Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tropic Thunder

I believe the deth knell of American comedy boils down to two words: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Don't believe me? Then I challenge you to rent Blazing Saddles and honestly tell me you think someone would make that movie today. Puhleeze. Al Sharpton would have their balls for breakfast.

I hate being PC. It's the fakest thing on the planet. I hate that it gives healthy, entitled white people (of which I am admittedly one) carte blanche to feel morally satisfied that they are no longer racist, prejudiced or judgemental. It's like winning the clean slate lottery. "Racist? Not me," the smug white proudly proclaims. "I use the term African-American even when there isn't a black man in the room. See?"

I can't help myself. I love bawdy humor. I think stereotypes are amusing. But does that make me a bad person? Probably. Deal with it, PC Police.

Which brings me to Tropic Thunder. I laughed my smug white ass off through the whole thing. Sure, it's a great parody of making a Vietnam War movie and all the cliches of action-hero stereotypes, but god bless the team who decided to push the PC-ness...even if it's pretty tame.

I know, some of you might not think that putting Robert Downey Jr. in black face is tame, but man, it was just so funny you have to love it. It put a fine point on exactly how overboard we've taken the whole political correctness movement. Kudos to Downey Jr. for being in on the joke.

The other part of the movie which drew great PC ire were the references to Tugg Speedman's (played by Ben Stiller) former movie role as Simple Jack. Again, this was a great jab at all those serious actors who think they're going to strike Oscar gold by ... and these are not my words, people, but a quote from the movie: "Going Full Retard."

Ha, ha, ha. It's so true! And that's what makes it hilarious. Can't you see that, PC Police? Just ask Juliette Lewis. Ask Sean Penn. It didn't exactly pan out for them, now did it? Again though, I thought the Simple Jack storyline was tame at best and certainly not worthy of the uproar it caused. It was just plain funny and a great dig at taking political correctness too far.

So go rent Tropic Thunder. Laugh as hard as you want. No one is listening. And the next day, amidst a crowd of smug whites, you have complete permission to pretend you were entirely offended.

I'll await your hate mail now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

1. A lot of people suffer in Ireland.
2. For two and a half hours.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hamlet 2

I owe a big apology to Hollywood. Just when I'd about given up on your shitty Kate Hudson-dominated, mindless drivel, you threw me a bone: Hamlet 2.

How this movie didn't get more buzz and attention is beyond me. It's a perfect off-beat flick filled with subversive humor and witty dialogue.

The cast, including Catherine Keener, Steve Coogan and a hilarious cameo by Elisabeth Shue as herself, is perfect. David Arquette is also in the film, uttering approximately 2 words, which is just about the perfect use of David Arquette.

Set in a high school in Tuscon, Arizona, Hamlet 2 follows the yearnings for greatness of a failed actor turned untalented high school drama teacher, Dana Marschz (with a hard Z). Marschz, played by Steve Coogan, bears a striking resemblance to a character that's one part clueless Napoleon Dynamite, one-part over-the-top Bruce Campbell. He's perfect. Married to an embittered housewife (Keener) whom he's trying to impregnate by wearing caftans to keep his scrotum at a reasonable temperature, Marschz launches a campaign to save the school's drama program by staging his own creation: Hamlet 2. Let the games begin.

When the school theater critic points out, "Didn't everyone die at the end of Hamlet?" Marschz simply writes a scene involving Jesus Christ and a time machine to bring them all back. If you're not drooling a little bit over that, there is a Kate Hudson movie waiting for you at the theater right now.

Naturally, Marschz has to mix two overzealous theater geeks (one a closeted gay with whom Marschz has a balloon fight that will keep you laughing for minutes) with a rough and tumble bunch of Latino toughs to make his dream come to life. The final production is well, let me just say that two of the numbers include: "Raped in the face" and "Rock me, sexy Jesus."

I think William Shakespeare would have been so, so proud.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why I Love the Golden Globes

Alec Baldwin looked surlier and drunker than ever, like at any moment he might bust off one of Angelina Jolie's skinny sticks and gnaw it like a Kodiak bear.

Colin Farrel. If a former Hollywood drug addict announces he "only has a cold" while he rubs his nose, he's definitely doing coke again. You heard it here first.

Rene Zellweger and that batshit crazy hairdo can only lead me to believe she was attacked by Sharon Stone on the way in.

No one had the guts to tell Tina Fey to fix her hair before she went on stage. Although, it was refreshing to see someone resembling a real human instead of a Botox-bot.

Because DVR let me fast-forward through Steven Spielberg's insufferable "I am the most important man who has ever walked the Earth including ol' what's-his-name you Christians are so keen on" speech.

Ditto Kate Winslet and her "I am so surprised that I wrote a 12-page speech" speech.

Rumer Willis as the "I'm never going to be A-list am I?" Miss Golden Globe. Man, she lost the genetic lottery between her parents in a major way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Californication, Season 1

Admitting to you that I watch Californication is rather like saying, "I subscribe to Playboy, but only for the articles."This show is like a fungus. A dirty, disgusting fungus that you are embarrassed you have but one that grows on you nonetheless.

To say that there is a lot of T&A in Californication is like saying that Aretha Franklin enjoys a plate of ribs from time to time. I guess this show is supposed to be the male version of Sex in the City, but I'm over it already. The first two episodes alone were so rife with bouncing fake boobs and oversexed starlets that I almost sprained my eyes from rolling them so much. But then that fungus action started to take place and slowly I found myself getting involved with all these decrepit characters. By the end, I actually cared about some of them.

Not star David Duchovny, who plays Hank Moody as the most magnetic and desired sexual being on the planet. Really? Old Mumbles No-Chin Duchovny? Really. Did I mention that in several scenes he also handily kicks the snot out of men twice his size? Really. Maybe if I could understand a f-ing word his mushmouth says, I might like him better. BUT I REQUIRE DIALOGUE THAT IS AUDIBLE TO THE HUMAN EAR, DUCHOVNY!

Lucky for Duchovny, he's working with a stellar supporting cast. His spurned love interest, Karen, is played beautifully by Natascha McElhone, a woman whose expression melds in a lovely way between sorrow and joy at every turn. Daughters Mia and Becca offer a nice balance of psychotic tension and puppy dog innocence to the mix of characters.

The comic relief of the show comes from Duchovny's over-sexed agent and his wife, played brilliantly by Evan Handler and Pamela Adlon as Charlie and Marcie. Trust me, these two take marital sexual tension to a hilarious new level. They are so much fun to watch that I'll be renting Season 2 for sure, despite the knowledge that Mumbles is still the star of the show.

Monday, January 5, 2009

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Parents, if you have teenage girls in the house, this is the film for you. Nothing will inspire obsessive birth control practices like watching two Romanian girls arrange and suffer through an illegal abortion in Romania circa the 1980s. You can feel your hormones shrivel up with each chilling new scene.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a profusely dismal yet entirely riveting film. It was the kind of film you don't really want to watch, but you can't turn off at the same time. It's a very well-done turn on subject matter few can tackle so honestly.

Set in just one day, we watch as college student, Otilia, struggles through a quagmire of obstacles to secure an illegal abortion for her roommate, Gabita. It should probably come as no shock that a back-alley male abortionist in a communist country is probably not the most trustworthy sort of soul. Just a word of advice for the ladies out there.

Gabita proves to be an equally untrustworthy character, further complicating Otilia's brutal journey with her unfolding lies and misinformation. And to think, the worst thing I ever asked my roommate to do was hold back my hair when I puked all over myself in a Boones Farm fiesta.

The film's setting and scenery are as dire and bleak as the subject matter. For me it removed "Visit Romania!" from my life's to-do list forever. It looks like it's your lucky day, Kygrzstan!