International Film Festival
March Madness shows its sinister side in "Home of the Giants," a saga
about Indiana state-championship basketball. The main rivalry is not on the court,
but off the hardwood, as two brothers go one-on-one in a good-vs.-evil showdown.
This appealing, heady independent film won audience fans here at the Chicago International
Starring Ryan Merriman as
Matt, a high-school basketball star, and Haley Joel Osment as Gar, his loyal,
brainy sidekick, "Home of the Giants" is funny and gritty. With sly
digs at high-school culture, filmmaker Rusty Gorman spins a sharp morality story
centered on the tribal insanity of Indiana high-school basketball.
this sharp depiction of middle-American life, Matt is reveling in his "glory
days": He's the high-school star who realizes that he'll never play at the
next level. He's got a one-man entourage in his brainy friend Gar (Osment), who,
both realize, will someday far outpace Matt in the game of life.
Rusty Gorman puts a shrewd trajectory on this jock yarn, layering the drive to
the championship with some unsettling human issues. At its core, "Home of
the Giants" is played out on a much larger court, and Matt's greatest challenge
is to overcome the dark legacy of his older brother. "Giants" is smartly
shot with just the right character rotation between its two leads: As the sharp-shooting
star, Merriman struts with high-school star cockiness and self-absorption, while
Osment is winning as the sidekick who must assume leadership.
players deliver solid turns: Kenneth Mitchell is riveting as Matt's bad-apple
brother. Danielle Panabaker's new-girl-in-school freshness adds a perky dimension
to the storyline. Writer-director Gorman shows a talent for credible character
creations and a deft control of the story, no mean feat since "Giants"
blends multiple narrative styles of drama, romance and comedy.
contributions are A-game, most prominently editor Dan Schalk's up-tempo pacing
and cinematographer Rodney Taylor's on-target framings of the heartland.
OF THE GIANTS
SymPics International and Blue Rider Pictures present
Rusty Gorman Film
Director/writer: Rusty Gorman
William R. Greenblatt, L. Charles Grimes, Dan Schalk, Eugene Osment
of photography: Rodney Taylor
Production designer: Jennifer O'Kelly
Costume designer: Lisa Norcia
Editor: Dan Schalk
Haley Joel Osment
Matt: Ryan Merriman
Keith: Kenneth Mitchell
Prock: Brent Briscoe
Mrs. Gartland: Kathleen LaGue
time -- 101 minutes
No MPAA rating
sure to read the original review