Sunday, September 09, 2007

Reviews from the 'Boro (Volume 7)

It should come as no surprise to anyone who's followed this column that whenever there's a dearth of good movies worth watching (a fairly often occurrence during the Hollywood 'Dump Month' of August), The Rhino's Orson Scott Card applies his critical prowess elsewhere. So rather than sit through last week's Halloween remake, Balls of Fury, or Death Sentence, Orson opted to sit at home and compose what could make the beginning of an interesting book or dissertation on literature or fiction-writing entitled Realism, Peter Pan and Story Games. A good read - especially for writers and literature aficionados like myself - it may be, but a piece of film criticism it is not.

As for Glen Baity, the YesWeekly critic doesn't have the luxury of sitting a crap week at the cinema out. Unlike Card, if Baity doesn't review a movie, he doesn't get paid. I am sure Baity's editor is saying, 'Well, if he had written a whole mess of novels, too, I would have no problem with him taking a week off!' Anyway, perhaps owing to the fact that he is a fan of Reno:911 and The State Baity opted for Balls of Fury. Here's what he had to say:

Frankly, this film is awful. I didn't expect highbrow humor, but I hoped for something at least less painful. The scant jokes, nearly all of which you can see coming a country mile away, aren't funny (though I confess to laughing out loud, once, at a bit featuring parakeet who duets with David Koechner on "Two Tickets to Paradise"). More often than not, what passes for humor involves extended gags that aren't funny the first time and die slow, unfunny deaths as they're pounded into the ground. The film fancies itself a kung fu movie that substitutes paddles for nunchucks, and there's just enough actual fighting to make you wish you were watching the new Jet Li flick, or better still, at home playing "Mortal Kombat."

It appears the filmmakers overestimated the natural hilarity of ping pong. Sure, it's a quirky game that a lot of people outside the US take very seriously. But it's not that funny, and the jokes, contrary to what Garant and Lennon might have imagined, do not write themselves.

Baity's right. Balls of Fury was awful. The movie had this terrible habit of having star Dan Folger - who looks like the man-lovechild of Jack Black and Revenge of the Nerds' Curtis Armstrong - do something the filmmakers had the poor fortune of thinking was funny, and then sit there waiting for people to laugh. Seriously, there is a pause. Then on top of that, the filmmakers would have Folger repeat the joke again. And again. Just a very un-funny movie. Hotel Rawanda honestly might have had more intentionally funny moments than Balls of Fury. Too bad no one puts quotes like that on DVD boxes....


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