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Theatrical Review: THE AMATEURS

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
December 7th, 2007

Rating: 7/10

Director, Writer: Michael Traeger
Cast: Jeff Bridges, William Fichtner, Ted Danson, Tim Blake Nelson, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Studio: First Look International

The reason why I have come to love and enjoy independent filmmaking so much is because risks are taken. No one is there for the money or to get famous. They simply want to take a wicked idea, make it into an solid film, and get it out to the public. THE AMATEURS is one of many examples that goes to show when someone is driven about a project, it'll eventually have it's 15 minutes.

Jeff Bridges stars as Andy Sargentee, a guy who is down on his luck, broke, and desperate to make money fast. We learn early in the film that Andy's wife has left him because he can't keep a stable job. He lives in the small town of Butterface Field, where boredom is a staple of daily life. Andy is known to come up with get rich quick schemes, and now he thinks he found the easiest way: "I'm gonna make a porno film!" he claims and everything that could possibly go wrong with making this film happen does.

Jeff never fails at his performances (let's try not to think about Stick It for the rest of this review). From that greasy slick backed long hair to the "I seriously don't care" attitude, he is a natural with his acting abilities. And although Jeff definitely lead the show, each cast member brought a tasty share of food to the table. Ted Danson (bringing the dessert) marvelously nails playing a gay man trying so hard to be straight. His performance could easily be the sole reason to watch this movie. William Fichtner (napkins and cups) plays Otis, who pitches in money "just so he can watch." Joey Pants (hamburger helper), who's referred to as just "Some Idiot" in the film carries the charm, and Patrick Fugit (off brand drinks), the youngest cast member, holds his own against some of Hollywood's finest. I call it now that he will have a long successful career ahead of him.

THE AMATEURS was written and directed by newcomer Michael Traeger and because the film has a titanic sized cast that works, gnarly dialogue, and a super duper original story, one should give this entertaining film about a small town coming together to make dreams come true a chance. It would be a damn shame to let this one go unnoticed.

Indie film buffs, think State and Main meets The Full Monty.

Also, check out my interview with William Fichtner, one of the stars of the film, below! I had this whole thing planned out where I was gonna say I wanted this interview to look "amateur" to get people more into wanting to see the movie, but truth is I thought it would have been a good idea to film this on my Macbook. I was terribly mistaken. What an amateur.

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  • iwacawot

    dead man on campus sucks? i love that movie

  • KatyBelle

    Could you have had more interaction with Fichtner? I’m mad jealous.

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