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DIRECTED BY: Michael M. Bilandic

FEATURING: Jason Grisell,

PLOT: A rollerblading courier is given the task of delivering a bespoke drug to his favorite actor, and his tenuous grip on survival is violently wrenched when the thespian overdoses.

Still from Jobe'z World (2018)

COMMENTS: You’re clearly in a bad spot when staring down a three-barreled bazooka wielded by a PTSD-stricken drug user, particularly when he blames you for the death of his all-time favorite actor. But either through mellow disposition—or mind-numbing desperation—Jobe takes this turn of events in reluctant stride. His evenings all kind of suck anyway, having landed a career of sorts as a drug courier, rollerblading his way around downtown New York City, supplying various oddballs with their various fixes.

Jobe’z World unfolds with a grim breeziness, beginning with a foray in the further-flung cosmos as the protagonist regrets existing in the one tiny pocket of the universe where anyone cares. He’s a chill guy, or wishes he could be. And his journey through a momentous NYC night is lit with shadows, through a camera which overlays a plastic, off-colored palette. Writer-director Michael Bilandic creates a world slightly unmoored from time, and sets his protagonist on a gauntlet through minor terrors and once-removed personal tragedy.

The MacGuffin here is a fading actor in the tradition of Orson Welles, who would have been considered a relic thirty years prior. For drug users and washed-up celebrities, perhaps time becomes meaningless (the actor greets Jobe with the line, “What’s your name? You know, like that Depeche Mode Song”—managing to make a dated, obscure reference out of a dated, obvious one); and for Jobe, a drug dealer, time shrinks and stretches, always in the opposite direction he would like.

This is a small-gauge film, with small tragedies, small perils, and almost a hiccup of a conclusion. By the end of Jobe’s trial-by-night—New York style—his lingering earnestness is lathed away. While this might be viewed as unfortunate, it is, at least, easier. Around halfway through we learn that Jobe peaked some twenty years prior, having burnt his chances at professional rollerblading. Like the actor he’s blamed for killing, he is better off fading into the hazy background alongside the motley burnouts to whom he delivers drugs.


“Writer-director Bilandic fails to infuse the painfully thin proceedings with any narrative momentum or comic flair, resulting in an oppressive weirdness for weirdness’ sake.”–Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter (contemporaneous)

Where to watch Jobe'z World

One thought on “CAPSULE: JOBE’Z WORLD (2018)”

  1. I really liked this one. Funny and trippy. For anyone wondering where they can watch this, it is streaming for free on the ‘Kanopy’ service.

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