The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Please For the Love of God Go See Idiocracy

Idiocracy might not just be funniest movie you'll see all year (Borat excluded), it might be the
most hilarious made in the decade thus far. These are strong words, but such is the regard that I hold for the no-holds barred satire and all-around-genius of this picture.

The plot of Mike Judge's follow-up to Office Space is seemingly ripped from the pages of a Phillip K. Dick or Kurt Vonnegut novel. Joe Bowers (played by Luke Wilson, who miraculously manages to redeem himself for "My Super Ex-Girlfriend,") is the most average man that America has, but thanks to his profile (no wife or close relatives), Bowers is cryogenically frozen by the government. The experiment is only supposed to last for a year, but when the Army Base that conducted the research is shut down and replaced by a Fuddrucker's, Wilson is forgotten about. When he finally awakens, the year is 2505 and mankind has devolved to such a level that Wilson is now the smartest man on earth.

Using this premise, Judge spins out a dystopian fantasy of an America gone to seed. The president is a three-time "Smackdown" champion and a former porn star. Everyone is dressed in corporate sponsored apparel and Zubaz pants. Meanwhile corporations have taken over. The phone company has merged with several media companies, the U.S. government and, of course, Carl's Jr (who seemingly runs the future universe.) Costco is home to the one of the nation's finest law schools, not to mention it doubles as the central hub of civilization.

Due to mankind's lack of intellect, the streets are covered in mounds of trash and the nation's crops are fallow since water is something only used in toilets. (The people only quench their thirst with energy drinks filled with electrolytes.)

Judge's bleak vision of the future is alternately chilling and hysterical and one doesn't know whether the appropriate reaction is to laugh or cry. In the course of the film, Judge manages not only to knock the rampant unchecked state of American consumerism, but also the detorioration of our health care system, American militarism and political correctness. In short, the man touches all the bases.

I could go on and on about this movie for hours and hours. I earlier compared it to the work of Vonnegut and Dick, I meant what I said. I consider this film that good. With Idiocracy, Judge has turned in a masterpiece that might not be fully appreciated until after he's dead. If anyone is discouraged by the current state of the nation, I highly advise them to see this film. And even if you aren't, this film is flat-out hilarious. It not only packs as many laughs as Office Space but it manages to convey a deep and unsettled vision of the future.

Over the past year, bloggers have spent a whole lot of time hyping up Snakes on a Plane, managing to create a maelstrom of controversy. Controversy that may not paid off at the box office, but at least it managed to create a higher awareness for the film. But somehow I haven't managed to read a single review of Idiocracy anywhere in the blogosphere. Yet no film released this year needs bloggers support more than Idiocracy.

For those who don't know this film's saga, Fox pushed back its release date for a year, releasing it just last week without any money spent on promotion. In fact, the studio didn't even provide any screenings for critics. It seems the studio's strategy has been to bury it from public consumption. If you have a blog and you're reading this, please go out and see this film. And if you like it, write about it and try to spread the word. Brilliant and spot-on satires like Idiocracy are all too rare.

Please see this film soon. It only made a paltry $180,000 last weekend on just 130 screens and who knows how quickly it will be yanked from theaters. The few film critics that have reviewed Idiocracy have also given it good reviews, most notably the LA Times , the Onion, and Variety. So see it. Bring your friends. Blog about it. Please. A movie this good doesn't deserve a fate like this.

Passion of the Weiss Rating: A


At 4:24 AM, Blogger Nate said...

Count me in, buddy. I'm going to try to check it out tomorrow...

At 5:44 AM, Blogger Douglas Reinhardt said...

The night my computer had problems, I was planning on writing about how good Idiocracy was. Mike Judge will probably never make another film. It's a shame because Idiocracy is full of the characters that people will love and spend countless hours quoiting. I could say the name, "Beef Supreme" to a friend and it'll just bring a smile to his face.

I agree and I'll try to whip a couple of sentences.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger mutoni said...

i'll try and peep it this weekend

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Nate and Mutoni: I think you guys'll love it. I'm glad you're going. Let me know your thoughts after the fact.

Doug: I'm still laughing over the best movie from 2505...winner of 8 academy awards including best's pretty sad that the shoddy treatment this film's getting sorta validates his whole pt. I don't know what sort of crack studio execs are smoking but you'd think theyd could figure out that Office Space might be the most popular movie made in the last ten years among college kids and young adults and yet it only had a life on DVD. You'd think they'd put 2 and 2 together and not want to make the same mistake again. I really feel bad for Mike Judge. Has any other filmmmaker gotten this screwed in recent memory?

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Douglas Reinhardt said...

Of all the filmmakers that I'm aware who has been screwed over by system, I think Mike Judge has to be the most mainstream fillmmaker. Judge isn't making a film that's meant to be art; it's just a bunch of solid jokes strung together.

The problem has to be with who was in the test screenings. They had to have pulled an audience from Leisure World. The target audience is college kids and generally, they gather audiences for test screenings at college campuses or outside Amoeba, but for some reason, the testing firm just pulled the wrong audience.

An interesting note is that the studio who dumped Idiocracy is the same studio sending countless money on Borat; similar topics and both very funny.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Ian said...

I think I'mma take wifey to see this when she gets here in a fortnight.

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

That's what blows my mind about the whole mainstream this movie is...maybe not as much as Borat but still, teenagers LOVED all of Judge's earlier stuff and I'm sure they'll like this one...god knows it has enough smart "dumb" humor.

Though on some level, I'm surprised that this movie got made at all. If you strip away the comedy from it and look at what he's might be the darkest studio comedy made since the 70s.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Rap Jack Bauer said...


I haven't even heard of this movie, yet "Office Space" is one of the best selling DVD's of all time. Mike Judge must make a job out of pissing off Hollywood d-bags. I'm going to try to catch in NY this week. Thanks for the recommendation.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger David said...

Ironic that the same corporate culture Judge bashes in his film shitted on him so you said, it sort of validated his whole point. 'Twas a fine film, I'm sure I'll check it out again.

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous silawe said...

I would have seen this film had I realized that it opened! Thank you for writing a review so that now I know. Plus I love Mike Judge.


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