Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The calloused heel of dock worker...


I watched The Aristocrats DVD last night.

I've gotta say, I've recommend the extras more than the movie. Hearing the more complete versions of several, including one that the film includes pieces of, but loses much of what made it, in my opinion, the most hilariously over-the-top version of all, you can find it yourself. Others, like Hank Azaria and Whoopi Goldberg, also had their best stuff and much of the rhythm of their telling cut out. And some, like the song version and Merrill Markoe's, which was subtler and wouldn't have done well for cutting bits and pieces out of, and Kevin Pollak's version as Albert Brooks, which I suspect Walken seemed more of a mainstream reference although clearly Provenza and Penn call out for it first for themselves, are completely new and fresh as extras. There's also another feature in which various comedians tell various other jokes they love, which was also really fun... although significantly less over-the-top dirty.

Anyway, for those of you not catching it, I am indeed saying the extras are a treasure trove that I enjoyed better than the film itself. The film is wonderful in many ways, but it's choppy, its point is disorganized, it seems that many of final choices of versions and how they were cut were largely commercial rather than informed or entertainment. Understandable, but in many ways weakening the point, "It's the singer, not the song."

By including too many versions that aren't especially distiguishable from one another, including the poorly improvised version that Whoopi does as herself instead of the much funnier and different prepared act she does first, they leave it to very few to make the point, although Billy the Mime's is magnificent...

Really. Watch the movie and bear with me, regardless of what you think, stay for the extras, I think you'll agree... or not. Who cares really?

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