49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOT ROD
"Yes" is my response to this movie. Finally a movie that understands what is truly important in this world: 80s music training montages, fighting people HARD, being totally awesome, and love. It's not obvious Will Ferrell jokes, or Napoleon Dynamite non-jokes, it's somewhere inbetween...and then a sharp right turn off into space. Hot Rod is its own brand of genius- the...
Published on November 5, 2007 by Cadet
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stupidity Prevails!
Not long ago I wrote a review for the funny and creative Mike Judge film, Idiocracy. Although I found it's seething commentary agreeable, I must admit that just because the film may be right, it does not suddenly make me any less vulnerable to finding humor in any of the many silly and cheap gags that persist in the undeniably hilarious Andy Samberg feature film debut,...
Published on January 8, 2008 by K. Driscoll
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOT ROD,
"Yes" is my response to this movie. Finally a movie that understands what is truly important in this world: 80s music training montages, fighting people HARD, being totally awesome, and love. It's not obvious Will Ferrell jokes, or Napoleon Dynamite non-jokes, it's somewhere inbetween...and then a sharp right turn off into space. Hot Rod is its own brand of genius- the genius of The Lonely Island.
63 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Either you get it, or you don't.,
I'm going to cut right to the chase. This movie has a few moments that just don't hit it home. That said, they are exactly that. Moments. This movie was not made to be "good" by any traditional standards. I've heard and read complaints about how the story is shallow, or how the character doesn't even have an age, or hometown, or job, or whatever...but who cares?
Listen..you can't watch this movie expecting to come away with some deeper meaning. There's not one there. Even I'll admit that. You can't watch American Beauty and expect to come away holding your sides. Just as American Beauty was a great film because it conveyed perfectly what it set out to convey, so to is Superbad, because it was exactly what it seemed: An '80s teen movie...that just happened to come out in 2007.
If you have a soft spot in your heart for The Breakfast Club, or even Mighty Ducks (I know, it's not an 80's movie), you will find a familiar, albeit slightly twisted home in this film. If you don't like movies with montages, or Europe music, or cut an paste dialogue music video clips, then you're right...don't see it. I didn't enjoy Fight Club...but I don't trash it, because it just wasn't my thing. It was a great movie for it's audience. So is this.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modest film with a lot of heart...much like Rod himself.,
Hot Rod marks one of the first films to feature the new generation of Saturday Night Live members with Andy Samberg and Bill Hader. It's standard practice that SNL has become a launching pad for a movie career. Do Samberg and Hader have what it takes to make that jump from the small screen to the big one? If you put Footloose (Special Collector's Edition), Napoleon Dynamite - Like, the Best Special Edition Ever!, and Nacho Libre (Special Collector's Edition) into a blender, Hot Rod would be the martini you would get.
Andy Samberg plays the eternal optimist with zero talent and tons of ambition. He's the Ed Wood of the stuntmen world. He commits himself completely to the role and is likable enough. Isla Fisher is absolutely adorable as the film's love interest and lights up the screen with her engaging smile infectious energy.
Hot Rod follows the tried and true formula of the inept underdog who doggedly pursues his goal despite a lack of any kind of talent. However, this film has a very off-kilter, staccato rhythm all its own, reminiscent of Napoleon Dynamite, that is surprisingly refreshing.
The film features unusual exchanges between characters, like when Rod asks Denise, who would win a fight: a grilled cheese sandwich or a taco, to which she replies, "In a fair fight or prison rules?" This should give you an idea of what kind of film this is. To further throw you off, the film's soundtrack is populated by 1970s prog rock, cheesy 1980s synth-pop and a scary abundance of music by Europe that makes you wonder just what year this film is set in.
Hot Rod is not a gut-busting, laugh out loud funny film but funny in its own unassuming way. Just when you think this is going to be another tired, formulaic SNL film, it takes a hard left into strangeville. Hot Rod has a quirky, personal feel of an independent film and not a studio picture. It is one of those films completely misrepresented by its trailers but in a good way. It is a modest film with a lot of heart - much like its protagonist.
There is an audio commentary by director Akiva Schaffer and actors Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone. They mainly banter and crack jokes with Schaffer being the only one remotely trying to stay on topic. They ruthlessly make fun of each other which is pretty entertaining even if it feels like a series of in-jokes at times.
"Ancestors Protect Me: Behind the Scenes of Hot Rod" is a jokey take on the usual promotional featurette as cast and crew ham it up for the camera and poke fun at these kinds of extras.
Also included are 13 deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary by Schaffer, Samberg and Taccone. They crack jokes about this footage and explain that it was cut because of time constraints.
There is also an "Outtakes Reel" that is an odd collection of bits that aren't all that funny per se, but rather peculiar - kind of like the film itself.
"Kevin's Videos" are eight clips shot by Rod's step-brother Kevin that were glimpsed in excerpts in the film. These are funny "promos" and "training exercises" showing how inept Rod is at, well, anything physical. One promo has Rod admiring a jetski that's not his.
"Punch-Dance" takes a look at Rod's "inspiring" tribute to one of the dance sequences in Footloose with a shot-by-shot comparison that is quite funny.
"Home Video Footage of Orchestra Recording Session" is exactly what you get and that's it.
Finally, there is a theatrical trailer.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most underrated comedy of recent memory.,
Hot Rod, along with Idiocracy, are the two most underrated comedies of the past decade. Both of these future cult classics consist of very intelligent writers/actors purposely creating "dumb" comedy. This is not to say that Andy Samberg and crew (or, Mike Judge in the case of Idiocracy) are being pandering or condescending in their embrace of stupidity. Rather, by skewering--and then amplifying--the myriad cliches of sports movies and '80s pop culture they go beyond merely tired slapstick routines and into the realm of absurd genius.
Consider the infamous "punch dancing" scene in the woods: the actors/writers understand that a guy falling down in the woods while performing a routine that pokes fun of "Footloose" isn't really that funny. (In fact, that's something that unfunny folks like the "Scary Movie" people would have done.) That same guy falling down in the woods for a full two minutes IS funny, however, because it goes far beyond reasonable expectations and in the process delves into an almost surreal world of absurdity. Plus, it's performed with such manic exuberance that you can't help but crack a smile.
Yes, the comparisons of Samberg and this movie to cinematic terrain already well trodden by the likes of Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and even Jim Carrey are all very justified. But I would argue that the Hot Rod crew brings just enough of their own unique personality to make this film seem fresh and inspired.
No matter how much praise I heap, I still realize that this type of thing is not and never will be funny to many people . . . How sad and boring those peoples' lives must be! To everyone else, please watch this.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool Beans!,
Are you kidding me? How can you possibly slam this movie? It is freakin' hilarious from beginning to end!! This movie is a comedy. It will not be an Oscar nominee. It will make you laugh until your sides hurt. That's what comedies are supposed to do! If you liked The Jerk, Strange Brew, Talladega Nights, or Waterboy, you will love this movie! It is nonsense humor at it's finest! And whatever you do, I challenge you NOT to laugh at the Punch Dance! Funniest movie of 2007!
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome,
This movie is a really smart satire of Hollywood stunt movies and other movies that feature doofy characters. It destroys and mocks formula even as it follows those formulas (sort of). It's tongue and cheek delivery can fall flat in parts (especially if you're expecting the expected), but it's a must-see, even if a lot of people don't get Akiva Schaffer's viewpoint the first time around.
P.S. The extra footage is hilarious--I laughed harder at the cut scenes than I did at the movie. I can't believe the studios made them cut some of these gems. And the commentary...so funny.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupidly Awesome!,
If "The Waterboy", "Wayne's World" or "Spinal Tap" are in your top 10 funny movies of all time - make space to add this one to your list. It is strictly silly, goofy humor and it is great!!
I laughed until I cried many times when seeing this in the theater. It is not for everyone, you have to have the right sense of humor (see list of movies at the beginning of review). This is much better than "Napoleon Dynamite". They don't even compare.
Great movie - highly recommended!!!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "He won't be smiling WHEN I MURDER HIM!",
Hot Rod (Andy Samberg) would love to follow in the footsteps of his deceased father, a former stunt man who worked closely with Evel Knievel. He is really much to old to be practicing childish stunts unsuccessfully, but when he learns that his step-father (Ian McShane) needs a heart transplant the family cannot afford, he decides to take his career ambitions seriously to raise money for the operation. Along with his crew (Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, Danny R. McBride, and Isla Fisher), he devises an insane plot to bring his step-father back to full health, and simply so he can beat him up to prove that he is indeed a man.
The trailers for this movie are decieving. They depict tired jokes and a lame plot. They give the wrong impression, because this movie is packed with hilarious moments. The plot doesn't matter at all; the humor comes from the randomness of the scenes and the goofyness of Rod. The character is similar to Napoleon Dynamite but the humor is much more obvious. Samberg has to be one of the funniest comedians to hit SNL for a long time. His brand of humor is very fresh and relevant to the current generation.
Furthermore, the extra features on the DVD are very funny. The making-of featurette shows the cast and crew joking around with each other. Some of the deleted scenes are hilarious, and seeing Rod's punch dance alongside Kevin Bacon's in Footloose is a delight.
From "Hey, Rod, what's that song about a grandma getting run over by a reindeer?" to "I need to go to my quiet place!", you'll find yourself quoting this movie constantly. It is just that funny.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Funny!,
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This review is from: Hot Rod [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
I remember seeing the trailer for Hot Rod on a DVD that I had either purchased or rented. I remember thinking to myself "oh boy, another crapfest". When I saw that it had been released I wanted to give it a try out of loyalty to Lorne Michaels/SNL and some of the amazing work they've done. I have to say that I found it hilarious. SNL movies are hit and miss at best and this one was definitely a hit for me. Now I'm not saying that everyone will find this movie as funny as I did.
If you liked Napoleon Dynamite or Grandma's Boy you'll want to give Hot Rod a chance.
This is also an HD DVD review so I would like to touch on the Audio/Video quality.
You can tell Hot Rod was a cheap production. It fairs better than a SD DVD release, but not by much. Definitely nothing to write home about.
I'm not much of an audiophile, but I have to say I was pretty impressed with the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack throughout the film. The music was mixed into the soundtrack nicely and the dialogue was done very well too.
I would recommend Hot Rod for a definite rental for most. I myself am very happy with my purchase.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool cool cool cool beans...,
I have to admit the trailers for the movie made it look quite funny but stupid at the same time and I thought it was going to be really bad. I had been telling people Andy Samberg was going to be the next SNL member to break out. After all, he is an Emmy winner for "D$%# in a box." I grew up watching a slew of bad movies on cable, but they were great to me. Now so many movies are trying to emulate and copy the formula of 80s movies. Part of the greatness was the clothes, the hair and the music. Almost the entire soundtrack to this movie is made up of songs by Europe, a group that was made fun of even in their own time. This movie has my kind of humor all the way through. A great movie is made up of many memorable scenes that are cohesively edited together into a whole. The plot of the movie is razor thin, but aren't all the movies that SNL actors make? Don't go into this movie thinking Shakespeare and well written dialog that will make you think. The comedy is straight to the point as a punch in the face. Just think about cheesy 80s movies and their plight. They were simple stories about a kid trying to help his brother because his bike was trashed by thugs, or trying to rescue his Dad from Russians, just outlandish plots that in no way would ever be as dramatic as they made them. The movie is about a grown man wanting to raise enough money to get his stepdad a heart transplant so he will regain his strength and then that grown man may be able to beat up his stepdad fair and square and get him to admit he loves him. That is just funny in and of itself and to wrap an entire movie around that weak premise is comedic genius. What do we get in this movie? An 80s dance/fight montage. A music video edited type scene with two brothers saying "Cool beans" back and forth. And the best of all is when Rod calls upon the power of the animals to help him garner enough strength for his stunts, and what animals does he call? Eagle, fox, bottle-nosed dolphin, octopus and house cat. Random and effective. Underlying the stupidity is brilliance.
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