Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Fan the Movie [J. Mark English]

Over the last few months I've been hearing more and more about a movie that was released on August 28th, titled "Big Fan" starring Patton Oswalt, and directed by Robert Siegel. From what I hear it might relate to most fans of any sports franchise. It deals with someone who loves to call in to sports talk radio, and is obsessed with his favorite team, the New York Giants.

Here is the trailer:

Here you will find an interview between Steve Somers of WFAN and Robert Siegel the director of Big Fan:

The movie gets an 88% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Here is a review from NY Times movie critic, Manohla Dargis:

The little man at the center of the spasmodically funny and bleak love story “Big Fan” doesn’t come with a halo slung over his head. His speeches are written in ballpoint with a heavy hand and delivered with bleats and bellows on the radio. (The words are so deeply inscribed on the page you could read them by touch.) He doesn’t come with a fanfare and, to judge by the square, squat cut of his jib, he’s an unlikely contender. He’s a regular guy or as close to regular as any 35-year-old can possibly be who sleeps under a poster of his favorite football star while tucked under a coverlet imprinted with the names of N.F.L. teams.

As its title suggests, “Big Fan” is about the love that speaks its name, though also often shrieks it in rock arenas, sports stadiums and other public places of worship. That love can be a beautiful, touching thing: I still remember John Belushi kindly taking the time to sign an autograph that I soon threw away. I just wanted the contact with someone I adored (and being a teenager, I had no idea of its possible market value). There’s a kind of grace in that kind of exchange, as the idol recognizes the supplicant and, if only during the seconds it takes to scrawl a name on a scrap of paper, comes down to earth with the rest of us.

An inability to recognize that love gives “Big Fan” its igniting moment. One evening while chowing down on pizza in Staten Island, two friends, Paul (Patton Oswalt) and Sal (Kevin Corrigan), notice Paul’s favorite Giants player, the fictional Quantrell Bishop (Jonathan Hamm), gassing up his S.U.V. Giddy with excitement, the friends start tailing Bishop. They spend much of their days and most of their solitary nights obsessing about the Giants, swapping stories about the team’s triumphs and defeats like war veterans, so following him seems natural, even if it means entering unknown territory like Manhattan. (Where, an incredulous Paul marvels, there are no parking spaces.) Then Bishop discovers he’s been shadowed and flies into a rage, unleashing all the furious energy that makes him so magnificent on the field.

Paul ends up in the hospital, his head wrapped in bandages. Much of what ensues involves his coming to painful terms with the horror of that violent night, a reckoning that upends his life and a favorite late-evening ritual: his calls into a local sports radio show. These broadcast interludes are the high point of his day, week, perhaps life, giving “Paul from Staten Island,” as he’s called, the chance to advocate on behalf of the Giants while trash-talking the competition. Reading from a notepad and pouring all his libidinal energy into the task, he drops statistics, predicts plays and taunts the enemy, his voice alive with swagger and heat. More than an enthusiast, he is a defender of the faith.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,