Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story Brant Sersen

You’d think that unleashing The Daily Show’s Rob Corddry on the infinitely mockable sport of paintball would result in a slam-dunk. And indeed, the resulting mockumentary about a paintball superstar disgraced after "wiping” in competition is just ludicrous enough to sound appealing. But it was not to be. Director Brant Sersen seems to have gotten the idea that he’s the funny Robert Altman, and thus gets his performers to improvise every single line, to the point that none of the lines actually register as comedy. As Corddry/Dukes amasses the misfits for his comeback team — from Paul Scheer’s diminutive nebbish to Rob Riggle’s macho blowhard — it’s clear that this could have been a movie with some sharp writing, but every character is clearly faking it even as the technique guns for naturalism. Corddry looks befuddled throughout and seems to be summoning improv reserves he just doesn’t have, and despite a nice appearance by show-mate Ed Helms (and some promising bits with smug archrival Rob Huebel), the film looks like nothing so much as a bunch of actors left high and dry without the direction to do what they do best. And it’s no fun watching some decent ideas go down in a hail of indecision when you know an ace scribe could’ve whipped them into something funny. Extras include a commentary track with Corddry, Riggle and Scheer that’s the funniest thing about the disc, a second track with director Sersen, co-writer Brian Steinberg and editor Chris Lechler that’s predictably idea-sparse, a "Bobby Dukes Video Diary” that’s just as unfunny as the movie proper, three lengthy deleted scenes (including an intro to Riggle’s bogus political organisation) and an outtake reel. (Maple)