Friday, August 19, 2005

TA-DA! Three weeks after Spaceman saw it opening night in LA, I finally saw The Aristocrats.

Ironically (perhaps), it seems to enact what it describes -- the film is an increasingly obscene cascade of scatological humor covering a number of disgusting things I hadn't contemplated yet . . . but then after all that buildup, the climax is underwhelming.

I wish the filmmakers had let the material speak for itself more. Other than the South Park version, every other iteration of the joke is interrupted at various points by talking head musing. Even the sainted Gilbert Gottfried version from the Friar's Roast, where ever pause is filled by some other commentator telling us how funny it was. No! Let us see how funny it is ourselves. Have a little more faith in the material to succeed on its own merits, and show us more unedited versions of the joke.

Another thing: there should have been subtitles identifying each comedian on-screen the first time. I'm somewhat of a standup geek, so I can recognize people like Richard Jeni, Dom Irrera, Bobby Slayton and Todd Glass without a problem. But some of the older folks? Not until the credits when they finally named everyone. And this really ruined one of the best versions in the whole thing for many in the audience -- Carrie Fisher's -- because not everyone immediately recognized who it was and realized who "mom" and "dad" were that she was talking about.

Don't get me wrong: the movie is hysterical. I doubt I've laughed aloud at a movie that much since South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. But as filmmaking, it could have been more.

Still, two thumbs up . . . up your [deleted], that is.

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