Archive for January, 2007

Idiocracy

January 22, 2007

As you may know Idiocracy is a film by Mike Judge that caused a bit of controversy last year.  20th Century Fox decided to bury the film which wasn’t too surprising given the subject matter (or a few other things which we’ll come to later).  I’m not going to get into that debate simply because I don’t care – if Rupert Murdoch wants to waste his money on films he doesn’t want people to see then that stops him spending it on something really bad, like giving Bill O’Reilly a pay rise or something.

(By the way, I don’t do spoilers in any film reviews so it’s safe to read on.  Honest)

So what’s it all about?  Well, the army decides to try “human hibernation”, which is a kind of cryogenic suspension, on the most average soldier they have.  He has an average heart rate, average cholesterol and average intelligence.  They also decide to try it on a woman who happens to be a prostitute.  The experiment was only meant to be for a year but due to a tragic turn of events they remain suspended for 500 years, and this is where the movie really begins.

Instead of mankind becoming smarter and more sophisticated, it has become uniformly stupid.  They talk like morons, product placement is everywhere and the world seems to be run in a similar manner to the WWF.  It is in this environment that the average soldier finds himself the smartest man on earth.  No, really.

If that doesn’t sound like a pretty compelling idea for a film then I don’t know what does.

Prepare to be a little bit disappointed.  The first ten to fifteen minutes are absolutely hilarious but once the film takes us to the future it never really hits the same heights again.  The hit-and-miss jokes are quite far apart and often the film had me drumming my fingers waiting for something to happen.  Since the film is only eighty minutes long, this is a bad sign.  It also doesn’t help that if you’ve ever seen Futurama you’ll be constantly reminded of a superior product.

Oh, and another thing: Luke Wilson should never be given a leading roll.  Not that he’s a terrible actor, but you know, if you can’t get Owen Wilson then don’t get a Wilson.  Unless it’s Jackie Wilson.  Or Woodrow Wilson.  Or Wilson Phillips.

But these are not the biggest problems with Idiocracy.  This movie is like the last minute of Planet of the Apes dragged out over eighty minutes.  Once the point is made that we’ve destroyed the world there’s not really anywhere left to go – and that point is made very early on indeed.

Anyway, Idiocracy is occasionally funny, occasionally thought provoking but it is also a bit of a mess.

Ten Messages?!?!

January 15, 2007

I got home today to ten voicemail messages on my phone.  You might think from this blog that I’m such an exciting and fascinating person that this would not be an unusual occurance.  It is.  The messages were for the last person who lived here who moved out three years ago and they went something like this:

10:30
“Hi Chris, it’s Anita.  Call me.”

10:32
“Hi Chris, it’s Anita.  Uh.  Um.  Call me.”

10:34
“Hi Chris, it’s Anita.  (heavy breathing)  Um.  (sigh) Call me.”

10:40
(loud rock music in the background)
“Hi Chris, it’s Anita. (long pause) (heavy breathing) I’ve never been so drunk in my life. (long pause)  I’m going to pop out now for (long pause) uh.”

10:47
(loud rock music in the background)
“Hi Chris, it’s Anita.  Um. (long pause)  You haven’t got a child and I haven’t got a child.  So who… uh… who’s is it?  It’s not mine.

10:50
(loud rock music in the background)
“Hi Chris, it’s Anita.  (sighs) Uh.  (heavy breathing)  I’m pretty sure you’ve got a panda.  I haven’t got a panda.  You’ve uh.. you’ve got a panda.”

10:57
(loud rock music in the background)
“Hi Chris, it’s Anita.  Yeah, you have got a panda.  You have.  I haven’t. (long pause) You have.  (tries to put phone down but fails resulting in one minute of silence) (rock music briefly returns followed by click)

And then three more messages repeating the panda mantra again.

Very peculiar.