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Sympathy for Delicious(2010)
Dean O'Dwyer, also known as ""Delicious D," is an up-and-coming DJ on the underground music scene in Los Angeles. When a motorcycle accident leaves Dean paralyzed, he abandons his turntables for a wheelchair as his once promising career disappears before his eyes. Forced to live out of his car on skid row, Dean begins his descent into depression when he meets Father Joe Roselli, a passionate young priest. Father Joe introduces Dean to the world of faith-healing, an unlikely way for him to begin his quest to walk again. He soon discovers that he possesses the otherworldly power to heal people, but in an odd twist of fate, he is utterly unable to heal himself. Despite Father Joe's warnings, Dean angrily decides to use his newfound gift for fame and fortune. He joins a rock band led by charismatic front man The Stain with bassist Ariel, and manager Nina Hogue.
For more about Sympathy for Delicious and the Sympathy for Delicious Blu-ray release, see Sympathy for Delicious Blu-ray Review published by Brian Orndorf on September 6, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Christopher Thornton, Mark Ruffalo, Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney, Juliette Lewis, Noah Emmerich
Director: Mark Ruffalo
» See full cast & crew
Sympathy for Delicious Blu-ray Review
Hands that spin the records heal the sick.
Reviewed by Brian Orndorf, September 6, 2011
Actor and future Incredible Hulk Mark Ruffalo makes his directorial debut with "Sympathy for Delicious," a sincere but fragmented feature that bites off way more than it can chew. Although rich with intention and authenticity, this tale of tainted miracles and crooked salvation just doesn't contain the creative gas to power it through some dreadful melodramatic dead spots, while leaning too heavily on cliché to find a conclusion. After working with some impressive filmmakers throughout his career, learning from the best, Ruffalo's effort is tremendously disappointing.
Dean O' Dwyer (Christopher Thornton, who also wrote the script) is a paraplegic on skid row, striving to maintain his dream to become a famous turntablist while suffering through the trials of poverty. Finding a helping hand in Father Joe (Mark Ruffalo), Dean is surviving but losing his patience with the world. Realizing he's in possession of a healing touch, Dean is urged by Father Joe to start curing the poor, quickly facing a horde of sick people in dire need of a miracle. Tempted by the potential for monetary reward, Dean turns his back on the church and joins a rock band fronted by The Stain (Orlando Bloom), earning a fortune healing people on stage, with every move orchestrated by devious manager Nina (Laura Linney).
A paraplegic himself after surviving a serious accident at the age of 25, Thornton's screenplay for "Sympathy for Delicious" is a heartfelt investigation of the frustrations of life, addressing the discomfort of a man facing both physical and spiritual challenges on a daily basis. It's a fascinating character of bitterness and sorrow, though the story laid out for Dean is a bumpy one, taking the aspiring musician on a routine run of self-destruction and redemption, making a tragedy out of a man without ever truly confronting his own aggressive actions.
Ruffalo directs obviously, covering his modest budget with handheld camerawork and cameos by industry friends (John Carroll Lynch, Juliette Lewis, Noah Emmerich, and James Karen appear), seeking to inflate "Sympathy for Delicious" into a larger mood of consequence. It's ambitious but artificial, a fact not helped by Thornton's writing, which takes Dean on a Faustian journey where the wheelchair- bound man finds fame and fortune with his irritable band and their crass "Healapalooza" tour, losing his identity to the excesses of success, blocking out God and the mysterious source of his gift. The moldy arc is never challenged by Ruffalo, who stages certain scenes with a cringing transparency while giving Thornton a wide berth with his performance, which feels a touch beyond his talents (it doesn't help that Dean is completely unlikable, eroding any emotional connection to the character). Ruffalo can't locate interesting complications, just familiarity, losing interest in the film's mysteries along the way.
The faith healing elements of the tale retain the most dramatic power, though the gift is never explored beyond miraculous euphoria. Instead of following the way of the touch and Dean's clouded headspace in response to all of the attention, "Sympathy for Delicious" stumbles in the third act, introducing legal woes for the character when it becomes clear his abilities are unable to save everyone. It's an uninspired turn, halting the movie's progression and its sense of adventure. Thornton feebly scripts to position Dean into a place of formulaic clarity, and the strain shows.
Sympathy for Delicious Blu-ray, Video Quality
The AVC encoded image (1.78:1 aspect ratio, 1080p) presentation displays trouble with crush issues, losing subtle details to thick blacks that swallow costuming and set design nuances along the way. Clarity is on the soft side, but textures are generally in good shape, best with close- ups, which register a full range of emotion and grit. Skintones are healthy for the most part, with a few yellowish scenes that corrupt natural human qualities. Colors are strong, though practically euphoric when offered a bright exterior light, pushing through with bold reds and yellows. A mild layer of grain is detected. While a few scenes are restrained due to muddiness, the majority of the picture is acceptable.
Sympathy for Delicious Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA sound mix supplies the basics with dialogue exchanges, holding frontal with a weighty collection of voices, blended satisfactorily to preserve dramatic intention. Healing sequences trail into the surrounds some, offering a mild feel for group gatherings. Stage performances are pronounced, finding an intentional cacophony that represents the group's feral musicianship, creating a circular sensation of crowd hysteria with a solid low-end throb. Scoring is mild but worked into the mix comfortably. Atmospherics are in good shape, utilized to reinforce the chaos of Dean's early surroundings, while interiors are suitably echoed and understated.
Sympathy for Delicious Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Sympathy for Delicious Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Dean and his miracle deserved a braver script, possibly a more experienced director as well. "Sympathy for Delicious" has moments of vulnerability and spirituality that convince, but the picture rarely attempts to seek out innovative entanglements for the characters. There's potential here that's barely met. There's personal doubt here that's barely appreciated.
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Sympathy for Delicious Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Sympathy for Delicious Blu-ray - June 11, 2011
This August, Maya Home Entertainment will bring actor Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut Sympathy for Delicious to Blu-ray. A surrealist dramedy about a paralyzed DJ (Christopher Thornton, who also wrote the film) trying to find meaning in the world of faith healing, ...
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