Better Off Dead
Because of the extremely fascinating discussion of this film over at Lee and Dan's Midnight Movie Club podcast (with guest star MC), I decided to pick this movie up at the rental store. I was surprised it was even on the shelf. But, there it was.
Make sure you listen to the in-depth discussion about the film before you get into this review. I wouldn’t have picked this movie up if it weren’t for the podcast. I vaguely remember seeing bits and pieces of it on cable, but I never got through the movie. So, what are main thoughts on the movie?
Man, what a strange movie!
-Singing and dancing animated hamburgers: You ether turn the movie off at this point or keep going. The animated hamburgers remind me of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.
-The Asian drag racers: I wasn’t really a fan of these scenes, but I did like the payoff at the end. By the way, how did Lane Meyer crash into the back of that fat dude’s ride without him seeing it before? He was at a stoplight.
-Is it real?: It was a little frustrating to not know what exactly was real and what was fake. The humor goes from the ridiculous to a teen comedy. I’m not sure they both work well here. Strangely enough, Better Off Dead and Hot Tub Time Machine share these traits.
-Curtis Armstrong is underused, but he does fit the bill for the “wacky friend” ™.
-Monique Junot is cute. She plays the sweet girl with heart of gold.
-Two Dollars!: Every scene with the newspaper boy was brilliant. The director filmed the scenes like horror movies. The best newsboy scene is the one in the park with the huge gang of paperboys chasing him. “I want my two dollars.” Supposedly, someone yells “two dollars” at John Cusack in Hot Tub Time Machine. I didn’t hear it.
-Steven Williams plays the Tree Trimmer in one scene. I love this line, ((Tree Trimmer: [to fellow tree trimmer] Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that.))
-The hanging suicide bit was very dark.
-A space shuttle, really?
Overall, I can’t say I’m 100% sold on the movie, but there are some things to really like about the movie. I’m glad I listened to podcast and gave this movie a try.