Saturday, September 27, 2014
NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (2004)
Directed By: Jared Hess
Written By: Jared Hess & Jerusha Hess
Cinematography By: Munn Powell
Editor: Jeremy Coon
Cast: Jon Heder, Efran Ramirez, Jon Cries, Aaron Ruell, Tina Majorino, Diedrich Bader, Haylie Duff, Sandy Martin, Shondrella Avery
Preston, Idaho's most curious resident, Napoleon Dynamite, lives with his grandma and his 32-year-old brother (who cruises chat rooms for ladies) and works to help his best friend, Pedro, snatch the Student Body President title from mean teen Summer Wheatley. The film is based on a short film Jared Hess made in 2002 with Jon Heder. Almost everything from the short made it into the feature film. For instance, there is a scene in the feature film where Napoleon and Pedro are at a state fair appraising cows or tasting milk. In the short, there is only a line of spoken dialog that mentions the taste-testing of milk.
The film is appealing as it has a childlike innocence that is inoffensive. Yet displays itself to a self contained world where we can be at a trespass of adult themes or situations, but leaves that for the audience to have it's dirty thoughts before returning and returning to that same innocence.
So that it offends no one and can be associated with it's own rhythm.
I will admit that the film had me under it’s spell with the opening credits using The white Stripes song “we are going to be friends”
Like a noise album that plays supposedly to it's own audience, yet everyone can tune into hearing their own distinct rhythm to relate to he film while being amateurish to a degree. Which is part of t's charm. The film Has a goofy unpolished quality. Like a grad student film or the type made on weekends with friends and a small budget
The film seems more like a series of shorts revolving around a ridiculous comedic Character and characters. Like a smarter an less vulgar. More heartfelt BEAVIS and BUTTHEAD rolled into a single character. Pieced together to make a story. Almost like a comic strip come to life. Mix in coming of age moments that you almost forget due to how much it seems more like a comedy.
I admire the characters aren't perfect and aren't afraid to be stupid and non care what others think. Even though of course they think they are smart themselves. Even as they are usually sweet and kind of dim, but find themselves getting into and out of situations simply almost like a sitcom waiting to happen. A sitcom starring a Kramer type weird character and instead of letting him be a mystery in the background. We get to see his wacky family and home life. Who are just as strange. You know like the ones they saw until the last season To get a glimpse at or spoil with some lame spin-off.
What wins you over is that no matter what most of the main characters are earnest in all they do. No matter how lame brained it may seem.
This film is remarkably easily re-watchable.
In a deleted scene, it is shown that Napoleon gets a scratch ticket and won $10, which originally was shown in PELUCA. That was what made it so he could afford the $12 suit for the dance and not even the price was implied in the movie.
This film is one of the milestones of my film education and my life watching films. As it took on such an immediate popularity and following. It was a film that was going to have a cult following either way, but with it's clean comedy and more relatable situations. It became part of pop culture inmediately.
What works here are the details they go a long way in selling the film.
Jack Black almost played Rex. He would later star in Jared Hess's next film, Nacho Libre
The film is a clean comedy that doesn't talk down to it's audience. In fact it's an oddity it seems more for teens, yet has an adult side to it. The comedy is clean, bit not In A cloying Disney way. Usually these teen films have a vulgarity to the humor or are sex obsessed. This film has neither. It focuses on having fun.
Every dish shown during the opening credits is eaten by a character later in the movie. The dishes presented in the opening credits were the work of the three people who present them.
The film feels like he film BORAT which came late where the comedy is supposed to revolve around the character at least the film has other strange supporting characters who have almost as much screen time as he does.
Though strangely the film really has no story just situations that feel like a failed pilot for a tv show.
It's humorous and creates a world of it's own. While trying so hard to sell it and it's humor. It's the odd cult film that has a certain peculiar humor that somehow found it's way to the mainstream.
Like an early inclination of the adult swim programming without trying to be vulgar, but as you sit and watch it you know you should know better by the joy and humor is just infectious and puts a smile On Your face as the film is overwhelmingly positive
Not like the rest of the films out there had a distinct personality as wavelength.
Create comedic character and then puts him In a world by as off as himself but makes him seem relatively normal within it and could see how it would form his character.
Has plenty of comedically real situations and characters that are just as inspired.
Outdated by timeless culture and clothing. That makes it all hilarious and fun.
Didn't know what to expect especially once it begun but rode the wave even though it is a crowd pleaser it gets there In it's own way. Everything seems like it is on a delay yet simple.
General story through the film feels episodic in nature.
Like a routine most of the episodes have a set-up and a short payoff while remembering it has a storyline and updates To get back to it.
Jon Gries (Uncle Rico) is actually a vegetarian; every time he was eating steak and wiped his mouth he was spitting the meat into the napkin.
A hit film a mold surprise as it is inoffensive an plays to it's audience. Yet more of a independent comedy.
I Saw it in theaters, tried to make more money by release it with supposedly added content that was really a 5 minute extra scene. Which seems more like a deleted acne or alternate ending. Which felt like a slap in the the face to audiences who saw it early before it became sort of a film phenomenon. Reminding me of the practice of dvd's double dipping were you would but it then a few months later it would come out with a special edition with all the extras.
Due to the film's surprise success at festivals and in its limited release, Fox Searchlight re-edited the film to add a 5-minute epilogue at the end. This epilogue, which was filmed after the initial theatrical run, features a surprise "wedding scene", which cost about half of what the entire feature cost to make.
Jon Heder drew all of the "drawings" in the movie except the unicorn.
Despite playing high-school students, Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez were, respectively, 27 and 31 when this movie was made.
Brought star Jon Heder to the forefront, but while he is resented after the film as a comedic actor more seems like an actor who so far has shown no style. As we haven't really seen a performance that has shed range or and gifted comedic personea. He was paid $1,000 to play Napoleon Dynamite. The movie grossed over $40,000,000 in the United States. All this and having his hair permed for the role.
The film Features one of the longest credited cast lists in movie history; all 181 student extras' names are listed in the closing credits.
It is so rich that while watching the film it feels almost lien you could be reading a classic novel. The film feels that accomplished.
The film as a first film has a naiveness and innocence to it . An earnestness. Where there is no agenda and a sense of just wanting to make a good film and stay true to it's vision with no compromises. Which gives the film a certain spirit and religiousness though it isn't necessarily fighting against any enemy.
The characters stay true to themselves and their nature. As Most don't know any better