Archive for Gentlemen Broncos

Gentleman Broncos

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Parker Connell

It was around the time that Sam Rockwell sporting a pink unitard and speaking in an offensively cliché gay lisp, picked up a flat cow turd and ate it that I realized that Gentleman Broncos wasn’t really intended to entertain anyone. If anyone is entertained it is purely incidental. The writing in Gentleman Broncos feels like a five year old heard his first fart joke and immediately wrote a movie. Everything is unnecessarily gross and mildly hateful.

I don’t want to say that Gentleman Broncos is the ugliest film I’ve ever seen, but if Trashhumpers didn’t exist Gentleman Broncos would be the ugliest film I’ve ever seen, but at least Trashhumpers had the benefit of being ugly on purpose.

Michael Angarano plays the main character of this movie and that is just too bad. Mr. Angarano has in his short career made been in some pretty great movies, Snow Angels, Sky High, that one movie where Jet Li and Jackie Chan fight each other or some bullshit, Red State, and in this he is totally wasted, as is Sam Rockwell. The only person that comes out of this not appearing bad at there job is Jemaine Clement, who completely buys into the role of Ronald Chevalier and crafts the only character worth watching. In a different, more perfect world, I different writing/directing team would have created Chevalier and made a decent send-up of the notoriously absurd and conceited world of sci-fi novelists. Instead we are stuck with a movie that revels in unearned testicle jokes and unfunny homophobia.

This movie is funny like reminiscing with your elementary school friends about all the poop jokes and girls you used to like, not very funny for anyone else to watch and even the people who experienced it should realize that “One of the lasers hit my boob” screamed by a man in drag isn’t very funny. The whole stupid affair reeks of kids swearing in the cafeteria, none of them really knows what it means and aren’t really committing to the vulgarity just in case adults are listening.

On the topic of puke jokes: I love puke jokes, and in my naïveté I thought all puke jokes were funny, my ignorance was brought to light by Gentleman Broncos, and I hate it for this reason.

There is quite a bit of unhappiness at the filmmakers Hess. After Napoleon Dynamite became the Juno of that year (what was the pre 2008 version of “This years Juno”? “This years Scent of A Woman” maybe?) people started getting down on the husband and wife Mormon moviemaking team, I didn’t bye into it, sure Napoleon Dynamite got old pretty quick and doesn’t hold up, but I still hold Nacho Libre (the couples second film) as one of the funnier movies around. I say all this in order to offset any claims that I was predetermined to hate Gentleman Broncos, which is the very opposite of the truth, the makers of this movie failed in their own right with no help from bias.

The main problem this movie has in terms of “integrity” (or whatever term you’d use for the category of thing sin the writer/director has control over) is that none of it is original. Each of its three acts have their own half assed story arc each stolen from better movies. The first act, taken from Hess’s own Napoleon Dynamite, is about an awkward teen’s romance with an awkward girl. Both movies main characters obviously have little or no experience talking to girls but where Napoleon was a begrudgingly sweet story of weirdoes finding each other Gentleman Broncos’ love story is a mean one where the girl takes advantage of the boy’s earnestness.

The second act is about Michael Angarano selling his book, The Yeast Lords (everything about this movie is off putting), to a local filmmaking group. It is at it’s heart a rip off of Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, and what a cold, dead heart it is. Be Kind Rewind is a flawed but entertaining film simply because of the creativity of it’s direction, and the simple sweet nature of it’s performances and script. The production of The Yeast Lords has all the surface appearance of a “sweded” movie from Be Kind Rewind (dolls standing in for special effects, using men to play women, bad line readings) but instead of the sense of community the view felt during Be Kind Rewind, Gentleman Broncos urges us to laugh at it’s would be filmmakers, Hess and his cohorts go out of there way to say “Look at these idiots, they think they can make a movie.” Which is ironic, I suppose, because the piss poor production of The Yeast Lords is only slightly more terrible than Gentleman Broncos.

The third act is stolen whole cloth from the Frankie Muniz/Paul Giamatti family vehicle Big Fat Liar, where a corporate bigwig steals a short story and attempts to make big money off it. In Gentleman Broncos, Jemaine Clement steals Michael Anganaro’s sci fi book The Yeast Lord and repurposes it only slightly to become Brutus and Balzaak (one of many really lame jokes about testicles featured in this movie). I have very little good to say in terms of Big Fat Liar except that Gentleman Broncos belongs in the small group of films categorically worse than Big Fat Liar.