January 13, 2005

It seems that the nonstop commercials for the DVD release have finally died down. I swear, it seemed like every channel played that commercial during every commercial break for the last month. Anyway, after several weeks of the commercial blitz, my husband asked me where they found a guy that stupid to follow around with a camera. I was like, um, that dude is an actor. He was like, oh…whatever.

So therein lies the question – is that dude really an actor? (Of course – no one can be that dorky and fucked up – seriously, can one die of severe dorkiness?) A better question – will Jon Heder be able to continue to be an actor after starring in Napoleon Dynamite. The answer there – probably not. He’ll definitely be able to continue to star in movies, but will he get to act? Not fucking likely. Just as Curtis Armstrong will forever be know as Booger, Jon Heder will forever be known as Napoleon Dynamite. I’m not trying to doom the guy, I’m just sayin’…besides, I don’t think I even want to see him as anything but Napoleon Dynamite. That would just ruin the whole movie.

At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, I simply think I am too old to “get” Napoleon Dynamite. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the film – it was funny and original and very fucked up. I laughed in all the right places and I empathized with Napoleon’s “individuality.” But I know in my heart of hearts that this film would have meant a lot more to me 10-12 years ago. I don’t know if sheer age is the reason, or maybe it’s the fact that I’m no longer a total pothead? Either way, I just can’t get on board the Napoleon Dynamite Lovetrain that’s circling the block right about now. I am lame.

That being said…there are still a few kinks I am trying to work out about the movie. At first glance, you’d just assume that the movie was set in the 80s. I mean really – Trapper Keepers? But then you notice little things – like Kip’s internet usage. I swear it looks like he’s have cybersex on a Commodore 64. And people have tiny cell phones, so it’s obviously modern times. So when is this happening? Then it comes up in conversation with a friend who happens to be one of Napoleon’s Apostles – I seriously think he’s seen the movie 20 times or so. Small Towns! Having grown up in a small shit town, as did he, it became so obvious. Small shitty towns are about 10-15 (or more) years behind the rest of the planet trendwise. Poor Napoleon is just stuck in a small shitty town – that’s why he carries a Trapper Keeper and has to dance to “Time After Time” at the school dance. I think…

Also – what the fuck is a “wild honeymoon stallion”?

By and large, Rex Kwan Do was the funniest part of the whole film. (I actually met a guy kind of like that – he’s a Jiu Jitsu instructor in Lubbock, who tries to act like he kicks a lot of ass, but I think he’s into Jiu Jitsu solely because he gets to roll around on the floor with men several times a week – and get paid for it!) Diedrich Bader is one of the few actors that I’m always happy to see pop up in a cameo. (See Office Space and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.) I think he should quit his day job on that stupid John Goodman show and fully devote his career to performing cameos in weird movies. He should also stop doing those JC Penney commercials. They really, really suck.

So yeah, a funny film, definitely worthy of 3 BOBs and a second viewing when it comes on cable. Not a small feat for a film with no bad language, no nudity and no adult situations.


Year – 2004
Rating – PG
Runtime – 82 minutes
Genre – Teen Movie
Director(s) – Jared Hess
Writer(s) – Joshua Hess, Jared Hess
Actor(s) – Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Aaron Ruell, Diedrich Bader, Tina Majorino
BOB Rating – Three BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Take a look at what I'm wearing, people. You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys?" - Rex (Diedrich Bader)