Saturday, 23 August 2008

Let's have a movie review! The Aristocrats (2005)

Look what I did up there, writing the year after the name of the movie. So professional. Why do people do that anyway? Is it really important? Does it place the movie in it's appropriate historical context? Jeez, I feel like a shill.

So I suddenly realised I never got round to watching The Aristocrats, and I kinda wanted to. So I watched it. Ah, a happy ending! Let's just savour that for a moment.

OK, but, y'see, it wasn't very good. The movie, as I'm sure everyone knows, is a documentary about a kinda comedians' inside joke that works by building up a shocking level of filth and depravity and topping it off with a silly, unexpected punchline. I won't go into it, it's explained in about the first thirty seconds of the movie, and the other hour and a half is devoted to people's opinions and anecdotes about the joke, and the glaringly obvious point that the reason the joke is funny is how you tell it.

That's pretty key right there: the reason the joke is funny is because of the flair, imagination and timing of the person telling the joke. No, wait, that's integral to the entire movie. And of course the movie is then edited so that HARDLY ANYONE IS SHOWN JUST TELLING THE GODDAMN JOKE. Holy smokes, I want to grab whoever edited this mess by the lapels and thrust him face first into the faeces that are so often mentioned. There are a few good laughs in there, but all the biggest ones are when a comedian is just ALLOWED TO TELL THE DAMN JOKE, THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH, WITH THEIR TIMING. But for most of the time you see punchlines, build-ups and asides spliced together in a way that somehow adds speed and kills any momentum at the same time. I understand, most people go overboard and tell the joke for ten minutes so they couldn't fit them all in, and the key performance, Gilbert Gottfried's set on Hugh Hefner's roast, would cost a small fortune to license, so there are limitations on what they were able to do; but what they ended up with is a movie that is no damn good. It's like a bunch of guys geeking out over something that I'm sure is pretty awesome, and stripping away all the magic and fun. It made me pretty mad by the end.

This extended clip of Bob Saget's piece (I assume from the DVD) tops the one they show in the film, but you can still feel that if they just put a camera on him and rolled it would be better still. Oh and STRONG, STRONG CONTENT WARNINGS! Absolute brain-searing filth from here on out:

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