Hired by an ambitious small-town pastor to find sacred relics in the Holy Land, a self-proclaimed Biblical archaeologist comes up short and his attempt to cover up his failure fuels a comic conspiracy from the filmmaking team behind Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre. DON VERDEAN stars Sam Rockwell, Amy Ryan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Bibb, with Will Forte, and Danny McBride.Written by
Not Being Like Other Movies is a Strength, Not a Weakness
Most of the negative reviews you see for "Don Verdean" are the same as the negative reviews for "Gentleman Broncos." It all boils down to one basic idea: "This movie isn't enough like other movies I like." Professional reviewers and users alike miss the boat on these movies because they want them to fit in a neat little package. You'll hear a lot about how they didn't feel the movie worked as a straight comedy, or straight drama, or that mixing biblical jokes with more adolescent jokes doesn't work. They are missing the point. This is not meant to be a single genre, or even really a mix of genres, instead it is an examination of characters, ideas, and themes.
Unlike many other movies, "Don Verdean" (and "Gentleman Broncos," for that matter) is not looking to work as a whole, indeed these movies reject the idea of balance and chemistry as proscribed by mainstream films. Instead, DV is about about the details. Each moment of the movie has been engineered, largely without a thought for the other moments. In the Hess world, if something is interesting that's reason enough to include it, regardless of how it fits together with other pieces.
It's not inherently worse than other films (in fact, you'll see tremendous talent in the film-making, the acting, and the script); it's just a completely different approach. So see "Don Verdean," not because it's more of what you already like (and have) but because it isn't.
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