» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

August 28, 2009
RATING: 8/10
Robert D. Siegel's new film, Big Fan, is a marvelous, funny, depressing, and sometimes frightening looking at obsession, loneliness, and the weird world of intense sports fandom. Siegel wrote 2008's The Wrestler, and the same working-class, sad sack essence that infused that film is present here as well.

Comedian Patton Oswalt plays Paul, a parking garage attendant who lives with his mother and spends his nights crafting perfect phone calls to his favorite local sports radio talk show. He is the ultimate Giants fan, and for him and his only friend, Sal (Kevin Corrigan), the perfect day consists of tailgating and watching a Giants game in the parking lot of the stadium. One day, they spy their favorite Giant, Quantrell Bishop (Jonathan Hamm), at a Staten Island pizza parlor, and follow him to a midtown strip club. Their gawking, stalking, fan-boy maneuver comes to a violent end with Paul getting beat down and hospitalized by Quantrell. Though he was almost killed, he refuses to talk to the police about the incident for fear of lengthening Quantrell's suspension and continuing the Giants' demise, especially against the dreaded Philadelphia Eagles. From here, Paul teeters on the edge of self-destructive delusion and unhealthy idolatry, climaxing in yet another act of violence.

Shades of Scorsese's King of Comedy abound, especially in scenes where Paul's late night sports tirades are interrupted by his mother pounding on the wall, screaming for him to shut up. Taxi Driver is another reference point here, although Paul's obsession and self-deprecation are far from Travis Bickle's anti-social psychosis. Oswalt plays Paul with a tinge of humor but a great deal of pathos. It's a quiet and really quite powerful piece of acting. When things go wrong for Paul, the shadow that washes over Oswalt's face says more than the script.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the film is watching Paul carefully write out his sports tirades. For a brief moment, when he is given his airtime, he is a part of something. Sure, it's armchair coaching built upon a lexicon of sports terminology and clichés, swagger, and after-the-fact advice, but for just a second, he is a part of something. The rest of his life may be a mess, but when "Paul From Staten Island" is given a chance to voice his sports opinions, however trite they may be, he's a member of the club.

Big Fan is one of the best films of 2009, a triumph for its writer/director, Siegel, and a testament to Patton Oswalt's ability to subvert his comedy background with intense dramatic flair.

TRAILER: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov-SdY3hvZ0

SEE ALSO: www.bigfanmovie.com
SEE ALSO: www.firstindependentpictures.com

Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other articles by Jonah Flicker.



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