Now, in most movies, this would be the moment when the anarchic wild-child starts to develop a protective side, helping the family deal with its trauma. In this case, Dad could use a wake-up call, and T.J. could use help dealing with a school bully. But Hesher doesn't much care about their problems. Bullying interests him only insofar as it gives him an excuse to set fire to a bully's sports car. (Which it does.)
After garnering rave reviews during its theatrical run, Hesher hits the streets on DVD, Blue-ray Disc, Digital Download and On Demand on September 13th. This review is just the first in a series of multiple features on the movie, which will include interviews with some of the people involved in the movie and a review of the DVD's bonus items. I will be receiving the final product with the bonus material sometime near the release date, but I was given access to a screener version of the movie yesterday and the interviews will follow soon. Honestly, I'm not a huge believer in going to theaters to watch movies, so I missed Hesher during its theatrical run, and the last movie I saw in a theater was the documentary on Lemmy, in the month of January. So this was the first time I actually watched Hesher, and here's my review of it.To start with, the movie came across to me as very unique and original. While all of the characters are given the treatment they deserve, there isn't much of a build up about them and it's largely left to the viewer's interpretation, specially when it comes to Hesher himself, portrayed with tremendous aplomb by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. There is no background on his life, nothing whatsoever. The viewer is left to judge this guy solely based on his appearance and actions throughout the story, and in my opinion, the fact that this movie is a story without being much of a story, is its strongest USP. It comes across so naturally that you would almost be led into believing that it's not a movie but a real story. As for the cast, collectively it has succeeded in putting forth one of the most natural performances I have ever seen in a movie.They never even appear to 'act', that's how good the actors are. Natalie Portman is excellent at doing what's asked of her in the role of a lonely loser girl. Rainn Wilson of 'The Office' fame portrays a role that is as far of a departure from his Dwight Schrute personality as you could ever imagine, proving himself to be an incredibly versatile performer. Devin Brochu as the little kid is as important to the movie as the lead character, and in fact the movie centers around him more than it does around Hesher. He does an absolutely brilliant job. As the events in the T.J. Forney character's life unfold in the story, Devin's portrayal is powerful enough for the viewer to be forced into carrying the same emotions as him. He is the driving force behind giving this movie an unrivaled degree of intensity.But it's Hesher who brings the house down with some hilarious moments throughout the movie, right from his entry till the very last frame. His love for metal, specially for Metallica and Motorhead creates an ambience every metalhead watching the movie would feel extremely comfortable in. His scenes in the movie are complemented excellently and very appropriately by songs from Metallica's Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets albums. Motorhead's "Rock Out (With Your Cock Out)" comes in at a very, very opportune moment in the movie. I don't know whether Lemmy saw this movie yet, but if he did, that scene must have brought a smile on his face.But, one thing that did disconcert me slightly was the manner in which the movie might be seen as portraying metalheads in a negative light, specially in its alternate title. This movie was released under the title "Metalhead" in Japan. I'm not sure whether the makers of the movie attempted to paint the general picture of a metalhead through their central character, and I'm not accusing them of that. But anyone who stereo types a metalhead as a Hesher-type person couldn't be more wrong. Citing my own example, I can call myself a metalhead, and I'm nothing like this guy. I think the heavy metal tunes used in the movie add a lot of power and excitement to Hesher's story, but the activities he indulges in are in no way typical of what a metalhead does in everyday life. Besides the part where he smokes weed, I'm pretty sure I don't personally relate to anything else he does in the movie, and I most certainly don't feel like blowing up a car any time soon. So hopefully people who know nothing about metal won't translate Hesher as "metalhead".With that said, it takes nothing away from the brilliant movie that Hesher is, and I would encourage everyone to order the DVD or Blue-ray Disc or whatever format you prefer, when it comes out on September 13th. There is no denying the fact that it's a very powerful movie, and it immediately had an impact on me because as soon as I was done watching the movie, I went into my iTunes library to dig into Metallica's Kill 'Em All as it formed the soundtrack to my review-writing process. And I think the next thing I'll do is to listen to Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets while I read Dave Mustaine's autobiography, which I left half way unread for a reason I can't remember at this point. The story, characterization and the performances make Hesher one of the best movies one will ever get to see, but the soundtrack and its interaction with the story makes it a must-watch for every metalhead out there. Simply fantastic!TweetLooking for the best cable deals? Check out Cox Phoenix!
Did you know one study found metal fans are most likely to have a sexual encounter in a car? Or that listening to metal may lower one's blood pressure? How about the study that said listening to metal can reduce anger? It seems science is always finding something new about metalheads and the music we love.
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