Crimes:

  • Perpetuating the notion that Australia is populated largely by zany, work-averse eccentrics
  • Ensuring that the phrase "Australian comedy" continues to strike terror in the hearts of cinephiles
  • Depicting a fellow who callously allows his girlfriend and family to think he died in a deckchair-balloon mishap as a wacky, lovable kook

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Defenders: Writer-director Jeff Balsmeyer, star Rhys Ifans

Tone of commentary: Affable, easygoing, giggly. Balsmeyer and Ifans spend much of the commentary laughing at the film and at each other's quips. It's the kind of rambling, digressive commentary where several minutes are devoted to an elaborate anecdote about Ifans meeting his longtime girlfriend, a story begun by Ifans, continued by the delighted Balsmeyer, and ultimately finished by Ifans. Not to be outdone, Balsmeyer later shares the not particularly relevant story of how he met his wife while working on Operation Dumbo Drop. A running theme involves the filmmakers good-naturedly tormenting Ifans, putting stuff on his head and body and subjecting him to all manner of inconveniences.

What went wrong: Balsmeyer wanted Ifans to play a scene broadly as a "Big Bloke" type of character, while Ifans opted for a more nuanced approach. Balsmeyer admits that he was "never sure about" a particular line, prompting Ifans to meekly reply, "I kind of like it."

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Comments on the cast: Balsmeyer marvels that Ifans—who professes to possess psychic abilities and practice transcendental meditation—doesn't own a cell phone or a computer, and doesn't know how to drive a car. Later, when Ifans shaves and dons a suit, Balsmeyer also marvels that "that skinny, ugly guy from Notting Hill" looks "scrumptiously handsome."

Inevitable dash of pretension: Balsmeyer describes Ifans' character as an "archetype" and expounds on the film's "echoes" of The Wizard Of Oz.

Commentary in a nutshell: "I think I actually did get pooped on in this scene," Ifans says as a pigeon lands on his head onscreen.

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