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Tropic Thunder

2008-08-20 19:22:59.405844+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Charlene and I took Forest[Wiki] to see Tropic Thunder[Wiki] last night. Forest[Wiki] and I LOLed (LedOL?) repeatedly, Charlene didn't much, though she got a good laugh out of our laughter. Later we were talking about why I found it so funny, and I averred that a good portion of it was how ridiculously it sends up many of the idiocies that are found in many (most?) movies.

Of course that got me to wondering why the popular culture is about mocking and ridiculing the popular culture. Is there really a dichotomy between the side of the culture that's ridiculed and the one that's doing the ridiculing, or is this really about "look, this is stupid, hur hur hur!"?

No answers, just as I didn't answer similar questions after seeing Idiocracy[Wiki], but I feel like I'm becoming more aware of the questions.

I'm sure you've read lots of other reviews about the movie, yes, it's gross and offensive on many levels, Robert Downey Jr.'s performance, especially in light of the running theme of ragging on actors playing the sorts of people they aren't, is brilliant, I'll avoid spoilers by saying "the guy who plays the studio exec", despite any feelings you may have about him, turns in a character that makes me willing to forgive many of his personal flaws, and I think it's worth seeing in a fairly crowded theater, because laughter is infectious.

[ related topics: Movies Political Correctness Sociology War ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-08-21 22:42:45.732614+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

Well said, I completely agree. Both sons and I went to see it this week and we had a blast. There are so many layers of indirection piled on spoof that we were all laughing repeatedly. It is definitely gross and offensive and the opposite of politically correct, and it was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time, probably because it was so skillfully done. And I felt the same way about the studio exec -- when my "AHA!" moment of recognition came, I had to decide how I felt about the realization, since I realized I'd found his characterization utterly excellent.

Oh and PS the soundtrack was awesome.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-08-22 21:08:27.3722+00 by: Dan Lyke

Speaking of skillful, I'd actually had the studio exec spoiled (well, you know, not like that one revelation is really a spoiler, but...) for me, but though I knew it intellectually I didn't really see it until a moment right before the credits roll where the camera moves up or down, I forget which, just a bit, and all of a sudden his face became completely recognizable, just for a flash. At that point I realized that if Ben Stiller doesn't get "Best Director" for this the Academy Awards have lost all meaning. Maybe it wasn't a conscious act, but it sure looked like it was a very intentional "this is who this is" moment that showed that Stiller understands the medium of film at a very intricate level.