Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, Olivia Crocicchia, Bridger Zadina, Creed Bratton, Tim Heidecker, Justin Prentice, Mary Anne McGarry
Written by: Patrick Dewitt, based on a story by Patrick Dewitt, Azazel Jacobs
Directed by: Azazel Jacobs
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, language and some drug and alcohol use - all involving teens
Running Time: 105
Date: 01/22/2011

Terri (2011)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Mice Guy

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The son of legendary New York experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs (Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, Star Spangled to Death), Azazel Jacobs arrived on the movie scene in 2008 and was more or less given a free ride by the critics. His film, Momma's Man, was an exercise in the cinema of discomfort, but at the same time with a traditional Hollywood wrap-up. His follow-up film Terri treads the same path, but lo and behold, after a while, these characters begin to show some integrity; they spring to life and find a truthful emotional connection.

Overweight teen Terri (Jacob Wysocki) lives alone with his sick uncle (Creed Bratton). Wearing pajamas to school every day, he accepts his position as an outcast. Things begin to change when the cheerful principal (John C. Reilly) calls Terri into his office and sets up a weekly "check-in" meeting. After a few hurdles, Terri begins to trust and look up to the principal. During this time, he meets a fellow outcast, the troublemaker Chad (Bridger Zadina). He even manages to befriend the pretty Heather (Olivia Crocicchia), after an unfortunate classroom incident brands her as a pariah. But will the unpredictable Chad throw a monkey wrench into Terri's life?

A great deal rides on the performance of Jacob Wysocki (TV's "Huge"); he has a remarkable combination of strength, gentleness, and honesty that belies his overweight, sad-sack appearance. When one girl flirts with him and calls him a Teddy bear, we can believe it. Likewise, Reilly turns in a slightly deeper, more touching version of his usual positive thinking goofball. This band of strong, fascinating characters overcomes the otherwise awkward combination of elements.

Fox released a new Blu-Ray with a ten-minute behind-the-scenes featurette and 7 minutes worth of deleted scenes. Picture quality seems a bit on the soft side.

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