Going Greek (2001) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
Going Greek (2001) is a first film
from Justin Zackham made for $190K. After two years of trying to get
distribution, he got a straight to vid deal. In a feature length
commentary, he says that some people will find it hilarious, and
others won't find it funny. I suspect it is a generational thing,
but put me in the group that didn't find this gross-out humor funny.
That is not to put down the film. It has an audience, and they will
love it. The DVD features two commentary tracks, one by Zackham, and
the other by cast members. If you find the film funny, you will also
love the cast members track, and the deleted scenes. For me, the
director's commentary was the most interesting thing about the DVD,
because he talked about exactly what it took to get a low budget
film made in a very candid manner. The toughest part is whatever the
next step is. In other words, the entire process is a struggle. His
advice is to get DV equipment and editing equipment, and make a very
simple film on your own money, learn something in the process, then
sell an idea to investors and go for a real film.
Guess which frat member is assigned
to haze Bruno.
Scoop's notes in yellow:
I don't have much more to say about the movie. Tuna nailed it. The difference between this and a good campus comedy is that the latter uses gross-outs as a source of humor. This film uses them as a substitute for humor. (One note: As long as there was a solid academic performance, Notre Dame would not take away a kid's scholarship because he hurt his leg. At least I hope not. It is a school which stands for, or is supposed to stand for, values and academics first, despite its brilliant history of football performance.)
I want to talk about two other subjects related to this movie:
1. The IMDB comments.
There are 11 comments at IMDB, all quite positive. Some of them were outlandishly positive. "The heir to Animal House", "Blows Old School out of the water", "Witty teen genre movie, on par with American Pie and Van Wilder". Yes, opinions are subjective, but it isn't likely that so many people would feel so strongly positive about such an uninspired, derivative movie. I got suspicious.
My suspicions were confirmed. There are eleven comments about this movie. Eight of them were made by virgin accounts, people who had never commented on any other movie. Obviously, the accounts were created specifically for the purpose of adding positive comments to the page for this particular film, probably by a single person or close-knit group. The other three people? None of them are frequent IMDb contributors. They have written comments on a total of 2, 3, and 5 movies respectively, with all of those totals including this movie.
The arithmetic score distribution looks suspicious as well. Although 87 votes have been cast as I write this, there have been no 3s, 4s, or 5s awarded to this film at all - just low scores and high ones. IMDB's score filter did a good enough job at figuring out the ballot-stuffing. Although the raw score results in a mean of 7.5, the adjusted score is 4.6, right about where it should be.
2. Claire Forlani
Sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of two similar women
Claire Forlani and Kate Beckinsale.
Two English actresses who can and often do play Americans without any difficulty. Two soft-spoken, willowy actresses of ethereal beauty. Two women who often play characters younger than their physical age. Forlani is 31, and was 29 when she played a college girl in this film. Beckinsale is 30, and was 29 when she played a grad student in Laurel Canyon.
Beckinsale is now one of the hottest properties in Hollywood, a flavor of the day. And Forlani? She isn't doing as well at the moment.
1. Going Greek was made for a total budget of $198,000, including salaries and everything else.
2. Forlani's role merited 20th billing. Obviously, she must have worked for scale., or close to it.
3. Worst of all, her lines can be found only in the deleted scenes. Actually, she may appear somewhere on camera in the final cut of the film, but I didn't notice her at all until I watched the deleted footage.
There's her career. She gets a very minor role in a very minor film, and her very few lines get cut.
Forlani, Beckinsale. I am having a difficult time in determining why these two very comparable actresses have such divergent career paths.
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