11.07.2009

Gentlemen Broncos review

The other night GH and I went to a free advance screening of Gentlemen Broncos, Jared Hess's latest film. I will start by saying that the pre-show experience was somewhat spoiled because I was sitting next to a woman in her 60s who was, inexplicably, speaking loudly in a fake British accent with her companion the entire time. I know it was fake because 1) it was awful and all over the place, and 2) she would occasionally drop it to discuss things like "how those Mormons control everything here." She commented on my knitting bag (Britishly, referring to the British china patterns that it resembles) and in our brief conversation I was so very tempted to ask her what part of England she was pretending to be from. But I haven't worked in public libraries for the past several years without learning a little something called "Do not engage with the crazies."

Seriously. Just don't.

But now on to the movie.

The basic premise is that a nerdy small-town home-schooler named Benjamin (Michael Angarano) submits his sci-fi manuscript to a contest while attending a fantasy writer convention. One of the judges is the pompous Chevalier (Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords), a famous author who is going through a dry spell. Under pressure from his publisher to produce something new, he appropriates Benjamin's work, makes a few changes, and submits it as his.

And there you go. The plot. A bunch of other stuff happens too (like a local homeschooling duo who turn Benjamin's story into an awful movie just as Chevalier's new novel is being released) but it's not very interesting.

Now, I liked Napoleon Dynamite. I thought Nacho Libre was amusing, but not my favorite. This film I liked not at all. It is not surprising to find toilet humor and boob & gonad jokes in a science fiction manuscript written by a 15-year old. The problem with this movie is that it seems a 15-year-old boy may have been at the helm for the entire thing, because all told we had . . .

. . . Count 'em:

Regular Vomiting
Projectile vomiting
Kissing immediately after vomiting, resulting in vomit chunks on the mouth of both actors, resulting in me coming quite close to dry-heaving
Explosive diarrhea (from a python, no less)
Poisoned darts dipped in poop
Poisoned poop-dipped darts that are accidentally shot into a woman's breast
Sci-fi characters ingesting "yeast cakes," which strongly resemble cow pies.
Sci-fi boobs that shoot lasers
Sci-fi boobs that shoot bombs
Sci-fi sight gags involving surgically-removed testicles
Sci-fi bobcats eating said surgically-removed testicles
A female sci-fi character inviting a male sci-fi character to visit her "yeast cavern." You heard me.

It got old.


Also, remember how in Napoleon Dynamite you had a bunch of odd-ball small-town characters who were still, for the most part, believable? Yeah, not so much with this one. The quirkiness is taken so far as to be practically grotesque--from Hector Jimenez's creepy perma-grimace as Lonnie, the wannabe filmmaker, to Jennifer Coolidge "fashion designs" that make her seem completely delusional. (Note: Jennifer Coolidge got the shaft here and she deserves better. Woman gets a dart in the boob, for pete's sake.) There's just no one to really root for, here. Protagonist Benjamin is such a passive wimp that by the time he finally stands up for himself it's hard to care anymore.


Highlights, however, include Jemaine Clement as the pompous, plagiarising Chevalier. I perked up for all of his scenes.



Sam Rockwell is good (if slightly unrecognizable) as Bronco/Brutus, the sci-fi warrior imagined by Benjamin and then renamed and "turned into a tranny" by Chevalier. The science-fiction scenes based on Benjamin (and, later, Chevalier's) imagination were entertaining, involving things like missile-mounted deer. And the opening credits were fun, in which the cast and crew names appear on the cover of 1970s sci-fi paperbacks.

But yeah. Not really worth seeing, unless you're a Jemaine fan--in which you should just rent it and only watch his scenes. I am much more excited about next week's release of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, in which George Clooney will do dapper, daring things with a minimum of poop.

18 comments:

AmiZOOKey said... [reply]

Jermaine actually has an r in it - it just sounds like it doesn't. It's our accent.

goddessdivine said... [reply]

Worst thing is, you don't get that 2 hours back.

I think I will definitely pass on this one.

Nemesis said... [reply]

AmiZOOKey, that's what I thought too! I only spelled it without one after that's how it showed up on imdb and stuff. Now I don't know what to believe.

Jen, RN said... [reply]

I'm really glad I blogstalk your blog so that I now know not to see that movie-I mean seriously????? Wow!

Desmama said... [reply]

I hate it when a movie wastes my time. Thanks for taking the hit for the rest of us, Nem. We all owe you . . . well, two hours, at least.

Angela Noelle said... [reply]

AmiZOOKey - I thought so too, I really did...but it's lookin' to me like HIS MAMMA spelled it that way BECAUSE of our accent...not that it's spelled with the R and Americans are omitting it due to our lack of sayin' that filthy consonant when placed in such spots.

Nemesis - imdbing is believing...wait, that's not right. /scratching head. LOVED the review - perfectly written to my taste. You told me everything I wanted to know, with pizazz.

- Another kiwi

Janssen said... [reply]

Wow, that sounds so incredibly terrible, I can almost not believe it's a real movie. Except I trust you not to have invented something so horrible.

jeri said... [reply]

Sweet, another movie I can skip without guilt/feeling like I'm missing out. I might have been in danger of watching this one, as I enjoyed both Napoleon and Nacho.

Bridget said... [reply]

Wow. I will be sure to miss this one.

Maleen said... [reply]

Sounds like this movie rates right up there with 'Land of the Lost' starring Will Ferrell. I rented it on a whim and wasted a good two hours of my life, that I could have, at least, been sleeping!
I am truly amazed what passes for movies these days.

Laura said... [reply]

I too am looking forward to The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I really see Mr. Clooney as this era's answer to Cary Grant. He's just cool.

daltongirl said... [reply]

alpha: I am interested in knowing how GH felt about the movie. His opinions were conspicuously missing, I think.

beta: I laughed enough at Jemaine parts (and, okay, a couple other parts) that I felt it was worth the matinee price.

Also, I totally dry heaved at the one barf part. And I have a pretty strong stomach. It's the first time I've dry heaved at something on screen since Dan Aykroyd did the Bass-O-Matic. That was a long time ago.

And also, I have had some serious fantasy nerds in my house before, which may be why that movie cracked me up.

beckyww said... [reply]

I think I can sacrifice and miss it.

emandtrev said... [reply]

Good to hear your review. As far as all the vomiting and such...ew. Thanks for the warning.

Mrs. Clark said... [reply]

LOVE Jemaine. And I never noticed an R. It's missing in Flight of the Conchords.

The word verification is rallyspa. Hmm.

Being Lovely said... [reply]

That sounds AWFUL. How disappointing.
In other news, I heard an interview with Jared Hess on NPR wherein he mentioned that his casting director often wanders around local Walmarts in Utah to find people to put in their movies--which I thought was pretty fun.

Jill said... [reply]

Nacho Libre is the greatest film of our age. Maybe I think that because I am half Mexican

sarahbclark! said... [reply]

i really really wish i'd read this blog post BEFORE i ordered the movie from netflix, convinced my husband it was going to hilarious because jermaine was in it, allowed him to leave the room within the first 309 minutes, and wasted an entire evening waiting for it to get better.

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