Apocolypse Saturday Night
Mrs. Bartender and I once again got out on Saturday night to our local cinema in order to see Tropic Thunder. Bottom line--this is a very funny movie that manages to send up virtually all of Hollywood. It is extremely well acted, and I am sure that I missed a good chunk of the inside Hollywood jokes. MINOR SPOILERS:
1. The use of the fake commercial/trailers coming without any warning after the real trailers was fantastic. Very, very funny, and I'm sure Eddie Murphy did not appreciate Jack Black's.
2. Whoever came up with the name Alpa Chino deserves an Oscar.
3. Steve Coogan is, I think, about to become big. The New Yorker ran a long piece on him several months ago, right around the time of his brilliant appearance on Curb Your Enthusiasm. And then there was another long piece in Sunday's Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times. Certainly makes me want to see Hamlet 2.
4. I wish I hadn't heard all the hype about Tom Cruise's role in the movie. He was very good, and the role was much bigger than I expected--I thought it would be 1 or at most 2 scenes--but I wish it had come as more of a surprise (probably impossible in today's world). I realize that these things get out and help drive the movie (and the studio did everything possible to block pictures), but if I hadn't known . . . .
5. I need to touch on the primary controversy with the movie . . . . no, not Robert Downey, Jr., brilliantly playing an Australian actor playing an African-American in "blackface" or "pigment augmentation," but Ben Stiller's character's starring role as a mentally challenged individual Simple Jack and the repeated use of the word retard. I don't know if other than numerous NY Times articles on the issue, the "boycott" has had any real impact as the movie had a strong opening. Nonetheless, the joke is not on the mentally challenged, other than the mentally challenged actors and the academy that rewards them for playing certain types of characters (Forrest Gump, Rainman), but not others (Sam in I am Sam). A tempest in a teapot if you ask me.
All in all, well worth seeing.