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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO CREDIT, NO EXCHANGE, NO REFUND
There is nothing like getting two dysfunctional people together to create a successful quirky indie. What I liked about this film more than many of the others in this genre such as "Jack Goes Boating" or "Greenberg" is that I felt comfortable laughing at the plight of the main characters.

Abe (Jordan Gelber) works for his dad and lives at home with his parents...
Published on 17 May 2013 by The Movie Guy

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Utter nonsense!
Published 9 months ago by iain mcdougall


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO CREDIT, NO EXCHANGE, NO REFUND, 17 May 2013
This review is from: Dark Horse [DVD] (DVD)
There is nothing like getting two dysfunctional people together to create a successful quirky indie. What I liked about this film more than many of the others in this genre such as "Jack Goes Boating" or "Greenberg" is that I felt comfortable laughing at the plight of the main characters.

Abe (Jordan Gelber) works for his dad and lives at home with his parents (Mia Farrow/ Christopher Walken). He still collects toys and hasn't reached his maturity potential. He lives in the shadow of his successful brother (Justin Bartha). At a wedding, Abe meets Miranda (Selma Blair) a shy, overly medicated woman once married to Mahmoud (Aasif Mandvi). Abe is supported by his secretary (Donna Murphy) who becomes his imaginary conscience.

The setting takes place somewhere in New Jersey between Eagles and Giants country. The title "Dark Horse" is a reference to Abe. His dad likes dark horses. i.e. like the old days when the Giants would lose, but cover the point spread. Abe proposes to Miranda on their second meeting, which she ponders over in her medicated state which is apt for the tone of the film:

Miranda: "I want to want you."
Abe: "That's enough for me."

I liked the toy details and shirt selection of Abe. Indie movies pay attention to background details. Although I would have to ask Todd Solondz (writer, director) what real toy collector would remove the Gimli Toybiz figurine from its pack? The "Toys R Us" store logo is blurred out, apparently there being some legal issue. The film gave me a few laughs, worth a view for indie fans. Acting was great.

If you don't like Indie films based on quirky characters with little action, then this is not for you.

Parental Guide: F-bombs. No sex or nudity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film., 4 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Dark Horse [DVD] (DVD)
Great film, Darkly comic but also very touching, great film, i love Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow,in this movie, great viewing.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark indeed, 14 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Dark Horse [DVD] (DVD)
I had never seen a Todd Solondz movie before but I was aware of his reputation as a maker of dark movies. The first twenty minutes of this movie hint that he has made a somewhat quirky romcom but don't be fooled.

The movie begins as overweight Abe (Jordan Gelber) gets quiet Miranda's (Selma Blair) number after they share a table at a wedding. He phones her and after a couple of awkward encounters they start going out. Perhaps this will lead to a happy ever after ending as this odd couple discover they are perfect for each other.

Maybe not. Abe lives with his parents (Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow) and works for his Dad. He blames everything and everyone but himself for this situation, his parents, his more successful brother. In reality he is completely self-obsessed.
Miranda seems to suffer from depression and is taking a lot of medication. They both desperately want to be loved but perhaps there is a reason that they are unloved. Perhaps they are unlovable and all the wishing in the world won't change this.

Solondz takes an unwavering look at the unattractive traits that we all have and their consequences in our relationships with others. His conclusion seems to be that some people are destined not to have happy lives and perhaps they themselves are the main reason for this. And even if they find some kind of comfort pure bad luck can come in and spoil everything anyway.

Gelber and Blair are excellent in the main roles. In the supporting cast Walken, Farrow and Donna Murphy also excel.

Definitely a film to make you think, though they may not be nice thoughts!
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suburban neurosis as screwball comedy, 26 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Dark Horse [DVD] (DVD)
Watching a Todd Solondz film is like walking down a dark alley in a rough neighbourhood: you know you probably won't enjoy it; there's a good chance you'll get mugged, but still you're perversely curious to see what you might find down there.

Conventional wisdom has it that Solondz' auterism (autism?) is wearing thin. His recent output is supposed not to have had the same claustrophobic intensity as Welcome To The Dollhouse and Happiness. This is certainly true of Dark Horse, a relatively gentle reflection on the passage of time seen through the eyes of Abe, a 30-something live-at-home Long Island loser (Jordan Gelber).

Solondz has wound his neurotic intensity dial back to mere "Larry David" setting: there are no paedophiles, no crank calls and no gruesome masturbation scenes here. Gelber responds by channelling George Costanza: Abe is overweight, balding and affects the petulant mannerisms of an awkward teen. He collects vintage toys, and his bedroom still posts wallpaper and posters from the 1980s.

As if to confirm his social retardation, Abe still lives with his parents (Mia Farrow and an impressively toupeed Christopher Walken). As hopeless as each of them is, Abe's permanently juvenile disposition is no-one's fault but his own.

At the wrong end of a ghastly wedding reception, Abe gamely strikes up a conversation with a fellow dance floor refugee, Miranda (Selma Blair, for her part channelling Ethel Glum). Miranda is also detesting her evening, but otherwise has nothing at all in common with Abe. Undeterred by her monosyllabic responses and negative body language, through sheer persistence and positivity Abe acquires Miranda's home phone number. Within a week and without further encouragement, he has proposed marriage. His proposal is just the sort of impulsive idea you'd expect from a hormonally impaired fifth-former.

As could happen only in a universe of Solondz' devising, after initially refusing, Miranda accepts.

Solondz paints in his usual palette: neurotic suburban vacuity is the order of the day, though his point of focus seems to be nothing more challenging than the observation that we must not let life pass us by. Other than that, it's difficult to spot the bone Solondz is trying to pick. (One assumes Solondz is trying to pick a bone).

By drawing Abe as such a caricature (really, Jason Alexander should sue for passing off) Solondz' intended message is undermined: the scenario Dark Horse presents is so ridiculous as to be unrecognisable in the real world (at any rate, beyond the Jewish community of middle America). As such, it doesn't make a worthwhile mirror to hold up anything against. Compare that, say, with Ricky Gervais' The Office, where every foible of every character is horribly familiar.

I had a similar reservation about Happiness: there, the hyper-neuroticism would be, well, foreign to pretty much any viewer outside that particular thin socio-economic seam of American life in which Solondz set it. But I dare say Todd Solondz isn't writing for the rest of the world. For those to whom his patter doesn't ring true, this film can only function as a comedy for its own sake: a screwball curio.

Dark Horse is an amusing one of those. If properly promoted, it should thereby find a more ready audience than Solondz' pictures are used to. Selma Blair's physical comedy (she has little by way of script, but her mannerisms are a delight to behold) together with the sight of Chris Walken in a bad wig (other than one intense stand-off of stares, Walken plays it dead straight) make this well worth a look.

Olly Buxton
Flickfeast
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 16 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Dark Horse (DVD)
Utter nonsense!
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Dark Horse [DVD]
Dark Horse [DVD] by Todd Solondz (DVD - 2012)
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