Danny Roane: First Time Director (US - DVD R1)
Troy wonders who really wants to watch comedian Andy Dick's directorial début
Andy Dick’s fifteen minutes should’ve been up a long time ago. Now, he’s spending that last minute on the Warhol Fame Clock spinning his wheels in a mockumentary about an unfunny star’s self-destructive behaviour. If you’re expecting the genius of Christopher Guest, then you’re probably an idiot for watching this. But, if you’re a glutton for punishment or if you like to see how the mouth breathers live, then you’ll want to check this out.
Danny Roane (Andy Dick) is a C-list celebrity who just destroyed his career on Jimmy Kimmel Live. His successful sitcom career has gone out of the window and now he’s left with only one shot at saving his professional life. Roane must become a director for the first time. Calling upon some friends in the business, he works hard to pitch a personal project to executives who really don’t care about Roane anymore.
Numbers of celebrities pit their time in, as they seem to think that appearing with Dick will buy another year of the man not sticking his head in an oven. What’s really sad is that if you can get past the comedy on the set of the Roane’s film Dad Dream, there’s an attempt at actually creating a story arc for Roane. I didn’t notice this during my first viewing, but upon second glance…I came to notice how sad it was.
If you fail and you weren’t even trying, most people can just chalk it up to being one of those things. But, really digging into this film I can see that Dick wanted this to work. I was saddened to see that someone struggled to produce a narrative, but failed when forced reliance upon old standards killed any room for honest development. Very rarely do I say this, but Andy Dick should be ashamed of this film. He’s wasted my time and the time of any other discerning viewer.
Danny Roane: First Time Director is full of that cheap Digital Video that was supposed to be heralded as the start of a New Wave of Cinema roughly five years ago. Well, we’re in 2007 now and it looks horrible. The 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer is covered in artefacts and digital noise so abrasive that I thought my trusty ole’ DVD player was dying on me. Nevertheless, I toughed it out for the eighty four minutes of the film to realize that every scene in the film looked this bad. If you’re still on the fence, I want you to pick up a Public Domain DVD, then take a pocket knife and scratch indentations into the disc. Play that and take it down a notch to witness what I have to consider as one of the worst transfers of the year.
The DVD packs a Dolby 2.0 Surround sound track that is lifeless throughout the duration of the film. Nothing really adds to the presentation, as the songs and dialogue are kept to the front channels. The dialogue felt weak in the centre audio channel for the fifteen minutes of the film, but picked up as the film progressed into the actual film within a film. The most noticeable audio standout was the musical numbers that Dick composed himself and littered throughout the film. It feels as though, you’re listening to master recordings of a comedy album that never got off the ground. What’s sad is that the rest of the film could’ve benefited from the same amount of professional quality.
LionsGate has seen fit to throw trailers for Delta Farce among four other pedestrian movies before the film starts. I’m not sure if LionsGate was trying to test the idiot waters and hope the blind buying consumer would risk ever picking up another one of their DVDs again. But, somebody out there has to keep Andy Dick in steady work. It might be Satan or it might be the pear-shaped masses that flood the Wal-Mart bargain bin.
The ten minutes of outtakes and twenty-one minutes of extended scenes are the only true special features on the material. The outtakes can largely be skipped, as they deal with Jimmy Kimmel and Andy Dick laughing like Dom DeLuise after he got into a nitrous oxide processing facility. The extended scenes are more of the same, though they appear to have a noise-free transfer. That’s quite a surprise from the main feature, which looks like someone shot it on a ten dollar camera.
If you’re still desperate for extras, you can always re-watch the trailers from the start of the disc. They’re accessible from the main menu.
Danny Roane: First Time Director is easily one of the worst films I’ve seen this year. Yet I know that someone somewhere is going to pick up this flick and adore it. It all boils down to that intangible sense of what’s funny that differs between individuals. Pick this title up at your own risk.
Review by Troy Anderson
Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian
Release Date: 6th November 2007
Disc Type: Single side, single layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 English
Subtitles: English and Spanish
Extras: Extended Scenes, Outtakes and Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Andy Dick
Cast: Andy Dick, Mo Collins, Marshall Cook, Kevin Farley, Michael Hitchcock, Anthony Rapp, Bob Odenkirk and James Van Der Beek
Length: 84 minutes
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