Three friends, who have been close since grade school, are approaching their 40s and feeling like they are well past their prime. One friend had a 4.0 grade point average, works at a retail store. One was a star athlete bound for a scholarship, is 25K deep in gambling debt. The final of the three was a successful working rock musician, now drives a beer truck and lost his knack for song writing. As they all hit rock bottom, they venture on a road trip with a pair of tickets to a major College Football match and the hope of starting fresh…or end it all on a high note.
So much seems to happen in this film, as it plays out like a series of bits that have been sewn together. Things happen so quickly that it is hard to keep track of what is motivating these men. They seem to go back and forth between seeking a meaning, then redemption, then they want to kill themselves, and then the cycle starts over again. The “bits” (as I just called them) are amusing enough but it is hard to connect with characters when you’re not sure how seriously to take them. They play for beer-fueled, road trip laughs more often then not, but then confuse you with a sudden heavy desire for catharsis (and overload of which comes at the end). One might assume that because so much happens so quickly in a movie that is 90 minutes long, that it has a good pace, but it doesn’t. The funnier bits certainly pick things up but then we hit a grinding halt on more than several occasions with inexplicable scenes like this Ed Harris cameo at a carnival which has nothing in the way of exposition or character revelation, thus doesn’t feed the film at all.
The three lead actors do a decent job trying to keep up with the frantic emotional shifts they are faced with in the script, especially John C. McGinley who is clearly the most professional of the bunch. Alas, the film is as aimless as the character’s journey and whatever charm they may have is not quick glue enough to hold together a rabble of ideas that producer/writer/director/star D.B. Sweeney wanted to include in his opus and said ideas are just too inconsistent with each other to achieve any one mood the film wants. By the end, all that was set-up hardly matters as even the football game that kick started the film all but disappears.
(Note to hockey fans: look for Wayne Gretzky and his family in the film…possibly Chris Chelios too).
Widescreen 2.35:1. The quality of the picture is quite upsetting. Some bits are extremely choppy and it is fuzzy throughout. It looks at least 30 years older than it is, and like a VHS transfer at that. Really shabby.
Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo. This somehow manages to be a bit worse than the video quality. All of the voices are tinny. There are plenty of sounds happening in the speakers for Surround, but its really a waste as the extremely low quality of the dialogue sound is unavoidable in such a talk-heavy film. Very very disappointing.
Commentary: D.B. Sweeney offers some nice short tidbits about the film as a whole. Unliked some commentary’s where those speaking either trail off on tangents or aren’t sure what to say, Sweeney is cleary watching the film with as much intent as he probably had while making it. He is not too indulgent in his topics so if you dig the film, you’ll dig what he has to say about it.
5 Deleted Scenes: The first coupe of scenes, I have NO clue where they would fit in this film. Mostly what I got from watching these scenes is just how little the third friend (the one with the high grade points) meant to this film. Everyone gets a wrapup ending after the trip, except him, it is here in the deletes…and it sucks.
Outtakes: Mostly just pranks made by the cast on eachother. Stupid but offers a couple chuckles.
Alternate Trailers: For this film.
Honestly, this film is very close to being really great. It does have some nice messages, some funny bits, and some decent performances…but it is just a bit too jumbled for its own good. A shame.