Nonstop Movies: ‘Hang Loose’

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As mentioned in Myong Choi’s blog on Monday, three locally-produced films will be showing at Pearlridge West 16 for spring break, starting today. The premiere of “Hang Loose” kicked it off last night with red carpet festivities and a party at Dave & Busters after the show. All the “who’s who” in Hawaii film making showed up, as well as the cast, crew, family and media, to support Kinetic Films in launching this endeavor.

Party Pics: Hang Loose premiere

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“Hang Loose” is the lightest of the three films, which made it perfect for the general audience at the premiere. It is, as Myong described, like a Hawaii version of “The Hangover,” starring Dante Basco (best known as Lost Boy Rufio in “Hook”) and Kevin Wu (a.k.a. KevJumba of YouTube). The other big name in the film is Justin Chon (“Twilight,” “21 & Over”), who plays a bad guy with an affinity for nut jobs — and by that I don’t mean crazy people. The movie takes us through one wild night of a bachelor party, filled with strippers, alcohol, drug dealers, simulated sex, comedic Samoan henchmen, and naturally, firecrackers tied to genitals.

I went in thinking it would be a dude movie, one that the guys on the Nonstop team would love and the girls would pretend to like, but it actually was a lot of fun. I don’t crack a lot of emotion at movies, so I was impressed that I laughed out loud several times. It’s cute, it’s fun, and it supports local industry. Go see it.

Local Hawaii audiences will enjoy watching this the way we watch Hawaii Five-0, but better: You’ll be checking the bar, party, and wedding scenes for people you know, and they’ll actually be Hawaii residents. (Augie Tulba was perfect as a flamboyant gay man without stealing the show, Jennifer Fairbanks is a believable stripper, and yes, that’s Datty Vo in the party scene.) The other thing I appreciated was the way they depicted Hawaii scenes and perspectives more accurately than Five-0 — no getting from Waipahu to Kahala in 15 minutes or driving on the wrong side of the street. You’ll know where the locations are and will appreciate the accuracy. And, thankfully, the pidgin used is spoken with the right inflections.

“Hang Loose” is 77 minutes and is not rated. This, as well as Kinetic Films’ “Paradise Lost” and “6B,” run March 15 through 21 at Pearlridge West 16. If the ticket sales are strong, the runs may be extended.