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There were times we had some good laughs, but this really didn't need
to be a film. The penguin footage had so little to do with what the
comics were saying most of the time that it just got stupid after a
while. It would have been just as good as an audio CD, maybe better.
If the comics had really LOOKED at the footage as they riffed, and if the editing were a little more creative, Farce of the Penguins would have been great. As it is, the comic timing of the voices got thrown off by what the penguins were doing, and vice versa.
The only reason I'm getting this for my video rental shop is that I think the advertising will make customers ask for it.
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning
** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
A made for video spoof of March of the Penguins, with Samuel L Jackson taking over narrating duties with a much sharper tone, a much sassier attitude and a much fouler mouth!
Some recent spoofs that have hit the cinemas, including Epic Movie and Date Movie, have been rather below par, so I thought there might be some hope with this video spoof of 2005's renowned documentary March of the Penguins. It looked inspired enough, right down to Jackson doing the voice-over, his harsh, commanding voice in contrast to Morgan Freeman's soft, gentle delivery in the proper film. But, really, that's all that is funny, the concept of the film. Or rather, how ridiculous the idea of talking penguins is. Not just talking penguins, farting penguins, penguins that get into arguments with the narrator, penguins that swear and talk like they're from Da Getto, and penguins that, well, make idiots of themselves. The material is sadly just not funny enough to rise it above the absurdity of the story, but there are, to be fair, worser spoofs out there at the moment and considering how cheaply it's all been put together (one penguin even jokes about hating appearing in this "stock footage filled piece of crap!") that's actually quite an achievement. **
When I first started this movie I had high hopes. The first five
minutes seemed quite funny with Samuel L. Jackson's narration and the
promising all-star cast. I assumed the reason few people liked this was
because it had a sort of "stupid" sense of humor as seen in movies like
Kung Pow that few people appreciated. Unfortunately, even with so many
big names in this movie, it was difficult to find any humor at all in
The majority of the movie revolved around Bob Saget and Lewis Black's characters chatting back and forth about walking far and finding a mate. What made the movie bad wasn't its juvenile sense of humor, but rather the lack of overall jokes. What was shown was simply Bob Saget reenacting his job as host of America's Funniest Home Videos when he used to provide voiceovers to the five second clips in order to make them only slightly more amusing. But considering there isn't much amusing about penguins in the first place, Saget couldn't do much to make it funnier than the thoughts everyone with any sense of humor whatsoever was thinking while watching March of the Penguins.
I'll admit that the horrid editing didn't make me dislike the movie as much as the humor, but it is definitely worth mentioning that it had to have been done by someone with no real experience in the editing field. For example, when one penguin farts in the movie, a large transparent red circle appears near it. I don't know what the editor was trying to do to make the fart more visible by using a red circle. Had they added in something like a green colored gas effect, it would have been more appealing. Another example is how some of the clips blatantly reverse themselves to stay on screen while the actors talk. Very little effort was put into this movie, though considering how little the makers had to do (Nearly all the footage was cheap stock footage), they must have made a fortune by spending so little money on this.
The reason I didn't give this a score of 1 was because I'll admit that I did laugh a few times, and I appreciate that the movie recognized itself as a bad movie, like when penguins from the March of the Penguins scoff at how dumb the humor is, when the writers are depicted as a monkey banging on a typewriter, and when Samuel L. Jackson apologizes for not having the budget to make the penguins' mouths move. Still, I would not recommend this movie to anyone, regardless of their sense of humor.
There is this notion out there that Bob Saget is actually a funny guy when not playing a TV dad or hawking home video footage. It's not true. Yeah, okay, it's a bit of a kick to imagine the dad from Full House doing blue humor, but beyond that, he has no comic instinct. The gags in this sad apology for a film are adolescent in the worst way. I can only assume that all the names involved in this disaster owe Saget something, or he has some dirt on them, because they can't possibly be serious about this one. It's a one-gag movie and a poor send-up of a film that was overly precious in the first place. The most farcical thing about this film is the fact that it was ever made in the first place.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of those hate it or love it things, I guess. Never saw March but have seen a lot of nature shows that cover the same territory. So wasn't even prejudiced by the movie it was supposed to parody. Probably a good thing - without any preconceptions, like who the hell is this Sargent guy and did anyone ever really watch Full House, I just watched the movie on the screen and enjoyed it for the stupid piece of fluff it was. No huge laughs, no brilliant references to March that I know of, just a really dumb entertainment. The only memorable line (or the only line I remember): "we didn't do it the usual way" in the context of one mates going nuts over the other mates infidelity and the paternity of The Egg. If you don't expect Shakespeare, you might enjoy it.
In 2005, "March of the Penguins", the award-winning documentary about
the treacherous lives of emperor penguins in Antarctica, was released,
and that was the year I saw it. It was definitely eye-opening for me,
since I had no clue how rough those penguins had it! Since then, for
quite some time, I've been aware of the title, "Farce of the Penguins",
but didn't see it for a while. This is a direct-to-DVD send-up of the
2005 documentary, with real stock footage of penguins and sometimes
other wildlife, put together to make a story, with dialogue added. This
could have turned out to be a really good film if it was actually
funny, which it unfortunately isn't.
Down in Antarctica, the male penguins are on their long journey to the breeding grounds, where the females are waiting for them. Two of these male penguins are Carl and Jimmy, best friends who talk a lot about relationships (including past ones), and other things, on their way to their destination. Meanwhile, as the females wait, there's also a lot of talk about sexual relationships back at the breeding grounds, especially between Melissa and Vicki. Carl and Melissa are both longing for a lover, and have yet to meet each other. Eventually, after the males finally make it to their destination and meet the females, Carl and Melissa soon fall in love. However, Carl and Jimmy's friendship gets awkward after Jimmy accidentally has sex with Melissa one night in the dark while she is asleep and he feels something soft!
Basically, "Farce of the Penguins" has the same problem as many other modern comedies. Two words that can be used to describe the humour in this spoof are crude and juvenile. Some of these comedies can be described as crude, juvenile, and FUNNY, while some can only be described as crude and juvenile. Sadly, this is one of the latter. The film is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, and during the opening narration, he says some very unfunny, juvenile things about growing your pubic hairs if you want to come to Antarctica. There are definitely a lot of sex jokes in the film, which includes clips of various animals having sex put in for laughs, and these sex jokes don't tend to be funny. Another thing, you guessed it, there are some fart jokes, which are also lame. It seems the juvenile gags were just thrown in, and could have been a lot funnier if it actually took some comedic talent to come up with them. Not only is the humour severely lacking, the plot is also dull, it never improves along the way.
This is definitely NOT the worst spoof movie I've ever seen. The worst spoof movie I've ever seen is definitely "Epic Movie", made by the infamous Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. I haven't seen any of Friedberg and Seltzer's other recent films, but they could easily be just as bad, so I'm not going to bother watching any of them, and if they were the ones who made "Farce of the Penguins", I'm sure it would have been worse (perhaps MUCH worse) than it turned out to be with Bob Saget as the writer and director. However, this spoof of the 2005 hit documentary on the lives of emperor penguins in their frigid habitat is still pretty lame, and it's probably a good thing it wasn't played in theatres, since that probably would have given it more undeserved attention. As a direct-to-DVD release, it seems to have been widely ignored, which is actually not a bad thing.
Bob Saget is a talented comedian, without a doubt. Anyone who only knows him from "Full House" and "America's Funniest Home Videos" is missing out on a lot. He is by no means a wholesome, family-oriented comedian that most people expect. His brand of comedy is uniquely edgy, and the fact that these dirty things are coming out of Danny Tanner's mouth makes him even funnier. Like with one of his previous directorial efforts "Dirty Work," "Farce of the Penguins" has several moments where you're laughing at the film more than with it. Unfortunately, this film has way too moments where it breaks the fourth wall, with moments like two French penguins (supposedly from the hit "March of the Penguins") watching the film and snobbishly criticizing it for being too crude. I can't deny that I was laughing throughout at least 70 percent of the film. It's certainly not a bad idea for a film: Making a parody of "MOTP" by using found footage and providing funny voice-overs. But like I said, the novelty wears off after a while. What is the novelty? The penguins are supposedly talking to each other...yet their mouths don't move. OK, I know you're supposed to suspend disbelief when watching movies, but this is a little too much disbelief to suspend. Even if this were an animated flick, the penguins mouths would be moving, helping the audience suspend disbelief. The voices are provided by tons of talented comedians, including (one of my favorites) Lewis Black, Whoopi Goldberg, Mo'Nique, Carlos Mencia, and Mario Cantone. Luckily, the way overrated Dane Cook only has a small cameo. The main voices are provided by Saget and Black, who both deliver plenty of laughs. OK, I'm not going to totally bash the film's visuals. There are moments where the stock footage is used wisely. Saget had a lot of experience providing voice-overs to found footage when he hosted "America's Funniest Home Videos." I'm sure that helped him conjure up the idea for this film. But film is, after all, a visual medium. So watching the same boring shots of penguins waddling across the ice or simply standing around gets tiresome after a while. I appreciate Saget's effort, but the idea could've been executed more effectively. Look out for Gilbert Gottfried's cameo. It's probably the funniest moment in the film.
I've yet to see March of the Penguins but I'm pretty sure it won't be
as bizarre as this comedy from Bob Saget. A group of male penguins set
out on a 70 mile journey to the breeding grounds where they can look
forward to mating and then having to look after an egg for several
months while the females make their own journey to feed. This isn't a
nature programme of course. As the title says this a parody full of
innuendos with the narrator being Samuel L. Jackson, surely the next
best thing for a wildlife documentary after David Attenborough.
The story is divided between Carl (Bob Saget) and Jimmy (Lewis Black) on their journey and Melissa (Christina Applegate) and Vicky (Mo'Nique) who are waiting for the males. Carl is lacking in confidence and has had some tough relationships while Jimmy is more assertive. At the breeding grounds Melissa and Vicky discuss potential mates and it seems inevitable that Carl and Melissa will get together or will they? We also get an insight into the thoughts of various other penguins and even a philosophical snowy owl (Jonathan Katz) who sounds a bit like Marlon Brando in The Godfather and has some useful advice for Carl.
This is an amusing if somewhat limited comedy. The penguins seem to have a lot more to worry about than just eating and sex, though those topics do pop up, the latter in pretty much every scene. There are various notable actors and actresses that lend their voices to the penguins and it is fun trying to pick some of them out. Samuel L. Jackson's narration is the undoubted high point. Though many of the gags are funny you will be left with the feeling that it could have been funnier.
Farce of the Penguins is a silly, amusing but in the end unspectacular spoof. Some good vocal talent is worth your time but given the limited storyline the jokes are around the same small circle of topics. Worth watching for Jackson's narration though I wouldn't recommend him as a replacement for Mr Attenborough just yet.
I couldn't stop laughing all the way thru the movie,, there's a few sad parts , but for the most part this is 100% comedy, I liked the story/ plot line if you will about the penguins, migrating and trying to find their mate,, loved the baby misfit penguin who never fit in,, couldn't sing right,, but boy that kid sure knew how to dance,, didn't care for the stuck up penguin who thought she was too good for him, the character voices were great,, although didn't care for Bob Saget,, something about him just rubs me the wrong way I guess,, I will definitely watch this again,, when I need a great laugh,, terrific movie,, just not so much for the young kids. due to language, and sex talk.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Recap: A mockumentary, or parody of the documentary March of the
penguins, if you like. We follow two male penguins on their hike from
the sea to their breedingplace, and their discussions about finding
Comments: Not much to say really. It is kind of slow with all the penguin shots being at such a slow tempo, with crude documentary. Many of the jokes are crude and fart jokes are far too prominent. So on average this is quite a bad movie.
However there are a few bright spots. Jokes that actually are quite funny. Jokes that almost but not quite manage to carry the movie. They did make the movie bearable though, kept me going to the next bright spot. But to be a good movie, or average, they are too few and too far between.
One of the bright spots are the cast though. Don't know what made so many known actors and actresses contribute to a material like this, but I guess Bob Saget had something to do with it. It is a little of a Full house reunion, with friends.
A good idea, which could have been done much better though. An extra plus for the DVD menus though, they were better than the movie and better than most other DVD-menus.
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