Saturday, April 17, 2010

On-Demand: the Shane Meadows mock-doc LE DONK & SCOR-ZAY-ZEE

It's easy to imagine how tempting to writer/director Shane Meadows (shown below) was the idea of shooting an off-the-cuff/on-the-quick mocku-mentary starring Paddy Considine (who had worked with Measdows earlier in Dead Man's Shoes -- the least by far of the films of this "mini-auteur").  Come on:  It'll be quick 'n funny 'n easy to shoot 'n probably mostly improvised 'n cost next to nothing!  TrustMovies would still rate "Shoes" as the least of Meadows' generally very good movies, with LE DONK & SCOR-ZAY-ZEE the runner-up.

In the film, Considine plays a totally self-involved slag and would-be entrepreneur who has teamed up with a would-be rap artist named Scor-zay-zee, played by Dean Palinczyk.  Le Donk has also made his girl-friend pregnant and then tried to get her to abort.  Wanting to keep the baby, she's meantime found a new boyfriend, but now her old one wants her back.  Or maybe not.  Does he really care, or might this just be a blow to his vulnerable ego?  In any case,  it's been awhile since we've confronted a character who barely possesses a redeeming trait -- at least for half of this thankfully short movie. Considine (shown below), who is (along with Rebecca Hall) the best thing about the recently-released Red Riding Trilogy, is kinda cute.  But his brand of mussed-up/messed-up hunkiness goes only so far toward redeeming his character or entertaining us. (Toward the conclusion, Donk has a moment of revelation, which is approximately as convincing as everything else is the film.)

The rotund and reticent Scor-zay-zee/Palinczyk (pictured on the poster, top) can rap, I suppose (though I'm no judge of this lesser musical art form), but otherwise proves not much in the personality department.   Meadows follows the two around as Scor get the opportunity to perform during a major concert, while Le Donk gets his opportunity to embarrass himself in front of his now very-pregnant girl, her new boyfriend -- and us. (During a one-on-one with the bf, he tells him that their "mutual" girl has informed him that the bf's dick is quite small -- and suggests they pull their pieces out for comparison purposes.)  Then it's all back to rehearsals and performing.  That's pretty much it, other than a few bits of wit that crop up in the dialog now and again, plus some fun to be had watching Scor perform during the concert.  The musical track's not bad, either.  It's all relatively painless, though whether this is reason enough to plunk down the extra few bucks for On-Demand, I am not certain.

I can't help but think that the film is really a matter of Meadows' mostly vamping until his next good idea is born. Which, given his history, has probably already happened and is currently being filmed.  (The man has made eleven movies in little over a de-
cade, and while this is not up to the Winterbottom level, it's still pretty impressive.) Running only 71 minutes plus end credits (during which Considine -- or is it Le Donk -- regales the crowd with his tale of having had sex with a hermaphrodite), the film is over around the time you'd expect it to get into gear.

If this sounds like your bottle of brew, Le Donk & Scor-Zay-Zee is available via IFC Festival Direct On-Demand. Click here for the how and where to get it.


Anonymous said...

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James van Maanen, said...

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