Here we go. Another 1 on 1 battle to the death. And by “death” I mean I’m going to hand cardboard cutouts of John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell bayonets and see who wins. Basically it will be a reenactment of Step Brothers…
Alright, here’s what I have to say about Cyrus. It was a movie. Although a bland statement, you can read it optimistically too. So feel free to quote me on that critique. From what I’ve heard, a lot of that movie had improvised dialogue. That is no small feat, I’m sure. I’ve been in a few improvised shows and those have their own set of difficulties. Making up a movie on the spot with a frame to go around probably proved…interesting. But please don’t get me wrong, this movie has heart and it’s as plain as day.
The camera work was very fluid and real…much like The Office and the fad of mockumentary angles and constant movement. That style can work, but it doesn’t always make sense. After the credits rolled, I do believe everything about this indie/festival film worked except for the script. Props for the improvisation but it needed a sharp tongue. Real people in those everyday moments talk in that manner, except their dialogue was too real. It didn’t shine. It kind of reminds me of a dying flashlight. You know that the bulb can glow so much brighter but there isn’t much juice left to give. Tangent: Marisa Tomei, I love watching you on screen.
EVERYTHING MUST GO
Another festival movie, Everything Must Go just screams “indie”. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, because some of those end up being far superior to “Hollywood” movies. I have a theory that comedians and comedic actors can play the drama better than most dramatic trained actors. Now, that may be because you’ve seen these celebrities go crazy-nutso on screen and when they become solemn you somehow believe what they’re going through is that much more important and genuine. But my personal opinion is that comedians, generally, are more in touch with what it means to be human. When I’m on stage improvising with my fellow performers, if you took what we did seriously you wouldn’t be laughing. You’d be screaming for your life while calling the police. I’m constantly in scenes involving murder, adultery, child abuse, etc. And we learn each direction a scene takes can become more serious or more fun. It just so happens that we decide to add wings to the pet dog so he can soar over and pee in your hair while sarcastically saying “Suck on that you filthy two-leggers!”
My point is that comedic real life characters are able to tap into “life” and pull out a great performance. Will Ferrell did just that here. (Yes, the cast of Cyrus are also comedic actors and their delivery was just as amazing.) Everything Must Go was a very sober undertaking of an alcoholic who has nothing going for him. Enough faces elegantly came into his life and gave the information and performance needed to push him wherever the audience wanted to see him go. I loved it. It had every bit of realism from Cyrus but with a sharper camera and a sharper script. Tangent: Within 20 minutes or so I could tell this movie was originally a short story.
WINNER: EVERYTHING MUST GO!