First, a quick recap of my exposure to Tucker Max. At some point I visited his site, and read all of his stories in one sitting. He writes about his escapades, usually drunken sexual rampages, in such a way that someone who has never had a drink is still engaged. I'd check his blog once in a while when I was bored, but it wasn't until he started writing about the experience of creating a movie that I started reading every post habitually. He did a great job of explaining in layman's terms how a movie is made. Just as I enjoyed his drunken stories as a non-drinker, I enjoyed his posts about film making as a non-film-maker.
Tucker was gracious enough to let me stop by the set while filming, and also to give me tickets to the premiere in SF.
I went to the premiere with no idea what to expect. On one hand I'd read the movie blog, which shared audience reactions and screen testing results. They were overwhelmingly positive. I knew that Tucker was focused solely on making the best movie possible, and was determined enough to push for his vision.
On the other hand, the trailer was terrible. It looked like it was filmed on a handicam and wasn't particularly funny. I checked Rotten Tomatoes before going to the premiere and saw that I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell had one of the worst ratings I'd ever seen.
I was a bit worried. Tucker is very transparent and honest on his blog, which endears you to him and makes you want for the movie to be a success. He says that his mission is to treat his fans like he'd want to be treated, and unlike everyone else who say that, he's means it and it's reflected in his actions.
While they waited for the crowd to assemble, Tucker and his co-writer, Nils, had members of the audience tell stories. The two of them would rip on the fan, everyone would laugh, and the next person would get a crack at telling a story without being mercilessly made fun of. Few got by.
Finally the lights dimmed and the movie started.
Scene by scene passed with me laughing along with the rest of the audience. Not the polite chuckle most movies get, but real genuine belly laughs. The jokes were funny AND smart. Some were obvious, some were more subtle, but none were condescending to the audience. It reminded me of Arrested Development,sometimes ridiculous, but always clever.
The plot was better than I expected, the acting was excellent, but what surprised me the most was how good the characters were. Each one was really well defined, had depth, and was likeable. I expected them to blend together a lot more.
The complaints by protestors,namely that Tucker promotes "rape culture" and hates women, are a clear indication that none of them have actually seen the movie. I thought that the movie was MORE respectful towards women than most. Tucker makes fun of a fat girl, but he also flirts with her and she has the last laugh. Strippers get blasted, too, but one of the most likeable characters in the whole movie is a stripper.
I don't want to write too much and give things away, so I'll leave you with this: the movie is fun, it's funny, and it's made with integrity. If you're not very easily offended (and really it's probably not as offensive as you think), you'll enjoy seeing the movie.
Will it be the huge commercial success that Tucker's hoping for? I have no idea, but I'm rooting for him.
I was given the book as a gift when I was working in Iraq. It was a very entertaining read. When I was done I wrote my name in the cover and left a little note to sign it and pass it on to the next guy. It pretty much made the rounds in the office, but I wonder where in the world the book is now.
Click my name on the left to see where you are at 2:15 -- it seems I can't post the video link with you in it.
I forgot to include the video featuring you, following the previous post:
It's funny you mention this, Tynan, because as learned more about it, I found you in the background at 2:15 in this video of the SF premiere. Too bad you didn't get to review it in the video like Ramit Sethi.
I'm sure this horrible and troubling film will do well enough with the frat boy types it has been engineered to appeal to, and date-rape culture will continue to thrive on college campuses.
First came to your blog from tucker's. Enjoyed your review. I'll see it in a couple of weeks. It opened doing $3,000 a screen, not huge, but at those rates it could make back all its costs the first month. That is, it made $300,000 friday on a very limited release and opens big in two weeks.
@Ryan Yep, I saw the speech at the reception. I got there after Tucker had finished his Cameo. Matt did the speech at least 8 times while I was there, and they were filming guest reactions mostly.
[MINOR SPOILER AHEAD]
What made me worry there might be a saccharine ending was the fact that the one scene I saw was an apology and he was about to make up for it. How he made up for it was a bit cheesy, but I liked it in the context of the following conversations.
A while back someone asked me what sites I like to visit. I forgot to answer, so I'll write a post about it.
Bobby Burgess' Journal
This guy was ahead of his time. Back in 2000 he had a blog, and a killer one. In fact, he's probably one of the reasons I write a blog. When you go to his site, hit archive, and start from the beginning. It starts off slow, but you will be unable to stop reading pretty soon. I've read every entry on the whole site. Later he turns into a druggie and his stories become much less frequent and less interesting, but even that transformation is worth reading.
Paul Clow's Sole Goal and PhiMix
These two sites are lumped together because they're similar. They're both sites written by polynappers who also write about other interesting things. I wouldn't have found out about either of these sites if they hadn't written comments on my posts in the past. I check both of these every day.
This site is created by a Japanese flash programmer. The real gems are the Grow games. DO NOT CHEAT AND LOOK UP THE ANSWERS. Once you finish you will be wishing there were more grows to play. The order you play them in doesn't really matter. I think the Cube one is the best. Some of the other games are fun too, like Tontie (Jonah and I used to be obsessed with this one).
So, with the holiday, and the packing (move in one week, eek!) I forgot to do my "7 for seven" (key + arrow inspired) happiness list yesterday. Happy to see that Contrary Mom is joining in the fun too. So without further ado:
1. Re-watching the tv series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. I love sci/fi and fantasy shows, and this series, which my boys and I watched in a marathon of late-bedtime nights two (or three?) summers ago, is wonderful. And this past week for some reason we decided to rewatch some of it. Like hanging out with an old friend. (The humorless, boring movie was such a disappointment. Someone should try again with the film idea. Someone funny.)
2. Family. Over the weekend we spent time with some family members, and I get such a joy out of seeing my kids hang out with their cousins. I didn't really know my own cousins that well, or even my grandparents. It is fun to see the joy and care and love that they all experience together. And the fighting. :-)
3. DnDish. My boys share my love of sci-fi and fantasy stories, and in the past they have played a fun "Dungeons & Dragons" type of game with a babysitter, who just made it all up as he went along. My older son asked me about playing d&d, and while I had only played it a couple times as a teen, I could see how it would be a fun evening activity for us. So I looked online for "kids' d&d" games. There are a lot! My favorite was "DnDish", in that it is really, really simplified and allows for kid-style improvisation and flexibility. E.g., there aren't really character "classes": my youngest is a half-ogre/half-human hybrid warrior/wizard. His backstory is that he was "created" by a wizard. At the end of our second adventure, he got to meet his "father," the wizard, and I swear, younger son almost cried. It was sweet. And it's fun! Without a screen in front of us. Yay!
4. Breaking Bad. I figured out that I can get episodes of Breaking Bad on Amazon. $2 each, which is pricey, but, worth it to me. Jessie + Hank, OMG!