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Robert de Hoog
The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.
From the co-founder of Slamdance comes the story of a young man who returns home from a trip abroad to confront not just his peculiar family and friends, but also a pair of Colombian jewel thieves and a roving gang of Iowa kickboxers, culminating in a showdown at Carhenge. A seminal movie in the history of independent film, "Omaha: The Movie" was the film that spearheaded the birth of the Slamdance Film Festival. Written by
Cows, Colombian jewel thieves, and a song about Sandy Duncan!
It takes weird things to connect people to something, and for me this is a stranger situation than most would think. I used to do a little comic strip called "Sandy Duncan In the Land Of Wheat Thins" back in the mid-1980s, so when I saw Bob the charismatic guitar player performing "The Sandy Duncan Song" in this film -- about why she is in the middle of a wheat field just eating crackers -- I immediately took this film to heart!
But that's not all: Omaha (The Movie) is disarmingly funny, charming, and breezy entertainment. I never took the character Simon's mystical beliefs seriously and just enjoyed the sheer fun the film offered. The actors and non-actors alike do a fine job, and there are some surprisingly beautiful looking scenes throughout, along with an effective score. There are moments of brilliance along with some innovative cinematography. By accepting the silly goings-on, it was refreshing to see, literally, the hand-held subtitles during the Colombian jewel thieves' dialogues and even involving the guy who wrote and held them in the plot.
Poor Simon can't seem to find inner peace after returning from Nepal, and with his "prayer stones" that turn out to be sought-after emeralds, he and his gal pal (played with great zest by Jill Anderson) take off on a trip, being chased by the thieves. Amidst all this are some refreshingly strange scenes of renegade Iowan kickboxers, a chase through a labrynthian cow corral, the wildest haircut scene since Edward Scissorhands, and romance at the pseudo-famous Carhenge!
I was fortunate enough to get this on DVD complete with audio commentary and other extras, as a part of the March/April 2002 issue of Total Movie & Entertainment magazine. I feel overjoyed when I'm presented with such a nice surprise as in a little film like Omaha (The Movie) and hopefully those who weren't able to catch it at film festivals will be able to find it like I did (if the magazine offers back issues, it's worth the effort to seek this one out). Director Dan Mirvish shows a lot of promising talent, I'd love to see Jill Anderson doing more films, and it just makes my day to be entertained so thoroughly by an extremely independent film such as this. Great work visually as well as in the storytelling.
I will always hold "The Sandy Duncan Song" close to my heart!
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