For The Love Of Film is UTG’s newest creation from film nerd and lover of all movies Justin Proper. Sometimes you need some help to figure out how to enjoy movies, and we are here to help! No longer will you need to fear movie night because your friends have no taste in film. With this column you will be able to love even the worst gems to ever grace the silver screen.
Zero Percent. In the movie business if you manage to get a zero percent Fresh Rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes your film is pretty much doomed. That means absolutely zero percent of the critics liked it. Even Bio-Dome is not at zero percent, that movie got five percent of all the critics to like it. So if a movie gets a zero that means it is not worth watching in any way ever right? Well Strange Wilderness got a zero and I enjoyed that, and I really do not want to live in a world without Ed, a movie that has Joey from Friends playing baseball with a monkey.
I watched Strange Wilderness because I caught it on TV and then proceeded to rent it because I knew there was a lot missing that could not be aired and meet FCC standards. The movie is about a group of guys that have a nature show trying to find Bigfoot to boost their ratings so their show does not get cancelled. The problem is that their show is terrible and they do not actually seem to know the first thing about nature or animals. It has a pretty awesome cast including Justin Long, Steve Zahn, and Jonah Hill.
Critics absolutely love to hate this movie. They pan it for being a stoner comedy, for not utilizing the cast correctly, for having a weak plot, etc. One critic even goes so far as to say that you would have more fun putting your feet in a bin with piranhas than watching this movie. Really John J. Puccio? Getting your feet torn to shreds by carnivorous fish would be more enjoyable than watching a movie? The bottom line is no “professional” found this movie to be of any value, but to be honest it sounded like they were all pretty biased and had their minds made up before they even watched it just because it is a Happy Madison production.
I did not love Strange Wilderness. That being said I did not hate it for what it was. Sure, it is really dumb. Yeah, the plot sucks. The ending is really weak and the Bigfoot scene is one of the dumbest things ever put on film. So what? That does not mean this movie is completely devoid of any entertainment value. This movie has one of the funniest running gags I have seen in a long time. In the movie you see clips from the wildlife show they make, and those clips are downright hilarious. If they made a show in the style of those clips I would watch it every night. Here is an example, and keep in mind that this is the censored version they used for promos, the uncut clip in the movie is even more funny.
You do not have to be a stoner to appreciate this movie (it just helps). There are a lot of drug jokes, but there are also a lot of really decent bits that have nothing to do with drugs. Jonah Hill plays awful songs, Justin Long says really dumb things, their animal handler has no experience with handling animals, one of the crew even gets attacked by a shark when he is pretending to be a seal to blend in with some other seals. There are some really zany antics which should be enjoyed for what they are instead of criticized for what they are not. If you want a highbrow comedy, go watch one. If you want dumb humor to amuse you for an hour and a half then you do not need to go any farther than Strange Wilderness.
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