The [Ninja Turtles] henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.

- xkcd

Monday, January 01, 2007

I Love 'High-Concept' Comedies

This past weekend I was going through and rating more movies for my Blockbuster Online service and trying to find ones to add to my queue (Side note: I rented 3:10 to Yuma and that movie was friggin' great!). I've now rated 457 movies. I know there are more in there to rate but man their website is more trouble than necessary sometimes.

Anyway, while looking for movies, I decided to check out Will Ferrell's filmography to see if there was something that I hadn't yet seen him in (besides Night at the Roxbury). It was during this that I came across the synopsis for an upcoming movie of Jon Heder, Will Arnett (GOB from Arrested Development), and his called Blades of Glory:
Will Ferrell, John Heder, and Will Arnett headline this high concept comedy concerning two male figure skating rivals aching to compete despite having been banned from the sport as a result of a nasty row at the 2002 Winter Olympics. When they discover a loophole that will allow them to perform together in the pairs figure skating category, they determine to put their differences aside for the sake or their gold medal aspirations.
After reading that description, I know exactly how this movie is going to go (and it will be awesome!). But it also made me wonder about high-concept comedies. How well do they work when you already know the joke? How long will his humor going to be able to support projects like this? Is Will Ferrell going to end up like Jim Carrey? Eventually you just start avoiding his movies because they're all the same (like, say, Adam Sandler) or will he take a break and try to do 'serious' movies to get that Oscar?

Furthermore, how do you take a high concept story like Dodgeball, Anchorman, or any other movie in that vein and manage to make the actual presentation humorous. I'd imagine it would be on one level presenting the viewer with what they're expecting (show the bits from the trailer dammit!) and then on another level surprising them with things subtle or unexpected jokes (add something in the end that you didn't show in the trailer!).

I'm sure the new interaction between Will Arnett and Will Ferrell will be great and I'm hoping Heder can put up a reasonable presence, but it's kind of like just partnering Bruce Willis with different people. Eventually there are only so many ways he can respond. I'm already imaging that Will Ferrell's character will be similar to that of 'Mugatu' as portrayed in Zoolander.

Still, I guess I'll have to mark this one on the calendar. If it's any good you know it'll be opening in late July. If it gets pushed to September then you'll know they somehow managed to screw it up and you should probably just stay home. And if it's coming out in November ... it could be Oscar material.

[BONUS extra]
The IMDb page for Blades of Glory lists Craig T. Nelson as the character named 'Coach', that William Fichtner is in the movie, and that at some point someone gets taken hostage.


At 1/02/2007 10:16 AM, Blogger Chuckles said...

Will Ferrel is already Adam Sandler, he just has yet to wear out the funny.

Although, WF has an ability to portray accidental assholeness which, I suppose, is his only redeeming difference. AS couldn't effectively play a nice guy, it felt insincere.

At 1/02/2007 3:09 PM, Blogger dontEATnachos said...

well, Adam Sandler's humor is based on good natured smart ass who hilariously beats the crap out of people.

Will Ferrell doesn't ever actually beat anyone up which makes his characters more likable I suppose.

I think what makes Will Ferrell more interesting though is that it's about his interaction with other characters (like Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell in Anchorman, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn in Old School, or John C. Reilly and Gary Cole in Talladega Nights).

At 1/03/2007 8:52 AM, Blogger Chuckles said...

I don't know if you have seen Melinda & Melinda, dEn, but I have yet to sit through it as well. It is a Woody Allen movie, but I don't think he is actually in it...I hope not.

You are also right about Will Ferrel in that he is wearing out his mjo slower because he is bouying himself with generally excellent supporting casts unlike Sandler who tried too hard to make it all about him all the damn time. Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison were fine, but Mr. Deeds/8 Crazy Nights/Big Daddy/Litte Nicky/The Waterboy were insffuciently supported. Also the writing of most of them was just irritating.

At 1/04/2007 8:33 AM, Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

Melinda and Melinda? AG has never heard of this one.

At 1/04/2007 7:31 PM, Blogger teh l4m3 said...

I am so going to watch this.

At 2/11/2007 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
Join me and my circle of friends at, an online social networking community that connects people from all over the world.

Meet new people, share photos, create or attend events, post free classifieds, send free e-cards, listen music, read blogs, upload videos, be part of a club, chat rooms, forum and much more!

See you around! Bring all your friends too!


Post a Comment