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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old August 7th, 2004, 10:13 PM   #1
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Napolean Dynamite

Just got back from this and I really liked it. My friend just didn't get it, and I would be interested in hearing other people's reactions. It reminded a great deal of "Rubin and Ed," which is by another Utah director, Trent Harris, and stars Crispin Glover who is a clear antecedent to the Napolean character.
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Old August 8th, 2004, 09:45 AM   #2
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I thought it was decent, but not as amazingly hilariously outrageously gutbustingly hysterical as the hype would have you believe. I think most people feel this way. Good, but not great.
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Old August 8th, 2004, 10:52 AM   #3
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The climax was entirely freestyled. No choreography.
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Old August 8th, 2004, 12:20 PM   #4
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"not as amazingly hilariously outrageously gutbustingly hysterical as the hype would have you believe."

That's kind of what I was getting at in mentioning "Rubin and Ed." Part of the joke is that it isn't funny. I think it might be a Utah thing. "Rubin and Ed" was billed as the first movie made by Utahns for Utahns. I guess "Napolean Dynamite" represents the first time this kind of thing is getting exported "beyond the Zion curtain." A lot of the humor comes from recognizing the Utah references (even if it was shot in Idaho) -- fry sauce, shopping at Deseret Industries, crepe paper streamers at the formal dance. The dance routine and the costumes that the girls were wearing at the end, just before Napolean cuts loose, are dead on. I'm not kidding. My friend mentioned that she thought all the characters were exagerrated stereotypes. Nope. I grew up in a rural Utah town and I can name someone who is exactly like nearly everyone in this movie. My friend also mentioned that she liked the art direction of the homes that were featured in the film and I had to laugh. Just walk up to a home at random and kick in the door. There's not a lot of exagerration in this movie.
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