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March 18, 2011


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The Confidence Man

I'd be extremely intrigued if the film had barreled into the realm of Raging Bull. I think I'm going to amuse myself all morning with picturing what that film's plot and camera gestures would consist of ...


"(if the filmmakers wanted to Christian-bash in earnest, they'd have put the science-dropping Paul up against C.S. Lewis, or somethin')"

Good point, although I'm not sure those who would be inclined to Christian-bash these days would be willing to go even that deep into their reading. But still, fair enough.

As for the rest, I'm very glad to hear you liked this so much, as all I've been reading is the backlash. Though I'm not crazy about SPACED, I love what they've done since, or at least liked (SCOTT PILGRIM being the one I "only" liked), and HOT FUZZ, which I recently watched again, just gets better and better. So I'm excited for this movie, and hate being disappointed.

As for Hader's picks, I think that might be the first "Criterion Top 10" made up exclusively -- well, save one -- of movies I've seen. And I think, based on those picks, that Hader and I would get along famously. So what if he likes crap like DAZED AND CONFUSED? We're none of us perfect.

And damn it, I didn't know the OOP Criterion of THIS IS SPINAL TAP included out-of-character commentary. So now I suppose I have to track that one down...

Tom Russell

Correct me if I'm wrong, Bill, but I don't think Frost and Pegg were responsible for PILGRIM (which I adored). I do share your enthusiasm for HOT FUZZ-- it is the gift that keeps on giving.


No, they're not, but I just meant what the main SPACED folk have been up to since that show ended.

Glenn Kenny

Correct, Tom, Pegg and Frost did not have anything to do with "PIlgrim" and in fact, if I'm not mistaken, it was Wright taking on "Pilgrim" that led to the chain of events by which Greg Mottola directed "Paul." These guys are all part of a wide-ranging mutual admiration society, as it were.

Another thing I noticed but forgot to put in my post: when Wiig's character first turns up, her eyewear very distinctly recalls Estelle Parsons' in the later part of "Bonnie and Clyde." Not a favorite movie of Bill's, I know, but it's worth pointing out that the picture's frame of reference thus goes back even a little farther than "Easy Rider." These bits of evidence I think support my reading of the picture as such a thoroughly entrenched movie-movie that to complain about the clichés and/or caricatures is kind of to miss the point.


Ah, Estelle Parsons in BONNIE AND CLYDE: the one you're allowed to hate.

But anyway. As for the rest, all of the Pegg/Frost and/or Wright movies have been thoroughly entrenched movie-movies, so that makes sense.

Jason M.

Gotta love Bill Hader's comment on Bob Hoskins in MONA LISA.


Unlike Glenn and the other commentators, I sat in mirthless silence through most of Hot Fuzz and felt like it was some failed TV project I just wasted $10 on. Which, along with an animated Seth Rogen (whose amusing qualities have been dwindling ever since Freaks and Geeks), is why I want to steer clear of this thing. I'm not a grouch, though. I liked Spaced and Shaun of the Dead quite a bit.

Kent Jones

Glenn, it didn't strike me as Christian-bashing but Fundamentalist-Christian-bashing - big difference.

I guess STARMAN is also part of the recipe.

Anyway, a dully chaotic stretch in the perfunctory car chase section aside, I loved every minute of it and so did my son.

Grant L

I enjoyed Hot Fuzz all the way up to the last half hour, where the line between a parody of a Michael Bay shoot-em-up finale and the real thing almost completely vanished, and I could actually feel the boredom as it entered into and filled my entire body and soul.


Maybe I'm a bit dense, but could someone explain what the crack Paul makes about looking "like a family" is a reference to? 'Mac and Me'?

mark patterson

Grant -- isn't that the main "point" of Hot Fuzz -- that the line between parody and shoot em up is pretty much non existent? Wright would be the first to say he loves those movies he's supposedly parodying and I feel his film is more of a riff on/homage to/embodiment of the Action Films' forms and formulas than anything else. That last half hour I think is his stroke of genius, proof he's not saying he's superior to that which, in the end, he's honoring. Also its a bunch of fun.

Sure there are elements of parody but there are also elements of real affection (to the genres and to his characters). Its not an easy movie to separate spoof from the genuine thing - there's a lot more at work.

John Keefer

The bashing is the thing I can't quite wrap my head around. I think mostly it stems from a collective, "Frost and Pegg?...oh here we go again, why do they keep making movies?" type non-sense.

Also I had the odd experience of having to explain to someone, more like berate someone, who said "Ugh, that movie looks so stupid, I doubt it was any good". I preceded to explain that a trailer is not a film, it is an advertisement of a film and could, perhaps, highlight some of what you might expect, but ultimately its a commercial. I further posited that one would be less willing to do this with a book as stating "paged about randomly and read the description of the back, it was so stupid" because they would, hopefully, be greeted with, "But you didn't read the fucking book!" So in as nice a way possible I said "You didn't see the fucking movie!" It took longer than you'd think to make the point.

Grant L

Mark P. I most definitely hear what you're saying,and would fully agree with your analysis. But the place where Pegg & Co. & I diverge is that what little affection I ever had for megattage shoot-em-ups is long gone. I don't feel superior to them, but as stated above, they bore the hell out of me. I enjoyed the parodic element of the film, and could appreciate the creators' affection for their subject, but the moment the parodic elements began to wane to the extent they did in the last section, my interest dropped like a stone.

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