Saturday, June 4, 2016

freakboy on film: GENTLEMEN BRONCOS

Later this month I will be participating in a blogathon concerning a very specific genre of film.  In honor of this upcoming event, tales from the freakboy zone will be mutated into a film blog for the month of June.

Written by: Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess
Directed by: Jared Hess 

"Remember who you are and what you stand for." - Judith

First, GENTLEMEN BRONCOS is not a porno, even though the title sounds like one.

Second, and I should have stated this first, I hate Napoleon Dynamite, with a passion.  Maybe if I had waited to watch it until all the insane hoopla had died down, like I did with Nell, I would have enjoyed it.  I seriously couldn't open a newspaper or magazine without seeing stories about people dressing up like Napoleon for class pictures, proms, and even adult proms.  Ugh, but enough about that.

Despite the creative connection to that other film and a tepid review I read, I knew I wanted to see Gentlemen Broncos.  Maybe it was because of Sam Rockwell, who entertained me in Galaxy Quest or Michael Angarano, who was an amusing addition to Will & Grace.  More than likely it was because the plot concerned a writer, which I guess I call myself, on a good day, when nobody is around.

The plot follows the ups and downs in the life of Benjamin Purvis as he deals with the crazy aftermath of attending a writer's workshop.  Judith, his loving and creatively eccentric mother, wants him to keep following his sci-fi literary dreams.  Tabatha Jenkins & Lonnie Donaho, his beyond quirky new friends from the workshop, desire to see Benjamin's words adapted to the extremely independent big screen.  Dr. Ronald Chevalier, Benjamin's literary idol, just wants to plagiarize Benjamin's epic masterpiece Yeast Lords to save his own failing career.  Dusty Crissop, Benjamin's angel, is around to lend a helping hand, even if it doesn't initially seem so.

Seriously, it’s not a porno.
I could go on and on about how much I love this film!  Michael Angarano as Benjamin is relatable, funny, and sweet. Jennifer Coolidge as Judith is low-key funny and touching. Halley Feiffer and Héctor Jiménez as Tabatha & Lonnie walk that fine line between hilarious and annoying, which is hilarious.  Sam Rockwell, in a sort of dual role, as fictional characters Bronco/Brutus just kills in every sci-fi scene. Jemaine Clement as Chevalier is so smugly arrogant that you want to scream and laugh.  Mike White as Dusty is as weird of character as you would expect Mike White to play.

Yet, in hindsight, the one aspect I love/adore most about Gentlemen Broncos is the mother-son relationship between Benjamin and Judith.  The final scenes of them give me a severe case of the feels and cause a happy grin to spread slowly across my typically stoic face. 

So grab a popcorn ball, or two, and feast upon what has quickly become one of my favorite films, but be warned...

"Cyclops there.  Cyclops there.  Cyclops there.  Turrets.  Moon buggies.  Oh, my holy crap.  Surveillance does.  I hate those." 
- Brutus

Freak Out,

P.S.  Click Gentlemen Broncos to listen to my cobbled together playlist on Spotify, because this awesome film deserves an awesome soundtrack!  Even an incomplete one!

P.P.S. Please be on the lookout for my very specific film blogpost (and other groovy posts from other groovy bloggers) in the near future...(hosted by Barry P.


  1. Hi, John. I approve of your theme month. :)

    I'm not ashamed to admit I love Napoleon Dynamite, although I agree all the "hoopla" surrounding it was a bit much. My feelings about Gentlemen Broncos are mixed, but I really enjoyed the fun movie within a movie starring Sam Rockwell (he's amazing). I also liked the relationship between the main character and his mom. I think it's one of those films that has the potential to get better on subsequent viewings, however, so it might be due for a re-watch.

    Nice review, and a million "thanks" for the blogathon plug!

    1. Hey, Barry. Glad you do. ;)

      I must say that the more I watch Gentlemen Broncos, the more I love it! That being said, perhaps I should give Napoleon Dynamite a second viewing. Maybe I'll get more out of it now that I've seen another Hess production, and at least people are no longer going coo-coo bananas about it every single day.

      Sam Rockwell was awesome as Bronco/Brutus! Sometimes I feel he, as an actor, isn't as appreciated as he should be.

      You're welcome about the plug! I'm really looking forward to the blogathon!!!