Idiocracy (2006)

Discussion in 'General Film Discussion' started by Dave, Feb 5, 2004.

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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    3001

    Directed by Mike Judge, '3001' is a 20th Century Fox comedy about a man who goes to sleep and wakes up 1,000 years in the future. It sounds a lot like Woody Allen's 'Sleeper' to me, but that's okay as I still like that.

    Written by Mike Judge and Etan Cohen, '3001' is the story of Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson), an average American who is selected for a top-secret hibernation program. When he wakes up he discovers that people have become so stupid he is now the most intelligent person alive.

    Shooting is scheduled to start in mid-April 2004.
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    Tabitha

    Tabitha Save Angel!

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    Re: 3001

    Also reminds me of that episode of Futurama in which everyone gets really dumb and Fry is the smartest man left to try and outwit the alien invaders.

    Interesting that the rights to this title weren't snapped up by someone after Arthur C Clarke wrote the third sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    In 2005, Corporal Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), a US Army librarian graphed as the Army's "most average" soldier, and Rita (Maya Rudolph), a prostitute terrified of her pimp, U-p-g-r-a-y-e-d-d (pronounced: upgrade, two D's for "a double-dose of this pimping"), are guinea pigs in a secret, year-long, military hibernation project. They are sealed in their hibernation chambers, to be awakened a year later, but the experiment is forgotten when the officer in charge, Lieutenant Colonel Collins (Michael McCafferty), is arrested for having started his own prostitution ring under the tutelage of Upgrayedd. The military base is demolished, and a fast food store built on the site.

    They re-emerge in the year 2505 when rubbish mountain avalanches uncover their hibernation pods. The dystopian future is one in which stupid people have out-bred the intelligent. The most popular TV programme is 'Ow! My Balls!' in which a man is repeatedly whacked in the genitals, the Oscar winning film is called 'Ass' and has no story, just film of someone's nether regions.

    I just watched this on Film4 but I didn't see any reviews of it here, except a comment by JD in another thread. He didn't much care for it, and I suspect he is not alone in that:
    I do see JD's point of view, but in it's defence, I don't think Idiocracy has made any high claims, and I believe it does add more to the story idea. The cultural elite has now become extinct, everyone is now stupid, the decaying society is kept going by old machines, and the government is actually run on behalf of a few mega-corporations. However, the story-line doesn't really have enough to fill the whole film.

    I'm still more inclined to agree with this reviewer from Film4/reviews:
    It is very crude and very crass, and I guess that is what you might expect from the creator of Beavis and Butt-Head but as a satire there were some pieces that were spot on target, and some very funny pieces - the idea that, even at the end, the most intelligent man in the world still thought the prostitute was an artist. Considering some of the recent poor films made, it did not deserve to go straight to DVD in the UK. I would recommend seeing it before dismissing it.

    There was some genuine creativity here, and I'd rather this was being made than the alternative, as Film4 put it:
    As for ripping-off earlier work, as far as I am aware The Marching Morons was not filmed (though that is most likely JD's gripe!) However, one of my favourite films, Woody Allen's Sleeper uses the exact same 'suspended animation by botched surgery' idea from the book, which instead becomes an Army experiment in Idiocracy. And, a film that does make high claims for itself, Disney's Wall-E does blatantly rip-off Idiocracy both in the stupid people and the rubbish piles.
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    Duchessprozac

    Duchessprozac New Member

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    I rather quite like the movie. I've seen it a half dozen times and whilst it's got it's flaws it's an enjoyable and humourous satire.

    But then I don't think I've disliked anything that I've seen by Mike Judge
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    Rodders

    Rodders |-O-| (-O-) |-O-|

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    I've never even heard of it. I may keep an eye open. I must confess that i do sometimes enjoy the abserd.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, my gripe (from watching a fair chunk of this film) is that "The Marching Morons" was filmed, but completely butchered, and without credit. There are just far, far too many similarities here for it to be coincidence -- things which extend 'waaaay beyond the basic setup into specific situations, comments, reactions, and the like; and the entire thing flopped for me as a satire because it wasn't sharp, it was itself about as subtle and witty as an elephant taking... well, I'll leave the rest of that simile unspoken, lest I manage to get myself an infraction.:rolleyes:

    Suffice to say that, whether admitted or not, this was Kornbluth's story, only bastardized to a hideous degree. That is what ticks me off: the lack of any genuine wit and, even more importantly, the complete disregard for crediting the original source -- which is itself a much-reprinted and well-known piece of classic science fiction! Idiocracy may be about the dumbing down of society, but it strikes me that, in doing this latter, the makers of the film are not so much satirizing as capitalizing on that condition....
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    I don't disagree with anything you say, only that I've seen much worse (I've seen 'Morons from Outer Space'.) And you have to appreciate that in the UK this went straight to DVD, so someone didn't think it even deserved a cinematic release here. It wasn't that bad. I just feel someone should stick up for it. It gets enough stick already.

    They certainly ought to have credited Kornbluth, but they probably thought that -
    - such a degree as being unrecognisable to anyone.

    Yes, again I can't disagree with you there, the ending almost celebrated it. I didn't watch after the credits, but it apparently shows the Pimp arriving in his own hibernation pod. That makes little sense when you examine it closely.

    And what about Wall-E - don't you think that is as much a rip-off as both? Considering that won the Best Animated Feature of the Year Oscar.
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    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    That one I've not seen, so I really can't comment on it. However, if what you are saying is accurate... then I don't think it's going to even make it on my "to see" list, let alone get anywhere near the top.....
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    thepaladin

    thepaladin Holy Knight

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    I was told by a couple of people "Oh, you have to see this". So I "tried" to watch it. I didn't find anything, be it sight gags or anything else inspired in it. It was slow, trite (yes trite) and oddly self congratulatory. I won't call it "silly" as it was striving for silly and didn't manage it. I'd advise avoiding this thing like the plague. Of course if it's on "regular TV" it won't cost anything extra, but it will still be almost an hour and a half of your life you'll never get back....more with commercials.

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