Videodrome, my local video store, often features used DVDs at clearance prices. There was a copy of Mike Judge’s Extract for $3. I’m a huge fan of Judge’s film and television, so I Netflixed Extract upon its release, and truthfully, I was underwhelmed. But a friend who also enthuses upon Mike Judge loved it, and $3 was just right to give it another chance.
What happens when a company has no idea how to market a film.
“I didn’t really get this one,” the clerk said as he rang up my purchase, “and I love his other stuff.” I told him a theory I’d read that Office Space was for the workers, and Extract was for the bosses, reflecting Judge’s ascent in the studio system. I also noted that Idiocracy was an impossible act to follow, and that it wasn’t well-received upon its (delayed) debut. I figured if I remained ambivalent about Extract, I could gift it to my friend.
Here is a fine example of “apology culture”; I’m about to write an article about a Mel Gibson movie, and unless I want the average reader to think I’m misogynist, racist, or anti-Semitic, I have to open by addressing Gibson’s reputation outside of film.
You know what? I don’t care what people think. I’m not here to signal virtue. I’m going to discuss the Mel Gibson film Apocalypto based upon its own merits, which are considerable. Had Gibson never acted and spoke as he did, according to the police reports and gossip vultures, I’d be talking about an Oscar winner for Best Picture. Apocalypto is the kind of film John Boorman used to make. See it if you’re skeptical. If you have acquaintances who might look askance at you for enjoying the work of Mel Gibson, go elsewhere. Continue reading →
The most powerful force known to our world is laughter. This is why films that make us laugh are so precious. We carry them through generations on numerous formats, and celebrate the comedians who’ve since left us. We share them with friends and loved ones, so we can laugh together. And since humor is subjective, we love to bicker over which movies are the funniest. Continue reading →
I remember thinking in 2004 that “his name is Robert Paulsen” might be too obscure for the punchline. In the mid-2000s, it felt like I was the only guy who was really into movies like Fight Club and Idiocracy. If that sounds absurd to you, let me remind you of the fact that George W. Fucking Bush was in office. Continue reading →
Almost every single aspect of my personality can be explained by one simple fact: when I was a kid I ate a bouillon cube.
I was too young to know better. I had witnessed the flavor sorcery that resulted when my parents would cook with a bouillon cube. Surely, I reasoned, if it made dinner taste that good, then a whole cube of it would be a trip to flavor heaven. I even imagined it might expand into a steak or a burger, like in The Jetsons. So one evening I sneaked into the kitchen, unwrapped a beef cube, popped it in my mouth, and chewed it up. Continue reading →