Napoleon Dynamite directed by Mike Judge
“Napoleon Dynamite” IS ‘FREAKIN’ HILARIOUS!! This Sundance fave is set in rural Preston, Idaho and focuses on the trial and tribulations of the titular character, Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder – The Benchwarmers, Just Like Heaven), a Preston High School outcast. Just try to picture Poindexter from “Revenge of the Nerds” with an attitude, coke bottle glasses, moon boots, parachute pants, a freaky haircut, tater tots, tether ball, and ‘sweet’ numchuk skills! Napoleon lives with his much older brother, Kip (Aaron Ruell – first film), a 32-year-old loser, with no ambitions in life except 4 o’clock chat rooms with his online girlfriend, LaFawnduh (Shondrella Avery – Domino) who can also be a questionable Drag queen herself, and his wild and butch grandmother (Sandy Martin – 48 Hrs, One Night at McCool’s). But when grandma breaks her ‘cock-sik’, Uncle Rico (Jon Gries – Men in Black, Get Shorty) moves in to take care of the boys, while he scams the people of Preston with his stupid ‘Get-Rich-Quick’ schemes. Other supporting characters are Napoleon’s immigrant Mexican best friend, Pedro (Efren Ramirez – Jury Duty), who eventually runs for class President against the prettiest and most popular girl in school, Summer Wheatley (Haylie Duff, sister to Hilary), and Napoleon’s possible love interest Deb (Tina Majorino – Waterworld, Corrina, Corrina), the perfect geek chick who sells friendship bracelets door-to-door to save up for college!
The movie works because it’s real. The setting is so dull that the culture and fashion literally stops in the 1970s (except for Deb’s unique side ponytail, which actually makes it up to the 1980s). I can honestly say that I have never been to Preston, Idaho myself, but the movie crushes every ‘American-Utopian’ high school flick that I have ever seen and seems to be a pretty accurate representation of any rural town. Especially, since the movie is based on Hess’ hometown, which also gets the audience wondering if the movie is personal? Also, it becomes obvious that this first-time director does not follow the ‘in your face’ gimmicks that so many other directors are familiar with, but prefers the more minimalist approach. It is refreshing to watch a true comedy that has very little learning, growing and hugging. Every character is so extremely unique that the audience is actually drawn in to their weirdness. Especially for Napoleon’s, who has perfected the art of deadpan and crude honesty, “I see you’re drinking one percent; Is that because you think you’re fat?” In the end, this 86 minute movie is a definite must-see for the summer: there are enough bizarre images and dead-on physical humour to change the face of geek-dom forever.
-World Premiere Jared Hess
-On Location: Napoleon Dynamite
-4 Deleted and Extended Scenes
-4 Extended/Alternate Scenes
-3 More Sweet Outtakes
-More Flippin Features:
-Casting Napoleon Dynamite-An Interview with Jory Weitz
-Peluca – The 2002 short film by Jared Hess which inspired Napoleon Dynamite
-Utah State Fair Ads, TV Spots
-The Wedding of the Century!
-MTV On-Air Promos
Office Space directed by Mike Judge
It was the release of this film 6 years ago that convinced me that Jennifer Aniston was interested in being an actress and not just a Hollywood star. Two completely different things!
With Office Space, director/writer Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead television program) has recreated with great accuracy what it is like to have a job where you punch in, work in a cubicle for 7 hours on a computer and then do the whole thing over day after day.
Though the film didn’t do so well in the theatres it has definitely gained a whole new life with its video and DVD release and is now a cult favourite. Part of the reason is that many people can relate to the lead character Peter’s woeful life and partly because everyone has dreamt about doing whatever they felt like in life.
Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston – The Cooler, Little Black Book) has a miserable life. He is working at a job that he hates, he believes that his girlfriend Anne (Alexandra Wentworth – Jerry Maguire) is cheating on him and he does not know what he really wants from life. Badgered by his girlfriend to seek help with her hypnotherapist Dr. Swanson (Michael McShane – A Bug’s Life, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Peter attends his first session where in mid hypnosis the therapist dies. Despite this tragedy, Peter experiences a revelation and decides that he is now going to what he wants to in life.
The first thing he changes is his job; he decides that he is not going to work anymore. This is interesting timing on his part because he does this at a time when his company Initech has brought in the two Bobs, Bob Slydell (John C. McGinley – Seven, Born on the Fourth of July) and Bob Porter (Paul Wilson – Alex & Emma, Punch Drunk), as consultants to help them downsize. He then breaks up with his girlfriend (who tells him she has been cheating on him) and asks out Joanna (Jennifer Aniston – Bruce Almighty, Rock Star), a waitress at a restaurant he frequents. Amazingly enough, and much to his boss Bill Lumbergh’s (Gary Cole – A Simple Plan, Dodgeball) chagrin, the two Bobs love Peter’s honesty and decide to lay off his friends Samir (Ajay Naidu – The Honeymooners, Bad Santa) and Michael Bolton (David Herman – Kicking & Screaming, Dude, Where’s My Car?).
In an effort to get back at Initech, Peter, Samir and Michael come up with a plan to embezzle money from the company. Unfortunately, Michael makes a mistake with a decimal placement and fractional daily amounts become large amounts.
Office Space is certainly not a film for everyone; it definitely has a niche and that target audience absolutely adored this film. Director Mike Judge has not only made a satire on office life, but makes comments on white guys listening to gangster rap, inherent racism in the United States and why fax machines never work. For those who like the Dilbert comic strip and can relate to dying a little every day in a cubicle this is the film for you.
-Out of the Office: An Office Space retrospective with Mike Judge