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May 25, 2011

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Lurkerdodo

First! And at a good opportunity for Glenn to resolve my love/hate relationship with Armond White:
http://npaper-wehaa.com/nypress/2011/05/26#?article=1272737
It's pretty rich that he equates love of slob-coms with "contempt for the general public", especially given the $277 Million reception the public gave the first. Any more riffing would be appreciated.

JREinATL

Did they manage to make II as ugly and misogynistic as the first one? I've always liked Rachel Harris and am still pissed about the indignities that she had to suffer.

Mr. Ziffel

I was glad to see you weren't impressed by the first one either, Glenn. Although almost everyone I know loved The Hangover, I was truly underwhelmed and wondered if I was missing something. I thought Pineapple Express was a much better idiot-buddy comedy/action flick (or "slob-com", whatever we're calling the genre). I saw The Hangover well after the initial buzz and was reminded of a similar instance when seeing Beverly Hills Cop back in the day after many friends had raved about it (one guy had the audacity to claim it was superior to 48 Hrs!). Truly a "WTF?" moment, well before that acronym entered popular usage.

bill

I wonder how many people realize that "misandry" is actually a word.

Fabian W.

"a plot machination more or less lifted wholesale from crime writer Charles Willeford's underground classic "The Shark-Infested Custard"

I've heard that Drive-In cinemas are all the rage in Thailand.

(G'd, what a terrible thought. I feel dirty.)

bill

Oh heck, I haven't read the review yet and therefore was unaware of the Charles Willeford/SHARK-INFESTED CUSTARD mention. Noice!, as a guy at a frathouse might say.

John M

BEVERLY HILLS COP is superior to 48 HRS.

There.

Tom Block

"Midnight Run" kicks the shit out of both of 'em put together.

John M

I won't disagree with that.

Mark Diorio

Yea, someone else doesn't like The Hangover! People tried to make me think I didn't apprecite funny because I thought the movie was filled with easy, tired gags had hardly laughed. The Jack Black clone is annoying as hell. Let's hope this one flops so that a third isn't thrust upon us.

Mr. Ziffel

BEVERLY HILLS COP sucks.

So double there, and no backsies!

(I do love MIDNIGHT RUN, though.)

Joe

Sounds like Mr. Gleen Kenny should stick to reviewing 'foo foo' films, as he terms them. Guess what? 'The Hangover' series isn't made to intellectualize! If you don't like gags with men behaving like juveniles, then don't review or patronize these movies. Jeez, it's not like you didn't know what you were going to get, going in.

Glenn Kenny

Lighten up, Joe. You've got Josh Rothkopf on your side. Do you really need EVERY critic to like "Hangover" movies? And I enjoy gags with men behaving as juveniles just fine, if they're FUNNY, as they are in "Animal House," "Caddyshack," "The Wedding Crashers," etc. The "Hangover" gags didn't strike me as funny. And, not to put too fine a point on it, they're not gags involving men behaving like juveniles. More like assholes. But even so...

Kent Jones

GK, I know you weren't a big HALL PASS fan, but compared to THE HANGOVER it's MY MAN GODFREY.

Why is it that whenever someone expresses their dislike of something "popular," they're instantly accused of "intellectualizing?" Or, of being a "disingenuous snob?" As you say, why does absolutely everyone HAVE to like it?

What's odd to me is the number of people who assured me that the first HANGOVER was "really good" and (I'm still trying to fathom this one) "well-directed." One HANGOVER was enough for me.

bill

Come on, Gleen.

But seriously. Among my movie-loving pals across this great internet, I feel like a recluse in that I did actually sort of like THE HANGOVER, in that I laughed as much as I felt was necessary for me to feel okay about spending money to see it. I like to think I have a pretty good ear/sense for comedy, hence my feelings of loneliness here.

Not only that, but I think ANIMAL HOUSE is a grind, THE WEDDING CRASHERS was fine I suppose, but barring Ted Knight CADDYSHACK is a waste. Ted Knight IS there, though, and full credit for that. But still.

All the talk about Todd Phillips being some genuine filmmaking talent though is stupid, though, I agree.

Glenn Kenny

Well Bill, when Kevin Smith's right, he's right, and he sure was right when he said "Comedy is so fucking subjective, man." See, "Animal House" is about my favorite "wrong" comedy ever, and I can't imagine NOT being amused by such lines as "You fucked up. You trusted us," "I anticipate a deeply religious experience," and "You can take your thumb out of my ass any time, Carmine." Whereas I couldn't tell you a single solitary line from the first "Hangover."

I have to check out Mr. Phillips trash-talking of poor little David Poland, that sounds like it might be fun.

bill

HANGOVER's not something I'm going to the mat over, mind you. But I don't actually think that "comedy is so fucking subjective, man". That attitude implies that there is no such thing as a well-crafted, artful joke, or its opposite. The problem with bringing that up now is that I'm not about to use THE HANGOVER to make my case.

James Keepnews

When I still had my not-for-profit going in upstate NY in the 90's, the first film I presented was HATED, Mr. Phillips' first film, a documentary on the transgressive artist di tutti transgressive artists, G. G. Allin. Holy mackerel, did it ever "go there" where the late M. Allin is concerned and I'm surprised it remains as underdiscussed as it does, and not just where rockdocs are concerned. He was at work in a Voice-covered porn doc that I don't believe ever saw the light of day. And as all cinephiles know, he was also instrumental in the creation of the NY Underground Film Festival, which at least in its first few years truly lived up to its outsider name. As a result, I was very curious to see what he would do with Road Trip, and paid for my curiosity accordingly. I did see some of The Hangover on cable, and was equally mystified by its wide embrace by the movie-going public. I blame Zach and the absurdly fetching Ms. Graham.

But I don't doubt Mr. Phillips' talent as a filmmaker -- I only wish he hadn't correctly surmised the degree to which his career would benefit from its suppression. I realize such mercenary instincts are unheard of in American cinema.

bill

But, like, Albert Brooks...if someone were to claim that he was not a funny person, they would be wrong. This wouldn't be a matter of opinion.

will

@bill: ...yeah...it...would... (now Dave Chappelle on the other hand...)

jbryant

I thought THE HANGOVER was reasonably funny, even if it got by more on energy and outrageousness than true hilarity. And I do think Phillips' visual choices generated a bit more cinematic interest than the average mass-appeal comedy (I generally get the impression that most mainstream comedy directors don't want visual beauty to distract from character, dialogue, jokes, slapstick, etc.). Glenn, I don't think I can quote any lines from it either, but the dialogue is undeniably superior to that of, say, MON ONCLE. So there! This concludes the damning-with-faint-praise portion of our program.

Kent, I agree that there's nothing more tiresome than someone decrying the supposed "snobbery" of those who don't cotton to the popular hit of the moment, as if it's a personal affront that differing opinions exist. But there's an opposite phenomena nearly as puzzling (hinted at in Mr. Ziffel's comment above) -- the old "I'm the only one who didn't like 'blockbuster X'" phenomenon. It's invariably someone who came late to the party, sitting in the theater sniffing, "Okay, supposedly great movie, astonish me."

I also love it when someone says something like "Apparently, I'm the only person who doesn't like MAD MEN" (a show that, however great, rarely gets more than 2 million viewers per episode).

Sammy105

Glenn... thank you! You've helped me realize how often lately I've been simply "going with the flow" and scared to realize I flat-out dislike a film 'cause many friends online and elsewhere claim they like it! At some point, someone has to say something...
I can't say I didn't like the Hangover at all... I can say that, though I brainwashed myself to believe it was funny before, it's truly not. It doesn't fit in the 'comedy' genre, unless you call There's Something About Mary a comedy and Very Bad THings a comedy... I walked out of the theater when the audience laughed at a guy catching his manhood in his zipper and hollering in pain... I felt sick to my stomach.
I now say the same about the taser scene in the first Hangover. Those things kill and paralize people on daily basis with help of deranged cops. How was I to "enjoy" and laugh at a movie's main characters be electrocuted with 20,000 volts?
But... what I liked about the Hangoever is the ending. It did inspire me to think outside the box, and realize that a rel-ship I may be in, though seems stable, needs a lookover, and friends might be right.
I agree with Glenn that Galifanakis' character just doesn't come off realistic. Then again... if the writers met a person like that in real life, I can't prove 'em wrong.
There was a decent amount of mystery in the first HO, suspense and all that. No, it wasn't funny nor realistic in many parts - a world-known boxer would punch a random guy? I think Tyson would simply get his damn tiger himself and be on his way... he's not the mafia, for cryin' out loud, that scene made him look bad.

jbryant

I have refused to watch any comedy films since seeing Charlie Chaplin slip on a banana peel in 1914. How people can laugh at such misfortune is beyond me.

George

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

"Eight years of college -- down the drain!"

"Is it supposed to be this soft?"

Animal House is full of memorable lines. And I can't recall any lines from The Hangover, either.

Mr. Ziffel

@jbryant: Ouch! Did you really hear me sniff? I didn't mean to come off as a pretentious dickhead, but you're right - there was a certain degree of "here I am now, entertain me" when I finally caught up with THE HANGOVER. Of course I realize I'm not the only person who didn't love the film, but among my particular group of friends and family I was the exception.

On the other hand, it's great to see a film with little or no expectations and be pleasantly surprised. One instance in which this happened for me was when I saw AIRPLANE! the day it was released. I hadn't read any reviews and it was one of those let's go to a matinee to see something, anything rainy days. A comedy with a bunch of old TV stars? Eh, why not? We laughed all the way through the damn thing.

Asher

"I also love it when someone says something like "Apparently, I'm the only person who doesn't like MAD MEN" (a show that, however great, rarely gets more than 2 million viewers per episode)."

Well, the people who don't watch it don't necessarily dislike it. They just don't happen to watch it. I think that, among those who have watched three or more episodes, it's extremely, and somewhat undeservedly, popular.

jbryant

Mr. Ziffel (How is Arnold these days, by the way?): I didn't really mean to call you out. As I said, your post "hinted" at the issue I brought up, but you weren't a "pure" example of it or anything. Thanks for being a good sport though!

Asher: That was actually my point, but I guess I didn't make it clearly. Obviously, one can't like (or loathe) MAD MEN without seeing it. So why would anyone say "Everyone seems to like this thing except me?" Hyperbole, I know, and they probably just mean that it SEEMS like everyone who watches likes it. But I think it's sometimes a way for the "hater" to seem iconoclastic -- "I don't let pundits or the zeitgeist do my thinking for me! The emperor has no clothes! Harumph!"

Now you've got me pondering why MAD MEN is so popular with me if it's "somewhat undeserv(ing)."

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