Sunday, August 03, 2008

YouTubeArt: Step Brothers of Earth-2

Last night we had a Termite Art field trip to the Regal Union Square to see the latest Adam McKay-Will Ferrell triumph, Step Brothers. I'm not going to write about it now -- given that Sweeney called it "the best American movie of the year" I suspect I should leave that honor to him. But I will share this, one of the better scenes in the movie that is, fascinatingly, in a completely different form than the one in the movie. This clip is very funny, and other than its bare bones structure (Ferrell asks to run the exclusive "Catalina Wine Mixer," Rob Riggle is nervous about it, Adam Scott enters and decides to let him do it) it's an entirely different sequence.

Often on the Apatow and Ferrell DVDs you get a really enjoyable special feature called "Line-O-Rama" where they cut together all the different improvised lines into one humorous package. I'm awaiting the day when they release an entire movie in a totally different form with totally different jokes than the theatrical ones. Given the way Step Brothers is built and the way it practically spits on its own narrative on its way to maximum comedy, this could be the ideal time.



Blogger Alberto said...

God, I can't wait to see it...

6:11 PM  
Blogger Michael J. Anderson said...

An often very funny movie, worlds better than "Semi-Pro" to be sure... but did anyone else think it looked really bad? It seemed to have real cinematographic problems - especially in terms of focus and make-up and/or colorization (they were REALLY orange). And I don't think it was just the projectors at Criterion Cinema's South Norwalk, CT branch.

For what its worth, not much I know, "Be Kind Rewind" strikes me as this year's first-half front-runner. A movie of ideas... and funny. Then again, I'm not much of an "Anchorman" guy.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Matt Singer said...


At the Regal the movie looked fine. To be sure, Adam McKay certainly lacks for Gondry's visual style, but I didn't think anyone looked weirdly orange -- the only thing about the characters' appearance that I noticed was a)John C. Reilly's curly widow's peak which seemed especially prominent and b)the fact that the two leads ONLY wore obnoxiously "ironic" vintage tees.

I'm a bit surprised, pleasantly so, that you liked BE KIND REWIND that much. I thought I was the only one! A movie of ideas and funny; exactly. And there are some parallels between the two in the way the main characters act well below their physical ages. I actually liked them both about the same, which is quite a bit.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

I'm glad other people dug Step Brothers (and Be Kind Rewind, for that matter) so much. Step Brothers is a bit rougher than the previous two McKay/Ferrell movies, but I don't think I've laughed more at a movie this year.

I don't know about visual attractiveness -- it certainly had a sort of slightly cheap "comedy" look about it -- but I actually felt like McKay's directing was terrific in comparison to a couple of pretty good comedies that could've been even better, like Baby Mama and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. McKay's composition and flow through material that seemed rougher than Anchorman or Talladega was instrumental to the movie working as well as it did.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

Oh, also, did you ever seen the "alternate movie" Wake Up, Ron Burgundy? They sold it with Anchorman when it first came to DVD, but didn't really promote it as much as I thought they would. It's sort of like what you describe (an entire alternate movie with different jokes), only not as organic; it's a ton of deleted material edited together, with some narration to make it seem like it's taking place after the events of Anchorman. But it's actually more like a retake of Anchorman where the story goes off in a different direction at one point (a lot of the extra material came from completely excised subplots).

Some of the stuff isn't that great, and it definitely doesn't hold together as its own film, but there are at least three or four terrific scenes -- and it's a fascinating illustration of how their style of comedy works. Most of the time when you hear about massive reshoots, it's assumed that the movie is in trouble. But these reshoots really helped shape the movie we know and love.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Matt Singer said...

Y'know I was late to the Anchorman parade -- I saw it once, was indifferent, then saw it again a few months later with a very different pair of eyes. I got the DVD on sale cheap at maybe Tower or Virgin or the like and by the time I could quote it at will and wanted Wake Up, Ron Burgundy, it was already an out of print rarity. Currently you can't rent it on Netflix and on eBay it routinely goes for around $20 plus shipping. But that's a good point -- I remember the Anchorman trailer had a gag with Ron Burgundy stopping a bullet by diving in front of it -- that whole sequence isn't even in the movie and I'm guessing it worked its way into WURB.

Anyone else hear the rumor that there's an Anchorman 2 in the works with Ron in the 1980s by the way?

11:09 PM  
Blogger Spinster said...

Loved Stepbrothers, but yes, Mike, the makeup was effed up.
Maybe on purpose? To make us subconsciously associate them with Oompa Loompas and thus find them more adorable?
I can't think of any other explanation for their bad makeup, which, interestingly enough, sort of wore off after they became "adults."

10:08 AM  

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