Beast Banner October 5 - 19, 2006
ISSUE #108
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Features

ArrowWelcome to the Monkey House
On Safari at “The Chapel” in Getzville

Ian Murphy

ArrowI, Left Gatekeeper
Why the "9/11 Truth" movement makes the "Left Behind" sci-fi series read like Shakespeare
Matt Taibbi

ArrowGet on Board
A farewell to Habeas Corpus in one act.

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Madness of King Us
Think we're turning a corner? Think again

Donnie Dobovitch

ArrowSexual Predators
What can you do?

ArrowHow the Media Lies About China
"Try harder," American worker – and Thomas Friedman thinks everything will be fine
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowPig Roast
Tom Reynolds is done. Let’s all stick forks in him.
Allan Uthman

ArrowBEAST Staff Aids Non-Millionaire
“Relief for Reynolds” Campaign a Modest Success
Josh Bunting

ArrowCaring is Hard Work!
A selection of transcripts from our neighborhood canvass in the 26th district.

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Incredibly Full of Shit Asshole

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Jackass Number Two, The Guardian, Flyboys, All the King's Men, School for Scoundrels, Fearless

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Partisan Bickering, A Bold Challenge, Crocodile Punter, Reynolds R.I.P. and more

Kino Korner

 


Jackass Number Two | The Guardian | Flyboys
All the King's Men | School for Scoundrels | Fearless


School for Scoundrels

School for ScoundrelsYou know that feeling you get when you open your refrigerator and all you see are leftovers? It’s a disappointing feeling. Almost like hitting rock bottom in a way, because you’re either too broke or too lazy to go to the market or swing by a drive-thru. Regardless, it’s a sorry situation.

I had a similar feeling when I saw School for Scoundrels, the new comedy starring Napoleon Dynamite. I don’t use his actual name, Jon Heder, because he acts like Napoleon Dynamite in every movie he’s done since Napoleon Dynamite and in all likelihood he’s going to play some variation of the character Napoleon Dynamite probably until you’re old and grey. He’ll either talk, walk or act like the character. And frankly that voice is really getting to me. He can look like Beck all he wants but that goddamned voice isn’t going away. Then again, never underestimate the power of a carton of Pall Malls and a bottle of whiskey. Do a Clint Eastwood impression, do something! I know he’s a Mormon, but come on!

In School for Scoundrels Dynamite plays—get this—a likeable loser. Instead of drawing ligers, wearing moon boots and trying to get his friend elected class president he plays a meter maid who’s just as socially inept as his breakthrough character. Dynamite’s character couldn’t get laid in a women’s prison full of blind, desperately horny nymphomaniacs on ecstasy. So he joins a self-help group designed to help him unleash his inner dick, headed up by Billy Bob Thornton, so Dynamite can get this girl he really, really likes. Oh, and Thornton likes the girl too and a ruthless war of hilarity between teacher and student ensues. That’s right; it’s Anger Management with Billy Bob subbing for Jack Nicholson.

But watching this movie reminded me even more of Nicholson after he got the lobotomy in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Except writer/director Todd Phillips is the one with the stitches down his forehead. Phillips was the comic genius behind the movies Road Trip and Old School, which were both great. Phillips followed these up with the forgettable Starsky and Hutch and it’s all gone to hell since.

Thornton is the closest thing to a saving grace in School for Scoundrels. Anyone who’s seen Bad Santa, Bandits or The Bad News Bears knows that he’s got the comedic chops to take something like this down. But with an uninteresting premise, a weak script and Ben Stiller poorly filling the role of token cliché you could see why he’s practically nodding off half the time.

I remember in school when a teacher would berate one of my fellow classmates who really didn’t seem to care about their education. And of course the student getting yelled at was one of the cool kids. You’re dragging everybody else down with you, the teacher or faculty member would spew. At the time, like any teenager, I thought they were full of crap. I also have the same reaction whenever some new-agey person talks about spreading negative energy, man. I still think they’re twits, but now I see what they’re talking about.

 

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