March 2, 2010

Gigantic - 2009

Director: Matt Aselton
Writers: Matt Aselton & Adam Nagata
Starring: Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel, Ed Asner, John Goodman

"You gotta swim if you wanna bang it home. That's reality. Remember that." Gigantic (not to be confused with Gigantic: a Tale of Two Johns, the documentary about They Might Be Giants) follows mattress salesman Brian (Dano) as he goes through the process of adopting a Chinese baby, with ample distraction provided along the way by Harriet (Deschanel), the daughter of an eccentric customer (Goodman) of Brian's.

I don't have much to say about this one. The pacing's terribly slow, and the when the plot decides to actually advance, it meanders; Aselton should have stuck to a movie either about the adoption or the romance, not both. There's also an uncredited appearance by everyone's favorite bearded Hangover star as a homeless man who randomly appears to beat up Brian for a reason that's never explained. Aside from perhaps Asner, all the performances are phoned in; everyone's done much better in other films.

The film itself aside, the background research I did sparked a question. Gigantic never played in more than 11 theaters at any given time during its brief release last April, making for a grand total of $102,700 at the box office. I wasn't able to find the budget details, but in perspective, Kevin Smith's Clerks was made for about $28,000; the visual quality and relative star power of Gigantic made shooting it for anything close to that impossible. So why release a movie in so few theaters where it'll be impossible to make a profit?

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