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Entertainment (2015)

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TheDenizen
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Entertainment (2015)

Postby TheDenizen » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:24 am

One of the very few times in recent years that Criticker's Probable Score has led me astray. It suggested I would rank this movie at 65/100. I endured the entire thing and ultimately rated it 10/100.

Here's my mini review: "A terrible stand up comic performs a series of depressing gigs and travels around the Mojave desert. It's long, boring scenes of of cringe inducing awkwardness punctuated by intentionally wretched jokes. Scores 10 points for a few nice landscape shots of the wasteland that is the American Southwest, however, this is essentially the director masturbating on screen for 90 minutes, daring you to turn it off. Ironically, there is nothing approaching any type of "entertainment" in this feature."

In short it was hot garbage. Convince me I'm wrong and that I didn't just throw away an hour a half of my life.

Risselada
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Re: Entertainment (2015)

Postby Risselada » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:14 pm

Had you ever been exposed to Neil Hamburger or Rick Alverson previously?

TheDenizen
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Re: Entertainment (2015)

Postby TheDenizen » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:21 pm

No sir.

Risselada
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Re: Entertainment (2015)

Postby Risselada » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:24 pm

Well I love it. I'm not going to convince you that you should have liked it though. Why should someone do that? Why would you want someone to do that? How could they do that?

TheDenizen
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Re: Entertainment (2015)

Postby TheDenizen » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:01 pm

Fair points, I was just hoping someone could tell me what they saw of value in it. I get that the Neil Hamburger character is doing schtick, but it's not funny. Clearly, intentionally by design not funny. How is someone who isn't funny standing around awkwardly in the desert supposed to be entertaining in any way?

If Hamburger's act is intended as anti-comedy, is Entertainment intentionally anti-entertainment? If so, why watch it?

I understand that the probable score indicator thought I would like this movie because clearly a lot of other people liked it. I just can't see why. You might not change my mind, but I'm open to being educated on something I'm clearly not getting.

Risselada
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Re: Entertainment (2015)

Postby Risselada » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:24 am

I think Neil Hamburger is hilarious. I've seen him live and it was side splitting. But the thing about it is that it's a humor that he knows some people won't be funny. I don't think it's by design to be unfunny, but it's a kind of humor that makes Gregg Turkington laugh and there's a percentage of people that also find it funny, and it's almost even more funny to the people who find it so because it's so special.

The guy in Entertainment though that plays the Neil Hamburger type character experiences this. He does a form of comedy that many people don't like. So the film is an insightful look into a very lonely entertainer on the road. Someone who is compelled to do this act even though he's completely lonely and it's almost sucked the life out of him. At the same time he's often surrounded by these fascinating landscapes.

TheDenizen
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Re: Entertainment (2015)

Postby TheDenizen » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:17 am

I appreciate you taking the time to write a thoughtful reply.

I will readily admit that I have peculiar tastes in comedy, and dislike a vast majority of what most people commonly find to be funny. It's pretty rare for me to find a comedy film that I like, but I do enjoy a lot of stand up comics...which I think is part of why I wanted to like Entertainment. The fact that I wanted to like it but didn't made me perhaps rate it more harshly than I might have otherwise.

I dunno that I agree with your statement that Entertainment is "an insightful look into a very lonely entertainer on the road". The harsh and barren (and admittedly interesting, at times) landscapes were certainly emotive of his mental state, but I'm not sure we ever get any insight into his character. We never really understand what it is that compels him to continue with these poorly received performances, or at least, I didn't.

Anyways, I've done some other reading about the movie as well, and while it's still not a movie I liked, I think I at least have a better understanding of what it was attempting to do. Thanks for your input. :)

Risselada
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Re: Entertainment (2015)

Postby Risselada » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:09 pm

I think what compels him is it's just the life he's carved out for himself and he doesn't know anything else. The fact that we don't see what compels him is kind of the point. He's almost doing it by habit now, rather than out of being really compelled.


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