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Superbad


Michael Todd
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Michael Todd wrote:

: Plus, I don't see CT Movies covering it, just like Knocked Up was avoided.

Well... it was a little more complicated than that, as we mentioned in the Knocked Up thread. First it was avoided, then it was aimed for, then it was missed, and then it was dropped. So, no "conspiracy" there.

I can't recall if Superbad was ever seriously considered at CT Movies. Knocked Up at least had the "hook" of being about a pregnancy that is not terminated. I don't know if Superbad has any similar selling points, but if it does, I haven't heard about them.

I do recall that CT Movies used to skip films that really pushed the good-taste envelope, or so it seemed, and on the day that those films were released, CT Movies would post a note saying that Jeffrey Overstreet would deal with them (by rounding up the opinions of other critics) in his "Film Forum" the following week. But the "Film Forum" was cancelled a while ago, so if a film doesn't get a specific review -- or perhaps a spot in a multi-film essay like the one Brett McCracken wrote about pregnancy in current films -- it pretty much gets skipped altogether.

We can't review EVERYthing, after all! So choices have to be made.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Peter's comments are pretty on target, though it's not like we have a "policy" to avoid all movies that are crass and/or pushing bad taste. We DO have a limited budget, and we can't cover everything, as Peter said. This week, I opted for Death at a Funeral over Superbad. (And no, it's not as simple as "three movies per week," either.) As for "avoiding" or "skipping" Knocked Up, it NEVER was avoided. It was assigned MONTHS before it opened, and then the original critic had a job change and the film had to be reassigned, which it was a couple of weeks before the film opened. I thought the second assigned critic was on the task, and indeed, that critic saw a screening in plenty of time. But after several missed deadlines, added to the fact that I was going out of town for a long vacation immediately after the THIRD missed deadline, we had to punt. By the time I got back from vacation, the film had been out almost three weeks, and it was too late then for a "proper" review -- but as Peter noted, we did include Knocked Up in the "multi-film essay" by Brett McCracken:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/co...lifecinema.html

So, that's the straight story . . . straight from the editor's mouth . . .

mark moring

editor, ct movies

Michael Todd wrote:

: Plus, I don't see CT Movies covering it, just like Knocked Up was avoided.

Well... it was a little more complicated than that, as we mentioned in the Knocked Up thread. First it was avoided, then it was aimed for, then it was missed, and then it was dropped. So, no "conspiracy" there.

I can't recall if Superbad was ever seriously considered at CT Movies. Knocked Up at least had the "hook" of being about a pregnancy that is not terminated. I don't know if Superbad has any similar selling points, but if it does, I haven't heard about them.

I do recall that CT Movies used to skip films that really pushed the good-taste envelope, or so it seemed, and on the day that those films were released, CT Movies would post a note saying that Jeffrey Overstreet would deal with them (by rounding up the opinions of other critics) in his "Film Forum" the following week. But the "Film Forum" was cancelled a while ago, so if a film doesn't get a specific review -- or perhaps a spot in a multi-film essay like the one Brett McCracken wrote about pregnancy in current films -- it pretty much gets skipped altogether.

We can't review EVERYthing, after all! So choices have to be made.

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markmoring wrote:

: As for "avoiding" or "skipping" Knocked Up, it NEVER was avoided.

FWIW, all I meant by "First it was avoided" was that it was not on the original list of assignments sent out in April. But now that I've double-checked my copy of that list, I see that ... it was on there after all! Whoops. I must have forgotten because (a.) it wasn't on the pre-assignment list and (b.) after all my petitioning, it had been assigned to someone else, and the pain of the loss was too much to bear. :)

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Thanks for the replies. I took an accusatory tone, but I do so in jest. I am aware that the film forum is no more, and that Jeffrey often compiled reviews, though I do not think I was conscious as to why certain films were reviewed while others were not.

What struck me is that two wide-release movies, both crass but well-reviewed were not given a treatment by the magazine. Admittedly, maybe I am a bit of a sadist. I noticed the discrepancy, due to my desire to see how CT Movies would walk the tight rope of saying positive things about a crass film to a congregation of A.W. Tozers.

Despite my sadism, I do wonder what the strategy is behind picking and choosing what films will and will not be reviewed by CT Movies. Superbad could be a ground-breaking re-interpretation of the teen sex comedy genre. Would CT Movies choose to be silent to American culture about Fast Times at Ridgemont High or American Pie?

I appreciate explanations, but which movie will be seen by more and influence more -- Death at a Funeral or Superbad? Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of Frank Oz. Due to my ability to imitate Yoda, Grover, and Miss Piggy, I am in the habit of saying, "I have the Frank Oz range." Frank Oz and I share a vocal kinship, but Death at a Funeral is not at my movie theater in Western Kentucky, whereas, Superbad is.

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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I was expecting something along the lines of Knocked Up and 40-Year-Old Virgin in terms of vulgarity and the like ... and to be honest I generally have no problem with that type of humor or language, but this was TOO over the top with language. It felt like lazy writing more than anything ... of course plenty of kids talk in this way, but most not QUITE this bad. I still have to say there were plenty of funny moments, but not enough to overcome the feeling the filmmakers were "trying too hard" (so cliche, I know).

6/10

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I thought the scenes with "McLovin" and with the cops were very funny. But the storyline with the two main characters was pretty cliche, the typical party scenes we've seen in too many films. Vulgarity just for shock value isn't very funny, and won't get you too far. What kind of a career does Andrew Dice Clay have these days?

The 70s soundtrack and graphics were cool, but it made it a little disconcerting trying to determine if this film was supposed to be "retro" or was supposed to reflect how high school is today.

Overall, I agree with a 6/10 rating. It's better than the Road Trip or American Pie movies, but these writers have a ways to go to graduate into the Cameron Crowe/Richard Linklater screenwriting class.

Edited by Crow
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Crow wrote:

: The 70s soundtrack and graphics were cool, but it made it a little disconcerting trying to determine if this film was supposed to be "retro" or was supposed to reflect how high school is today.

I haven't seen the film yet, but this comment reminded me of a comment made by Chris Knight of The National Post:

That's right; screenwriters Goldberg and Rogen, first names Evan and Seth, whose best childhood friend was Fogell, have written a script in which the main characters are Evan, Seth and Fogell. For more proof of its autobiographical underpinnings, note that the characters, supposedly born circa 1990, make references to Dr. Strangelove, Vietnam, Tiananmen Square and Orson Welles as though reciting the lyrics to Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I was just wonder'n if this movie could also be seen as a farewell to childhood. There seems to be major themes of social acceptance before adulthood. My 12 year old daughter just had one of her best friends move a couple of hours away. Sometime before that she told me that she thinks she won't be friends with most of her friends when they are adults. I felt a little sad about that as I try to involve myself into her relationships to the extent that she and they allow me. By the end of this movie I felt the same way I felt about my daughter and her comments, that over time friendships will be broken never to return on the same terms. Wondering how much of that social acceptance plays into it.

Edited by BBBCanada

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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FWIW, film reviews are prioritized and assigned sometimes as much as four months before any screenings. So there is a lot of guesswork involved.

A few months ago, looking at Superbad's credit list and Death at a Funeral's credit list, I was thinking... WOW. Death at a Funeral looks fantastic! Peter Dinklage? Alan Tudyk? directed by Frank Oz in a British-humor comedy set at a funeral? How could that be anything but hilarious? And Superbad? Looked like another crass, disposable American Pie wannabe.

Now, of course, we see things a little differently. But the assignments were given, and there often isn't much discussion beyond that point.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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FWIW, film reviews are prioritized and assigned sometimes as much as four months before any screenings. So there is a lot of guesswork involved.

A few months ago, looking at Superbad's credit list and Death at a Funeral's credit list, I was thinking... WOW. Death at a Funeral looks fantastic! Peter Dinklage? Alan Tudyk? directed by Frank Oz in a British-humor comedy set at a funeral? How could that be anything but hilarious? And Superbad? Looked like another crass, disposable American Pie wannabe.

Now, of course, we see things a little differently. But the assignments were given, and there often isn't much discussion beyond that point.

Oh well... no conspiracy. Still, my sadistic desires remain unsatisfied.

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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I love you, man!

The film Superbad is striking a chord as boys become more comfortable showing their devotion. They hug - even when they haven't just won the big game

Globe and Mail, August 23

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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FWIW, Superbad is more-or-less keeping pace with Knocked Up, and is thus well ahead of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which opened at pretty much the exact same point on the calender two years ago. It is also only the third film this summer to be #1 for two weeks in a row; Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End were the other two. (You have to go back to April to find a film that was #1 for THREE weeks in a row; that film was Disturbia.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Excellent Globe and Mail article Peter. I give it...4.5/5 It is definitely worthwhile to look at why male bonding and lasting relationships (if is a problem) is a problem.

Edited by BBBCanada

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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  • 3 months later...

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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