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FUBAR (an obscene acronym from the military) is an amazing accomplishment. It tore onto the scene at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001, after being turned down by the Toronto fest. The classic success story of guys who maxed out their credit cards (including their Canadian Tire cards) and took a giant leap into the uncertain future - and it paid off. Telefilm Canada decided to fund the movie (after it was already shot on digital video), and "beefed" the budget up to $350,000 (Cdn.) They did a good job promoting the movie through a soundtrack featuring Sum 41, Gob, Sloan, etc. doing classic Canadian headbangin' tunes. This movie has it all: hilarity and drunken hijinx, intense drama, and incredible acting (although I wonder how much the beer had to do with this). Go see this movie, it is much more than the trailers would suggest: much more than guys acting loud and stupid. It's actually a touching film, with a look at the two main character's fear of mortality.
Recently I got to watch two films that were shot in and around my home town
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 review may contain spoilers ***
Although filmed in Calgary, any Canadian can identify the unique cultural phenomenon of the aging headbanger. This movie is a brilliant little mock-umentary that is funny and quirky enough to become a cult classic, and is definitely worth seeing. We are taken into the world of Dean, a wannabe bass player, and Terry, a swamper in a furniture factory. The two buddies give the audience a candid look at their lives, captured by documentary filmmaker Farrel Mitchner, whose accidental death is captured on film. The actors fool anybody who isn't aware into thinking that this is a genuine documentary, so it's fun to watch with an unsuspecting friend. A Canadian comedy accessible to any open-minded North American viewer.
This movie was so well acted that i cant believe they were not really drinking all nite. There are so many parts of the movie that I lived through. The camping trip was classic, from not trying to set up the tent until you are too drunk to jumping through the fire. The story had to be written by a true 80's headbanger and is a trip down hazy memory lane. This movie wont appeal to everyone, but with the success of the Osbournes there is a lot of people wanting to jump on the bangerwagon. This movie will help them learn what it takes to be a hard core banger.
Honestly the first 30 minutes of this film is fairly painful as we watch the main characters played by Dave Lawrence and Paul Spence go through their childhood, as twenty-somethings with meaningless jobs and non existent friends and six pack after six pack. Farrel, the documentary filmmaker, decides to follow these Canadian fellows and make a film on their "so-called" life. As one character discovers a health issue that turns his life upside down, the two characters (and the filmmaker) start a journey into the woods and mother nature to excise their fear. It's only at this point that the film really gets going and the director is finally able to take the saran wrap off the characters and let them emote something more than pure silliness. The production value is low but the story while simple is executed well. Look forward for the Director's next film about a deaf deejay: All Gone Pete Tong.
This is a stoner rock mockumentary. I love the opening credits that
tells the audience that this is fictional but apologizing to anybody
participating in the film who thought it was real. It's 2000 and
filmmaker Farrel Mitchner (Gordon Skilling) documents two head banging
friends Dean Murdoch (Paul Spence) and Terry Cahill (David Lawrence).
The boys are trying to get Troy nicknamed Tron to party.
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!
Just Giver.....Says it all. Although a fictitious documentary, Fubar
the pitfalls that plague other works of the same genre with candid
performances by our protagonists Dean and Terry. Truly comical in every
sense, whilst exploring touchy subject matter. Overall an impressive look
the life and times of Dean, Terry, Tron and rockets.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was lucky enough to attend the Calgary opening of FUBAR with the film
makers in attendance. The film is a lot of what you would expect, a
of long hairs with mid two-digit IQ's stumble through life shot gunning
beers and trying to get laid.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There were a couple of drunken character moments early in this film
that gave me some good strong belly laughs but the longer the film went
on the less I laughed and the more I just winced, sighed and eventually
bailed 30 minutes before the end. I very rarely stop watching a film
mid-way, it has to be an especially cringeworthy - almost embarrassing
experience for me to turn off early - strangely the last film I watched
to provoke an early exit was MacGruber - perhaps it's the mullets.
In my opinion, the Fubar producers' choice to inform the audience in the opening credits that the film was a fictional documentary was a bad error on their part and ruined any opportunity they had to successfully dupe the viewer into believing this could possibly be a 'real' documentary. Perhaps there was legal reasons for this admission but even if it had been omitted, the woeful performance of Gordon Skilling as the straight man Farrel would most likely have raised most viewers suspicions as to the truthfulness of what they were watching.
The longer I watched this film, the stupider I began to feel, whether it be through some strange osmotic character/viewer transmission or just for the fact that I was continuing to watch a film that proclaimed itself to be a fictional documentary still painfully attempting to pretend to be a documentary.
Overall, the whole experience felt like being back in late primary school with a bunch of filmmakers who only had three fingers and yet were still trying to give me a decent Chinese burn. All a bit lame.
I remember it was the summer of 2002 when I first heard of this
mockumentary, reading something about it in a Canadian magazine. For a
while, I didn't know much about it, other than the fact that it was
comedy movie produced in my country, and didn't get around to seeing it
until about four years ago. I may have been reasonably impressed during
my first viewing, but I'm not 100% sure. I definitely wasn't sickened
by it, which some people obviously would be, but it wasn't exactly what
I was expecting. I've seen it twice since then, and still think it's a
little weird, just like I did the first time, but with my second and
third viewing, I had seen it before and knew what to expect, which made
it a bit better.
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.
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