DID YOU READ

Disc Covering: “Adopted,” With Your Buuuuuuddy, Pauly Shore

Disc Covering: “Adopted,” With Your Buuuuuuddy, Pauly Shore  (photo)

Posted by on

Straight-to-DVD is known as the last stop on the gravy train before the end of a fading star’s career. And there’s definitely some truth to that. But it can also be a low-risk, high-reward place to restart a career, where you can throw away the stuff that hasn’t been working and trying something new. Budgets and stakes may be lower, but so are expectations.

The DTV landscape is full of untapped opportunities and I give Pauly Shore credit for being one of the first guys I’ve come across in this column who’s clearly taking advantage of that. Completely dismissed by critics (Roger Ebert once compared him to “the cinematic equivalent of long fingernails drawn very slowly and quite loudly over a gigantic blackboard”), reduced to a punchline in the mainstream, the former MTV DJ and movie star has reinvented himself in straight-to-DVD land as “Pauly Shore,” the star of self-deprecating autobiographical mockumentaries like 2003’s “Pauly Shore is Dead” and his new film “Adopted.” As writer and director as well as star, “Adopted” is, more than anything he made in his ’90s heyday, a “Pauly Shore Movie.”

But is that a good thing?

“Adopted”
Directed by Pauly Shore

Tagline: “First there was ANGELINA, then MADONNA, and NOW PAULY!”

07272010_disccovering1.jpgTweetable Plot Synopsis: In order to make fun of celebrities, African stereotypes, and himself, Pauly Shore travels to South Africa and tries to adopt a baby.

Salable Elements: Here’s what “Adopted”‘s DVD distributor, Phase 4 Films, lists as “Adopted”‘s “selling points” on the film’s factsheet:

“-Pauly Shore is a well known comedic brand with regular appearances on North American talk shows.

-Over $140 Million in box office hits (“Encino Man,” “Son In Law,” “Jury Duty,” “Bio-Dome,” “In The Army Now,” “Pauly Shore Is Dead”).

-Pauly is a regular on the comedy circuit, currently on a North American comedy tour (running through Summer 2010), and his comedy show Pauly Shore and Friends is currently airing on Showtime.”

Press materials for “Adopted” also boast that the film is “in the style of ‘Waiting For Guffman’ and ‘Borat.'” Which is true. But being in the style of something is not the same as it being as good as something. “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is in the style of “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” That doesn’t make it any better.

07272010_disccovering2.jpgBiggest Success: Though Shore himself has very little commitment to the reality of the world he’s pretending to document — the explanation he provides as to why he wants to adopt a kid is flimsier than a wet tissue — the South African actors he cast are terrific and totally believable. Shore is the only non-local in the bunch and his untrained co-stars, especially Odwa Mpambaniso as a charmingly outgoing orphan and the uncredited social worker who plays Allan, are far more believable in their roles than Shore is in his. And he’s playing Pauly Shore.

Biggest Failure: Again, give Shore credit: he shot this film on location in South Africa, and in doing so he did manage to capture a bit of the region’s flavor. Granted, you’ve got to go looking for it in establishing shots and brief unscripted moments between Pauly’s schtick, but it’s there. If he eased up on the material a little and really took an interest in this place, he might have had something truly worth watching. But mostly Shore’s just using the mockumentary format as a means to deliver a barrage of tasteless jokes. Truly satisfying mockumentaries have a few components that “Adopted” is missing: most importantly, they’re easily mistakable for real life. Even with the impressively authentic locations, does anyone really believe Pauly Shore is going to adopt an African orphan? No.

07272010_disccovering3.jpgAfter 75 minutes of crass humor, the film ends with an Aldous Snow-esque message from Shore that reads “Even though I made fun of adoption, underneath it all, it’s no laughing matter. In Africa there are 34 million orphans,” (I’m telling you: try it in a Russell Brand accent. It’s a dead ringer). Shore’s commitment to educating audiences about the truth behind his satire is laudable. But a gifted filmmaker would have incorporated that truth into the body of his film. Shore’s got a decent idea and a unique setting but he’s lacking the intellectual curiosity of those films “Adopted” is “in the style of.” Adopted” really is a Paul Shore movie: an incredibly uneven, dumb, and, yes, occasionally humorously dumb comedy.

Best Moment: As you might expect from a guy who made a film entitled “Pauly Shore is Dead,” Shore’s greatest strength remains his ability to make fun of himself. Shore is repeatedly encountering — and getting rebuffed by — a series of attractive South African women. After one particularly disastrous romantic encounter, Shore moans “If we were back in the States this would not be happening. Don’t these girls know who I used to be?”

I Question: that an orphanage would allow someone to “test drive” their children.

Worthy of a Theatrical Release? No, but this isn’t the worst way to spend 75 minutes. I’ll cop to laughing at least a couple times. The film is currently available on Netflix Watch Instantly, so if you’re curious, that’s the way to go.

For Further Viewing: watch this YouTube clip, which requires no additional setup beyond its title: “Pauly Shore Drunk on Morning Show.”

Watch More
Brockmire-Hank-Azaria-characters-blog

Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

Watch More
Sneak_Peek

Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on

There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

Watch More
POR_710_D1

Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

Posted by on

Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet