Thursday, September 15, 2011

What You Should Have Seen #19

I’ve wanted to see Hesher since I first heard about it on Film Drunk in Dec. ’09. Joseph Gordon Levitt as a long-haired, anti-establishment rebel (hmm, but I guess ALL rebels would be anti-establishment, wouldn’t they?). Rainn Wilson as a single, bearded father trying to make ends meet so he can take care of his son. Natalie Portman as…well, who cares, it’s Natalie Portman, so I’m in.

The movie got a pretty limited theatrical release, and I can’t remember if it actually played in or around Nashville. Regardless, I’ve been waiting for the DVD release.

The first time we meet Hesher, he almost wails on a…13-year-old?...kid before throwing a bomb out of the abandoned/under-construction house he’s squatting in. Now, I might be totally wrong in this assumption, but being a jaded movie watcher, I don’t even believe that Hesher is real. I’ve seen too many movies where the protagonist creates an alter ego to deal with the shit storm that his life has become. At least in the first 10 minutes of the movie, I can totally see Hesher being T.J.’s alter ego.

Then T.J.’s dad sees him, so I guess that theory is shot. So no, then, Hesher isn’t a figment or a subconscious projection of an alter-ego. He’s a shirtless, tattooed, rape-van driving and heavy-metal listening delinquent. He’s also the stereotypical all-of-that with a heart of gold…sort of. Hesher doesn’t change. This isn’t about him, although the movie bears his name. Hesher is who Hesher is, and there really isn’t much extra under the surface.

T.J. and his dad are depressed and struggling after the death of T.J.’s mom, and the whole story is nothing but a “deal with it” tale. Hesher is the catalyst that gets the dad out of his funk.

Stepping back, I don’t like it. It’s a bunch of good acting, but it’s not a good story, and therefore not a good movie. Shouldn’t the fact that a character like Hesher has taken up residence in his house be the motivating factor for Wilson’s character to get off his ass? To protect his son, his mother and himself? To me, it just all falls apart once Hesher shows up and nobody really gives a shit.

Overall, the movie is a bunch of good acting in a bunch of good scenes, but when put together they don’t make up a good movie…and that kind of makes me sad. I hate it when that happens.

Probably for the rest of the month I’m going to whore myself out with an impassioned plea: click on the ads. PLEASE click on the ads. I don’t care if you exit it out of it immediately or actually look around. This isn’t some professional blog where I believe in the products I’m shilling. These are automatic ads placed by Google. But my experiment this weekend proved to me that I actually AM making a spot of cash whenever the ads are clicked. So I’m going to put this little disclaimer on the bottom of all my posts for the next month or so, and I hope you’ll take an extra 10 seconds after reading my blog to click on an ad. Thanks so much!

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