Monday, June 18, 2007

Wild Hogs Couldn't Drag Me Away

Lessons learned that are unlearned must then be learned again.

My teacher? Wild Hogs.
The lesson? Unfunny comedies have little to no redeeming value.

But, wait. I get ahead of myself.

I rolled my shitty minivan into LaGrange a little early this windy, humid night. I popped over to Walgreen's for a "king"-size M&M's, dropped over to Border's to pick up a new collection of Noam Chomsky essays, then ambled down to the cinema.

I noticed that the stretch of LaGrange Road that the theater sits on has not one, not two, but three fancyish ice cream cafes. Isn't that a sign of a corrupt and decadent society prior to its imminent, violent collapse? "Let them eat Cold Stone Creamery..."

So, I lay down 2 bucks for a ticket, and 3 bucks for a large RC cola. I tried reading my book in the several minutes before the theater went dark, but the lights were just too damned dim. So, I watched the advertising slides. Many of the slides were those dumbish word puzzles by Coca-Cola, which struck me as odd since the theater has Royal Crown on tap, not Coke.

There were some local ad slides which drew my attention. I'm going to be so nice as to give these local establishments some free advertising. A realtor had what I would consider an unfortunate name and slogan for her business - "Thinking Real Estate?? Think Katrina". I'm sure she is quite a competent and lovely person, and would never be party to the destruction of a major metropolitan area. The National Weather Service hurricane names are a bitch, ain't they?

Hey, guess what else I saw a slide for? An ad for local movie reviewers Kaplan Vs. Kaplan! I checked out their review of Hot Fuzz to compare it with my own. Goddammit! They use words like 'panache' and 'madcap' and never stoop to use the word 'balls'. Oh, balls.

I saw another ad indicating that one can rent a slide on a LaGrange Theater screen for as little as $8.00 per week. Is this something the Two Buck Schmuck would be wise to invest in? I'm thinking about doing it, maybe for a month. But then I'd haveta come up with an ad, maybe a slogan. Here's a few I'm considering.

Two Buck Schmuck - Like A Monkey's Ass In Your Face
Two Buck Schmuck - Belittling Movies You Might Like Because I Am Filled With Bitterness
Two Buck Schmuck - Not Affiliated With Kaplan Vs. Kaplan

Okay, okay, enough of that now. To the review.

Wild Hogs was everything you thought it was when you had the misfortune of accidentally stopping on a commercial for it as you fast-forwarded your DVR to get to the final scene of Law And Order, where Sam Watersten sputtered out a ridiculous legal argument as the strings swelled up behind him. Yes, it's pretty bad.

It's like City Slickers, but on motorcycles and without the live calf birth. I can't imagine any guys in the midst of their own midlife crisis getting any comfort from four middle-aged guys riding bikes, coming into confict and eventually triumphing over a real motorcycle gang led by a tattooed Ray Liotta. Who was this movie made for? The family of six that sat in front of me, four of which were children under nine?

Why did anyone else attend this movie? Are they writing snarky movie reviews on the Internet, too? Man, I thought I was the only one.

I literally felt the motion of plodding through the various jokes of this movie -- setup, expectation, punchline, setup, expectation, punchline.

Kyle Gass of Tenacious D was at a carnival giving a homoerotic spin on various current pop songs. Someone please give me the hormone injection that makes me think he is funny. I am Vitamin-D deficient, apparently.

John C. McGinley plays a small part as a gay motorcycle cop that comically hits on the gang. Ah, the gays. What can't they funny up? At one point McGinley pulls off his shirt, revealing a very muscular body, which kind of surprised me. I was thinking, man, did this guy get pumped up for this role? You have critically-acclaimed movies like Raging Bull where everyone goes on about how DeNiro trained to get his boxer's physique, then ate all that food to become the fat Jake LaMotta at the end. But, man, to do all that work for a piece-of-crap movie? Somehow, the silliness of it all becomes overwhelming.

There were a few bright spots in the movie. M.C. Gainey, who plays Tom Friendly, the *only* mildly good thing about Season 3 of Lost, shows up in this movie as a biker dude. He doesn't have a great performance; I was just happy to see him.

There was a kung fu biker I recognized from the only Walker Texas Ranger I have ever seen, Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire. His name is Arnold Chon. I just had come upon the Walker TV movie and had to watch it, primarily due to the amazingly hammy expressions made by Mr. Chon. You catch a brief glimpse of him giving one of those goofy grins of his in this movie. I am not exaggerating -- it's truly amazing to see someone intentionally look so goofy.

Probably the most positive aspect of this film is that it's a road movie. I am a sucker for road movies. I think I could watch an hour-and-a-half of stitched together driving scenes from various godawful movies and I would say, "Y'know, it really isn't that bad."


Cup said...

I'd nmuch rather read "balls" in a review than "panache."

Splotchy said...

Then you've come to the right place!

Johnny Yen said...

M.C. Gainey would have been a great pick for character actor adoption. He was great in "Sideways." He's been in a number of my favorites, including an HBO movie, "El Diablo."

Is this one even worth a Netflix?

Splotchy said...

Worth a Netflix?

Well, short answer, "no."

Long answer, "absolutely f*cking not."

Johnny Yen said...

Then it falls under the heading "Amazingly Bad." Wow.