Worth A Look: 40.54%
Pretty Bad: 2.7%
Total Crap: 10.81%
1 review, 31 user ratings
|Pauly Shore is Dead
by Chris Parry
Pauly Shore is an easy target. Heís long been considered a running joke in film circles, having sold his momentarily successful image down the crapper with a string of awful comedies since his rise to fame in the early 90ís. But while becoming a human Simpsons joke might be reason for shame for most in the entertainment world, Shore has never taken his rep too seriously, and the overwhelming proof of this comes in the form of his latest film; Youíll Never Wiez In This Town Again. While catching a Ďweasel movieí might rank somewhere slightly below self-tracheotomy on the To-Do lists of most people, Iím about to tell you something quietly shocking Ė this is actually one of the funnier movies Iíve seen in a while. And no, Iím not high.When we were all having fun making easy jokes on the back of Shoreís fall from grace in the 90ís, he obviously eventually came to a point where he had to make a decision on his future. Based on the traditional Hollywood career crossroads options, he could have gone one of three ways:
"The greatest Pauly Shore movie ever. And I donít mean that in a bad way."
1) The Todd Bridges Route: Which involves getting entirely annoyed by continual public exposure of your screw-ups, finding religion and dropping out of the picture entirely.
2) The Corey Feldman Route: Which involves ignoring the bad press and continuing to sell out by making whatever crap will put a few bucks on the table.
3) The Sean Penn Route: Get original, dump the shtick that made you famous and show people that you can actually act some.
And yes, shocking as it may sound, Pauly Shore has chosen option #3. The guy went out and wrote, directed, starred in and paid for a feature film based around his life Ė and death Ė and the flick is genuinely funny and very hard to dislike. And it stars the three people mentioned above, amongst nearly 40 others.
Youíll Never Wiez In This Town Again is not a vanity project. In fact, the movie could quite possibly be the very antithesis of a vanity project; this is more like a self-mutilation project, complete with a smart sense of humor and complete lack of ego from all involved.
The concept here is that Shore has given up on his Weasel shtick. Having played his last cards with an awful sitcom pilot on Fox, heís sacked his agent and manager and decided to go it alone. Only his name isnít exactly doing marquee business anymore. So one night Shore is visited by the ghost of Sam Kinison and told he should kill himself if he wants to be recognized as a comedy genius. Solid advice Ė worked for Kinison, and it could well work for Andrew Dice Clay some day.
So Shore decides to wimp out and fake his own death, rather than take a bullet. What follows is a long line of funny scenes and hilarious cameos that Iíd gladly list here, only theyíre far funnier when you donít see them coming. Suffice to say that Shore isnít the only celebrity that makes fun of himself in this film, from porn stars to A-list actors, Rico Suave to Tommy Lee, Jay Mewes to Ben Stiller, everyone involved drops their self-love and makes with the self-abuse.
Look, over the years Iíve been mentally tortured by Pauly Shoreís work as much as the next guy. Anyone who has watched Biodome from start to finish deserves a medal of honor in my opinion, but letís remember that Biodome also starred Kylie Minogue, and you donít hear anyone bitching about her now that she shows her ass in music videos.
So Shore was in some stinky crap over the years. But so were Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd and Jeff Goldblum, yet we got over those bad years because, eventually, those guys stopped making crud and started showing us more. Maybe itís a stretch to compare Pauly Shore to Tom Hanks, but (I canít believe Iím saying this) it may well be time to cut the guy a break and give him a clean slate.
Why? Because he didnít just star in this film, he built it from the ground up and the results are pretty damn good. Itís consistently funny, looks great for a no-budget HD video production, is jam-packed with stars making asses of themselves and, yes, Shore even shows a little acting ability. The star of the show makes no secret of the fact that he knows his previous work is shitty and heís essentially using this film as a means of saying, ďOkay, Iím beating myself up now, are you happy? Can we move on please?Ē
Granted, there are issues in the film that should be addressed before it hits the big screen in any sort of wide release. You could trim fifteen minutes out of this story and have a much funnier, smoother film at the end of it, and some of the jokes do fall flat. But those that donít are quite definitely hilarious, and thatís not just some weirdo film reviewer with a secret Pauly shore video collection talking Ė the entire audience I saw this film with was HOWLING.
The great American one-hit-wonder/over-the-hill actor comedy has been a long time coming Ė who hasnít wondered how long it would be until Gary Coleman, Emanuelle Lewis and Soleil Moon-Frye would team up as big screen superheroes? Well, while this film doesnít include any of those three, but even if you personally canít stand Shore, who amongst us wouldnít pay eight bucks to watch Heidi Fleiss spit in his face? Am I right?
There will be plenty of folks with cynical agendas and long memories who will work hard to find reasons to put down this movie, and if you compare it to Lord of the Rings, obviously it will rank a distant second. To be sure, You'll Never Wiez In This Town Again is by no means a high watermark in the history of cinema, but if you compare it to Bringing Down The House, or any other 'out and out comedy' thatís been on your screens in the last year, this film at the very least deserves a theatrical run and a matinee ticket price. Ignore it and youíre ignoring a comedy that will build great word of mouth amongst the college crowd, and will undoubtedly bring some Weasel-Haters back to the fold.And seriously, Iím not high.
link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7226&reviewer=1
originally posted: 03/13/03 08:55:16
|OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.