Breaking Bad meets Natural Born Killers
February 7, 2012 8:30 AM   Subscribe

Bobcat Goldthwait, ex-comedian and purveyor of such how-did-that-ever-get-made entertainments as Shakes The Clown and World's Greatest Dad, presents his newest film, God Bless America, a nasty piece of wish fulfillment.
posted by fungible (75 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Falling Down meets Juno--I smell a hit!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:37 AM on February 7, 2012 [14 favorites]


I cannot condone this kind of violence. This is why I have always favored the more humane B-Ark alternative.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:37 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Falling Down meets Juno

By george, I think you've nailed it.
posted by ook at 8:38 AM on February 7, 2012


I REFUSE TO ACCEPT A POST ABOUT BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT THAT FAILS TO MENTION HOT TO TROT.

*BLAM BLAM BLAM*
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:41 AM on February 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


Falling Down meets Juno

I see some HEATHERS in there, too.
posted by philip-random at 8:42 AM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


From his standup routine: "Shut up, kid! That talking-horse movie paid for your swimming pool!"
posted by mattbucher at 8:44 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will be watching this.
posted by gagglezoomer at 8:45 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Subtle.
posted by zzazazz at 8:46 AM on February 7, 2012


The return of George Calamari

This movie looks even better than FDR: American Bad-ass,
which I am also anxiously looking forward to. (redband trailer audio NSFW)
posted by stifford at 8:48 AM on February 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:49 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does this mean reddit is going to get a hard on for Bill Murray's brother too?
posted by orme at 8:50 AM on February 7, 2012


I fancy a Mefi version of this.

Somebody bitching on the grey about a word being offensive? BLAMBLAMBLAM!
Somebody using the words "special snowflake" or "fighty"? BLAMBLAMBLAM!

And so on.
posted by Decani at 8:50 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you missed Sleeping Dogs Lie, you owe yourself one more Bobcat Goldthwait movie.
posted by rikschell at 8:55 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does this mean reddit is going to get a hard on for Bill Murray's brother too?

That's your teenage diseased mind talking. You tasted penii and now you're just crazy!
posted by hal9k at 8:56 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


While this looks pretty meh to me, Shakes the Clown and World's Greatest Dad are awesome. Shakes as pure dark comedy and showing he is more than that early persona, and WGD is even deeper and much better than it sounds. In fact, it's WGD that makes me wonder if the trailer is misleading, because it seems odd that he would go so blatant.
posted by usagizero at 8:57 AM on February 7, 2012


I remember cracking up at Shakes the Clown and then never meeting a single person to discuss it with, to the point I half-wondered if I'd imagined the whole thing.
posted by hypersloth at 8:58 AM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have mixed feelings about this.
posted by asnider at 8:59 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Holy cats, somebody made a movie of the daydreams I have during my commute.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:01 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


IT PANDERS TO ME AND MY BASER URGES.

I APPROVE.

(Also: Goldthwait's album "I Don't Mean to Insult You, But You Look Like Bobcat Goldthwait," is fucking excellent. Worth the money.)
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 9:02 AM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


World's Greatest Dad is far and away one of the best small American films of recent years.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:04 AM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


When I first saw the trailer I thought The Onion was just screwing around again. I really want to watch this, even if it turns out to be really stupid.

Where's the itsgottabebetterthanbattleship tag?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:06 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thoroughly enjoyed World's Greatest Dad, and was amused to see it at Redbox with no real description. Just the title, and a picture of Robin Williams. Someone definitely got mislead into renting that at some point.

I hope this one is at least a bit more subtle than the trailer makes it look.
posted by piedmont at 9:10 AM on February 7, 2012


I don't think I realized World's Greatest Dad was a Bobcat joint. Definitely one of the big winners I watched recently.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:10 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Watch this back to back with Red State and your brain will melt into a Tea Party slurpie.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:11 AM on February 7, 2012


In fact, it's WGD that makes me wonder if the trailer is misleading, because it seems odd that he would go so blatant.

I sort of agree - but there's complexity to be had in a movie like this. I mean, at what point to they decide not to kill people? They're only out to kill the people "who deserve it"... how do they decide that? There's gotta be some moral quandaries. It can't just be an hour and a half of blowing away reality stars (as appealing as that sounds.)
posted by fungible at 9:11 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


It'd be a laugh if it made fun of the American propensity to solve problems by shooting guns, even by self-proclaimed liberals, but somehow I don't think this is that movie.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:11 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I mean, I get that shooting those people was expedient. But, couldn't they have caused more agonizing pain?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:12 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mixed feelings definitely. One on hand I'm beyond sick of gun culture and promotion in every fucking movie. But if this movie is partly about shooting people who make those gun movies then..ok.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:12 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


If Shakes the Clown did nothing else, it brought us a slutty Mrs. Brady.
posted by bondcliff at 9:17 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is it too early to whisper about Oscar nominations?
posted by delfin at 9:18 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nthing the praise for World's Greatest Dad. So good, although I pity the unsuspecting family that rents it based on this innocuous-looking poster.
posted by brundlefly at 9:25 AM on February 7, 2012


Heathers wasn't about how cool it is to blow up high schools. I think you can temper you fears regarding a promotion of gun culture.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:25 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


This isn't Heathers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:26 AM on February 7, 2012


I fancy a Mefi version of this.

We could never have a cross over between the two, though. Because if that guy had been a MeFi member he wouldn't have had a TV and then he'd never be in that sorry mess.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:30 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Like Breaking Bad, loathe NBK; kind of torn here.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:36 AM on February 7, 2012


One of my fondest memories of my early twenties involved sneaking footlong cheesesteaks into a near-empty weekday matinee of Shakes the Clown with a very dear friend. I got beef grease up the sleeve of my motorcycle jacket all the way up to the elbow, but it was so, so worth it.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:37 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most of the jokes in the Letterman routine in the first link are on 1988 album Meat Bob. The 80s comedy is stale but the routine holds up pretty well overall.
posted by peeedro at 9:43 AM on February 7, 2012


I had never heard of World's Greatest Dad. Nor did I know that Bobcat Goldwait is directing movies. Chalk up two marks in my learn-something-new-every-day column.
posted by slogger at 9:46 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I seem to remember Bobcat Goldthwait apearing on Good Morning America not so much to promote Shakes the Clown, but defend it from real clowns. Funny stuff.
posted by Sailormom at 9:48 AM on February 7, 2012


Falling Down meets Juno--I smell a hit!

Except Falling Down was an indictment of conservative anger and this looks like an endorsement of liberal anger? There's either too much political subtext in this movie or not enough.

That FDR movie looks awesome, though.
posted by DU at 9:48 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


How does he get into my head like that? HOW DOES HE GET INTO MY HEAD LIKE THAT?!
posted by clvrmnky at 9:49 AM on February 7, 2012


This movie has already managed to generate a certain amount of social commentary for me in the ubiquitous presence of people who are basically saying "murdering the Kardashians? Oh Fuck Yeah this is gonna be awesome!"

It appears Goldthwait's oeuvre managed to fly completely below my radar, which is maybe not that surprising given that I've apparently up to now judged the content of a movie like World's Greatest Dad by its uninspiring trailer. And come to read up a bit and find out I never had a notion of what this movie is about, and what it's about sounds actually, well, interesting.

I don't know how much more there could be to say about something I've seen less than 2.5 heavily edited minutes of.
posted by nanojath at 9:56 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also love this real video of FDR in the related videos to the FDR Badass trailers.
posted by DU at 10:02 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I will enjoy this, if only for the 'manic pixie dream girl goes on a shooting spree' aspect, but I'll leave the theater feeling unclean if they they keep the violence consequence-free.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:05 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll leave the theater feeling unclean if they they keep the violence consequence-free.

It'll turn out that he doesn't actually have a tumor -- it was misdiagnosed -- and now he has to live with what he has done. CAN HE LIVE WITH WHAT HE HAS DONE?!
posted by asnider at 10:15 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll leave the theater feeling unclean if they they keep the violence consequence-free.

It'll turn out that he doesn't actually have a tumor -- it was misdiagnosed -- and now he has to live with what he has done. CAN HE LIVE WITH WHAT HE HAS DONE?!


What if it turns out that he goes to jail, he writes his memoirs, somehow gets out of jail, and becomes a renowned professor of Classics at a small liberal arts college. (liberals lol ending)

Or he is kidnapped by Xe operatives and dropped off in Afghanistan, armed with a machine gun and a flak jacket, and he starts killing innocent Afghans who "bother" him. (conservatives lol ending)
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:21 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think less "Falling Down meets Juno" than "Falling Down meets Super", what with the pixied teenage sidekick. "Super", of course, was already "Falling Down meets Juno", what with Ellen Page and all.

Also, I'm embarrassed to admit that I only just now realized that Joel Murray and Brian-Doyle Murray are two different (albeit related) people. Still, I can hope for an uncredited Chris Elliott cameo in "God Bless America"
posted by hincandenza at 10:24 AM on February 7, 2012


Oops- I meant to add that the tumor makes me think we could add the criminally underrated "Joe Versus the Volcano" to the elevator pitch mix. So yeah: "'Joe Versus the Volcano' meets 'Super'".

My work here is done. Carry on.
posted by hincandenza at 10:26 AM on February 7, 2012


I'll leave the theater feeling unclean if they they keep the violence consequence-free.

Of course. A movie isn't a movie without third-act redemption.

So the guy meets an ardent Tea Partier counterprotesting at an Occupy rally (topical!). Kidnaps the Tea Partier, heads for South Dakota, planning to throw him off Teddy Roosevelt's head at Mount Rushmore as his final act of insurrection. They inevitably get to talking - maybe they share a guilty love for White Castle slidres (trendy, lucrative product placement!). Turns out the Tea Partier lost his spouse to the same kind of tumour our hero's got. He's lonely, he just needs a community.

The wistful we-can-work-it-out jangle of "Solsbury Hill" kicks in. They head to Congress, address a joint session, table an omnibus Ain't Life Somethin' Bill. After which our hero turns self in, heads toward prison gates with a look of taking-my-lumps resolve and a vow to run for Senator in three-to-five. Cut to credits.
posted by gompa at 10:43 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a bit of Johnny The Homicidal Maniac to this, as well, particularly if these two manage to get that far killing people blatantly. Be there are probably less pre-murder soliloquies.
posted by LMGM at 10:47 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Falling Down meets Juno--I smell a hit!

It's funny you should mention Juno. Diablo Cody is apparently one of the films targets.
posted by cazoo at 10:54 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


a ninety-minute diatribe against everything he hates in popular culture

I am 100% behind this effort.
posted by Chekhovian at 11:34 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, because solving problems through violence isn't the most perfect example of the coarsening of our popular culture.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:45 AM on February 7, 2012


No, solving problems through violence _on live television_ would be the most perfect example.

We work with what media we can get away with.
posted by delfin at 11:55 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


My inner vigilante approves of this.
posted by dejah420 at 12:06 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I fancy a Mefi version of this.

Somebody bitching on the grey about a word being offensive? BLAMBLAMBLAM!
Somebody using the words "special snowflake" or "fighty"? BLAMBLAMBLAM!

And so on.


My... thing that sets me off is the usage of the pop-phrase 'trigger'. BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM
posted by FatherDagon at 12:10 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Boondock Shakes.
posted by steinsaltz at 12:11 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


solving problems through violence isn't the most perfect example of the coarsening of our popular culture.

I get this a lot. "No you can't criticize religion because that only makes believers believe even more", or "No you can't mock the coarsening of popular culture because that only coarsens popular culture even more", etc etc.

Apparently no one can criticize or mock anyone for anything.
posted by Chekhovian at 12:24 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somehow this clip seems appropriate in this thread regarding dramatic violence. I've been wrestling with how exactly to frame it, but I think it stands enough on its own. Blood: It's what we do:
The Player: We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see.

Guildenstern: Is that what people want?

The Player: It's what we do.
That all-humanity-throughout-time-inclusive 'we' in that last line in the scene makes all the difference.
posted by chambers at 12:57 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seul contre tous without the honesty
posted by p3on at 1:42 PM on February 7, 2012


Still haven't seen Shakes the Clown, but I keep meaning to get to it -- probably because the poster blurb is still burned in my memory: "The Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies"
posted by Mchelly at 2:40 PM on February 7, 2012


This post made me watch World's Greatest Dad.

Thank you!
posted by molecicco at 3:07 PM on February 7, 2012


I like Bobcat Goldthwait, and this movie looks amusing, but as I was watching a trailer, I found myself thinking "Fun, but I hope there's an overarching point to all this rampant, celebrity-focused gun violence."

And then I aged 100 years.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 3:41 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This kind of reminds me of The Last Supper. I didn't really care for that movie, but this looks pretty good. I loved World's Greatest Dad.
posted by Dismantled King at 3:52 PM on February 7, 2012


I've been listening to Marc Maron regularly, and when he recently interviewed Bobcat, I thought, 'whoa, haven't heard THAT name for awhile. Wonder what he's up to."

That when I learned he'd been making these dark independent movies, with a mention of this one coming up.

Circle of life note: I heard about Marc Maron from the Blue entry about his interview with the Onion guy talking about suicide, which I listened to while standing in line at a downtown hotel waiting for the qualifying test for "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." Experiencing banal pop culture while listening to a man's journey through hell made for a memorable day.
posted by Bill Peschel at 4:50 PM on February 7, 2012


I partially cured a friend's fear of clowns by sitting down with her and watching Shakes The Clown. This is going on the "to be seen in a theatre" list.

It did nothing to address her abject terror of mimes, but hey, baby steps.
posted by Minus215Cee at 5:08 PM on February 7, 2012


You know, I love Heathers and Falling Down, for almost completely inverse reasons. I also loved Kick-Ass, which seems just as gleeful (if not more) than this in its celebration of completely unrepentant and unproblematized violence. But something about this makes me a bit icky. Maybe it's the targeting of real people? Or the thinly veiled, Scary Movie 4 level of sophistication parodies, that are so clearly just ways of saying "shooting up American Idol would be awesome" without paying for the rights to use the show's name? I think that's it.

That said, I'll still see it.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:19 PM on February 7, 2012


Goldthwait is not an ex-comedian. He just makes movies too. Still quite amusing.
posted by markkraft at 5:32 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I suspected Bobcat Goldthwait of being an underappreciated genius when I saw him in a commercial for a series of HBO comedy specials decades ago.

Their slogan for the specials was "We're talking serious comedy here!" In the commercial that featured him, the announcer recited that tagline and the laughtrack started, and he suddenly started yelling at it:

"NO! NO LAUGHING!"

Seeing Shakes the Clown later did not disabuse me of my notion.
posted by kyrademon at 5:46 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or the thinly veiled, Scary Movie 4 level of sophistication parodies, that are so clearly just ways of saying "shooting up American Idol would be awesome" without paying for the rights to use the show's name? I think that's it.

If you totaled up the cost of licensing, supposing the rights holders somehow were convinced to even return a phone call, much less actually agree to start talking prices, you'd end up with a number that would make the actual budget of the film look like a rounding error in the price tag. Besides, it would ruin the fun of seeing these idiotic TV shows meet some violent end if I knew that those same idiotic shows were making a buck off of it, so I have no problem with the parody names.

Sometimes actually it works out to benefit the film, such as the cans of generic 'food' and 'beer' you see in Repo Man; other times it ends up with something akin to the empty, pitiful feeling you have when your annoying drunk friend thinks wearing a knock-off rubber Nixon mask is cutting edge comedy.

Goldthwait's creativity lies closer to the former, and, weirdly enough, I have a good deal of faith in his comedic sense. Hot to Trot was a paycheck; this is his own creation, and judging by the producers and the production company, it gives the impression that they will not mess too much with his creation.

It may not turn out to be a deep and meaningful work of cinematic art and biting satire, but the chances are good that it'll be pretty funny.
posted by chambers at 6:10 PM on February 7, 2012


"Somebody bitching on the grey about a word being offensive? BLAMBLAMBLAM!"

It seems to me this was standard practice once upon a time in alt.religion.kibology, so there's a precedent, if you can stomach the Steve Irwin jokes.
posted by sneebler at 10:08 PM on February 7, 2012


I believe, or maybe have faith, that many, if not most, of the redbox renters who attended to the R rating before paying their money thought World's Greatest Dad was wonderful.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:59 AM on February 8, 2012


I just saw WGD last week. I didn't have any expectations other than how much I have laughed from Bobcat and Robin. Oh, shit. I'm still processing that film. Completely unexpected.
posted by Goofyy at 10:56 AM on February 8, 2012


chambers: I totally agree with what you're saying. While I do think lame parodies are, well, lame, my point was more about the unabashed glee at the thought of murdering popular annoying people that made me a little uncomfortable.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:39 PM on February 8, 2012


Here is another scene from the movie. Warning: this may be difficult to watch for some.
posted by 4ster at 4:34 PM on February 8, 2012


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