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September 25, 2006 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-25

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8A -The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 25, 2006
'Windy City' [

A

wannab4
By Kristin MacDonald
Daily Film Editor
Can this possibly be real? Grant-
ed, Holly-
wood has .
its share of
naive, self-
important
buffoons -
(see every 1
Will Ferrell
character
ever created), x
but "Scary"
Perry Kara- MOVIE:
vello, or at **
least the SPECIAL FEATURES:
incarna-
tion of him *
presented Windy City
in Com- Heat
edy Central's Comedy Central
"Windy City
Heat:' takes
the cake. And probably eats it whole
in a single slobbery bite.
Perry's hair is shoulder-length,
dry and frazzled out like an '80s pop
star. Despite his insistent tough-guy
fagade, he's pudgily out of shape,
and his preferred attire, whether
in character or not, is a beaten-up
leather jacket and a flattened, over-
sized fedora. His nose has a proud
Italian hook to it, although his face's
most standout features are without
doubt his large eyes and even larger
mouth, both of which flare to double
their normal size with many sudden
bursts of nasal, shrieky, playground-
lite anger. Perry may fancy himself
the neighborhood bulldog, but he's
got a puppy's bark and nothing
close to bite.
This man is either the world's
most committed actor or its most
pitifully deluded one. The movie
wants you to believe the latter. A
full-time ignoramus and wanna-
be movie star ("a star more than
an actor," he confidently affirms),
Perry has just landed his big break,
courtesy of a smug line-up of Com-
edy Central B-List favorites. It's a
giant joke leading Perry from the
movie's fake casting call to its even
faker final premiere, and every one
on screen is in on it except him.
His "starring role" is Stone Fury,
a hard-boiled Chicago detective,

and it should tell you enough about
Perry that he thinks the charac-
ter name is the unironic ultimate
in cool instead of a Steven Segal
reject. Perry also doesn't balk at
performing his opening film-noir
monologue on a moving conveyer
belt in front of a blue-screen, but
then again, he thinks he's beaten
out Bruce Willis, Arnold and Car-
son Daly for the part. He also thinks
those three names don't sound odd
together. Perry is absolutely clue-
less, and he's absolutely hysterical.
It's too bad the rest of the cast
- and they're professional comedi-
ans! - is so painfully not. It's hard
to watch more than 10 minutes of this
giant prank at a time, since the sup-
porting players have little more to do
than just coast along and watch the
perpetual car accident that is Scary
Perry. Picture him as an old beat-up
Toyota hitting every single parking
meter on a long stretch of sidewalk
- he hits one, backs up, starts again
and hits another, the whole process so
repetitive that pretty soon you're cov-
ering your own eyes and wincing.
Normally, of course, you might
actually feel sorry for such an obvi-
ous dupe, but Perry's spectacular
ignorance extends to all realms
of life. He doesn't bat an eye at the
"casting director" named Roman
Polanski or the "PA" named Susan B.
Anthony (although he certainly gets a
happy eyeful of her absurdly padded
chest), and his blatant homophobia
runs unchecked. When he gets real
shit thrown in his face for one scene,
it's not funny just because he's naive
enough to take it in stride - he's
naive enough to deserve it.
"Windy City Heat" is the title
of Perry's supposed movie; to this
day, it seems he still believes it was
made and was successful. His total
disconnect with the concrete reality
of being continuously made fun of
is mind-boggling, and provides such
a perfect set-up for the ultimate in
meta-comedy that its waste here
is frustrating. The extras are bet-
ter than the actual film simply for
their brevity - in fact, they're all
you need to watch. The movie itself
required editing with all the polish
of its root concept; it could only say
something about the comedy of self-
awareness by taking it seriously.

4

What a misleadingly tame photo for this movie. Not a body fluid in sight.

SHOCK AND AWESOME
SECOND HELPING OF JACKASS' MORE THAN WELCOME

By Blake Goble
Daily Arts Writer
Mel Brooks once said something to
the effect that tragedy is when a man
cuts his finger. Comedy is when he falls
into an open manhole and dies.
"Jackass: Number Two" falls head-
first into that manhole. But when it falls,
it falls with a hook in its mouth, a foot in
its balls and feces all over the place. In a
total affront to good taste and maturity,
the nine boys of MTV's "Jackass" are
back and as harebrained as ever.
But they've gotten older. If "Num-
ber Two" isn't a rapid-fire slug-out like
"Jackass The Movie," it's only because
it lingers on the real hurting. Weath-
ered and more fragile with age, Johnny
Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam ("Sociopath")
Margera and other favorites retake the
screen in far more breakable condition.
They cry, they pant, they hold them-
selves in pain. Yes, they're still seeing

who can pull the craziest stunts, but this
time it feels more distressing. It feels
dangerous.
Nude midgets.
Rocket rides. Horny
old people. Poo-eat-
ing. Branding. An
explosive musical
finale. That's just a
fraction of masoch-
istic man-boy action
in "Number Two."
These nine guys
may just never grow,
up. Even the title is a *
bad poop joke. Jackass:
The fact is, the Number Two
boys of "Jackass"
have forced them- A theQh 1case
selves into torment a
for life. Getting Paramount
rushed by a yak is
what Johnny Knoxville is going to be
remembered for, just as Ehren McGhe-
hey will live on forever dressed up as an

Arab with a pubic-hair beard.
At one point, Barn Margera even
whines that he's sick of all the "Jackass"
buffoonery. He wants to stop exploiting
his body for cheap thrills. And yet, the
lunatic in him keeps coming back for
more. Maybe Margera wishes he went
to college, just like Ryan Dunn tries to
imagine life without having ever used
heroin. Dave England wants hospital vis-
its to no longer be the norm. After the
most repulsive moment in the film (abso-
lutely unmentionable even in any public
forum), Chris Pontius finally states that
he's completely ashamed of himself. Like
the rest of them, he should be.
As long as they keep doing it, we'll
keep watching. And laughing. There are
still people in this world who actually find
a football in the groin very funny (name-
ly, me). And yes, there are about a couple
thousand YouTube videos for these stunts.
But damn it, "Jackass" still does dumb
shit better than anyone. It's OK to laugh at
their expense. They're asking for it.

A

'Flyboys'
a safe
flight
By Christina Choi
Daily Arts Writer
Unlike most war movies, "Fly- Off into the sunset.
boys" doesn't unfold to the sound of ever created.
furious gunfire in a corpse-riddled Despite the big explosions and
battlefield. It smooth digital effects, "Flyboys"
begins with a doesn't bank on its uneventful fight-
cowboy. ing scenes. It's the characters that
James define the film.
Franco (fresh A son (Tyler Labine, "Aurora
from his box- Borealis") tries to win his way back
ing days at into his aristocratic father's good
"Annapolis") graces. A devout pilot (newcomer
plays Blaine Pip Pickering) sings hymns to focus
Rawlings, an while in the air. A hardened veteran
all-Ameri- (Martin Henderson, "Torque") can't
can farm boy help but see a younger version of
who enlists himself in Rawling's idealistic com-
in the French Flyboys mitment to honor.
military dur- At the Showcase None of the fighters are perfect
ing World and Quality 16 -- their idiosyncrasies are realistic
War I to MGM enough that their inexperience is
avoid getting painful to watch. This is the rare type
arrested for of action flick that actually wants you
instigating a brawl in his hometown. to care about who lives or dies.
He becomes a part of the historic But it's still a product of Holly-
Lafayette Escadrille, a group of eager wood and not the History Channel.
young Americans who have no idea There are cinematically unrealistic
what lies ahead as they learn how to moments where all battle tactics are
pilot some of the first fighter planes tossed aside in favor of highly drama-
tized one-on-one pilot showdowns. In
true "Top Gun" style, fighters careen
Study Participants toward each other in the ultimate
contest of chicken; eventually, the
W ante d peacock with the brightest feathers
(in this case the Germans) wins and
a convenient moment of orchestral

4

tragedy ensues.
The film also has its fair share of
contrived storylines. As the branded
hero, Rawlings is able to survive a
crash, wake up in a brothel filled with
beautiful women and then quickly
fall in love with a sweetly inno-
cent French girl, Lucienne (Jennifer
Decker), all inthe same day.
Aside from the obligatory hero/
damsel-in-distress romance, there's
also a racially charged side plot with
Labine's character Briggs Lawry. He
politely objects to rooming with a
black comrade, Skinner (Abdul Salls,
"Sahara"), because that would mean
"sleeping with the servants." Later,
of course, Skinner winds up saving
his life and the two make up over a
bottle of 100-year-old brandy. And
as unoriginal as this lesson is, at least
there's some booze and genuine fel-
lowship involved.
Despite these conventions, "Fly-
boys" wisely fixates on showing how
human its characters are rather than
how cold a war can be. This creates
a film that's oddly devoid of political
bias, where even the Germans are
painted as surprisingly docile. Per-
haps the scenes in which we witness
them being shockingly gracious to
their enemies are meant to be a tell-
ing statement in itself.

I

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