Uncorked (2010)

Uncorked5Actor Phil Hall is something of a perfectionist, a man who really fancies himself an improvisational artist. It’s not too often we see actors in films who are willing to improvise, and Phil Hall is a man who has co-starred in many independent films and is an individual who believes in the ability to improvise to give us moments in film that scripts can’t conceive. “Uncorked” is a thirty minute experimental short featuring actor Phil Hall basically staging his own one man show where he shows the audience what he’s capable of in the realm of improv and playing it by ear.

For fans of the theater, “Uncorked” is an impressive and oddly entertaining bit of one man showmanship where star Phil Hall (playing a character) sits on a park bench and proceeds to divulge every single anecdote about his life all the while chucking unusual one-liners at the viewer that are laugh riots and will be easily missed. Star Hall as this character has a unique presence on screen where he’s able to keep the attention on him and his character even when he’s rambling on about dwarves and lighters, and it makes for some fascinating monologues, and a surefire example of how to keep the screen on you and use your body as an instrument to keep the audience compelled and without diversion.

And even when we’re sitting down and wondering where this is leading we can’t help but notice that “Uncorked” is basically without a plot. Does a film need a plot to keep audiences entertained? We’re not sure why this character is the spotlight of this little event caught on camera, and we’re not sure why he’s such an interesting being. Surely enough, though, we’re allowed to capture a glimpse in to a man with a lot to say.

A man who doesn’t mind giving away too much information for the audience and greeting us with a glazed expression of ignorance whenever he makes a comment about his dick and getting erections to Judi Dench. “Uncorked” watches very much like a short play, and it’s one that can keep audiences watching and observing, if only to see if Hall’s character will ever get that damn cigarette lit. Almost the antithesis of a formula short film, “Uncorked” is in a league all its own channeling the likes of Jim Jarmusch and Richard Linklater to express a verbose and often entertaining character piece that may not be apart of a bigger narrative, but is still about something of substance at the end of the day.