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Napoleon Dynamite reviews

from the good-for-nothing-film-critics dept.
Well, I still haven't been able to see Napoleon Dynamite here in Austin, and I'm not sure when I'll actually get the chance. I've tried to sign up to see a free screening on its website but for some reason it's not working.

From the reviews it looks like people either love this film or hate it. Roger Ebert and Brian Orndorf of FilmJerk.com were really harsh on the movie, while ... FilmThreat, BucketReviews, and Eric Snider all loved it. Ebert even went as far as to say that the only reason others are praising Napoleon Dynamite is because, according to the Sundance crowd, it's the cool thing to do.

A main complaint of both Ebert and Orndorf is that the film doesn't even try to get us to like Napoleon, which is some kind of standard rule for comedies. Orndorf even goes as far as to say that "one might start to worry about the mental health of people who actually find this movie funny." Ouch.

Has anyone seen the movie? What did you think?

(In case you missed it, we covered this film previously.)

I hate listening to film critics!!

I could care less about what film critics say. It seems like I usually disagree with them anyway.

Rotten Tomatoes

The best and most accurate critic site that I have found is www.rottentomatoes.com. Basically, if they rate the movie as "fresh" then it probably is a movie that I'm going to enjoy. They haven't been wrong too many times as far as I'm concerned. They rate Napoleon Dynamite as 62% fresh, which isn't too bad.

Oh, Mason, it starts Friday, June 25 at the Arboretum.

I think Orndorf was right. Th

I think Orndorf was right. There has to be SOMETHING to pull the auidence in to the story, and "Napoleon" doesn't have anything. Hell, even "Pootie Tang" gave ya characters the audience could root for or hate. "Napoleon" just kind of lays there, thinking itself hysterical.

The Daily Universe finally got around to covering the movie

The story is here. I can't believe it took them so long! Typing "Napoleon" into their search engine shows the last story about it to be back in January.

-Mason

I half way agree with you

You'll be disappointed if you go into this movie expecting to go for the typical roller coaster ride that nearly all movies take you on. From what I can tell, typical movies give some time to be introduced to the characters and to form your opinions about them and then you watch them as a conflict of some sort develops and then you see how the conflict is resolved ...

Well, this movies just isn't that way, and I don't think it was trying to be. Even though it's fiction, I see it as almost being a documentary ... We get to spend a week or so with Napoleon Dynamite, this character who is this odd amalgamation of so many kids we knew growing up, and some of whose traits we can even see in ourselves. It's like this genius commentary on the quirks of normal everyday life. Nothing really major happens to Napoleon just like you would expect, because amazing things don't happen in our everyday lives. Lots of people feel that their lives are about as uneventful as Napoleon's.

The events they did show were amazing by the standards of Napoleon's day-to-day life. This movie's story empty compared to what we normally see in movies, but I think that made it unique in a way that I can appreciate. I wouldn't want most movies to be plotless but I think it was a successful experiment.

-Mason

If you're saying that "Napole

If you're saying that "Napoleon" should be taken solely as a character exploration, then I say it fails there too. Look at it that way, and the film becomes a series of "SNL" skits that just aren’t funny. I didn't want roller coaster, I wanted cohesion and genuine wit. Watching Napoleon stuff tater tots in his pants doesn't scream comedy to me, but I understand that it's subjective (the college kids are loving this movie). God bless people who do find tater tots in pants funny. And "lygers."

Thing is, there is a plot (several) to "Napoleon." It does try to have meaning and character evolution, but nothing is allowed to coagulate. Personally, I think it fails big time. It shoots for the retro, ironic, faux chic comedy vein that MTV adores, and it scores a bulls-eye - which why the final product is so depressing. “Beavis and Butt-Head” did the same thing, but it had writing and satire. Not classy stuff by any means (I personally don’t require that), but underneath was a current of genuine vision. “Napoleon” is 80 minutes too long; the rest of the film lazily filled trying to dream up ways to keep the story moving and the situations unfashionable in a blatantly trendy way.