Monday, March 23, 2009

The Foot Fist Way

It seemed to me that Jody Hill's directorial debut (ahem...this movie) felt like a bunch of friends got together and just made something they loved. It doesn't have that typical Hollywood gloss on it, and -gasp - it's actually funny. Take note, big wigs - you don't have to overproduce the heck out of everything to keep the comedy intact. Let people do their thing more often, and you'll make your precious money back on DVD.

The Foot Fist Way
Director: Jody Hill
Starring: Danny McBride

I heard good things based on the fact that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's company picked it up for distribution: if those guys thought it was hilarious, then it must be pretty good. The film follows Danny McBride (Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, HBO's Eastbound and Down) as Taekwondo instructor Fred Simmons, a black belt who owns his own dojo and teaches people of all ages. He's convinced that he is a "master of the demo," and puts on demonstrations in parking lots to recruit new members. When he finds his wife has been cheating on him, he grabs a couple of his child students and his old karate buddy and takes a trip to visit his childhood hero Chuck "The Truck" Wallace - a character modeled after Chuck Norris. But when "The Truck" turns out to be a total ass, Fred must re-evaluate his life and gain his confidence back.

I'm not going to spoil any of the funny moments here, but rest assured there are plenty in this movie. Many of the lines are vulgar, quotable, and reminiscient of Ferrell and McKay's style of comedy, which would explain the appeal they saw in this movie. The DVD case suggests this film is similar to Napolean Dynamite, and I guess I can see the comparisons. To truly be appreciated, it deserves repeat viewings (which I steadfastly refuse to give to Dynamite) and much of the comedy is derived from the dry delivery from the actors.

Jody Hill's second film is coming out in a few weeks. It's called Observe and Report, and it stars Seth Rogen as an anti-Blart mall cop. The people at Warner Bros.* are actually backing off a little and giving Hill some creative control, so expect funny things on April 10th- I wouldn't say I'm looking forward to it, but I'm sure it will be a whole lot funnier than that stuff that passes for comedy coming out of Hollywood these days. Until next time...

*Once again, this goes to show that Warner Bros. is the ballsiest studio out there. After the way they allowed Snyder to handle Watchmen and now Hill with Observe and Report, they have cemented themselves as my favorite studio right now.

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