A movie worth time and money. It quickly joins 1998’s ‘Big Lebowski’ & 2000’s ‘Ladies Man’ as a great American comedic achievement.
I still want my money back after seeing Inception last weekend— especially after I spent much less to own a modern-day, accidental masterpiece like, Gentlemen Broncos.
A few nights later from the comfort of home I put in a DVD copy of Gentlemen Broncos. I bought it but expected nothing. I don’t believe this was in the theaters either, straight to DVD after it received horrible reviews before it’s National Release in October of 2009. Whoever made that call should be fired but time will prove this movie’s artistic worth. It’s too smart for the mainstream. I knew in advance it was written by the young, husband/wife team of Jared & Jerusha Hess (directed by Jared), the same team behind Napolean Dynamite & Nacho Libre. I thought at the very least it had to be an entertaining watch, if anything. What I didn’t know was it would turn out to be one of the funniest, abstract, American comedies made in years.
Gentlemen Broncos will not appeal to all, fortunately. Over time, some of you will see it and wonder why you didn’t sooner. I spent most of the time watching the flick trying to figure out, where in this ridiculous country and at what point in time does all of this nonsense take place? That question becomes a part of the movie’s overall entertainment, often pausing to try and decipher a main character’s ‘Subaru’ car license plate. This is one of the most original American comedies made in years using it’s environment/setting; like Napolean Dynamite & Nacho Libre as main characters in themselves.
The premise to ‘Bronco’ is simple, nothing brilliant; a teenager named ‘Benjamin’ (Michael Angalano) attends a writer’s camp, bringing with him a copy of his original story, Yeast Lords: The Bronco Years. At camp he meets his hero, a best selling Sci-Fi author, ‘Dr. Ronald Chevalier,’ played by Jemaine Clement. (Clement is best known for being on the hit comedy HBO show, Flight of the Conchords— also a band on SubPop of the same name.) Clement’s character borders on the absurd, pompous, creepy and always hilarious. He sports a quasi-Indian mountain man uniform to die for with a bluetooth device on his ear always reminding the viewer that this is NOT the 80s no matter how hard you try and connect the timeline to these pathetic American characters. Sam Rockwell also guest stars as a the futuristic, Jesus-like, hillbilly hero, ‘Bronco,’ in Yeast Lords reenactment scenes.
Without giving away much, Dr. Chevalier needs to keep his career on the ups. Meanwhile Benjamin’s life, his work, his family, his so called friends are real downers- including the place he lives in, a strange, far removed American place that the Hess Team obviously knows something about.
Skip on blowing hard earned cash at the movie theater on a weekend and pick up a copy of Gentlemen Broncos on DVD. The Hess team ‘art’ projects are quickly turning into American cinematic treasures. Buy the ‘Bronco.’ It’s 100% absurd, brilliantly written, directed, acted, and the music selected is perfectly pathetic. An absolute ‘owner.’
dD | andywhorehall.com