Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Speidi Tortured? Will Ferrell's Ride Ends /

On, in a post with the title you see above, a few bloggers are quoted, who seem to have a problem with Will Ferrell, and seem to hope that we will, too.

"Meanwhile... Up is still #1 at the box office, reports Hollywood Dump, "making it both the first film of the Summer season and the first animated film in over a year to stay at number 1 for two cycles." Will Ferrell's Land of the Lost came in at #3 with under $20 million (after The Hangover at #2 with $43 million), making wonder whether "Will Ferrell's ride [is] coming to an end." Maybe, and that's fine with John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Film/TV: "I'm gratified that those movie-goers who grew up with the Saturday morning TV series collectively turned their noses up at a cynical enterprise designed purely to poke fun at the memory of a production that was quite sincere, and quite special."

To see the whole thing in context, go to the original post: here

I found myself seriously annoyed. Usually, I ignore chatter about celebrities, but this was a little different than the usual "OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG did you just see who Britney was with I mean he was totally to die for in a Tom Cruise kinda way did I say Tom Cruise no I meant hey who should I have meant" kind of dribble. What we had was somebody attacking a comedian for trying to make us laugh, in a fairly gentle way, hurting nobody. I thought that stank, and I said something about it, writing

"'Do you think Will Ferrell's still funny?'

I had fun watching LOTL a few nights ago, and so did the people in the theatre with me. I've seen better movies, a few of them with Mr.Ferrell in them (most of them not) and I doubt I'll remember this one next year, but I didn't mind having paid full price.

If we're talking about taste, as one of your reviewers does, let us consider the fact that you've linked to a blogger who admits to having reviewed a movie before he watched it!


How much credibility does he have left after such an admission? His complaint - one that seems to have been taken seriously - is that an old saturday morning children's show has not been shown a level of reverence denied to the Bible itself. See: Life of Brian. It's probably on the shelf at your local Blockbuster's. Rent it. Notice the shortage of outrage on that one, then take a look at this review as you ask yourself WTF.

Comedians make fun of things. It's what they do. It's what they're supposed to do, and when some of us get outraged by that, this tells us a lot about ourselves than it does about the target of our rage, especially when the teasing is as gentle as it was in this film. Maybe that some of us need to loosen WAY the hell up. As for your other reviewer

"Anyone who's honest with themselves has to admit that Ferrell hasn't been all that funny for a while. Did you see his one-man George W. Bush show on HBO? Just painful. It was like watching someone shoot fish in a barrel for an hour and change. Step Brothers? Semi Pro? The dude's been coasting for a while now. And the less said about The Producers and Bewitched, the better."

I've missed all of those except "Semi Pro", but I can tell you that a packed theatre of sober looking theatre attendees was kept laughing for a few hours in Chicago, and that I was one of the people laughing. I've probably forfeited a few coolness points by admitting it, but f**k it. Ferrell and his castmates gave us all a pleasant night out of the house.

I can't picture either of those two bloggers ever doing the same. Making people laugh takes hard work, talent and imagination. Trying to make them feel embarassed about the fact that they laughed takes nothing more than a bad attitude, and perhaps a craving for attention so acute that one need not note that one has done absolutely nothing of value to earn it."

This was followed by one of those responses that was more personal attack than response, in which the responder invented his own facts. I called him on that in my own counterresponse, doing so in detail, and some months later, found that my reply still hadn't appeared. I had been blocked by the same blogger who decided to let a spammer who scraped my earlier reply post away. So, I'll post my reply here and let it appear on my Typepad profile, where it should have shown up a few months ago.

Note the comments on the sidebar, and don't expect that complaints about my "censorship" will get you anywhere. You're free to do what I just took the time to do myself, and create a blog like this one, if you wish to make yourself heard, and at this point, I'm doing nothing more than partially leveling the rhetorical playing field.