Sunday, April 13, 2008

Superhero Movie (2008)

There's a symphonic quality to a good fart joke, which builds dramatic force from its own kind of movements, and where the silences are as important as the peaks. Superhero Movie contains a prime example of this much maligned comedy obsession. It's eponymous star whispers sweet nothings to his lusted after lady as his aunt sagely passes wind on the couch, the force of which slowly builds into gamy gusts. Director Criag Mazin (and undoubtedly producer David Zucker, as well) wring a variety of jokes out of this most basic of premises -each zinging off the other until no flatulent pun is left unturned. It's called craft. There's the lad, hoping his love is weepy at his sweet words, claiming it's just her eyes burning, or the climactic wall busting that turns into another prime slice of ham for villainous Christopher McDonald to gnaw into. It's a lesson in low-brow, which in recent years has fallen into the hacky hands of the Epic Movie brood. Thankfully David Zucker is still around to hold the torch for intelligent stupidity high, and Craig Mazin, writer of the Zucker produced Scary Movies (3 &4, at least), seems to have studied dutifully at the hallowed ground of Police Squad.

So the film exceeded expectations, to put it mildly. Matt and I took the film in to honor one of our heroes, the great Leslie Nielson. But we were surprised to find a worthy spoof that hit way more than it missed. Mr. Nielson was this time complemented by a rogues gallery of creepy character actors who gleefully acted the fool. There's the aforementioned McDonald, who plays the supervillain Hourglass with oily arrogance, his face plastered with a plastic grin as he spouts glorious absurdities like (our favorite), when asked if anything's wrong, says no, "It's healthy cough blood." Then there's Jeffrey Tambor as the dense doctor, Marion Ross as the gassy aunt, Robert Hays (Ted Striker himself!) as the hero's unlucky pops, a pompous, Hooters-loving Keith David, Tracy Morgan as a virile Professor Xavier, and the hard-working but generally unknown Kurt Fuller as an asshole loan officer. I'm leaving out a long list of other scene chewers, but you get the idea. Lots of misshapen actors doing their bit for the common pratfall, including a final joke that nods to the ending of the greatest movie of all time, The Naked Gun.

*in other news, I purchased the MLB Extra Innings cable package. I now receive 80 baseball games a week. This is very unhealthy. Today I watched my personal hero, 22-year-old Cincinnati Red fireballer Johnny Cueto get batted around a bit for 5 runs, and nodded sagely as my patience in Chad Billingsley paid off with a solid 5 inning, 8 strikeout performance. Both hurlers are on my struggling fantasy baseball team, which dominates more hours of my life than I'd like to mention.

*Adam McKay (director of Anchorman and Talladega Nights) is calling on all of humanity to vote on IMDB and give Another Stakeout a 10/10. This should be self-explanatory.

*and My Blueberry Nights is not that bad. Although it's not particularly good, either.



Blogger Matt Singer said...

Can't believe you bought Extra Innings. At SUPERHERO MOVIE we agreed that it was a bad idea -- it would take up way too much of our precious time.

In other words, I'll be over the next time Edinson Volquez is pitching.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Michael J. Anderson said...

A very informative post! The very fact that you would endanger your young marriage with Extra Innings is itself post-worthy...

I'm sure I'll never see "Superhero Movie," but I still find it somehow comforting that it's more good than bad.

10:42 PM  
Blogger R. Emmet Sweeney said...

I think Extra Innings will save our marriage in the end, but feel free to place bets.

And everyone's invited to my place for all Johnny Cueto/Edinson Volquez starts. I promise delicious treats.

5:50 PM  

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