Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hell with Mel

As a child, I was not allowed to say words like “fart,” “booger, ” and my personal favorite, “butt”.  So the forbidden magical fruit was all the sweeter when I did hear it on tv or in movies.  However, Blazing Saddles just doesn’t do it for me.  I had never seen any Mel Brooks movies until this class but I had heard good things.  So my expectations were probably too high.  

Maybe Mel Brooks is innovative for bringing the fart onto the silver screen, but in my opinion, he took advantage of a simple, easy laugh and misused it.  He opened up the floodgates for everyone else to go above and beyond with the fart jokes.  And I’m not sure if I’m thankful for that.  This movie is just too much.  Every character has contrived witless dialogue and each line is dumber than the last.  And I know that’s the point but the film drags because of it.  It’s bogged down in silliness.  It can be funny when you beat a joke to death and when you go over the top with gags.  But if done too little or too much it kills the joke.  You have to give the audience time to breathe between jokes.  Mel Brooks tries to suffocate you with them. 

The film relies heavily on shock value and pushing the comedic envelope.  But not having seen this movie until after every other movie made until right now, I’m sick of things being edgy.  It was poor timing on my part.  I can see why people think its funny and I laughed at some of it, but it was definitely my least favorite movie so far in the class.  Gene Wilder was funny in it, though.  I'll give it that.

The film does anything for a laugh. Similarly, a whore will do anything for a few bucks.  While that dedication can be respectable, for me, the dirty jokes in Blazing Saddles are just too easy.

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