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When Paul and Sal are discussing the Giant's schedule next season, it is mentioned that they will be playing both New England and San Diego. Since the New York Giants are in the NFC, there is no way that they would play both New England and San Diego as both are in different divisions. Within the AFC and NFC teams only play teams from one specific AFC division each season. See more »
How do you get a concussion when you don't got any fucking brains?
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Patton Oswalt plays Paul Aufiero, the star of Big Fan, an indie drama about a New York Giants football fanatic. He eats and breaths blue and red and wants nothing more than for his team to go all the way. He works as a parking garage attendant where he takes money, opens the gate, and prepares his thoughts for the night's radio broadcast where he is Paul from Staten Island. He calls to give his opinion about the team, how they will win, and tells another fellow caller, Philadelphia Phil, a proud Eagles fan, that he can basically go eat his own shorts.
He lives at home with his mother where he is bombarded with ideas and images of a better life thanks to his well of brother (Gino Cafarelli), a lawyer, and his brother-in-law who keeps after Paul with a job offer that he doesn't want. Paul's only haven is with his best and only friend Sal (Kevin Corrigan). They share a love for the game and a love for their team. One night they spot Quantrell Bishop, Paul's favorite Giant. His idol of the gridiron. They see him coming out of a shady spot on Staten Island and decide to follow him all the way into a Manhattan night club. When they decide to approach they are met by a hostile Bishop who thinks they are stalkers. He beats Paul into the hospital where he is met by a barrage of questions from investigators and his lawyer brother. Now he is faced with the decision of turning a blind eye to what happened or pressing charges against his favorite player, likely causing his team a division title.
A round of applause to Oswalt for his performance. He really captured the spirit of his character. I am sure that there are many people out there similar to him (I can think of a few I know who border on this line of fan-hood). Oswalt is a stand-up comedian by trade, but lately has been dabbling with some acting roles. He was the voice of Remy in Pixar's Ratatouille, one of their better casting jobs, and I particularly liked his cameo on Comedy Central's "Reno 911" where he played a "gamer" like those from "World of Warcraft" and "Dungeon's and Dragons". Here he steps way out of his comfort zone and does so effortlessly.
This is a Robert D. Siegel's directorial debut. After writing the screenplay for last year's The Wrestler, he dives into a different sport: the sport of, well, watching sports. He presents us with another tragic character. Paul is someone who cares only for his team. Not himself, his family, or his future. He doesn't care for his job and he doesn't care about how he lives. He is a special kind of man.
Siegel does a nice job behind the camera, but his strength is clearly on paper. He does a great job establishing background for his characters. We know that Paul has been a die hard sports fan for a long time. We know that he has worked the same job and has lived the same routine for years and years. Little things like his mother saving Chinese food condiments and the cluttering of Paul's bedroom walls with sports paraphernalia give these characters a history. One that we can relate to and have seen before.
This is a nice little film that has an excellent story with an even better ending. I really enjoyed the struggle that Paul goes through with all of the different pressures around him, trying to persuade him to go against his will. An excellent achievement for both Siegler and Oswalt.
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