Thursday, January 31, 2008

Great World of Sound DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Shows Seamy Side of Showbiz via Black-White Buddy Drama

Clarence (Kene Holliday) and Martin (Pat Healy) meet at a job seminar in Charlotte, North Carolina offering employment in the recording industry. The company misleadingly bills itself as an independent music label interested in signing promising talent to lucrative recording contracts.
Though a little suspicious of the shady character (John Baker) running the fly-by-night operation, the unemployed men still accept positions as talent scouts. Only during training do they see Great World of Sound for what it is, an elaborate scam to fleece local yokels before high-tailing it out of town.
Here’s how the scam works: They place classified ads in the papers, encouraging aspiring stars to come to a hotel room for an audition. The trick is that everyone who shows up is told they have promise and are offered a recording contract. Then, they’re pressured to fork over several thousand dollars as an investment in their own careers.
Truth be told, Great World has no intention of producing any CDs or promoting any of its artists. Instead, the sleazy owner simply plans to pocket all the checks and to pay his con men a commission for any sucker they sign.
Martin and Clarence are paired as partners for this unsavory endeavor, with the former’s good cop persona serving as the perfect counterpoint to the latter’s bad cop routine playing the pushy bully who closes deals via the hard sell. And these Willy Loman-like losers’ co-dependent relationship rests at the center of this character-driven drama.
Note that, ala Borat, the bulk of the auditioning support cast had been hoodwinked into believing that they were actually getting a shot at of fame. So, kudos to first-time writer/director Craig Zobel for a daring debut.dependent on duping desperate wannabes. Such an earnest intensity could never have been coaxed out of real actors.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity.
Running time: 107 minutes
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment

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