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Frankie Go Boom(2012)
Frank Bartlett has been tortured, embarrassed, and humiliated by his brother Bruce -- usually on film -- his entire life. Now that Bruce is finally off drugs and has turned his life around, things should be different. They are not.
For more about Frankie Go Boom and the Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray release, see Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray Review published by Brian Orndorf on June 5, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd, Lizzy Caplan, Ron Perlman, Chris Noth, Nora Dunn
Director: Jordan Roberts
» See full cast & crew
Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray Review
Frankie go bust.
Reviewed by Brian Orndorf, June 5, 2013
A comedic farce doesn't have to make perfect sense, but there should be something within the realm of logic fueling the insanity, grounding the effort in plausibility as fits of madness swirl around. The unfortunately titled "Frankie Go Boom" doesn't supply a single believable moment, sprinting around a most nonsensical, contrived offering of screenwriting. It's unbearable to sit through at times, watching decent actors flounder with intentionally ridiculous material, working themselves into a lather to serve writer/director Jordan Roberts's clumsy sense of humor. It's utter nonsense, but not an admirable type of tomfoolery that carries itself with an engaging creative vision.
Exiling himself to the center of Death Valley to get away from his toxic family, Frankie (Charlie Hunnam) is sucked back into domestic demands when older brother Bruce (Chris O'Dowd) is released from rehab. Ready to make amends with Frankie after uploading his humiliating wedding video to the internet, Bruce can't stifle old habits, secretly taping Frankie in his bedroom with one-night-stand Lassie (Lizzy Caplan) as he struggles with impotency. Hoping to use the footage to jumpstart his directorial career with sober pal, and Lassie's father, Jack (Chris Noth), Bruce uploads this video as well, sending Frankie into a full blown panic attack, demanding the footage be pulled immediately. Crossing Los Angeles on a quest to yank the recording before word reaches Lassie, Frankie confronts all manner of setbacks, while Bruce inches closer to the realization of his filmmaking dream, repeatedly betraying his brother to secure his interests.
The primary problem with "Frankie Go Boom" is the contaminated relationship between Frankie and Bruce, with the prologue of the feature detailing an early scene of filmmaking manipulation as the older brother tempts his younger sibling into physical harm to create something special for the camera. Roberts's script makes it clear that Frankie wants nothing to do with his family, even taking up residence inside a decrepit trailer in the middle of nowhere to clear his mind. However, when his mother (Nora Dunn) calls with word of Bruce's rehabilitation, the dutiful son makes the pilgrimage home. Why? It's not explained to satisfaction, especially when it's understood that Bruce has a history of breaking promises, including one that's destroyed his brother's life. Frankie returns home because Roberts needs him to return home, otherwise we wouldn't have a movie. That really wouldn't be such an unpleasant development.
There are whoppers galore in "Frankie Go Boom," with Roberts making the characters up as he goes, ignoring a consistent display of escalating anxiety to simply stitch together random scenes of comedic desperation, including a third act that introduces Phyllis (Ron Perlman), one of Bruce's jail buddies who's gone through gender reassignment surgery and asks Frankie to view the waxed results. There's no reason for the character to be here, but that's the routine of the movie. Roberts simply craves the sight of Perlman in drag on screen, no matter how awkwardly it fits into the feature. There's also a question of Frankie and Lassie's humiliating tape, a development that would naturally decimate any peaceful interaction between the brothers, yet the screenplay keeps Frankie tied to Bruce, hoping the very man who's obsessed with making his life a living hell will make the effort to help him out in his darkest hour. The script is completely absurd, without a modicum of creative finesse that could aid the viewer in comprehending these outrageously durable family ties. Bruce's insincerity (and O'Dowd's brutal American accent) is more disturbing than humorous, infusing the picture with an unintentional grip of mental illness that comes to paralyze the helmer's storytelling judgment.
Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray, Video Quality
The VC-1 encoded visual (2.39:1 aspect ratio) presentation has to make do with the film's low-budget look, though the disc manages the basic needs of the visual experience quite nicely. Favoring a yellow-tinted palette, colors are generally consistent and secure, exploring bright spaces and costuming with verve, while naturalistic exteriors also capture handsome hues, capturing desert locations accurately. Fleshtones are warm and human, also displaying a range of bloodless inebriation for a few of the characters, communicating pale discomfort. Shadow detail is comfortable, necessary for critical evening encounters, preserving depth and texture on hairstyles and distances. It's a crisply shot feature, and fine detail is pleasantly explored in close-ups and locations, while the make-up work on Perlman is quite vivid, showing off the considerable paint and powder required to turn the hulking actor into a woman. While the image isn't striking, it's always competently managed.
Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The 5.1 DTS-HD sound mix provides a basic modern effort that favors the front with its blend of dialogue and scoring cues. Verbal interplay is smartly managed and always understood, giving the listener some clarity during the cacophony of characters, while music is gracefully supportive and distinct, never overwhelming the human element. Atmospherics are largely the only audio element that ventures into the surrounds, filling out outdoor adventures and interior echo, while violence also gooses mild directionality. Low-end is never pushed to explosion, but retains a welcome presence with soundtrack cuts and some of the more manic bouts of comedy. No distortion was detected.
Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Despite not having any respectable lines to swing around, Hunnam performs admirably in the lead role, working the unwound angle with a certain dignity, sharing solid chemistry with Caplan, who doesn't have much to do beyond prancing around in a bra made of candy. Roberts serves a cinematic death blow by perverting the goofball effort into a romantic comedy in the final moments, coughing up a break-up-to-make-up finale as a way to leave viewers with something meaningful in a picture of perpetual hooey. "Frankie Go Boom" is meant to be this cartwheeling creation of randomness and silliness, but it's impossible to acquire that tone when the production ignores consistency.
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Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Frankie Go Boom - May 11, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Universal Home Entertainment are offering three members a chance to win a copy of writer/director Jordan Roberts' Frankie Go Boom, which stars Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd, Lizzy Caplan, Chris Noth, Nora Dunn and Ron Perlman. Frankie Go Boom streets ...
• Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray - February 26, 2013
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray release of writer/director Jordan Roberts' Frankie Go Boom, starring Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd, Lizzy Caplan, Chris Noth and Ron Perlman. The outrageous comedy comes to Blu-ray on May 14th.
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