After a slew of the upcoming CGI kid trailers I had ants in my pants waiting to see my old Muppet pals back in action and as soon as the movie started I immediately felt that warm fuzzy tactile feeling and couldn’t wipe that smile off my face – much as to the same reaction to last year’s Pee Wee Herman on Broadway.
I’m sure I would have sang along if I had known the words because the musical numbers to me were actually the highlights, especially seeing Jason Segel and Amy Adams going for broke and abandoning any sense of embarrassment.
Drawbacks are it caters to an older audience whereby the current generation of kids will undoubtedly not understand the numerous references similar to Pee Wee and Avenue Q, but then again fuck the younger generation. In fact, there was not one fucking little Kid in attendance, just a bunch of arrested developed Moviegoers. Probably because Kids nowadays grow up on 3D bullshit, Xbox, iPods, and premade lego sets, and not plush toys – thereby not realizing the magic of puppetry and the concept of an invisible master. I mean just look at what Lucas did to Yoda! What ever happened to the days listening to Orson Welles Mercury Theater on the radio and playing with Lincoln Logs?
Anyway, the plot basically is to round up the usual suspects and to put on a Muppet Show to raise money in order to save their studio from being bought out by an evil rapping oil Baron, Chris Cooper, (even though Ms. Piggy and Gonzo are self made millionaires) but unfortunately the movie goes south when it’s showtime resorts to B-list actors and the Nickeleodan luminaries to the penultimate flav of the month, Selena Gomez. But to add insult to injury, rather than having the celebrity host be someone of caliber like the great Bob Hope or Steve Martin we are force fed the buffoonery of Jack Black – leaving Zach Galifianakis the only bright spot as camoes go.
Given that The Muppets box office is only second to The Twilight Saga which represents a segment of society that….but more importantly it did beat out CGI animated Arthur Christmas and Scorsese’s 3D Hugo. Does that mean that there will inevitably be a sequel? I just don’t see it – considering that the protagonist of the movie is a boring underachieving puppet named Walter who likes hockey and who’s only talent is whistling piss poor. Sadly the loss of Jim Henson is still felt to this day and the novelty of this movie, though fun as it is, will wear thin as it’s more a nostalgic nod. Though it may not please hardcore Muppet fans (maybe they should try this instead) at least Jason Segel’s goal to revive the franchise and play with puppets has succeeded on these terms and unlike The Smurfs reboot stays true to it’s colors.
Producer Peter Jackson, the new James Cameron’s of state of the art sci-fi movies and special effects, is perhaps the biggest draw to District 9. That and the fact that I could not walk a block without being bombarded with ads leaving me wondering, “What’s with that huge fucking UFO?” I mean, I sure as shit never heard of Director Neill Blomkamp.
Well as it turns out it just ran out of gas. But I guess not completely, for it still had the fuel to remain hovering over Johannesburg for almost three fucking decades without falling to the ground. The movie opens with the Aliens (or Prawns as they’re called due to their aversion to shellfish) already established in their own district within the city and as I would surmise leaving Districts 8 and 10 none too pleased as their neighbors are not only scavengers and slobs but like to deal in the dangerous contraband of overpriced catfood, Nigerian Gangstas, and fornicating with local prostitutes. So to clean up this fishy ongoing twenty eight year mess up, they hire Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) who works for some kind of governmental authorized munitions company that secretly is just interested in activating the alien weaponry by extracting their DNA more so than relocating the one million plus aliens including Christopher Johnson and his precocious son Christopher Johnson Jr. (?) (probably the worst fucking names for an alien in the history of movies since Alien or The Thing!), whom Wikus comes so intimately in contact with to the point where he is falsely accused of doing it doggie style with Johnson so as to smear his credibility. Thank God Peter Jackson learned his lesson from Kong and didn’t cast Jack Black because Sharlto is quite good and just campy enough that he pulls off this implausible yet original tale whereas Jack Black would readily be believed to be an alien ass fucker. Blomkamp also establishes early on the sense of urgency and immediacy by his hand held documentary style and by incorporating mock TV and black and white surveillance camera footage giving the overall film an original approach to the Sci-Fi genre.
However despite this fresh take on alien visitors I cannot fully accept the attempt to correlate Apartheid and xenophobia as these Jumbo Shrimp have no interest in integrating or sitting in the front of the bus thereby nullifying the notion of a District 9 eviction.
Still the real heart and humanity of the story remains in the relationship of Christopher Johnson (the only Prawn who has a chemistry set and higher intelligence) and his lovable Son whom both just yearn to phone home.
Whether Robert Downey Jr. really meant he was too dumb to understand The Dark Knight or not he definitely proved his extreme low IQ in Tropic Thunder.
After three summer movies and an Inside the Actors Studio dick sucking session, Downey thinks he’s hot shit as he succumbs to Jack Black and Ben Stiller’s usual fart jokes. Tropic Thunder advertises that it’s a satire on war movies but if they really wanted to push the envelope, unlike the repeating Scary Movie franchise, it would of set the movie in Iraq and satirized the current war rather than Vietnam – making it a safe haven for gratuitous violence and gore. It’s attempt to also reveal the excesses of Hollywood filmmaking is quite unoriginal and ironic when you consider both Ben Stiller and Jack Black have made bank producing so much shit over their careers. And so it stands to reason that Downey is viewed comparatively as some kind of thespian parodying a thespian selling out too. What I find offensive about Downey is not that he’s in blackface but his fucking face in general and that he’s considered one of his generations great actors probably because he’s viewed as some tortured genius in and out of rehab. Yet the real irony is how Stiller is being slammed by the disability organizations for his portrayal of a retard when infact his whole career should be. But I think these organizations are fighting a lost cause because according to Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% rating and Tropic Thunder being the number 1 movie is just another indication of the low standards in which the public is programmed into thinking who and what is funny, I mean just look at Dane Cook for chrissakes! Whatever happened to Mr. Bob Hope and Mr. Danny Kaye? If I’m old fashion then call me old fashion.
As for Tom Cruise’s so called unsurprising comic cameo, where even beneath all that makeup and prosthetics one still can’t help noticing that annoying arrogant voice, his need to be taken seriously (awarded the highest honor in Scientology) as an actor of diversity by showcasing his ability through the use of another jew dancing about to some ungansta like rap. He should of instead stuck with dancing on Oprah’s couch.
At least the Lance Bass cameo wasn’t delusional and infact the only funny moment in the whole movie besides the opening trailers. Given the nature of this beast and it’s apparent box office success I wonder how Stiller and his much needed think tank writing team will concoct a sequel? Maybe the little Vietnamese Boy comes back all grownup seeking revenge and letting the comedy ensue…
A surprising trivia note is how Owen Wilson was originally slated to play the part of the Hollywood agent in which Matthew McConaughey eventually took over after Owen gracefully bowed out by a fake suicide attempt over Kate Hudson. However credit is probably not deserved for such a smart move on his part for he probably just felt insecure with his acting chops alongside such knuckle-heads. And so, unfortunately we had to suffer through McConaughey’s running joke of providing tivo for his clients. At least he spared us for once by not taking off his shirt.