Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Love Guru

Warning: this is me at my crankiest, and snarkiest. But this has been bugging me and I just need to rant. I’ll be nicer tomorrow, I promise.Okay, now that the LOVE GURU is officially the first unmitigated disaster of the summer, will Hollywood finally...

STOP LETTING MIKE MYERS MAKE MOVIES?

The votes are in. Mike Myers is not funny. Certainly not anymore. If anything, he’s sad, bordering on pathetic. Did anyone see the trailer for the LOVE GURU and not cringe? Not since Pat Boone recorded an album of heavy metal has a celebrity humiliated himself more.

Not that Myers was ever original but at least with AUSTIN POWERS he found a successful schtick, proving conclusively that dumb luck does exist. And in true Mike Myers form he beat the schtick to a bloody death. Just as he had done with his WAYNE’S WORLD character.

Back to the trailer – it was horrifying. There he was again, mugging, claiming a 60’s theme persona for what, the fifth time now? Crotch jokes. Bodily fluid jokes. Juvenile. Reeking with desperation. And he even has the gall to bring back Mini-Me for a new round of tasteless midget jokes.

This was worse than 70 year old Bob Hope in a Beatles wig chasing after Brooke Shields.

STOP LETTING MIKE MYERS MAKE MOVIES!

The guy gets exposure on the AMERICAN IDOL finale and STILL no one wants to see his crapburger.

The LOVE GURU was trounced at the boxoffice by GET SMART. So what’s the message, Mike? I think it’s this:

America still loves comedies. America still loves spy spoofs. America just doesn’t love YOU!!

So please, just step aside. And take Dane Cook with you.

Thank you. I feel much better now.

Meanwhile, if (like me) you're into the 60s, there's a SPECTACULAR internet radio station you should check out and bookmark. Richbroradio.com. 24/7, no commercials, free, and unlike oldies stations that spin the same damn twelve songs Richbroradio.com plays EVERYTHING. All those great records you loved but haven't heard in years. They're all there. Click on and feel groovy.

87 comments:

D. McEwan said...

It had to be said. The emperor has no funny clothes on, and his body is hideous.

Although I would take issue with the idea that there is anything unfunnier than Bob Hope in a Beatles wig chasing Brooke Shields around, and if there is, it still involves a post-1960 Bob Hope, nonetheless, this Mike Myers creep-out is as close as you can get without disembowling anyone onscreen.

For the last couple weeks, as the medea blitz intended to put butts in seats at THE LOVE GURU hammered away at us, I've seen Myers described repeatedly as a "Genius" and a "Perfectionist", as well as touted as the creator of "Great comic characters," a list that always includes "Fat Bastard," the single unfunniest comic character in history, at least until The Love Guru slimed along. If this is "Perfection," give me flawed-but-at-least-funny.

Real-life gurus and Hindus are protesting this film as an insult to their religion. The people who should be protesting it are comedians and Canadians, as it is an insult to comedy and Mike is an disgrace to Canadians.

I wrote at the time of his American Idol finale cameo (Is 5 minutes that fly like 40 a "Cameo"?) that it was an "Anti-plug" seemingly designed to keep people out of theaters, as I could not imagine anyone enduring that torture and still wanting to see the movie.

I LIKE dick jokes, as anyone familiar with my work is painfully aware, but FUNNY dick jokes, OK?

But let's be fair, although his movies have gone from mildly watchable (Does anyone ever see one his films twice?) to the cinematic equivilent of waterboarding, there is the compensating fact that, offscreen, he is a megelomaniac no one can stand working with, famous for tantrums and shrieking. If this is what an intense relationship with Deepak Chopra makes you, that should put an end to that charlatan as well.

And the tragedy of it all it, he does have talent. Sadly though, Mike Myers's talent was entrusted to Mike Myers.

I seldom root for a movie to flop, but I was rooting for this one to go belly up, and read the weekend grosses with pleasure.

Still love Dieter though.

Hank Hollyweird said...

Well, gee, Ken, I guess you're not being invited to Mike Myers for Thanksgiving dinner this year, eh?

And, say, thanks for the link. I passed it along to my father-in-law who is thrilled.

Slappy McGillicutty said...

The first Wayne's World, So I Married an Axe Murderer, and the first Austin Powers were all very, very funny films.

That was a lo-o-o-ong time ago. What happened? How can someone be so goddamn funny for a while and then just lose it?

Michael said...

I thought Speed Racer was the first unmitigated disaster of the summer. I never saw it, apparently I blinked.

a said...

Sounds like a case of Chevy Chase disease.

Hobo Dojo said...

Ken, when did Mike Myers rape you? Sure the movie looks like a dud. I wasn't planning to see it. But good god, you went after him. The man is funny. The second Austin Powers and the cold open of the third are gold! Grant the guy a miss a two. In the words of Jesus, "Let he who did not co-write Mannequin Too throw the first stone."

Bitter Animator said...

Mr.K, that Pat Boone album is actually pretty good and I'll have words with anyone who says otherwise.

Mike Myers was funny once. Don't deny it. And without his priceless expressions, Kanye West's 'George Bush doesn't care about black people' bit wouldn't have been half as entertaining.

In fact, maybe they should have the two of them do a buddy movie. Give Myers a script, let West say what he wants and just film whatever happens. I'd go to see that.

I won't, on the other hand, be going to see this but, really, what did you expect? Really, Mr.L? Highbrow? Brows of any kind?

I don't get that whole brow thing... it's like that godawful 'tongue in cheek' thing, the image of which just makes me want to punch people. Although it has become further cliched by adding 'tongue firmly planted in cheek'. Bloody hell, I hate that. As bad as describing something as X on Y, where X is something a little like what you're referring to and Y is some random drug. The Love Guru is like The Guru on steroids.

I could totally be a reviewer.

KEN LEVINE said...

I told ya I was cranky. But I'm tired of Mike Myers being considered such a comic genius when (a) I don't find him the least bit funny (that could just be me but I don't care.) and (b) his idea of humor is piss, fart, poop, midget jokes.

How many good scripts don't get made because Hollywood spends a fortune making and promoting this crap?

D. McEwan said...

"Sounds like a case of Chevy Chase disease."

Chevy never wrote any movies. He was never passed off as a comedy auteur on a level with Charlie Chaplin. He was just an overpraised, egotistical dickhead who turned out to be a fair-to-mediocre comedy actor and nothing more. He never foisted anything on us as wretched as Guru Pitka or Fat Bastard. Myers is a horror on a whole nother level.

Slappy, you really think I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER was funny? It wasn't when I saw it.

Hobo, GOLDMEMBER is a tediously terrible movie, no matter how big it opened, not so much a parody of the Peter Sellers CASINO ROYALE, as a successful attempt at bottoming it.

Summer began last Friday. SPEED RACER came out in the spring. It Speed raced into oblivion well before the solstice hit.

The bad thing about LOVE GURU's bad opening weekend is, they haven't given up. I've seen several TV ads for it this evening. GET SMART has been able to stop advertising now.

larchman said...

Well said.

All those reports of Mike being quite the asshole don't really help, but I would at least give him more of a pass if he displayed the same level of brilliance as some other notoriously difficult comedians had. There's an article in Entertainment Weekly about how many people he's alienated over the years. I wonder what he was like in his SNL days or if there were any anecdotes of him being a Chevy Chase when he came back and hosted the show in '97.

He had his moments on SNL, but the constant mugging and catchphrase generating was in effect even then. I do admit there is some talent to actually be able to successfully do something that catches on with the public, but all it seems like now is just milking an already decomposed cash cow.

I don't know the depths of the issues he has, but it is so true that so many comedians are these really damaged individuals with some sort of insecurity and general lack of being at-ease.

Ellen said...

"So I Married an Axe Murderer" is one of the few movies I walked out on. Compounding the awfulness was the incredibly LOUD VOLUME. But even at normal volume, I didn't think I could stand another minute.

sephim said...

Okay, so we've got your review of the obviously crap premise movie - how about its contender? Get Smart looks like it may be worth the admission, but I'd like an honest opinion rather than Judd Apatow fans on imdb and the inevitable "I want to be the one person who hates this to make a name for myself" newspaper critics... and since most of your work is really old, you have the right style of yardstick with which to measure.

Carlo Conda said...

Get Smart isn't anything special, but it's an alright "stupid funny" movie. A one-time view, though.
And you'll forget it quickly.


(it's the kind of movie you download. Lol )

D. McEwan said...

Sephim, Check out Roger Ebert's review of GET SMART. It's online on his website. He loved it. He didn't care for THE LOVE GURU, to put it extremely mildly. I haven't seen GET SMART myself (And you'd have to hold a gun on me, and CONVINCE me you'd really shoot me, to get me to see THE LOVE GURU.), but every clip I have seen from GET SMART has made me laugh.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Off topic: It's 2:17 a.m. and the 'Wheels of Fortune' episode of "Frasier" is on. Ah, bliss. :)

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Sorry, forgot the most important part: on CBS 2 here in L.A.

Bitter Animator said...

I should mention that, while the Pat Boone album is good, Richard Cheese does that sort of stuff much better.

Good Dog said...

Mister Levine,

Thank you! Thank you! Thank YOU!!!

I thought it was just me.

When everyone was saying how wildly hirarious Wayne's World and Austin Powers and everything in between was, I'd look at it and think... Huh? Am I missing something because this is obvious, juvenile nonsense.

As an Englishman - and damn proud of it, sir! - it would nark me that Myers would talk about how his father had him listening to/watching the great British comedies like Monty Python and The Goon Show.

I'd just think, matey-boy, don't even think about connecting your rancid little films to such classic comedies.

Steely Dan said...

Thank you for writing this! Mike Myers has never, ever been funny. Ever. I have never understood his appeal over the years.

Sebastian said...

I absolutely agree with you Ken and to all those people who use the "He's cranky, he alienated people on his way, he didn't make any good movies anyway, I hated (insert movie here that others mentioned was really good)" - you are lying.

Austin Powers and Wayne's World were absolutely brilliant movies.

Ken explained why they started to look not so good anymore - because Meyers beat the schtick to death. When you put the first movie next to the second you suddenly realize that he doubled amount of playtime while repeating the same old jokes. And suddenly, as a whole, they are both devalued, which applies to both series of movies, with Austin Powers even adding a third one (which still had it's moments but that was because of Seth Green IMHO).

So no, not all was bad, but it became bad and it's time to give the money Meyers is wasting to somebody else. "The Love Guru" is absolutely horrible and even though "Speed Racer" was produced in Babelsberg and I should feel patriotic about that I have to agree, THAT movie was the first disaster of the season.

Oh and I wanted to point out that I hate every single Will Farell movie and still he is able to make profits with those and still he is able to produce stuff I laugh about when he's not doing these dumbed down sh**fests of movies. He just knows how to cater to the "right" audience (which I guess is very very plain in their thinking). I can admire him for knowing his audience and how to make them happy.

If Meyers was able to do that, he would still be a "good" comic without me liking his work. But he isn't. He produces complete and utter crap and Ken is totally right (which now makes me a kissass again dammit) ;-)

The Crutnacker said...

How does someone lose the funny? Let's ask Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, and Dan Ackroyd.

Its sad when the funniest thing he's done in years is the stunned reaction he had to Kanye West's "George Bush hates black people" comment. (Darn you to Bitter Animator for posting this thought, which I just read.)

The person who should be beaten for this is the guy who greenlighted the movie. Nothing about it the thing sounds funny.

markf said...

I've got to see it now. I'll make sure I buy tickets to another movie though.

When I first saw the trailer I thought it was a parody of really bad movies. Maybe he's working on another level.

Or maybe he's over-rated.

Gnasche said...

I bet Mike is already on the phone to Ron Howard about his touched-up Dieter script.

sonderangerbot said...

No doubt that Myers was once funny, on SNL and in at least the two first Austin Power films, so I don't agree completely. But The Love Guru looks terrible ("The Guru" on steroids, now that's a freak!) and it's hard to imagine someone spending a five year break coming up with the idea... Though if it fails, it will probably only mean there won't be a sequel, not the end to all Myers movies.

I've always had this theory about his mole getting bigger the more boring he got, and now he's grown a full beard to prove my point.

Bitter Animator said...

Speaking of which, what are moles? Maybe Mr.L could tackle that in his Friday questions.

DodgerGirl said...

And the best thing about Wayne's World movie was Dana Carvey's Garth, who came across as a fully realized character and not schtick.

spear said...

So I married.....was good.

Michael said...

@D. McEwan:

Summer began last Friday. SPEED RACER came out in the spring. It Speed raced into oblivion well before the solstice hit.

Speed Racer came out Memorial Day Weekend, which in Hollywood is the start of the summer movie season, regardless of the date of the solstice. And Hollywood Summer runs through Labor Day Weekend, not the autumnal equinox.

Anonymous said...

I liked Myers' early stuff, but agree he's beat the schtick to death.

But as long as we're talking about that offense...can we talk about WILL FERRELL?

As soon as I see any promo with Ferrell in it, I immediately start thinking of all the other things I'll be doing with that money. With all his movies combined, I can redo my kitchen.

Sebastian said...

^- What Michael said.

Since when is "Summer Movie Season" limited by the calendar's beginning and and of the season?

Summer started four days ago. On Saturday. The Movie started Friday.

So the summer movie season, by your standards, starts this week.

I'll pick up a ticket for Hancock. Maybe it will be the first summer flop ;-)

Jim said...

Wasn't there a Guru movie out a couple of years ago with Heather Graham? That was pretty bland so I wouldn't expect a lot from Myers adding lots of penis jokes.

But those of you who still praise Austin Powers should try and find a cinema showing the brilliant French spy spoof OSS 117. I see that it has been out in the US for a couple of weeks now, if very low key. Watch the trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYobrwvSs9Q That is how to do parody, rhather than pretending that you are the first person to spot rather subtler sixties innuendo.

A. Buck Short said...

That’s it, let it out Mr. L. I take it all back, this made your previous askew view look like just an oblique peek. Cannot imagine what happened to Mike Myers, especially since Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler have remained so…droll?

D.M, the comedians/Canadians observation is beautiful. Here's a concept, restrict the protest demonstration to insult comics. The Hindus are already having a cow.

Now if you can do something about every A/H with a blog he’s creatively decided to name “Wayne’s World.” Which, incidentally, emanated from a basement in Aurora, IL. (or, as we like to call it, Chicago).

Thanks for the radio lead. So help me God I was once at a station where they made me dj a show called “THE WAX MUSEUM: Music That has Withstood the TEST of TIME.” It followed a morning show called “Your Second Cup of Coffee.” It was during that shift that Joe Franklin raped me.

Years later they finally thought of naming the programs after the announcers. Yours sounds much better.

Mary Stella said...

Mike Myers's appearance on the AI finale was all I needed to know I had zip interest in seeing Love Guru. No television ad has changed my mind.

I feel so smart. *g*

I wonder if Justin Timberlake looked at the finished movie and thought, "I should have stopped with the Pepsi commercial."

Tom Quigley said...

Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Jack Black -- all of them need to find a new vocation (although if in the process Christine Taylor should decide to leave Ben Stiller, someone please let her know that I'm available).... As for Will Ferrell, I always thought he was hilarious on SNL -- but looking at his movie career, I have to ask: Did he forget to pack his talent when he left Stage 8H ???... Unfortunately, the film industry didn't learn it's lesson with Pauly Shore, and still believes that acting dumb, acting stupid and acting crude is funny...

Jake Hollywood said...

Funny for 5 minutes on SNL is one thing, doing that same act for an hour and a half on screen, maybe not so much. Compound that with Myers own buying into his own hype of being a "genius" (and really just how many of them can there be anyway--and why are so many of them comedians) and you have a recipe for failure or The Love Guru as the case may be.

All the so-called comedic geniuses--Jim Carey, Rpbin Williams, Steve Martin, Paula Poundstone--have had box office flops. Why even Ken Levine has had a bomb or two.

You just can't be funny all the time and that's the case with Myers...plus he was never all that funny to begin with and the anointment of being a "genius" must be really tough to live up to, so give the guy a break. Let's send him back to Canada or we can continue to mock him. Your choice.

Emily Blake said...

Why so much hate for Dane Cook? People really love to hate that guy but he puts me in stitches so whatever.

And So I Married and Ax Murderer was good. I think the lesson there is that he should stop putting on a wig and doing crazy voices.

karyrogers said...

Wow, I'm loving richbroradio. Thanks for that.

growingupartists said...

But Ken, how can you abandon a comrade? Have you never lost YOUR mojo? Are you made of steel, can you withstand the betrayal of all of your friends due to YOUR entertainment cog gets a little worse for wear? I suppose making fun of tin men is part of YOUR schtick.

I'm disappointed in you Ken. Not disappointed enough to stop reading you, and read handsome Earl exclusively, and only watch Will Farrel movies and nothing else. I've done that before, and I'm tired of rebelling.

But I expect a little more hope and love in your voice tomorrow, Ken. You owe it to your buddies, who knows who wouldn't be here without who.

C. Miller said...

Thanks for the radio link. If I just had a spliff and a case of Jax to go with it, I could make myself believe I am 19 again.

c. Miller

Anonymous said...

Axe Murderer had its moments (mostly involving the Scottish father and his large-headed son), Austin Powers, too. Not enough to make me watch them all the way through.

Dan Ackroyd became a Serious Actor, didn't he?

alan said...

I agree that Mike Myers is no longer funny, but...

I don't think you can write off the enormous success of 5 movies as 'dumb luck.' You can write it off as, 'I don't know why people find this funny.'

Annie said...

Sure wish a studio would start a 'Mike Myers Wild Card Fund' - instead of buying his latest rehashed schlock, they'd take a chance and produce a newbie script. What's the worst that could happen - they'd get the rep of a risktaker in an industry that desperately needs one?
-AE
P.S. - thanks for the music site. My parents will love it. ;p

jbryant said...

Nothing brings out the knives like comedy that fails to make us laugh. It's funny, in a way (not funny ha-ha, of course). Those who toil in comedy lay it all on the line. Even the most arrogant and egotistical among them is in effect saying, "Here's something I hope will make you happy! Please love me!" They do this even though they know that there is literally no hope of pleasing everyone. Their greatest successes are often lightning in a bottle, which they desperately try to recreate each time out, hoping to keep the lovefest going. When it works, we make them rich; when it doesn't, we vilify them. I've noticed that when people talk about comedians they hate, they sound like they're talking about child murderers. Anyone who disagrees becomes an "idiot." As if there's some universal sense of humor we should all share.

Look, I realize a night at the movies ain't cheap (especially if you have to drive more than a block to get there), and we all want to feel like we're getting our money's worth. But we also know that comedy is hard, and it's not pretty. Your very own favorite comedy star, no matter who he or she may be, is also loathed or ignored by millions, has been slammed by many critics and has probably created some work that even you don't like. Let's have some compassion for the clowns, people! Multi-millionaires need love, too.

Nothing I've seen of The Love Guru suggests that I'll find it remotely funny. But I'm thinking about seeing it, because I'm always fascinated when our fickle culture seems to decide en masse to write off someone they used to celebrate -- or when the celebrated one falls so far out of step with those who made his career.

If you made it all the way to the end of this ridiculously long post, have a cookie. You earned it.

X. O. Furisi said...

Thanks for mentioning Dane Cook, the most unfunny funnyman of all and living proof of the dumbing down of America.

The ladies seem to like him, however.

Bart said...

I could write a long and angry comment on The Love Guru but I don't even want to waste my time. As a Canadian and a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, Mike Myers has shamed not only himself but an entire nation.

Alto2 said...

Didn't you see this disaster coming when Myers showed up as The Love Guru on this year's American Idol? Puh-leeze. The motorized harem pillow, the costume, and the accent were so blatantly offensive.

Let's face it: Mike Myers was made for sketch comedy. Now, someone get out there and stop him! Or better yet, convince your writer buddies not to write for Myers at all.

john brown said...

Usually the best parts are put in the trailer for the movie, so when I saw the trailer for Mr. Meyer's latest offering it was easy to figure out that the well had run dry. The best thing about bad movies are reading the reviews of them. My favorite was Roger Ebert's review of Rob Reiner's movie NORTH. It is a classic.

Carlo Conda said...

Dane Cook is annoying because he can sneeze and the audience will laugh for a whole five seconds.

Dane Cook can say, "You know what I hate? GLUE. It's so sticky and Arghghghghg *waves arms around*. I HATE it!
Don't YOU?*"
And then he'll stare at the camera.

And his audience will crack. the. fuck. up.


Here's a great impression MadTV did:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QVvgMro3D0

Carlo Conda said...

Oh yeah, And Dane Cook is a proven hack, like Carlos Mencia.
Heck, you can find him at comedy clubs with a notepad and, if he hears one of HIS jokes being hacked, he'll take action.

Here's an interview with Louie about Dane:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRcem3Nk17s&feature=related

A. Buck Short said...

Bart, much as we appreciate your participation in the “coalition,” we have just one question for you Canadians (which I’m certain you’ve often asked yourselves): WTF is Maple “Leafs?” It’s “leaves.” Even thought of individually, but ensemble, it’s still leaves. I’ll admit you’ve met us halfway with the generally American pronunciation yet English spelling – but c’mon.

It’s like some people, out of the blue decide to turn “film” into “fil-um.” They also do it with “jewel-ry” and “jew-ler-y.” Well it’s not “jew-ler-y.” It’s FILM! -- the late Stanley Myron Handelman, gone almost a year.

benson said...

Jake Hollywood alluded to the basic problem: The SNL type's movies all suffer from the same problem. What might make a mildly funny 5 minutes skit doesn't make a full length feature. With a few exception, that's the common problem with all their movies.

benson said...

A. Buck....

Hockey talk on Ken's blog. And in the middle of a sizzlin' summer. Is this a great country (continent?)or what?

jbryant said...

buck: yeah, jew-ler-y (or JOO-luh-ree) gets me every time. But my favorite is realty, which usually comes out REE-luh-tee. Even actual realtors voicing their own radio commercials mispronounce it.

Wayne said...

Mini-Me from Austin Powers Verne Troyer has a sex video. It's not as embarrassing as the Love Guru.

ned said...

I've never like MM either. Never.

He's stirred too much genuine cynicism into his act. He's an angry boy way down deep and it shows. That's why he's unfunny. He taps into the cynic in us all and we don't like that much.

On second thought... is he really Andy Kaufman doing the same thing on the big screen? But without as much class or insight?

Brian Scully said...

Since it's so much more fun to point out how unfunny Dane Cook is, I think I'm going to only comment on him here. He is a perfect example of clever marketing, pretty packaging and absolutely no substance. His act is a combination of energy and enthusiasm and posing... no real smart of clever observations or well-crafted material. Look at the very best of the best in stand-up comedy... George Carlin, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Johnny Carson, Steven Wright, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Pryor... now look at Dane Cook. Please. The emperor not only has no clothes, he has no talent, beyond incredible marketing savvy.

D. McEwan said...

Re: Leafs or Leaves:

So did you ask Walt Disney "Why SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS and not SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES?" That illiterate hack.

At least it wasn't SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN VERN TROYERS.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who doesn't understand what people are laughing at while Dane Cook is wandering around a stage making sounds and gestures. Mildly good-looking? I suppose, although his looks do nothing for this gay man. Funny? No.

My birthday falls on Memorial Day Weekend, and I'm a child of spring, not summer. Next we'll be hearing how a movie released in March is "The first big hit of summer." Movie execs calling Memorial Day Weekend "Summer" doesn't make it so, anymore than their callingaa bomb "a hit" makes it a hit.

D. McEwan said...

I shared appeared on stage with Andy Kaufman a few times. He wasn't angry. And his sort of absurdist, Dada, non-act in no way resembled the fumbling, vulgar, burleque parodies of Mike Myers.

Carlo Conda said...

To verge further off topic, I think everyone has to see this interview with Carlos Mencia. Brilliant comedy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDmaG1-H25M&NR=1

Tom Quigley said...

"...buck: yeah, jew-ler-y (or JOO-luh-ree) gets me every time. But my favorite is realty, which usually comes out REE-luh-tee. Even actual realtors voicing their own radio commercials mispronounce it...."

Next you guys will be making fun of all those people who like to say "Nucular..."

BTW, best review I ever saw anyone do for a movie was when Leonard Maltin reviewed TRANSYLVANIA 6-5000. He sat there in his chair rocking side to side for a minute and a half and not saying a word while viewers heard a recording of the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing "Pennsylania 6-5000" -- and then on the very last line when the band calls out "Pennsylvania 6-5000!" he substituted "Transylvania" for "Pennsylvania," and added "Stinks!" -- End of review.

TE said...

Jake Hollywood alluded to the basic problem: The SNL type's movies all suffer from the same problem. What might make a mildly funny 5 minutes skit doesn't make a full length feature. With a few exception, that's the common problem with all their movies.

Hell, that's the common problem with SNL!

Kati S said...

Mike Myers has never been particularly funny, but he can do a decent ogre.
Steve Carell, on the other hand, rules.

ajmilner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ajmilner said...

I remember watching and enjoying the first AUSTIN POWERS movie, and thinking to myself as I exited the theater, "Gee, if only Mike Myers had resisted the urge to present all that toilet humor, it'd have been a masterpiece."

So what did he do in the followup POWERS films? Nothing BUT toilet humor.

I've devised a theorem along the lines of: The number of urine and feces jokes in a motion picture is inversely proportional to the number of diapers the screenwriter has ever actually changed.

Doug Walsh said...

Let's not forget that movies like this are made for the 13-year olds. It's a babysitter movie.

As for Mike Meyers, sure he's dropped in quality, but Austion Powers 1 (and 2 to a lesser extent) and So I Married an Axe Murderer were really fun to watch. Sometimes it's good to just sit back and be entertained, even if the level of humor is juvenile.

My friends and I still go through all the "kid's head is like Sputnick" riffs from Axe Murderer even though none of us had watched it in a decade.

And since we're on the topic (and I don't care for whatever shred of integrity I still might have), I actually enjoyed "Zohan" too. Sure it's stupid and way, way, way over-the-top, but when in the right mood, it is possible to enjoy this crap.

"Go cry yourself to sleep on your humongous pillow!"

Mary Stella said...

Next you guys will be making fun of all those people who like to say "Nucular..."

Like President Bush, for example?

I can't laugh at the prez. (Well, I can, but not about this.)

It's completely not funny to me that the man could authorize firing a nuclear missile and mispronounce it when giving the order.

Cynthia said...

I totally agree with everything you said about Myers. Rewrite the same rant and substitute Ben Stiller for Mike Myers and I'll totally agree with that, too.wgukeek

John said...

Actually, somebody apparently hates Mike Myers and "The Love Guru" even more than Ken does, since they chose to follow up this past weekend's tsunami of miserable reviews by posting this "groovy" blind item in Monday's New York Daily News that Hellen Keller would have no trouble seeing through.

As for his films, the problem with Myers is nobody thinks he's more witty than he does, and his body language gives off an aura of self-love of his own work (as for Will Ferrell, the problem with his movies is they're almost totally modular mini-SNL skits -- you could take a scene from any part of the movie and swap it with one from earlier or later in the film and it would make no difference in the continuity, because one scene has no connection with another).

jbryant said...

mary stella wrote: "It's completely not funny to me that the man could authorize firing a nuclear missile and mispronounce it when giving the order."

Well then, there's a least one gag in Get Smart you're not gonna like.

I seem to recall that President Carter mispronounced "nuclear," too, despite a lot of experience and training in the field.

jbryant said...

john: The criticisms you make of Will Ferrell's films could just as easily be leveled at those of such comedy icons as W. C. Fields and the Marx Brothers. I'm not saying Ferrell is at their level, but I do think a certain type of character comedy can be effective without the benefit of a strong narrative. It's amazing what you can tolerate as long as you're laughing. And if you're not laughing, there's plenty of time to pick everything apart.

Anonymous said...

That earthquake you're feeling in California is all five Marx Brothers (Gummo was offended too) and WC Fields, all rotating in their graves at once.

Len Dreary said...

In my mind's eye i can see Mike Myers dressed as Caesar being stabbed from each and every side while saying 'oooh' and ' aah' like the late Frankie Howard and raising an eyebrow while grimacing in pain.
Poor Mike. Give him a break. I'm from the UK as well as that previous comment guy and in my view MM is a very very funny man. I think i've seen most of his SNL performances and all of his movies and i've never been disappointed. Then again i'm not looking for high art, i'm simply looking for a funny piece of nonsense, something that MM does with ease. It's stupid stupid stupid but it's meant to be. He may well repeat himself and then exploit his earlier gags until one's heartily sick of them but who doesn't? Who can consistantly re-invent themselves so that their every piece of comedy is fresh? I'll always borrow a MM dvd when it appears and will tune in to see him on a chat show. He still floats my boat.
Disclaimer: I haven't seen Love Guru and i generally don't think non Indians doing Indians are funny. Even Peter Sellers became a little tiresome with his Indian characters. Actually Peter Sellers was someone who became a major disappointment. All that talent wasted on those terrible Pink Panthers. Grr!

John said...

jbryant --

I actually watched two Ferrell movies back-to-back this week, "Talladega Nights" and "Semi-Pro" (hey, I got a free dinner out of it). The first is passable, since there is a tiny bit of coherence to the narrative, but still has sections that have their own little set pieces that work about as well together as a bathtub and a plugged-in toaster. The latter film just seems to be nothing but set-piece riffs, with only an occasional nod towards the actual plotline (and, having gone to New York Nets ABA games at the Island Garden in Commack back in the late 60s, I actually did want to like this movie).

***

Len Dreary -

Hey "Shot In the Dark" was a good Sellers/Panther movie. It at least makes me curious about how the original Broadway version of the thing looked with William Shatner in the starring role.

jbryant said...

anonymous: Why would Fields and the Marxes roll in their graves just because someone pointed out the fact that other comedy stars (whether you like them or not) also favor loose narratives? Perhaps if I'd said Will Ferrell was their equal or superior, you'd have a point. If I note that Uwe Boll shoots his movies on film, does Hitchcock need to roll in his grave? :)

Anonymous said...

I have long been on the record as the only Canadian who hates the first Austen Powers. I was working for the video distribution company who put this schlock out and I gave my free copy to my 13-yr-old nephew at Christmas. The whole family sat down to watch it. I got up about 15 mintues in to wash the dishes. I hate washing dishes.

I much perfer the Shrek series to anything Mike "acts" in. Up here in Canadaland, he's known as the "Unfunny Douchebag." He recently forced the production company to rent him a condo in a friend's building, and let's just say all of the rumours about his "perfectionist" ways can be confirmed.

Stacey

gottacook said...

This does raise an interesting point concerning the Marx Brothers (for whom my favorite sourcebook is Joe Adamson's Groucho, Harpo, Chico & Sometimes Zeppo from 1973, which also includes their stage work when Gummo was in the act). My favorite Marx movies are the least structured ones, that is, everything before A Night at the Opera. This is not to say that a great comedy can't be highly structured, nor that Myers deserves to be mentioned in their company. But also keep in mind this very apropos quote from the Adamson book, which I can't find at the moment so I have to paraphrase: "The Marx Brothers never appeared in a movie as funny as they were."

D. McEwan said...

The Adamson quote (His book is terrific, by the way, although the recent Simon Louvish book is also extremely good, as is Louvish's book on Laurel & Hardy) is "The Marx Brothers never appeared in a movie as wonderful as they are." I do think "Wonderful" encompases more than just funny, but then, I knew where to lay hands on my copy.

Mike Myers isn't worthy (As Wayne would say) to lick the crap from the soles of the Marx Brothers's shoes. And even as anarchic a picture as DUCK SOUP wouldn't work if you, say, shuffled the order of the scenes at random. It hasn't as much structure as A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, but it has a structure. So does HORSEFEATHERS. The stories of COCOANUTS and ANIMAL CRACKERS are as carefully crafted as A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (Hello? George Kaufman!), and even MONKEY BUSINESS has some structure starting about 40 minutes in. (Up to 40 minutes in, the scenes of MONKEY BUSINESS could be shuffled at random.)

As for WC Fields, okay, THE BANK DICK and NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK could survive some shuffling. The "Movie Director" section of BANK DICK for instance, could be inserted pretty much anywhere, but most of his films, from THE OLD FASHIONED WAY to POPPY to IT'S A GIFT to MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE to YOU CAN'T CHEAT AN HONEST MAN (Which neglects to have an ending.) to MY LITTLE CHIKADEE have structured stories. Slight ones, but they are there. And Fields at his worst (POPPY. Half the time, in the long shots, it isn't even Fields, who was extremely ill during production.), is still a billion times better than Myers at his best.

Regarding Peter Sellers, yes THE PINK PANTHER and A SHOT IN THE DARK are pretty good. But after about 1966, let's say anything post-THE WRONG BOX, Sellers never again made anything worth sitting through, with the sole exception of BEING THERE. Sellers was seriously functionally insane by then, and his interference in each film, designed not to improve the films, but rather to sabatoge himself, made him truely impossible to work with or be in the vacinity of, and insured that each and every film from then on would be a prize crapfest. His was a massive talent destroyed by a massive mental illness. It's very sad.

Myers seems to be headed towards emulating all the wrong things about Sellers, and with only a fraction of Sellers's talents to start out with. As THE LOVE GURU lolls in comedy's bottom of the barrel along with Sellers's THE FIENDISH PLOT OF DR. FU MANCHU, nothing Myers has made can touch Sellers's best works, like the first PINK PANTHER, his Kubrick pictures, and his early Ealing films.

Kate said...

First: I believe Mike Meyers was once funny. I believe he could be funny again. But he needs to tap into who he is, and stop constructing goofy qua goofy personas. I think Austin Powers and Wayne both spoke to some inner aspect of Meyers, and he's lost touch of that.

I heard him on Fresh Air last week, and he seems totally shut down -- joyless, monotone, unresponsive. His emotional range is totally dried up. Until he fixes that, I don't think his comic abilities will return.

(I base my faith on MM's comic gifts on the fact he was on Second City Mainstage, a venue which is impossible to enter, much less thrive, without some god given ability.)

Also, like evolution, summer movie season exists whether you believe in it or not -- and it most certainly starts before June 21. If the Spiderman release dates are anything to go by, it probably begins in early May.

mark chaet said...

Richbroradio is a nonstarter, at least from my computer. Too bad.

gottacook said...

I also couldn't get Richbroradio going on my November 2007 Mac mini, although when our host first recommended it more than a year ago, it worked fine on my now-abandoned Dell PC; will try e-mailing for advice.

I also heard Myers on Fresh Air a week ago; when asked about the origins of the Linda Richman character, he gave some nonspecific answer about New York types. He used to answer the same question by explaining how she was derived from his mother-in-law. I wonder to what extent the breakup of his marriage affected his ability to be funny, insofar as he was funny in the first place.

No one has mentioned the stories a few years back surrounding Myers' refusal to make a Dieter movie he'd agreed to do, because (he said) his own script for it wasn't good enough. Still might have been funnier than LOVE GURU seems to have turned out to be.

D., interesting story about Sellers; I hadn't heard about his latter-day on-set behavior before. I am a huge fan of his work in the Kubrick movies, especially Lolita.

TCinLA said...

Well, I was going to say something snarky about the terminally-unfunny Mike Myers, but then you had to go put in a hyperlink to RichBroRadio and I turn it on and there's an old friend named Joan Baez singing a song written by another old friend, Phil Ochs (once arranged a tour for him in 1966 in Colorado), "There But For Fortune," and the music's so good I can't get worked up over an idiot.

RichBroRadio!!! Yes indeed!!!!!!

D. McEwan said...

Gottacook,

Read "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" by Roger Lewis. It's an eye-opener. Basically Sellers was insane for the last decade and a half of his life, and while he seemed intent on destroying everyone close to him (God help anyone who married him), his real target was himself, and he sabatoged everything he could. It's a frightening book. A real-life horror story. It was the basis for the TV movie with Geoffrey Rush, but that film barely scratched the surface. The book is dedicated to my own comic hero, Barry Humphries, a giant comic genius who is not nuerotic or toxic, but instead so well-adjusted that he's a living rebuke to the cliche that you have to be as emotionally fucked-up as Sellers or Myers to be a great comic. (Bob Newhart is another rebuke to that cliche.)

I too am a fan of Sellers's early work. Love the original PINK PANTHER. (Hate all other movies with "Pink panther" in the title. And what on earth was Steve Martin thinking playing YOUNG Cluseau before he was an inspector, when Martin himself was 60? Talk about insane! You'd think he'd learned his lesson about playing other comic's characters when he played Bilko. Will Martin play The Little Tramp in a remake of CITY LIGHTS next?), LOLITA is a great movie (Although I think Mason steals the film), as is DR. STRANGELOVE. Kubrick said of Sellers; "I got three actors for the price of four."

Anonymous said...

For all of you who didn't like Axe Murderer, and I might be one of them but the movie was so forgettable I can't recall if I liked it or not to be honest, let's remember Nancy Travis was in it. I remember that much and thinking it was weird that she would be sharing the same screen time with Mike Myers. She's the reason I was initally drawn to Almost Perfect.

As for Get Smart, I find all of the promos terribly UNfunny as well. At least Timberlake nailed the Quebec accent. I give him props for learning it, unlike Rosanna Arquette in the movie The Whole Nine Yards that was set in Canada and she was the only one in her french family to speak with a bastardised Parisian accent. Oy. I walked out of that flick, and I was a company employee who got to see a special free screening. Even paying me to watch it was beyond asking too much, but that's a topic for another day.

Another ridiculous movie was The Zohan. Unlike the terrible trailers for Get Smart, The Zohan trailers were funny - but only because of a talented editor. Some person took all of these random bits that weren't funny when you see them in the scene it came from and spliced them together to make something entertaining. When you actually see the movie, none of those moments pan out into laughter. We couldn't believe how flat those scenes played in full length and marvelled at how well the trailers were cut and marketed.

A few years ago I watched the Peter Sellers movie that has the over to top talented Geoffry Rush in, and I was equally fascinated and stunned at how insane the comic really was. Truly from the beginning he was mad. And that lent to his comic genious until his mother died and he lost his anchor in the storm. All the wives in his life were play toys, never equals, so it didn't surprise me when he was verbally abusive. Most frustrated comics tend to be because they think no one could ever understand what they do and how they do it.

Stacey

Karen Scott said...

Well I personally thought he was funny as hell, as Donkey in Shrek. *G*

Erm, that's irony by the way, for the Americans amongst you.

But as long as we're talking about that offense...can we talk about WILL FERRELL?

Word.

jbryant said...

Stacey, you seem to be mixing up Get Smart with The Love Guru. Timberlake is only in the latter.

As for Zohan, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's just silly, over-the-top fun that somehow wrings laughs from Middle East tensions and other unpromising subjects.

Sometimes though, I think there's nothing more pointless than arguing about what's funny and what's not. We all know it's a very individual thing, and we all know that no one has ever been convinced to suddenly be amused by something that previously left them cold. The only exception is when we revisit stuff we didn't "get" when we were kids because we didn't have the necessary education or experience. And even then we may still think it's not funny.

Oh and there's the flip side, of course: if something makes you laugh, no one will ever convince you that it's not funny. And why would they want to? After all, they'd lose the satisfaction of considering you an idiot.

Anonymous said...

jbryant, actually I'm not getting those two movies mixed up at all. I calls them as I sees them! :-) Get Smart does nothing for me. Seriously. The trailers aren't awful par se, but nor are they funny. Perhaps I'm not intelligent, worldly or mature enough to Get Smart. (pun intended, 'natch.) Whatever the reason, I will be avoiding both like the plague.

Perhaps I'm in a cranky mood, too. I'm not interested in the least by Wall-E, either. The husband is stoked, I'm yawning. It's very well done from what I could gather from the 8 minute clip floating around, but again, I'm not into it. I'm not in the mood for animation and silly humour this month. Maybe all I need is to see The Dark Knight and Wanted (going tonight) to set me right. Cross your fingers for me, all. :-D

Staceu

hapkidokid said...

I'm sorry, but as an old unrepentant head-banger, i found the Pat Boone Heavy Metal Mood album to be one of the best comedy albums ever. Thank you.