ENTERTAINMENT, the latest film from Rick Alverson, he vaguely recalled the filmmaker's name. After watching Entertainment, he looked up Alverson and realized that, sure enough, he'd seen the filmmaker's earlier work, The Comedy (TM's review of which can be found here). In the annals of filmmaking, I suspect that Mr. Alverson, shown below, may rate as one of the oddest ever to see his films obtain theatrical release: the least desirous (and perhaps the least able) of giving audiences anything like what they are used to (and most probably both expect and want to be) seeing and hearing.
Gregg Turkington, and Tim Heidecker, who starred in The Comedy) has again come up with a character and situation, the likes of which you'll have never encountered in your wildest dreams: a stand-up comic whose routine barely qualifies as funny and whose audience is made up of outliers from prisoners to the denizens of comedy clubs in deserted areas which civilization seems to have bypassed completely.
The Comedian, for that is how he is billed (played by Turkington, below), tells jokes in an angry fashion, and when he is heckled by those in his audience, which occurs with some regularity, lashes out at them fiercely.
John C. Reilly (above) as some kind of cousin/friend, who gives the comedian advice; Michael Cera, sporting very short hair, as a rest-stop hitch-hiker; and Lotte Verbeek as a :Chromotherapist, giving a lecture on color; plus a few more well-known indie performers.
Gus van Sant's Gerry that I've seen a film this wayward and pointless. But if you prize something slow and different above all else, Entertainment may prove to be yours -- in spades.
Magnolia Pictures and running 110 very long minutes -- opens tomorrow, Friday, November 13, in New York City at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, and in Toronto at the Carlton Cinema. In the weeks to come it will hit a number of other major cities across the country. Click here to see all currently scheduled playdates with cities and theaters listed.