Root Beer Film Festival: Gentlemen Broncos

Gentlemen Broncos made $118,492 at the box office, and cost $10 million to make. It was a commercial and critical failure for Jared Hess who had previously directed Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre. Hess has directed exactly zero movies since Gentlemen Broncos was released and bombed in 2009.

This movie is so stupid and ridiculous, but also sometimes so funny that it’s actually kind of good. Ten years from now it may be considered a cult classic along the lines of Walk Hard and The Big Lebowski. A movie that originally made almost no money, or lost money, but eventually found a second-life through DVD, midnight screenings by fans, and Comedy Central.

When I was selecting movies for this little experiment I really wanted to find something starring Sam Rockwell to watch, but by Friday night had come up empty. It shows how little I remembered about Gentlemen Broncos that I forgot Rockwell plays Bronco, the antagonist that Dr. Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement) steals along with his entire “Yeast Lords” story from Benjamin Purvis (Michael Angarano). Chevalier turns Bronco into a transvestite and re-names him Brutus. Rockwell plays both Bronco and Brutus and is so great that you end up hoping he’ll re-appear as either sooner rather than later.

Gentlemen Broncos was the victim of terrible reviews. It only ever reached 18 theaters before being pulled after 42 days. Currently, it holds an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I just think critics didn’t get it. They were most likely expecting another Napoleon Dynamite or Nacho Libre and instead they got this weird story about a teenage sci-fi writer that occasionally cuts to a bearded Rockwell riding a deer or barfing on a deer. It’s weird, but fun.

Louie Bluie
This hour-long documentary of the late, great country blues musician Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong is filled with great stories and music from the man himself. This is director Terry Zwigoff’s first documentary. There is an odd scene with Armstrong going through a book of his writing and art on pornography that he keeps locked in a box. It fits in nicely with Zwigoff’s next subject the cartoonist Robert Crumb.

Movies watched: 5 (Moonrise Kingdom, Bronson, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Gentlemen Broncos, Louie Bluie)
Root Beers consumed: 5 (Stewart’s, Brownie, Mug, Boylan’s, Dang!)

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