"On the Lot": Five Ford Commercials ... Er, Road Films

"On the Lot": Five Ford Commercials ... Er, Road Films

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this week's "On the Lot" was sponsored even more generously than usual by Ford. The five remaining directors all made films about the wonders of the open road — and, it would seem, the wonder of driving Ford vehicles on it. At one point, Adrianna Costa even stood like a showroom model next to one giant SUV, just in case we weren't getting the message.


Before we could get to the "road films," we had to see who was going to be eliminated after last week's comedies. Adrianna told the gang that Zach and Andrew had the fewest votes, but Zach just barely nosed ahead out to stay in the competition. Jason, meanwhile, won the box office tally again; as a reward, he got to work with Jerry O'Connell this week. Hmmm ... blessing or curse?

This week's guest judge was Gary Ross of Seabiscuit. The other Garry was mysteriously absent, but his sister Penny filled in instead, showing that babbling runs in the family. As for the five new films:

  • Adam started off the night with Driving Under the Influence, about a car stereo that makes people dance against their will. I think Adam's really at his best when he does things with dancing, for whatever reason, though I thought the ending was ridiculous. Carrie agreed that Adam rocks at the dancing, Gary thought it worked, and Penny was about as coherent as Garry typically is.
  • Sam came next with Backseat Driving Test, about a young man whose mother is an insufferable backseat driver. She gets sent to backseat driving rehab, which seems to consist mostly of being driven around a course at high speed with dust flying everywhere. It was a lot of driving effects and not a lot else, in my opinion. Carrie said it was Sam's best movie, while Gary was impressed with the effects and Penny smiled a lot.

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  • Zach apparently wants to get kicked off, because he came back from his near-elimination with a sequel to the film that almost did him in, Bonus Feature 2. It did have something more of a story than last week's, it's true, but I also would never classify it as a "road movie," thus putting him into some dangerous Marty Martin-esque territory. Carrie said it was better than last week's and babbled some stuff about Zach being extraordinary, Gary thought it was good storytelling, and Penny said Zach took the notes from last week and came back with a better film.
  • Jason got the prize of putting Jerry O'Connell in his film, The Move. I'm kind of confused; it was either about a guy moving or about a prank Jerry O'Connell's character played on a friend, and I'm honestly not sure which. Carrie was confused too, Gary said it was well shot but the big reveal at the end made no sense, and Penny may or may not have made a racist comment about Asian people(?).
  • Will finished things off with Road Rage 101, about a guy who beats up on his car while he's stuck in traffic — until the car starts to fight back. Fox is clearly hammering on Will being the sentimental favorite, as his intro package again mentioned that this is Will's last chance in film, but this was not one of his best. Carrie mostly praised Will's earlier work, Gary was impressed with some of the technical stuff but wished we'd learned more about the character of the car, and Penny said she didn't understand why the guy was so mad at the car in the first place.

Judges' favorites: Gary and Carrie picked Adam's, while Penny picked Sam's.

As for me, I'd put Adam at the top of my list, while Jason and Zach were my least favorites. I would think Jason would be the one heading home, but whichever cross-section of America still watches this show seems to love him. Thoughts?

Photo courtesy of Fox

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