Indie Watch: Visioneers

July 8, 2008 at 7:59 pm 2 comments

I want to see this movie oh, so badly. It was shown at CineVegas and the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) but nowhere near Ann Arbor. At both screenings, “Visioneers” played extremely well, and there is a lot of buzz behind it. It sucks to have to sit here and wait for someone to pick the movie up and distribute it, but such is life.

For those of you who don’t know much about this film, I’ll try to give a brief synopsis based on what I know so far:

George Washington Winsterhammerman (Zach Galifianakis, a comedian who thrives on awkward situations) lives in a not-to-distant future, working for the biggest corporation in the world, Jeffers Corp. Set in a dystopian America, an America where people greet each other with the Jeffers Salute (aka the Middle Finger), George, as well as the rest of the country, leads a “bleakly average life.”

But then people start exploding. Yes, literally exploding.

If I may interject here — I have no idea how, as an actor, you can reassuringly say with a straight face “No one’s going to explode,” but Galifianakis does just that in the trailer, which I will post at the bottom (It’s an amazing trailer, a defintie must-watch). Anyways, When George starts having dreams, something very peculiar in this boring-ass future, the doctors inform him that’s the first symptom — he’s well on his way to spontaneous combustion. George must cope with his potential explosion, his failing marriage and the dreariness of his overall existence.

There’s two major reasons I want to see this movie.

1. Zach Galifianakis. If you’ve never seen his comedic stylings, I can’t describe them to you. He’s just much too off-the-wall. Instead, in this glorious age of technology, I’ll just link a YouTube video:

Alright, one more:

The dude’s hilarious, and while he’s had a few minor roles in films, I’ve never seen a movie in which he’s the lead. From the trailer, it looks like he’s more than capable of a lead role, though.

2. A comedic dystopian?

I’m a huge fan of dystopian novels and films — “Brazil,” “1984,” “Brave New World,” “A Scanner Darkly,” “Fahrenheit 451,” they’re all great. But, off the top of my head, I can’t think of a dystopian that also works as a dark comedy. The closest I can think of is “WALL-E,” the cutesy humor in that has more to do with its packaging as a kids’ movie. From the looks of it, “Visioneers” is drawing from much deeper and darker comedic roots. I’ve very excited to see how this works out.

Cinematical posted a review after CineVegas. Here’s what they had to say:

Most of the individual components of Visioneers are not new, nor are the film’s ideas particularly deep. Yet somehow the combination, written and directed by brothers Jared and Brandon Drake — in their first film, amazingly — feels fresh and invigorating. It’s a high-concept comedy, but it’s down-to-earth and accessible, even a little touching. It’s a terrific start for a pair of new filmmakers.


“…it works magnificently. Like I said, we’ve seen a lot of these ideas before. But even if it’s not reinventing the wheel, Visioneers still manages to be insightful, intelligent, and melancholically funny. If the Drake brothers have any more stories as good as this one, they could become an exciting new force in the film world. Let me be the first to give them a Jeffers salute, but in a good way.”

That’s sounds glowing to me. I find myself agreeing a lot with the Cinematical guys, so this review really reaffirmed my believe that this movie is going to be amazing. For now, though, we have to play the waiting game until someone picks it up for distribution.

The trailer:


Entry filed under: Indie Watch, Visioneers. Tags: , , .

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