Andy Samberg just looks funny. He doesn't even have to say anything and I want to laugh. I call it the goofy Ben Stiller look. A fake mustache only adds to the silliness. This movie looks like a wait for the rental type- though most look like that when you've got small kids.
Hot Rod and The Devil Dared Me To A Tale of Two STUNTMEN
Hot Rod Akiva Schaffer, USA, 2007
I got a free ticket at Fantasia (my running diary is here: http://the-w.com/thread.php/id=33250 ) for Hot Rod. They gave out five free tickets, I got one by naming "A movie about stunt men". My answer which kind of stunned people by its simplicity (that's me stunned and simple) was The Stunt Man - great movie by the way, well worth a purchase. Peter O'Toole is great as the fanatical director tormenting a fugitive who stumbles onto his World War One epic in the making and conceals himself in plain sight as one of the film's stunt men.
Andy Samberg is a wanna-be stunt man named Rod Kimble who wants nothing more than to win his step-father (Ian McShane) 's respect by kicking his ass. Unfortunately, Frank needs a heart transplant, so Rod's plan is to raise $5000 to fund the biggest jump of his life - over 15 school buses (one more than Evil Knievel) - and with that jump raise the $50, 000 that Frank needs for a new heart.
The film has its moments. Ian McShane is note perfect as the evil stepfather somehow managing to combine reptilian evil with a loveable charm. Isla Fisher is really cute as Rod's crush - his next-door neighbour and childhood friend. Rod's crew are all very funny in unexpected ways.
Most of the jokes are of the people get injured in gruesome ways variety, and they are funny, but they invite a comparison to another film (about which more later), because none of the injuries have real consequences.
The film is definitely a 70's nostalgia trip, with seemingly half of the songs in the film by Europe.
The problem with the film is that it is a film about a man who wants to be a stunt-man like Evil Knievel, but does not realize that Evil Knievel was more than just a stunt-man, he was a dare-devil. It is not just that the comedy of the film is built around the fact that Rod wants to be a stunt-man but clearly lacks the resources (and possibly the talent) to be one, it is also that he does not even properly understand his ambitions.
The Devil Dared Me To Chris Stapp, New Zealand, 2007
Imagine, if you will, the New Zealand Film Commission meeting. In front of them a nervous producer, Tim Sanders one of the producers of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings and Whale Rider asking for money for a project. What kind of project. "Oh, a couple of fellows from New Zealand TV wnat to do a fictional version of a Canadian documentary made by the National Film Board." A lot of nodding around the table, National Film Board, Whale Rider sounds like a safe prestigious project to sink the taxpayer's money.
Hiding in the hallway, the demented maniacs who will be entrusted with the money. Chris Stapp and Matt Heath of New Zealand late night TV's Back of the Y Masterpiece Television which has basically been described as a weekly reenactment of South Park killing Kenny only with real people because animation is expensive and (real) blood is cheap. The NFB documentary that they wanted to remake? The Devil at Your Heels (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132082/ ) about Ken Carter's attempt to jump a river separating Canada from the US in a rocket-car... at a point where the river is a mile wide!
I know it's a shock but the NFB does not make just safe nature films. They are after all the organization that managed to get Ronald Reagan to ban three of their films in the same year: If You Love This Planet and Acid From Heaven and Acid Rain: Requiem or Recovery?
So. Devil Dared Me To is Hot Rod only heaped with blood and gore and sex and and jokes and amputations and amputee sex and real stunts and amped to eleven.
Superficially, the two films are similar. Both are about men who lose their fathers at an early age and whose replacement father figures are complete shits. They both have smoking hot girl-friends. Both end with impossible climatic jumps. The difference is that everything in The Devil Dared Me To pushes the limit.
In Hot Rod, the death of Rod's father is (inaccurately) described. In The Devil Dared Me To, the stunt is not shown, but the hideous after-effects are presented with gruesome glee (along with a number of other gruesome missed stunts). In Hot Rod, Rod calls upon nature totems to aid his jumps. In The Devil Dared Me To, daredevil Randy Campbell (Chris Stapp) gets hilariously bad advice from his dead Dad.
In Hot Rod, Ian McShane is a shit with a heart of gold (albeit a defective heart of gold). In The Devil Dared Me To, Dick Johansonson (Matt Heath) is a shit with a heart of shit. In Hot Rod, the stunts almost always go wrong with amusing results but with little or no serious consequences. In The Devil Dared Me To, the stunts usually go right, but even then people get hurt and when they go wrong... well, I did mention the amputee sex right? In the authentic world of the daredevil, there are consequences, serious real consequences even for success.
Most importantly, Rod is such a wuss that he objects to an open mouth kiss from Isla Fisher. Randy Campbell, on the other hand, and I'm back to the amputee sex. Tracy "Tragedy" Jones (Bonnie Soper) is without a doubt the prettiest amputee in the history of film and compared to the Isla Fisher character, she is a stunt woman in her own right, every bit Randy's equal. Randy's pit crew, like Rod's are very funny, but unlike Rod's virtually all bear scars (or worse) from their various stunts.
The difference between the films is probably best illustrated by the fact that in Hot Rod a lot of the jokes revolve around Rod's fake mustache. In Devil Dared Me To, Randy is clean-shaven for most of the film, but when it comes time to grow a mustache, it is authentic, iit is spectacular and it is very funny.
Hot Rod is amusing and a worth a look, especially when it is free. The Devil Dared Me To will blow your mind clean off and then jump a rocket-car through the smoke ring that your head left.
(edited by Llakor on 2.8.07 2212) "Don't Blame CANADA, Blame Yourselves!"
Originally posted by AlessandroLooks like this movie might be good for a laugh or two ... but my ulterior motive for starting this thread is that I'm looking for someone who knows the title of a particular song in the trailer.
You know the one, where the guy screams "Thunder Strike" (I think); it was in the "Charlie's Angels" trailer too.
The joy of this TV season for me has been Community's complete and total resurrection into its vintage self. It's an episode like this that really makes Community so special --- not only wouldn't the average creative staff (i.e. the fourth season team)