Happy to have watched a pre-backlash advance screening. The classic conundrum of wanting to see this again to catch more details, but not wanting to see this again since it won’t get better than the first time. I try not to be an 80s Nostalgia Kid, but reading Vulture’s interview with Ke Huy Quan made the movie hit much harder. The few Son Lux tracks I’ve heard from Joyful Noise have been skippable, so why is this soundtrack so good?

I didn’t notice until the end credits that only one of the Daniels participated, and there’s a new writer. I’d been thinking of this as the followup to Swiss Army Man and didn’t know what it’s about – if advertised as “the horse-fucking movie from one director of the corpse-farting movie,” I would’ve skipped. In the end it’s trying to be an Alabama misadventure incompetent-crimes comedy (Matt Lynch called it “Dipshit Fargo“) and also a sad story about friends + wife dealing with Dick’s untimely death, and none of it worked for me, except some of the jokes (trying not to swear in front of a kid: “the S has hit the fan… the S! the fuckin S!”).

Our heroes:

After a long night of drinking and fire, Dick is fatally hurt in back of a car for reasons unknown until later, gets dishonorably dumped at the emergency room and picked up by Roy Wood Jr., the dialogue so far down there with Super Dark Times. Dick’s friends, who have been fooling around with the horse for years, do a hilariously poor job at covering up, telling conflicting stories to an inquisitive minor and accidentally getting cops involved. Owner of the car Zeke is a Jeff Nichols regular, his dense vaping buddy played the asshole friend in Relaxer, the lead cop was in Mascots and the widow starred in Chained for Life.

Insane movie full of Michel Gondryish handcrafted whimsy plus whatever great combination of acting and makeup went into Daniel Radcliffe’s multi-purpose corpse.

Much of the wonderous fire-farting, boner-compass, kung-fu-chop, grappling-hook-vomiting details had already been given away by the trailer (but if they hadn’t been, I would’ve written off the movie as a Sundancey quirk-fest and skipped it). So my happiest surprises came from the plot twists as Paul Dano becomes best friends with the dead body and as Radcliffe becomes more alive we start to take Dano’s view of reality, which crashes when he finds his way back to normal civilization (the yard of his crush, Mary Elizabeth Winstead of Scott Pilgrim).

Fart recordist Steve Nelson:

One I remember was Paul Dano, who cut one loose right before a take. He just grabbed the boom mic right out of the air and delivered it … We needed farts that were not cartoonish, that were realistic but at the same time expressive. I know — my career. Mom’s really happy I went to art school.