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January 18, 2007

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As much as I enjoyed parts of the film (I think I even gave it the same rating), I can understand - sadly - why it was shelved for so long. More of a reflection on the general state of mainstream movies than FOX in general (although they're certainly bastards as well); I imagine the movie would have found its audience were art houses as commonplace as the multiplex.

I'm pretty sure that if the movie had been given any sort of publicity whatsoever (I didn't see a single trailer for it, though plenty for the company's John Tucker Must Die) and properly advertised, it would have been performed fine. I guess I haven't seen the film (yet) but from what I can tell there doesn't seem to be anything about the film that would make traditional audiences averse to it.

I'm sure Idiocracy would have done fine at the b.o., if only because - thanks to Office Space - Judge has a built-in audience that would have attended regardless of less-than-stellar reviews. Why Fox thought it was worth suppressing is beyond me given all the crap that studios release on a weekly basis - and as those of us who go to not-screened-for-critics films know all to well, that's A LOT of crap (right, Rob?).

Still, I wish I could strongly get behind Idiocracy as a great film in its own right. Unfortunately, it's just too genial and flimsy to be anything more than a mildly amusing diversion - albeit one that I'd prefer to watch over quite a bit of the stuff that's coming out in January and February...

In trying to assume the mindset of the average multiplex peon (god that reads pretentious, but really...), I imagined that "Idiocracy" would have disappointed many simply because of its low, low budget look and humor that goes against the grain of traditional stupidity. Many would be pleasantly entertained I'm sure (I did like the film, to a point), but having seen movies such as "Open Water", "Collateral" and "Miami Vice" with audiences who openly complained about "something being wrong with the film", my experience tells me to be less optimistic.

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