WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Young Benjamin (Michael Angarano) aspires to be a sci-fi writer like his hero, Dr. Chevalier (Jemaine Clement). Unbeknownst to Ben, Chevalier is suffering from writer's block, and under pressure from his publicist, steals a manuscript Ben turned in at a writer's workshop.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
GENTLEMEN BRONCOS is a baaaaaad movie. Itís the latest from NAPOLEON DYNAMITE director, Jared Hess, who once again tries to mine small-town quirkiness for laughs, but is MUCH less successful here. Watching GENTLEMEN BRONCOS on blu-ray, I was scratching my head throughout as to how anyone involved with this thought they were making a funny movie.
To be sure, thereís a lot of talent here, both in front and behind the camera. Young leading man Angarano was phenomenal in a film I saw a few years ago called SNOW ANGELS, but I think heís too normal seeming for his role here, which maybe calls for a more manic choice, like Jon Heder. FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS star Jemaine Clement tries hard to wring a few laughs out of his character, and the few times I chuckled were all due to his pompous affected accent.
Meanwhile, a slumming Sam Rockwell is on hand for the scenes depicting the story written by Angaranoís character. In his version, Rockwell plays Bronco, a rough and tumble, one-testiculed space warrior. In Clementís version of the same story, Bronco (renamed Bronconious) is a lot more effeminate, giving Rockwell the chance to don a bleached blond wig, and a handlebar moustache. All of this probably sounds funny, but on film, it really comes across as anything but.
Considering the fact that GENTLEMEN BRONCOS barely got a theatrical release, Fox has put together a surprisingly strong selection of extras. First up, audio commentary by Jared Hess, and his brother/ co-writer Jerusha, as well as the DP, Munn Powell. Next up, deleted scenes , outtakes , 18 short minute docs running about 1 min each. Finally, we get a fifteen minute making of featurette.
Now, I donít want it to seems like Iím coming down to hard on Hess, ho I truly think is a talented guy. NAPOLEON DYNAMITE was truly a fun flick, and I even kinda liked NACHO LIBRE. I think he maybe had a little too-much latitude here, as this goes way overboard in terms of kitsch, and the film plays out like an in-joke that we, as the audience are not in on.