Friday, March 19, 2010

Gentlemen Broncos - DVD Review


Starring Michael Angarano, Jennifer Coolidge, Jemaine Clement, Sam Rockwell, Mike White, Hector Jiminez, Halley Feiffer and Josh Pais.
Directed by Jared Hess.

"I'm sorry, I can't do this. This movie's gonna suck," says Benji Purvis (Michael Angarano) at the 40-minute mark. He's talking about a home-made movie the characters are making, but it could have been the actor letting the audience know this movie wasn't going to get any better.

If Napoleon Dynamite was a hit, and Nacho Libre was a hit-n-miss, GB is just a miss. Among the gags in this movie: magical burp breath, a snake with diarrhea, a hero sowing his gonad back on, and a fountain of pink puke to defeat the rocket-launching deer.

Benji is the socially awkward hero, not as distinct as Napoleon. Just a dweeb who furrows his brow when upset. He goes to a writers' convention and submits a novella of his for a contest. The judge is the successful sci-fi/fantasy author Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement), who happens to be stuck in a rut. He reads Benji's story, changes some names, and he has a hit.

First problem is the original story comes across like one of Stephen Colbert's rejected Tek Jansen adventures. Then the changes Chevalier applies turns it into a book one would submit for a Worst Story Ever contest.

Second problem is Hess's tone. His humor is a high-wire act, and if it fails, it has a long way to fall.

If there's anything that does work, it's Clement (Flight of the Concords) doing an amusing Alan Rickman accent as the self-absorbed Chevalier. There are also some cool soundtrack choices. Other than that, I hope Hess got whatever he needed to out of his system with this, and he can make something good next time.

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