Thursday, February 3, 2011

Movie Review: "Man on the Moon"

Directed by: Milos Forman
Year Released: 1999
Running Time: 118 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Annette's Star Rating: **** (4 out of 5)'s Quick Summary:
A film about the life and career of the eccentric avant-garde comedian, Andy Kaufman.
Years ago, it must've been, I remember seeing this movie before, but I don't believe I saw the whole thing from beginning to end the first time around. If I did before, then I didn't understand the story as well as I do now, since I've grown in years and matured in my tastes.

To make a long story short, I liked watching this movie. To make a short story a little longer, I liked watching this movie because it's a different sort of comedy from the obvious parody that was "Johnny Dangerously" (see my recent review of it at this link). Since the story is actually based on the life of a real person, the humor has more of an empathic flavor to it. I feel like what I'm watching might've actually happened to a guy named Andy Kaufman.

However, from the opening scene of "Man on the Moon", the audience gets a big dose of meta-humor: Andy (played by the incomparable Jim Carrey) says in his funny voice that the movie-makers have taken the events of his life and rearranged and rewrote them for dramatic purposes, and that he thinks the movie is a load of baloney. With that, he starts rolling the ending credits for the movie and he wonders why the audience is not leaving the theater.

**Because we paid good money for these seats and we're going to get our money's worth!**
(Not that we really paid to see "Man on the Moon", we just borrowed the DVD from our local library.)

Anyway, after the "end-credits" are done rolling, there's dead, black air for about 10 seconds, and Andy Kaufman comes back on in a normal-sounding voice explaining that the prank he just pulled was just so he could get everyone who wouldn't understand him or his work out of the theater and because he knew that the really curious ones would stay and be patient enough to see the rest of the real movie.

That is the first big joke, and I can't believe I never saw it the first time around. If I did, I would've remembered what a funny and creative stunt it was. If after reading this blog-post you decide to go watch this movie for yourself, now you'll be prepared to sit through the silly prologue and get to the really juicy parts.

All in all, the story is fascinating and well-written, the main characters are memorable and played by fine actors (Jim Carrey, Danny Devito, and Paul Giamatti among many others), and there are even some celebrity appearances by David Letterman, Lorne Michaels, and pro-wrestler Jerry Lawler all playing as themselves and re-enacting the roles they played in Andy Kaufman's life.

Plus, check out the amazing resemblance between Jim Carrey and the real Andy Kaufman! To me, it's almost eerie how much they look alike. Also, I found out that they both have the exact same birthday: January 17th! 0_0 (You can see for yourself; check out both their bios on Wikipedia or some other information website.)

The movie is rated "R" due to a brief scene of nudity involving Andy and a couple of prostitutes, but other than that, most of the movie is clean and free of offensive material. Sure there are a few swears here and there, but nothing flat-out crude.

Except there is this one character, Tony Clifton, a lounge singer/insult-comic persona of Andy Kaufman's, who generally abuses the audience and acts like a jerk mostly for the heck of it, and he may get some viewers of this movie riled up, but just remember that it's only Andy or his friend Bob Zmuda (played by Paul Giamatti) in makeup and costume and you'll be fine.

As a biographical film, "Man on the Moon" might not be a 100% accurate account of Andy Kaufmans life, but as a dramatic story, it works quite well in giving me a good 2 hours of entertainment.

This is the end of my review, so see you later, and enjoy the rest of your time on your computer or other internet-viewing device.
"Thank you very much!"

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhhhh look at them! They do look a lot alike. I just love Jim Carrey. He's so comical.

    I'm not old enough to see it though. Mehhhhhhhhh so much for that.


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