Frank (2014) – Lenny Abrahamson

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Michael Fassbender is the titular Frank in this amusing and entertaining dark comedy that is being released to DVD and Blu-Ray today from Magnolia Home Entertainment.

The film follows a young, would-be musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), and how he becomes involved in a rather eccentric pop band that is fronted by Frank, who never removes his giant fake head.

Jon wants to make music, and be famous, and live the rock and roll dream, so when an unusual opportunity comes up to join a band, he jumps at the chance, and realizes pretty quickly that he’s gotten more than he bargained for.

The band includes Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Don (Scoot McNairy), Baraque (Francois Civil) and Nana (Carla Azar), and Jon gets to know them all, when they gather to record an album, which Frank wants perfected before any tracks are put to tape.

Jon uses the opportunity to use social media to generate awareness of the band, and he believes things are about to take off when he receives an invite for them to appear at the prestigious SXSW. But, as things often do, they go completely sideways, and problems, conflicts, and accidents arise, revealing that perhaps not everyone is made to make music, and not all music needs to find its audience, it may just have to be.

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There are so many priceless moments in this film, and it would take an additional post to highlight them all, from little throwaway pieces of dialogue, to physical comedy to Fassbender’s performance completely encased in a giant head. This film was bizarre, full of dark laughs, and wasn’t afraid to go in ways you didn’t expect.

Gleeson is a lot of fun, playing his role with an earnestness, a longing to believe he’s a talented musician, as he constantly faces the disdain of his band mates who believe he really isn’t. Gyllenhaal is always a delight, and she seems particularly funny and vicious in this film, and can throw a punch with the best of them, and it came out of nowhere and made me laugh out loud! Fassbender is a consummate performer, and is happy to inhabit his character, no matter how odd, or where the story takes him.

The Blu-Ray image is crisp and perfectly defined, and is packed with all manner of extras and featurettes, including a commentary with the director, interviews, and fun little segments about the film. It’s a nicely packed disc, just the way I like them… I love my behind the scenes stuff, and this one has a nice slew of them, and like the film, they don’t always take themselves too seriously.

This is one to take a look at if you don’t mind venturing into slightly unknown territory filled with odd music, great performances, and you aren’t afraid to laugh at some dark moments and some blatantly funny ones as well.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one, and am looking forward to watching it again, and sharing it with friends.

You can check it out today on Blu-Ray and DVD!

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