Skip to main content

Harmontown




Dan Harmon (the creator of Community) hosts a weekly podcast at Nerdmelt Comics in Los Angeles.  Harmontown is ostensibly about Dan Harmon taking his podcast on tour after he was fired from Community but the real story is that of the shows dungeon master Spencer. He is simultaneously the voice of the audience and the voice from the stage. A misfit who wanted nothing more than to play D&D with one of his heroes.

Harmon is one of the most honest performers I've seen. His material seems to come from a place of both self hatred and adulation, an insecure ego maniac who is self aware enough to realize his greatest struggle is to come to terms with the fact that he got everything he wanted. He is a brilliant writer who is known for his anger and public outbursts but if you look at the people he surrounds himself with and the shows he has created you get a much fuller picture of the man.  A sensitive man whose feels the pain of the world around him while trying to find a place that he can call his own.

We've seen the story of the tortured genius in many different forms over the years but I'm not sure we've had this painful and honest a look at one of them. The Harmontown podcast is "comptrolled"  by Jeff Davis and features Erin McGathy and Spencer Crittenden. Jeff Davis and Erin McGathy both have prior television and stage experience but Spencer had never done anything like this tour. Sure he he DM's weekly for the podcast but the Nerdmelt theater holds around 50 people and it seems like a comfortable and safe environment. The idea that he would end up on a tour bus because he picked up some 20 sided dice had never occurred to him. It just doesn't happen that way.

The focus of the film shifts from Dan to Spencer in the third act because he is the one who is truly transformed by this experience. He is not the same person that stepped on the bus at the beginning of the film. You can see a young introverted man who lives with his parents dealing with a level of fame and veneration that he could have never predicted. Spencer is an incredibly gifted DM and through the Harmontown podcast he has had an impact on thousands of listeners. I just have a feeling he wasn't aware of his impact til the tour.

I had a feeling that this film might only work for fans of Community or the podcast but the film completely stands on its own. Unlike Tusk this is not a film exclusively for fans. Harmontown is available on VOD and playing in limited release.


Popular posts from this blog

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack?

MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK:

A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


LAFF review A CROOKED SOMEBODY

2107
Directed By: Trevor White
Starring: Rich Sommer, Clifton Collins Jr., Joanne Froggatt, Amanda Crew, Ed Harris
Producers: Jason Potash, Paul Finkel, Tim White, Wayne L. Rogers Sales: CAA
Ambition is a powerful drug that can inspire positive change. It can force you outside of the comfortable boxes you place yourself in. It asks you to stretch and reimagine not only the person you are but the person you could be. Most great men and women have a deep relationship with what they see as their purpose. This is a personality trait never driven by or limited to the pragmatic and there in lies the problem. Logic be damned, when a sense of determination is your north star. 
Michael Vaughn (Sommer) is an ambitious psychic on the road promoting a book that no one is buying. Using parlor tricks and audience plants Vaughn helps people "connect" with loved ones who have passed on. Somewhere in between a traveling preacher and a low-rent John Edwards he sees himself as a man destined …

SONG OF SOLOMON Review

Exorcism films do not begin and end with William Friedkin's THE EXORCIST. With entries as varied as BEETLEJUICE, CONSTANTINE, and THE RITE, the exorcism sub-genre of horror films is far more diverse than many immediately recognize.  

With THE SONG OF SOLOMON director Stephen Brio has added a unique take on the possession movie. In his film, the Catholic church attempts to save the soul of Mary (Jessica Cameron) who appears to have been possessed after witnessing her father's brutal suicide.

Mary is off camera while her father takes his own life. In a scene that could play as a confessional or an accusation, the family's patriarch lists off the reasons why he is being forced to use his knife on Mary and himself. He details how they were a good, loving family and he can't understand why she is accusing him of abuse. Using demonic control as a metaphor for trauma survival is something so natural, I can't believe it's not woven into every film of this kind.

Jessic…