New DVD O' The Week
It feels weird to say that I underrated Balls Of Fury when I first saw it, as I immediately included it in my top ten of 2007 while most critics felt it was beneath any acknowledgement whatsoever. But where originally I felt Thomas Lennon's performance was broad and Christopher Walken's shtick was tired, both were entirely entertaining the second time around (ok, Lennon's East German Olympian is basically just an Ivan Drago haircut, mad eyes and a leotard, but "tell your dead parents I said 'what's up'" may be my favorite line in the whole movie).
The film's mediocre user rating on IMDb suprises me. I understand why a trailer "from the makers of Reno 911!" that focuses on an obnoxious fat guy getting hit in the balls wouldn't make a lot of people enthusiastic, but I don't get why anyone who'd bother to see it would leave unsatisfied. While it's not as brazen or hip in its irreverence as David Wain's State-related films, it's less self-adoring than the Stiller/Sandler variety of goofball and lacks the logey wocka-wocka of most Zucker-type parodies. Dan Fogler may not have the name recognition of even Horatio Sanz, but I doubt that will be the case for long - dude has a Tony award! He's playing Alfred Hitchcock in an upcoming movie starring Ewan McGregor! This was not the path of Chris Farley. The totally-on-their-game supporting cast includes Maggie Q (who I knew I enjoyed watching) and George Lopez (who I most certainly didn't). I didn't even realize that the angry long-haired guy in the underground ping-pong club was Jason Scott Lee until I saw him understandably beaming on the making-of doc. You know, Jason Scott Lee! From Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story! Rapa Nui! RAPA NUI! Patton Oswalt shows up too, along with some other Reno 911 arrestees (Patton Oswalt! That's kinda hip, right?).
I hope Fogler's career continues to rise, as it might give the film a cult audience quicker than if it depends on some young group of comedy nuts watching movies on Comedy Central rather than playing on a middle school athletic team. So here's a plea to similar minds of my own generation: do you have fond memories of Wayne's World 2? Akidraisedonsnlmoviessayswhat? Because Walken and James "The Old Asian Guy In Everything Ever" Hong are having twice as much fun in this. If I was God, this would be Hong's Best Supporting Actor nomination clip:
Lennon and director/co-screenwriter Robert Ben Garant are making so much money for studio-butchered scripts like Night At The Museum and Herbie: Fully Loaded that I can't bemoan the lack of attention or respect this film got. It made $32 million, which I would assume covered its budget, and for once people who give a shit got proof that, when they get to oversee its creation, these two can produce a seriously funny movie, one of the few of recent memory that's PG-13. It's good to see a movie worthy of the chubby, precocious fifteen-year-olds its marketed towards.