DVD REVIEW: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (JEREMY'S TAKE)March 11, 2008
TERMINATOR'S TITLE SALVATIONMarch 11, 2008
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RUNNING TIME: 217 minutes
• Cast & Crew Commentary
• Season 2 Sneak Peek
• “Meet the Whitest Kids U Know” Featurette
Caucasians make with the funny.
Trevor Moore, Zach Cregger, Darren Trumeter, Sam Brown, Timmy Williams
The pitch pretty much summed it up.
I tend to enjoy sketch comedy for the pop culture references. Seeing a ridiculous piece of the entertainment landscape being skewered tickles my bottom. But it’s a double-edged sword. Many times, it’s believed that lampooning pop culture is enough and the resulting abomination devastates my will to live. The Whitest Kids U Know bypasses this pitfall by drawing material from history, the everyday, the sacred, and the profane. They shy away from pop culture, though that doesn’t necessarily mean my will to live remains unscathed. Sometimes, the sketches connect. Mostly, they miss (mostly).
André Bazin would be proud.
A lot of material revolves around the various orifices found on the human body. A man tries to impress his date’s parents by making fart noises. An exchange student must answer the call of nature while in a hot air balloon. To rescue themselves from the ever-rising balloon, the host family climbs down the twisted, brown rope. Another dinner is ruined when the man accidentally vomits everywhere. I can appreciate a good poo joke, but it’s very easy to get burned out on them. Especially when they go on longer than they probably should.
The sketches featuring historical elements fair better. The European history lessons are excellent. The British were goaded into killing the Satan-worshiping Native Americans to prevent them from raping all the virgin (and non-virgin) babies in the world. The slave trade began because the Africans wanted to escape their boring old continent. It didn’t matter to them what the size of the boats were, and they wanted jobs when they arrived. The crowning achievement of the history-based sketches reveals the truth behind Lincoln’s assassination.
This is high concept stuff, folks.
It’s not hyperbole when I say the “Abraham Lincoln” sketch is one of the greatest things ever. They must have brewed an elixir from God’s pre-ejaculate to birth an idea of this holy magnitude. The Great Emancipator was assassinated at a staging of “Vampire Hamlet”. The majority of the sketch has Lincoln yelling at and taunting John Wilkes Booth. Yelling is inherently funny (Bob Odenkirk being a prime example), but the part that makes it truly special is “Vampire Hamlet”. I would pay to see an actual performance of it. Might end up leaving before the end, but I would gladly put down some hard-earned money. As a bonus, the play features one of the best proclamations of the word “shit” this side of Isaiah Whitlock, Jr. The “Abraham Lincoln” sketch is enough to make me forgive and forget all the ho-hum sketches.
The kids earn more good will by not stretching a joke for more than it’s worth. When a man runs into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with a paper bag over his head and 40s in each hand, that’s all you need. The same goes with “Indiana Jones at an Auction.” Padding these ideas out to fill a three or four minute sketch would only end in tears. It’s too bad that the same restraint couldn’t be used in the sketches that start strong and finish feebly.
Mickey Rooney was the last person they expected to see crawl out of that deer’s vagina.
There’s commentary on each episode featuring the five cast members and producer Jim Biederman. The tracks are lively and about as silly as you would imagine. The intrepid viewer is treated to a few of the sketches from the second season (now airing on IFC). The sampling shows that the second season will probably be as consistent as the first. One sketch is blah, another is okay, and the third is pretty damn good. The “Meet the Whitest Kids U Know” featurette can’t decide if it should be irreverent, informative, or both. It accomplishes neither. Thankful, it’s short.
7.2 out of 10