Synopsis

Director Michael Polish and his twin brother Mark, who co-wrote and co-starred in the low-key, yet bizarre Twin Falls Idaho, about a woman who falls in love with a conjoined twin, follow up that modest cult hit with Jackpot. Jackpot is named for the town of Jackpot, NV, said in the film to be "just across the border" from Twin Falls. Like the Polish brothers' debut, it's well shot by cinematographer M. David Mullen, and is similarly full of odd, deadpan humor, but Jackpot has much more prosaic subject matter. Sunny Holiday (Jon Gries) abandons his wife Bobbi (Daryl Hannah) and their child to go in delusional pursuit of a singing career. Sunny is seemingly unaware of his lack of talent, as he and his stalwart manager Les (arrett Morris of Saturday Night Live fame) travel from one town to another, entering karaoke contests in dive bars. Life on the road has its short-lived rewards, as desperate women occasionally fall for Sunny, despite Les' efforts to keep him out of trouble. But unbeknownst to Sunny, his wife is unhappy with the lottery tickets he sends her in lieu of child support, and she's set a private detective on his trail. One of the first features shot using a Sony 24P digital camera (along with Session 9 and Star Wars: Episode 2), Jackpot captures a grimy life on the road with detailed close-ups and effective deep-focus imagery. The quirky film jumps back and forth in time to match Sunny's playing and rewinding of a tape of his favorite song, George Jones' plaintive "Grand Tour." ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

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