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laughter doesn't always have to be a form of mocking.

i don't ever think funny movies are going to be very funny anymore. for a while now, probably since qualler and i started this blog, i thought the only way for a good laugh at the movies was to go see crap like the grudge or the da vinci code. instead of getting no substance but a few good hearty laughs, i wanted to get a few good hearty laughs at the expense of the movie's lack of substance. now don't get me wrong, i'm still snobbish enough to subject myself to the invisible looking for laughs (and probably instead of just being bored and wanting my time back). but now i'm starting to regain faith in just seeing a stupid funny movie because it will indeed be intentionally stupid and intentionally funny, and successful on both accounts. luckily, the latest in stupid funny movies each have their way of adding an extra layer to their "stupid funny" base.

hot fuzz

stupid, funny: this is by far the best of the three, and believe me, i really didn't think it was going to be that great. i like shaun of the dead more as a zombie movie than i do as a comedy. its pace and use of content are inventive and enthralling, but the jokes are mostly just chuckle-worthy. this one is mostly just chuckle-worthy for the first 20 minutes, but then it goes almost uncomfortably over-the-top with bit after of bit of "seriously? that just happened?" and even at 2 hours and 1 minute, there's no joke in the last 1 hour and 41 minutes that you can see sparing on the cutting room floor.

extra layer: i never liked british comedy that much. but the great thing about hot fuzz is that it's a postmodern mess of british comedy paying homage (i really didn't see it as a parody, just like i didn't think shaun of the dead was a parody) to the strictly american action movie genre (which is really just another form of comedy). with this mish-mash of mannered comedy and getting all meta with point break and bad boys II, it's stupid, funny, and a biting critique/embrace on the idolatry of what has become considered "heroism" in american culture.

aqua teen hunger blah blah

stupid, funny: the difference between hot fuzz's use of the "seriously? that just happened?" bust-out-laughing hilarity device and aqua teen's is that you had to know it was coming with aqua teen. there's no surprise factor. that said, none of the scatological or sexual humor was welcomed, because really, a humping robot is not "off the wall" in my eyes, even if it is the cybernetic ghost of christmas past. haha it's funny because he whirrs when he thrusts. no aqua teen, stick with the hardcore gumdrop/nachos/sno-caps band and star-wipes, and you'll keep me won over. that's what's stupid and still funny.

extra layer: surrealism blah blah blah. it moves from cartoon network to the big screen and suddenly it becomes more artistically valid? on the one hand, i want to enjoy this surge of snobbish love for something that can also work on the "stupid and funny" level because it's a converging precedent for two classes of filmgoers and aesthetically (on a very surface level) there's something that makes sense there. on the other hand, i feel like people are grasping for a higher reason to like french fries that have a beard than just "hahahahahaha."

blades of glory

stupid, funny: will ferrell - even the most unbearable skits on snl could be momentarily lifted by ferrell screaming "i drive a ford taurus!" with no other reason than it was stupid, funny, loud, and he looked off aimlessly like he was lost in his own inanity. will arnett - aggressive comedic genius. jon heder - surprisingly tolerable (though i just had a shudder thinking about his dumb open-mouthed "what's going on?" face). but like most ferrell movies, not astoundingly hilarious, just "funny enough."

extra layer: how exactly did this movie avoid homophobic/gay panic jokes? it seemed impossible, but they were surprisingly and thankfully limited (the same cannot be said for the upcoming i now pronounce you chuck and larry). rather, they did the smart thing and created actual fleshed-out characters that ferrell and heder became and had real conflicts that fueled the comedy OR simply went for the obviously loved "seriously? that just happened?" factor, rather than the "haha they're two dudes" factor.

in sum, yes yes i am aware jokes are always a lot funnier when someone explains them, so YOU'RE WELCOME.

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  1. Blogger DoktorPeace | 5:23 PM |  

    I saw Hot Fuzz MONTHS AGO. That makes me special, right?

    I also watched Aqua Teen Hunger Force probably MORE THAN THIRTY TIMES. I'm awesome, right?

    I also read this blog entry WHILE I WAS MASTURBATING, as I always do with yours, Chris. Keep on truckin'.

  2. Blogger molly | 9:15 PM |  

    thanks harry! for the unnecessary comment and subsequent unavoiable mental images.

    saw Hot Fuzz with the parents this weekend [for the record, it was enjoyed by all] and was wondering if you saw the same previews as us. Um, the "Dodgeball"-like movie about competetive table tennis with Christopher Walken dressed as a Chinese emporer/pimp? I'm sorry, what is that? Like clockwork, my mother and I turned to each other at the end of the preview with a "what the f?" look of disbelief/confusion.

  3. Blogger Patrick | 3:26 PM |  

    Boy do I wish this mental image was unavoidable.

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