WHY HULK LIKE MACGRUBER BETTER THAN BLUE VALENTINE

January 25, 2011

THIS GREAT POSTER THOUGH.

HULK KNOW, HULK KNOW. THAT SOUND ASININE. BUT HULK SAW BOTH THIS WEEKEND AND SO IT INVITE THE ODD COMPARISON.

AND HULK UNDERSTAND WHY SOME FOLK MIGHT BE MAD AT HULK . MANY HULK FOLLOWERS LOVE BLUE VALENTINE AND HULK UNDERSTAND WHY. HULK ACTUALLY LIKE ASPECTS OF IT VERY MUCH. FOR ONE, IT HAVE INCREDIBLE CENTRAL PERFORMANCE FROM RYAN GOSLING.

HE ALSO HANDSOME.

HULK ALSO RECOGNIZE HOW SUBJECT MATTER SEEM BE DEEPLY PERSONAL FOR MANY. PERSONAL FILMS HAVE STRONG ABILITY TO REGISTER AND AGAIN, HULK UNDERSTAND.

AND TO JUST AS MANY, MACGRUBER MAY BE CONSIDERED INANE; A DUMB MOVIE BASED ON SNL SKIT THAT BARELY ROSE ABOUT THAT TRUNCATED LEVEL OF THOUGHT. THAT FINE TOO. HULK KNOW HULK CAN’T CONVINCE SOME PEOPLE BEYOND THE “APPARENT TONE” OF MOVIE. AND IT MAKE THIS ARTICLE SEEM CRAZY BECAUSE A FILM LIKE BLUE VALENTINE SIMPLY IN DIFFERENT “CLASS” THAN FILM LIKE MACGRUBER. HULK UNDERSTAND THIS.

BUT WHY ONE FILM INHERENTLY “BETTER” BECAUSE OF THE SERIOUSNESS OF SUBJECT MATTER?

IT SHOULD BE SAY NEITHER ONE OF THESE FILM ON HULK’S TOP 15. WORSE, THESE FILMS ACTUALLY NECK AND NECK ON HULKS RUNNING LIST, WHICH JUST MEAN THAT IN MANY WAYS DEBATING THE RELATIVE “GOODNESS’ OF THESE TWO SORT OF POINTLESS. BUT HULK THINK IT BEAR MENTION BECAUSE IT GET AT ESSENCE OF HULK PHILOSOPHY ON MOVIES IN GENERAL.

WHY MACGRUBER “BETTER” TO HULK? BECAUSE MACGRUBER SHOW HULK SOMETHING HULK NEVER REALLY SEEN BEFORE.

IN END, BLUE VALENTINE A MOVIE THAT GET TO HEART OF WHAT MIGHT BE A VERY BANAL TRUTH. MANY PEOPLE CALLING IT A FILM ABOUT HOW PEOPLE “FALL OUT OF LOVE” BUT HULK DISAGREE STRONGLY. WHY? BECAUSE WE NEVER SEE HOW THAT HAPPEN, JUST THAT IT DID. WE SEE THEM FALL IN LOVE. THEN WE SEE THEM NOT IN LOVE. THAT IT. IT NOT LIKE IT UNJUSTIFIED THOUGH. REALLY WE SEE HOW THE SEED OF DESTRUCTION  PLANTED FROM ONSET. A COUPLE CAN BE HELPLESS AGAINST FATE AND THIS SEEM LIKE COUPLE TOTALLY (OR WILLFULLY) NAIVE OF THEIR INHERENT PROBLEMS AT BEGINNING. AND IF THAT THE POINT OF MOVIE? THAT TOTALLY FINE. GOOD EVEN. BUT HULK NOT SURE THAT INTENTION AND REALLY NOT SURE IF THAT AUDIENCE’S REACTION.

STRUCTURALLY BLUE VALENTINE FILM HAVE SOME PROBLEM TOO. HULK THINK IT MAYBE BENEFIT BY SHYING AWAY FROM “500 DAYS OF SUMMER” ALTERNATION MODEL OF GOOD TIMES/BADD TIMES. HONESTLY, IT SEEM BLUE VALENTINE WOULD WORK BETTER AS CLEAN BREAK WITH 1ST-HALF-HAPPY, 2ND-HALF-SAD STRUCTURE. MAYBE THEY AFRAID OF “CARNAL KNOWLEDGE” COMPARISON? OKAY, BUT STILL IT HAVE OWN UNIQUE STORY TO TELL, SO HULK WONDERING WHY SHY AWAY FROM SOMETHING THAT OBVIOUSLY WORK BETTER ON DRAMATIC LEVEL? THAT MAKE 2ND PART SADNESS TO THEIR LIVES ALL MORE DEVASTATING. INSTEAD, THE MISMATCH OF GOOD TIMES WITH BAD MAKE FOR A CONFUSING TONE (NOT THAT HULK LITERALLY CONFUSED, WE TALKING EMOTIONAL CONNECTION HERE). IN END, “BLUE VALENTINE” NOT FEEL LIKE A STORY TO HULK. IT MERELY PRESENT SITUATION. AND WORSE IT MAKE ESPECIALLY WEIRD DECISION BY PUTTING “GOOD TIMES” SEQUENCES AFTER “BAD TIMES” SEQUENCE… THIS MAKE NARRATIVE WORK AS  “REMINDERS” INSTEAD OF AN EMOTIONAL LET DOWN. YES, IT CAN BE INTERESTING, BUT IT NOT DRAMA.

HULK DON'T REMEMBER A CAMERA IN THIS MOVIE

 

IT NOT LIKE A FRACTURED NARRATIVE RUIN CAPACITY FOR DRAMA EITHER. IT JUST A FRACTURED NARRATIVE MUST REGISTER IN COMPELLING WAY TO AUDIENCE. WHAT MAKE DFW’S “INFINITE JEST” SO EMOTIONALLY INTERESTING THAT IT THE STUNNINGLY-FRACTURED NARRATIVE REVEAL AND CLARIFY THE DENSITY AND INTENTION OF ITS CHARACTERS. AND YES, THERE SOME OF THAT IN BLUE VALENTINE (LIKE THE REVEALING HOSPITAL QUESTIONNAIRE SCENE), BUT NOT NEARLY ENOUGH JUSTIFY EDITING CHOICE IN HULK’S MIND.

A LOT BEEN MADE OF “RAWNESS” OF BLUE VALENTINE. AND THAT PROBABLY APT. THE SUBJECT MATTER OF MOVIE PAINFULLY PRESENT TO MANY. IT HAVE SAME CONVERSATIONS MANY A BREAKING-UP COUPLE HAVE IN REAL LIFE. BUT ONCE AGAIN WE GET TO THE ISSUE OF “DRAMATIZATION” VS. “PRESENTING TRUTH.” HULK CALL THIS THE “TELL ME YOU LOVE ME” SYNDROME, A TV SERIES SOME LAUDED AS PAINFUL LOOK AT REALISTIC RELATIONSHIPS. INSTEAD, HULK JUST FOUND IT OBVIOUS. JUST CAUSE IT REALISTIC NOT NECESSARILY MAKE IT GOOD, OR BETTER YET, COMPELLING. IT ONE OF MANY THING HULK LIKE ABOUT “THE WIRE”, WHICH WAS CONCERNED WITH REALISM ONLY TO A POINT. EVERY SCENE IN THAT SHOW HAVE REAL DELIBERATE FOCUS EITHER ON PLOT, CHARACTERIZATION, OR ESPECIALLY THEME AT GIVEN MOMENT. ALWAYS. AND IT DID SO WITH GREAT ECONOMY. THIS PART OF WHY DAVID SIMON VERY CAREFUL TO REMIND FOLKS IT FICTIONAL NARRATIVE AND NOT “REALISM/JOURNALISM/OR DOCU-STYLE.” MEANWHILE, HULK WORRY BLUE VALENTINE SOMETIMES TO CONCERNED WITH ACCURACY.

INDEEEED.

AN EVEN BETTER COMPARISON IS THIS YEAR’S CRITICAL DARLING “THE SOCIAL NETWORK” THAT SHED NOTION OF REALISM CONSTANTLY IN FAVOR OF CREATING SOMETHING INTERESTING TO SAY, OR GET AT LARGER TRUTH. IT A NOBLE GOAL AND ONE PEOPLE SEEM RESPOND TO. YEST THEY BOTH HAVE DIFFERENT GOALS, BUT HULK REALLY NOT ALL THAT SURE THE “LARGER TRUTH” OF BLUE VALENTINE EVEN CLEAR.

IT ALL GET BACK TO NATURE OF “DRAMA.” A FILM NOT HAVE GO THROUGH HIT SAME EXACT BEATS, BUT CONVENTIONS OF DRAMA MUST BE UNDERSTOOD IN ORDER BE ACHIEVED. WHICH NOT SAY BLUE VALENTINE TOTALLY UNFOCUSED (HULK NOT WANT  SEEM LIKE TRASHING MOVIE) AND THE PERFORMANCES ARE STELLAR (ESPECIALLY GOSLING’S), BUT HANGUPS OF MOVIE UNFORTUNATELY MAKE IT HARD FOR HULK TO TRULY EMBRACE THOSE SHORTCOMINGS.

ON OTHER HAND, MACGRUBER IS ABSOLUTELY NUTS IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY.

IT RAUNCHY. IT ABSURD. IT SOMETIMES INSIPID. BUT IT NEVER, EVER AFRAID. IT SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW IT CAN ONLY GET A TINY BIT OF MILEAGE SENDING UP MACGUYVER AND THE SNL SKIT IT BASED ON, SO IT WISELY SEND UP 80′S MOVIES INSTEAD. IT NEVER REFERENCE TOO DIRECTLY (THE CLOSEST IT COME IS RAMBO), BUT INSTEAD REFERENCE THE MOOD AND CULTURE OF TIME. IT HAVE GREAT MUSIC CUES THAT STRADDLE LINE BETWEEN RIDICULOUS AND COMPLETELY AWESOME (PARTICULARLY THE GENUINELY THRILLING SCENE WHERE MACGRUBER CRASHES THE PARTY SET TO EDDIE MONEY’S “TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT”… TRUST HULK. IT GREAT.)

SHUT UP, IT'S AWESOME

BUT BEST OF ALL, MACGRUBER EXIST IN IT OWN WEIRD MOVIE WORLD. IT KNOW EXACTLY HOW BUILD UP THE WEIRDEST CHARACTER CONVENTIONS ONLY TO THEN RIP THEM DOWN. IT PLAY THE MACGRUBER-LESS OPENING AS COMPLETELY STRAIGHT ACTION MOVIE. IT ADMIRABLE ALONG WITH FACT THE MOVIE SEEM LIKE HAVE ACTUAL BIG-ASS BUDGET (WHICH TOTALLY RISKY AND KUDOS TO WHOEVER GREEN-LIT). AND VAL KILMER LEGITIMATELY GREAT, TOWING LINE BETWEEN STRAIGHT FORWARD AND SILLY (AT LEAST TIL END).

TRY IGNORE THE CHEEKS

BUT MOST STRIKING THING ABOUT THE MOVIE’S SINGULAR WORLD, THAT MACGRUBER AS CHARACTER IS COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY INSANE.

HE A FILTHY, INCOMPETENT ASSHOLE. BUT RATHER THAN BE PURE SMARM (SOMETHING OUT OF TODD PHILLIPS MOVIE?) THE CARTOONISH BRAVADO IS TURNED UP TO 11. AND IT HELPED BY HOW THEY  UNDERCUT HIS MACHISMO AT EVERY MOMENT THEY CAN. THE BEST EXAMPLE THE REOCCURRING BIT WHERE IT SMASH-CUT TO THIS “LADY’S MAN” BEING ABSOLUTELY MEEK/DETESTABLE IN BED. IT CAN BARELY BE DESCRIBED BUT YOU HAVE SEE IT.  SERIOUSLY (AND YES, SOME GUYS APPARENTLY DO IT LIKE THAT… LIKE CAPTAIN AMERICA… BUT YOU NOT HEAR THAT FROM HULK).

THE FILM IMPRESSIVELY DIRTY. ANY MOVIE THAT HAVE BETTY QUOTING THE GREAT LINE ALL WEEK: “[WITH ULTRA-SERIOUS-CONVICTION] I WILL SUCK YOUR DICK… I WILL LET YOU FUCK ME…” MUST HAVE A GREAT EFFECT. AND THERE A TON QUOTABLE LINES.

HULK COULD GO ON AND ON, BUT HULK SHOULD MENTION HE NOT IN LOVE WITH MOVIE EITHER. CHIEF PROBLEM IS THAT SOMETIME IT TOO OVER-DEPENDENT ON IT’S WEIRD TONE TO POINT WHERE FEEL SLIGHTLY ONE NOTE. HULK KNOW THAT WEIRD STATEMENT, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING IT PRETTY DAMN GOOD NOTE (FILMMAKERS LIKE ADAM MCKAY BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW GET MILEAGE OUT OF ABSURDITY). DID HULK ADORE MACGRUBER? NOT EXACTLY. BUT HULK APPRECIATE THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

SO GIVEN WHAT HULK EXPLAIN ABOUT THESE TWO MOVIE, WHY MACGRUBER HAVE BE AUTOMATICALLY INFERIOR? ONLY COMEDIES THAT TEND GET LOVE ARE ONES WITH SERIOUS UNDERTONE (LIKE SIDEWAYS OR SOMETHING). HULK NEVER UNDERSTAND THIS.

MACGRUBER ABOUT DUMB STUFF, BUT IT SMART ABOUT ITS DUMB STUFF. A FEW MEMBERS OF CRITICAL COMMUNITY NOTED VALUE OF THIS, BUT NOT ENOUGH.

FOR HULK’S FINAL POINT:

DREW MCWEENEY OVER AT HITFIX DO GREAT GAME IN HIS PODCAST CALLED “MOVIE GOD”. IN IT, YOU PRESENTED WITH TWO MOVIES AND YOU HAVE DECIDE WHICH ONE NEVER EXISTED. IT TERRIBLY UNFAIR BUT THAT THE POINT. IT MAKE YOU CHOOSE WHAT YOU VALUE IN A MOVIE.

AND HULK KNOW THIS DOUBLY UNFAIR AFTER SPENDING TIME ONLY BASHING BLUE VALENTINE AND ONLY BUILDING UP MACGRUBER, AND TO MAKE REALLY CLEAR I’D RATHER KEEP BOTH…

… BUT MACGRUBER DO SOMETHING HULK NEVER REALLY SEEN BEFORE (SPECIFICALLY THE EXACT WAY IT DO IT). AND BLUE VALENTINE DO THINGS HULK SEEN MANY TIME BEFORE AND NOT AS WELL AS HULK HOPED.

WHEN HULK PUT IN THOSE TERMS, IT NOT OBVIOUS?

CAN YOU HANDLE IT?

FEEL FREE TO AGREE OR TELL HULK THAT HULK IDIOT BELOW.

… THOUGH HULK WARN YOU. YOU KNOW LIKE HULK WHEN HULK ANGRY.

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8 Responses to “WHY HULK LIKE MACGRUBER BETTER THAN BLUE VALENTINE”

  1. I’ve seen neither film, but reading this provoked thought without confirming personal bias. More blogs should shoot for that, all-caps or no caps.

    • mgss said

      THANKS! HULK CAN’T HELP CAPS CAUSE HULK’S NORMAL VOICE JUST YELLING. ALSO BIG HULK FINGERS SMASH THE CAPS LOCK KEY SO STUCK LIKE THIS.

  2. Phil said

    Curse you, Hulk. I wasn’t going to see ‘MacGruber’ until I read this, and now I’ll have to watch ‘Black Book’ tonight just so I can make sure Netflix’ll get me the Will Forte Adventure before the weekend.

    You got me thinking about the relative “value” of comedy and drama, here, and how irritated a good friend and I got when ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ didn’t get nominated for a Best Picture (this is back when I had some passion for awards, mind you), when it’s basically the same movie as ‘Sideways,’ except that it’s better in every way (and the competition for ‘Sideways’ was significantly weaker than it was for Apatow & Co). Does tone really equal value (I know it doesn’t, not really, but I guess I’m still mad at the guy in college who told me I *had* to watch ‘Crash,’ because it totally changed the way he looked at the world. There’s one song in ‘Avenue Q’ that says everything ‘Crash’ says, but with more efficiency and greater wit. I think the world of theater appreciates comedy better than film)? Is ‘Blue Valentine’ a better movie than ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall?’

    Now that I’m reading over what I’ve typed, I guess I cursed you for making me want to watch potentially awesome movies. Sorry about that. I’m going to go adjust my Netflix queue right now.

    • mgss said

      WHAT FUNNY WAS IT NOT LIKE MACGRUBER WOW HULK RIGHT AFTER WATCHING, BUT THE JOKES REALLY STUCK WITH HULK. HULK NOT WANT GET YOUR HOPES UP, SO PUT IT LIKE THIS “WHAT MACGRUBER TRYING TO DO, IT DO VERY WELL.” AND SOMETIMES THAT ALL HULK NEED.

      GOD HULK HATE CRASH WITH A PASSION. HULK CONVINCED THAT FILM WON OSCAR BECAUSE OF THE EDITING IN THANDIE NEWTON CAR CRASH SCENE (WHICH FANTASTIC).

      BUT BASICALLY YOU RIGHT. COMEDIES ABOUT “DUMB” SUBJECT MATTER NEVER GET RESPECT. HAVE GO JAMES L. BROOKS SAD SUBJECT MATTER FOR EXAMPLE (THOUGH EARLY JAMES L. STUFF FANTASTIC AS WELL). BUT MEANWHILE, FILM LIKE “ANCHORMAN” PURE INSANE GENIUS TO HULK BUT IT GET DISMISSED NO MATTER HOW FUNNY BECAUSE IT NOTHING JOKES ON TOP OF JOKES AND THE MAJOR PLOTLINE INVOLVE PANDA BIRTH. AN INSANE COMEDY CAN’T HAVE VALUE? HAVE THESE PEOPLE NEVER SEE MARX BROTHERS MOVIE? CAUSE THOSE SOME OF GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE.

      THESE THINGS TAKE TIME HULK GUESS.

  3. Chris said

    I think Hulk is right. In order for a comedy to have people give it any kind of respect it has to actually be a drama with some jokes in it (Sideways wasn’t really about the jokes). There are many brilliant comedies that just don’t get the respect they deserve because the movie isn’t overly serious about it’s self. I’m not saying MacGruber is fantastic or anything, but it just seems like if you chose two movies of equal quality, one comedy and one drama, the drama will get all the respect by default.

    • mgss said

      GOOD STUFF.

      AND ASK ACTORS ANYTIME WHICH ONE MORE DIFFICULT. COMEDY BY FAR. COMEDIANS WORK FOR YEARS AND YEARS AT CRAFT (AND ONES WHO GET SUCCESS WHEN YOUNG USUALLY BEEN TRULY WORKING AT IT SINCE THEY, LIKE, 9 YEARS OLD).

      THAT WHY ACTORS LIKE RICHARD JENKINS AND JOHN C. RIELLY AMAZE HULK. THEY SOMEHOW MANAGE TO EXCEL AT BOTH.

  4. [...] WHY HULK LIKED MACGRUBER BETTER THAN BLUE VALENTINE [...]

  5. So this is a super late response but since you posted that archive on Badass I am going through reading the articles that are new to me and about things I have seen or loved. Having read just about everything you wrote I feel like you seem weirdly harsh on Blue Valentine. I totally dig and respect your opinion, especially about the fact that “serious” movies aren’t inherently better than comedies. And I feel like you usually are all about the idea of movies being intensely personal experiences and so I was a little surprised you almost (and I say almost) cavalierly tossed out the emotional aspect of it. Now I know that you gave it credence and validity but at the same time I feel like BV was one of the most intimate and personal movies I have seen. It realistically portrayed a life that most people don’t care to see and rarely do see. And so that was what made it so unique to me, it was very real and spoke to a universal emotion (falling painfully out of love without really understanding it, which happens all the time and no, and mean no one* seems to talk about) and to one that is often overlooked. I viewed it as the adult version of Freaks & Geeks. And that being said I really loved it.
    *I haven’t seen nearly enough movies as I should have and as many as you have so Blue Valentines uniqueness may only be in my eyes, which if so I would love to be recommended some movies that are brutally honest, because that is my cup of tea. Yes I know that it is a harsh and bitter tea but thats the kinda guy I am… dark, depressing and a little self masochistic

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