Imaginary Heroes (DVD-2005)
Reviewed by Dennis Kwiatkowski
are never who they seem to be.” That’s the tag line and the theme of Imaginary Heroes, a quirky independent-type feature film from writer/director Dan
Harris now available on DVD. The story concerns a dysfunctional family which has recently
experienced a tragic loss. Surprises and twists and turns abound as the story unfolds
and the family unravels.
ensemble cast includes Sigourney Weaver as the mother, Jeff Daniels as her husband and Emile Hirsch as their son.
received a mixed critical reaction when it played theatrically. Indeed, one of its
problems is that its young director is imaginative, but still somewhat green in directing experience. Some of the rhythms seem off even when the humor and pathos of a scene is worthy of attention. Still, certain scenes really deliver and are smack on target. Of special
note is the expert and nuanced acting. This film records yet another splendid performance
by Emile Hirsch, one of the more interesting and gifted young actors working today. The
chemistry between Hirsch and Sigourney Weaver is outstanding. And, it goes without
saying that a film with Sigourney Weaver as the star is worth the price of admission just to watch her performance.
on the DVD is a featurette on the making of the film, deleted scenes and an audio commentary by director Harris and Emile
Hirsch or an alternate audio commentary by Sigourney Weaver. The less said about the
first commentary, the better. It leaves a lot to be desired. The Sigourney Weaver commentary is an improvement, but neither choice provides much food for thought. It is time for Hollywood to rethink director commentaries on DVDs. It would have been better to just have an in-depth interview of the filmmakers talking about the film.
of its shortcomings though, Imaginary Heroes is an ambitious undertaking. That quality itself is rare in modern-day films. Whatever
your final judgement, the film both entertains and lingers in the memory. You’ll
find yourself thinking about the film and its themes long after viewing it. That alone
is a welcome experience and it makes this film worth checking out on DVD.