Thursday, 3 July 2014

IMDb Bottom 100 Review – Number 79 Stjerner uden Hjerner

Celebrities. Whether you like them or love them, you have to admit they are actual existing beings on this planet. And they are here to absorb every single one of your personal midichlorians. But there is a flipside to being famous, apparently, and that is the fans. If only there was a way to be famous without fans? This movie explores that rather peculiar aspect of megastardom. Yes, my dearest of readertons, it's...


A case where thinking 'I've got nothing to wear' wasn't too far from the truth. 

Stjerner uden Hjerner (Danes without a clue) (1997)

This week has me watching yet another foreign film, albeit one I don't need subs for, because I actually speak the language. Yes, this one hits way too close to home, so you'll be treated to a little extra something something in this review. Because two remarkable things happened when viewing this film. 1) I didn't immediately hate every aspect of it. 2) Two astronauts on the ISS kicked around a football, and that was interesting. Unrelated, but interesting. Anyway, like I said, I didn't hate this movie completely, and there are a few reasons why, all of which will be dealt with minutely soon enough. Let me just casually toss in a small disclaimer. I fear that me reacting positively towards this film might be construed as favoritism, because it's a local production, and because I have found the two main actors to be fairly hilarious, in other contemporary youth television programs. I can dispell that notion straight away. I dislike shitty productions without prejudice. And trust me when I tell you, that this production fit that bill only too well. It was very shitty indeed. So shitty, in fact, that this movie has jumped an astonishing 33 spots up the B100 from when I 'froze' the B100 list and started gathering the movies for watching/reviewing a year ago. 33 places is quite a difference, with most of the fluctuation happening in the highest... eh.. lowest... highest of the 100? (the 100-90 spots), because a host of crappy movies are bopping up and down around the Bottom100 dividing line. I'll take us through an overview of how the movies have changed positions another time. It's not super interesting to a layman, but I still find the development somewhat amusing. But at the moment that's neither here nor there. What I'm saying is, I don't at all like this movie, but I did find a few redeeming points of interest, and we'll have a gander at them shortly.

Jim and Morten get to earn their keep. And it's like nothing you've ever experienced. 

First off, however, a quick walkthrough of the story, if you feel chipper and optimistic enough to call what these guys cooked up a story. It's about two musicians, Jim and Morten, who are inexplicably famous and popular with a fanbase consisting primarily of teen girls. Both Jim and Morten are exceptionally daft bordering on clinical retardation. They just know how to perform shows and waste time in hotel rooms. Sadly that's enough to build an actual career upon. Their manager makes arrangement with a reporter and her cameraman to follow these two fuck-ups and do a documentary style exposé on them. She, however, has her own secret agenda, wherein she wants to catch them, or one of them, in some incriminating act, and she goes to great lengths to realize this plan. Jim and Morten, inadvertently, foil this evil plot several times, due to being huge fuck-ups and douche bags. Meanwhile, and sort of as a consequence, Morten gets involved with a female fan, but it turns sour when the reporter tries to exploit it for her own sinister master plan. To top it off, Jim and Morten try to work a deal with a local famous actor, to write and star in an action movie. And that's literally all somebody wrote. There is no more. Some very light comical drama in the end, and we're done. Cut. Fade to black. No more. Roll credits. Et cetera.

Morten and the female fan of unspecified age. She worked at a gas station, which half way explains the outfit.

So that's almost the definition of light entertainment, right? Well sans the entertainment part. The guys who play Jim and Morten are named Timm and Gorden respectively, which I suppose is a meta reference, because Timm and Gordon were both somewhat famous comedians at this point. So using names that resembled their real names meant we'd be dealing with a movie that teetered on the edge of mockumentary, hovering dangerously close to actual documentation or docusoap or even whatever genre they'd put stuff like the famous 'Curb your Enthusiasm' in. Like we're supposed to understand that Jim and Morten are fictional, but still carry a resemblance to the actual guys. I assume, and I'm really going on goodwill from other aspects of their careers, that the acting in this movie was deliberately abysmal, because if anything else was the case, this movie deserves every negative vote it gets. So I'm going on the assumption that it was made purposely crappy. Perhaps they wanted to make it amateurish, but didn't quite understand where to draw the line, and so they went above and beyond. Or below. Whatever. The acting is terrible, both because the main characters are jaw-droppingly moronic, but also because it's overplayed to a nauseating degree. Every character falls in with these theme, leading me to believe somebody somewhere was guiding them down that path.

The plot thickens, when evil media woman and annoying but complacent camera dude set their story up.

The rest of the cast is made up of a bunch of nincompoops that have extremely little actual acting to do, yet somehow still manage to fudge that up. The reporter chick is extremely annoying. Now I guess I could chalk that up to her accomplishing what was required of her for this role. But it doesn't feel like what annoys me about her stops at that character. It feels more deep seated than that. But I digress. Her cameraman is a dewy eyed bird chested gangly dude named Tobias, who is kicked around by this reporter chick for most of the movie. He serves a small somewhat significant purpose later on, but it's executed poorly and you end up just disliking him anyway. Then there is the female fan, who, I believe we're supposed to think is from the countryside. A naive farmer girl who is convinced by the reporter that Morten is totally into her. She seems way too old to even be in their target audience. Like their fan base appear to consist of teenage girls, and this woman seems like she's at least 30. I couldn't tell if this was intentional, to remove the creepiness factor of a musician well into his 30s hooking up with a teenage groupie. That, if nothing else, would've been authentic. This was forced and way beyond what even a healthy suspension of disbelief could handle. Her heart is broken, of course, when she is rebuffed by an incompetent Morten, partly because he's a fuckwit, and partly because the reporter uses her to get a sensational story for her paper. It's a melting pot of inadequacy.

Morten steering this movie dangerously close to the edge. 

I did mention some redeeming factors earlier, and even though writing the last 4 paragraphs have seriously jeopardized my view on the actual redeeming element, I'll discuss them here anyway, because what else is there really to say? Nothing, that's what. So here we go. When I watched this movie, I did spot, through layer upon layer of pointlessness and wasted time, an analogy on the sensational media and how we, as humans, are getting more and more prone to mindless celebrity worshiping. This movie is from 1997, and while I was technically an adult at the time, I suppose my mind was still stuck at the early teens. I wasn't quite as perceptible as I am now. These days I'm totally perceptible. I see everything! So I'd like to tell myself, that this movie was made at a time, where things weren't quite as bad in terms of the outrageous celebrity culture machinery we see today. Obviously that fandom aspect of being a star has been around for ages, with Beatles and Elvis being prime examples. Now a days it's Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus, albeit Cyrus possible for entirely the wrong reasons. What Jim and Morten went through was a small selection of some of the stuff we see a lot today. Media circus, crazy fans trying their best to get even a moment in the spotlight. A look behind the bright lights at a life on the road that's not as cool and suave as you'd think. Having the media cook up some cock and bull story about you, to sell ads or papers or online subscriptions. All that stuff happens in this movie, and we see it happening all the time in real life too. Most of us remember the News of the World scandal of yesteryear. And over here right now, another case is ongoing, where a large tabloid publication is tumbling down, because they used illegally obtained credit card records and other hacked material to track celebs and report on what they were doing, how and where. I never understood that morbid fascination with what somebody from a movie is doing. I can understand a healthy interest or an inherent curiosity. I'm subject of that from time to time. But fanatical following is not my cup of tea. I just can't care that much.

Eager fans waiting to hail the worst musical duo since sliced bread. 
So the movie explores that whole aspect of fame vs infamy, and how thin the line really is between them. And I think it had a few valid points. It's too bad those points were wrapped up in as much colorful drivel as they were, because with more apt acting, and less pandering to the absolute lowest common denominator, it could've been an excellent look into the darker aspects of becoming famous and the equal dark purposes for which some famous people use said fame. With some youngsters here now wanting more than anything else to 'be famous' just because they think it's all glamor, this movie could've been a very apt example of why you should think twice before joining any one of the numerous reality shows currently in syndication. I went to school with a dude, back in the days, that later surfaced as pro gamer and pro wrestler, and then went on to just being a socialite – a dude living exclusively on being famous. In a country like ours, with only 5 million people, only perhaps 1 mil of which understand what the fuck a socialite is, 200k of which actually give a fuck (mostly a negatively charged fuck), that's not an easy thing to do. He does guest-bartending stunts, he joins any and every reality dating program available, he even attempted to launch a porn career and subsequently an acting career. Now he's losing the household name status, because honestly, he brought little actual content to the table. It's a weird balance between being the shit and being a shit. The kind that most people laugh at to themselves, but still kind of want to see what happens to. This movie poos over most of this sentiment, but the little part of that sentiment that remains poofree carries some merit, and makes this movie one of the very few movies on this list, that had actual potential, actual meaning and actually didn't make me want to drop a grand piano squarely between me legs. That's an actual feeling I sometimes get, when I watch these movies. Don't try it at home. I'm a pro.  

As a final stamp on the trouble with media attention, the poor love crazed fan goes and attempts suicide. It's made light of, of course, and everything ends on a silly pointless note. 

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