Tuesday, September 19, 2006

OT: Idiocracy

Took in a few movies over the past weekend, so as a public service, I post my reviews and thoughts, such as they are.

My pick was Mike Judge's Idiocracy, and because it was my pick and I try to maintain as healthy relationship as possible with my girlfriend, I have forfeited picking movies for the foreseeable future. The short of it is: it's bad, really bad.

I was interested in seeing this movie based on the strength of Judge's past work. Office Space is a flawed movie, but I still enjoy it. I enjoy King of the Hill when I catch an episode, and I think parts of Beavis and Butthead are sublime genius... remember, I said parts.

Idiocracy has a great concept behind it, and for that alone I wanted to see it. The premise, essentially, is that stupid people breed more, while educated people breed less. Throw this into the Darwinian formula, and you arrive at a distant future where mankind has grown increasingly dumb. Factor in greedy corporations, and their ability to capitalize off of that dumbness, and the scenario gets turned up to 11. Idiocracy tells the story of a government experiment in suspended animation gone awry, and an "average Joe" gets catapulted into this distopia to find that he's suddenly the smartest man on the planet.

Great concept, you have to agree. Ripe for all kinds of political and social satire.

Unfortunately, what the viewer gets is poop jokes, some prostitute jokes, a heavy dose of gay jokes... the "satire" is pretty limp, and I've seen it done better in half a dozen other films. It seemed to me, as I endured the icy stares from my girlfriend*, that this movie is only really funny to the people that it is making fun of. After the movie, I thought long and hard about Beavis and Butthead and why exactly I liked it... or parts of it...

On it's face, it was a stupid show, and I can kind of enjoy it on that level. Where it shines for me were the brief segments where the boys were watching the videos inbetween whatever was going on in the "plot". Bringing these two idiots and the insipid MTV videos together managed to finely pop the balloon of pretentiousness of the video, and also revealed that maybe the two weren't as dumb as they seemed. (I don't know if I've ever laughed as hard as when Beavis, while watching an Amy Grant video, asks if he's just stumbled into a comercial for Clearasil.)

Idiocracy is along the same vein as that show, but where Beavis and Butthead would sneak the satire by, Idiocracy brays like a mule, spraying you with bits of half-eaten potato chips, and really saying nothing new.

Meanwhile, I'll be watching a lot of period dramas and romantic comedies in the coming months*.

*Kidding, honey!



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