Thursday, May 18, 2006

American Dreamz, Team America, Ong-bak: Thai Warrior

American Dreamz (2006, dir. Paul Weitz, starring Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore)
"The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent. Each of them tacitly claims that "the truth" has already been revealed, and that the heretic, if he is not simply a fool, is secretly aware of "the truth" and merely resists it out of selfish motives." --- George Orwell

That is the problem with American Dreamz and why it's satire is as fresh and effective as a moldy dishrag. Every political character is either evil (William Dafoe as the Chief of Staff) or stupid (Dennis Quaid as President Staton). Also I don't consider the belief that President Bush is stupid to be cutting edge satire. I've been hearing it on late night talk shows for six years. Sorry, if Jay Leno is six years ahead of a movie, it's not edgy, fierce, or effective.

That being said, the acting was great and I was never bored. If only the story and ideas weren't trite.

Team America: (2004, dir. Trey Parker)
I know I'm in the minority on this, but Team America is a very funny movie. I just watched it for the third time and still laughed through out. Watching puppets vomit and fight is funny to me.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are the only people doing fearless and brave satire today. (If there is anyone else, please let me know.)
And the completely foul and disgusting analogy of American power (which I will not repeat, cause I'm not sure how anyone else in the group feels about profanity) is more savvy than anything in American Dreamz.

Ong-Bak:Thai Warrior (2003, dir. Prachya Pinkaew, starring Tony Jaa)
The first Jackie Chan movie I saw was First Strike. I left the theatre giddy and exhausted. Every couple of years a movie will hit me that way. I was hoping Ong-Bak would do the same, and I think it might have if I was in a theater. Tony Jaa is incredible. He doesn't use any wires, and it looks like the fight scenes hurt. I'm anxious to see his other movies.

By the way, some other films that have left me punch drunk are - Singing in the Rain, Babe 2: Pig in the City, Out of Sight, Kill Bill vol. 1, Jackass, Bottle Rocket and Rio Bravo.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Team America is possibly the funniest movie I have ever seen. I thought it was the best movie of the year and highly misunderstood. When I mention Team America to people they automatically think that the movie should be x-rated and that it is pornography from beginning to end. Some people may find the puppet love scene (which was still very funny because the puppet have no genitlia) to be a bit offensive and his speech at the end may be hard to take. But, the thing is, his speech has really good logic and it makes a lot of sense. In addition to that the movie has great structure, wonderful characters, strong emotion, and terrific special effects. I was so taken with the movie and so disappointed that my parents didn't want to see it that I made an edited version of the movie so they would watch it. In editing the movie I really only had to delete the one scene and then use some well placed BEEPs and I was ready to go. Those that have seen both confirm that the movie is still just as funny. In fact, some people find the long stream of BEEPs to be funnier than the swearing. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are some of the best writters out there. There comedy is usually veiled by "inappropriate" humour but underneath is a well constructed structure and a solid commentary of real events.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Bryan Summers said...

I couldn't agree with you more. My favorite line is said by Gary while undercover in Cairo, "And if you don't believe me, then you better kill me now, cause I'll put a jihad on you."
I suppose it isn't funny out of context, but man, it makes me giggle.
Have you seen Cannibal the musical? It's kind of fun and the audio commentary is one of the funniest things I've ever heard.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Cannibal but I have heard some of the music from it and that was great!

11:34 AM  

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