Though our city has a pretty nice mini-multiplex, which was upgraded, our family rarely goes to the movies. In recent years, we've filled this gap with a once or twice a summer trip to the drive-in and some light DVD and pay-per-view films. This year has seen us at the drive-in three times and to a multiplex for just as many films. PGirl and I continued our summer of movie-going a couple of nights ago with "Tropic Thunder".
We laughed. Hard. I shed a few tears as well. Throughout the film, when the dialogue in a scene already had me laughing hard, a well-delivered line would floor me. When Jack Black's tree-bound character, withdrawing from a heroin addiction, negotiates with another character to untie him, the offer made isn't anything we haven't heard before. But the way in which it is delivered had me laughing and gagging simultaneously.
Much has been made over Ben Stiller's character Tugg Speedman, having starred in an Oscar-baiting movie within a movie. A trailer is shown for "Simple Jack", which seems to be a mix of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s radio and God knows what else. Simple Jack's straw hair, crooked teeth and understanding of human nature (when he thinks of his ailing mother "it makes my eyes rain") is so over the top, I wasn't offended in the least. The whole movie is satire turned on its ear and cranked up to 11.
At home, we've been catching up with older movies through Netflix. The service is a pretty good value and we just bumped up our subscription to have two movies at a time each month as much as we can get them. So far I've seen "The Bourne Supremacy" and have started season two of Showtime's "Dexter". I highly recommend both.
Finally, I've been seeing the commercials for "Disaster Movie". Apparently this film, as well as "Epic Movie" and a handful of others are made by two men who worked on the original "Scary Movie". I've seen parts of "Epic Movie", and from what I can tell these guys didn't learn squat from their intial spoofing experience. Where "Scary Movie" spoofed a few movies which were popular at the time and worked into a fairly watchable plot, "Epic Movie" (again from what little I saw) broke the mold and decided to make fun of elements from any special effects-laden film from the year or so before.
"Disaster Movie" seems to take this concept even further, since it doesn't seem to focus on any disaster films at all. From the commercials, it looks like "Hancock", "Iron Man" and "Juno" get the non-barbs from the filmmakers. It appears that these brothers were the kinds of guys that hate movies that are anything but what they do. I know the feeling. I avoid commercial radio so as not to hear the same songs played over and over. The brothers do as well, because in one clip, a cro-magnon type hero runs into a sabre-toothed Amy Winehouse. The joke doesn't work because:
A. If you don't know who Amy Winehouse is, the cro-magnon guy, upon seeing her says, "Amy Winehouse!"
B. If you do know who Amy Winehouse is by sight, you'll pick up on her appearance immediately.
C. Just in case you've forgotten who Amy Winehouse is, she repeats a line from her hit song, saying, "I'm not going to rehab."
They covered all the bases. Just in case. They also speak to the guys and gals who were dragged to "Juno" and are sick of the cover of a Moldy Peaches song which is prominently featured in the film. One of "Disaster Movie"'s characters runs into a scene from "Juno" and shoots a character singing that very song. Because he is sick of hearing that song. Cue the laugh track. I hope these "spoofs" aren't as popular as I fear they might be.