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Old 5th February 2004, 11:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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3001

Directed by Mike Judge, '3001' is a 20th Century Fox comedy about a man who goes to sleep and wakes up 1,000 years in the future. It sounds a lot like Woody Allen's 'Sleeper' to me, but that's okay as I still like that.

Written by Mike Judge and Etan Cohen, '3001' is the story of Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson), an average American who is selected for a top-secret hibernation program. When he wakes up he discovers that people have become so stupid he is now the most intelligent person alive.

Shooting is scheduled to start in mid-April 2004.
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Old 6th February 2004, 12:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 3001

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Originally posted by Dave
When he wakes up he discovers that people have become so stupid he is now the most intelligent person alive.
.
Also reminds me of that episode of Futurama in which everyone gets really dumb and Fry is the smartest man left to try and outwit the alien invaders.

Interesting that the rights to this title weren't snapped up by someone after Arthur C Clarke wrote the third sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
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Old 4th February 2010, 03:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Idiocracy (2006)

In 2005, Corporal Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), a US Army librarian graphed as the Army's "most average" soldier, and Rita (Maya Rudolph), a prostitute terrified of her pimp, U-p-g-r-a-y-e-d-d (pronounced: upgrade, two D's for "a double-dose of this pimping"), are guinea pigs in a secret, year-long, military hibernation project. They are sealed in their hibernation chambers, to be awakened a year later, but the experiment is forgotten when the officer in charge, Lieutenant Colonel Collins (Michael McCafferty), is arrested for having started his own prostitution ring under the tutelage of Upgrayedd. The military base is demolished, and a fast food store built on the site.

They re-emerge in the year 2505 when rubbish mountain avalanches uncover their hibernation pods. The dystopian future is one in which stupid people have out-bred the intelligent. The most popular TV programme is 'Ow! My Balls!' in which a man is repeatedly whacked in the genitals, the Oscar winning film is called 'Ass' and has no story, just film of someone's nether regions.

I just watched this on Film4 but I didn't see any reviews of it here, except a comment by JD in another thread. He didn't much care for it, and I suspect he is not alone in that:
Quote:
Originally Posted by j. d. worthington View Post
...Idiocracy (which is a blatant -- and awful -- ripoff of C. M. Kornbluth's "The Marching Morons") continues to be put out there in the name of the genre. Good lord, at least the 1950s sf films didn't claim anything high for themselves; they were popcorn films from the beginning... and still some of them attained greater heights of genuine resonance than the nonsense that's put out there since at least the late 1970s in the genre...
I do see JD's point of view, but in it's defence, I don't think Idiocracy has made any high claims, and I believe it does add more to the story idea. The cultural elite has now become extinct, everyone is now stupid, the decaying society is kept going by old machines, and the government is actually run on behalf of a few mega-corporations. However, the story-line doesn't really have enough to fill the whole film.

I'm still more inclined to agree with this reviewer from Film4/reviews:
Quote:
Abandoned without previews or marketing in the US and sent straight to DVD in the UK, Idiocracy has been treated as someone with fingerless mittens would handle raw sewage.

Incredibly, this is the second time writer-director Mike Judge has been dumped this way. In 1999, despite his track record with 'Beavis And Butt-Head' Judge's debut feature Office Space was similarly ditched. Deservedly, it went on to become a word-of-mouth cult hit and Judge must hope the same fate awaits Idiocracy.

Given that the film sends up what happens when the morons take over, and the fact that it was released in the month that major studios see fit to champion dross like Norbit, it's tempting to imagine that Judge hasn't made a futuristic satire at all, but a slice-of-life docudrama.

Those who cast Idiocracy aside would argue - correctly - that it's blunt, crass, wildly uneven and struggles to fill its 84 minutes. What this overlooks is that it's also stuffed with inspired sight gags, one-liners and more genuine comic insight than the collected works of Adam Sandler and Martin Lawrence combined. Like Office Space, it's actually about something, namely the dumbing down of modern life.
It is very crude and very crass, and I guess that is what you might expect from the creator of Beavis and Butt-Head but as a satire there were some pieces that were spot on target, and some very funny pieces - the idea that, even at the end, the most intelligent man in the world still thought the prostitute was an artist. Considering some of the recent poor films made, it did not deserve to go straight to DVD in the UK. I would recommend seeing it before dismissing it.

There was some genuine creativity here, and I'd rather this was being made than the alternative, as Film4 put it:
Quote:
Next up: the Wayans brothers get funding for their big-screen version of 'Ow! My Balls!'
As for ripping-off earlier work, as far as I am aware The Marching Morons was not filmed (though that is most likely JD's gripe!) However, one of my favourite films, Woody Allen's Sleeper uses the exact same 'suspended animation by botched surgery' idea from the book, which instead becomes an Army experiment in Idiocracy. And, a film that does make high claims for itself, Disney's Wall-E does blatantly rip-off Idiocracy both in the stupid people and the rubbish piles.
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Old 4th February 2010, 05:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Idiocracy (2006)

I rather quite like the movie. I've seen it a half dozen times and whilst it's got it's flaws it's an enjoyable and humourous satire.

But then I don't think I've disliked anything that I've seen by Mike Judge
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Old 4th February 2010, 05:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Idiocracy (2006)

I've never even heard of it. I may keep an eye open. I must confess that i do sometimes enjoy the abserd.
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Old 4th February 2010, 09:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Idiocracy (2006)

Actually, my gripe (from watching a fair chunk of this film) is that "The Marching Morons" was filmed, but completely butchered, and without credit. There are just far, far too many similarities here for it to be coincidence -- things which extend 'waaaay beyond the basic setup into specific situations, comments, reactions, and the like; and the entire thing flopped for me as a satire because it wasn't sharp, it was itself about as subtle and witty as an elephant taking... well, I'll leave the rest of that simile unspoken, lest I manage to get myself an infraction.

Suffice to say that, whether admitted or not, this was Kornbluth's story, only bastardized to a hideous degree. That is what ticks me off: the lack of any genuine wit and, even more importantly, the complete disregard for crediting the original source -- which is itself a much-reprinted and well-known piece of classic science fiction! Idiocracy may be about the dumbing down of society, but it strikes me that, in doing this latter, the makers of the film are not so much satirizing as capitalizing on that condition....
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Old 4th February 2010, 09:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Idiocracy (2006)

I don't disagree with anything you say, only that I've seen much worse (I've seen 'Morons from Outer Space'.) And you have to appreciate that in the UK this went straight to DVD, so someone didn't think it even deserved a cinematic release here. It wasn't that bad. I just feel someone should stick up for it. It gets enough stick already.

They certainly ought to have credited Kornbluth, but they probably thought that -
Quote:
Originally Posted by j. d. worthington View Post
...this was Kornbluth's story, only bastardized to a hideous degree...
- such a degree as being unrecognisable to anyone.

Quote:
Idiocracy may be about the dumbing down of society, but it strikes me that, in doing this latter, the makers of the film are not so much satirizing as capitalizing on that condition....
Yes, again I can't disagree with you there, the ending almost celebrated it. I didn't watch after the credits, but it apparently shows the Pimp arriving in his own hibernation pod. That makes little sense when you examine it closely.

And what about Wall-E - don't you think that is as much a rip-off as both? Considering that won the Best Animated Feature of the Year Oscar.
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Old 5th February 2010, 04:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Idiocracy (2006)

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And what about Wall-E - don't you think that is as much a rip-off as both? Considering that won the Best Animated Feature of the Year Oscar.
That one I've not seen, so I really can't comment on it. However, if what you are saying is accurate... then I don't think it's going to even make it on my "to see" list, let alone get anywhere near the top.....
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Old 5th February 2010, 07:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Idiocracy (2006)

I was told by a couple of people "Oh, you have to see this". So I "tried" to watch it. I didn't find anything, be it sight gags or anything else inspired in it. It was slow, trite (yes trite) and oddly self congratulatory. I won't call it "silly" as it was striving for silly and didn't manage it. I'd advise avoiding this thing like the plague. Of course if it's on "regular TV" it won't cost anything extra, but it will still be almost an hour and a half of your life you'll never get back....more with commercials.
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