Weekend Movies: The Spoils of Babylon
I know, this one isn’t technically a movie. However, I’m really surprised that just about every person I meet has been putting off watching this one – they mean to watch, they hear good things, blah blah blah. Bottom line: it’s fucking funny. A miniseries with tongue firmly in cheek, it’s six episodes that chronicle the rise and fall of the Moorehouse family and their oil company. At 22 minutes apiece, you can fit all six into a little over two hours. You will plow through all six in one sitting because it’s that awesome. It’s way more fun that most two-hour movies. So, here are five reasons to plunk down and watch The Spoils of Babylon this weekend.
|Thanks for giving me an excuse to use this picture.|
#1 – Obvious camera cuts
The story is framed with Eric Jonrosh’s (Will Ferrell) narrations. There are times when he has a conniption when he doesn’t get his way, and the scene cuts as though poorly edited. The obvious camera cuts are fantastic. I’ve seen some films and television shows where you can tell that the editor was phoning it in edit-wise, and the intention does generate some laughs. I can appreciate someone that does it on purpose for a gag (because, let’s face it, fellow editors – it can be a total pain in the ass at times and you’re tempted to just say “fuck it”).
#2 – Haley Joel Osment
I was not expecting Osment to be as funny as he is. It was a such a welcome surprise; comedy can be tough to do for any actor. He has great comedic timing and knows how to be a complete ham with a straight face. Seeing him as a villain was, in a word, fun. I could live happily with him doing these kinds of roles for years to come. He really excelled in this role, and it was a blast to watch. You’ll see why he’s reason alone to watch this – he steals every scene he gets a chance to chew.
|Trust me, he’s hysterical.|
#3 – Lady Anne
Lady Anne is a character. To say anything else would wreck it. That they played it so seriously just made me giggle. That they got Carey Mulligan to do it is even better. I can give props to someone that’s a serious actress (and card-carrying feminist) that knows how to poke fun at high drama.
#4 – The best slap fight since Dynasty
WATCH THIS IF ONLY FOR THE SLAP FIGHT. Episode 5: The Age of the Bastard. You need to see this. Jessica Alba and Kristen Wiig fighting it out like bitches trying to catch the bouquet at a wedding. It’s over-the-top ridiculous and manages to become glorious in its camp. I half wanted to ask, “You two do realize you’re fighting over Tobey Maguire, right?” (No offense, he’s not my type.) That thought comes after, though. Just enjoy it as it happens.
|I’ve been known to send this scene to people.|
#5 – The throwback to low budget special effects
Watching a very good actor obviously chomp on a blood capsule is funny. So is watching a toy car being pulled by a string. And every other intentional cheap prop in the light of a modest modern budget. The gags like this delight in coming off as low-budget. It’s like watching a campy cult classic with obvious gore effects. I love them. You will too.
There are so many reasons to watch this, so giving five really kind of limits me and a very funny miniseries. Just watch it already. You’ll thank me.
Watched the first 3 epsidodes, determined that the show is unfunny, unmemorable, unentertaining and dull. Have stopped watching. Maybe it’s because if you try to satire a long-dead genre, there’s no relevance. Or maybe because when someone said more than one line, it became a monotonous drone of blahblahblahblah. My review would have been that the emperor has no clothes.