Deputy FrontBurner Film Reviewer Bradley Parker saw Hat Trick, and liked it.
Written & Directed by Jason McAfee
You know what I don’t see much of? Photographs of cameras, or photographs of film. I don’t see a lot of photographs of photographs for that matter either. I can’t remember seeing any paintings where the subject matter was paint, or a canvas. Nor can I recollect seeing a sculpture of a sculptor. However, I can rattle off a list of movies from recent memory that deal specifically with movies, whether it be about a writer getting his script produced, or a director getting his movie made. I can almost picture the pitch:
Writer: I have a great idea for your next film!
Producer: Lay it on me.
Writer: It’s about a writer trying to get his script produced.
Producer: Yes. Good luck with that.
Luckily for us, Hat Trick throws a wonderfully devious heist caper into the mix to keep things nice and spicy. The story centers on two aspiring filmmakers trying to get their heist picture produced by a local producer with the help of a double-crossing talent agent. The plot unfolds when we realize that the producer is a criminal scheming for his next big heist, the theft of ‘The Cup.’ A heist that sets that story into overdrive when he reads the young filmmakers’ script and realizes their fictitious script details an unnervingly similar heist of the same item; so unnerving and so similar that he believes he is being blackmailed by the shady talent agent. It then becomes incumbent upon our young filmmakers to stay one step ahead of the villains, and possibly even steal The Cup themselves in order to prevent it from being stolen in the first place.
I can’t make this stuff up, folks. You can thank the writer and director of Hat Trick, Jason McAfee, for that. He is a vivid storyteller that has crafted a tremendous, although small, film with an intricate, never complex, heist worthy of both Ocean’s 11’s (but not Ocean’s 12) and even both Thomas Crown Affairs. And while the editing was choppy in some parts and the dialogue sometimes improvised and random, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment this film had to offer.