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Man on the Moon

(BUT Carrey gets 5 stars for his performance!)
Starring: James Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love, and Paul Giamatti.
Directed By: Milos Forman





Anytime Jim Carrey (who plays Andy Kaufman to perfection) hits a screen the ride is often hysterical and always wild. Sure James is a rubbery marzipan faced comic, but he's proving he can also act.

Back when Truman came out the Carrey Camps were posted around the world. Seemed the public either 'loved' it completely, or 'hated' it with salt and vinegar poured over a freshly ripped wound. Admittedly I was in the 'loved' Truman group. Geeze let the guy grow people! Carrey has a great timing and those wildly animated eyes of a comic (or perhaps a serial killer if he hadn't pursued comedy).

He's a tad handsome as well. Quite frankly -'tween you and I - I'd jump on him like a rabid Rhesus monkey if given the chance! Look at him! He's about six-feet something of pure grade A manly Angus meat that's been marinated and thrown on a searing Texas grill just a waiting for steak sauce to be slathered all over him. Scrumptious! But I digress...

Man On The Moon is the story of Andy Kaufman. Best known as the idiot immigrant, Latka, on the 80's show Taxi.

Kaufman is often referred to as 'ahead of his time' by the, um, press. The current (1999) press that is. Spare me with a blunt butter knife please. Back in his zenith 1983/84, when he was everywhere you looked for comical stress relief (the still funny SNL or the wisecracking fresh faced David Letterman-before he hated his job and when he still just hated people for example) you heard the press whine about how very much they despised Andy's 'style' and wished he'd retire from the scene. Press is press I suppose. Andy's "in" again, so they take a spin ride...

Did you know death plus one year = comedy? Well, press feels death plus Hollywood backing = overtly fluffy reworking of printed - documented - opinions without guilt.

Andy was a comic. Granted a comic with powerful people around him - hence the 'ahead of his time' tag instead of the 'whack job with warts' obituary. But, he was a comic. Comics are a special breed. They will try anything for a laugh. They don't care if it doesn't get a laugh all the time, most are up there for themselves not you. Their verbal therapy if you will. Which works for all when it works.

Andrew used a good old fashioned schtick (impressions and accents matched with monotone expressions) in his act. When things go to the level of absurd that Kaufman brought things to, with his insulting characters or wrestling scam, we laugh -nervously- like when your 86 year old grandmother trips on the ice laced stairs and flies at about 102 MPH towards the on coming dump truck in the road...you don't mean to laugh. We kind of project ourselves up on the stage and feel bad for this clueless individual, then laugh so he won't go home and kill himself cause he really sucked. Kaufman seemed to use this psychology in his favor- in his act. Admittedly most of his stand-up bits were a tad too helter-skelter for my tastes.

Yeah, I never dug Kaufman like some of the "culty" fans. But, I respected what he was about---BALLS. Big bouncy steel ones... Man On The Moon is a glimpse into his rise to stardom and his ultimate death by a rare lung cancer.

Man on the Moon was entertaining. Carrey was fab per u-shoe-all. But, the story had crater-like holes holes and gaps. We never really got to see the 'real' Kaufman, aside from a soft spoken oddball hell bent on just one more practical prank on the world.

Courtney Love plays Kaufman's girlfriend. Sometimes elements other than your talent stand in the way of a good performance...script...director...flu. So we'll leave it at that, because I really think she's usually great.

Paul Giamatti is here. He's someone you know you just don't know you know. A great actor. Also, Danny "Do no wrong except for that suck ass Twins'' DeVito plays super Hollywood agent/producer George Shapiro. He was wonderful.

See this immediately if your a Carrey fan. He's diabolically good as Kaufman. But a warning, an A&E biography on Kaufman Man on the Moon aint. Your not gonna learn anything here folks. Best picture say Golden Globes? No way. Carrey or Love must be doing the dirty with a Golden Globe judge. MOTM is interesting if not riveting cinema. Best actor for Carrey? AHHHHHBSOLUTELY! Carrey is exquisite.

Snack Recommendation: Milk and Cookies

 


 

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