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Date: 05.19.11
Name: Ron Smith
Review: Yes, Robert Alaniz makes independent films. But don’t dare call them low-budget movies. Oh, he creates on a shoestring. But you’d never know that from the product on the screen. Robert’s name on a film assures an experience that exceeds most of what you’ll see coming out of Hollywood. Don’t ask how he does it. Just enjoy it.

Having tackled mystery and science fiction in films like “Barrymore’s Dream” and “Timeservers,” the Frankfort auteur has moved on to comedy. “D.I.N.K.s” (Double-Income, No Kids) does not disappoint. It’s light and uplifting with a real message subtly injected.

Of course, Robert has a secret weapon in all his films— his screenwriter. He has a great one. Himself. Robert has a passion for fleshing out his characters and making audiences care about them. And because not every scene in his movies is there to advance the plot, sometimes he can fool you when a minor subplot turns into a pivotal moment later in the story.

“D.I.N.K.s” is the story of Richard and Rachel, who live in a fictional Chicago suburb and have chosen not to have children. This puts them at odds with most of their friends and neighbors, who consider the couple’s lives incomplete and their attitudes selfish. Yet, as we see, the others are the ones creating a generation of self-indulgent, spoiled brats. Fed up with the childish antics of both parents and their offspring, Richard (a free-lance writer) begins to write about the discrimination childless couples face. As the idea begins to grow, he eventually finds himself in conflict with municipal authority.

The acting in “D.I.N.K.s” is top notch. David Tibble as Richard and Deborah Craft as Rachel have a great sense of comedic timing— due, no doubt, to their extensive stage work. It has to be a coincidence since filming was before the Chicago mayoral election, but I found that Marco Garcia as the town’s mayor bore enough resemblance to Rahm Emanuel to add an extra dimension to his already-choice character. Steve Parks’ over-the-top lawyer was hilarious and Katherine Trost stole every scene she was in.

It’s great to see scenes shot throughout the southwest suburbs, including Frankfort, Orland Park, Mokena and Kankakee. Too often the south side is treated as a “cultural wasteland” by Chicago’s literati. Art films seldom open here and, despite talk over the years, it’s doubtful that something like Ravinia will ever be seen south of the Kennedy Expressway. Yet, Robert proves with every film he makes that the south shall rise again.

It’s easy to say “Support local filmmakers” and “Support independent films.” But eventually they have to be worth your support. Robert and “D.I.N.K.s” deliver the goods.

Date: 04.27.11
Name: Barbara Greenlund
Review: This is the 3rd Alaniz movie I have seen and each one is better than the last. This one was cute and funny and held your attention. The acting was very good, photography and sound were great. I would recommend it.

Date: 04.25.11
Name: Dave Czarnecki
Review: This was one of the funniest films that I've seen in a long time, and I'm a VERY picky person to please when it comes to movies. Other people were gushing about movies such as the Hangover and the American Pie series, and I really didn't like them all that much. I thought that most of the humor was juvenile. It was so refreshing to watch a movie that had an actual plot, and was really made more for adults. It brought back memories of Albert Brooks, one of my favorite directors. I really recommend this movie.


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