Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Tracy" Review

Legend + Joke, does not automatically equal a good mockumentary. Writer/director Dan Scanlon gets that. His formula, Legend + Jokes + Murder, does indeed equal one mockalicious indie film. Tracy follows Dan Sullian (Dan Scanlon), a documentary filmmaker who tells a whole convention of people that he knows who killed children's TV host, Tracy. The problem is... he doesn't really have a clue who did it. And he is perhaps the worst amateur detective ever. But even though the deck's a little stacked against him, Dan sets out to solve this ten year old murder... He has one month to do it.

As indie films about cultural icons go, Tracy does us a favor in that it doesn't spend the entire film talking about the supreme genius of some lamebrain. There are character arcs, silly though they may be. Relationships develop. Things happen. The cast and crew never went on autopilot with this film, which can be easily done with a topic is so supremely silly. Every scene moves at a decent pace with very little lag. It's a weird movie (no joke), but where story is concerned first time filmmakers could definitely take a page from the "Tracy" playbook.

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