Friday, February 1, 2013

FDR: American Badass

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

  FDR: American Badass – 2 out of 5

A friend of mine recommended this one to me and the minute he started explaining the film’s premise to me he struck oil. It was clear this movie was crappy cinema gold that would ultimately be one of those fun bad movies to watch where they literally do everything wrong and in doing it wrong, it becomes awesome.

Since fictionalizing past presidents is now apparently a genre, FDR: American Badass is about our 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (played by Barry Bostwick). The film tells the story that FDR was infected with polio thanks to the bite of a werewolf and through a string of sequences that relied heavily on the use of the F-bomb and a lot of talk about cocks, FDR went on to become president, end prohibition, smoke weed with the ghost of Abraham Lincoln (Kevin Sorbo) and went into WWII fighting against the enemies of the world…who were werewolves. They don’t cover much on how FDR issued the order to imprison Japanese-Americans and how he blatantly denied them they’re freedom but whatevs.

Did you think I was fucking with you about the werewolves?

To give a little context to the level you’re dealing with when it concerns this film the director; Garrett Brawith (his last name sounds like a nickname a Bro would give another Bro), directed another film called Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury (which is a guarantee I’ll watch and review someday) starring Hercules himself; Kevin Sorbo, and Danny Trejo—a man who’s career has become both just being Danny Trejo and being a walking joke of an actor (which is harsh of me to say because I was a big fan of his work before he became known for being Danny Trejo in every movie he plays—basically I’m saying he was a better actor before everyone and their grandmother knew who he was). If a title like that doesn’t scream what you should be preparing yourself for in this film than maybe the fact that the film’s writer; Ross Patterson, wrote a film that is currently in pre-production called Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves will.
Pictured:  The next great writer?

I’ll be straight forward with this: FDR: American Badass sucks. It is a shitty, shitty movie. However, it is in its shittiness (which is totally a word) that the film becomes something fun to watch. For example, the movie is funny but not because of any joke placed within the film. Instead, it’s funny because it’s painfully unfunny. The jokes are all weak and nothing but a collection of swears, homophobic characters, racist stereotypes and cock jokes and they’re not even the mildly amusing version of these jokes. But it is within how bad the jokes are and how truly unfunny they can be that makes the film funny. I know this sounds complicated but you’re basically laughing at how the jokes are not funny.

And this happens and it is also not funny.

Also, Laura Palmer was a werewolf.
The acting in this film is nothing to call home about either because it looked like director Garrett Brawith told his cast to do every scene with as much emotion as they can put into it…and not in a good way but in a way that goes towards the intolerably obvious attempt at selling the comedy or, in this case, trying to make you forget that the film is not funny. The entire cast is composed of has-been character actors whose time has come and gone—that isn’t to say there isn’t any good actors in this, far from it. Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) and Lin Shaye (from any given Farrelly Brothers comedy) are in it but when your FDR is played by a guy who is best known for…well…being “that guy” in various TV shows and movies and acts like he’s in a community college performance written and starring frat boys says a lot. But don’t get me wrong, there are some really shitty actors in this film. I feel the performance of Kevin Sorbo (one of the has-beens I mentioned who really needs to bow out respectively and retire to a life of small scale conventions or whatever a former fantasy star can retire to) as the stoner Abe Lincoln (weed and vampires, his life was good) says it all.

Suddenly Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter looks sophisticated and deep.

And speaking of frat boys…

...this guy is clearly one.

American Badass feels like it was written and produced by frat boys (Brawith’s name makes even more sense now). They do their best to sneak in a boob here and there (and doing that without the use of a pill or dependence on low self-esteem is a victory for any Bro) but the dialogue and jokes are the biggest giveaway that people who use phrases like “crush it, brah” were involved in the writing (Ross Patterson, clearly an Axe body spray purchaser and wearer). For example, I’ve mentioned how a lot of the jokes involve discussion of dicks and uses a lot of swear words. First off, homophobic Brahs love talking about dicks and are constantly requesting for their fellow Bros to suck on their dick before engaging in a barrage of informing the others they are “fags” (the fact that they were a moment ago requesting oral sex from their fellow brother is lost on them). To them, the simple mention of a phallus is enough to illicit laughter and, in their defense, they believe that a swear word is the same as a punchline. This combination collides to create the perfect storm for a movie that will be viewed at every fraternity house in the country and was probably sent out gratuitously to them due to the glaring obvious fact that it was written and directed by one of their own—although I must give props to the fact that at least the frat boys involved in the making of this film had a kinda/sort of understanding of history—at least enough to make a shitty parody of it. It’s hard to learn history after all when you spend your time dodging rape charges and figuring out creative ways to drop roofies in sorority girls drinks (the connection is lost on them because when not doing this they are asking each other for blowjobs and drinking).

"Ha ha...dick fart pussy fag.  Those are considered jokes, right?"

The movie was one big Tex Avery know,
if Tex Avery cartoons weren't funny and filled with references
about dicks.
My clear aggression towards Brahs aside (to put it into perspective, the frat guys I’ve known thought Revenge of the Nerds was a tutorial and stopped watching after the first 20 minutes because “they got the idea”—let’s just say I’ve received more than my fair share of wedgies in my life), FDR: American Badass is entertaining for all the wrong reasons—not for the reasons that Brawith and Patterson were going for. The film is far from a smart comedy and it’s barely a stupid one at that. It’s a retarded film—and I don’t mean that in the slang way as if to say this film is lame; I mean it in a way that says this film is mentally challenged and can barely operate on a functioning level. However, unlike the real mentally challenged, it’s okay to laugh at this movie as it tries and fails at its assigned task.

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