary Halfter, is stuck somewhere in the middle.
In the film, Cox portrays James Cross, a not so popular businessman who decides to run for mayor against a far more popular opponent. Determined to improve his chances, Cross hires Derek Price (David P.B. Stephens), a fixer, to, well, improve the odds of a victory. Derek, in turn, has decided it's a good time to bring his son, Damon (Oise Ohiwerei), into the business in a fine example of baptism by fire.
A nearly 20-minute short, Solutions has a wistfully nostalgic feeling to it courtesy of Derek's fondly shared narration recalling his early days in the biz. Cox proves to be capably smarmy, not far removed from another certain popular politician with historically low popularity numbers. It's an approach that mostly works, though the film's slightly uneven sound mix occasionally leaps into disrupting that sense of nostalgia.
Solutions is a solid debut effort from Halfter, a film that pretty much plays out how you expect and never really draws you in but also never really pushes you away. Occasionally involving, Solutions is at its best when Cox is going at it and, fortunately, that's rather often in this nearly 20-minute effort. You can check the film out for yourself above.
The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.