Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TRIUMPHS! Of Original Filmmaking! And, HUMOR!

Say, have you heard about this The Hangover movie? Probably not; it is a little art-house picture destined to be seen only by the more discriminating cinemaphile. Oh, wait, no! It is that movie where the trailers and the posters and the press and the whatnot are already everywhere, and they greenlighted a sequel (THE HANGOVER 2: IT TURNS OUT I AM STILL HUNG OVER, WHAT WITH ALL THE DRINKING) before it even hit any movie theaters or made any cash money for the studios!

Yes, the motion-picture making establishment is certainly confident in The Hangover! Eerily confident, actually. Why, it's almost as if they already know exactly who will watch it and why... as if this movie adheres to some kind of well-trodden formula or something... as if... no. NO.


Awwwww, crap. It's one of those. Again. (Although I do appreciate the construction of the headline - the "fun" in "eternal frat boys" is something that needs "finding" now! MEN WHO ACT LIKE CHILDREN, IF CHILDREN WERE TOTAL ASSHOLES, AND ALSO HAD ISSUES WITH WOMEN: A Neglected Topic in Cinema, Experts Find!) I could quote this article at you, but it is full of lines such as, "'Old School,' about middle-aged men who start their own fraternity... made the theaters safe for countless more regressive male comedies" - um, yay? - and yeah, I guess you have to write lines like those if you are writing an article like this, because you probably cannot interview Todd Phillips and then turn in a piece that is like "turns out Todd Phillips is making yet another stupid fucking movie about the dudebros! He tried to taser Zach Galifianakis in the face, also. I wish I were writing about Werner Herzog." So, let's move on.

Let's move on to the by-all-accounts-quite-graphic blowjob scene! Ha ha, DID I NOT MENTION THE BY-ALL-ACCOUNTS-QUITE-GRAPHIC BLOWJOB SCENE? Because there is one - a by-all-accounts-quite-graphic blowjob scene, that is - in The Hangover! NY Vulture blog reports: "The film ends with the main characters discovering a camera that contains photographs of their disastrous guys’ night out... there are also several explicit photographs of Zach Galifianakis receiving a full-on blow job from a middle-age woman. Like with close-ups and everything!"

Oh, my goodness! The hilarity quotient of The Hangover rises with each piece of news I hear! Let's count the ways in which this - the by-all-accounts-quite-graphic blowjob scene in The Hangover - is inherently funny:
  1. Zach Galifianakis is fat! Ha ha, a FAT person, having SEX? I chortle just thinking about such a ridiculous and unlikely scenario.
  2. The woman is "middle-age." Not YOUNG, like the women with whom one OUGHT to be having sex. If you are keeping count, 1 not-thin person + 1 not-young woman + 1 sex act = one MILLION laughs!
  3. Ha ha, the male genitalia! That's certainly not something you would expect to see in a major motion picture! Well: unless you have seen the male genitalia in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Walk Hard, and Stepbrothers, and... oh, forget it. THE MALE GENITALIA! IN A MOVIE!
  4. Also, sex exists? I find this inherently hilarious! Nothing could be more shocking and transgressive to me than one of the more basic and universal human activities. Boobies! Weiner! Vagina! Butts! Ha ha ha ha ha.
  5. That stupid slut got caught making porn. Ha ha, why don't you suck a guy off some more, slut? Everyone is looking and laughing at you, because of how slutty you are! I feel so superior to that stupid slut who got caught making porn, you guys. Also, in no way inspired to pass equally harsh judgment on the protagonist of the film, whose dick she is sucking? It's weird how movies encourage me to feel that way sometimes. Almost like they just assume I am a horrible person, who doesn't get how fucked up this is, and are cynically pandering to my stupid fucked-up self without challenging me or offering me any new insights, maybe because they don't think smart or decent people buy movie tickets? Anyway! That girl's a slut, and it's funny!
  6. Have I mentioned that Zach Galifianakis is fat?
So, there you have it: six reasons why people who appreciate sharp, intelligent humor, which in no way relies on stereotypes, worn-out tropes, or the lowest common denominator of humanity, will totally love and be inspired to purchase tickets for The Hangover, the hugely original comedy that studios have already decided will be the smash hit of the summer. The Hangover fever: catch it! In time for the sequel! Which is already happening! And there is no way you can stop it! The Hangover: probably not worse than an actual hangover, pretty much!

Now, you'll pardon me while I go test that last theory.

22 comments:

  1. I would actually like it if there were more male genitalia in movies. You see boobies in almost everything. As a hetero woman, I'd like to be catered to a little more. Not that I will actually see The Hangover, or Forgetting Sarah Marshall, or Walk Hard, etc.

    Hey, is the manchild phenomenon really about getting stuck in adolescence because they can't admit to themselves that they're gay and want to stay in that cocoon when they only hung out with their guy friends, etc? That might explain some of the strong misogyny + male-bonding + not facing adulthood themes.

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  2. I am so glad you are writing about this! We went to see the new Terminator the other day - not bad if your expectations were low and you didn't mind a wooden performance by Christian Bale. It had a cool woman character, lots of explosions and scary eeevil robots.
    BUT! The Previews! "The Hangover" - a dudebro fest just as bad as you have described it. "1" - a Jack Black homophobia/lady-hating-fest that I would sooner scratch my eyes out than watch. And a "new" version of Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr. as a James Bond-y perverted Holmes and Jude Law as his plucky sidekick Watson. Horrid! Every single preview was so full of malefail, we looked at each other and said "Is this the audience the movie we are going to watch was made for? Are we in the right theater?"

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  3. Well, it's been quite a spring for the doucheoisie so far--from Star Treks "no girlz allowed!" clubhouse to a very serious documentary about Mike Tyson that barely touches on his rape conviction and terrorizing of the women in his life to "The Hangover" (which features a cameo by--Mike Tyson.)

    Oh, and there's this wonderful bit in the trailer, visible at around 0:18:

    Woman: Boys and their bachelor parties--it's gross.

    Preppy Ed Helms: It is--gross.

    Woman: I just wish your friends were as mature as you.

    Preppy Ed Helms: They are--they are mature, you just have to get to know them.

    Friends in car outside: Paging Dr. Douchebag!

    Never fear--poor emasculated Ed is then whisked away for some manly fun and hijinks! Thank goodness! Cause, you know, hanging around them wimmenz makes them totes fall off!

    If you need me, I'll be at the Film Forum.

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  4. And Joe Leydon @ Variety.com finds this pic "suprisingly clever" and "meticulously contrived". Joe Leydon is sure that word of mouth will give this "boys-gone-wild laff riot" legs. Yes, he actually wrote l.a.f.f.

    Indeed, Werner is an infinitely more interesting (and crazy?) subject as far as I am concerned.

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  5. I look forward to the results of your test, which I believe will be scientifically valid and rigorous and OF IMMENSE VALUE to the world at large.

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  6. well, i already decided to not go to this film, and since you so nicely broke it down there's even more excuse not to see it. same tired jokes + the man-child thing again? no thanks...

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  7. Lessee:

    1. My wife is fat. She is also sexy. We have sex.
    2. My wife is middle-aged. I am close on forty myself. See 1., above.
    3. Some of my favorite movies feature penis. Say, The Pillow Book which has Ewan McGregor's penis. Or John Gielgud's in Prospero's Books. However, neither is particularly hilarious. Also, as I am a trans woman and perennially broke, I have a penis myself, though it's not exactly male genitalia. Which probably explains why mine is not in fact made entirely of PURE COMEDY GOLD.
    4. Even though everything above is true I still have sex! Sometimes I giggle though I think it is from being loopy on oxytocin and other fun endogenous substances and not so much from sex being inherently funny.
    5. I've taken sexy pictures of myself. Again, fun and not funny.
    6. At my heaviest I weighed 250 pounds which made me kind of fat. These days I am still not skinny.

    Sady, I do not think I am sharp or intelligent enough to appreciate the very fine humor in this film. Whatever shall I do?!

    Waiting on the precipice,
    k0

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  8. And a "new" version of Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr. as a James Bond-y perverted Holmes and Jude Law as his plucky sidekick Watson.

    Apparently, this travesty (which I've seen the trailer for, and...ugh. Jeremy Brett is the One True Holmes, I say!) has caused another Holmes movie — a comedy! Produced by Judd Apatow! Starring Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen! How could it fail to be excellent? — to be delayed.

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  9. There are so few movies out right now I even remotely want to see.

    Even Up (which was totally awesome art-wise and adorable and sweet), only had one female character (unless you count Kevin, the large, non-speaking girl-bird with a dude name), And she only has a speaking role as a child, and is only in the film for the first ten minutes. Come on!

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  10. @Anonymous: Equus (OK, it's a Broadway musical, not a film, but still) FTW!!!!

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  11. oh I will just never tire of hearing you tear these types of movies to shreds. I just can't get enough.

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  12. @ChelseaWantsOut, I wrote about Up. The visuals were very nice but I found the story hideously toxic.

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  13. caused another Holmes movie — a comedy! Produced by Judd Apatow!

    Oh god. You're not kidding, are you? That's just too sad.

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  14. Sniper, I wish I were kidding.

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  15. Geez - what flick doesn't have Ewan McGregor's penis?

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  16. Sniper, I wish I were kidding.

    Dammit! I adored the Brett series. Ugh. Why do people have to ruin everything.

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  17. Sniper, I wish I were kidding.

    Dammit! I loved the Brett series. Although many people go for Rathbone, I think Brett is the definitive Holmes (most of the Rathbone Holmes movies got pretty silly). Why do people have to ruin everything. I shudder to think of what Apatow will do the the characters. Will Ferrell as a belching, ball-scratching Watson? Cohen's Holmes showing up "disguised" in that giant, green, thong outfit? Oh, god, what Apatow would do with Irene Adler. I have to stop now, or I may cry.

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  18. Is it just me or did you delete one or two posts?

    Anyway. I was wondering, have you seen The Bostonians? It's a James Ivory film about the womens rights movement in the 19th century(hope I got that century right, we do it differently in swedish). Any way it has an extreemly anoying but sort of funny guy who wants to mary the heroin and lock her up in a castle or something. And also an old unmaried woman who is probably a lesbian and also in love with Vareena, the leading lady. I just thought to myselfe far to many times during the movie not to mention it that oh it would be so great to read what you would have to say about it.

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  19. 1) Thank you again for seeing these movies and reporting from the front. Vaya con dios.

    2) @Tangoing with Evita: Equus is not a musical, unless I missed something very important.

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  20. I love this blog.

    I saw The Hangover yesterday. I wasn't planning on watching it, as I didn't like the preview myself. It was the funniest, most absorbing movie I've seen in a long time. In the context of the movie, the blow-job picture is uncomfortable, funny and kind of thought-provoking. I would like to know what others think about this, but please don't flame me. It hurts my feelings.

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  21. I definitely had similar expectations about this movie but I saw it anyways. Turns out, yeah a lot of stereotypes and worn out humor.

    But!

    The silver lining!

    Most of the female characters (all peripheral, yes, but stay with me) were likable/smart/real-and-not-based-on-stereotypes. Only one woman was the typical ball-busting bitch. One of the dudes ended up marrying the woman he (very clearly) loved. One other dude (Paul Rudd's character no less) found his relationship with his wife renewed and they are shown as a happy family at the end. Ed Helms' character starts up a new relationship with a woman (admittedly she's a stripper but is described by Zach G's character as a "nice lady").

    Yeah, there's a lot wrong with this movie. But I was expecting every female to be portrayed as a boner-killing harpy and only one was. And the dudes didn't seem to have issues with women.

    So that's a victory, right?

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  22. This post is from awhile ago, but I have to say that 1. your blog is great and 2. any time someone mentions Werner Herzog it makes my day.

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