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Zen Noir

(2006)  1/2 Unrated
71 min. Magic Lamp Releasing. Director: Marc Rosenbush. Cast: Duane Sharp, Kim Chan, Ezra Buzzington, Debra Miller, Jennifer Siebel.
A movie called Zen Noir should succeed in being both funny and profound, but writer-director Marc Rosenbush succeeds in neither goal with his sketch-y comedy-drama. It's a funny premise: a detective trying to solve a murder when the only witnesses are decidedly non-literal-minded Buddhist monks. But Rosenbush shows too little of the required finesse. He busies himself weakly parodying hard-boiled dialogue, handling painfully annoying lead actor Duane Sharp, and trying to force zen philosophy into an inelegant narrative. Veteran actor Kim Chan supplies the best moments as the zen master, but Zen Noir is an indie dud simply not worth the investment of even its slim 71 minutes.
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