Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gentlemen Broncos

After the mediocre "Nacho Libre" husband-wife team Joshua and Jerusha Hess attempt to reclaim the glory of their sleeper hit "Napoleon Dynamite."  Instead of another quirky fairy tale like "Napoleon" what they create instead is more of a parody than anything.  Like bad sequels everywhere, "Gentlemen Broncos" takes a strength from the original and then overuses it to the point of tedium.

Like "Napoleon Dynamite" this movie focuses on a delusional loner, only in this case his name is Ben.  While Napoleon drew winged creatures and such, Ben just writes really terrible sci-fi stories.  His latest is something called "Yeast Lords:  The Bronco Years" that maybe was supposed to be a take on series like "Dune" or something.

Anyway, Ben goes off to the Cletus Festival for writers.  Along the way, he meets an older girl named Tabatha who "borrows" some money to buy tampons and winds up buying a bunch of snacks for her friend Lonnie instead.  At the festival, Ben's favorite writer Dr. Chevalier announces a contest where the winner will have his/her story published.  Ben decides to enter "Yeast Lords" but his entry never comes back.

That's because Chevalier steals the story for some reason.  At the same time, Ben sells the movie rights for the story to Lonnie and Tabatha, who make a terrible film reminiscent of the "Sweded" versions of famous movies in "Be Kind, Rewind."

Inexplicably Chevalier's book is wildly successful, leaving Ben with the terrible decision about whether or not to confront his hero about the theft.

The movie features a lot of zany characters like Ben's "guardian angel" who has a pet snake and likes to shoot poop-tipped blow darts at things and Ben's mother who is his equal in delusions of grandeur concerning her line of nightgowns and popcorn creations.  These all fell flat with me, feeling like pale imitations of those in "Napoleon Dynamite."  As well, the relationship between Ben and Tabatha never seems to be defined.  At times she seems to like him and at other times she uses him.  Though I'm not sure where their relationship could go since at least to me she looks 10 years or so older than him.

As well, as a sci-fi fan the idea that Chevalier would want to steal Ben's terrible story and that it would be successful seems mildly insulting.  It's almost as if the Hesses are saying sci-fi fans are so dumb they'll buy anything no matter how stupid it is.  This might have some truth to it, but not to the extent presented here.  Really from the clips of the book presented (where inexplicably Sam Rockwell plays Bronco) it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to read the book, let alone steal it from someone else.

In the end, the filmmakers try to to recreate the magic of "Napoleon Dynamite" to the point of using the same format for the credits.  Unfortunately the movie takes its quirkiness to such extremes that it becomes a campy parody.

That is all.

My score:  40/100 (1.5 star)

Metacritic score:  28/100 (1 star)

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