Cinema Review: Nerdland | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, August 4th, 2020  


Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Directed by Chris Prynoski

Jan 05, 2017 Web Exclusive
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Patton Oswalt and Paul Rudd lead a hilarious voice cast in the raunchy animated film Nerdland, which follows a pair of Hollywood wannabes on their ill-conceived quest for fame. Nerdland is dark and offensive, but sneaks in a surprising moment two of artful cinema. The character design is grotesque and modern, the animation crude but enjoyable and the film utilizes this style well, employing bright, psychedelic colors for an overall comic book vibe.

Aspiring screenwriter Elliot (Oswalt) and his friend and actor John (Rudd) seek all the glory that Hollywood has to offer, but lack critical talent. With their twenties coming to a close, their thirst for stardom grows desperate. The antics begin innocently enough with a few mad schemes for viral videos, but quickly escalate into disturbing territory. Oswalt and Rudd’s perfectly comic voices carry the film, but the cast is rounded out with Paul Scheer, Molly Shannon, and Hannibal Burress.

Andrew Kevin Walker’s (Se7en) script is solid and the jokes shamelessly crude, making Nerdland a trusted entry into the canon of animated cult films like Heavy Metal or Fritz the Cat. In the spirit of the latter, Nerdland delivers its critique of counter culture ambition in a twisted and hellish urban landscape; for Fritz it was New York City, for Nerdland it’s Los Angeles. The art direction and animation give life to the city that highlights its unique charms while magnifying its rotten underbelly. It’s not unlike the city projected in the similar Bojack Horseman, which is a much smarter dissection of Hollywood culture. Nerdland is also interested in dissecting Hollywood, if only to marvel at the grossest pieces.

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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