The Life of JaWS

A blog by Jason Sansbury

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday Movie Reviews (Vol. 2)

I know, I know, I am a day late. But I was in Macon hanging with some friends and then on the road last night. But here are the reviews for this week, which was slow, as I only saw two movies.

First up, on DVD I watched the film Idiocracy. Now, first off, you need to know that this film has a bit of a controversy attached to it. The film was made by Mike Judge, who is the writer, director of the cult classic Office Space and the creator of Beavis and Butthead. So on the buzz created by that film, Judge directs this film, which then was essentially buried by the company that paid for it, released in as few theaters as possible and then sent to DVD. All of which is interesting when you realize that the film's content probably irked some higher-ups.

The basic plot of the film is that a do-nothing Army soldier and a prostitute are part of an experiment where they are supposed to be frozen for a year and brought back. What happens is that they are forgotten and wake up 500 years later. And the "evolution" of the world is actually de-evolution. So suddenly, they are the smartest people in the world. Hilarity ensues.

On the whole I liked the movie and its approach. It has some pretty stinging commentary about how our society caters to the least common denominator and where that ends us. (For example, the favorite television show of the future is "Owww, My Balls" where one man is put in as many different positions as possible to take a shot to his male regions.) It is crass in some places, which would rule it out of youth ministry film but it definitely is a decent comedy that makes you think.

Next up, on Thursday in Macon, taking a break from writing curriculum, I went to see the film The Last King of Scotland. Now, Forrest Whitaker recently won the Academy Award for Best Actor for this film and I have to say it was well-deserved. His portrayal of Idi Amin and his descent into madness is amazingly well done.

The movie is about the following of a fictional Scottish doctor who comes to Uganda during the coup that leads to Amin seizing power. Soon after, through circumstances, he meets Amin, fixing his wounded hand and from there begins a relationship which grows as he becomes the doctor and advisor to the the leader. Slowly and surely, he becomes aware of Amin's failing mental health and gross human rights violations. (It is estimated that during the 8 years Amin had power, some 200,000 people were systematically killed.)

I would say it is a good film, but not a great one. The failings of the main character at times made me want to root against him and the unlikely turn at the end of the film was too unbelievable for me. A decent rental movie.

For next week: The theater is suffering from a glut of good theatrical releases this week, so I will be hoping to see Pride, The Shooter, Reign Over Me and TMNT. Anyone want to fund this movie habit of mine?


At 4:11 PM , Blogger Will said...

I liked Idiocracy quite a lot... we rented it in the hotel on one of our trips to Atlanta.

Since then, I've seen some interesting discussion in the commentary about the design in the movie and how every single logo is mercilessly lampooned. All save one: Fox News.

Now, who produced it? Fox. The funny comes in when you realize the flip side of their censorship--the suggestion that the current logo is already bad enough to hold its own against the others in the movie.

At 9:06 PM , Blogger Jason Sansbury said...

Yeah. I did find it somewhat amusing that the creator of Beavis and Butthead decided to make a movie about the de-evolution of society.

And there were some classic lines: "It's what plants want. It has electrolytes."


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