Saul Goodman (2006) – By Duane L. Martin

 How much can you really expect from a CGI movie that looks like one long cut scene from a video game? I wondered that when I was approached by Jim Connell and asked to review his CGI short entitled Saul Goodman. I mean, how good could it be?

Before I tell you how it was, I better tell you what it is. Basically, it the story of two guys who have a seemingly random encounter in a subway station. One guy is an older, former political aide, and the other is a young college student who, like the older guy just happened to miss his train. As they sit on a bench together, a conversation ensues that’s vaguely Tarrantino-esque, but with a style all it’s own. The older guy tells the young guy about the political candidate he used to work for and all the crooked stuff and cover-ups he was involved in.

The story is so engrossing and so deeply involved that you can’t help but feel yourself pulled into it, hanging anxiously on every word. The interaction between the old guy and the younger guy is brilliant and the dialogue is snappy as hell. I can’t remember the last time I saw a film with dialogue this good and a story this engrossing. Every piece of it intertwined and was connected with something else, and there’s a surprise twist at the end that was totally unexpected, although telegraphed just slightly in the scene itself.

The voice acting was great throughout the film, and the only small thing that gnawed at me was the fact that the old guy’s voice didn’t seem to fit the image of the character. Still, that’s only a minor nit picky thing and comes down to a personal feeling more than anything else. The voice acting was done by John Cammarata and Eric Scheiner, both of whom should be commended on their fine performances.

So how good could an all CGI short be? Bloody brilliant! That’s how good. The story, the humor, the cool look of some of the scenes, surprises around every corner…it all added up to a thoroughly enjoyable and brilliant piece of film making. I really hope to see more from Jim Connell in the future, because if this film is any indication, he’s got an incredible career ahead of him.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, check out the film’s website at http://www.saulgoodman.net.