Horror films are a strange thing. Why do people pay to be scared and to watch horrible things happening on screen? Some of the most famous and biggest films in history have been horror films – from Psycho to The Exorcist, to Friday 13th to the Blair Witch Project. Read more
I’ve just finished watching Breaking Bad and wow what an amazing series it is – for me it’s the best show ever – beats The Sopranos easily and even better than The Wire as well, which I really liked too. Here for me are the reasons it was so good. Read more
2014 has been a pretty good year for music, and here’s a list of my favorites.
Pharrell Williams – Happy
Seems like everyone likes this song. Pharrell can do no wrong at the moment, has been having phenomenal success in the past few years, Blurred Lines was massive too – I loved that song as well despite all the controversy about it. His stuff is often pretty retro but done in such a modern way – and great tunes and style.
Christopher Guest has influenced a whole generation by creating a sub genre of film comedy that uses improvisation in a mockumentary style; this style is seen in contemporary television and movies where it ceases to be pale imitations and more an accepted style of filmmaking. Blackballed: The Story of Bobby Dukes is greatly by Guest’s films but seems to miss the point of the earnestness of his mockumentary filmmaking.
Bobby Dukes is a legendary but disgraced championship paint baller, self-exiled for 10 years and has returned to his hometown in upstate New York for redemption from a fall from grace because he was caught “wiping”; when a player wipes the paint off his uniform to keep playing is the most serious offense in paintball and considered cheating. In one of the more brilliant segments and the opening scene to the movie is Lenny Pear’s (“The League’s” Paul Scheer) re-creation of the controversial event with his He-Man action figures on a miniature paintball field. Bobby’s back and wants to play so he tries to get a team together but being branded a cheater doesn’t make him a desirable teammate and the search proves futile. He turns to Lenny for help in finding new blood for the team and they fashion together a ragtag band of brothers, and his sister Erika, to regain the glory of another championship win. But first, they go on a quest to find sufficient paintball markers and gear.
Corddry delivers an understated performance, portraying Dukes as Zen-like in his approach to paintball. Rob Riggle, D.J. Hazzard, do most of the heavy lifting as far as outlandish, intense characters are concerned but as far as character development it works well. Bobby Dukes is a paintball guru who still holds a reputation as being the best at what he does and that attracts the intensity of those around him.
The issues I have from first time director, Brant Serson is the inconsistency of plot. Minor characters are introduced and one gets the distinct feeling that there are more stories behind the relationship between Bobby and that character but Serson drops it. The old high school girlfriend, the rival Sam Brown who gets thrown in again haphazardly in the last 10 minutes to remind us that he still exists. Situations are introduced that lead the audience down one path and makes us think we’re watching a different movie. The best example of this is when, in the championship game, Bobby gets hit and the question is brought up if he wiped again or did his sliding in the grass wipe it off; a good opportunity for Serson to show the conflict in character that Bobby has. Instead, he’s out of the game and the game goes on, the camera doesn’t follow the subject of the “documentary”; Bobby has been in every shot or present in the background that it is reasonable to assume that the camera goes with him wherever he goes. It makes very little sense why Bobby would quietly go to the sidelines and the camera wouldn’t follow for his reaction or showing us the rest of the game from Bobby’s POV.
The film had minor laughs and the characters were watchable; I would have liked to see more of the one-scene wonders of Ed Helms and Jack Brayer personally. What I think the film was missing was more heart; Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries have an earnestness and respect for the characters that involves them in a world that makes sense to them and isn’t created to make fun. Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story would have worked better as a straight narrative comedy film in the vein as “Blades of Glory” or “Dodgeball”.