Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not The Movie We Want; But The Movie We Need

Hat-tip BAD

Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait has only directed a handful of films, but they're all pretty damn great - pitch-black yet somehow not "gratuitous" stuff that cuts straight to the bone in ways few other comedies would dare. Example: "Sleeping Dogs Lie" starts out as a movie (partially) about bestiality and winds up as possibly the most honest romantic-comedy ever concieved (it's moral: Want a healthy relationship? LIE.)

The word on his newest feature, "God Bless America," has been that it's dark stuff "even for Bobcat;" a bastard lovechild of "Super" and "Idiocracy" by way of "Falling Down" for the Fox News era. The premise? A suicidal everyman has an epiphany: Why kill himself when it's everyone else - particularly reality TV stars, cell-phone addicts, religious nuts and "American Idol" - who're the problem? What follows is either a trailer for the most incendiary movie anyone has attempted in years... or a direct-feed from the inside of MY mind at any given moment:

Holy. Shit.

Yeah. CANNOT WAIT for this one.


Reneiw said...

Yup. That looks awesome.
The better part is that it's got THAT name.

It's like the whole movie took that chunk of people that defend their idiocy with "First Amendment rocks bro" and "This is America, so I can say what I want" and literally shot them.

Unknown said...

...Bobcat. Take my money. NOW!

Christian said...

Okay. I was skeptical after reading your description of it, Bob.

But after watching the trailer...yeah. I'm in.

TheDVDGrouch said...

This movie cannot get here quick enough.

Anonymous said...

You gotta give props to anyone who saw Super and thought, "Yeah it's a good film, but it's just not dark enough."

To be honest though, this doesn't look like it's going to be nearly as good. The premise is solid, but the actors just can't sell it.

Scott Glasgow said...

I love the premise, but I sincerely hope that it's more than a one line joke repeated over and over like the masterbatory trailer. The girl character looks like she was ripped directly out of Super, there seems to be no difference at all between the two girls (at least from a 3 min trailer, final product who knows right?)
Lastly, and this one is a bit prejudice, from the first frame I was thinking from entire time "Why isn't Bill Murray playing this role?!?!"

Darren said...

Everyone feels that way I just hope no one is inspired by it that's all I fear :/

Daniel R said...

Dammit, it looks like I'm gonna be the only one who won't get into this one.

I mean, it looks well made. Probably a good movie.

But... Its just far too cynical for my tastes. I'm sorry but I prefer to have a more hopeful outlook towards the rest of humanity.

I know its just a movie and I am fully aware that insufferable douchebags do exist but I've always held that the best way to deal with them is to simply brush it off and treat them as kindly as you would anyone else. Taking violent action just seems so pessimistic and contemptuous.

And this isn't me not being aware of the world around me. I was bullied extensively both physically and emotionally all through Kindergarden, Elementary, and Middle School. I still get the occasional taunt or insult in class but I usually just try to deal with it by shrugging it off.

In fact, two of my best friends in the world originally met me by making fun of me.

I know it sounds like some sort of fictional high school from an 80's PSA but it true! I just recently had one of my aforementioned friends tearfully apologize to me for everything he did in what has to be one of the most tender moments in our friendship- fine he was a little drunk, but so what.

Wow, this comment sorta took on a mind of its own.
I guess when it comes right down to it I won't be able to get into this film because of a basic problem I have with its ideology.

Not a bad film, probably hilarious and insightful to anyone else, especially someone with a taste for dark humor. Just not for me.

Oh and; Sorry for clogging up you're comment section with puke worthy, feel goody, gullible, overly- emotional, teenage crap Bob. :)

Jake said...

@Daniel R
(Stereotypical 80s slow clap)

Anyway, it's good that there are still people that hold out hope for humanity. I'm actually writing a story that involves a cynical, misanthropic protagonist who in the end sees the good in all people and the potential for people to do great things instead of stagnate. I guess it would be described as optimistic, while validating some of the opinions of misanthropes, that too many people care about lesser concerns.

Maybe that's what this film will do as well. Though with the release of Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe", (THE WORST SONG EVER MADE!, and I'm not exasperating), hope is definitely becoming harder.

Jake said...


Unknown said...

fuck yeah

The Almighty Narf said...

Mmmm... a Mary Sue for the bitter misanthrope.

Bob, you'd never let a movie get away with being a completely shallow, one joke, fantasy fulfillment porn anywhere else. Don't let this one just because you happen to agree with it.

Fitt-Mongo Böghora said...

Yeah, this looks like a neat, cynical revenge-fantasy that's been going on in your and others' heads. But I have some problems with the decision-making of our protagonist.

First of all, what does he gain from this? What legacy will he submit to our civilization after dying? I'm fearing that such killing spree IRL would be counter-productive, i.e. the "ignorant" side of the world might be gaining a stronger faith in their philosophy and way of life. Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism.

Secondly, Joel doesn't seem to be aware what exactly is the root to everything he wants to shoot? The reason so many people are "stupid", is because they don't know. They've been blocked from vital information and knowledge and have instead been shaped by the heavy supply of information that surrounds them.

The greatest crimes mankind has ever made is:
1. Expand to a seven billion population
2. Posses a desire for integrity rather than honesty

Jake said...

Oh, and about American Idol, even though I don't watch it anymore, people, at least people I know who watch it, watch it because they want to see "a story". They want to see someone who had nothing, go on to become successful. Weather that's a good reason or not to watch the show is another question, but it's not the typical shit eating that we see in people who watch Jersey Shore or the Kardashian show.

Robert said...

This type of movie has been attempted before, and it always fails. This type of film is irresponsible, juvenile, and, the worst part is, it's boring. This is not edgy. This is sad.

Taylor said...

It's like a remake of Confederacy of Dunces that completely misses the point and attempts to recast Ignatius as a crusading Mary Sue.

Oh, and the title: So edgy. I mean, like, you want shock, that'll shock you full of shock. I bet the fundies all popped their monocles and cowered before the daring satire and social commentary inherent in that title.f

M2 said...

Hey! It's the guy from Shameless!

Also, I am seeing this movie. No one will fucking stop me.

Anonymous said...

This looks ...interesting, but I don't know if I'll see it. I'm not an all that cynical person, and I hate movies that are pure revenge fantasies.

Arturo said...

Oh my God.....
I think I need a cigarette

Wendy said...

Because if its one thing the American viewing audience LOVES, its being told how terrible they are.

ScrewAttackSamus said...

HO. LY. SHIT. This does indeed feel like one big, cathartic against my generation and the future ones i.e. the spoiled, ignorant brats who keep getting worse and worse

Anonymous said...

I really hope this movie has some sort of curveball ending that points out how hypocritical and misguided the "the world would be a better place if everybody I disagreed with was dead" crowd is.

willywild256 said...

Fuck yes, please.

Anonymous said...

The question I raise is what can truly be considered "wrong"?

The content of this film, or the institutions and mindsets that caused this film to be created?

Dave from canada said...

Contrary to my expectations, Narf is right on the money. IN fact I would go one further and say that the real problem with the US is the attitude of this movie. That all the problems stem from OTHER people who are clearly to stupid do do anything and so you have to kill them. The biggets problem with wester civilization is that peopel as a whole abandon personal responsibility in favour of easy scapegoats.

Your marriage sucks? Blame the gays. You're bored with life? Blame tv shows you can easily avoid.

I wanted to find this fun, but I dislike being pandered to.

@ Aiddon

Have an original thought, just ONCE in your life. Don't worry, they don't bite. You might even enjoy it.

biomechanical923 said...

I pretty much don't leave the house because of society becoming more and more full of insufferable douchebags, so I can see how fulfilling revenge fantasies might be cathartic, and I'll definitely give this movie a peek.

At the same time, it's clear that Murray's character is attacking the symptoms, not the disease.

The "disease" which is causing the past two generations to grow up as spoiled, self-absorbed parasites is something much deeper in the system. I'm talking about the "no child left behind" policies that began in the late 80's / early 90's.

Before these education policies, children learned that you became exceptional by achieving something.
Since about 1990, every kid is born and raised being told that they're exceptional because they exist. Everybody gets a t-shirt just for showing up. This has created a generation with a large portion that internally rationalizes "why should I change my behavior? I'm already awesome!"


Lee Kalba said...

To whom it may concern,

Take your own advice, and don't see it. Let those who want to see cathartic, dark humor enjoy it.
In this case, it is a matter of taste: some people like death metal, some people like blues. But at least it isn't dated, watered down pop, calling itself jazz.
It may be comfort food for the misanthropic, but it is what it is and not pretending to Art.

Anonymous said...

That's fine dude, and I do want to see the movie too. But the thing is, Moviebob's attitude kinda bothers me, because instead of jumping into the "crazy shooting escapist fantasy" that this movie offers to take a piss at the whole stupid things pop culture shows (and other stuff), he takes it straight-faced saying stuff like "The movie we need" or "a direct-feed from the inside of MY mind at any given moment".

I mean, seriously, you really think that this comedy is really going to be this "incendiary" movie when it so blatantly is trying to be appeal to a fantasy that everyone has and is comfortable with?

But instead Moviebob takes this to makes his usual "America is stoopid, everybody is an idiot besides me". I dunno if this is his idea to be this ridiculous inflated cocky persona like his Escapist colleges do (Yahtzee and Jim Sterling), but I have a hard time buying into this "act" if he is really doing it.

I'm excited to see this movie too, I'm pretty sure it will be a blast, but to treat this as something "that cuts straight to the bone" when everyone in to country probably is going to laugh their asses off when the man is going to shotgun the equivalent of Jersey shore is just childish and flesh out this little ego of his that is kinda creeping into every discussion he's into right now.

It is just an escapist fantasy, when a man liberates himself to do crazy stuff, especially using the gimmick of him having a terminal cancer, one can name a ton of movies that use the same premise, but this one is just going "Hey, this one instead of shooting his bullies and ex-wives, he's going to shoot people famous people)

The Almighty Narf said...

@ Lee Kalba

"but it is what it is and not pretending to Art"

That may be fine enough for you. But, it's really a bit jarring that Bob would give this one a free pass when he's torn movies to shreds for that exact sort of thing so many times... like pretty much every time he has the opportunity.

HolyJunkie said...

Another film that feeds from my nightmares. These past few months have made me feel like Philip K. Dick.

Fortunately, no bronies appear to have been harmed in this film.

Dr. Pibb said...

For those who dismissed this movie as merely revenge fueled catharsis, I do need to point out that we've only seen the trailer. It could use this concept as a way to project a deeper meaning. Or it could merely be what the trailer says it will be. Either way, I definitely want to find out firsthand when it comes out. As well, for those trying to point out the logical train of thought leading to these actions, it must be said that this is a comedy, albeit an incredibly dark and dry one. Comedy is based on irrationality.

Lee Kalba said...

And all the genre movies that do exactly the same thing? The ones that just let it all hang out, like Piranha, that he liked?
I could care less about Bob's hyperbole, I'm more interested in the movie, itself.

You forget about the self esteem movement. The "You're special" no matter how worthless someone may be. But the basis is right, when esteem isn't tied to achievement, you get entitled brats.
Then there's the feel-good aspect of these shows, like the Super Sweet 16, that was nudged at, in the trailer; people watch it and think, "at least I'm not a horrible brat, like that".
I think the sickness goes deeper than No Child Left Behind and the Self Esteem movement.

biomechanical923 said...

@ Lee Kalba

Thanks for the sincere input.
I understand what you mean. I was using the term "no child left behind" as a sort of abbreviation/umbrella under which I clustered all of the faulty education campaigns of past 20 years.

This includes things like "everybody's special" "everybody wins" "no putdowns" etc etc etc...

My fault for using shorthand to describe things, as I have a very stream-of-consciousness manner of speaking and writing sometimes.

Bossk said...

Everyone saying that this looks like a "one note joke" movie, I'm guessing, has never seen any of Bobcat Goldthwait's other movies. Each one could be perceived that way from a trailer and synopsis. The point of trailers is to hook you without giving the entire movie away (something more movie trailer houses need to figure out). If this is anything like the trailer for his last film, World's Greatest Dad, there's also probably a huge plot point that is missing. I can't wait for this; I've been looking forward to it since it was announced.

The Almighty Narf said...

@ Bossk

In which case I would say it completely failed as a trailer.

Anonymous said...


If what Bossk is saying is true, that might be the point. Maybe the point of the trailer is not to pull in people who reacted like you and maybe don't need to see the movie, but for reactions like Bob who might more likely take it at face value because it agrees with their ideas... who then get sucker punched by the twist. Perhaps Goldthwait's aim is not a movie that can be seen and appreciated by everyone, but by those who need to see it most. Jester speaking to the king, and all. But that could just be the optimist in me talking.

FWIW, I'd hazard a guess that the main character eventually realizes that he's no better (in fact, perhaps worse) than his targets, and that he realizes that his sidekick is going down a path of destruction and has to stop it somehow, as while he's fated to die soon anyway, she would presumably have a long life ahead of her that is potentially being ruined by her destructive actions. Or it could turn into something even stranger. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

The Almighty Narf said...

@ Anonymous

If Goldthwait made the trailer himself, perhaps. But, in the substantially more likely event that the movie studio put the trailer together trying to highlight what they thought were the best and most marketable aspects of the movie... well, I don't have much hope for the movie.

Andrew said...

@Scott Glasgow

Don't worry, we all feel that way about every movie that Bill Murray isn't in.

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