User ReviewsAdd a Review
One film was "Open Range" and the other was "Fubar".
Both films are focused on the reactions of two close friends to the trials that life can throw at you. Both films involve a lot of walking around, talking and strange interactions with other characters in the film. Both films feature people who basically wrote, directed and starred in the movie. Both feature lots of cool alberta scenery and both are worth watching. However, while one film is a carefully crafted yet somehow lifeless product that is ultimately a chore to watch the other is a throbbing wild thing that wiggles like a fish in your hand.
The great flick here is Fubar.
I was mesmerized from the start, mostly because I knew all of the locations intimately. Then I realized, I also knew these two guys intimately. I grew up with them. We all played hockey in the living room and busted stuff. We shotgunned pilsners and we all went "camping" and did hideous amounts of damage to ourselves and those around us in the process and we only survived through sheer luck and by keeping the gas pedal floored and not looking back. Man, its bang on right.
This film captures certain of the unique qualities of being "Canadian" better than any other film that I have seen. Nothing Second City or Bob and Doug Mackenzie ever did compares to the genius that made this film. Its not the goofiness or the idiocy, its the spirit of these two bozos that wins your heart.
Bravo, I'm proud of these guys.
This is filled with great bits of comedy. The two leads fully commit to these characters. There are truly funny moments that surprises. The natural comparison is to Spinal Tap. Spinal Tap is always obviously fictional filled with great improvisational comedians. This feels like real people doing a real indie. These guys would fit into any Cops episode. Giver!
Dean Murdoch and Terry Cahill are two headbangers who have been friends for a long time and live in Alberta, Canada. They love beer, heavy metal, and hockey. A documentarian named Farrel Mitchener has decided to follow them around with a camera, documenting their everyday lifestyle. Terry works at a furniture factory, assisting in delivering furniture to houses, and Dean is a wannabe rock star. The two of them are caught on camera doing what they love, which includes getting drunk and causing a ruckus late at night! Farrel also interviews family members and friends of the Alberta headbangers for his documentary. Eventually, Terry tells Farrel and the camera that his friend has testicular cancer! Dean has been keeping this a secret, but the word gets around, and he cannot ignore his condition any longer!
The first time I watched "Fubar", I expected it be more about a rock band, and didn't think it would be as weird as it turned out to be. However, after watching it three times, I certainly can't say it has never made me laugh. The two main characters are stupid but reasonably likable, and a lot of the humour comes from the stupid things they say, such as Dean thinking Merlin is a real historical figure. Drunken rampages and getting into fights (a fight with Farrel at the campsite, for example), can also really stand out. It can be hard to pick up all the jokes, which I don't think I've ever succeeded in doing. Some parts didn't impress me, such as Dean talking about putting his testicle in the microwave, but most of the film isn't that disturbing. Aside from the humour, I also like Dean's positive attitude during his treatment process. Paul Spence and David Lawrence play the starring roles convincingly, and it's not surprising that the doctor, S.C. Lim, is a real-life physician playing himself here, as his scenes look like they're from a real documentary with a doctor speaking.
Apparently, F.U.B.A.R. is an acronym meaning "F%$#ed up beyond all repair/recognition," and that's probably a fitting title for this movie. It's extremely silly, crude, juvenile, and insane, so much so that the acronym is a good way to describe it, but that's not always a bad thing. It's rated R, which obviously means adults only, and I'm sure the film would make many adults cringe as well, but for some adults, however, probably mostly male, it's pretty funny, even hilarious to some. Around the beginning, I could have easily given "Fubar" an 8/10, but the two idiots can't carry the film for 76 minutes consistently enough for that, and could have really gotten tiring if it were that much longer. Still, this mockumentary is often very funny (for certain tastes), and very Canadian. I'm still not sure if I fully get it, but when it comes to crude, juvenile comedies, you could certainly do much worse.
It opens into something much more at about the 30-minute point. Not to be too much of a spoiler, but one of the "bangers" is forced to face his own mortality, while refusing to change his lifestyle. It's wickedly funny and somewhat disturbing at the same time. Not at all the light weight throwaway film people might dismiss it for, FUBAR is a tight well produced piece of work.
By the way, I never applauded at the end of a movie until FUBAR, and there really is a town called High River just south of Calgary.
Great improvisation based on a three-page story outline. With over 50 hours originally shot, I hope the film does well enough to allow a DVD with additional footage. I saw it opening night in Toronto with the theatre about 1/3 full.
For now, I'm off to get the soundtrack.