Lions Gate presents
Danny Roane: First Time Director (2006)
I watched The Muppets Take Manhattan last night for inspiration...- Danny Roane (Andy Dick)
Stars: Andy Dick, James Van Der Beek, Anthony Rapp
Other Stars: Jack Black, Mo Collins, Ben Stiller, Kevin Farley, Bob Odenkirk, Kate Flannery, Frankie Muniz, Maura Tierney, Sara Rue, Bob Bancroft
Director: Andy Dick
MPAA Rating: R for Drug Content, Crude and Sexual Humor and Some Language
Run Time: 01h:24m:00s
Release Date: 2007-11-06
DVD ReviewWhen George W. Bush's Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey was before the Senate, his confirmation was thrown into question when he refused to acknowledge the practice of waterboarding as torture. One might wonder what he would make of the film Danny Roane: First Time Director. In his testimony Mukasey did label waterboarding as repugnant, if not illegal.
Andy Dick is such a runaway train as a comedian that one can watch his performances with alternating hilarity and horror. He burst on the television scene in the low-rated but critically successful Ben Stiller Show in the early 1990s. NewsRadio was his next major stop and a successful run for Dick. MTV carried The Andy Dick Show and that was followed by a run on the moderately successful sitcom,Less Than Perfect. He is also known for his outrageous antics on Comedy Central Roasts, including some bizarre licking incidents. Here he combines the klutzy characters he is known for on-screen with the booze and drugs off-screen persona in a faux vérité documentary about an actor fired from his television show for alcoholism, who attempts a comeback as the director of his own screenplay, called "D?d Drėm". However, he finds the pressures of helming a feature film a bit daunting.
The movie made its debut on the Comedy Central, with Dick as an executive producer, director, writer, music supervisor and star. The first part of the film, which is lighter and a bit funnier, includes several amusing set pieces that mock the filmmaking process. About halfway through, things get a bit darker and more harshly satirical. In fact, its new incarnation walks a thin line between a hard-hitting industry comedy and a somewhat disturbed bong-hit-dream movie. In the same way, some elements oddly celebrate what seems to be satirically condemned in the movie-within-the-movie scenes. Throughout the film, there is very little restriction on the content in a gleeful political "incorrectness."
James Van Der Beek is quite funny as the lead in Roane's film who is willing to endure a lot to push the envelope. For a critical scene, Van Der Beek's butt-double is played by David Del Grecco. Later, Rent star Anthony Rapp takes over the lead in Roane's film when it is re-imagined as a musical. Jason Miller of Godhead appears, oversees the music and contributes some songs. Another musician, The Dark Bob, contributes some music and has a small part. The songs are certainly one of the best parts of the production; several times I was watching a scene and was amazed at what I was hearing.
Jack Black, Mo Collins, Ben Stiller, Kevin Farley, Bob Odenkirk, Kate Flannery, Frankie Muniz, Maura Tierney, Sara Rue, and Bob Bancroft all contribute on various levels to the proceedings. Also appearing in the film are two of Dick's sons, Jacob and Lucas.
This will likely find a place in the genre of drug movies, which also includes another Dick role, Bongwater, Dude, Where's My Car?, Half-Baked, How High and the several Cheech and Chong marijuana epics. There is a weird hall of mirrors effect in watching a comedian appear as a character in a fake documentary about himself directing a film from a screenplay based in some ways on his own life's misadventures. Interspersing real people playing fictionalized versions of themselves among the fictional characters contribute to the confusing perspectives.
Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: One can't help but think that the transfer is pretty good, despite the fact that the film overall looks pretty awful. Unfortunately, in this case, the point is to put out something that looks like the worst hits of YouTube. Definitely it was not something that could have been "repaired in post-production."
Image Transfer Grade: B-
Audio Transfer Review: Sound quality is very good. The mix of the dialogue, effects and music is handled with great aplomb. Sound usually suffers in reality and pseudo reality situations. Here there is fine harmony of interview sound with musical scenes.
Audio Transfer Grade: A-
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
0 Other Trailer(s) featuring Employee of the Month, The Bros., The Long Weekend, Fido, Delta Farce
7 Deleted Scenes
Extras Review: Are you kidding me? Andy Dick didn't have time to sit down and do a commentary for this thing? Oh well, maybe save that for the director's cut....
There are, however, outtakes (09m:55s), mostly shots of people breaking up laughing, as well as an extended scene and five extended Interviews (21m:44s).
Extras Grade: C+
Final CommentsAndy Dick fans rejoice! Nearly two hours of weirdness at full throttle is available in Danny Roane: First Time Director. Not an Andy Dick fan? Proceed at your own risk.
Jesse Shanks 2007-11-06