Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Idiocracy


I don't have much to add to Mike Judge's Idiocracy: Fear for a dumb planet, fear of a smart, funny movie by Dennis Cozzalio at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. I wish I did.

Sadly, mine is not one of the seven cities blessed with Mike Judge's Idiocracy.

I'll pass on a couple more links before wrapping up my thoughts, Dude, Where's My Film? by Joel Stein, Mike Judge is Getting Screwed (Again) by Brian Raftery and Idiocracy review by Edward Havens.

That's probably more reading than most of you want to do one the subject anyway.

I understand the problem as noted by Stein, "Movies aren't banished straight to video because they're bad. A reasonably smart marketing exec with a splicing machine and a decent song can make a huge profit out of bad. If some guy at home could cut together that YouTube trailer where The Shining is a touching father-son comedy, then the Fox marketing division can make Date Movie look good in a 30-sec. TV spot. That's why studio marketers are better at hoodwinking the customer than those two guys Huck and Jim picked up on the river. The biggest sin a director can commit isn't making a bad movie, it's making one that doesn't make a good ad."

Mike Judge is a tricky character. He'll get you laughing at something base and vulgar and turn the joke around so it's laughing at people who laugh at that, but he doesn't let you get comfortable laughing at stupid people either, as he'll turn that around and show you the underlying humanity. He's had sublime moments of this and a few clunky ones. From what I've read, I suspect Idiocracy hits a few notes on both sides of that equation.

But its real crime, like Office Space before it, is that there's no way to capture that spin in 30 seconds or even two minutes, regardless of how successful it is as a work of its own.

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