Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The above still promises so much more than the movie ever delivers.

[NOTE: This is where the blogger gives himself a strict 10 minutes to rattle off whatever about a movie he just saw that he doesn't feel deserves a thoughtful edited review but still feels the need to feed the animals anyway. Quality is of no concern.]

I hate this movie. I hated this movie. How can I have end up hating something so much that contained so many people I liked? Maybe it was an elaborate prank for Ricky Gervais to come to the states and make a terrible movie here with a bunch of famous comedians the way a bunch of famous comedians took his great BBC show and made it into some crap sitcom on Thursday nights. But The Invention of Lying is so mean and smarmy and meeeeeh and nasty and terribly made that I think Gervais may have spent the last of any Hollywood capital that he had. Heck, he's good at directing half hour TV shows, but he's abysmal at making a feature length film. Another example of why the two forms differ quite a bit. So, what's this all about anyways? I ran into a buddy at teh gym that told me The Invention of Lying was "anti-religious", so I had that in my head as I went into the theater. Well, it definitely is. Maybe more accurately anti-Christian than religion as a whole. I mean, two Pizza Hut boxes are stand ins for the Ten Commandment tablets. And look, I'm a non-believer, a former Catholic that just doesn't buy it anymore, but I still don't care for snoots running around acting like they are smarter than the lads behind them just because that lad believes he's going to heaven. There's a way to be critical and comedic about religion and still be not such a prick. So, is The Invention of Lying arguing that our society would function better if we all indeed spoke our minds and never uttered a falsehood? Because, in the end, even though lying is bad and religion is lying and everyone else in the world except Ricky Gervais and his kid are dimwits, well, he still ends up as the king of the hill with the hot housewife making him supper in a mansion with tons of money. So, he gets his egotistical superiority and the babe with the toned calves. He even makes her serve him while she's about to burst with a baby. What a punk. But seriously, the sweetest moments this movie contains are based on the reality of bending the truth to either spare someone's feelings or prop them up. But, if as were led to believe in the end, that that's all bullshit, then what the fuck?!?! Is this then the most cyncical, misanthropic, spiteful film to ever hit the megaplexes?? Ricky Gervais... what the hell are you doing?? My guess is that the message is mixed and comes out with a bitter face because, well, comics are bitter, but also because this is a half idea that got the money to be made into a movie. It's really annoying too. The hole gag/hook of the film starts to grate about 10 minutes in and when Garner and Gervais are at a dinner table and the cute Martin Starr walks up and even HE is irritating, well, it's time to leave. Of course, I didn't leave, because I never leave. I don't give up.


Slayton said...

re: 'giving up'... I've been having a crisis of conscience lately. until about halfway through this year i never gave up on bad films. i even watched the barbarian invasions all the way through even though it made me want to gouge my eyes out, as well as the eyes of everyone involved in the production. i even watched roberta torre's angela even though it was the slowest, least interesting and least artful movie i've seen from this decade. i watched it in two parts over two days, but i watched in. same with jia's still life, which i must admit i'm a bit ashamed i didn't like.

but lately, i've given up on two awful movies - one halfway through, one after 20 minutes - 'wilbur wants to kill himself' and 'soft fruit'.

i guess i've just lost my resolve... but still i feel a bit ashamed of myself, as usually i believe a film has at least one good element that is worth sticking it out for. here's hoping some of your strength of will can rub off on me!

Marilyn said...

"The babe with toned calves." I LOVE that, Fox.

I miss you, guys. I wish the CIFF were over already. Come over and keep me company. I'm lonely.

Fox said...

Come over and keep me company. I'm lonely.


You mean travel to Chicago??? Oh... you probably just mean FOF.

I haven't been around lately either. I feel out of the loop, the GregBillMarilynPatRickEdPiperetc. loop. But it's because I just simply don't have the free time at work like I used to.

I'm looking forward to TOERIFC on Monday though. I'm trying to clear stuff so I have plenty of time that day to play.

Fox said...


I am proud to say I haven't left a film, or returned a film that I didn't make it all the way through. Now, sometimes I bug out and daydream through something that is killing me, but at least my eyes are on the screen.

I have trouble with Jia Zhangke's (sp?) stuff too. Also Hou Hsiao-Hsien. I like meditative, but sometimes films by those two guys just kind of drill a tunnel right through my skull. At the same time, I've enjoyed films by both of them, so.

Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself and Soft Fruit? Don't even know what those are, but the first one sounds like a really depressing sequel to Charlotte's Web.

P.S. I think I may look for Maelstrom at the video store tonight.

Fox said...

Actually... that above comment is false. I have (and did so recently) returned movies that I didn't watch completely. I was thinking of Netflix, which, then, I always finish it because, well, no due dates! But as for video stores, yes, most definitely I half-watch stuff and then return it.

But, in the theater??? NEVER! Not once!!!

Slayton said...

I've never walked out of the theatre before. I've been forced to leave once (by the parents of a kid I was watching a movie with when I was 12 or something) from a screening of "Anger Management". No great loss.

I don't like or understand Jia. I quite like Hou, though. I might revisit some Jia in a year or so.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Ricky Gervais is an abomination, a loathsome, hideous monstrosity. He is a ludicrous embarressment to himself and the rest of humanity and he must be destroyed with malice-a-fore-thought an extreme prejudice.

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