Monday, January 31, 2011
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer still suck
As I learned from a movie by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer earlier this week, vampires suck.
But they don't suck as much as Friedberg and Seltzer do.
I watched Vampires Suck on my last day before the end of ranking my 2010 movies because it was short and I had a block of time to fill after getting home from work. Plus, as stated here, I had the masochistic desire to flesh out the bottom of my rankings.
However, if I had consciously known it was "a Friedberg-Seltzer joint" (Spike Lee, forgive me), I would have definitely avoided it.
But if it walks like a Friedberg-Seltzer movie, and it talks like a Friedberg-Seltzer movie, then it's probably a Friedberg-Seltzer movie.
If I'm losing you with these names, let me tell you about these two guys, who I loosely consider to be two of the worst people in Hollywood. But first, let's take a look at who we're dealing with.
Here are Jason and Aaron:
And oh look! Some kind soul on the internet has already done the work for me. Jason and Aaron do, in fact, suck.
And I'm glad they find themselves so funny, because no one else does. Or no one else should -- but apparently, some people do, which is why Friedberg-Seltzer movies still make money, which is why they get to keep on making them.
After being not-totally-terrible in Scary Movie, where they shared the writing credit with four others, here's what they've gone on to unleash on the world:
Date Movie (2006)
Epic Movie (2007)
Meet the Spartans (2008)
Disaster Movie (2008)
Each of these films has been given one star by the website I write for. And even that might be too generous, except that the website refuses to cut a single star in half. One is as low as they go. That's got to be the lowest number of stars for any four movies in the careers of any writer, director, writer-director or team of writer-directors.
Vampires Suck was given one-and-a-half stars, although no review exists -- in fact, I may be the one who reviews it. Vampires Suck, in fact, is one half start better than the two other Friedberg-Seltzer movies I've seen, Date Movie and Epic Movie. It's nice to know that over the course of almost exactly four years since I last checked in with them (I went to Epic Movie in January 2007, in the theater, because I was desperate to start my new yearly rankings), they've managed to raise their overall aesthetic from an F grade to an F+.
So they still suck -- they still suck big time. They just suck marginally less than they did before.
Why is Vampires Suck "better" than the other Friedberg-Seltzer parodies? For one, at least it manages to stick pretty much to a central plot. The first two Twilight movies are the unambiguous target of this film. Fuckwad #1 and Fuckwad #2 use that architecture to keep the plot, even the jokes, relatively streamlined. Whereas in their other two movies I saw, Date Movie blended the plots of Hitch, Meet the Fockers, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and others, and Epic Movie was so confused, I don't even remember what its plot was (but did you know that Snakes on a Plane and Nacho Libre count as an "epic movies"?).
And that's really the "big secret" about these two -- no matter what goes in the ______ of _____ Movie, all they really want is an excuse to lampoon up-to-the-moment cultural trends. And that's what was my true tip-off that Friedberg and Seltzer were the ones who shat out Vampires Suck. It wasn't the fact that it was a parody -- others have dabbled in parodies during Friedberg and Seltzer's dubious reign, including the Wayans brothers and the Abrahams-Zucker team. It was the moment when a character throws a cell phone and it hits Alice in Wonderland in the head. It was when there was an inexplicable riff on Dear John that lasts about 15 seconds. It was when Lady Gaga makes an appearance. It couldn't have been a Seltzer-Friedberg movie released in 2010 without the requisite cameo by Lady Gaga. (Not the actual Lady Gaga, of course, but a person playing her.)
I've said it before, I'm saying it now, and I'll probably still be saying it in 2017, after they've inevitably made five more movies:
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer suck.
Unfortunately, I'm not done with them yet. I'll be seeing Meet the Spartans sometime soon. I've already been approved to review it.