The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Announcement

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

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Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Friday, July 13, 2007

Idiocracy (2006)

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My friends and I found this film looking for something to watch on ON Demand. We were all surprised, based on the film's pedigree of director (Office Space and Beavis and Butthead's Mike Judge) and actors (Luke Wilson especially) that we hadn't heard anything about it. After seeing the preview, we decided to give it a try.

Idiocracy is about a dude, played by Luke Wilson, who is used by the Army in an experiment in freezing humans to store them until they're better needed or something. Maya Rudolph plays a hooker that's stored in another pod along with Wilson. In a mix up, they aren't thawed until 500 years later, when people have devolved into thoughtless meatheads. Wilson is first arrested by these meatheads, then is discovered to be the smartest among them, so is a job as adviser to the president, a former professional wrestler, in order to save the world from destruction at the hands of the morons who currently populate it. The whole time Wilson holds out hope that he may one day be brought back to the past by way of a time machine that he's been told exists.

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This movie was of very solid quality. It was almost as funny as Office Space. I'm not sure exactly what happened to this film, and why it was pretty much DTV, with only an extremely limited release. Maybe the fear was that it made fun of the core movie going audience too much.

Luke Wilson was perfect as the main character. He had this great off-beat delivery with his lines that made me wonder if he wouldn't have been better than the guy from the Sprint commercials in Office Space. As a viewer, we empathize totally with Wilson, partially because we've dealt with the kind of meatheads who rule the world 500 years into the future on a much smaller scale. He's a great everyman.

The social commentary of the film is very straightforward. Mike Judge feels there's a movement toward anti-intellectualism in the US. As a huge sports fan, the characters of the future had all the hallmarks, with the homophobia and fear of looking like a "fairy" by talking in a certain way or reading something, of the Sports Talk Radio Meatheads I was familiar with. In a recent GQ and on SportsCenter people were trying to validate and quantify the Sports Talk Radio phenomenon, with, to my mind, very little success. Judge doesn't try to make excuses for or try to understand why meatheadedness is so popular; he simply states that dumb is dumb. I think it's refreshing.

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Dax Shepard is in this as Wilson's moronic liaison to the future. In Let's Go to Prison he plays a completely different character, and he's believable in both. As a moron in Idiocracy, he doesn't just play his role with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, trying to keep us aware that he's actually intelligent in real life. Instead, he plays the moron to the hilt, and lets Judge do his part in making fun of the trend toward moronity in the modern US.

This movie is worth it. At the very least, you should pay the $4 to rent it on ON Demand while you still can. This is one of those first rate films that slipped through the cracks of the movie industry into our laps as DTV fans. Especially if you liked Office Space, you'll dig this.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

2 comments:

  1. Heh, saw this at the video store on DVD just today, and since I remembered this review, I rented it,and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am so gonna buy this when I see it in stores :)

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  2. That's great! I'm glad the Direct to Video Connoisseur could be of service.

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