By Richard von Busack
Metro (Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper)
Armed with VCRs and DVD players, Metro's film critics have sampled a hefty share of this year's Cinequest films. Movies marked with a star are recommended.
*The Nightowls of Coventry
(75 min.; U.S.) American Splendor's Harvey Pekar gives the endorsement to this film about his old neighborhood in Cleveland Heights. Laura C. Paglin's well-acted, small-time comedy concerns the denizens of Marv's, a roachy all-night deli/cafe. The social fault lines of 1973 are making for some trouble, but most of the problems are due to the owner, who blows his profits on the ponies. Marv (Seymour Horowitz) and the rest of the tummlers, freeloaders and hippies are cheered up by the arrival of an innocent young waitress named Susan (Donna Casey); she helps keep the dilapidated place from falling down around Marv's ears. Casey kicks the film up to a higher level; there are also credible performances by Kevin Horne as a seductive New Age quack and Annie Kitral as a weathered waitress.