Friday, January 10, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—The History of Future Folk (2013) ***

NR, 83 min.
Directors: John Mitchell, Jeremy Kipp Walker
Writer: John Mitchell
Starring: Nils d’Aulaire, Jay Klaitz, Julie Ann Emery, April L. Hernandez, Onata Aprile, Dee Snider

“The History of Future Rock” is like a Tenacious D song, except instead of being about Jack Black and his bandmate Kyle Gass’s sexual exploits and defeating of Satan it’s about two aliens from another planet sent to Earth to destroy it to save their own planet, who are sidetracked by forming a band that sings songs about being aliens on a mission to save their planet by destroying Earth. I know, not only did that resemble a run on sentence, but also it sounds incredibly weird. The truth is it’s incredibly sweet and charming.

So we meet this guy who has this weird music act in which he dresses up in this strange uniform with a bucket-like helmet, and he sings about being the leader of this world called Hondo. In between his songs he talks about how difficult it was to adapt to life on Earth, and it all comes across as a comedy act to the audience; but he’s telling the truth. He also tells stories to his daughter about General Trius (him) of Hondo, who was sent to Earth to terraform it for the Hondonians to live because their planet was going to be destroyed by an asteroid. However, the general decided to spare the humans when he heard music for the first time. He understands his situation and never admits that his stories are the truth.

Then, a second Hondonian arrives on Earth to complete the general’s mission. He also changes his mind when the general introduces him to music. The band Future Folk is formed and the two men must mend things with the women in their lives, try to prevent the destruction of Hondo, and fight off a bounty hunter sent from Hondo to make them finish their mission. It all gets very exciting and is impressively well made considering the film’s low budget.

I wish I could express how endearing the movie is. When you describe it, it just sounds silly; but it’s actually quite good. The bluegrass music of the two aliens is very entertaining and even the more dramatic moments work somehow, despite the fact that these aliens walk around with red buckets on their heads. “Man of Steel” could’ve used a little bit of the earnestness of this movie. It’s worth a look. Guaranteed to me you smile.

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