Friday, 9 September 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #800: Bucky Larson- Born To Kill Comedy

Sometimes I fear for the survival of comedy, looking at this trailer is one of those times...

And that trailer is no where near the marketing abortion as the TV commercial I saw that features some possibly drunk guy popping his head into the shot saying stupid non-sequiturs like "Let's get Bucked up!" and being the only one laughing at his material. I want to hit that man with a baseball bat, a flaming baseball bat.

The ad campaign, though atrocious, seems to reflect the quality of the movie which at the time of this writing has only scored 34% at Rotten Tomatoes, and I'm amazed it's scoring that highly. (UPDATE: That score is now 0% critics 34% apes with head injuries) Though it does seem to solve the mystery behind why Christina Ricci made the jump to TV if this is the best she's getting.

Now to my point.....

From everything I've seen and everything I've read about this movie the pitch probably went something like this:

"We take a guy with a bad haircut that no mentally stable person in the real world will have, buck teeth, and a tiny dick. We'll make him a porn star so we get to show some boobies, and then we'll slap on a happy ending. And don't worry, it'll all be okay, because we're going to make him from the Midwest or some other loser town."

The premise of the country bumpkin making good is an trope going back to Ancient Greece theater. Traditionally the hero, despite their bumbling and naivete, has some sort of inherent native guile and/or overwhelming honesty and decency that lets him put one over on his supposedly sophisticated social betters/tormentors and win out in the end.

I don't get that vibe from this movie.

The vibe I get from this movie is that it was made by people who have spent too long in the upper echelons of California's showbiz scene. There's the assumption that anyone who doesn't live like them must somehow be a loser that suffers from a form of mental retardation, and thus must be shat upon frequently because it makes the beautiful people feel 5% less insecure, and you should find it hilarious. It's got nothing to do with an average Joe pulling themselves up through pluck, luck, and snappy dialogue, and everything to do with the allegedly sophisticated and cool creators putting the lowly common loser down. It's a disturbing trend in comedy and one of the reasons I stopped watching Saturday Night Live oh so long ago.

I blame it all on country clubs.

Back in the Golden Age of Hollywood, the people in the movie industry, from CEOs, to Movie Stars, to the Janitor were barred from joining the mainstream's social elite, usually in the form of being denied membership in their precious country clubs. Because who wanted a bunch of "low class show-folk" polluting their golf courses with their cigars and scandalous personal lives.

This gave Hollywood's denizens a sort of sympathy with the outsider and the commoner that was reflected in their movies. Old comedies are loaded with everyday people "making good" over elitist snobs, not the other way around which it is like today.

Oh how things have changed.

Not only are the people in show business considered the country's social elite, the one time censorious "mainstream money" are running around acting like they're show business in the hopes that it will land them a scandalous reality show and make them both rich and famous.

Gone is the sympathy with the common man and the outsider, and in its place is a desire to win the favor of their colleagues by showing how much better they are from such lowly "average folks," by shitting on grotesque parodies that they really think represent the "average folks."

That's my attempt at dime-store psychoanalysis, but it does explain a hell of a lot. What's your take?


  1. The film looks like the atrocious part of your complete shit sandwich breakfast.

    May I ask you this D, when was the last time you were really excited over a movie trailer?

    For Me it seems like never. I am now more looking forward to the releases of battlefield 3, and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, two video games. None of the summer blockbusters this year really had me interested.

  2. This summer left me cold too, especially when it comes to trailers, which seems to be a lost art in Hollywood.

  3. I worded that wrong, when was the last time a movie trailer got to excited to see the movie?

  4. The last time I got excited about a trailer was Trollhunter. That was recent, but also not Hollywood.

    When I go to the movies nowadays, after the trailers I turn and look at my wife or son or whoever I went with, and we both wince. I don't know who the hell those trailers are aimed at, but it is not me for damn sure.

  5. I hate, hate hate the gross, despicable, and bigoted depictions of average-Joe Americans.

    They are so contemptuous because it is a one way street. They know that they are not held to the same standards. And as you have mentioned, they get a reputation for being 'daring' and 'edgy' or God forbid, 'insightful' for noticing the 'irony' of middle America (yes I know I used too many scare quotes).

    The average American is hated/despised by the elites with a lazy stupidity equaled only by cattle chewing their cud. They are really too lazy to try to change their attitudes.

    It was like The Passion of the Christ none of the elites understood it. Not one of them understood what it was, how audiences would react, or how Joe-Six pack would respond to their condescension.

    A reviewer overheard a young couple's conversation.

    Man: "'The Passion' really doesn't work as a movie. I mean, if you don't know who the characters are, you can't figure out what's going on. And why is he washing people's feet?"

    Woman: "It's like Gibson expects you to know the story already."

    Man: "And it's so historically inaccurate. The men didn't have long hair back then."

    Woman: "Now, what I really like is The Da Vinci Code."

    Just sad.

  6. I don't think of myself as the great unwashed. I'm well-read, with a college education. Heck I've even taught college courses. I don't think I'm elitist (but who does?). So why does Hollywood's attitude towards flyover country leave me cold? Why do their attitudes seem ignorant and spastic to me instead of sophisticated? They are doing something badly wrong. I theorize that the Bucky movie is an attempt by them to appeal to us masses, and I can't find anybody with the least desire to view it.

  7. My take is that Hollywood would do better to stop insulting its paying- increasingly, not paying- audience.