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Friday, January 25, 2019

'Tommy Battles the Silver Sea Dragon' VOD & DVD: Musically Surreal Good Time

Random Media reinforces its love for the offbeat regarding the January 15, 2019 VOD & DVD releases of the 2018 musical dramedy "Tommy Battles the Silver Sea Dragon." This tale of a 20-something (director/writer Luke Shirock) Walter Mitty with more issues than The New Yorker pulls off the tough trick of making a highly experimental film a delight. An even more notable aspect of "Tommy" is that it proves the merits of filmmaking that honors the tradition of valuing art over commerce. 

Personal appreciation of "Tommy" relates to its similarities to all-time fave  "Colma The Musical." That one has recent high-school grads in the titular working-class suburb of San Francisco sing and dance as they deal with poseurs and other harsh realities. 

The following YouTube clip of a "Tommy" trailer highlights the surreal vibe that runs throughout the film; this promo. also demonstrates how this movie can be considered "Law and Order Rock." This is not to mention the glimpse of a hilarious scene in which Tommy turns a thrift store into his playground.

The symbolism in this mostly sung flick begins with the opening images of a full-frontal Tommy walking out of the ocean; his clothes magically fly to him and perform a reverse Full Monty. 

The action takes off a few minutes later when a sleeping Tommy is awoken and quickly dragged Gestapo-style out of his home. He then is thrown into the stereotypical black sedan where he is driven to a court building for a perp. walk followed by the commencement of a trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Carolyn.  The singing prosecutor, the warbling defense attorney, and the jury being a literal chorus provide the smoking gun that we are in for a wild ride.

Conflicting evidence regarding Tommy having accidentally shot his brother several years early provides solid  proof both that we cannot believe everything that we see and that the subconscious mind of our main man drives much of the action, Subsequently learning about the real life of this reel character explains the confusion. 

The presentation of evidence rehashes the course of the Tommy/Carolyn relationship from their cute meeting at the prom, through their impromptu "Young Hearts" fleeing from their childhood home, to their honeymoon period, and then to the stage between love and goodbye. This leads to the final exit that is the center of the judicial proceedings. 

The nature of this nightmare dreamscape makes the heavy psychological elements very apt. It also reminds of the extent to which our childhoods shape us. 

The narrative technique of making this a musical is equally appropriate. As folks who are familiar with the genre know, this form of expression typically expresses strong emotions such as the ones that Carolyn heading out into the city triggers in the man who is not deaf, dumb, or blind regarding this development. 

As stated above, Shirock hits all the right notes in presenting this story in this manner. It is unlikely that you will find another quite like it and definitely not one that succeeds any better. 

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