The premier of “Humboldt County” the movie, like many movie premiers, was more a cultural/social event than just an opportunity to see the film. The Eureka Theater was full of people who looked much like the people being portrayed on screen. In fact some of them were the same people. And sure enough, as some of the characters on screen started lighting up their funny cigarrettes it was like being in a sensearound movie as the sweet smell of pot began to waft through the air.
As for the movie itself, it started nicely and it was kind of fun being in an audience that cheered whenever a familiar HC scene or road sign appeared on the screen. But that got kind of silly after a while, even annoying, especially if you wanted to actually hear the dialog. But that wasn’t completely the fault of the rowdy audience. The audio seemed poorly mixed. Some dialog came through loud and clear but many moments were muddy and incoherent. I hope they can fix that before the commercial release in September. Maybe the theater sound system was partly to blame.
Trying to look at the movie on its own apart from event I was disappointed. The story was predictable and simplistic and some of the plot points seemed strained. The characters felt clichÃ©d and stereotypical, though for the most part, the acting was strong enough to keep them interesting. It’s hard to say how the film will play outside of the area and harder still to tell if it will have any affect on how the rest of the world perceives Humboldt County.
The rest of the WildRivers 101 Film Festiveal continues with plenty more to see and do.