Director: Todd Rohal
Runtime: 85 minutes
Once upon a time there was an comedian named Chris Farley and a movie named Tommy Boy. Farley, coming from a hardworking middle class Midwestern family, often made films about hardworking families, a son trying not to disappoint his father. Cut to 2012 and Nature Calls, the story of two polar-opposite brothers. Randy (Patton Oswalt) is a boy scout to the core, even if at 40 he has no children of his own. Kirk (Johnny Knoxville) is wealthy as he owns his own business, an ATM/Gum Ball Machine that’ll charge you $5 to withdraw your own money, but at least it comes with a gum ball.
The opening scene has Randy sitting down with young Moses (Eric Ruffin), letting him know his father has passed away – truth be told he’s alive and well. As Randy prepares the troops for a big overnight adventure, he discovers they all can’t attend. Granted parents are to blame for wossifying children, as Oswald complains one his campers has to maintain a minimum of 2-cell phone coverage bars at all times.
The party thrown for Kirk’s and Janie’s (Maura Tierney) adopted son has the troops indoors, drinking milk shakes and watching a cable TV set-up that would be obscene even by Buffalo Wild Wing’s standards. That’s when Randy steps in, essentially kidnapping (or not) his troop back, and taking them into the woods for an adventure, all to save its legacy. On this unauthorized field trip they eventually are hunted by Knoxville, Patrice O’Neal and Rob Riggle.
Nature Calls is yet another SXSW 2012 movie about characters going into the woods and at this point it’s gone from snarky comment I make in line with someone to the actual truth. I will leave Austin having seen over 30 films, 12 of which take place in nature or the woods; I yearn for a good urban hipster comedy. Nature Calls, directed by SXSW 2011 alum Todd Rohal (who also made another film about an unlikely pair returning to nature, the funny Catechism Cataclysm) is less promising.
A very broad comedy with talented comedians, it borrows too much from what’s come before it, lacking nearly the laughs to sustain itself. Nature Calls in the context of a film festival isn’t great, however if some nudity and a little language are edited out, I have no doubt that as a PG-13-rated comedy it’ll satisfy the middle school crowd. Unfortunately I, and much of South By Southwest, are not in this target demographic and thus without the alcohol assistance available at the Alamo Drafthouse, Nature Calls falls flat.
With this year’s Cannes Film Festival halfway done, one of the clear highlights is Coens‘ 1960′s-set folk music tale Inside Llewyn Davis. Profiling a down on his luck musician (Oscar Isaac), whose natural talent indicates he is destined for success, the film is a vivid portrait of what it means to be a starving artist. In [...]
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, staff writer Danny King, associate editor Nick Newman and I review J.J. Abram‘s new entry in his flagship franchise, Star Trek Into Darkness. Before that, though, we run down our top 3 most-anticipated films of the Cannes Film Festival. Finally, we take a look at the [...]
There is truly something magical when you combine the French Riviera, the global film market and thousands of hungry filmgoers and critics. The end result is what has come to be known as the most prestigious film festival in the world, the Cannes Film Festival, currently in its 66th iteration. This is my third year [...]
The Archive is a collection of cinephile-friendly findings around the web, including rare or never-before-seen photos, interviews, footage or any other bits related to classic or independent cinema. If you have any suggestions, feel free to e-mail in or tweet to @TheFilmStage. Check out the rundown below. Above, an unused Taxi Driver poster made for SpokeArt’s Martin [...]
Latest posts from Beats Per Minute