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!
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
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 (
) and smart-mouthed hooker Rita (
) 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
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
to think that may have played a part.
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.
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See Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this week's new flicks on the multiple award-winning
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
can actually make a difference?
Previously in DVD Tuesday:
Diary of the Dead
Touch of Evil
Bonnie and Clyde
When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
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
A Simple Plan
Ace in the Hole
Eyes Without a Face
Gone in 60 Seconds
Bob le Flambeur
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
I'm Not Scared
Shocking Grindhouse Double Bill! - Scanners and The Candy Snatchers
Don't Look Now
Kiss and Make Up
Kiss Me Deadly
The Long Good Friday
What Alice Found
The Devil's Backbone
The Devil Wears Prada
The Thief and the Cobbler
Panic in the Streets/Jack Palance Interview
The Pusher Trilogy
In Cold Blood