Kabluey (2007) Poster

(2007)

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A strong, little comedy filled with a lot of heart. One of 2008's best
Red_Identity13 September 2008
I saw Kabluey, and after hearing many good things about it, I have to say it probably is one of 2008's best surprises.

Technically, it is from 2007, but it came out this year. It is a very genuine little independent comedy with a lot of heart. There are a lot of films like that out there, but this one stands out. The screenplay is very well written. It has a lot of laugh-out-loud laughs, and some laughs that you wonder how much they make sense with the story. It has some flaws, but overall, it has great developed characters, characters that sometimes may not always be likable. It is a story about how a mother's brother-in-law has to help her raise her kids, and also raise some money, since her husband is at war in Iraq. Throughout this story, we see a lot of events that change her and her brother-in-law. It is, overall, a black, sometimes, dark, comedy film. It has a lot of hidden themes about how the war impacts family, and also about loyalty and responsibility. It is sometimes uneven, and sometimes some scenes are too overfilled with humor, but when its good, it's really good.

Part of the reason this film works well is because of the great acting. Scott Prendergast plays his character of the loser brother-in-law Salman very well, and he makes my line-up of Best Actor(but will eventually fall out). But Lisa Kudrow is the one that gives the monumental performance. She has less scenes than Prendergast, but the scenes she has her character is very in depth. She has to give her character of Leslie a lot, real humanity, pain and exhaustion for her kids, and also sort of depressed, stressed, and sometimes even unlikeable. She really reminds me of a lot of real life mothers that get stressed out easily. I have never seen Kudrow like this, it's really a great performance, a subtle one. As of now, she is my Best Actress winner, and I think she might stay in my line-up in the end of the year, if not then top 10 for sure. I think she deserves Oscar Buzz.

Overall, a great little movie. Better than films that really are not always that good(Juno), and just as great as Little Miss Sunshine. I think the Academy should keep this film's screenplay, and Lisa Kudrow, for consideration. For those who have not seen it, please see it, makes a lot of the films this year look bad.
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Alright Which Night Light?
Chrysanthepop19 October 2009
Scott Prendergast emerges as a talented writer, director and actor. The basic premise of 'Kabluey' may sound familiar but this non-glamorous, non-polished and subtle film stays true to life. Prendergast includes themes like the war in Iraq (and its effect on their spouse and children) and corporates ripping off the common population in the story but it is all understated and part of the main story rather than a subplot.

Even the performances are understated. Prendergast is impressive as the penniless goofy black or blue sheep of the family who tries to be of some use to his sister-in-law. Lisa Kudrow is sublime proving once again that she can take any role and breathe life into it. Skillfully downplayed, in the beginning her character is not very likable but one does sense Leslie's pain and despair and gradually sympathize with her as Kudrow peels the layers exposing the depth of this working mother. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is pretty good as 'one of the corporates'. While the rest of the very talented cast: Chris Parnell, Teri Garr, Conchata Farrell and Christine Taylor, do a terrific job.

The camera is used very efficiently. There is a particular long shot which takes place when Kudrow walks out of the motel that is of note. The locations are also wonderfully captured and it is interesting to see how Leslie's quiet neighborhood contrasts with the grasslands next to the highway. You don't see many people in either place. Both feel cold and 'unlived' in. Then you see Leslie's house which is at times cluttered and at times tidy but never does it feel like 'a home' because it doesn't look like it's being taken care of.

It is the treatment Prendergast gives to 'Kabluey' that makes it such an original, refreshing, funny but also uplifting film. Some of the funniest scenes are the ones with Salman and the kids and with kabluey. Perhaps the funniest one being the one where the blue kabluey and cheesegirl team up. In addition, I really liked the unconventional soundtrack and the little animated feature that appears during the end credit.

Prendergast has created a little gem and 'Kabluey' has been a delight to watch. I intend to revisit this one again.
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9/10
Thoughtful, funny, surprisingly simple film
laurie-22317 October 2007
Saw Kabluey at the Austin Film Festival last eve, and walked out loving the film. Logically, I know it shouldn't be surprising to see a low-budget film capture characters that are so real, and yet do parody and comedy so well. Kids sitting behind me laughed at all the same spots I did. It manages to stay in the realm of indy-odd, but deliver a well-crafted plot line, and characters that you love. A sprinkling of well recognized actors who give great performances...loved Conchata Ferrell. Scott Pendergrass holds it together through the entire film.

Scott Pendergrass afterward said there might be an announcement coming next week at the Hamptons festival, so hopefully it will sign a distribution deal. This film deserves to be widely seen.
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9/10
The last time I laughed this hard I was watching a silent movie!!!
mgconlan-121 October 2008
I had really thought great slapstick comedy was a lost art, one that I'd have to go to DVD's of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd to experience. Then I saw "Kabluey." For the first half of the film I was laughing my head off, not only at the sheer outrageousness of it all but also at Scott Prendergast's brilliance at building gag on top of gag, making you laugh harder at each one until by the end of his "stack" you're literally screaming with joy. The second half slowed down a little but also proved that Prendergast could do pathos, and the ending is as heartbreaking as anything by Chaplin. There've been a few comedians in the modern era who showed they COULD have ranked with the stars of the past (Robin Williams, Jim Carrey), but Williams got stuck into too many overstuffed vehicles and Carrey seems to have been penalized by his audience every time he tried to reach beyond fart humor. Let's hope Scott Prendergast keeps making simple, unpretentious and utterly hilarious movies like this.
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10/10
Hilarious and creative film people are sure to enjoy
se7en18715 June 2008
I saw this film at the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, Michigan.

Kabluey is a wildly entertaining and hilarious film. Scott Prendergast, the writer, director, and star of the film, made a very creative comedy that's so much fun to watch.

Leslie (Lisa Kudrow) needs help taking care of her two wild kids because her husband is off fighting in Iraq. Her brother-in-law Salman (Prendergast) decides to help out, after all, he needs a place to stay anyway after recently getting fired. But Salman has no idea what he's gotten himself into. The two children (perfectly played by Landon Henninger and Cameron Wofford) are far too much to handle and do everything they can to make Salman's life miserable. And somehow Salman manages to get a job as a mascot for Leslie's company.

I loved this movie, it's a very clever script. Sure, it's sort of a familiar story about a guy trying to look after some wild kids, but there are so many original and inventive moments throughout, especially the entire story of Salman as the office mascot. I also loved all of the little touches throughout, things in the background that aren't don't further the plot but add to the comedy. And Conchata Ferrell steals the show a Salman's employer. Every moment she's on screen is hysterical, she's so perfect at comedy, I wish she had a movie of her own.

There are many huge laughs throughout this film. Everyone at the screening was laughing wildly and applauding during many scenes. It really is a wonderful film and I hope people get a chance to see it. Seek out this film, watch it, and then spread the word.
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7/10
Pretty good, actually
jeepcj5guy23 September 2008
Quirky and unexpected are probably the best ways to describe this film. Lisa Kudrow is actually pretty convincing as the burned-out army wife and gives a pretty solid performance throughout. Mainly I was impressed at the subtlety of her acting, which was refreshing after seeing some of her other characters (the smelly-cat-singing Phoebe will always be a lingering specter for Kudrow). Scott Prendergast captured the socially-inept, guy-that-never-got-his-act-together-after-high-school character pretty well and manages to drive the story with very little actual dialogue, emotion or expression, which is kind of the point of his character. His performance was actually pretty refreshing. I think the writer/director did a good job of portraying the embellished strangeness of small town middle America without ripping off Napoleon Dynamite. The ending was well done and the soundtrack is really good and kind of makes the movie come together.
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10/10
Quirky comedy finds humor in ordinary aspects of life
adamdonaghey29 November 2007
The really amazing thing about Kabluey is the celebrity cast Scott Prendergast puts together. Not only is the film made on a shoe-string budget (no trailers or amenities folks!), but this is Prendergast's first feature length film! Topping that, he writes, directs and stars in it! After the film ended, Prendergast tells us that his co-star, Lisa Kudrow, actually phoned him up one morning and told him in person she'd do the film. He'd sent her a script directly. Apparently, after she signed on, several other stars (including Teri Garr and Christine Taylor) followed suit.

Not only is the cast of characters spot on, but the film itself certainly delivers a wide spectrum of joyous emotions. I felt joy throughout the film, but that joy ranged from laugh-out-loud funny, to giddiness, to emotions that made me feel like I should cry but still made me feel happy. Either way, I was quite amused and had a smile on my face the entire time.

The quirky concept of the film is an oddball kind of guy, Salman, trying to help his sister-in-law with her two, non-stop ruckus driven brats, while her husband is away in Iraq. Salman ends up getting a seemingly useless job as a guy who dresses up in a huge blue, faceless suit and hands out flyers promoting office space for rent at a glorious expanse of a building so large and magnificent and yet, so empty. I asked the writer/director about the company during the Q&A session and he said he'd manufactured it after these grand buildings owned by bankrupt and defunct dot com companies, who'd busted.

Prendergast finds humor in so many ordinary parts of life. This, coupled with his ability to tell a story by only showing its aftermath, makes me think we'll be seeing quite a bit more of him on screen and behind the scenes. Prendergast received a round of applause when he announced Kabluey had been picked up and will be distributed, with a theatrical release, sometime next year. It's blurific!
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8/10
Very quirky low budget comedy
Alberto-72 September 2007
This is a very amusing fish out of water story with the director playing the lead role. In a nutshell, the story concerns a woman(Lisa Kudrow)desperate for some help taking care of her kids while her husband is off fighting in Irak. She has to go back to work but cannot afford daycare for her two "monsters".Cue the husband's loser brother who has nowhere to go,no money and no idea how to take care of himself, let alone two pre-school kids. He eventually gets a job wearing a ridiculous blue suit and handing out fliers in the middle of a highway to promote an Internet company( check out the poster to see this thing). Pendergast, making his first feature, reminds me very much of Woody Allen, in his early days. He is excellent at finding the humor in an ordinary situation and does not resort to cheap laughs. In many cases we see just the result of a situation and can pretty much tell what has happened just from surveying the damage. A perfect example is his first day of babysitting. All we see is the mother leaving for work and then arriving later to find him and the two kids fast asleep on the living room floor with fruit loops everywhere(and I mean everywhere), the TV blasting and generally everything in disorder. He could have shown us moments from his day but this is so much better because as we survey the disaster zone, we can just imagine what kind of a day he has had. Lisa Kudrow gets top billing and is OK in her limited role as the harried mother who is desperate for her husband to return and just does not know what to do. Christine Taylor and Terri Garr both put in what are essentially cameos but to good effect. The two kids are never cute or coy and this helps make them much more human. They do not like this uncle who has appeared out of nowhere but a bond does eventually form with him. A lot of the humor comes from the blue suit and the character's difficulty in doing such simple things as handing out fliers or drinking while wearing it. Pendergast is excellent as the out-of-his-element Salman, whose name everyone mispronounces. The rest of the cast is very good with a special mention to Conchata Ferrell as the HR person who hires Penedergast. I saw this film at the Montreal Film Festival with the director present and the audience really responded well. I hope this film gets a major distribution deal. Penedergast is a director with a lot of potential. I give this film 8 blue suits out of 10.
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9/10
All Around Excellent Film
LowBuget16 December 2008
Had no idea what I was about to watch. Came recommended from Kennsington Video. Very entertaining and thought provoking film about doing the right thing spontaneously. Has a very surreal almost Lynchian quality through the first half ( Be patient through first 20min). Anyone who's had or babysat 4-6 yr old boys, or rode the bus will get a good laugh. A really nice mix of humor and meaning. It takes place present day with references to the war in Iraq the recession and a very believable premise. I also found the acting of the main characters superb. I guess Id describe this as an unexpected hero story or unexpected guardian story. Without spoiling anything Ill just say Kabluey is the best brother and uncle you could ask for. Cute without being corny.See it.
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9/10
Supercool indie
genofoster4 June 2009
My favorite kind of films have often been small, independent gems like this one, films that are the unique visions of under financed directors and not the bloated studios.

First, Lisa Kudrow. I liked Friends, but I wasn't crazy about it. That's why she was such a surprise to me here. Her character is initially unlikeable, but once you see why she does the what she does, she becomes sympathetic. Her scene when she walks away from the motel room fight is fantastic. She's hurt, her life is crumbling, and you feel for her. She's hateful and funny, a really good performance.

And newcomer Scott Prendergast, co-star, writer and director does a unique turn here as the black-sheep weirdo who becomes a kind of superhero that saves the family. I can't wait to see what he does next.

If you're expecting some stupid comedy, skip this and rent Mall Cop. If you want something unexpected, unusual and funny, give Kabluey a shot.
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8/10
Surprising small movie
lianelance6 December 2008
This movie caught me by surprise. At first, it appeared to be a very serious, sad movie (and indeed, the subject matter has many sad aspects), but it has simply HILARIOUS moments. I laughed out loud so many times - seeing the BlueNexIOM man was one of the funniest things I've seen in a movie in a long time. Salman is an unlikely hero and you wonder how the writers will ever be able to convince you to root for this guy, but they do manage to achieve that. The scene at the hotel is priceless! Scott Pendergast manages to "act" while playing the BlueNexIom man and you find yourself imagining exactly what he is thinking and feeling even though you can't see his face. Conchata Ferrell and Teri Garr are surprises and at their manic best. Also didn't expect Jeffrey Dean Morgan from Grey's Anatomy but it's nice to see a non-sappy side of him. This movie isn't perfect, but it's very, very funny - wear your Depends - you might wet your pants!
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8/10
Beautiful
harishprakashhp20 September 2008
Lisa Kudrow of friends fame is the reason why I saw this movie. I liked the tag line"every family has a black sheep, this one is blue"

I loved it from the start. In between I had my eyes in tears both the laughs and touchy scenes.

Being a single parent with two children to take care of, is really a handful for Leslie(Lisa). Things don't get any better with the children's slightly retarted Uncle(Leslie's brother-in-law Salman) is assigned to take care of them. He baby sits them in fear of even being threatened to be killed by his eldest niece.

Salman also gets a job to make his ends meet and so the blue outfit promoting real estate space. This is the best part, bringing laughs and tears.

In times of the Iraq-America WAR, Salman(essayed brilliantly by the Director Scoot Prendergast) understand what his family is going through. In his own way he sets things right for the Children, their MOM and ultimately finds himself.

The passing non-important characters bring so much substance to the movie. I loved the part where he finds complete change in his fellow passengers, in the bus he travels to work. That sets the mode for the Black/blue sheep to turn to a hero in the climax.

Nope, it isn't a perfect movie. It completely relies on the 'Feel Good Factor' of the viewers. But yes, it has an inspiring quality that makes it beautiful and a must watch.

Note: Lisa Kudrow wasn't Phebe Buffe, but I think she's great in any kind of role.
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8/10
My Review
joemamaohio21 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Salman (Scott Prendergast) is a 30-something year old loser. He has no real job, no home, and no life. He goes to live with his brother's wife, Leslie (Lisa Kudrow) while his brother serves in Iraq. He gets a job at an Internet company where he dons a huge blue suit and stands on the side of the street handing out flyers.

It's a hilarious scenario as his life couldn't sink any lower, and its hilarious to watch. But there's also a hint of the dramatic, as we see the lives in the film suffering turmoil and depression. It's a perfect blend of comedy and drama.

An excellent film that mixes comedy and drama effortlessly that will have you laughing one minute and completely sad the next. You feel for the characters and you want a happy outcome for everyone.
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8/10
A Faceless Blue Figure With A Hanging Head Is Actually Appealing
D_Burke12 May 2010
If you ever find yourself at a retail video store by the likes of Blockbuster or Movie Gallery (if you're lucky enough to find one that's still open), the choices of movies you'll find are overwhelming and daunting. It's not that these stores don't have good movies, but 70-80% of the movies they do have you probably haven't seen because you've never seen them in theaters. Reading the description on the back doesn't seem like a good enough choice to rent the film, because the two hours you spend watching them may be wasted if the film is really bad. There are no credible reviews to guide you, and even if the film has a familiar face or two, that's not even a guarantee that the film will be good or memorable. The problem is not that there are a couple of these films, but movie stores nowadays have packed their shelves with so many of them that it's harder than ever to choose.

"Kabluey" is one of those films that gets lost in the video store shuffle of all the crappy films. It's unfortunate too, because "Kabluey" is an incredibly original film. It's quirky throughout, laugh out loud funny at times, and has the deadpan sensibility of indie film gems like "Rushmore" and "Napoleon Dynamite".

The movie starts out by introducing Leslie (Lisa Kudrow), an Army wife whose husband is stationed in Iraq. He's not dead, but his absence still hasn't been easy with their two hyperactive, uncontrollable sons and no one to watch them without bills being sacrificed. Leslie then learns about her husband's 32-year-old brother Salman (pronounced how it's spelled), who doesn't have a job or a home for that matter.

Salman, played by writer and director Scott Prendergast, is the 21st century version of a vagrant. He is a well meaning but inept guy with no skills or education of any kind, thereby differing in Biblical ways to his brother. He has nowhere to go and no money to get there, but he isn't exactly the homeless guy you see sleeping on the sidewalk. Salman arranges with Leslie to watch the kids while she works to pay off the children's Medicare and other expenses. Salman in turn would stay at her house and work until he is back on his feet.

The premise so far sounds like a family comedy, but it's far more original than that. The story gets weirder, and therefore more unique, when Salman gets a thankless job handing out fliers in the middle of a barren street with few pedestrians. To make matters worse, he's in a heavy costume with limited visibility and not even the convenience of fingers to easily hand out fliers with.

His costume is of Kabluey, a web icon belonging to a failed Internet company called BluLeXicon. Kabluey looks like the yellow AOL man, and has a hanging head to match his blue complexion. There's no shortages of ways it becomes difficult to wear that costume, although Salman tries harder than I would to pass out and organize the fliers. It's also funny when he discovers that the only way to use the bathroom is through the zipper in the butt area of the costume, resulting in his having to temporarily wear the costume backwards.

There are many interesting subplots in this film, and they all come together very well to reveal a lot about the characters. The story is strange, but nothing seems sugar-coated about Kudrow's army wife situation. Kudrow plays someone who is understandably distressed, and looks it throughout the movie. She can't control her kids, and she has virtually no friends around to help her. Her situation is entirely understandable, and she's one of the best things about this movie.

When I saw Prendergast, I couldn't help but think of Ben Stiller. It's not only because Christine Taylor, Stiller's wife and occasional co-star, is featured in this movie. Stiller seems the be the go-to guy when it comes to playing an incompetent slacker who won't grow up. Prendergast here, however, doesn't come off as a rip-off of Stiller at all. He has an originality to him that eradicates the Stiller comparisons successfully, and his character is as odd and appealing as this entire movie.

There's no doubt that this film is odd, but it is very much a rhapsody of intangible qualities that made last decade unique. In this case, the bust of the Internet bubble (signified by the Kabluey costume), and the War in Iraq. These things have made last decade (and this decade so far) notorious, but have not been incorporated into any film I've seen so far, or at least not as seamlessly as this film has done. For a deadpan comedy to have those subjects serve as a backdrop could not have been easy, but somehow the film succeeds.

The film has many inconsistencies and unexplained occurrences, with Teri Garr's recurring appearances being one of them. However, this film is the good kind of odd that could make it a cult classic soon. I'm sure people will find this movie after digging through the unimaginative, run-of-the-mill, Hollywood casualties that may be to blame for Blockbuster's demise, and they won't be disappointed.
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8/10
A surprising fun and hilarious comedy
Jackpollins20 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Kabluey is the story of Salman (Scott Prendergast, who hands in a fantastic performance, and also wrote and directed the film quite nicely), an almost no skilled man who goes to live with his brother's wife, Leslie (Lisa Kudrow). His brother is overseas fighting in the military, so since he's unemployed, when Leslie's at work, he has to watch her kids. This is one of his weaker points that makes for some of the funnier scenes. After Salman figures out he can only handle few jobs, he takes a job dressing up in a blue promotional suit on the side of the highway. Christine Taylor plays Betty, a woman who's kids are obsessed with his suit. Prendergast has made a triple threat film, he does a great job acting, writing, and directing all in one. The film is sweet, fun, and contains more laughs than two of the average comedies combined. Both Kudrow and Taylor also do a good job of juggling humor, heart, and drama. The premise is completely unbelievable- as the man in the blue suit, Salman gets invited to entertain kids at a kid's birthday party, except you would think they would hire a clown. That said, if you're willing to leave the real world for two hours, and have a good old time, then Kabluey is the movie for you.
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10/10
Prendergast Strike Gold In This Hilarious Indie Comedy
cannonclubonline10 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Not many things in life are worth watching that will inspire you to laugh at other people's crazy situations more than this film. Filmed in and around Austin, TX, this 86 minute film wins you heart by captivating you with a surrealistic story-line that depicts the players lives as pure chaos.

Our hilariously funny young man Scott Prendergast makes his feature film debut as the lead role, director, and writer. Prendergast strikes pay dirt on this one, making it fun to be quirky and strange. This sort of life imitating art is perfectly balance off as Salman (Prendergast) is suddenly thrust into the middle of his sister-in-law Leslie's (Lisa Kudrow) miserable situation as a wife with two small bratty kids trying to make ends meet while her husband serves another tour in Irag.

It's quite hard to pick up on but Suze (Teri Garr) is supposedly the mother of Leslie (Lisa Kudrow). This actually happened once before on Friends (1994) with Phoebe's character.

The most disturbing things about this film, is that Salman has no way of controlling his two nephews, Lincoln (Landon Henninger) and Cameron (Cameron Wofford). It's amazing that the uncle didn't hurt this one kid who poured something like comet in his mouth while he was sleeping. Ironically, when Salman finally wears his blue dot suit to the birthday party. The children completely change when they discover that Salman is inside the suit. They win a new respect for Salman since they think he's some kind of super hero.

Leslie finds Salman a job at her defunct DotCom company BlueNexion. We find that Salman has no idea what he has gotten himself into. Kathleen (Conchata Ferrell) steals the show as Salman's stressed out employer who recruits him to go out into the middle of the country wearing the company mascot suite and pass out fliers. Ferrell small fits of rage with cursing, and the tantrums she has while hiring Salmans is completely unexpected. Every moment she's on screen is absolutely hysterical. Even though she's supposedly playing this seriously, the comedic nature of it all was way too funny. Too bad she doesn't have a show like Carol Burnett did.

Kudrow plays this role with dignity and believability. It's not what I'm certainly used to with her roles, however, it is played so well she should have gotten an award for it. You could almost, for a few moments feel the pain in her life and the trouble she faces as an abandoned and troubled mother. The strong supporting cast also includes Angela Sarafyan as the weird grocery-store clerk named Ramona. Teri Garr plays a believable deranged woman who lost her savings with BlueNexion and takes it out on the company's big blue mascot. Christine Taylor has a very small part as Betty yet she gets a higher billing than Teri Garr. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is pretty good as Brad, one of the corporate bosses who seems to have a few tricks up his sleeve with his office secretary, Leslie.

Roddy Bottum's makes all that you see much better with his charming and unconventional score that keeps the movie rolling right along. Their seems to have a lot of time put into the closing credit by introducing 4 or 5 really short, but interest sets of animation using the BlueDot guy. Perhaps one of the funniest scenes of the film was one where the blue kabluey guy ganged up with cheese-girl taking Polaroids of Brad at the Motel with his other girlfriend.

Don't miss this film if you can help it. There are many things enjoyable in life & this is one.
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5/10
Funny little blue man....
filmmadman19 October 2007
The little blue man is hilarious. The design of the mascot, who is the centerpiece of the film, is flawless in its visual statement of generic corporate symbols. The film is very funny and the performances are good. There are times when characters like the one played by Teri Garr, could've been more developed and not as random and cruel.

The 'beer can scene' is hilarious and shows the true comic talent of Prendergast. Kudrow does a fine job of being very angry and depressed, almost too much.

But the highlight is the little blue man. If the director doesn't market that costume for Halloween, he's making a big mistake.
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1/10
Minus 10
j-lacerra27 June 2010
I am not an expert, but I would assume that one of the first rules of comedy is that it be funny, or at least heart-warmingly humorous. Kabluey is neither. I did not laugh once during the 45 minutes of the picture that I watched. The blue suit joke drew one chuckle, and they beat that device into the ground, negating it.

Is anyone truly as obtuse and socially comatose as the Salman character, played by Scott Pendergrass? 'Stupid is as stupid does', but it is not necessarily funny. Are any children as completely malevolent as these two boys? How could anyone find humor in watching these out-of-control brats assault everything and everyone they come in contact with? The mother character, played with an evil benign deadpan annoyingness by Lisa Kudrow, is rude, nasty, ungrateful, and mean. Kudrow, apparently a known television actress, is so unsympathetic in her character that she engenders outright dislike from the viewer.

So, not only is Kabluey unfunny, but it is actively anti-funny. Please, do not depress and torture yourself with this steaming turd of a motion picture.
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9/10
The score seems too high, but this Little Film That Could deserves nothing less
theskulI422 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
We have a question.....can you fly? Quirk. Outside of surrealism, there is no style of film that is more difficult to successfully pull off, and yet, so consistently greenlit and, most disturbingly, profitable, than the dreaded Quirkly Indie Comedy. Divorced from reality and big-studio pressure, half-wit hacks are free to pack their piffle with desperate actors clamoring for respect, ironic one-liners so overthought they don't consciously exist in our world, and hapless one-dimensional characters being mugged by their actors, dropped into 'wacky' situations and tasked as either Creator of Chaos or Straight Man for Double Takes and Eyebrown-Raising. This is the tough crowd into which Scott Prendergast presents Kabluey!.

Norminally, the story involves a man named Salman (as I said, Quirky Indie Comedy, nobody is named Ellen or Abbie or Scott, they're named Juno and Olive and Salman, played by our writer/director, Prendergast), inept and fired from every job he has (most recently as a laminator who got fired for...overlaminating), who is contacted by his sister-in-law (Lisa Kudrow) after her husband's stop-loss National Guard duty in Iraq is extended and she risks losing her health insurance unless she can get a job. He is stuck in the role of caregiver for her two children, who are, predictably, hellions, and he, predictably, is in over his head. In fact, so much of this opening act is overly familiar that my first draft of this review, a review that shifts and fluctuates as a film marches on, had to be completely scrapped as its pleasures unfolded to me.

The statement the film is making is far from new, a lot of croaking about faceless conglomerates taking advantage of the working man, but the way in which it's presented is undeniably unique. The reason for this is that I don't think social criticism was the foundation on which Kabluey! was to be built. Instead, I think the film, like many comedies, began its framework with an image in mind, a striking, or amusing, or emotional, or preposterous image. For Prendergast, that image is a man in a giant-headed, faceless, handless blue costume, handing out flyers on a desolate country road. Prendergast seems to share my glorious amusement pertaining to people in ostentatious outfits, their faces either stationarily affixed or wholly in absentia, and it would seem to me that he found this pathetic plush with the dirigible head amusing and decided to attempt to build a film out of it. It's a compliment to his imagination that he managed to turn this image into such an affecting little piece of work.

The main idea presented here is of the weak-willed, the faceless, the socially inept, the poor, the put-upon being helplessly dominated by the uncaring, quixotic and powerful automatons. Be it the army, who pulled her husband back to Iraq, the rich women who all hate each other and relish the opportunity to put each other down once they relinquish earshot, and view the poor as non-people (despite being in his ridiculous, lugubrious costume, he goes completely unnoticed while eavesdropping on their conversations), the nonsensical business whose mascot he inhabits (his superior is the harried and hilarious Conchata Ferrell, who he meets after being informed there were no jobs, and who promptly gets into a shouting match with another man in a messy, empty room), or the leader of that company, who carries on an illicit affair with the desperate and lonely Kudrow. But there also remains another, less pronounced but equally important oppression, that of Salman by his brother. The film takes care to emphasize that in all of the family pictures Salman observes, the entire family is frowning, and once his brother finally returns, we are privvy to a quick shot of awkward brotherly strife hanging on the wall. Prendergast takes great pains to shoot him only in shadow, a spectre hanging over the proceedings, and there is a moment of subtle but spectacular sadness hanging over the shot immediately following this: The children, having finally warmed up to Salman, reluctantly approach their father, and looking back for that support that they had come to rely on Salman for, find the seat he previously occupied empty.

Perhaps this is signifying that one should savor the small victories in life, because very rarely is the Little Guy able to rise up against The Man, on any level of Man-ness. Most tellingly, upon his brother's return, he immediately departs without a second thought. In addition, the film has a number of small vignettes, hardly-developed characters that appear in small moments throughout its runtime, be it Teri Garr, a passing motorist continually expressing her frustration at the iconography of the mascot's company, who put her out of business, wayward grocery store clerk Ramona, or the passengers of the bus Salman takes to work, taking a stand, or doing something small but meaningful to someone to which it would mean the world.

I gotta say, this film has thoroughly exceeded my expectations (read the introduction paragraph in case you need reminding). An emotionally-engaging, frequently amusing (of both the subtly verbal and up-front Ace Ventura varieties), making an incisive, intelligent and worthwhile statement, all while being simply, quietly entertaining with breezy brevity. Score one for the f-cking little guy. Not bad for a movie about a dude in a funny costume, eh? {Grade: 8.5/10 (B+) / #2 (of 74) of 2008}
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1/10
KaKrappy
flyingonabluedream1 September 2008
NANCY, (comment above), who says I was in the UK when I watched this film? You assume a lot. Also... what was that about your financial situation and water your plants? Pardon me for expecting a comedy film to give me at least ONE laugh. That's actually what they are supposed to do!

+Yeah the 'water plants' thing... I got the sarcasm, but what I'm saying is why is it unusual for me to wonder why a comedy film failed to make me laugh once. I'm a guy that loves to joke and I have a great sense of humor. I am intelligent enough to know a good joke when I see it and was quite frankly 'blinded' in that sense by this film and it's lousy script & direction. ____________________________________________________________________

For being a low budget movie, one doesn't expect the thrills and spills of the typical mainstream family comedies out there. A friend of mine recommended this as a great movie in which he 'laughed the whole way through.' I decided to check it out for myself. Optimistically, I sat down looking forward to a classic, but after 40 minutes of slow paced bad acting my patience was starting to grow thin. I thought the blue suit idea had a lot of potential and would take the main character on all sorts of wild adventures with all kinds of characters, however many dragged out boring scenes of the same characters (mad woman driving past in Ford Capri trying to run him over), which were unfunny in the first place consumed a fair proportion of this God-awful movie instead. This left me really frustrated and I've lost count of how many times I had to sit up to stop myself from falling asleep.

For the entirety I gave the movie a chance to get better, but it never did pick up. For being a comedy movie I was shocked,... I did not laugh once, nor did I find anything funny about the film. The storyline was boring (Father goes off to Iraq and brother takes care of his kids and his wife gets him a job, because she is fed up with him) and the acting was atrocious.

I highly recommend you stay away from this one. The other comments here seriously confuse me, because it was probably the worst film I have ever seen and I only gave it 1 out of 10, because IMDb does not offer the '0/10' option. Honest to God there was not one thing I could say I mildly enjoyed about this film, except for when the credits appeared and I knew that this nightmare was finally over.

STAY CLEAR.

P.S. I am normally generous in rating movies. I begrudge giving this 1/10, because even 0.1/10 is too kind in my opinion. Coming soon to a supermarket bargain bin near you!
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2/10
What's funny about it?
sdhardin26 December 2008
I'm sorry--I really wanted to like this movie but there was very little likable about it. Comedy? No. It is sad and evokes feelings of sympathy for some of the characters (yes, they are pitiful) but there is no comedy involved. For single folks, the scenes of insane children running wildly amok might be mildly amusing, but for parents, it is horrifying. Children sprinkling powdered cleanser into their uncle's mouth? No. Not funny. If the uncle had done something to provoke them, maybe it would have been funny, but there was nothing like that. There were a few "aha" moments but even they were bathetic, not funny. Only see this movie if you are desperate and have no other options.
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5/10
Where to Begin!!!
rstone-2719 September 2008
Let me see --- I just finished watching this movie.

I'm still pondering the after effects.

Its definitely a movie to see, its slow, methodical and quite unique.

There are some very touching moments, funny moments and some very real moments.

Its not a movie I would watch again, but one I'm glad I took the time to see once.

This is one you will have to judge for yourself. I gave it a 4.

Most people won't like this movie because it doesn't pertain to violence, action, horror -- its a Drama of a real life situation for a lady, a family, a brother, a uncle.
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6/10
Quirky film finds grace in closing moments
rjyelverton26 December 2008
Nearly drowning in indie quirk, "Kabluey" manages to pull its head above water for a touching conclusion. This film takes place in indie land where nearly everyone and everything is quirky. The cars are quirky, the grocery store is quirky, and the clerks are all quirky. Northern Exposure and Wes Anderson succeed in their quirkified excesses by also creating characters that are deeply flawed and very human. When Kabluey strips away the quirks, humans emerge and the story moves the viewer.

The story opens with Leslie (Lisa Kudrow) hiding in the closet from her two menacing children and speaking with her mother-in-law about how overwhelming her life has become since her husband left for Iraq. Enter lovable loser and brother-in-law Salman. He shows up in part to help out around the house and in part because he has nowhere else to go. In order to help with bills Salman takes the job of a giant blue company mascot. The mascot suit proves a fantastic comic device and makes for excellent visuals and funny physical gags.

As Salman settles in to his new life, he discovers myriad problems. Leslies's life is out of control and the internet start-up for which he is working is on the brink of collapse. Though he has always been a doormat and failure, Salman finds himself in a situation that demands he act. The suit, Salman discovers, evokes very strong reactions in others and he must decide how to use this new power. Can he finally take control of his life and become an actor not merely the acted upon? As mentioned, in the film's final moments, the movie strips away the quirkiness and closes well. The final scenes feature people merely talking to one another, finally confronting the mess they have made of their lives and trying to face the future. "Kabluey" is hit and miss, but it achieves a special grace in its closing.
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10/10
Response to FLYINGonAblueDREAM
flybug222 September 2008
This is a response to the "KaKrappy" review by flying-on-a-blue-dream.

i ALSO live in the UK and I ALSO downloaded a pirated version of the movie online (because the film isn't available over here yet).

You know, I hear you flying-on-a-blue-dream! You say you didn't laugh once? that you had trouble keeping your eyes open?

Well i was expecting this film to solve my current financial situation. And to water my plants. Didn't happen!

I mean can you believe all these reviews this film is getting? The new york times critic's pick? "a genuine discovery" from the Hollywood reporter? 4 stars from time out new york? "the best expression of alienation in America since election rush to see this if it comes to a theater near you because it deserves as much attention as possible" from Ain't IT COOL NEWS? WTF?

Although i weigh 37 stone and don't leave my house often enough to pay for a movie ticket i would like to say that i was hoping to laugh hard enough to stop my (constant) tears.

why 5 stars? well it's in the middle. and I just love me some Lisa Kudrow.

----------------

flying on a blue dream. Maybe you didn't have any laughs because you don't get jokes. watering plants? I mean, really.
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6/10
This film is like a badly mixed martini. It doesn't taste as good as it should but it'll still get you drunk.
MBunge25 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
When Kabluey is about a guy in a blue mascot costume with a giant blue football for a head, it's wonderfully absurd and charming. When it tries to deal with supposedly real people and their supposedly real problems, it's kind of forced and obvious. A strong performance from Lisa Kudrow, however, keeps the less artful moments of the film from dragging the whole thing down.

Leslie (Lisa Kudrow) is a woman with a two-story house in the suburbs, a husband off serving in Iraq and two little boys (Cameron Wofford and Landon Henninger) who are so out of control that Dr. Spock would have beaten them with a belt. Needing to go back to work or her kids will lose their health insurance, Leslie reluctantly calls in Salman (Scott Prendergast), her husband's sad sack loser of a brother. He'll stay and take care of Leslie's juvenile berserkers while she goes back to work at an internet firm devastated by the popping of the tech bubble.

Though Salmon, who confronts life with a blank look on his face, struggles at first as a caretaking uncle, he eventually shows some marginal aptitude for it. As soon as he does, Leslie feels her place as mother threatened and gets Salman a job at her work so he can help pay for daycare. Salman gets stuck in big blue suit that makes him look like a featureless, hydrocephalic Smurf and plopped along the side of the road to hand out fliers for office space in the internet firm's largely empty building.

Being a weird looking blue thing allows Salman to bond with his almost-feral nephews, interact with a sunken-eyed supermarket cashier (Angela Sarafyan), enrage an old woman (Teri Garr), discover that Leslie is having an affair with her boss (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and gain the confidence to act that he's lacked his entire life. The story then ends with one of those "happy, but really not" endings that actually works for this movie.

Every moment that Salman is in costume, Kabluey is funny, clever and visually entrancing. Every moment he's out of costume, Kabluey is just another indy flick trying to find humor in how much life sucks. The normal stuff isn't bad, it's just by the numbers and livened up only by Kudrow's fairly powerful performance in a cramped role and Conchatta Ferrell and Jeffrey Dean Morgan engaging in one of the greatest non-profane screaming matches in cinema history. It's Leslie's struggles with her husband's absence, her fear of being encroached upon as a parent and her adulterous diversion from her own unhappiness that are at the heart of this tale. Her character is missing for too much of the film, though, as it focuses on the shallow and undefined character of Salman. Kabluey is balanced between a character with plenty of depth but not enough exposure and one with plenty of exposure but not enough depth. If it had been about Leslie putting on the hydrocephalic Smurf suit, this movie would have instantly become 100% better.

Writer/director/actor Scott Prendergast created something intelligent, entertaining and even a bit touching. He tried to blend whimsy and ordinary and didn't quite make it, but got close enough to produce a movie that's well worth watching.
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