Sunday, August 05, 2007

Rod is 'Hot' so where's the audience?

Okay, so maybe that title didn't come out quite right, but I just wanted to vent because there's a really funny new comedy in theaters that nobody seems to know about.

The movie? Why that crazy stunt man comedy, Hot Rod, of course.

Rod is the big screen debut of SNL's Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island team, and a film I predict will easily reach Office Space and Super Troopers status in ten years.

Pretty soon, Hot Rod will be a requred DVD purchase for anyone living in a college dorm and the red 'Team Rod' t-shirts shown in the movie will be over-worn by every male independent coffee house worker and pizza-delivery boy in America. And when the Hot Topic crowd catches on to how cool this movie is, look out!

But why wait? Why allow for what will soon be a cult film to languish in theaters, unseen by you? Wouldn't you like to be a member of the elite few who, when they hear someone mention the film, can brag, "Oh yeah, well I saw Hot Rod in theaters!"? The onscreen antics of all-star cast Samberg, Danny McBride (All the Real Girls), Ian McShane (Deadwood), and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) are just as funny now as they will be in ten years, so why not get off your duff and see it in theaters right now?

With Hot Rod it's like the Lonely Island team of Samberg, co-star Jorma Taccone, and director Akiva Schaffer wrote as many random jokes, gags, music cues, and obscure 80's movie references, threw them against a wall and filmed them. A few of the punch-lines don't stick, but many, many more succeed in eliciting a smile, a chuckle, a guffaw, or a flat-out laugh without fail, and this is coming from a person who's seen the movie twice.

It's a shame that Hot Rod is getting trounced by I Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, a movie that's about as funny as balancing an overdrawn bank account. In it's third weekend at the box-office, Chuck made another $10.5 million than it deserved, with Rod making less than half that amount on its debut. Most distressing is the fact that Hot Rod almost reminds me of a time when Adam Sandler films used to be hilariously absurd (Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, and even Billy Madison). Now that Sandler's hopes of being in a genuinely funny movie again have been dashed along with his hopes of being accepted by audiences in serious films, it makes no sense to ride his nose-diving filmography into the ground and below. I say it's time to jump the Sandler ship for the time being, and give Samberg's Hot Rod a go instead. At least then you will get to laugh when you pay to see a comedy.


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