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Posts Tagged ‘Neil Patrick Harris’

Really, That Was More Penis Than I’d Expected

July 6th, 2009 No comments

Every once in a while, a movie has a moment in which you realize that the story you’re watching is not the one for which you plunked down your nine bucks. In Starship Troopers, it’s when Doogie Howser walks on wearing a Nazi S.S. uniform. At that instant, the flick is no longer about pretty, pretty people heroically battling alien insects. It’s about pretty, pretty fascists exerting their will in the service of lebensraum. A lot of reviewers missed that, even though there are clues a-plenty suggesting that we are not intended to take things at face value.

In The Hangover–which Vic and I saw this weekend–that moment comes when Mike Tyson, playing himself, says “People do stupid shit when they are fucked up.” If ever a line of movie dialogue deserves that infamous “scratched record” sound effect, this is it.

I’d thoroughly enjoyed the flick until then, but suddenly all I could think was “Wait, did they just make light of that time Tyson raped a girl?” Were the filmmakers really that clueless and callous? The next day, I speculated that they were actually making a sly, subversive point: that we should reconsider the actions of the main characters in light of the destruction and potential human suffering involved in their forgotten night of debauchery.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the makers of The Hangover are that clever. Face value–more like in-your-face value–is what has to offer.

Mind you, I did find it very, very funny, even after the Tyson moment passed. But two days later, I feel kinda bad about it.

I don’t want to get holier-than-thou here. For the most part, I admired The Hangover for its unadmirable qualities. I came of age during the era of the great slob comedies (Animal House, Meatballs, Leonard Part 6), so I was grateful for some good, old-fashioned raunchiness. And I liked that baby “Carlos” didn’t exist within a sphere of immunity; most movies would find thumping an infant with a car door strictly off-limits. (But hey, at least they left the window cracked for him.)

I was happy to see Ed Helms, formerly of The Daily Show, make the most of a major role. He has the most sympathetic character, but also gets a lot of laughs. Rachael Harris, another Daily Show alum (though Vic and I mostly know her from all those VH-1 pop-culture retrospectives) gets the thankless job of playing the shrewiest shrew that ever shrewed. Heather Graham, who was once one of those actors contractually obliged to appear in every film, fares a bit better as a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold. Still, she should probably have a good sit-down with her agent.

As much as I appreciated the unexpected bonus of seeing one of Graham’s boobies, I’m less enthusiastic about the abundant display of┬áZach Galifianakis’ nether regions. I feel that that there is no part of him I do not now know, and there are things I cannot unsee, hard as I try. I’d mistakenly believed that “erect penis” was pretty much a guaranteed NC-17. These days, it appears that I cannot be sure of anything.

More Horribleness

July 17th, 2008 No comments

Don’t forget: part two of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog debuted today. Neil Patrick Harris (who just received another well-deserved Emmy nomination for playing Barney on How I Met Your Mother) is terrific in this, as Dr. Horrible’s unrequited love for the girl at the laundromat leads him toward a final (fatal?) confrontation with his nemesis Captain Hammer. (“The hammer is my penis.”) I’m really looking forward to the throw-down in act three this Saturday!

Whedon’s World

July 15th, 2008 No comments

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy and Firefly, today unveiled his latest project, an online film called Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Apparently it’s something he conceived during the writers’ strike and did on the cheap. He recruited Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion to play along as arch-villain Dr. Horrible and hero Captain Hammer, respectively. And…it’s a musical. (Nothing wrong with that; Whedon’s musical episode of Buffy was one of that series’ high points.)

Act One went live today, with Act Two debuting Thursday and Act Three on Saturday. (Saturday?) It’s only up through Sunday, though you can buy the whole thing via iTunes.

I thought it was kinda “meh” at first, as Neil spends the first few minutes talking to the camera answering his viewer mail. Once the music begins to kick in, however, the energy picks up. I particularly enjoyed the love song in which Dr. Horrible pines for the girl at the laundromat while threatening to stop the world with his freeze ray.

Catch it before it’s gone. (That is, if you can overcome the site traffic!)