Plot: What’s it about?
Gord Brody (Tom Green) has been forced to move out of his parents’ house, but he has some plans for himself, some good ones. He is headed to California to work in a cheese sandwich plant, but also show his cartoon sketches around town. Of course, his ideas are poor and his drawings are even worse, but he thinks he can be the next big cartoonist, so he continues to push forward with his plans. But when a corporate player (Anthony Michael Hall) informs him that he has zero talent, Gord packs it up and heads back home again. Of course, his brutally honest father (Rip Torn) is displeased and tries to scare him off, but it doesn’t work, as Gord is determined to remain in the house. As Gord’s life heads down the tubes even deeper, his brother Freddy (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is on the rise, with a home of his own and a solid job, even. As time passes, Gord finds romance, pain, strange events, and even tries to find his own niche in the world.
I’ve seen only a few minutes of Tom Green’s MTV show, so I wasn’t sure what to expect here, aside from cheap laughs and outlandish facial expressions. I wasn’t able to make it during the three days this flick toured theaters, but I heard a lot of comments about it, from hilarious to shocking to downright offensive. So my interested was tweaked and I decided to spin Freddy Got Fingered, to see what the minimalist fuss was over. I guess I have more resolve than most of the folks who saw this, because while it does have a few humorous moments, this one reeks of someone trying way too hard to shock an audience. I appreciate Green’s efforts to make a highly offensive film, but I think he failed, due to his own failings as a writer and performer. The film runs like a series of disconnected skits, which I think is to be blamed on the writers, who were unable to weave the elements together, which would have improved this picture a lot. It was nice to see Rip Torn and Anthony Michael Hall again though, so not all is lost with this dud, but there isn’t much to talk about. More dull and predictable than shocking and humorous, Freddy Got Fingered offers a few laughs, but I think a rental will suffice in most cases.
Like so many people before him, Tom Green seems to want to be his generation’s Andy Kaufman, but he isn’t even close. Green is funny enough in small roles, but falters when he has the lead and that is evident here also, to be sure. I think Green tries so hard to shock his viewers that it all comes off as forced, which ruins the impact. His television show was the same way, he tried so hard to push the limits, but it all just seemed like a lame attempt to recapture the lost glory of Buzzkill or the like. In order to really shock an audience, you need to use your brain as well as your bug eyes, as shown by Kaufman and other shock masters. I hope Green learns this before he is allowed to helm another film, but in truth, I hope he sticks to the smaller roles. You can also see Green in such films as Charlie’s Angels, Superstar, and Road Trip. The cast also includes Rip Torn (Men in Black, Trial and Error), Harland Williams (Half Baked, Dumb & Dumber), and Marisa Coughlan (Teaching Miss Tingle, Tv’s Wasteland).
Video: How does it look?
Freddy Got Fingered is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. As per usual, Fox has delivered a terrific visual effort, with minimal complaints to lodge. The film has no real visual sparks, but this transfer makes it all look as good as possible, complete with a nice, clean source print to start with. The colors look warm and normal in scope, while flesh tones seem accurate as well. No real issues with contrast either, as black levels look right on and never falter at all. In the end, this is a more than solid visual effort in all respects, kudos to Fox on a job well done.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included Dolby Digital 5.1 track won’t replace your current demo disc, but it more than handles this material. There is some good surround use at times, but usually from the pop rock soundtrack, as opposed to sound effects and such. Even so, there is enough activity to keep things interesting and since this is a dialogue driven flick, that’s all we can ask for. The vocals sound good here, with no volume or clarity issues in the least, a very solid overall audio option. This disc also includes 2.0 surround tracks in English and French, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish, should you need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I commend Fox for this disc, as it might not be labeled as a special edition, but it is packed with bonus materials. The coolest extra is the World Premiere audience track, which features the live audio from the event, very cool. I found the film to be more enjoyable in this fashion and I applaud Fox for including this most unique feature, very cool indeed. More audio options can also be found here, with a feature length commentary by Tom Green, as well as scene specific comments from Marisa Coughlan, Rip Torn, and Harland Williams. Even more comments from Green can be heard on the included deleted scenes, but you can also view them without his presence. This disc also includes two bland behind the scenes featurettes, talent files, soundtrack promo, a selection of television spots, and the film’s theatrical trailer.