DVD Tuesday: There's dumb, there's dumber, and then there's Idiocracy... Mike Judge has seen the future and it really doesn't work!

I mentioned Idiocracy in an earlier column, but now I think it's time to give it its due: Mike Judge's dystopian-future comedy is flawed, but I find myself quoting it all the time.

Worried that it's a waste to let America's best soldiers idle when there's no war for them to wage, the military initiates a top-secret program to put them on ice literally until they're needed. Naturally, the top brass isn't about to try out an experimental technology on the cream of the fighting crop, so they choose low-level GI Joe ( Luke Wilson) and smart-mouthed hooker Rita ( Maya Rudolph) as guinea pigs.

The plan is to freeze them for a year, but things happen, regimes change, and next thing you know, no-one who knew about the hush-hush experiment is around to keep tabs on it.

500 years later, Rita and Joe wake up in an America in which everyone with the brains God gave geese has been bred out of the gene pool. The president is a professional wrestler/porn star, the nation's top-rated TV show is "Ow, My Balls!" all whacked in the 'nads gags, all the time -- and the country is facing an agricultural crisis because centuries of hard-sell advertising has convinced the morons of the future that crops should be watered with sports drinks, not water.

Rita and Joe are geniuses by comparison, but their future countrymen are too dumb to know it. Rita adapts she knows a fresh market when she sees one but Joe persists in trying to explain that water is not just for toilets, despite the fact that all talking sense does is get him called a fag.

I won't ruin the rest of the jokes, but some are so funny they hurt and Judge's reckless use of real brand names is refreshing. I can't say I know for sure that 20th-Century Fox buried the film in regional release before sending it to DVD was Judge's vicious skewering of Fox News, but it's hard not to think that may have played a part.

Idiocracy is uneven, but at its best it's brilliant, and the opening sequence sets the bar high: Prepare to squirm as it explains how the world's best and brightest thought their way out of reproducing while the dumbest of the dumb blithely insured their genetic place in the brave new world.

Send your movie questions to FlickChick.

See Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this week's new flicks on the multiple award-winning Movie Talk vodcast.

Things to Consider:

Favorite movies about the future, comic or serious?

Can futuristic fiction actually make people reconsider the way they think and act in light of the possible consequences for future generations? Writers like George Orwell certainly thought so, but is it futile to hope that a book (or movie) like 1984 can actually make a difference?

Previously in DVD Tuesday:

Kill Bill
Diary of the Dead
The Kingdom
Touch of Evil
Bonnie and Clyde
When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
Michael Clayton
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T
Shoot 'Em Up
A Mighty Wind


It's a Wonderful Life
All About Eve
Sweet Smell of Success
Daughters of Darkness
The Crazies
Blade Runner
A Simple Plan
Taxi Driver
Hot Fuzz
Ace in the Hole
Eyes Without a Face
Citizen Kane
La Jetée
Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
Bob le Flambeur
Near Dark
Perfect Blue
Pan's Labyrinth
Les Girls
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
The Queen
Expresso Bongo
I'm Not Scared
Shocking Grindhouse Double Bill! - Scanners and The Candy Snatchers
Don't Look Now
Casino Royale
The Prestige
13 Tzameti
The Departed
Kiss and Make Up
Kiss Me Deadly
The Long Good Friday
What Alice Found
The Devil's Backbone
The Descent
The Devil Wears Prada
Pandora's Box
The Thief and the Cobbler
Panic in the Streets/Jack Palance Interview
The Pusher Trilogy
Sunset Blvd.
In Cold Blood