Combustible Celluloid
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With: Pat Healy, Kene Holliday, John Baker, Robert Longstreet, Rebecca Mader, Mahari Conston, Willie J. Stratford Jr., Tricia Paoluccio
Written by: Craig Zobel, George Smith
Directed by: Craig Zobel
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 107
Date: 03/30/2007

Great World of Sound (2007)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Curdled Records

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Pat Healy stars as Martin, an anemic music nut looking for a job. He answers an ad for a producer for the title record company, which actually turns out to be a salesman job. Paired with the exuberant Clarence (Kene Holliday) -- who, with his orange suit, plays like the indie comedy version of Little Richard -- he hits the road looking for new acts. The catch is that he's supposed to get the musicians to pony up 30% of the recording costs. After that, it's unclear whether or not any CDs actually get recorded or distributed. Director Craig Zobel and co-writer George Smith imbue our two misfits with plenty of character depth and an intriguing camaraderie; the writing is never less than spot-on. And Zobel's direction keeps a slow, unraveling pace, filled with space and silences. The audition sequences, a tired cliché in movies today, range from bizarre to genuinely moving. But the sourness of the scam gets in the way. For a smart audience, it rings alarm bells immediately, and though our characters fail -- or refuse -- to hear them, the film never gets into why. It also avoids getting further into the actual details of the shady business, which could have been useful in refining the characters. The very effective Tricia Paoluccio co-stars as a talented singer whose honesty burrows into Martin's soul.

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