Friday, March 18, 2011

So Sarong

The most popular feature on this blog are my Liveblogs. That's where I watch a lousy movie on Netflix Instant and make real time comments about it. The downside of this, at least for me, is that Netflix now thinks I enjoy lousy movies and keeps recommending them to me. This is the sacrifice I make for my artform, I suppose, but it also gives me leads on fresh material for more Liveblogs. Leads like a straight-to-DVD Rob Schneider "comedy" called The Chosen One. I watch it now knowing full well that Netflix will probably recommend The Love Guru or Good Luck Chuck but that's the way it is.

The movie teases us with this opening shot of Schneider jumping off a building because, in this instance, they know what the audience wants.

0:08:00 -- Not only does Rob Schneider star in this movie, he also wrote and directed it. Thus, for the first time in history, we will be treated to pure, undistilled Schneiderian vision and I, for one, say BRAVO! That's not really what I said but my true words, like the Necronomicon, would drive you to madness with a simple glance. Anyway, Schneider's presence made me assume this was a comedy but now I'm not at all sure if this is supposed to be a comedy since these first eight minutes have been utterly devoid of laughs. It opens with Schneider's character, Paul, falling to his death. Admittedly, that would make this the greatest Rob Schneider movie ever made and would make up for the sins he committed in The Animal and Deuce Bigalow but then they puss out and cut to him at home. Was it a dream? A flash-forward? A piece of unused footage that director Schneider failed to even notice was there? Whatever. Paul reacts to his wife leaving him by drunkenly setting his house on fire. Turns out this isn't the first instance of depression getting to him because his boss at the Nissan lot chews him out for not having sold a car in three months. The boss then meets with some bikini models he's hiring for an auto show. They're wearing sarongs and, when he tells them to take them off, he says, "Nothing sarong with that." Please note that was written by a man with three decades of comedy experience. The boss is played by Peter Riegert, a guy who once starred in Local Hero, one of the most delightful movies ever made. Now he's being forced by Auteur Schneider to say lines like, "Nothing sarong with that." Fuck you, Schneider. Seriously, just fuck you.

Hot bikini models don't make this movie any better or less sarong.

0:20:00 -- Oh dear Lord, this is boring. I still honestly don't know if this is supposed to be a comedy. Paul steals a new Nissan hybrid from the showroom floor, drives it through the showroom window and takes it home where he once again tries to commit suicide. Luckily for him, Paul is as good at committing suicide as he is at selling cars and this gives him the chance to open his door and see a lovely young woman named Marissa and her three South American shaman friends who seem to think that he is some sort of divine figure who can heal their land that has been decimated by global warming. They've obviously never seen The Hot Chick. Paul is also lucky that he is under the divine protection of the writer and director because not only did his boss not fire him but he's supposed to meet some higher up at Nissan. I suppose if he's blown up the entire dealership, he would have gotten a promotion and met the CEO.

That bastard Schneider keeps teasing us with images of his brutal death but he never follows through.

0:53:00 -- If it were me, I'd be a tad skeptical if a gorgeous woman and three Columbian shamans showed up at my door saying they thought I was the Chosen One but Paul just rolls with it, lets them stay the night and gives them money for a bus ticket home. When he gets home, his mother and his Buddhist monk brother Neal (Steve Buscemi, further proof that Schneider's true goal here was to ruin the careers of Hollywood's top character actors) stopped by. Paul and Neal don't get along, probably because they are both, to varying degrees, major league assholes. Neal even brings up their father's suicide to their elderly mother but I'm sure he's still an awesome Buddhist monk in all the other areas of his life. To the shock of no one but Paul, Marissa and the shamans show up back at his door. The one running gag here is that Paul constantly mispronounces the name the shamans' tribe which he does again when introducing them. Schneider does not seem to grasp the concept of a joke getting less funny with repeated tellings so I'm sure I'll have to hear him refer to the Arhuaco tribesmen as Apakapos at least three more times. Maybe it will be funny then. Paul went back to work the next day and the South Americans showed up and started doing some sort of ritual on the showroom floor. Marissa grew up in the city so you'd think she would have told them not to do that but she just passively translates while they light incense and start dancing around before Paul finally gets them out. Again, this does not get Paul fired though I suppose now he can do anything he wants as long as it's not driving one of the most expensive cars on the lot through a plate glass window.

"I have no idea why a woman this hot is even talking to me. Oh right, I'm the director."
-- Rob Schneider

1:12:00 -- Paul, in his wisdom, figures the best thing for Colombian shamans to do when far from home is to go to an amusement park. This actually leads to something funny when one of the shamans wins a stuffed kangaroo at the park and adds it to their prayer circle. It wouldn't be that funny normally but in this case it was comparable to giving water to a man who's spent the past few days in the desert. Paul has been having a recurring dream of being in a jungle with a hawk flying overhead. When he sees that same hawk on the news being evicted from its home on the roof of a posh New York City building, the shamans tell him that he must go to New York and save the bird before mating season is over. We also revisit the subplot about Paul, his brother and how they're gigantic asses to their mother but that whole damn segment could have been cut out of the movie so it's not worth mentioning.

Hello, hello, hellooooooo...Hello!

1:40:00 -- For some reason, Paul going to New York and saving these hawks will save the Arhuacos' village. Paul seems like he's up for it but then goes on a drinking binge when his ex-wife says she wants to get back together. This finally shakes the faith that Marissa and the shamans have in him so they declare him Un-Chosen and leave. On the eve of his getting back together with his ex and receiving the Salesman of the Year Award, something I'm sure they give to all the people who don't sell a car for months and drive a car through the showroom window, Paul has a change of heart and runs off to NYC to save the damn hawks. The building has removed the nest and put some chickenwire over the site so they can't rebuild it so Paul steals the remains of the nest from the protesters who were holding onto it and runs into the building. the logical thing to do would have been to take the stair to the roof since the nest site is a perch just below it so naturally Paul climbs out a window two floors below the perch and scales the side of the building. Just in case the audience was feeling too good about this moment of triumph, writer/director Schneider decides to mix together scenes of Paul replacing the nest and flashing back to when he had found his father after he'd hanged himself. It's like he thought, "What would Scorcese do?" and then did the opposite. Anyway, remember that scene in the beginning when Paul was falling off to his death? This is why. His hands slip and he falls 20 stories to the street but, as I'm sure anyone watching (which means just me) predicted, the fire department had set up one of those big inflatable cushions they use to catch jumpers and he lands safely. He goes home then heads off to South America. It ends with him in a jeep driving toward the Arhuacos' now snow covered mountain. What we didn't see was the scene where they said, "Um, yeah, you were chosen to save the hawks and thanks for that. You can go now." Schneider must have cut that out for length reasons. Whatever. At least the movie's over.

This is basically me giving this movie the bird.
I shouldn't do that as this was the only interesting character.


Anonymous said...

I have looked so hard, who is the middle "bikini model" ? If anyone could find out and let me know, please post up!

Michael Clear said...

It's weird that IMDB lists the names of the models on the right and left but not the one in the middle. Sorry, that was all I could think of doing.