The Peanut Butter Falcon is a 2019 drama film written/directed by Tyler Nilson (The Moped Diaries, Alex Honnold’s Urban Ascents, & Alex Honnold: At Home Off the Wall) & Michael Schwartz (The Winter of the Dance, The Winter of the Beard, Bricolage, & Off the Mat, Into the World: India). The film makers were inspired to write & direct this film after meeting Zack Gottsagen at a camp for disabled actors around 2011. The duo got funding for the production after shooting a $20,000 proof of concept video for it. It’s a re-telling of the Huckleberry Finn story. Ben Foster was the original choice for Tyler but he had to drop out of the project. It was produced by Albert Berger (The Ice Harvest, Nebraska, Little Miss Sunshine, & Election), Ron Yerxa (Cold Mountain, The Leftovers, Little Children, & The Switch), & Manu Gargi (Silence, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, 99 Homes, & That Awkward Moment). It premiered at South by Southwest in March 2019. It had a budget of $6.2 million & it grossed $20.6 million during it’s limited theatrical run!!!!
Zak (played by: Zack Gottsagen from Bulletproof & Ready To Ride: A Musical Homecoming) is a 22-year-old with down syndrome that lives in a retirement home in North Carolina. Eleanor (played by: Dakota Johnson from Fifty Shades Trilogy, Bad Times at the El Royale, Suspiria, & Black Mass) is responsible for Zak & takes care of him. He has dreams of becoming a professional wrestler like his hero the Salt Water Redneck (played by: Thomas Haden Church from Spider-Man 3, Hellboy, Wings, & Tombstone) so he wants to train at his wrestling school. Zak has tried to escape the retirement home multiple times but this time he gets helps from his friend Carl (played by: Bruce Dern from The Hateful Eight, The Burbs, Nebraska, & Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood) & it actually works! He sneaks in a small fishing boat. Tyler (played by: Shia LaBeouf from the Transformers franchise, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Constantine, & Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) is a struggling fisherman & known thief. He gets caught & ends up starting a war with some of his competition. He burns $12,000 worth of equipment owned by rival Duncan (played by: John Hawkes from Eastbound & Down, Deadwood, Night of the Scarecrow, & Boogie Boy). He goes after Tyler with his henchman Ratboy (played by: Rapper Yelawolf from Country: Portraits of an American Sound & Marked Up) looking for revenge against the outcast. Tyler steals the same small fishing boat that Zak is hiding on so the two unlikely strangers end up running away from their problems together. Eleanor is forced to track down the missing Zak from her angry boss.
Tyler is haunted by painful memories of his deceased brother Mark (played by: Jon Bernthal from The Punisher, The Walking Dead, Baby Driver, & The Wolf of Wall Street). Tyler & Zak start to bond after both of them are trying to escape their reality. Zak invents a wrestling persona for himself known as ” The Peanut Butter Falcon”. Eleanor finds Zak, she is determined to bring him back to the home until she gets some bad news. All 3 decide to finally take that trip to the legendary wrestling school so Zak can achieve his dream. They find out that it’s been closed for a long time & Salt Water Redneck is just known as Clint now. They tell him the story & walk away after meeting him. Clint finds them & he’s now dressed as the Salt Water Redneck, hr agrees to train Zak as his protégé. Clint convinces wrestling promoter Jacob (played by: Wrestling Legend Mick Foley from Beyond the Mat, WWE, WCW, ECW, & Chokeslam) to let Zak wrestling his long time friend Sam (played by: Wrestling Legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts froim WWF, WCW, Beyond the Mat, The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, & Trancers 4: Jack of Swords) at his wrestling event. Sam gets jealous at Zak’s reaction from the crowd so he starts to hurt him for real in the ring. Duncan & Ratboy catch up on Tyler at the show during the match. Will the two new friends be able get through these bad situations? or Has their luck ran out for good????
The Peanut Butter Falcon is one of the best films of 2019! If you are looking for something with heart & material that just makes you feel good as a human, this feature is you. It has a great balance of drama & humor, it’s basically a modern day Huckleberry Finn. It shows a man willing to do whatever to achieve his dream no matter what his condition is. It has someone who has lost everything & that needs a push in the right direction. When these two meet, it just works for both of these very different individuals. The unlikely duo makes the best of their situations & go on an unexpected journey together. The chemistry between Zack Gottsagen & Shia LaBeouf is fantastic, it feels beyond natural between the two actors. Their building relationship really drives the entire movie, both open up & let each other become what they need to be. Zack Gottsagen gives a brave performance as a man looking for one last adventure in life with nothing to lose. Remember Shia LaBeouf? He was a big movie star in all those major popcorn flicks years ago, he kinda disappeared from that & went in a totally different direction for his career. His acting keeps getting better & better with each project that he does. Most of them are small & independent these days. This is greatest performance so far, he proved to everyone that he is more than just a leading man from the past. He has the acting chops to hold up to anyone now. He went from someone that only looked out for himself to a man that was willing to make others happy which was a big character for Tyler. The powerful expressions he had when having flashbacks about his brother. He didn’t have to say much, you just felt it as it was on screen. Dakota Johnson is beautiful, her name always grabs my attention when she’s involved in something. I am glad that she is choosing more material like this compared to the bigger Fifty Shades stuff. She gets more of an opportunity to display her under-rated talent in something like this. She goes from strict to doing whatever she can make Zak’s life better. She adds that proper balance between the other two’s unique interaction. They become a family, this emotional rollercoaster fives you the feels. The supporting cast that includes Bruce Dern, John Hawkes, Yelawolf, Thomas Haden Church, Jake Roberts, Mick Foley, & Jon Bernthal is top notch in this. All of them fit their roles like a glove, they were natural & came off realistic with their portrayals. The music set the tone for this. The Peanut Butter Falcon provides a very fun & entertaining adventure, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation & special features from Lionsgate! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks great, it shows off nature & all the surroundings during these characters journey. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track features crystal clear dialogue, all the adventures are boosted, & the music is elevated here. It also has English SDH & Spanish subtitles. “Zack’s Story: The Making of The Peanut Butter Falcon” is 6 minutes. It has interviews with directors Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz, actors Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern, John Hawkes, Yelawolf, Thomas Haden Church, & various members of the production. They chat about how they came up with the concept, story, & project after meeting Zack at a camp years ago. They talk about putting their own money into a video that inspired the cast & producers to join their journey into this very different world of cinema. They bring up working with Zack & how he makes everyone better around him. They all mention what got them interested in The Peanut Butter Falcon. ” Images from The Peanut Butter Falcon” is a little over a minute & it has a variety of photos. It has a “Theatrical Trailer” for the film. It also has a slipcover & a digital code. It’s available everywhere this Tuesday, CHECK IT OUT!!!!