Friday, August 31, 2012

Goliath (2008)

A short while ago on the Silva & Gold podcast, Doctor Zom spoke poorly of a film entitled “Goliath”. He called it horrible, boring and one of the worst films he’d ever seen! Naturally, he thought of me, the Cinemasochist. He joked that he’d send it to me one day, though he doesn’t know why. I get a kick out of watching bad films (I once called in and talked for over ten minutes about a killer cookie movie). He actually ended up mailing me the film with a message to review it.

Which brings us here today. I was hoping going into the film that I would be typing up a positive review. Not to smite Zom, but to give a differing opinion on the film. That and I go into almost every film hoping for a positive experience. About twenty minutes into the film, I knew this wouldn’t be the case. Zom was right when he said this was a bad film!

It’s just not the type of bad film that I was expecting. While I revel in watching terrible cinema, a lot of the ones I reference are films that aren’t boring. Not at all of them are so bad it’s good (usually just flat out bad), but they’re at least memorably bad. They have something occurring to make me notice them. Even if I don’t want to, I’ll remember them.

I won’t remember a thing about “Goliath” in about two months. I can almost guarantee that. I’m only about an hour removed from my viewing and I’m struggling to recollect some scenes. Considering the film is only an hour and twenty minutes long, this shouldn’t be an issue. There’s only so much you can fit in that time slot (which, for the record, is not a negative most of the time; more films need to be between eighty and ninety minutes). Yet, here I sit, trying to remember a film I didn’t like in order to review it.

I do remember the main storyline (or lack thereof). David Zellner plays nobody, according to the film’s IMDB page, so I’ll refer to him as David. He is getting a divorce from his wife, has been demoted at work and, worst of all, lost his cat, Goliath. He finds the cat dead in the middle of the road (I’d say spoiler alert, but it happens early on and I really don’t care at this point) and believes that Chad P. Franklin (Nathan Zellner), a sex offender who just recently moved into the neighborhood, murdered him. You know, because all sex offenders murder cats in their free time.

There’s potential there for a good comedy to be made out of. This isn’t it. The first problem is that all occurs in under ten minutes when you put it all together. The rest of the film is devoted to laborious shots of David moping around the house, dealing with his immature co-workers (they swear and light their farts on fire) and dealing with his ex-wife. There’s actually a scene in here where they sign the divorce papers in silent that runs for about a minute or two straight. I get that Zellner was trying to convey the monotonous tone of the action, which he technically did. The scene was boring and I didn’t care. Mission accomplished?

I do remember chuckling twice in the film. The first would be when David is trying to explain the situation to his ex-wife (he cheated on her, but with only two fingers, so it technically shouldn’t count in his eyes), only to snap and proclaim, “I smoke in the house now!” The other time would be shortly after he buried Goliath in the backyard. He goes inside to find the litter box full of crap and tosses the entire thing out the window. I wouldn’t call this praise, as I chuckled a few times during “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” as well and that’s not a good film, either.

The only other positive feedback I can give to Zellner is that he can frame a shot. He utilizes the camera well and smoothly transitions from one scene to the next. Without a good story to tag along with it, what’s the point? The reason directors such as Terrence Malick are praised is not just because they can artistically film a movie. It’s because they can do that, as well as telling a compelling story. Zellner forgot to include that in “Goliath”.

MVT: I wouldn’t call this much of a MVT, but the camerawork is nice.

Make or Break: The signing of the divorce papers. That’s the epitome of this film and why it’s boring.

Final Score: 2/10

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