Some things are just better when you’re stoned. Animated movies/shows are definitely two things I enjoy stoned and that’s why I was honored to be chosen to watch a screener for the animated film, Nerdland.
The animation studio behind this flick is Titmouse, they’re the same people behind Son of Zorn and this is their first motion picture. Written by Andrew Kevin Walker and directed by Chris Prynoski, Nerdland follows two goof-off best friends who are tired of the everyday minutiae, while they try to navigate their hopeless lives in Los Angeles.
John (voiced by Paul Rudd) is a writer by day and aspiring actor by night. His hetero lifemate, Elliot (voiced by Patton Oswalt) is an aspiring screen writer who just can’t seem to keep a job, he’s been everything from a video store clerk to a bowling alley employee. After John blows an interview with super-famous-actor Brett Anderson (voiced by Reid Scott of Veep), Elliot gets canned from one of his dead end jobs. With their lives in dire straits John and Elliot start scheming for a way to make it big in this celebrity obsessed, all consuming world.
Their road to fame includes: failed heroics, hacking, and a hippy infused police brutality video. They become obsessed and it takes them to some pretty dark places. As with most things they fail, until they’re the only witnesses to an armed robbery by a very dangerous man. John and Elliot achieve their goal and are on every tv in the city. But is the fame too much for these two?
The main cast also includes Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome (the ladies of Garfunkel & Oates), as two buxom famewhores who want nothing to do with John and Elliot until they become famous. Hannibal Buress is the chunky and loyal Nerd King, with full on crown cape and horrible acne! He’s the owner of the Collectible Kingdom and helps the boys throughout the movie.
Before watching the movie I vaped some Cinex, a strain that has uplifting and euphoric qualities that spread a happy energy through your body. This strain paired well with Nerdland’s trippy animation, bright colors, and raunchy humor. Cinex always gives me this hyper focused ability (or feels that way), so it was fun to study the intricate backgrounds that included billboards, mini marts, graffiti, and dispensaries all things L.A. has an abundance of.
Some might think the premise to Nerdland is kind of silly and it is because it’s a comedy, but the way it imitates real life is spot on. Our society has this idea of fame being the answer to all our problems and when you mix that with how fast content spreads it’s easy for things to go viral. YouTube has become a place where people can get discovered without even leaving their homes and I feel like some people strive to be noticed in hopes of making it big.
There’s this scene in Nerdland where Elliot is trying to write, but he only gets one sentence out before he gives up and moves onto the next thing, showing how ADD many of us are. I am the same way when it comes to writing and updating my website EASILY DISTRACTED…but if we applied the same focus we do to our online personas or video game characters imagine where we could be. Instead we do the opposite and expect a handout or some easy way to achieve our goals.
Nerdland is available as a VOD release and you can find it on iTunes here.