|Index||7 reviews in total|
I loved this movie. First and foremost for the acting of such original characters. Also, the look of the film is rich because of the locations and even the costumes. The amazing Olympia Dukakis as I've never seen her before--unforgettable. It's not a spoiler to say that Olympia has almost no lines; everything is done with grunts, looks and screams. All the acting is uniformly memorable, with a sexy and breakout performance from Alison Brie, and a surprisingly touching one from Haley Osment. The score and songs were energetic and fun, but never too dominant. An added plus is a very funny and gently ironic narration done by Phil Proctor, of Firesign Theatre fame.
A comedy that gradually reveals a poignant dramatic heart as a
backwoods dysfunctional family flees their mountain home for a road
trip across the American West and into a cultural collision with the
modern world. Alison Brie from NBC's Community is outstanding and
Olympia Dukakis gives one of her best film performances as the very
eccentric grandmother. Both won acting awards for their roles in this
film which was also selected as "Best Feature Film" at NYC's Big Apple
Film Festival at Tribeca.
As the characters struggle with the world outside their mountain valley, they reveal much about the nature of family and the essence of the human condition.
If you think your family's got problems wait until you meet The Dunderheads. From the backwoods of the Rocky Mountains, this illiterate, socially dysfunctional family roars across the American west leaving a trail of mayhem and confusion as they collide with the mainstream world. A very black comedy that gradually reveals a poignant dramatic heart leads to a very effective ending as we find out why the Dunderheads are the way they are. Alison Brie from NBC's Community and Academy Award nominee, Haley Joel Osment are outstanding while Olympia Dukakis gives one of her best film performances as the very eccentric grandmother. Brie and Dukakis won acting awards for their roles in this film which was also selected as "Best Feature Film" at NYC's Big Apple Film Festival.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Three incredibly unlikeable people kill several others in startlingly
dull and banal ways throughout the course of the film, there's no humor
in it (Comcast had it billed as a comedy under its other name, The
Misadventures of the Dunderheads), none of these really very good
actors gets to do much acting, and finally, after several brutal
physical fights, Womple kills his grandmother, rendering her rescue of
him from being caught for his first murder tragically useless and
stupid. We also then find out that the grandmother initially rescued
the granddaughter from a molesting father, presumably her son, by
killing him, but by then, though this should be ironically poignant,
it's impossible to care.
Finally, the narrator insults the viewer by stating that the brother and sister have "gained their freedom," which gives them a "blank slate'" and that they went on to fill that slate and did the best they could. Like hell. Their only future was in the electric chair, and they soundly deserved it, too. Loathsome, loathsome characters.
I want my ninety minutes back. Don't waste yours.
When a movie continues to rattle around in my thoughts for days after I've watched it, I know it's given me something to chew on. This was not an easy movie to watch. Damaged people. Well, of course, we're all damaged in one way or another. In some of us, it's more obvious, or it really hinders our ability to participate in "society." And yet, even these characters have a kind of grace. Ultimately, each of them even has a kind of integrity that gleams through the broken parts. Being human is hard enough when we come from a place that nurtures and supports us in positive ways. How do we begin to navigate that terrain when we've never been taught or modeled the skills for doing so? As awful as the situation is, this story is told with a quick, light, playful touch. No self pity, no commentary or judgment about these folks. It was an interesting little side trip.
A crazed grandmother on the lam with two teenagers. Other reviews summarize, so I won't repeat. This film is kind of a grab-bag of treats. Really good performances; you've never seen Olympia Dukakis like this. Alison Brie is sexy and hilarious as a kind of over-grown backwoods Lolita. Haley Joel Osment is genuinely touching, all grown up now. I don't usually like narration, but the narration in this was actually helpful and funny. The voice sounded familiar and as the tail credits rolled, I learned that it was the venerable Phil Proctor from the old Firesign Theatre. The movie kind of left me speechless at the end, it was so weird, unusual and touching. And very funny in many ways.
I just watched this movie. Good grief. Three weirdly combative,
unstable creeps (a mute grandmother and her bickering grandson and
granddaughter) attempting to drive to Canada (without any sense of
direction or knowledge of how to drive a car) after the grandson
accidentally kills a man. Along the way, there are more accidental
murders, weird dreams about the kids' long-missing father, and, for a
flick Comcast billed as a comedy, there's not an ounce of humor. In
other words, we have unlikeable characters in a meandering, aimless
plot. There's a metaphor for purgatory here, that is a bit too blatant
to be called sub-text.
The only positives about the movie: the actors do a good job, even though the material itself isn't worth it. And, outside of that, even as an emotionally stunted dirtball, Alison Brie is still so pretty she could sell a glass of fire to a man dying of thirst. And the ending was pretty good. But getting to that ending was such a chore.
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