Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Coming attraction: ‘Tropic Thunder’

By now you’ve probably heard about Robert Downey, Jr.’s blackface role in the upcoming Ben Stiller comedy “Tropic Thunder.” (Actually, he doesn’t play a black character. He plays a white actor playing a black character.)

Well, the official trailer was released yesterday; a YouTube version is embedded below. To watch a high-def version, follow this link to the “Tropic Thunder” website.

In the still photos I’ve seen, I thought that Downey’s makeup looked interesting. I wasn’t put off by it. But watching the trailer and hearing Downey’s “black voice”... I can pretty much guarantee I won’t be spending my money to see this post-postmodern exercise in meta-irony. Or whatever it’s supposed to be.

Plus there’s a black actor in it doing some bona fide cooning. (Looks to be some Asian cooning happening also.)

Where’s Rev. Wright when you need him?


Andrew said...

Uh-oh, I'm actually looking forward to this one quite a bit. Various test screenings have said that it's quite funny, and I love it when Nick Nolte turns up the crazy.

This is going to sound rather insane, but I trust Downey's judgment. He's been doing some of the most consistently high quality work out there for the last four or five years. I wasn't that put off by Downey's voice. He seems to be doing a Chi McBride impression. Plus, I find the concept of the joke, a method actor taking his dedication to an insane degree, funny.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Well, he rocked "Zodiac," I will say that.

Elwood said...

There aren't many movies I'll drop $10 to see in a theater anymore, but it looks like a worthwhile NetFlix rental. All the good bits are probably in the trailer anyway.

Who else but RDJ would be a better choice than to play an over-committed a-list character actor?

Also, "Who left the fridge open?" Heh.

Wanda said...

"Just cuz it's the theme song doesn't make it not true"

i probably won't see it, but i thought that was a funny line at the end.

Lolo said...

I call it "donging". As in Long Duk Dong. It sounds funnier and its more accurate.

Anyways, I mightmaybe watch this on netflix but I'm going to wait until it gets a thumbs up from friends. I'm getting too old for the meta, I think.

Undercover Black Man said...

I call it "donging". As in Long Duk Dong. It sounds funnier and its more accurate.

I can get behind that word, Lolo.

dez said...

Uh-oh, I'm actually looking forward to this one quite a bit.

Gulp, me, too! I saw a commercial for it and it looked pretty funny.

GenevaGirl said...

This looks like a movie that my husband and I will be arguing over in the video store. He'll want it and I'll be like, "Oh, puh-leeeease." We'll get it as long as I pick the second movie.

I do agree with Wanda, the Jeffersons theme song line was funny.

Dan Coyle said...

I have to admit I laughed at the trailer, but most Stiller stuff grows old extremely fast with me. I'm kind of annoyed he's still doing that inflated, self-important type he should have retired at least a decade ago.

Mark said...

UBM, check out this thoughtful discussion of race and casting, "Is brown the same old black?," at The Cooler Cinema, a film blog I like (disclaimer: it's by a friend).


Lola Gets said...

I thought the whole theme of the movie was that all of the actors - no matter what ethnicity - were cooning, all to get employment No matter, I most likely wont be spending money to see it either.


Mark said...

Old Business Dept.:

David, I'm wondering whether you or your readers ever went to see "Tropic Thunder" and what you thought of it. I understand the reluctance, but I thought it was a funny movie, in that stupid but funny way. Good satire of Hollywood, though.

Anyway, I'd love to see you revisit this one.