Son of Rambow

Year: 2008
Production Co: Hammer and Tongs
Director: Garth Jennings
Producer: Nick Goldsmith
Writer: Garth Jennings
Cast: Bill Milner, Will Poulter
The love-letter-to-films genre isn't new - it appeared in 1988 with Cinema Paradiso long before the DIY/Tarantino/Blair Witch age (and purists will probably be able to correct me on that by citing various works from the French New Wave).

But it's in the kid-picks-up-camera-becomes-Hollwyood-player era that we can really feel the way the characters do in films like it. As the current Hollywood heavy hitters cite splatter-era classics as their favourites, it's a fully realised idea waiting to be told and retold.

In the story of a repressed young boy swept away by the magic of a pirate VCR copy of First Blood, Hitch Hiker's Guide director Garth Jennings captures the moment where - as kids - we fall in love with the movies, but there's a bit too much else in here for it to work.

Jennings and his co-writer partner were trying to capture a snapshot from their own childhood though, which is where the religious cult, cool French kid and other elements come into it. But the friendship hero Will strikes up with school bad boy Lee is heartfelt, their mission to shoot an ertswile sequel to First Blood feeling like the central thesis of the movie and making everything else feel extraneous.

Hence the scenes of the boys and their developing friendship as they make the movie are the most interesting, everything else feeling much like padding and rendering the film partly boring.

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