MPI // 2008 // 80 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 21st, 2010
A comedy about a man who loses everything: his wife, his job, his mind, but most importantly...his cat.
Goliath is a quirky independent comedy about a loser guy looking for his missing kitty. It's a feature film from acclaimed Sundance short geniuses the Zellner brothers who work on location in Austin, TX. We watch as the main character wonders where everything in his life has gone, and witness the quiet moments that make up his desperation. This is an intimate dramatic comedy that offers a connection to the audience through the love for a pet that we hardly ever see, except in pictures and on "missing" flyers. There's nothing sadder than a man holding a can opener out an open window hoping the cat will hear the usual sounds of feeding time.
This is one of those slow moving and dry witted films that requires a patient viewer to appreciate its charms. To call it stoic is an understatement of epic proportions. Goliath will test some ADD sensibilities as it lingers for an eternity on a guy who is going nowhere. The main character is alone in every sense of the word, and his life is quiet and solitary. It is something the Zellner brothers paint very well, and it becomes the virtue of the piece. It feels stretched out, but purposefully so. Still, the biggest criticism of Goliath is that it might work better as a droll short. But if you're in the mood for a unique pace and tone, the film does just fine on its own terms.
The transfer looks about as good as an independent feature will be. The low tech process shows through at many points, but that is part of the charm of a film like Goliath, which apparently had a budget of about a dollar and a half. The DVD gives everything you need to know about the film. It sounds traditional enough with an audio commentary, a video of a Q&A session with the filmmakers, and what is billed as a behind the scenes featurette. Clicking on "Behind the Scenes" gives you one of the Sundance shorts these guys are famous for. It consists of a forty year old bald white guy schooling us on how to break dance. The Q&A is not all that traditional either with some unusual edits. Deleted scenes include a guy shooting hoops for five minutes. The commentary finds the filmmakers talking about the movie and everything else they can think about. Nothing on this disc is traditional or expected.
Goliath is a unique feature that was really only seen before at festival screenings. Fans of the Austin-based Zellner brothers will appreciate the "go nowhere" comedy that stretches out the material to the point of absurdity. With a little patience, eventually viewers are rewarded with a sweet natured ending that seems to be a long time coming. The DVD is as nontraditional as the material, and well worth seeking out if you're in the mood for something dry and droll. And hey, any film where a man loves his cat this much can't be all bad.
Guilty of marching to the slow beat of its own drummer, Goliath is an
indie comedy about being stuck and slowly digging out.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes