Delirious (2006)
Genius Products
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Alison Lohman, Gina Gershon
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes, Music Video, Trailer

When I read the synopsis of "Delirious" I knew I was a movie I had to check out. A small indie production starring Steve Buscemi as a paparazzo – I just had to see it, and I popped in the disc when it arrived on my desk from Genius Products.

Les Galantine (Steve Buscemi) is a small-time wanna-be paparazzo hoping to get that million-dollar shot of a celebrity. But like most of his colleagues who spend a lifetime in front of nightclubs, restaurants and local hangouts, he barely ever manages to frame a decent photograph.
One day he meets Toby Grace (Michael Pitt), a homeless young man, and the odd-couple become friends. At first Les simply wants to exploit the young man, using him as a gopher free of charge, but he soon realizes that Toby is not only a decent guy, but he is actually the only light in Les' life. Lonesome, quirky and offbeat, Les begins to enjoy Toby's company and feels utterly betrayed when one day during a stake-out, "camera-assistant" Toby meets teen idol K'harma Leeds (Alison Lohman) and the two fall in love.
Les is determined to make the best of the situation and use Toby's closeness to the star for his own benefit while paying back the backstabber at the same time.

This is, of course, the perfect part for Steve Buscemi. The actor can play this kind of character and this kind of offbeat, "damaged" personality to the hilt, there is no doubt about it. A likeable loser with eccentricities, always on the edge of a nervous breakdown as soon as the caffeine wears off, Les is what makes "Delirious" an enjoyable movie. While Michael Pitt does a good job as Toby, I found the premise a little too unbelievable. Not only is it dubious that Les would have taken him in the way he did, but that he would meet a teen idol and she would fall in love with her, instantly pulling him into her most intimate circle.

On the other hand, I loved the wonderful portrayal of the superstar managers/ personal assistants. Especially Gina Gershon as Dana is hilarious with her facial expressions, the uptalk and that artificiality you can find everywhere in Hollywood. Nothing about her is real. She's doing a job, believes she's the coolest person in the world because she works for a superstar, pampers the star endlessly and says everything the star wants to hear without ever being honest or herself. Sadly, the entertainment industry is a lot like that.

Genius Products has created a widescreen transfer for the movie on this DVD but I found the picture quality surprisingly disappointing. I could get over the graininess of the picture without problems, as this is a small budget indie film and the grainy quality of the picture adds to the cheap atmosphere that Les' life is oozing, but sadly the image compression is pretty bad. Filled with compression artifacts you will see plenty of pixilation and ghosting in the image, especially in the backgrounds where the texture detail falls apart completely. Black levels are solid but the film appears to be a little on the dark side. I am not sure if this was entirely intentional or if this is also a result of the mediocre transfer.

The Dolby Digital language track on the disc is serviceable and does its job but is neither very aggressive nor very impressive. Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable.

As extras you will find a commentary track by director Tom Dicillo on the disc as he discusses the making of the movie as well as its conception. This track contains a good bit of information and is well worth checking out if you liked the movie, the setting and the characters.

"Stalking Delirious" is a featurette that also takes a closer look at the making of the movie with quite a bit of behind-the-scenes footage. The best bonus materials of the release are three promo featurettes however, which fall into the mockumentary category. The featurette "Steve Buscemi is angry" for example is an off-the-cuff conversation between Tom Dicillo and Steve Buscemi during a press junket the star did for a different movie. The discussion gets more and more heated – all in good fun, of course. The best one of these promo featurettes is "Gina Gershon's Sex Tape" however, in which Gina arrives in a hotel room to record some promotional interview footage to promote "Delirious." What she didn't know was what director Tom Dicillo had in mind exactly, which was having her pose in skimpy lingerie on a bed with a naked guy, eventually leading to… whatever. Understandable, Gina is shocked and outraged – but again I am sure all of this was done in good humor.

The K'harma Leeds "Shove It" music video from the movie is also included here in its entirety for your viewing pleasure as well as the movie's theatrical trailer.

"Delirious" was not quite a hilarious as I had hoped but it was nonetheless and entertaining little movie that poked fun at the entire Hollywood crowd and their little "eccentricities." Buscemi is great in the film but sadly Genius did a rather poor job on the technical side preparing this DVD as even the menu screens are riddled with compression artifacts.