Thursday, May 22, 2014

I Think My Brain Finally Broke

It's amazing how quickly things can go into a tailspin sometimes. Things had been going pretty well, and then everything fell apart halfway through Monday. Even if I had an idea for a post the last two days, I doubt I had the time, energy, or initiative to do it. Last night, I resorted to locking myself in my room to have dinner and watch a movie in peace. I picked Tropic Thunder, because I haven't watched it in a year or two. There are so many great lines in that movie. I try to work 'like pistol-whipping a blind kid' into conversations whenever possible.

There's the scene where both Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) and Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller) take turns trying to convince rookie Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel) the other guy is screwing things up. Kirk is convinced things are not going as planned (he's right) and Tugg's leading them into trouble (also correct). Tugg's convinced Kirk is trying to wreck the movie because he's scared he made a mistake with the role he's playing. Kirk is a white Australian playing an African-American U.S. Army Sargent serving in Vietnam.

What's funny is Kevin is just trying to relieve himself and then first Kirk, then Tugg walk over and start these conversation with him. So as not to arouse suspicion, each one tries to act as though they too, needed to drain the lizard. How they go about it relates back to the conversation Tugg and Kirk had about acting earlier (when Tugg discussed his attempts to play a character with mental disabilities in the box office bomb Simple Jack). Kirk (still completely in-character as Osiris) opts to just stand there, whispering to Kevin, then utter a ridiculous statement when he's "finished". Tugg opts to puncture a can of energy drink with a combat knife.

It just struck me (because I was completely addled after work last night) that it kind of sums up their approaches to acting. Tugg was concerned with surface details, that the other three guys needing to believe he was peeing required there to be actual water. It's sort of a low-level special effect. Kirk figures that if he's standing next to someone else draining their bladder, and he's adopted similar posture, people will draw the obvious conclusion. It's more understated, believing in his audience's intelligence (or banking on their indifference). Of course, then he utters a completely ridiculous line when he finishes and walks away, because he's still in-character, and thinks someone would comment on how it 'smelled like bologna'. It gets back to this idea of Kirk trying to really be the person he's portraying, but at the end of the day he's still relying on guesswork and stereotypes, so it's just kind of ridiculous.

Seriously, I've had to use public restrooms a lot over the years, and I have never heard a person make that sort of comment to the rest of the people. But for some reason, Kirk thinks that's a natural line for a former saucier from San Antonio. Or maybe it just means neither of them has any idea how to relate to average folk. Tugg seemed to think smacking Kevin on the rear when he was done made perfect sense, I assume as some sort of solidarity thing, when it's really just awkward.

No comments: