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The Formula

USA 2013
produced by
Brandon Baker, Thomas Beecher, Joe Clarke, Tim Nash, Ravi Patel (executive) for Backrow Studios
directed by Joe Clarke, Thomas Beecher
starring Brandon Baker, Mike Schminke, Sasha Jackson, Reginald VelJohnson, Katie Goebel, Tyler Thirnbeck, Matt Sheridan, Ben Kass, Katie Lynn McDowell, Megan Hensley, Greg Geffrard, Stephanie Gonzalez, Wendi Wendt, Steve Kennevan, Ravi Patel, Casey Hartnett, Thomas Ely Sage, Frank Meeink, James Morris, Rachel Kodner, Joel W. Collins
written by Joe Clarke, music by A-Spell, Blue Island Tribe, Red Water Revival, Glinka, MC Vivaldi, Carl Carlton

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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College students Quinn (Brandon Baker) and Graham (Mike Schminke) have the rather typical problems with women for guys their age: Quinn has fallen for T.J. (Katie Goebel), a teacher he has met at work at his part-time job, but she only wants him as a friend, and Graham is in a relationship with Amy (Sasha Jackson), but she doesn't really want to commit and is dating other guys behind his back, something she doesn't even try to hide too hard - pretty much exactly the kind of situations to break collegeboys' hearts all over.

Now Quinn and Graham are not just any college students though, they are really bright, and they run a project on mind-control - so they figure out a formula how to seem attractive to and chat up women and get into their panties in no time at all ... and they are so impressed by initial results to try and make this into a field story before trying the formula on their number one crushes ... and wouldn't you know it, they score every time. For a time there, they live every collegeboy's dream, and for a time there, they won't deny for a second they don't enjoy shagging yet another hot broad every night ... but eventually it gets too much for the both of them, they didn't create the formula to collect trophies after all but to score with the respective "loves of their lives" - but when they try the formula out on them, this only creates utter chaos ...

Reginald VelJohnson plays the boys' strict yet understanding tutor.


Now I'm fully aware of the fact that above sypopsis of The Formula will most probably make the film sound like a completely moronic college comedy that bears little resemblance to real (college) life but is firmly rooted in fart jokes, beer jokes, dick jokes and the like - and yet that's what the movie is not at all, because beneath its (intentionally) silly premise, there is actually much truth about the actual (romantic) relations of the sexes, and while the film might not be totally free of slightly sexist jokes (how could it be with a premise like this?), these are usually turned onto their heads at a later date. Now add to this an extremely likeable cast, and an elegant and subtle direction that only goes for the cheap joke if it's in an ironic manner (if that makes any sense at all), and you've got yourself a movie that's what college comedies should be like (but all too rarely are).



review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD