Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Kid With the Movie Camera: Son of Rambow

When I saw that there was going to be a movie made about an amateur filmmaker recreating a major movie on home video, I thought I was going to be treated to a great, quirky movie. I got one half of that correct: it sure was quirky, but it was definitely not great or even good. It actually was quite mediocre. It seemed that the director, Garth Jennings, thought he could actually fool people by adding in Garageband sound effects (during many scenes there was Kids Booing). I mean, who is his target audience anyways? If you make a movie about making a movie, you are gonna get your share of Youtubers who want to see something about videomaking. If that's not the target audience, the crowd Jennings was probably aiming for was the sentimental ones who were looking for a nice, tearjerker movie. He probably won over those people, but not myself (I have dabbled in the craft of videos) and probably a lot of others. Anyways, to the plot. The story centers around Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner), a kid who is in a religious brethren and can't watch certain TV programs that his teacher at his school makes the kids watch. During one of his sit-outs, he meets Lee Carter (Will Poulter) who gets into a fight with Will over Will's drawing book and ends up knocking over a fishbowl (the breakable thing law that has surfaced in movies lately). They are sent to the principal's office, and they bond in the waiting room. Already at this moment I was thinking that the plot was developing too fast. So, Lee takes the blame and demands the watch that Will is wearing in return. He also demands that he must help him shoot a sort of remake of Rambo for a contest called Screen Test. While he is over at Lee's place, Will becomes enchanted with the Sly Stallone character, and in a extremely garish and weird scene, "becomes the son of Rambo(w, as he thinks it is spelled)." He also comes up with the plot for Lee's amateur video. I have to mention something about the video. The stunts that Will ends up doing are outrageous and absolutely defy the laws of physics. When Lee propels Will backwards, he flies backwards 20 feet into the air, and it is sickening. Anyways, this business relationship interferes with Will's church schedule and his mom Mary (Jessica Hynes, in a terrible performance) becomes concerned. So she hires Joshua (Neil Dudgeon, another actor performing terribly) to help him stay faithful. While this is going on, at school, the "French Exchange Friends" have come to school, led by the idolized (he is followed around by many doting Brits) Didier Revol (Jules Sitruk), who compares himself to Patrick Swayze and thinks he will be a great edition to the movie. So Will hires him and Lee gets mad and they visit a glue-sniffing club and film more garish scenes and the watch is passed back and forth and on and on and on. Then, Lee gets nearly killed when a building falls down. At this point, the movie can go two ways: 1. Will edits the film and the movie wins the contest and there is a happy ending or 2. Will doesn't edit the movie in time, the movie doesn't win the contest, but the movie does end up on a matinee with "Yentl." If you guessed 2. you were correct. Some nerdy guy who apparently paid a lot more attention to time constraints and wasn't religious wins, but Will ends up editing the movie so Lee can see it at the local theatre as a short film before the Barbara Streisand "classic." During the film, which is crudely edited by Will and Lee's brother, Lee's brother (who looks a lot like Smosh's Anthony Padilla) makes a heartfelt speech, and the movie ends shortly after. This movie feels empty, and it doesn't seem like it can fill it's hole. Bottom line: great idea, bad writing, directing, and acting. The main problem, though, is that Will and Lee have more scope than the makers of this movie. C

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