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Drillbit Taylor

a film by Steven Brill

I feel like I am in a dream of some kind. It is almost surreal. I cannot help but think somewhere in the universe time and space have shifted and a new, wholly different reality has set in to take the place of everything I have come to know and understand and even love. Damn, it truly is surreal. No matter how you look at it, it just cannot be real.

I speak of course about Drillbit Taylor, but more specifically about the fact that I did not hate it. Faint praise indeed, but praise nonetheless. I can't say I actually liked the film either, but all things taken in perspective it is quite the blow not to totally loathe this film with all its Judd Apatow'd snarkiness and trendy "new Hollywood"-y apathy. Granted the reason for this (un)likability(?) is not the filmmaker or even the film itself (they are both non-entities) but the person of Owen Wilson as the titular budget bodyguard hired to protect a trio of freshmen nerds from the school's resident sociopath bully. What can I say, I'm a sucker for Owen Wilson, no matter how ridiculous his movies end up being (I have the same strange attraction to Jack Black as well) and no matter how unfunny I should be finding him. My confession has been freed. Hallelujah and on with the critique. And here is where I get decidely meaner and start acting more like myself.

In the same vein as Knocked Up and Superbad (i.e. insipid slacker hoke) Drillbit Taylor, trying to be an Apatow'd update of 1980's My Bodyguard (the star of that film, Adam Baldwin has a rather funny cameo here), and produced or something of the kind by idiot king of the new nerds Apatow himself, is another in a long line of passionless soundbites playing themselves off as movies. If there is one thing a movie cannot survive it is the lack of passion. My inexplicable fondness for the less-than-skilled comedia of Wilson aside, if a film has no passion, if a filmmaker has no passion, why even bother watching. Cinema is a passionate art. I believe Truffaut said something along those lines and he was right. If there is no passion (even negative passion in the making of a bad movie) their is no cinema, and without cinema we would die. [03/23/08]

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