Friday, April 17, 2009


Friday Movie Review--Observe and Report

I went to the new Seth Rogen vehicle based on the review in the well respected entertainment magazine, online, National Review, by Peter Suderman, and boy was that ever a bum steer.

Here is his perceptive first paragraph:

Observe and Report
is a movie about failure and disappointment, compulsion and mental illness, violence and sexual obsession. It’s a dark, weird portrait of middle-American angst and shattered dreams. It’s grim, it’s deranged, it’s unsettling. It’s also a side-splittingly funny comedy.

He's right about everything except the funny. The humor in this dreck couldn't split an infinitive much less a human side. The film is actually nearly humor free. It's as if they took out all the funny in another of Rogen's successes, say, his similar role in Superbad, and stuffed it up Katie Morgan's asshole, but not in an erotic way. This is not just a desert of funny, it is a black hole of humor; things that could theoretically be funny fall flatter than a hypothetical two dimensional plane--like beating up the skateboarders, making fun of police movie cliches, having non consensual sex with a drunk woman (I personally would never find that funny and it is here as an example of the barrel bottom scraping I'm having to do to come up with the near funny in this sad mess, with an emphasis on sad).

The writer/director, Jody Hill, who seems to have graduated from the world renowned University of North Carolina film program last week, should never be allowed near a movie camera again, especially if he's thinking he's being funny. You're not funny Jody boy; you're just sad.

This should have gone the way of Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie, another Rogen triumph, which did go direct to video. Stay away from this steaming pile; you will never get your 86 minutes back nor your $10. Really, this was devoid of redeeming value. For a while now I have suspected that modern comedies, because it is hard to be funny, have substituted embarrassment (which causes some people to laugh) for funny. This is a stunning proof. One guy, who was praising it, compared it to The Cable Guy. I can not top that insult.


I'm absolutely with you on not equating "uncomfortable" with "humorous."

While I do subscribe to the theory that comedy equals others' pain plus your distance, that is more of a definition of farce and slapsticke than of "Hey, that guy is such a loser, and I'll prove it."
We laugh at the Funniest Videos showing blows to the crotch, etc. as we laughed at the stooges for slapstick. I'm willing to put the Jackass brand of humor in that genre as well but what about Ali G and Borat? Uncomfortable or funny?
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