December 21, 2013 |
I got the gist of the "Duck Dynasty" thing after my first and only viewing: bunch of rural jackasses who somehow struck it rich get brought into our living rooms to be laughed at by the rest of us aristocrats. Well, all right. When the archetype first appeared on television via the "Beverly Hillbillies" it was also enormously popular, but also taken as an illustration of how TV was living down to its condemnation by FCC Chairman Newton Minow as a " vast wasteland . " In any event, A&E knew what it was doing when it put these people on the air, so its show of indignation in "suspending" one of them for speaking out against gays and the aspirations of African Americans falls a little flat. What's truly ghastly, however, is the reaction of a couple of political figures.
October 26, 2013 |
What to do when good things happen in bad movies ... "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" got me thinking. The film is wildly inappropriate, ridiculously raunchy, mindlessly dangerous, comes with a warning label - and yet, I howled at the outrage wrought by 86-year-old Irving Zisman, played with a nifty old-guy limp by Johnny Knoxville. To start, in this rapidly expanding geriatric nation, and with the "Jackass" crew hitting middle age, it was just the right time for this particular Knoxville character to take center stage.
October 24, 2013 |
Words I thought I'd never write: "Jackass" Johnny Knoxville has made an actual movie. I don't mean the occasional part the actor takes in someone else's film, notably Luke Duke in 2005's "The Dukes of Hazzard. " Or the string of stunts that migrated pretty much intact to the big screen from MTV's "Jackass" reality series, with "Jackass: The Movie" in 2002, followed by "Jackass Number Two" and "Jackass 3D. " All lowbrow, low-budget and lucrative. What I do mean is that "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" is an evolution.
October 19, 2013 |
"The right ring finger. ... No, THE LEFT RING FINGER!" It's minutes before sunrise at Westchester's Kerlan-Jobe sports medicine clinic and Johnny Knoxville has very nearly, accidentally, authorized orthopedic surgery on the wrong hand. His uninjured hand. A clinic administrator taking down Knoxville's information shakes her head in disbelief. Within the hour, the co-creator and breakout star of MTV's cultishly beloved series "Jackass" - and a trio of spinoff movies that have a combined gross of more than $335 million - will be under general anesthesia and no longer able to rectify any self-inflicted finger fiascoes.
August 7, 2012 |
If you're already familiar with the motorcycle-jumping, car-crashing, body-banging brand of extreme sports marketed and practiced by the team Nitro Circus through its television show, then you might be predisposed to enjoy "Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D. " Though decidedly not for everyone, "Jackass," both the TV series and the movies Johnny Knoxville and his team made, had a sharply wry sense of narrative, showmanship and subversion. By contrast, "Nitro Circus," opening Wednesday, remains firmly planted in the realm of the inarticulate dude-bro, where shirtless men gleefully engage in physical acts of self-inflicted pain without a trace of real self-awareness or understanding.
August 5, 2011 |
The combustible elements of "Bellflower" — male aggression, fractured love, one tricked-out muscle car and a homemade flamethrower — get a cinematically confident stirring in writer-director-star Evan Glodell's ambitiously gritty debut feature. With American independent filmmaking all too often a ready punching bag in today's cinéaste culture, this frequently dazzling, eccentric portrait of mutually assured destruction is that most delirious of combos: charmingly funny and emotionally terrifying.