Thursday, September 4, 2014

Second Best (2004)

Director: Eric Weber

Writer: Eric Weber

Composers: John Leccese, Tom O'Brien, Joe Weber, Nathan Wilson

Starring: Joe Pantoliano, Boyd Gaines, Peter Gerety, Bronson Pinchot, Matthew Arkin, Jennifer Tilly, Stephen Bogardus, Barbara Barrie, Polly Draper, James Ryan, Patricia Hearst

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Losing sucks, but it doesn't necessarily kill you.

Plot: Jealousy overwhelms a group of friends, particularly struggling writer Elliot, as they prepare for the homecoming of their old friend, a wildly successful L.A. producer.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Good flick.  It's the strong performances and script that make it.  I'm a huge fan of Pantoliano and Tilly which is what brought me to it.  It is possible that you're going to get sick of Elliot (Pantoliano) and his self-loathing but if you stick with it you'll come out the other end feeling pretty good.  Everyone does a fine job and it's nice to see Pantoliano in a starring role.  He's got a scene late in the film where he's reading aloud to his friends something he'd recently written that goes deep into his true feelings which involve one of his best friends, Hollywood producer Richard (Gaines), and it ain't pretty.  Joey Pants delivers a fantastic performance and it's a wonderfully honest, sad and painful scene; one that's so good it's the type of moment that actors gravitate toward when looking for projects.  It's a well-directed film (Weber's second feature) but it's hampered by the cinematography.  It's not bad it's just that with the quality of writing and acting, the handheld stuff doesn't work and couple that with the image quality it cheapens the picture.   It doesn't make it unwatchable by any means but it holds the picture back a bit.  The THINKfilm DVD delivers a widescreen print with four trailers for extras (SECOND BEST (fullscreen - the rest are wide but not anamorphic), MURDERBALL, DALLAS 362 and THE ARISTOCRATS)

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