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David Poland

By David Poland

DP/30: The Hangover, Part II, dir Todd Phillips

mp3 of the interview

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98 Responses to “DP/30: The Hangover, Part II, dir Todd Phillips”

  1. Winning says:

    We have a winner for best DP30 ever. He’s so aggressive and brutally honest with you Dave that I’m almost surprised you posted the interview. So many killer lines but the best of all is the very end when he thinks the interview is over. Ha!! Kudos for your honesty DP and kudos to Phillips for being so real. Loved it.

  2. Hopscotch says:

    The ending is the best part.

    Good sport, DP. Good sport.

  3. Ironically, he is almost right at the 9 minute mark. Bourne Ultimatum (Bourne 3) is basically a dumbed-down remake of Bourne Supremacy (Bourne 2). That Phillips seems to understand what made the movie work (which isn’t always the case) makes me a little more optimistic for tomorrow night’s screening.

  4. christian says:

    “You might be the worst box-office prognosticator on the planet Earth…” – EPIC WIN by TP.

  5. jesse says:

    I’ll stand up as one of the four people who also thinks that Land of the Lost is a better movie than The Hangover. It’s funnier, weirder, and less predictable.

  6. General Butt Fucking Naked says:

    He has pretty good timing, but Phillips definitely comes off like a major asshole.

  7. brack says:

    Great interview, Todd is hilarious. David is a great sport.

  8. LexG says:

    This guy is GOD. He’s so awesome and cutting and hardcore in interviews, it almost makes me wish his movies were just SLIGHTLY better. Because he’s a riot and has this intimidating-asshole personality where it seems like he should be directing Cameron/Scott/Mann/Stone type chaos instead of just comedy.

    Is he kind of the first big-time power director since Landis to come off as an awesome blowhard with real cinematic chops in the comedy genre? I’m not the first to say this, but unlike, er, everybody else who’s directed comedy since Landis/Reitman/Ramis, at least Phillips’ comedies look like real movies.

  9. jennab says:

    TP old SCHOOLED you, DP, and you’re a good sport for posting! Great interview! Looks good, too. I know I’m not the first to ask for some specs, e.g., camera, lens, lighting, etc.

    BTW, most 1st-time directors do a preponderance of singles ‘cuz there’s no budget for the larger lighting kit necessary for longer/wider shots. 🙂

  10. Triple Option says:

    That was one of your more fluid DP-30s. As he was mentioning it didn’t seem like a typical junket type of interview.

    There are some movies that I want to make sure I see on a big screen, this is one that I want to see with a highly anticipative late night crowd.

  11. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Someone’s been listening too much to Book of Mormon.

  12. sissi212 says:

    This was such an amazing interview- Todd Phillips is on fire and David was a gracious host- Really impressive.

  13. LYT says:

    Fun interview. Nice that David cuts it precisely when Todd inadvertently utters the tagline to part one.

  14. Dean says:

    is the original DP/30 for the firsts Hangover still online? I can’t find the sucker.

  15. sanj says:

    The Hangover dir Todd Phillips DP30

  16. GradyTripp says:

    I want to hear his thoughts on your website design.
    Great interview, didn’t sound like a typical bullshit interview.
    Good work DP.

  17. chris says:

    “What’s the line?” I suspect in very short order we’ll learn that the final image — the parody of the shocking Vietnam War image — will turn out to be on or over that line.

  18. sanj says:

    this dp/30 needed an extra 10 minutes – could have talked about a dozen different topics about movies..

  19. jesse says:

    OK, not to keep ragging on Phillips, because this was an entertaining interview and I watched/listened to the whole thing at work even though I’m no huge fan of the guy, just to hear his relative candor… but come on. Just because the cinematography on his movies is marginally better than a lot of other comedies, suddenly he’s considered the cut-above guy? Apatow, Adam McKay, and David Gordon Green are all much better comedy directors (to say nothing of Greg Mottola or Edgar Wright, since they aren’t always working in broad-comedy mode), not just in terms of making their movies look like “real movies” (although all of them do this — 40YO Virgin has a slightly sitcommy feel to it, but Funny People is a great-looking comedy with that unnecessary but very nice Kaminski cinematography)… but in terms of the way scenes flow into one another, the way the jokes are paced and framed. Phillips is constantly blowing his set-up with a rushed pay-off; his movies look nice but the editing turns them into episodic jumbles. He talks a good game about the “comic mystery” aspect of The Hangover, and I agree, that’s a great engine for a movie. Problem is, his movie is too lazy to use it! There’s barely a sense of piecing things together; it’s mostly just the guys stumbling into half-baked comic vignettes. Some of it, granted, is pretty funny, but it doesn’t reach any kind of fever pitch. Just sort of wanders around. Pineapple Express, for example, SEEMS like it would be just as hazy and wandering, and I guess a lot of people feel like it is, but that movie has way more character development, atmosphere, and satirical payoff than anything Phillips has done. I haven’t seen The Hangover since it came out, but isn’t the final piece of the puzzle just one of the guys going through his pockets again and finding a clue he missed before?? Or something to that effect? It’s because Phillips and his buddies are too lazy to write an actual mystery with any kind of escalation. They do something outrageous and it sort of defuses and moves on.

    I’ve had this problem with him since Old School (and only because I didn’t see Road Trip until DVD and didn’t really pay it much mind), which I was really anticipating from the trailers. But so much stuff in that movie doesn’t pay off with any kind of cleverness or
    Vaughn and Ferrell are hilarious in it, yes, but they can be hilarious in all kinds of junk. Like that scene where Ferrell gets hit with the tranquilizer… it kinda comes from nowhere, rushes into him getting hit, and then… cuts away. No kind of follow-up or extended payoff or anything. Clumsy.

    To my mind, his best movie is Starsky & Hutch, simply because the cop-show format gives the movie a little more structure, and he doesn’t feel the need to have a straight man; it’s just a lot of Stiller/Wilson riffing, which is preferable to the comic non-stylings of Bradley Cooper (oh, wait, was it supposed to count as a joke that he says “faggot”?) or Luke Wilson (who has been funny in lots of other movies, but barely has an amusing moment in Old School). S&H is his only movie where set pieces play out instead of just dissipating into the next connective scene.

    And yeah, he comes off as kind of a sour guy in this interview. Amusingly so, but still, kind of an arrogant, whatever, fuck you if you don’t think this is funny… like kind of a stand-up comic mentality, only he doesn’t really have a strong stand-up-style point of view in his work; for all of the great directors who get charged with looking down on their characters, people seem to ignore Phillips, whose basic attitude seems to be: look at these fucking jerks, ha ha. That comes off in his interviews: he’s someone who would surely tell you that if you don’t think his movie is funny, you’re just not getting it. Someone who thinks a halfway decent eye makes him untouchable — just what we need, the Michael Bay of comedy.

  20. christian says:

    Can’t argue with that.

  21. Proman says:

    Can we please have Todd take on Jeff Wells next? Please?

  22. Chris, if your above comment is as much of a spoiler as I think it is (there are two such images that come immediately to mind), consider me a bit annoyed. Am seeing the film tomorrow night and up-to-now knew nothing but the first trailer. A spoiler warning would have been in order. That is all.

  23. Eric says:

    David, how about an MP3 of this one?

  24. chris says:

    No spoiler warning because nothing was spoiled, Scott. It’s a random moment unrelated to the story, such as it is, and I didn’t identify the image, in any case.

  25. David Poland says:

    Up there now, Eric.

  26. David Poland says:

    However, Scott and Chris, Ebert does… very specifically.

  27. leahnz says:

    having just seen ‘hangover: i think they were speaking…aaaasian’, this calls to mind an interview i saw with badham re: ‘another stakeout’ in which he talks about how much fun they had during the shoot and how keen he was for people to see the movie (i wonder if TP – i wonder if people actually call him that, somehow fitting – thinks drinking (warm?) white wine out of a paper cup makes him look like a rebel)

  28. chris says:

    Just for fun, I’m going to try to parse that: Are you saying fun on the set does not necessarily translate to fun for the audience?

  29. DiscoNap says:

    This is so godly. He’s like a better Ben Stiller.

  30. Geoff says:

    Jesse, strong comments above and I somewhat agree – I think Old School could have been MUCH funnier with some crisper editing and pacing. And I would that Starsky and Hutch was really his strongest film – that movie is actually pretty underrated and I think there are some scenes that absolutely kill: the whole sequence where Will Ferrell plays the convict who gets Stiller and Wilson to act like “two dragons”….Afternoon Delight is playing and you see them driving the car, afterwards. Really a masterclass in comedy – I liked The Hangover, but nothing in it is as funny as that scene.

    That said, Philips DOES make tighter films than McKay and Apatow – he’s gotten better at pacing even Due Date didn’t wear out its welcome like even the best Apatow and McKay comedies.

  31. sanj says:

    DP – you missed out – you could have given him a dozen DP/30’s so he could come back and comment on them…

  32. jesse says:

    Geoff, I also love the S&H bit with the knife-throwing kid. “THROW MORE KNIVES… ALL OF THE TIME!!” Also made me laugh harder than anything in The Hangover or Old School.

    But I don’t know, I’ve never really gotten the “overstaying their welcome” thing that everyone levels against McKay or Apatow. Of McKay’s four theatrical releases, two are in the 95-minute range and two are in the 105-minute range. The Hangover, for example, is right in the middle of those ranges at 99 minutes. There are longer DVD cuts of McKay’s movies, but I think the official versions show more than enough discipline, and the improv runs in those movies are some of their most famous or successful scenes. And Apatow, I dunno, post-40YO Virgin he’s been making more comedy-dramas and I don’t see any problems with them passing the two-hour mark (and Knocked Up just barely does; Funny People is long, but it’s also more complex and more serious than the other two). Felt the same way about Bridesmaids: I appreciated the time spent with the characters. I can sit through a two-hour comedy if it’s funny and I like the characters.

  33. jesse says:

    Oh, and I actually kind of liked Due Date — thought it was a better-made movie than most of Phillips’ work (save S&H), and more focused since it only had the two characters (also, less actively misogynist and more vaguely uninterested in women, which is apparently as good as you can get with Phillips).

  34. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Jesse I agree with almost everything you say about Phillips except Due Date, which I found to be 95 excruciating and painfully unfunny minutes I’ll never get back. While far from great movies, I think S&H and Old School are both much funnier than The Hangover, which has its moments but not nearly enough of them. I’ll take McKay and Apatow any day over Phillips.

  35. Eds says:

    I also was kinda amused by Due Date.

    Starsky and Hutch is, for me, the FAR worst of the bunch. At the Easy Rider parody moment, is when I clicked off

  36. The Big Perm says:

    Todd Phillips seems to make comedies that are raunchy but old ladies can still enjoy them. I think he’s sort of boring. I don’t even hate his movies, I just don’t tend to laugh at them. I do think the charge against him leveled above from someone is why…his pace is so fast there’s not time to really get good humor out of the situations…and the jokes aren’t really funny enough that it works like, say, a show like Parks and Rec or Community. So it’s just a wash of mush. I’ll take any day an Apatow comedy/drama, and I couldnt imagine a shorter cut of 40 Year Old Virgin that would take out scenes like the “I know you’re gay,” bit. Sure you could cut it for pacing but why would you want to?

  37. jesse says:

    Phillips, at least in interviews, seems not too far removed from the Downey character in Due Date — funny but a genuine jerk, not a wisecracking, likable sort of dude. And I liked how actually nasty Downey was allowed to be in that movie, even though the movie itself had plenty of shagginess.

  38. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    I agree that Phillips comes across similar to Downey in Due Date. The fact that Downey was so nasty in it made it impossible for me to want to spend time with him or care about what happened to him. I just wanted it to be over. And holy shit Galifianakis is just completely unbearable.

  39. Eric says:

    Thanks for the audio version David! Looking forward to hearing it.

  40. anghus says:

    i like this guy. good interview, very honest.

  41. Apologies to Chris, if needed/requested. And thanks for the tip, DP. Ebert’s spoiler-happy tendencies have increased over the last few years. Sure, he’s always been prone to randomly spoiling climactic moments (Dark Knight, True Lies, Frequency), but his “I’ll reveal this without warning because it offends me” bit has gotten to be a nearly regular occurrence (Super was the most obvious recent example). Sadly, it’s gotten to a point where I no longer read Ebert’s actual film reviews prior to seeing a given movie.

  42. yancyskancy says:

    Like jesse and Perm, I don’t get the “overlong” knock on Apatow either. In general, I think the kind of comedy that suffers when stretched too far is the kind that relies more on gags and slapstick than character. As long as I’m into the characters and laughing with some frequency, I’m in for the long(ish) haul.

  43. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    I didn’t find 40YOV overlong, but Funny People and Knocked Up could have been trimmed a touch. I like them, but 2+ hours is a bit much for those movies.

  44. jennab says:

    Ya know, was just thinking, I can’t believe you told Phillips TO HIS FACE that Lost was better than HO1! I mean, that’s like someone seeing your kid and going, m’eh, I’ve seen cuter, but have you seen McWeeny’s kids, Toshi or Yoshi, or whatever, he is ADORABLE, or Voynar, she’s got, like, what…10 of ’em, and any given Voynar, yeah, cuter than your kid.

    I mean, really. You deserved the spanking.

    *above example for illustrative purposes only; Cameron Poland actually very cute kid

  45. christian says:

    What’s funny is that if any of THB comments would have taken DP to task, he would have written a long defensive post – but when Phillips calls him out, DP giggles and doesn’t have a response at all. But Poland’s a good sport for running the interview as is.

  46. LexG says:

    Edgar Wright (mentioned up thread) is a TERRIBLE, terrible director, not fit to shine Todd Phillips’s shoes.

    I don’t care how many of you guys he “friends” on Facebook and Twitter or how well he works his drooling fanboys on the L.A. rep house scene: His visual palette is ugly, his sense of humor is genteel, dorky British bullshit.

    It is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING how, more than anyone before him, this guy has pulled the wool over on the entire critical community, who are just so flattered to have even a C-level director chumming about with them on the Internet.

  47. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    I’m with you on Wright Lex. While Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are mostly enjoyable, Scott Pilgrim is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in recent years. His direction was as grating as the characters.

  48. Hopscotch says:

    Anyone see School For Scoundrels? Todd Philips, supposed, misfire. I’m thinking about netflixing it, but if its bad-bad I won’t bother.

  49. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    It’s pretty awful.

  50. jesse says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s that much worse than Road Trip

    Lex, get over the fanboy/Facebook/whatever bullshit. I don’t follow Edgar Wright on Twitter. He’s not my favorite director working. I doubt I would freak out were I to have a conversation with him. I doubt, in fact, that I’ll ever have a conversation with him. I don’t go to L.A. rep houses and I sure as shit don’t worship eighties kitsch. I live in New York. He’s not my personal geek hero. And he’s a far better director than Phillips.

    Palette isn’t directing (although I’d rather look at Scott Pilgrim than any of the Phillips movies). We’re talking comedy directors, so how about framing a sight gag beyond: “and then a dude is naked which is inherently hilarious.” How about shots more arresting than “a bunch of guys looking burnt out while sitting on a bench, or walking in slow-motion because slow-motion is inherently funny”? Hot Fuzz in particular depends so much on the directing for its humor; the script probably isn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but the visual scheme makes it work. The short cameo performances in Scott Pilgrim run rings around most of the Todd Phillips style walk-on (though, regarding School for Scoundrels, Stiller is pretty funny in a small role there).

    If anything, it’s Frost and Pegg who I feel get mistakenly tagged as comic GENIUSES when they’re actually just affable, amusing fellows. And I liked Paul a lot; I just don’t find either of those guys inherently comic the way that Will Ferrell has a strong comic personality (or range of personalities) and a true gift.

  51. LexG says:

    I liked PAUL a *lot* better than Shaun or Hot Fuzz. And I consider Scott Pilgrim to be the single, absolute worst movie ever made.

    In Hot Fuzz, yes, he’s TRYING to do big, parodying camera moves and aping angles from Point Break and whatever… but that DEPRESSING “all powder blue, all the time” palette really sinks it, and the whole thing just looks so BRITISH, it doesn’t work for me.

  52. Not David Bordwell says:

    jesse, LexG can tell which studio made a film just on the basis of color-timing in a trailer. Of COURSE a movie’s palette is gonna make or break a film for him.

    But Greg Mottola directed PAUL, not Edgar Wright. And PAUL has the same DP, Lawrence Sher, as the HANGOVER movies and DUE DATE.

    Different DPs on both SHAUN and HOT FUZZ. How much of a movie’s palette is up to the DP and not the director, though? Do most working directors care as long as they’ve chosen a competent cinematographer? Aren’t a lot of directors overrated because the look of their films is actually a signature of the DP?

    Seriously wondering.

  53. palmtree says:

    Whatever Edgar Wright’s film accomplishments may or may not be, SPACED was a great series, even if it is BRITISH.

  54. leahnz says:

    christian: exactly (and there’s a word for it)

  55. The Big Perm says:

    Edgar Wright is ten times the director Phillips is, and I bet if Phillips were honest he’d admit that. And I say that not even because I loved Scott Pilgrim (which I didn’t really) and I’ve never met the guy nor am I Facebook or Twitter friends with him.

    Edgar Wright could direct a genuien action movie or whatever he wants and it would turn out well, Phillips basically needs to stick with what he does. And come on, Starsky and Hutch was about the flattest looking comedy I can remember in quite some time. Phillips ain’t terrible, but neither is he that great.

  56. christian says:

    Anybody could do STARSKY & HUTCH – few could do SHAUN OF THE DEAD. Or even his brilliant trailer DON’T! for GRINDHOUSE.

  57. LexG says:

    “Don’t” is pretty good. It’s also two minutes long.

    I don’t even dislike “Shaun” or “Hot Fuzz”; They’re a little too “British” for my sensibilities but they’re amusing enough that I’ve seen them each multiple times. I do hate “Scott Pilgrim.” But skills-wise he’s closer to Kevin Smith (or Rodriguez) than his buddy Tarantino.

    Where Todd Phillips is the Michael Mann of Comedy.

  58. leahnz says:

    one could argue that edgar wright is not only a better director than phillips, but a superior writer as well, with more flair, imagination, daring and individuality. phillips writing is mediocre/standard at best (he didn’t write ‘the hangover’, and his screenplay for ‘hangover II’ is an embarrassment from a writing perspective, cut n paste + added stink)

  59. LexG says:

    Phillips look at him bow.

  60. leahnz says:

    also, pegg has collaborated w/wright on several occasions for screenwriting duties, so pegg’s influence goes well beyond just the on-screen comedic chops

  61. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    If I was Pegg I would burn all copies of this

  62. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Think SPACED is cute, enjoy SHAUN, think FUZZ is indulgent, long and not as clever as it thinks it is. PILGRIM is a misfire and just an uninteresting and poor film. It appears to be made for the older comic/web/gamers crowd only, where discerning taste is as rare as a hymen near Ron Jeremy. Unfortunately I think Wright has been elevated into the cinemastratosphere of the big guns but his best work may always be with the small character nuance stuff. He seems to not possess the skills necessary to deliver the type of blockbuster films he’s supposedly been targeted to make.

  63. LexG says:

    How to Lose Friends… is excellent.

    Dunst + The Fox = LOOK. AT. THEM.

  64. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Lex have you actually seen it? The film is a masterpiece of non-funny. Not one scene works. Pegg is woefully miscast. Not even Izzard shot through a midget balding filter as Toby Young would have worked. An absolute cringe inducing embarrassment and I even liked the book.

  65. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    ps – I’m astounded that anyone thinks Phillips comes off looking like an asshole in this interview. He’s good natured and playful. I wish DP had not cut the criticism of the fugly sites transformation which looks like someone forced a dyslexic colorblind programmer to finish it in 4hrs.

  66. LexG says:

    I did see it; Not having been a particular huge fan of the Wright movies, I was surprised in finding Pegg to be pretty disarming as a lead, unrealistic though it might be that Dunst would be his love interest. I don’t remember jumping up and down in hysterics at anything, just that it was good-natured and fairly mild, and that Fox is hot in her few minutes of screen time. It was completely forgettable, as I don’t remember much about it except a blur of Pegg dicking around Bridges’ office, a 45-minute mid-movie stretch that’s set in an apartment, and the Fox wading through a pool. But it passed the time. Hardly anything to get offended by.

  67. anghus says:

    You know, this is an odd discussion.

    Todd Phillips and Edgar Wright are very different directors. Edgar Wright is excellent at making very earnest comedies and makes very complete films. From start to finish Edgar Wright makes very tightly wound, precise, stories.

    Todd Phillips makes very good looking comedies and is great at setting up and executing a joke. Edgar Wright isn’t a gag man. Todd Phillips is a gag man. You can quote Todd Phillips films because there’s funny lines and scenes, memorable comedic moments that he builds into his films. Edgar Wright doesn’t do that.

    Shaun of the Dead, Hott Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim…. these are character based comedies heavily drenched in reference and homage, directed with a kinetic style, edited and cut together with an almost breakneck speed.

    Old School, The Hangover, Due Date… these are classic American style comedies. Situational, gag based comedies. The pace is less frantic, more beat by beat.

    apples and oranges. i like edgar wright’s movies. i like todd phillips movies. they are very different directors and make very different movies.

    jeffery, i agree with you. i don’t think he came across like an asshole. i thought he was blunt, direct, and funny. i mean seriously, if i made the hangover and some guy from a website tells me he liked my film but land of the lost is better, you don’t think the next time i saw that guy i’d be like “hey… how about land of the lost, that really was the hit of the summer”

  68. IOv3 says:


  69. JS Partisan says:

    IO is gone. I’ve had enough of him. Thanks Dave. Nevertheless, these two are diametrically opposed directors. Comparing them is just weird.

  70. leahnz says:

    hey what happened to the gen 1 transformers avatar? (if that’s what that was, kind of hard to tell) now you look weirdly like a cartoon version of my boy in a pissy mood

  71. JS Partisan says:

    Your kid looking Hank Venture is just trippy Leah, and there’s Rodimus Prime just for you.

  72. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Prime? I thought it was just Hot Rod.

  73. leahnz says:

    oh that was hank venture? lol. my boy totally does resemble hank venture (only a bit too young, perhaps slightly more jonny quest-esque but already fast heading into hank territory, esp. the hair)

    ha, rodimus, the junior senator (who was that before, the yellow dude? it’s bugging me now). the boy has a bonza gen 1 hot rod in his collection (if my lore holds up, foamy, hot rod was renamed rodimus…when he took the mantle from optimus? didn’t optimus and megatron kill each other off during the battle w/unicron, and rodimus ascended with the matrix? not sure about that. that i even know any of this is redonkulous to me)

  74. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Nope, Optimus and Megatron whacked each other in about the first 10 minutes of The Movie ™ . Seriously, they were in such a hurry to kill off all the Gen 1s, it was a complete bloodbath.

    Megatron managed to mortally wound Optimus when Hot Rod interfered in the fight. Megatron was seriously wounded and subsequently kicked out of Astrotrain when Starscream led a revolt during the trip back to Cybertron. Unicron found Megatron and reincarnated him as Galvatron, also reviving his fellow revolt losers as Scourge and Cyclonus.

    Optimus passed the Matrix to Ultra Magnus, who literally got ripped to pieces, and Galvatron claimed the Matrix. Unicron proceeded to eat EVERYONE and Hot Rod claimed the Matrix in a fight and proceeded to open it, destroying Unicron and upgrading to Rodimus Prime in the process.

    Following The Movie ™ fan backlash against Rodimus Prime caused Marvel UK to bring back Optimus Prime in the comics, who proceeded to whoop everyone’s butt and reclaim the Matrix. No Neos or Agent Smiths were harmed in the process (mores the pity).

  75. christian says:

    “Unicron proceeded to eat EVERYONE and Hot Rod claimed the Matrix in a fight and proceeded to open it, destroying Unicron and upgrading to Rodimus Prime in the process.”


  76. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Technically some of them flew in through Unicron’s eye, but yeah the last 10mins or so was pretty much everyone fighting Unicron’s digestive system while Unicron grabbed fistfulls of Cybertron and shoveled them into his mouth.

    Although why Megatron got a voice actor upgrade to Leonard Nimoy while Hot Rod stayed as Judd Nelson when he changed I have no idea.

    (You can even see the frame Mr Partisan uses for his icon)

  77. leahnz says:

    wasn’t orson welles (of all people) one of the voices?

    more importantly, who was io’s original yellow avatar guy?

    (and i felt like a bit of a dork knowing what i said above but, foamy, did you copy that spiel there from somewhere or did it come out of your head? if the latter…you just may be the biggest transformers dork ever TM – however you do those little trademarks 🙂 )

    could this be any more OT

  78. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Unicron was Orson Welles last role as he died a few days after recording – and apparently he didn’t think much of it:

    “You know what I did this morning? I played the voice of a toy. I play a planet. I menace somebody called Something-or-other. Then I’m destroyed. My plan to destroy Whoever-it-is is thwarted and I tear myself apart on the screen.”

    I can’t remember IO’s original avatar so not sure who he was. Also, that spiel was all mine – I had both Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime (and Mirage, who is apparently the rarest collectible) and made an effort to rewatch the Transformers Movie (if you put tm in brackets it does the superscript ™ ) in the late 90s when I found out Bumblebee says “OH SHIT!” in it, which I completely missed when I watched it in the theatre.

  79. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah they completely edited out that OH SHIT in the VHS release. They did the same with Grimlock saying “shit” as well. God, I love that freaking movie, and I am glad that I found the 20th anniversary DVD after selling it.

    The yellow dude in the previous avatar was… … CHICKEN FETT! DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM de dum dum de dum.

  80. TheJosh says:

    So Land of the Lost is better than The Hangover. and Hangover 2 is better than Bridesmaids and The Hangover? This makes me worried.

  81. The Big Perm says:

    Oh fuck, IO was back and I missed him?

  82. anghus says:

    Josh, that logic is just mind blowing.

    Land of the Lost > Hangover
    Hangover 2 > Bridesmaids

    To complete this equation we need the answer to the following question.

    Is Hangover > Hangover 2?

    If the answer is yes than the list goes

    Land of the Lost
    Hangover 2

    Then again, i believe to complete this we need Will Hunting, a bottle of whiskey, and 3 people who think Land of the Lost is better than the Hangover.

    I’ll also need a young priest and an old priest…

  83. jesse says:

    As mentioned, I think Land of the Lost is better than The Hangover. I’m pretty sure I know one to two other people who agree. Not a legion, mind, but it’s not exactly unthinkable.

    Bridesmaids is a lot better than either, but I definitely laughed more at Land of the Lost.

  84. jesse says:

    Actually, while we’re at it… I’m just going to go ahead and rank the whole lot of frat-pack-and-related-ish comedies since 2004 or so. I’m intentionally going a bit broader here to include Todd Phillips stuff since he’s the subject of the thread, and he’s been instrumental in several frat-pack movies even if none of that Stiller-Black-Ferrell-Wilson-etc. crowd appears in his more recent projects. Basically, broad and mass appeal but non-kid-oriented comedy from at least reasonably talented people, 2004-2011, ranked:

    Step Brothers
    Knocked Up
    Talladega Nights
    The Other Guys
    Mean Girls
    Pineapple Express
    Walk Hard
    Hot Rod
    The 40-Year-Old Virgin
    Tropic Thunder
    Starsky & Hutch
    Get Him to the Greek
    Forgetting Sarah Marshall
    Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
    Blades of Glory
    Land of the Lost
    Your Highness
    Date Night
    Baby Mama
    Wedding Crashers
    Year One
    Due Date
    Kicking and Screaming (Ferrell version, not Baumbach)
    The Hangover
    Old School
    You, Me, and Dupree
    Drillbit Taylor
    Four Christmases
    Couples Retreat

    Keep in mind, of these 35 movies, I’d say I solidly like 25+ of them. Vaughn and Wilson vehicles really bring the average down hardest (although I guess it’s to Stiller’s advantage that I’m not really counting those Fockers movies).

  85. anghus says:

    This is tough. I rank comedies based on rewatchability. Some of these movies i laughed at when i saw it, when i watched it again they didn’t seem as funny. On the other side, some of them got better with time.

    But you know, if we’re going to do this, we should have parameters.

    How about TEN BEST COMEDIES FROM 2000-2011?

  86. jesse says:

    That’s fair, although there will still be questions about what’s considered a comedy (Wes Anderson, for example. And does, say, Almost Famous count? Punch-Drunk Love?).

    Here’s my list with an obvious contradiction from the rankings I posted just earlier today:

    1. The Royal Tenenbaums
    2. Superbad
    3. Anchorman
    4. Wet Hot American Summer
    5. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    6. Napoleon Dynamite
    7. The Life Aquatic
    8. Step Brothers
    9. Funny People
    10. maybe Mean Girls for sheer rewatchability

  87. Krillian says:

    Surprised at all the love for Land of the Lost. Thought it was terrible, but then, it didn’t look half bad after I saw Year One.

  88. David Poland says:

    TheJosh… wouldn’t do too much math based on Todd’s rant.

    And I, for one, never said that Hangover 2 was better than Hangover 1.

  89. JKill says:

    To go waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay up on this thread, Phillips’ visual style is pretty g’d awesome. Especially on repeat viewings, you start to notice how BEAUTIFUL his compositions are. It seems like he’s on the verge of venturting into more dramatic territory, possibly with the Belushi biopic, which I’d be really interested in seeing. I don’t think comedy neccessarily needs to be visually dynamic, but it is one facet that, for whatever reasons, comedy directors seem to find less important. Now that I think about it, is this the only genre where that area of filmmaking takes a backseat?

    Although the idea that Lex proposes that Wright is along the lines of Kevin Smith in visual directorial skill is insane. I’m not trying to bash Smith but the Queen sequence in SHUAN, the finale of FUZZ, and multiple action sequences in SP put that concept to shame…

    Also since it’s vaguely on topic, I’ll bring up that I finally saw COP OUT…It wasn’t as incredibly terrible as I had anticipated since I was told by the online critical community that it was the single worst film of the last several years, but it was pretty pedestrian. I liked the music choices and S.W. Scott was funny and had great chemistry with Morgan, but it reminded me a lot of the super forgettable buddy cop attempts of the aughts like HOLLYWOOD HOMOCIDE or SHOWTIME. To link to the discussion above, it’s an attempt to be stirring and to mix drama and action with comedy, but I would much rather see Smith just focus on his writing and personal works than see him try to emulate his inner Donner or Hill.

  90. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    I’ve never found a Todd Phillips movie “beautiful” or been overly impressed by his direction. The action scenes in SP drove me crazy, just like the characters and the movie itself. That is one of the whiniest, blandest, most obnoxiously deluded and self-involved leading characters in cinema history. Jesus H that movie is spectacularly awful.

  91. Hopscotch says:

    My wife begged me to rent Year One. And I refused. She finally caught part of it on cable…she lasted about ten minutes then quickly dropped the subject.

  92. The Big Perm says:

    Hardly any comedy director would do anything like the minute-long stedicam shots in Shaun, where Pegg walks to the market and comes back home.

  93. NickF says:

    That shot is Shaun is fantastic. And revisits it not too long after.

  94. Geoff says:

    Wow, this thread has blown up. Ok, ten favorite comedies of the first decade of the aughts, not in ranked order:

    Wonder Boys
    High Fidelity
    40 Year Old Virgin
    Role Models
    Exit Through the Giftshop (suck it, Banksy killed in that movie!)
    Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    Knocked Up

  95. christian says:

    ZOOLANDER’s a mess but there’s some funny shit in there.

    And can there be a moratorium on comedy scenes where a character sings some bland 70’s/80’s pop song to the irritant of other characters? Please?

  96. jesse says:

    Ooh, High Fidelity is a good one. I’ll say that’s not on my list because so much of it flirts with tragedy, or at least a certain pathetic nature I expect many of us can relate to.

    Christian, only if those songs are also banned from the finales of DreamWorks cartoons… although I expect that one’s a lost cause.

  97. JKill says:

    (Moved to other thread…)

  98. Ken says:

    The Hangover Part 2 is racist towards Asians. To all Asians — BOYCOTT THIS MOVIE. In fact, I’ve created a website for that purpose:

    It’s meant to be used as a petition. Please comment on the site to pledge that you will not watch the Hangover 2 or any movies similar to it.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon