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Our First Review Of The New Untitled Mike Judge Comedy!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

It’s Mike Judge. That’s all I need to know. If you need more detail, here it is:

Dr. Moriarty and Harry,

Last night at Cinema City in Anaheim Hills I saw the first screening of a new film that I thought you might be interested in. It is currently untitled, but is Mike Judge’s latest comedy. We were told we were “THE FIRST” [their emphasis] audience to see this. Apparently Mike was not there, or at least we did not recognize him. However, there were several editors and writers present, if my eavesdropping was accurate. The film was VERY rough, with prolific greenscreens and very bad special effects, including a black and white drawing of some dinosaurs destroying New York. However, I can say that even with the rough patches, this was a very funny film.

This is neither my first time previewing nor posting to your site, so I can spare you the details of the oppressive security (“They searched all our bags!!!”) and the non-disclosure form that I am now so shamelessly violating. However, this was my first previewed comedy. Given Judge’s cult-classic bulls-eye “Office Space”, perhaps I was expecting too much. But his satirical wit and poignant social commentary did hit home, and both my guest and me laughed loudly and consistently.

Here is the basic synopsis. Luke Wilson is the statistical average male, and an Army librarian. He is cryogenically frozen in an army experiment, along with Mya Rudolph, a former prostitute who has agreed to participate to avoid jail time. The experiment goes wrong, and Luke and Mya wakeup 500 years later. The planet has grown incredibly stupid, owing to intelligent couples not reproducing and idiots breeding like rabbits (all explained in a nice and amusing montage). Most of the film takes place after Wilson wakes up and discovers the change. Speech has degraded into a mesh of hip-hop slang, hillbilly, and guttural expressions of emotion. The population lacks any super-ego, and lives within a world of instant pleasure and pain, and no real higher authority, with order kept only out of habit. Wilson is quickly arrested for not having an identifying tattoo, and with the help of his incompetent defense lawyer, played by Dax Shepard, he begins a quest to travel back in time to 2005. This journey is the bulk of amusement, highlighted by Carl’s Jr., future prison systems, CostCo, a visit to the White House, and the world of iniquitous television.

What’s Good [apologies to HERC]: Costco and Carl’s Jr are brilliant. The idea of everyone as Beavis and Butthead without any external world to censure their behavior. The workings of a 2505 hospital. The dominance of corporate culture that knows not what it is doing. The small touches of what such a world would be like. The President. The cameos from Office Space, MAD TV, SNL, and Dodgeball character actors (especially the versatile Justin Long’s 5 minutes on screen). The police. Dax Shepard absolutely steals the show as Frito, and this is for all intents and purposes his vehicle for future starring roles.

What’s Bad: The ending “rehabilitation scene” drags like a sloth on Quaaludes, Mya Rudolph is not developed or amusing at all, disappointing this fan of her SNL work, and her sole purpose seems to be looking good in a spandex Carl’s Jr. shirt and a skirt. The entire Pimp storyline. The general character development.

This film is NOT for people who enjoy Beavis and Butthead. They will get something out of it, but most of the film will fly over the heads of people not far removed from the duo’s level of amusement. We actually had such a guy next to us laughing at all the wrong parts and almost none of the right ones. The higher your education, the more you will get out of this film. The finer points and insults at lower-class culture hit best with those who are both aware of and actively detest Jerry Springer and WWE. This is not a film centered around potty humor, and unlike the Austin Powers films, it does not depend on such low-brow stuff to make it work. However, the inclusion of such material does allow for laughs similar to Team America, a film that, like Judge’s piece, used such humor much more judiciously.

I won’t spoil any more of the film, because the best part about the whole movie is its novelty, and the jokes are best when you see them. Subject matter alone restricts this film from hitting the nerve that “Office Space” did. But I can give this film a hearty thumbs up and state that some lines will accompany me for months.

If you use this, I am once again, Mr. Green

Thanks, Mr. Green. I know FUTURAMA has mined similar material to tremendous results, but I have no doubt that Mike Judge has put his own spin on the basic idea, and I can’t wait.

"Moriarty" out.

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