Nobel Son Randall Miller

Nobel Son Randall Miller
It seems strange that anyone would actually try to mimic the likes of Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie, considering how liberally those style-over-substance, "aren't I fucking clever?" directors have borrowed from their numerous more talented predecessors. Many have tried this approach, mostly on the low budget front, or in the broad Lucky Number Slevin sort of way, despite the fact that it's kind of douche-baggy to copy a copier with a mishmash of their already borrowed ideas. With the likes of Nobel Son, this recycled vision is not only incoherent but also flat out abrasive and worse, it's desperately pretentious. As expected with a film of this sort, the web of intrigue builds up to a tangle as Barkley Michaelson (Bryan Greenberg) hooks up for a casual sexual encounter with an idiosyncratic poetry girl named City Hall (Eliza Dushku) just after his prick of a father (Alan Rickman) wins the Nobel Prize. Enter a mysterious kidnapper (Shawn Hatosy), an OCD-afflicted neighbour (Danny DeVito), a psychologist (Mary Steenburgen) and the dismemberment of an opposable thumb — as that's what distinguishes humans from wild animals, folks, in case you missed the subtext — and every prior peculiarity starts to fall into place, making sense of all, even if the character motivations remain a mystery. With split screen sequences, bizarre edits, sped up camerawork and constant, endless spinning, the stylization is both on high and surprisingly, bashful, as it feels like a false visage throughout. To make matters worse, the techno-lite soundtrack from Paul Oakenfeld is tonally incongruent for pretty much the entire film, never letting up long enough to let the Tylenol kick in. To be fair, a couple of plot points come together in a moderately interesting manner and both Dushku and Steenburgen turn in solid performances. Included with the DVD is a brief featurette, which essentially retells the plot of the film through actor interviews, in addition to some deleted scenes and a feature-length commentary where Dushku, Greenberg, Miller and co-writer Jody Savin joke about filming sex scenes and scoring such a kick-ass cast. (Alliance)