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Unfazed (2021)

Updated: May 3, 2021

In a world where people often get on your nerves, antagonize you, and bring you down, Willie Unfazed (Patrick Newell) is here to tell you that his newest product, “F**k Your Feelings,” can fix all of that. When life is tough and the people in it just aren’t worth getting aggravated at, “F**k Your Feelings” will calm you down and allow you to ignore the negativity that lives within the walls of your reality. Unfazed is an infomercial telling you all you need to know about how to let the little things go and enjoy your life with “F**k Your Feelings.”

Unfazed could not have come at a better time. The world is crumbling, we are at each other's throats over political issues that the majority don’t truly understand, and anytime you say something that someone doesn’t like, they are instantly “offended.” “That’s offensive” has become the war cry of people all over the world and has forced a number of interesting aspects of our reality to change. Unfazed attempts to calm the offended down and remind them that the lives and actions of others don’t have to ruin their day. This is a message that I truly believe the world needs to live by; don’t let others negatively affect you.

Being told what to do can instantly turn someone off to the idea of doing whatever it is they’re being told to do. I don’t care if someone tells me I should go get a haircut; even if I am in desperate need, the fact that I’ve been “told” to do something can alter my way of thinking and cause me to rebel. Newell, Dan Benevento, and Elijah Carter appear to clearly understand this sentiment as they use comedy as a means to relay their information and deliver their content. Rather than telling people what to do, the easily susceptible minds of homosapiens are tricked into understanding and appreciating the message present throughout Unfazed. This is not to say that Newell’s message isn’t genuine, because it is, but the reality is that some trickeration is often necessary to convince an unwilling party to do anything, and Newell plays this beautifully. He has a firm grasp on the reality of the human mind and teases it, tantalizes it into understanding that his message has value and that the world needs to change.

Infomercials, for a series of reasons, remain popular among millennials. Whether it’s the products being sold, the fact that we watched them at 2:30 in the morning when we couldn’t sleep, or that Billy Mays (rest his soul) was full of endless, infectious energy, the idea of an infomercial is something that resonates with this generation. With that it’s important to understand that viewers of Unfazed will be hypercritical of what it has to offer. Newell, Carter, and Benevento don’t give them a reason to criticize what occurs throughout Unfazed, however, as it’s message is intriguing, the acting is simple and accurate, and the fact that we could all use a little “F**k Your Feelings” in our lives resonates with viewers.

Unfazed is fun, humorous, and well-scripted, but there is something missing--or at least underwhelming--about the short film. I’ve said this before about the Noblemen Studios’ short films: as entertaining, relevant, and enjoyable as they are, I want more. This sentiment works in two ways: the first being that the content is so enjoyable that I want to see more of what Newell and his cohorts are capable of, and the second is the fact that more content would add levels of entertainment that something like a sixty-second short is just incapable of providing. Unfazed clocks in at just that, sixty seconds, and that’s not enough to convey this funny, but essential message; viewers get the gist and appreciate what is being said, but it seems that more content could be incredibly useful. Those classic infomercials like the Shamwow, the Total Gym, and the Shake Weight could last anywhere from ten minutes to a couple of hours, and while the content often became a bit redundant, there was something humorous about the production, acting, and overall execution of those famous advertisements. Newell has what it takes to entertain his viewers for extended periods of time, but he needs to take the leap. Short films are wonderful, and I genuinely enjoy the concise nature of what they have to offer, but sometimes they just aren’t enough--especially when you know the creator possesses something brilliant beneath the surface.

There truly is so much to love about Unfazed including the nostalgia, the chemistry between Carter and Benevento, and the humorous nature of how this content is presented to viewers. I’m particularly fond of how organic the relationship between Benevento and Carter feels throughout the course of this short, and that helps to bring Newell’s vision to life. The only thing that hinders, in any way, the appreciation that viewers have for the film is the length; I WANT MORE!. These are words that Newell should live by in the future. However, the reality is that the cast and crew of Unfazed is talented and intriguing; kudos to them for bringing to life a relevant infomercial in a time when it’s needed most.

Written & Directed by Patrick Newell. Starring Patrick Newell, Dan Benevento, & Elijah Carter.




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