Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Napoleon Dynamite special edition

"Vote for me and all your dreams will come true."
- Pedro

To me, "Napoleon Dynamite" is more than a movie; it's a litmus test for your sense of humor. If you didn't laugh out loud at this you should consult a doctor immediately.

I can still remember that I had to drive 20 miles down to Warner Robins to see this at what is now only a $1, second-run theater, and I had little idea what I was getting into. As those funky credits came to an end, there was a pack of kids in front of me who had clearly seen the movie at least twice already, and were quoting the best lines as they came up. I would have been mad if I weren't laughing so hard.

Now comes the rather accurately titled "Like, the Best Special Edition Ever!" on DVD. So-called "special editions" can be a real sham, but this one appears to pack in enough extras to earn its name. According to the IMDB:

Disc 1 will feature two new commentary tracks, one by director/co-writer Jared Hess, actor Jon Heder and producer Jeremy Coon, and a second by actors Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries and Tina Majorino. Disc 2 will feature five deleted/extended scenes with commentary by Hess, Heder and Coon; new outtakes and additional deleted/extended scenes; audition clips; "World Premiere Jared Hess" featurette; "On Location: Napoleon Dynamite" featurette; original short film "Peluca" with commentary by Hess, Heder and Coon; "The Making of the Wedding of the Century" featurette; MTV promo spots; Napoleon and Pedro sightings: clips from TV appearances and a still gallery.

Whew! It sounds like they put as much care into this as Kevin Smith does with his DVD releases, and given the devoted fans of "Napoleon" they should be richly rewarded.

I think what made "Napoleon" so perfect to me was it's complete repositioning of what it means to be a "geek." The great "Freaks and Geeks" hinted at the idea that "geeks" aren't always the smartest kids around, just the oddest. And "Napoleon" took this to the extreme, so fiercely proud as he was in the fact that he would never fit in with the world around him.

And of course it's funny from start to finish. It remains such a quotable movie that no matter how many times I ask my cubicle mate Rodney Manley to do something and he responds, "I'll do it when I want to. Gosh!", it will never get old.

Looking at Heder's career since, it seems he knows this was his bright, shining moment, and he is trying desperately to re-create it no matter what role he plays. But in this case, "Dynamite" only struck once. Enjoy it all over again in this great new release.


SquirrleyMojo said...

this flick hurt me so badly, on so many levels that

i think i need to see it again. just to be sure.

Haris Zalkapli said...

I think this movie is one of those film that sort of define our age. I still can't explain why I like it so much. Like The Family Guy's Brian said, "No intelligent defense for this unmitigated crap?"

Reel Fanatic said...

I think you're right Haris ... If you were to watch it in just a snippet, you might think, "this is just really, really stupid," but I love it unconditionally as a whole

Netter said...

I went to see the movie with a high school kid that I had once been a nanny for. It was before the N.D. craze started and we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We went to the small theater that plays all the off the beaten track stuff, lots of independent films ect. There were two sets of elderly people and in front a group of teenagers.
From the very beginning, Katie and I were cracking up. I think the older couple next to us thought we were nuts because they didn't laugh once. I tend to be a bit zany, Katie is just off the wall, so to our surprise we were busting a gut but in a "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!" kind of way. From the opening scene on the bus, to the chap stick scene, to the fence stunt, we were drawn into the stupidity of it all.
When we walked out of the theater, we were looking at each other like we had just witnessed a train wreck and we started cracking up. I took her home and her parents were asking how the movie was and what it was about. Katie and I just laughed and laughed, because we could not explain it to them...it was something you just had to see for yourself.
I think the nicest thing about the whole movie is that it was not verbally offensive...it was refreshing...GOSH!

Reel Fanatic said...

Great stuff, Netter .. glad to hear there are people in the world as crazy as me!