Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
Sterling Archer is the world’s most dangerous spy. Of course, you wouldn’t know this from his abrasively bumbling demeanor and caustic ability to misinterpret every single situation he falls into. While, in this post-Austin Powers age of espionage-based comedy, this may seem old hat, every episode of the animated program Archer still manages to be fresh, witty and pause-button-pressing hilarious. In Season 2, Archer channels Gator-era Burt Reynolds to take down an eco-terrorist, learns that he has breast cancer and tries to continue his mission while on chemo, is sued for paternity by a former prostitute acquaintance, and falls for a KGB agent who might be a double agent. Add to the mix his mannishly-handed ex-girlfriend, a domineering mother (and boss), as well as an office full of nonplussed imbecilic coworkers, and it's impossible not to laugh for the entire 22-minute duration of an episode. Archer is truly an international man of hilarity.
It is only the first week of 2012 and I already have a contender for worst movie of the year. It’s the low-budget college football comedy Division III: Football’s Finest, although I prefer to call it An Excuse for Andy Dick to Make 98 Minutes Worth of Homosexual Epithets. Think 1991’s Necessary Roughness if written by jocks who beat gay kids up in the locker room. I’m pretty sure that’s the demographic this is going for, anyway. The aforementioned Dick is Rick Vice, a redneck, possibly psycho, coach who’s come to take Division III losers the Blue Cocks (hehe, get it?) to pigskin victory. With a cast featuring MAD TV alums Will Sasso, Debra Wilson, Mo Collins and Bryan Callen, I guess I shouldn’t have honestly expected too much, but this is really even below them. Division III has no real redeeming value, even on a “let’s laugh at a bad movie” level.
Over the Christmas holiday, being a sad-sack with no friends or family in my area, I celebrated by catching up on a few TV shows I’ve been meaning to see. First, I watched Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s hilarious look at overly conscious hipster libs called Portlandia. Very funny stuff. This put me in a good mood, so I continued with The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, an apparently British program starring Mr. Show’s David Cross in the title role. Margaret is a ne’er-do-well who, after being accidentally promoted and sent to the U.K. to promote a poisonous energy drink called Thunder Muscle, finds himself in one self-created jam after another thanks to his constant ability to lie about everything, even for the smallest of reasons. Tangled webs unweave, leading to some very funny, awkwardly absurd humor that works for the most part. It was funny, but I think I still prefer Portlandia to it.