Oscar-nominated live-action shorts: Time Freak

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All this week I'll be reviewing the Oscar nominees for best live-action short, which open Friday at Landmark's Century Centre. Check back this time tomorrow for the next installment.

At ten minutes, Andrew Bowler's Time Freak plays like a pitch film for a feature-length concept comedy, though not a particularly original one. Evan (John Conor Brooke), a young slacker, visits his neurotic inventor friend, Stillman (Michael Nathansan, who has the balefully sad eyes of Zero Mostel), and discovers that he's finally perfected his time machine. In testing it out, however, Stillman has fallen into the habit of continually and self-consciously revising his encounters from the previous day, one with a querulous cashier and the other with a young woman he fancies. "So you haven't made it to ancient Rome?" asks Evan. "Dude," Stillman replies, "I haven't made it past 2:30." Actually the best course of action might have been traveling back to 1992 to forestall production of Groundhog Day. A trailer follows the jump.

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