' Cinema Romantico: Road Dogz

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Road Dogz

As all steadfast readers of this blog know, I’m rarely the type of person to use excessive superlatives. I do not wear my emotions on my sleeve and avoid hyperbole as if it were a non-fat decaf latte from Starbucks or that evil wasteland of Boulder, Colorado. But I feel I must venture from my usual path in light of the film I have just seen, thus allow me to apologize in advance. The words I will use in this entry may veer hard and heavy into the territory of dramatic exaggeration but I am left with no choice in the face of such brilliance.

Orson Welles was once asked to name his favorite directors. His reply? “The old masters – by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford.” Now I can’t say for certain but I feel safe to assume that if he were alive today, and had seen the movie I viewed last night, he would refine his quote to, “The old masters – by which I mean Daryl A. Moon, Daryl A. Moon, and Daryl A. Moon”.

Moon’s “Road Dogz” is a vivid portrait of three comedians earning their living on the road and the cameraman in charge of recording this experience. Some may call what we witness as the movie unfolds “hijinks”. I disagree with the utmost strenousness. I would call it “human life”. Yes, human life drives these dogz down their many roads.

The press release informs me that Moon’s favorite director is Paul Verhoeven. And I can see the influence as plain as day. The acerbic wit – the unrelenting narrative drive – the boldness – the brashness – the staunch refusal to play by cinema’s antiquated rules - it’s all there. (My single complaint would pertain to the audacious onstage “vomiting” scene. It’s here that Moon cuts away too quickly. Verhoeven would have lingered – not just on the act of vomiting but on the vomit itself. His camera would have dug deeply into the pool of barf to make his audience one with the sickness of the comedian. But I digress.)

The comedy here is, of course, bountiful and the scenes of a wearying life on the road are poignant. But an acute observer will notice another layer rippling underneath the surface. Are we all not Road Dogz? And if so, must we not all deal with our own variations of ceilings which offer no suitable place for light or drunken patrons forever offering jokes with no discernible punch-line and/or humor? An encounter with one’s idol (Dave Attell, in a scorching cameo) is not seen as a moment of triumph but as a launch pad to regret. A simple air mattress being tossed haphazardly into a pool becomes a symbol of one man’s descent into so much madness.

The movie’s slogan is “Standup Comedy Will Never Be the Same.” True, but once you see it neither will your life.

7 comments:

Tobius F. said...

Who's this Daryl A. Moon everyone is talking about?

Gene Parmesean said...

He starred in several snuff films involving midgets in the 80's after being fired in 1989 after the "incident" he fell into a life of crime. He cleaned himself up and has been a whore for Hollywood elitists since 1995.

Carl W. said...

Let me tell you something about this Moon guy........you get a little rum, a little diet soda, a little "Starship Troopers", baby, you got a movie goin'.

Tobius F. said...

You're right, carl w. I'm going to march down to that editing studio where I have a bedroom....

carl w. said...

Woah, woah, woah....you have an editing studio? Do you have Final Cut Pro or just two VCR's?

Tobius F. said...

I don't know.

carl w. said...

Let's go find out, man.