Friday, March 23, 2007

Gas Fight!

The downside of what I was talking about the other day, about how every house is now a revival house and every old movie is now current, is that it gives me an excuse to write about Zoolander. With apologies to Will Ferrell and his Oscar-worthy turn as the deranged designer Mugatu (there's a reason that all of the interstitial material on the DVD focuses on Ferrell rather than the movie's star), there are exactly two scenes in this film that are worth paying attention to:

* The justly celebrated walk-off scene, which probably still has hipster wanna-be's hoping they'll catch sight of David Bowie lurking in Meatpacking District bars at 2 a.m. Bowie seems surprised as anyone that he agreed to be in the movie, but it's the split-screen sight of Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller going pose-for-pose, mug-for-mug that makes this work. I'm still working on that "standing still except for one arm dangling at the elbow" thing.

* Nothing captures the vacuousness of Derek Zoolander and his fellow male models like the gas fight. A recap for those who haven't seen it: Stiller and his three roommates stop at a gas station to fill up their Jeep just after having purchased a round of Orange Mocha Frappuccinos, which they proceed to spit all over each other. When this proves insufficiently stupid, one of them pulls the gasoline hose out of the Jeep and begins spraying his friends, who then do likewise at the other pumps. Gasoline really does look beautiful when it's photographed in a stream against a bright blue sky. Of course, it all ends badly when someone throws a match in the middle of all that gorgeous gasoline. This is quite literally the dumbest believable situation in the history of film, unless you count someone greenlighting Blues Brothers 2000.

1 comment:

Pike said...

Maybe I'm the only person here who's had male-model family members die in a gas fight, but I find this post incredibly tasteless.

Good day, sir.

(I said "Good day!")