In 10 Words or Less
Does size matter?
Likes: Fringe subjects
Dislikes: A lack of confidence
Hates: Size queens
So here we've got Patrick Moote, a comedian and actor with a few minor roles. His biggest fame came thanks to the Internet though, as a video of him proposing to his girlfriend at a UCLA basketball game, and being swiftly and embarrassingly rejected went viral. The reason for the shut-down led to this documentary, as it was allegedly due to him being underendowed in his genitals. Besides the awful things that says about her decision-making processes, it stung Moote, who then teamed with director Brian Spitz to explore the importance of the size of the penis.
Sort of Elijah Wood-like, Smoote is charming and self-deprecating as he searches for answers to his crotch concerns, though it quickly becomes clear that the quest is unlikely to reach a satisfying conclusion, as he consults exes, doctors and sex experts in order to determine an average penis size and what someone with smaller equipment can do about it. Whether it's the blunt memories of his junk offered by former friends or his efforts to extend his "reach" through tools, pills or exercise, the film is often a cringe-worthy affair, perhaps never more so than when he discusses the matter with first his mother and then his father.
Though most of the techniques explored will be known by viewers through their ubiquity in pop culture, like Extenze pills and the various pumps he tries, there are a few things to learn about, especially when Moote takes his search overseas, visiting Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan and New Guinea. The lengths he goes to to try and get larger are pretty depressing, especially when he explores having a likely unlicensed "doctor" inflate his penis with oil injections. Things lighten up thankfully with appearances by several entertaining experts, featuring a handful of porn stars, including Ron Jeremy, sexologist Annie Sprinkle, commentator Dan Savage and Jonah Falcon, the man with the world's largest penis.
Though there's a lot of interesting and/or entertaining moments in the 84-minute film, like Moote visiting an odd festival in San Francisco, a (possibly faked) fight in a sauna spurred by a hidden camera and a horrific on-screen glimpse of surgery, several parts feel manufactured, like a subject who coincidentally pops-up at several points becoming a key part of the film. If this actually happened as portrayed, the filmmakers are incredibly fortunate. Meanwhile, the final stretch of the film is overwrought as Moote deals with the reality of what he's learned and experienced. As a result, there's a lack of naturalness to the way the film wraps that hurts its authenticity. Also lacking is the payoff many will be looking for is a look at the subject's shortcoming. Though we see many examples of the variety in penis sizes, the one we are asked to invest time in remains a mystery when the credits roll.
We received a promotional screener, so we can't speak to how this disc will be presented in terms of packaging, audio options, subtitles or extras.
There were no extras on this disc.
The Bottom Line
A mix of personal story, anthropological study and freak show, Unhung Hero is never boring, and Moote is a subject you can get behind as he tries to overcome the hand he's been dealt in life. However, in the end, the film loses its sense of authenticity, which hurts the overall package (no pun intended.) We received a screener, so we can't say much about the disc that's in stores, but the movie is worth a look.
Francis Rizzo III is a native Long Islander, where he works in academia. In his spare time, he enjoys watching hockey, writing and spending time with his wife, daughter and puppy.Check out 1106 - A Moment in Fictional Time or follow him on Twitter
*The Reviewer's Bias section is an attempt to help readers use the review to its best effect. By knowing where the reviewer's biases lie on the film's subject matter, one can read the review with the right mindset.