Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Napoleon Dynamite Link
March 3, 2005 8:40 AM   Subscribe

www. don't be jealous that i've been chatting online with babes all day .com This Napoleon Dynamite obsession is getting out of hand. I can't remember the last time everyone I know at work was walking around quoting lines from a movie. And In spite of the entertainment establishment slamming this movie’s head into its locker, since it left theaters for DVD on December 21, it has earned an additional, like, whole lot of money and has consistently been on Billboard’s top ten movie rentals and top ten in Amazon's DVD Sales ..Tina, you fat lard, come get some DINNER!
posted by thisisdrew (102 comments total)

 
I love this movie, and everything it has brought into our mental landscape.

That said: Let the backlash begin!
posted by Quartermass at 9:03 AM on March 3, 2005


Why don't you just go and make your self a quesa-di-LL-a?!
posted by zpousman at 9:09 AM on March 3, 2005


I love this movie too. Did anyone see Pedro with Melissa Rivers on the TV Guide Channel's Oscar coverage?? Priceless.

Best opening credits of a movie ever.

I'm not sure I would put the movie in my top ten, and I don't think I would buy the DVD, but I definitely loved it.
posted by spicynuts at 9:10 AM on March 3, 2005


Totally missed out in this. Is this because I'm in the UK or just cos I actually did just miss this?

I get worried about things like this.
posted by 13twelve at 9:11 AM on March 3, 2005


Looks like the sites you mentioned are less tributes to the movie than blatant attempts to pull in banner and textad revenue.

This is the kind of stuff that I can't help but see as willful copyright violation for cash, as opposed to fan-tribute. I could be wrong, though.
posted by verb at 9:11 AM on March 3, 2005


Funny enough, I just tried to watch this movie last night. Made it about half way. Seemed like a cheap Wes Anderson/Todd Solondz knock off without any of heart.
posted by gwint at 9:24 AM on March 3, 2005


There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who loved Napoleon Dynamite and those who turn up their noses at it. It is a great litmus test. As far as I'm concerned, those who don't like it can go eat a decroded piece of crap.
posted by spock at 9:27 AM on March 3, 2005


The defect in this one is bleach.
posted by killy willy at 9:28 AM on March 3, 2005


I'd say you didn't miss much, 13twelve...I wanted to like it, but it was just hopelessly and transparently wacky.
Especially Napolean's brother, man that character was lame.
It was kinda like a Wes Anderson movie with less direction, or something. (gwint - you beat me to it)

That said, you should see it and decide for yourself.

Oh, and http://www.ItoldyouIspentitwithmyuncleinAlaskahuntingwolverines.com/ is still available!
posted by hellbient at 9:28 AM on March 3, 2005


I have a chat room meeting at four.
posted by jokeefe at 9:28 AM on March 3, 2005


I've found that some of my friends either hate it or become obsessed with it. I fall into the latter category. Whenever I feel shitty, I pop it in. It's better than alcohol when it comes to cheering myself up. Well, okay, not quite... but close!

One of many... Napoleon Dynamite Soundboard [flash]

I caught you a delicious bass.
posted by aGreatNotion at 9:31 AM on March 3, 2005


The reviews were "slamming this movie’s head into its locker"? What a load of crap from some wishful-thinking conservatives. The movie had 71% on the Tomato-meter.

A much better example of a film that the critics hated but conservative hristians loved was Christmas with the Kranks.
posted by deanc at 9:34 AM on March 3, 2005


Seriously, I think Napoleon Dynamite was one of the most significant movies of 2004. Who would have guessed that a movie with no nudity or sex and no profanity would have resonated with the audience that it captured.

In watching it, one should remember its origins. It was written and directed by the guy playing Napoleon himself on a shoestring budget of about $300,000. He took it to Sundance where it floored the jaded movie reviewers. It was picked up for distribution for around $3 million and the studio reportedly put another $4 million into promotion. It did not open to a WIDE market and did not play on a lot of screens, but the word of mouth was incredible. I finally got a chance to see it in Ft. Collins, CO where it had been in the theater for 12 WEEKS. It was sold out. We had to drive to Greeley, CO to see it (where it had also been playing for 12 straight weeks.

This movie is not high art, but it is very good news for budding filmmakers. I hope to see a lot more "low end" movies like this in the future. Viva la independents!
posted by spock at 9:35 AM on March 3, 2005


go eat a decroded piece of crap.
How'd you get hold of an early script for Napolean Dynamite 2 (Electric Bugaloo)?
posted by hellbient at 9:36 AM on March 3, 2005


This movie was also good news for the up and coming BYU Film School: Official Home Page.

Excerpt:
Film students have also created such successful independent films as Napoleon Dynamite, God's Army, Pride and Prejudice, Saints and Soldiers, The Singles Ward, Out of Step, Brigham City, and Charly. Many of our students have competed in prestigious film competitions such as the Sundance Film Festival and Slamdance. They have also been on the crews for television programs such as Touched by an Angel and Everwood. Additionally, students in the newly created Animation program have received prestigious awards such as the Student Emmy.
posted by spock at 9:41 AM on March 3, 2005


The ticket that won the student government election at my alma mater was called Vote for Pedro.

I may have to watch this one day.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:41 AM on March 3, 2005


I bought my 17 year old daughter a "vote for pedro" shirt. Apparently the shirt was a huge hit at her school. She said that lots of people, many she did not know, were quoting the movie to her in passing. Mostly, "Pedro offers you his protection".

/two cents
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:42 AM on March 3, 2005


I was dragged to see it last summer by a much younger friend of mine who had already seen it four times. He swore that it was "the best fuckin movie EVER!" It was okay for what it is, a low budget independent, but not even close to a great film.

What a load of crap from some wishful-thinking conservatives.

Wrong. I'm a Dem. I didn't hate it, but didn't think it was all that great either. My friend, a staunch Republican loved it. I think it's more of a generational like/dislike thing.
posted by Juicylicious at 9:44 AM on March 3, 2005


I loved this movie too. Somehow, the awkwardness and 80's soundtrack actually made me nostalgic for the hell that was my high school existence.

/nitpickfilter: while the guy who played Napoleon did contribute to the script, it was written and produced by two other guys whose names I can't remember.
posted by killy willy at 9:44 AM on March 3, 2005


It does indeed have great similarities to Todd Solondz' Welcome to the Dollhouse, but I for one greatly prefer Dynamite, as it's hilarious and uplifting as opposed to just plain dark. An astounding achievement by a young moviemaker. The movie may or may not make a lot more sense stoned, which I do not officially endorse.

spock: what you said.
posted by mek at 9:44 AM on March 3, 2005


go eat a decroded piece of crap.

How'd you get hold of an early script for Napolean Dynamite 2 (Electric Bugaloo)?

You clearly didn't see the original.
: )
posted by spock at 9:44 AM on March 3, 2005


I guess if I was really nitpicky I would have provided those guys' names. :-)
posted by killy willy at 9:46 AM on March 3, 2005


From IMDB (and the film credits)

Writing credits:
Jared Hess (written by) and
Jerusha Hess (written by)

(That's "Napoleon" and his real-life wife).
posted by spock at 9:47 AM on March 3, 2005


It was written and directed by the guy playing Napoleon himself

No, it wasn't. (On preview, what killy willy said)

Still a great movie, though. I saw it in DC, with Q&A with Jon Heder (who does play Napoleon). I asked hi how he learned to play tetherball so well.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:48 AM on March 3, 2005


The genius of this movie is that it is only -that far- away from Reality. Everybody knows/knew somebody that is pretty dang close to these characters.
posted by spock at 9:50 AM on March 3, 2005


Sheesh. My mistake on the writing credits. Even after I looked again I thought it was the same guy. Apologies.
posted by spock at 9:51 AM on March 3, 2005


while the guy who played Napoleon did contribute to the script, it was written and produced by two other guys whose names I can't remember.

Husband and wife team, not two guys.
posted by mathowie at 9:51 AM on March 3, 2005


Y'see the speed at which these comments are appearing on here - it seems like I'm really missing out on something.

Its a bit like how Friends Reunited was massive and it passed me by, then when I did stumble on it, it was really bad old news.
posted by 13twelve at 9:58 AM on March 3, 2005


oh spock, I did see it, but clearly I didn't pay enough attention!
it was kinda hard to follow the plot...ahem
posted by hellbient at 10:01 AM on March 3, 2005


"Any movie better than Napoleon Dynamite is good, and any movie worse than Napolean Dynamite is bad. If we were to rank every movie (in sequential order) from best to worst, Napoleon Dynamite would be right in the fucking middle."
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:04 AM on March 3, 2005


It is neat that such a tiny, little movie could get such a wide following. Still didn't like it. So, the joke is that he's a loser and is really dumb, right? I felt the movie is kind of like sitting in the back of the classroom and throwing erasers at the character's head for 90 minutes.

On preview: ah, the 'most average movie ever' comment. I thought about that for days and the best one I could come up with was The Family Man with Nick Cage.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:05 AM on March 3, 2005


What gwint said is on the nose. This is not a good movie. The jokes are easy and oversold, and it's all style and self-satisfaction with nothing at the center.
posted by TonyRobots at 10:05 AM on March 3, 2005


WES ANDERSON INVENTED DRY HUMOR, thank you.
posted by Satapher at 10:06 AM on March 3, 2005


Wrong. I'm a Dem. I didn't hate it, but didn't think it was all that great either.

Apologies. I was referring the writer of this article who praised the movie and claimed that the "entertainment establishment" was "slamming [the movie's] head into its locker."

One can like or dislike the movie-- it is a matter of taste, but it's not something that the "entertainment establishment" disliked anymore than they like or disliked anything else.
posted by deanc at 10:07 AM on March 3, 2005


I saw it on DVD and liked it, but I think I missed something by not seeing it in a theater surrounded by the energy that goes along with in-person viewing. Some movies are a contextual experience.
posted by Kimberly at 10:08 AM on March 3, 2005


Lots of people I know really liked this movie. I thought it had its moments -- some really funny one-liners -- but that, when you get down to it, the protagonist is just an unlikeable jerk. For those of you who don't live anywhere near MIT, let me ask you if you'd like to deal with a hundred, or a thousand, Napoleons every day. For those of you who do live here, maybe you understand.

It's not funny. It's not funny at all when someone is so socially inept that everything he says comes across as willfully mean or hopelessly ignorant.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:09 AM on March 3, 2005


the wes anderson connection = rottentomatoes
posted by Satapher at 10:11 AM on March 3, 2005


"Everybody knows/knew somebody that is pretty dang close to these characters."

Maybe I'm sheltered, but I just don't know any disfunctional retarded Mormons. It had something like three funny monents. Moments. Then the whole rest was a window into a horrible degree of indignity in humanity, and pain - not funny pain, just painful pain. I know a little bit about comedy - enough to know that THIS IS NOT IT.

You know on Something Awful, when they make fun of the websites of furries, gay Harry Potter fan fiction writers, and people who dress up their stillborn babies and take pictures? It was like those websites for two hours without the "making fun" part that makes it funny when Something Awful does it.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2005


No, really, I caught you a delicious bass.
posted by aGreatNotion at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2005


(Really I love kids from MIT, I swear.)
posted by uncleozzy at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2005


I think the establishment would be more than happy to make a movie or two a year that earns 4 times it's production and advertising budget in its theatrical release. And the movie didn't leave theaters in December, but played until the first week of Februrary, two weeks longer than Titanic's run in theaters.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:15 AM on March 3, 2005


Correct me if I am wrong: wasn't this made by Mormons?

Mormons are getting cooler and cooler. First there was LOW, and now Napoleon Dynamite.
posted by Quartermass at 10:18 AM on March 3, 2005


I liked it, was it the greatest movie ever? Nah, but I enjoyed it enough to pick up the DVD after downloading it off of easynews. Napolean was kind of out of it in the way a few of my friends were in high school.
posted by substrate at 10:20 AM on March 3, 2005


thats what resonated with me while watching it. I knew a few losers in junior high and high school who had napoleonic and pedro'onic traits.
posted by thisisdrew at 10:23 AM on March 3, 2005


The movie may or may not make a lot more sense stoned, which I do not officially endorse.

I watched it sober the first time, and baked the second time. It didn't make any more sense the second time around - it was just as bizarre and left me going "uhhhh... ok...." just as often. It was good/okay the first two times, but it's not a movie I think I could watch over and over. (Unlike Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. That movie I could watch 10 times in a row. Sober or not.)
posted by salad spork at 10:26 AM on March 3, 2005


No... it's not just you, Quartermass. Napoleon really does represent a kind of coming out for the Mormon community, from what I've heard...
posted by ph00dz at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2005


Oh, btw, I DO officially endorse watching movies under the influence of THC. Always.
posted by salad spork at 10:27 AM on March 3, 2005


After initially ignoring the movie, I was worn down by the word of mouth and saw it on dvd. I was shocked by how underwhelming it was and I couldn't get past the feeling that this was a laughing at not with movie. Everyone that recommended the movie to me now has a big asterisk by their name that links to 'this person recommended ND to me'. I shared that fact with my friends and was surprised to hear from almost all of them that on reflection it wasn't really worth seeing, that they had succumbed to the powerful wave of buzz that emanated from the dark heart of mtv. Yes, I usually tell people if I disagree with them. No, I'm not surrounded by people who roll over if I call them out. Usually they just tell me I'm an idiot.
posted by lazymonster at 10:37 AM on March 3, 2005


Ah, but salad spork, people will notice when you start saying things like, "Jumanji is the funniest movie ever!!".

We watched ND a couple of weeks ago. Since we both grew up nerd, we loved it.
posted by scruss at 10:40 AM on March 3, 2005


I dunno, I identify me-as-a-kid with Deb a whole lot so maybe it just strikes a chord for me.
posted by aGreatNotion at 10:51 AM on March 3, 2005


Count me in the camp of people who just didn't like it. It seemed like they were going for whimsical humor and characters in the vein of Rushmore, but to me the whole thing felt contrived and too forced. The dude playing Napoleon has one basic expression that he uses for the entire movie, and that got old fast. And yeah, I don't think it's accurate to say that this movie is an example of "the establishment" vs. a plucky little go-getter. I heard/saw plenty of positive reviews, that's why I rented it in the first place. I guess it's a bad idea to use any movie as a litmus test (see: High Fidelity the book, which teaches a lesson about not judging people based on their taste) but I have to admit I would question the movie recommendations of anybody who said this flick was great.
posted by jcruelty at 11:02 AM on March 3, 2005


I saw it and liked it, but I think it actually suffered from the hype because my expectations far outweighed what the movie was able to deliver. I think comparing it to Welcome to the Dollhouse is interesting and instructive. The Solondz movie is funny, painful, dark and artful in a way that Dynamite is not. Dollhouse says substantially more about what it means to be a high school or middle school misfit, what some of the issues are, what some of the stakes are. That was a truly good movie, Dynamite as an ok movie. Oh, And Harold and Kumar is an excellent movie (although not quite as good as Super Troopers).
posted by OmieWise at 11:09 AM on March 3, 2005


Stupid awful movie.

Gosh!
posted by DieHipsterDie at 11:10 AM on March 3, 2005


Oh, c'mon. Some here are taking this way too seriously. It was a cute and entertaining movie, not some cultural movement or litmus test for taste. Watching this movie was like watching puppies playing or something. Get over yourselves.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:10 AM on March 3, 2005


I think this article (January 4, 2005) pretty much sums how I looked at the movie. Most people that didn't like it don't see a point to it at all. (Not that there's anything wrong with that).
posted by spock at 11:12 AM on March 3, 2005


I knew Uncle Rico was a character from Real Genius. Lazlo, you old dog, you.
posted by mic stand at 11:15 AM on March 3, 2005


I agree with the sentiment that this movie is a lot funnier in the abstract, quoting-with-friends, "Oh man, remember the part where he said such and such?" kind of way. That's how I explain its popularity. It's a lot funnier to think about little bits of it afterwards than it is to actually watch.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:16 AM on March 3, 2005


Part of the problem for me is that it's hard to like a movie where you hate the main character. I was a awkward dork in high school but I hated Napoleon and found myself hoping that he would get beat up.

Gosh!
posted by DieHipsterDie at 11:24 AM on March 3, 2005


Interesting discussion. For me, part of why I didn't like it was that Napoleon was exactly what my little brother-in-law is going to turn out to be if he doesn't get some serious intervention. And I find my little brother-in-law sad, the situation makes me sad, and so it was hard to laugh at this grown-up, horribly dysfunctional version of him. It also depends how you saw Napoleon, I guess - I found him totally dysfunctional and unhappy about his inability to fit in in any way. Though I know a lot of people who didn't read him that way.

Really though, I just found it kinda boring, a bit of a Rushmore rip-off and I wasn't charmed by Heder's acting. I thought his voice was much, much too low for the age he was portraying and his eyes-closed thing just irritated me. Deb was good though, I liked her. I mean, I didn't hate it, but I wasn't laughing out loud like my husband was, or like it seems so many other people were. What is funny is quoting the lines in other places - it actually translates really well that way.
posted by livii at 11:27 AM on March 3, 2005


I watched this movie with no expectations with my best friend, and we both found it to be the biggest waste of our time.

And God, the quoting. I chalk up people who endlessly quote movies as people without an original thought or idea.

Here's another nod to Harold and Kumar. Concerning the pteradactyl quickie mart scene, I'd never laughed so hard in a theater since Loaded Weapon 1 when a couple guys mug Popeye on the pier. I was rolling in the aisles for eons.
posted by Mach3avelli at 11:28 AM on March 3, 2005


I couldn't get past the feeling that this was a laughing at not with movie.
That is exactly the feeling I got while watching it. Everything in the movie isn't very funny, it's just wacky. So much of the movie was just in there to be weird. Wacky stuff for you to laugh at. The most enjoyable scene for me was 'Gimme some tots'. That was funny. The rest of it was lame.
posted by graventy at 11:31 AM on March 3, 2005


Part of the problem for me is that it's hard to like a movie where you hate the main character.

That's the same problem I had with Sideways - another critically acclaimed movie that I just couldn't get into.
posted by Tenuki at 11:32 AM on March 3, 2005


Exactly, ludwig_van. It is like a virus. I was underwhelmed when I saw it, but found myself thinking about it all the time and quoting it. The next time I saw it was much funnier.
posted by internal at 11:39 AM on March 3, 2005


can't . . resist . . one more . . link.

(and thanks for the clarification on the credits - I didn't know it was a husband-and-wife effort.)
posted by killy willy at 11:39 AM on March 3, 2005


Jeez, it's a movie, not a nuclear armistice agreement.

You like it, cool. You don't like it, cool.

I don't see the point in holding it against people who like it as an indication of persistent bad taste, just as I don't see a point in lambasting people who don't like it.
posted by aGreatNotion at 12:12 PM on March 3, 2005


I love ND a great deal, although the plastic wrapper on my DVD is still intact. But I don't think it should ever have been one of those 'ohmygodyouhavegottoseethismovie!' word-of-mouth viral things. Its charm is really too personal and fragile to survive any kind of hype. For full effect, it needs to be discovered accidentally, with no preconceptions. I first saw it right in the middle of a bizarre 24-hour movie marathon, having heard nothing about it besides seeing a banner add on Ain't It Cool News.

It's just one of those many things which some people will love, some will hate, and the vast majority will probably find entirely mediocre. But it's really easy to get pissed off at a mediocre experience when all of your friends promised you it was going to be amazing. Just one of the many pitfalls of having friends, I guess.

On preview: what aGreatNotion said.
posted by Soulfather at 12:23 PM on March 3, 2005


There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who loved Napoleon Dynamite and those who turn up their noses at it.

And those who haven't seen it yet, are mildly curious but spend very little time watching movies anyway, and have no opinion one way or the other.
posted by Foosnark at 12:34 PM on March 3, 2005


This movie mad me sad. Mostly because I have no cool skills.
posted by srboisvert at 1:00 PM on March 3, 2005


It was a horrible, stupid movie, and I'm not speaking as a zealot of anything. I literally couldn't stay awake because it was that boring and contrived. It made so little an impression on my sub-consciousness that I didn't even dream while I slept through it.


I'm with lazymonster, if you liked this movie or quote this movie in my presence, you're indelibly marked in my mind.
posted by odinsdream at 1:05 PM on March 3, 2005


I remember my hip 30-something uncle complaining ten years ago that Clerks was terrible, that the jokes were tired and predictable, and that the acting and direction sucked. He mentioned that there were some college age kids near him that were cracking up the whole time, and that maybe he was just too old to appreciate it. I thought Clerks was great at the time (I was only 13 or so, and as I get older I find myself starting to agree with him that Clerks really wasn't all that), but I couldn't help having a similar feeling when I went to see Napoleon Dynamite. I think I laughed out loud once and maybe chuckled at a few other of the jokes, but I could not understand why the group of teenagers behind me were doubled over and howling at what seemed to be the most self conciously 'weird' jokes. It just made me feel old and cynical, which sucks because I'm only 23.
posted by henryultrajames at 1:11 PM on March 3, 2005


I wish the whole movie was the part where someone(?) got hit with a ham, over and over.

I was a awkward dork in high school

wait, there are DORKS in this thread??!
I'm outta here!
*fuckin' dorks...*
posted by hellbient at 1:43 PM on March 3, 2005


I think you're onto something there, henryultrajames. "The kids" really dig it a lot. (I'm far from a kid, but I laughed a lot at it)

I think it'll be a movie that resonates with a certain generation, the way something like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" or "Say Anything" (I'm sure someone could come up with better examples) did and still do for the "kids" of those times.

Do the chickens have large talons?
posted by First Post at 1:45 PM on March 3, 2005


It is neat that such a tiny, little movie could get such a wide following.

Well it wasn't by accident. I posted this response in the "Do you think Napoleon Dynamite is a mook?" AskMe thread.
posted by gluechunk at 1:46 PM on March 3, 2005


I wasn't terribly impressed.
And then, slowly,
I was.

I have now reached the point where every time I read a quote in this thread, I laugh out loud. There's something so perfectly foreign about all of it; something that might not have been accomplished if the plot and direction had been sharper.

I dunno.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 1:46 PM on March 3, 2005


I also agree that Hype Kills.

No movie that is "OMG YOU MUST SEE THIS!!1" ever really holds up. "I dunno, it was just a movie. What's the big deal?"

well, maybe Ong Bak. :) But even that one has its detractors...
posted by First Post at 1:48 PM on March 3, 2005


Haven't seen it, and judging by the reactions in this thread, it doesn't sound like the sort of thing I'd enjoy. I did follow the link in the FPP to the IMDB quotes page. For the first line:
Kid on Bus: What are you gonna do today, Napoleon?
Was I the only one who was disappointed that the response wasn't something along the lines of "The same thing I do every day: try to take over the world?" Just me? OK, never mind.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:44 PM on March 3, 2005


odinsdream: I'm with lazymonster, if you liked this movie or quote this movie in my presence, you're indelibly marked in my mind.

This is so silly. I like Napoleon Dynamite AND Citizen Kane. Does that mean Citizen Kane is somehow less of a movie because I like Napoleon Dynamite too? I mean, since you would doubt my taste after telling you I liked Napoleon Dynamite and all... or maybe I just like Citizen Kane for the wrong reasons?

I don't get it. If someone was guilty of repeatedly suggesting a bunch of movies you thought were shitty, that's one thing. But one movie? Nah...
posted by aGreatNotion at 2:47 PM on March 3, 2005


I've never even seen Napoleon Dynamite. It looked like seven shades of retarded.

*shrug* Maybe I'll rent it sometime.
posted by Target Practice at 2:52 PM on March 3, 2005


Napoleon Dynamite: Well, you have a sweet bike. And you're really good at hooking up with chicks. Plus you're like the only guy at school who has a mustache.
Charles Foster Kane: Rosebud...
posted by hellbient at 2:58 PM on March 3, 2005


See hellbient? The similarities are striking, really.

The only reason Citizen Kane popped into my head is that it's sitting on my desk next to me.
posted by aGreatNotion at 3:06 PM on March 3, 2005


Such a crappy movie, I don't understand the appeal at all.
posted by thebabelfish at 3:10 PM on March 3, 2005


Count me in as underwhelmed and I saw it before the hype machine kicked in. I couldn't help but feel that the director wanted us to laugh at these schmucks rather than care about them.
posted by btwillig at 3:17 PM on March 3, 2005


For me, and I'll try not to sound snarky, ND came off as mildly offensive and stereotypical just for the sake of easy laughs. It seems that all of the characters are merely caricatures, mere ideas and not people.

Compared to Harold and Kumar, a movie engrossed in stereotypes but one that manages to hilariously deconstruct them, ND is pretty much worthless. Both movies were intended for the same demographic: college and younger; yet H&K proves that easy jokes aren't par for the course.

NB I thought that the major joke in ND -- one of Napolean himself grooving on stage -- was a incredibly well executed idea and funny to boot. I just wish I had an oppurtunity to actually care about Napolean himself.

\disclaimer grew up a nerd, am a nerd
posted by Jeff_Larson at 3:22 PM on March 3, 2005


I, too, watched about half of it.

More than anything else, it struck me as simply mean.
posted by Caviar at 3:25 PM on March 3, 2005


Further my point above: I generally love movies that feature lovable losers. For example, who couldn't feel sympathy for Quiz Kid Donnie Smith in Magnolia (a more somber film but filled with losers you could care about). As Cavier says above, this movie was just mean.
posted by btwillig at 3:36 PM on March 3, 2005


I haven't seen the movie itself, but I get the feeling from looking around that it's people under 25 that are mostly strongly impacted by it. I grew up a nerd, and am still a nerd, but it could be that at 39 my head is just in a different place than the place that contains the people that are really strongly impacted by the film. For me it was Stranger Than Paradise, a movie that I still love.
posted by matildaben at 3:54 PM on March 3, 2005


This is so silly. I like Napoleon Dynamite AND Citizen Kane. Does that mean Citizen Kane is somehow less of a movie because I like Napoleon Dynamite too? I mean, since you would doubt my taste after telling you I liked Napoleon Dynamite and all... or maybe I just like Citizen Kane for the wrong reasons?

Silly or not, I'm just giving you some information on how my brain works. I didn't choose to mark these people because they liked ND, it just happens. It says nothing about your taste for other movies... I don't even know what the mark in my head means.. but I can assure you, you're now marked.
posted by odinsdream at 4:13 PM on March 3, 2005


Take a look at the demographics of people who registered a vote at IMDB. Now, BIG ASTERISK HERE, these are people who were sufficiently motivated by the movie (one way or another) to register a vote in the first place, but the movie is liked slightly more by females than males (that kinda surprised me). Yes, it does best in the under 18 category (they give it 8 out of 10) but even the lowest demographic (males Age 45+) give it a 6.3. Non-U.S. viewers rate it lower than U.S. viewers (6.8 to 7.4). Overall, it gets a 7.2.

Maybe somebody will write a thesis on the psychology of people who liked it vs those who didn't. Maybe they'll find that those who hated it have a greater need to feel superior to others, or make snap judgments about people based on whether they quote movies or not, or have huge sticks up their butts, or are prematurely 45+. Who knows?
posted by spock at 4:26 PM on March 3, 2005


FWIW, I'm 23 and hated it so much that I couldn't finish it and my friend who is 32 loved it. I was a total Deb character in high school as well, so I really wanted to like this movie...I just couldn't.

(Whoever mentioned Super Troopers as a good movie...I completely agree. "Meow, what'd you say?")
posted by amandaudoff at 4:32 PM on March 3, 2005


odinsdream: Silly or not, I'm just giving you some information on how my brain works. I didn't choose to mark these people because they liked ND, it just happens. It says nothing about your taste for other movies... I don't even know what the mark in my head means.. but I can assure you, you're now marked.

Don't get me wrong... I know what you mean. I feel the same way about people who still talk about how great The DaVinci code is and are trying to get me to read it. I refuse to listen to that noise or to any of their other book recommendations. I admit that it's silly, but that is also how my brain works.
posted by aGreatNotion at 4:38 PM on March 3, 2005


"Kind of like Wes Anderson"?

More like, imitated shot by shot, characters, music, everything in ND was Wes Anderson. I stop short of calling it a ripoff, though. I guess Wes Anderson is now a new genre--neoquirky. Wes Anderson's movies are a bit hit-and-miss with me (except for Bottle Rocket, his best).

I liked ND ok, but it was a bit too slow and actually a bit depressing as a whole. Great lines, though, Napoleon is a bit of a modern day Holden Caulfield. Only poorer.
posted by zardoz at 5:50 PM on March 3, 2005


I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that I think Citizen Kane is a really good movie.
posted by gwint at 6:25 PM on March 3, 2005


I haven't seen Napoleon Dynamite. But with all the relentless hype, puffery and endless jibber-jabber surrounding it, I feel like I already have.

Enough already.
posted by jonmc at 6:54 PM on March 3, 2005


</thread closed by jonmc>
posted by spock at 7:52 PM on March 3, 2005


i love plot and direction in the way that it models real life!

i find it amusing that some people feel that the movie was making fun of the napoleons of the world...

i think that uneasiness has a lot to do with the realistic plotlessness of the whole SHABANG...

life is dumb, movies should be too.
posted by Satapher at 9:00 PM on March 3, 2005


No plot... check
Unbearably slow... check
Never laugh out loud funny... check
All the intellectual weight of a goldfish cracker... check
Direct MTV involvement... check
Nothing by caricatures and cliches (see above)... check


Clerks was funny the first time, but now it's just poignant relative to my age (23) for some reason. The early 90's soundtrack just makes it that much better. SuperTroopers vs. Harold and Kumar... It's close, but I'd probably give it to Harold and Kumar.
posted by trinarian at 1:25 AM on March 4, 2005


You guys are missing the obvious parallel. Small budget, slow pace, characters that are outside the norm and weird props / situations? It's Linklater's Slacker. There are a lot of differences, but I think it's a better comparison point, although ND is definitely hitting a younger crowd and has a lot of the cultural currency (quotes, references to scenes) that group would desire. I haven't seen Slacker for quite a while, so I might be off.
posted by mikeh at 10:28 AM on March 4, 2005


It's interesting that people who don't like this movie really don't like it, finding it boring, offensive or just plain stupid. It is stupid and that's the point. It's a simple movie based around eccentric characters that make the movie what it is, silly and amusing. Sometimes those are the best kind.
posted by Ailla at 11:22 AM on March 4, 2005


create things that people love, hate, adore, detest. This movie seems to fit that mold.
posted by thisisdrew at 1:25 PM on March 4, 2005


My favorite part of napoleon dynamite was when that girl came to the door, and I realized she was the same girl from Waterworld, and I got to daydream about the good parts of Waterworld and stop thinking about napoleon dynamite.

Waterworld, people.... the good partsts of waterworld.
posted by odinsdream at 11:11 AM on March 5, 2005


s/partsts/parts/
posted by odinsdream at 11:11 AM on March 5, 2005


It's a lot funnier to think about little bits of it afterwards than it is to actually watch.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:16 PM EST on March 3


My husband and I watched it after a strong recommendation from my 11 year old daughter. Afterwards we agreed it was worth no more than 2 stars in the movie log journal. Funny bits embedded in a sluggish plot. But the next day my husband started quoting from this movie and laughing at parts that he remembered. And the next day. And the next. It got to the point where I had to call a halt on his eerily good impression because I don't want to have sex with Napoleon.

I have a feeling this is going to be like Buffalo 66-- a movie we watch together once a year or so and enjoy as part of our collective consciousness.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:37 AM on March 6, 2005


« Older The Sukiyaki Song [mp3]...   |   Frank Luntz GOP Playbook Now O... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments