Monday, June 11, 2007

Napoleon Dynamite...explosive

Napoleon Dynamite - Jared Hess - 2004 - 7/10


Jon Heder burst onto the scene in this modern cult classic as Napoleon Dynamite, that paid him a measley $1000. Heder is great in this movie, although it's hard to understand how he could do it, considering his eyes are closed all the time. Anyway, Heder's Napoleon is kind of the school joke until he lucks into a friend when he shows the new student from Juarez, Pedro (Efren Ramirez), around. Pedro and Napoleon are fast friends while at home, while Napoleon's Grandmother is in the hospital, his Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) comes to stay. Along with Napoleon's pathetic older brother Kip (Aaron Ruell), Uncle Rico causes bunches of trouble as he embarasses Napoleon at every turn. There are other subplots and storylines, but really, the movie is driven by the great characters/acting, and there is much less emphasis on the story.


One of the few movies I've seen recently that has lived up to the hype. The movie was such a joy because all of the characters were really funny. Heder is dead on as the loopy Napoleon while Ruell is equally great as his weird brother who "is a cage fighter in training who chats online with babes all day." Gries is also superb as the crazy bumbling uncle who's get-rich-to-buy-a-time-travel-machine provides plenty of laughs. Tina Majorino is great as Deb (although I don't really understand how they could make her un-hot). Majorino's Deb has a certain way about her that is both funny when she needs to be and alluring at those other times. When you start to consider that the movie was made for next to nothing and that this was a firs time affair in terms of acting-writing-directing, its pretty impressive. And the movie is really clean too, which is nice for once in awhile.


Watch it.

If you liked this movie, watch...
...Garden State
...THe Royal Tenenbaums
...The Breakfast Club

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