Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Hangover (not mine...the movie)

I really hadn't planned on writing a full blog about going to see the Hangover, since of all the things I am, a movie reviewer is not one of them. Nonetheless, a week ago when Westword offered a chance to get free passes to an advance screening of the Hangover, I jumped at the chance. Normally I don't make a big effort to see new release movies, especially when they are mass marketed big studio type films. Nonetheless, Zach Galifianakis' scenes in the trailer were enough to catch my interest.

The general deal was that we weren't guaranteed seats, but if we got there early (they said 30-60 minutes), we should have a good chance of getting seats. Turns out that the prospect of getting something for free was more than people could stand, and they probably took the day off of work just to get in line. We actually heard that people began showing up at noon to line up for the 7 p.m. showing. As much as I wanted to see the movie, it wasn't bad enough to wait 7 hours in a 14 plex in Arvada, so I'm glad we made it to the theater at about 6:15. The line was already ridiculous by that point, and we were probably 250-300 people back in line. The good news we found out was that the theater held over 400, so we stuck it out and found seats that were up front, but not quite the front row.

The biggest surprise about the line was that we were really expecting a lot of hipsters, largely due to the Galifianakis cult following and because I was expecting not a lot of people go through the Westword movie section where the free showing was announced. Turns out a radio station had announced the show today though, because we soon found out that the line looked much more like the Flatirons mall crowd than the painfully hip Sputnik crowd. Further proof of the low hipster turnout was the lack of silly hats, which were almost non-existent. Rather, I think most were anxious to see "that guy from The Office" as much as anyone in the movie.

Oh yeah, I should mention that we saw the movie too. I was afraid the previews had given away all the funny parts, but by no means was that the case. I actually have a hangover from the movie because there were so many funny parts that I really can't remember any of them. Plus, you don't want me to spoil it anyway. Just to reassure you, there are plenty of scenes in the movie that aren't in the trailer, and while some of the humor is a bit crude, it avoids being completely low brow and stays true to Galifianakis' comedic style.

My favorite part of the night was as we were leaving hearing all of the mall crowd talking about all the ridiculous cliched things that people say about Vegas. Yes, a woman behind me even said "yeah, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Wow, I thought, this is not Zach's typical crowd. This is the guy who makes jokes about the most offensive subjects imaginable but somehow gets away with it because they are so intelligent.

Alas, I fear that the non-mainstream days of Zach G. have finally come to an end. If this movie is not his breakout, then I don't know what will be. Land of the Lost may dominate the top of the box office standings for the weekend, but I think The Hangover will sustain as well. I can't be more glad that I got to see his stand-up show at the Boulder Theater 18 months or so ago, because even those days may be numbered as well. The good news I think is that Visioneers should finally be released. It's apparently been picked up for distribution, but I'm sure they are waiting for The Hangover to make Zach a superstar first so they can maximize profits. Given the laugh-out-loud comedy of The Hangover, I'm wondering how the dark comedy of Visioneers is going to be received for Galifianakis by his new mainstream followers. Hmm, this situation sounds familiar...anyone remember The Cable Guy?

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