Tropic Thunderi was a marginal box office flopii, and otherwise an exercise in forced comedy and unfunny whining the likes of which the world had never seen. Not since the Hollywood adventure of that other Ben Stiller, at any rate.iii
Ben Stiller is what he always was, and forever will remain : the sociopathic kid that doesn't really understand why the other kids are laughing - or for that matter why they're doing any of the things they do. So he dedicates himself to coldly, mechanically attempting to reproduce emotion in his barren interior - or at the very least, to reproduce the outward marks and tells, as close to life as possible.iv
This then is his crowning achievement in emulating humanity - specifically, the life and times of a guy that's a famous actor. He really pulled out all the stops, much like Tucker Max, and much in the same style. There were "clever" Internet "tricks" nobody outside of TV executivesv and paid assistants thought much of. There were names bought for the name only, because what better way of writing an important paper than getting an important scientist to coauthor it ? There were jokes, that didn't work, and exploitation so drastically bare it wasn't even funnyvi. There was anything and everything an estate lawyer could have possibly come up with to "minimize risk" and "ensure success". The risk is well minimized, the success is well elusive - but hey, at least it made its money back at the box office.
I wouldn't recommend seeing this thing, unless you're driving a wedge between a fuckable girly recently extracted from a libertard milieu and the residue of what she thought were her thoughts, ideas and principles. Then you can point to Stiller who whines about not getting an Oscar though he thinks he deserves one amid people who live off his whining and so agree with him, and help him make a movie about Ben Stiller who whines about not getting an Oscar [in the fictitious environment of the film, which is about life, which, to him, is a film anyway] amid people who for some reason (guess) also agree with him. And then that film gets one Oscar nomination. Which isn't for him - the only actually talented actor in the pile of marketing-created abominations ends up stealing the show. Because really, on a backdrop of Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller or Nick Nolte, your uncle looks like he should get the nom.
She'll probably get it - and if she doesn't, you really need to refine your selection criteria. Maybe also kill her, broads that dumb shouldn't be allowed to exist. Not outside Cosmo and "romantic comedies", at any rate.———
- 2008, written by Ben Stiller, directed by Ben Stiller, produced by Ben Stiller, with Ben Stiller and a star-studded, washed up supporting cast made up of a bunch of have-beens (Tom Cruise, Robert Downer Jr, Nick Nolte - whatever they've ever been it didn't particularly include being good at their job) plus (well paid) cameos from Tyra Banks, Ethan Cohen etc. [↩]
- Grossed 110 mn on a 92 mn budget, if you know how these things work. It never ranked, either. [↩]
- Looking at the sad 2008/2009 cinematic season, a famous FOCA quote comes to mind.
Nu vreau sa te deprim, da' astea-s cele mai de cacat idei posibile ; nu au nici un sens. Nici tu nu ai nici un sens. Ar trebui sa mori ca te-ai gindit la ele ; nici nu stiu cum de n-ai murit inca. Nu o sa placa nimanui niciodata. Ideile astea is de vina pentru holocaust si diaree si SIDA. In pula mea, sosete cu gluga ?! Serios ? O sa te faci de ris si pe mine, indirect, ca te cunosc, si-am stat linga tine, si te-am vazut si n-ai murit cind le-ai gindit. O sa trebuiasca sa ne sinucidem daca afla cineva vre-odata ca tu chiar...
It goes something like "I don't want to depress you, but these are the shittiest ideas possible ; they make no sense. You make no sense either. You should die for coming up with them ; I can't even guess why you're not dead yet. Nobody will ever like them. These ideas are to blame for the Holocaust and diarrhea and AIDS. My cock, socks with hoodie ? Really ? You'll be a laughingstock and so will I, for the fault of knowing you, and being nearby and seeing you when you cooked them up. We will have to kill ourselves if anyone ever finds out that you really..."
It's what it is. [↩]
- Ever wondered why he has to be "the lead actor" ? No, it's not vanity - it's impotence. The best he can do in the vein of humanity is where he pairs with an actually talented human and manages to inwardly maintain the delusion that the film's about him, and that he's the central character, while the rest of the world pays him no mind being occupied with the more talented if otherwise castrated Edward Norton. [↩]
- Who names a bar "Cheers" ? [↩]
- He clearly, in his shrewd, insectoid mind figured he wants to make Tom Cruise jump on a couch - but to get around the obvious impossibility, he settled for having the man "be very angry" and "dance". You see ? It's just like "being very excited" and "jumping on the couch", and this counts then as a joke. For bonus points Tyra Banks was there as a sort of Oprah, so it all comes together - and if you don't think this is amusing you just don't get it.
This is how Ben Stiller's head works. Let's hope he has no children. [↩]