OCTOBER 8, 2008
One of the best things about moving to LA was having the ability to be among the very few folks who got to see Idiocracy during its brief, unadvertised theatrical run. FOX was so douchey to the film that it never even got a premiere, and in fact a couple of the film’s stars were there, buying tickets like everyone else, just so they could see the damn thing.
The irony, of course, is that FOX figured the movie wouldn’t find an audience, and the movie is about how fucking stupid the country is. Doubly ironic? The top movies that weekend were Invincible (uplifting sports movie #45596), Crank (Speed on a guy), and The Wicker Man ("NOT THE BEES!!!"). Not that there’s anything wrong with those movies, but smart? Satirical? Original? Those words describe only one movie mentioned so far in this review.
Mike Judge suffered the same fate with Office Space (I also got the chance to see that one in theaters), but while that film has gone on to have a huge following thanks to DVD, Idiocracy still hasn’t really caught on; the DVD was marked down to practically nothing after less than a year on the shelves. And it’s a shame too, because it’s a hilarious movie, and the satire is even more significant today. A President’s cabinet made up of random choices? Next month that could be a reality.
Not since Airplane has a film packed in so many great sight gags that you might not catch the first time around. Like the Surgeon General warning, which alludes to the fact that the SG has one lung and will kick your ass. There are also some great bits in Frito’s TV screen and the hospital “menu” (hurrah for pause button) that almost require careful observation. And I don’t think anything has ever made me laugh so hard as the sight of a skyscraper being held up because it’s tied to another one. There are also a lot of jokes that they don’t even really draw attention to. For example, the entire criminal justice system refers to criminals as “particular individuals”, which is a sly reference to the (still-running, somehow) show COPS.
And Christ, Brawndo is so funny they actually made it for real (and yet, still no Duff beer, FOX?).
The movie’s only real flaw is how short it is. Not counting credits, it’s less than 80 minutes, which is a shame when you consider how many other people/notions Mike Judge could have attacked. There’s hardly any jokes at the expense of people’s reliance on technology (ipods, cell phones, etc), for example. Had FOX put some money behind it, this could be a franchise, a sort of live action South Park in which we would get our satire in the form of R rated “dumb” comedy. Oh well.
The DVD only has a few deleted scenes (none very good), and I can’t imagine FOX putting money into a better edition down the road. But the movie should not be missed. All particular individuals should turn off Ouch My Balls, stop ‘batin, and watch it ASAP.
What say you?