High Strung (1992)
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Steve Odekerk is a genius. He has hits and misses (ever see that real-time computer animation special of his? Ugh), but if he's had a large role in the creation of anything, it will be original. High Strung, BTW, is definitely a hit.
Also, you might try this one out as a "filter" of sorts for people you're dating... don't want to consider getting serious with someone who just doesn't share your spice for life and all things satirical...
If you haven't seen the film, I highly recommend giving it a try. If you like it, good for you. If you find it dull, unengaging or dry then I recommend spending some time taking yourself less seriously and trying again- you're sure to love it eventually!
The plot is basically about one Thane Furrows, A very up-tight, mean and sarcastic guy. Who hangs around his apartment all the time. It follows the plot of him speaking right to the camera, about his everyday life, which everything he talks about, he hates. Some sequences involve Jim Carrey playing Death. Which is hilarious. It also involves his friend Al and his Boss. Who don't see the camera as he does.
Out of 10 I'd give it what is already explained. 7.2.
The basic plot: Thane Furrows, a children book's writer (who has some interesting ideas about the topics children's books should cover, as well as an unabiding hatred for Happy the Clam), spends one entire day in his apartment, going into random diatribes about everything from leftover milk in cereal bowls to a fictional Vietnam war flashback. During the course of the day, he receives numerous bizarre phone calls and says "I'd rather be dead" an inestimable number of times.
Jim Carrey, for his brief role, is hilarious, and the carpet telemarketing scene is a jewel of modern cinematography. Rent this film. Rent it now.
"I killed the President."
PS "What is this SH*T on here? It's there again!!!!
As a long-time fan of this movie I can say without hesitation, that there is no other movie quite like High Strung. A comedy centering around a very paranoid writer of children's books named Thane Furrows; who's extremely pessimistic and possess a personality loaded with phobias - basically he loves to complain, a lot.
The movie has a very small cast of only about 10 people, most of which have only a scene a piece and it takes place almost entirely in one location, Thane's rather size-able loft apartment.
The film sports a brief role by a pre-Ace Ventura Jim Carrey, a friend of Oedekerk's (note: it was Oedekerk who directed the second Ace Ventura film). Jim Carrey is "Death" in this movie, or worded another way, the grim reaper - and he arrives in a limousine. Oh and "Biff" from Back To The Future shows up a couple times too.
The script is superb throughout, the acting is consistently good (especially Steve Oedekerk's). Though the film is highly limited in a visual sense, the camera work manages to bring to life the interior of the apartment, in a fairly artsy and immersive way; by way of numerous pans (several 360 degree swiveling pans) and a few odd angles, such as when representing a fly's point-of-view or later Thane's out-of-body experience.
The main hobby of Thane Furrow's frequently manifests itself in the form of an endless stream of observations and complaints; and he complains about just about anything... and everything. A series of pop-in visits (much to Thane's chagrin) and persistent phone-calls are used to break-up his habitually paranoid ramblings and serve to balance things out. It can't just be Thane ranting all the time - though I wouldn't mind if it was. In the meantime he seems to do little else other then eat cereal and write eccentrically-themed children's books. He's essentially a shut-in and his personality is molded by his many phobia's and foible's and with that being the case it's one gripe and grievance after another. Throughout the movie take notice of Steve Oedekerk's numerous facial expressions, they seem to span the entire emotional spectrum. That's just another reason why this film is so effective in it's delivery; and that's especially the case when he's talking directly to the camera, in which he has a definite knack for creating some exceptionally effective comedic sequences.
So if you're fond of the biting, pessimistic humor of GEORGE CARLIN (particularly his complaining routines) or Jerry Seinfeld's observational humor that focuses on modern life and it's many foibles and faux-pas; well then HIGH STRUNG is a movie you should definitely check out.
HIGH STRUNG has maintained its oddly neglected and under-appreciated status over the years AND as of April 2016, no legit DVD or Blu-ray release exists. So that means you'll be watching either a VHS tape or a digitized VHS tape-rip, take your pick on those two enticing lo-fi options.
Definitely an unheralded classic.
It's pure unadulterated hilarious comedy. It's got that 90's humor all over it, that "real" feel, that original non-commercial inside humor feel. That creativity, that dynamism and freshness. Nothing like the utter bullcr*p we get today. It's never thick, over-the-top over-exaggerated rubbish. It's just plain hilarious. Subtle but never intellectually superior and pretentious.
From a creative standpoint, this thing is amazing. He's got to pull out a full movie length monologue basically, all by himself, and/or with the occasional presence of some secondary character. And it never, at any point, gets boring or unfunny or loses focus.
There's no need to even analyze this movie, or talk plot or any of that. It doesn't apply one bit here. It's perfectly fluid.
What is certain about it: it's hilarious, acidly sarcastic. It's not even comparable to anything you've ever seen obviously if you haven't seen it. Unique. It's a must-see.
Oh and you may hear this a lot, but trust me if you're going to trust anything I have to say that is absolutely true: if you don't laugh here, you Don't HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR. Objective certainty. Well, not really but..
Just as the movie description offers, if you've ever felt frustrated and pent up about the pesky little things that make up everyday life, then this is a movie for you. Thane Furrows offers great insight to many of these things that eat away at many of us daily. His rants about game shows, breakfast cereal, diner waitresses and the life of a household fly are priceless.