For the love of ventriloquism

You probably missed this one during its brief theatrical run. Adrien Brody followed up his Oscar-winning performance in The Pianist with this little film about a meager man and his love for ventriloquism. Brody plays Steven, who quits his job, buys a dummy, and starts trying to talk without moving his lips. His new infatuation with throwing his voice doesn’t set well with his parents (who he still lives with) or his grouchy sister (Illeana Douglas). The film has its flaws, but Brody is good, as is Milla Jovovich as his bizarre friend fronting a rock band. Jessica Walter, currently of TV’s Arrested Development is very funny as Steven’s imbalanced mother, as is Jared Harris as a psychotic community theater actor. Brody looks as if he managed to master the art of ventriloquism to some degree for this role. That’s a pretty major commitment because that shit is hard. I had a Charlie McCarthy doll when I was a kid. I used to attempt ventriloquist shows for my family, and I sucked ass.

Special Features: While the film is enjoyable, the special features are tiresome. Ventriloquist commentary by Jeff Dunham, as well as a short film called Dummies 101: Learning the Ventriloquist Dream, is tedious. Useless deleted and alternate scenes are a waste of time.

Movie: B-

Special Features: D+

Geek Factor: 3