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Tropic Thunder (2008)

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8/10: Welcome to the goodie room...
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Welcome to the goodie room Tropic Thunder Despite my somewhat indifference, bordering on dislike, of Ben Stiller and most of what he does, Tropic Thunder has been on my much-anticipated list for some time now. The audacity of what he was attempting, spoofing the industry that was giving him the money to do so, blatantly and lovingly, was too great to ignore. And then there is the cast of stars with cameo after cameo of surprise faces joining in on the fun, not to mention the intense marketing strategy pushing it along. Websites for each fictional actor, a site with clips from the Rain of Madness making of documentary (a Heart of Darkness send up "directed" by co-writer Justin Theroux), and even a faux E! True Hollywood Story to air the week before its premiere in theatres just add to the mythology and attention to detail that went into its making. Now, having finally seen the end result...

9/10: "Thunder" Is Wonderful! "Reality Bites...
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Thunder" Is Wonderful! "Reality Bites" director Ben Stiller has not only made a rambunctious R-rated parody of Vietnam war movies with his audacious, big dumb action comedy "Tropic Thunder," but he also has ridicules Hollywood's obsession with such fare. Take all the "Rambo" sagas with Sylvester Stallone and then toss in George Hickenlooper's superlative documentary "Heart of Darkness" (1991) about the complications that Francis Ford Coppola faced on his magnum opus "Apocalypse Now," and you'll have a good idea of what to expect from "Tropic Thunder." Although Stiller and his top-notch cast play everything for belly laughs, "Tropic Thunder" contains moments when it could pass for a genuine, straight-laced adventure outing. "Iron Man" sensation Robert Downey, Jr., overshadows everybody as five-time Oscar winning Australian actor Kurt Lazarus who has dyed his skin black to play an jive-talking, George Jefferson-type, African-American U.S. Army Sergeant. Superstar Tom Cruise makes quite an...

8/10: "He Who Must Not Be...
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"He Who Must Not Be Named" brings down the house, steals what is probably the smartest, dumbest, and arguably the best comedy of 2008 Very rarely do comedies hit the mark in terms of both smart humor and dumb humor in the same movie, let alone the same scene. That's what we've got with Tropic Thunder, a comedy that excels in both satirical jokes and laugh out loud stupidity. If you're game for any of that, in addition to quite possibly the funniest and most shocking cameos of all time, then Tropic Thunder is the perfect movie to close the summer of 2008 with.Ben Stiller has always been the poster boy for trying to mix these two severely different types of humor recently, and has failed in his other two main directing attempts (although Zoolander was funny). Here, he more than succeeds in making Hollywood the laughingstock of the summer, and who better than Stiller to...

9/10: A lightning quick wit! Damn...
Thursday, October 23, 2008

A lightning quick wit! Damn, is Robert Downey Jr. on a roll Rarely (if they occur at all) have comebacks been so bold and so memorable. When slated to star as Tony Stark in May's Iron Man which kicked off the blockbuster season with a bang and a slap, the public, excluding his die-hard supporters of course, were baffled at the atypical casting choice of the Marvel hero. For myself, I have always loved Downey Jr. from his excellent portrayal as Charlie Chapin, to his perfectly suited role in Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, he is always the best thing about a film. Lightening struck again (or I suppose first, if you want to follow his career chronologically) midyear with his smart portrayal as an overprotective principal in Charlie Bartlet, so it only seems suitable for him to cap off the summer with his best work yet.Directed by, and starring Ben Stiller, Tropic Thunder is...

4/10: Despite appearances, down deep, this...
Monday, December 8, 2008

Despite appearances, down deep, this film is extremely formulaic A group of idiotic spoiled actors are on location in Southeast Asia in order to make a war film. However, the project is running amok and the director has no control over the actors. Finally, in desperation, he takes just the actors, writer and special effects man into the jungle and dumps them--forcing them to act without the entourages, cell phones and the like. However, shortly after he does this, the group wanders into a real war zone and it takes some time for the hapless actors to realize the shooting is real as well as to get out alive.I found much of the first 30 minutes or so of TROPIC THUNDER to be highly offensive but also clever, as the audience gets inside into the behind the scenes aspects of making a film. The language was unbearably crude as the film makers seemed to think that screaming long...

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