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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Disaster MovieBetter than Citizen Kane, Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption combined

Take dozens of recently successful films, and loosely connect them in a severely unfocused manner. Then, use a mix of B-list celebrities and obscure actors to perform as though it were an elementary school play. Throw in equally off-target pop culture references and cheap special effects, and what do you get? You get Disaster Movie, arguably the worst movie ever released. Why, you ask, is this movie such a horrid one? The answer partly lies in the script. Writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who also collaborated on the revolting Epic Movie, somehow escaped from prison to commit another, even more dastardly crime. They helped write the original Scary Movie, but the combination of movie spoofs that made that series so good doesn’t work in Disaster Movie. This is because too many movies from too many different genres are too scrunched together, so that the time spent on each film is generally too short and leaves the audience too confused. Friedberg and Seltzer often try to capitalize on the wrong film spoof, spending much more time on certain films than they should have, and showing only brief glimpses of spoofs that could have really hit their mark if given enough time. Equally frustrating is the quality of acting done by the cast. It’s bad. Really bad. Of course, that’s probably what you get when you give Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Minnillo large roles, but the other actors fail to live up to even community-theatre expectations. They rarely show a glimpse of emotion, and their character spoofs are hit-and-miss, with 98% of them being a miss. (One particularly bad highlight is two guys playing Seth and Fogell from Superbad; they look nothing like their targets, manage to sum up the entire Superbad plot in five seconds, and completely suck at their impressions.) The casting is terrible and overuses a few actors-almost three-quarters of the small male roles in the film are played by Ike Barinholtz (and it’s obvious)-and the few celebrities foolish enough to appear as themselves-I’m pretty sure that “Flava Flav” was really played by himself-don’t do much to lessen the pain. I could go on for hours, but since I can’t, here are three quick points. One, the special effects are glaringly cheap and do nothing except detract from the quality of the film. Friedberg and Seltzer could have used less money hiring Carmen Electra and the Wolf from American Gladiators, and more money on the effects-after all, it is a ‘disaster movie’ spoof, and what good disaster movie doesn’t have awesome explosions? Two, the film has several revolting parts that seem to stretch out time. For example, when the princess from Enchanted snacks on a glass bottle and chews, bleeding profusely, with her mouth wide open, it felt like an hour before the actors resumed the dialogue. That was also a negative point in Epic Movie, but apparently Friedberg and Seltzer didn’t get the message. The one good thing about the film was the music. During a 10,000 BC chase spoof, the music is captivating and original, and there are some brilliantly tongue-in-cheek lines in a well-written High School Musical-esque dance number. Unfortunately, though, the music doesn’t make the film, and Disaster Movie, overall, ends up like the protagonists at the end of Cloverfield-alone, in the dark, breathing heavily, as the rubble of the film world cascades over it, burying it at the very bottom of the heap.

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