Wednesday 17 February 2016

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 37 Chairman of the Board

I live and breathe by a very select few rules. Don’t eat yellow snow. Never punch a kitten than didn’t ask for it. Try not to appropriate other cultures for entertainment. And never ever under any circumstances put Carrot Top in any sort of context where other people will end up viewing him. This guy is why we can’t have nice things anymore. And tonight’s review is going to be heavily influenced by the breaking of this simple rule. So let’s just get to it, and take a long cold look at…

This is the opening shot. Can you blame me for being pissed off right away? This is inside his mother's womb. What the fuck?
Chairman of the Board (1998)

Why Carrot Top ever rose to any level of fame is really hard for me to grasp. Lots of people have achieved some kind of public recognition, and there are many of them I’m curious why other people, at any point, found funny. None more so, however, than Carrot Top. I don’t know if they have Least Funny Person contests, but if they do, Carrot Top should win in absentia. Every time. More infuriating is it to see the amount of quasi famous people he somehow rallied to his cause for this film. When I watched this cack, I kept thinking “Omg it’s… that guy!” or “Oh wow good old whatsherface is in this too?” They just kept racking up, none of them improving on what should’ve died on even the most desperate exec’s office floor. It followed a 90s movie formula so archaic, Vanilla Ice would’ve furrowed his brow in disdain at it. No good loser with a heart of whatever precious metal floats your stupid little boat somehow inherits a large non-descript company from an eccentric rich dude who snubs his actual family in the process. Loser guy manages to run the company despite being a moron, is almost foiled, falls from grace, but returns in triumphant fashion, somehow along the way getting the girl who swore to never touch turds like him with ten foot poles.

I couldn't even with this. Like no. Just no. That hair and then a chicken suit that looked like it was used to storm Normandy.

I’m gonna spend two paragraphs, as per usual, going through the plot in intricate detail, despite already having a hard time boiling more broth off of it than the previous paragraph allows. But here we go. Basically Carrot Top is an inventor, with every invention obviously being not only mindnumbingly pointless and stupid, but also a waste of everybody’s time. He lives, and surfs, with two other guys, and they have a hard time making rent. Because idiots. Carrot (good lord) meets rich guy on the road, and fixes his broken down car. Rich Guy is so amazed at this, Carrot’s invention ideas, and their subsequent, and hilariously phony looking, surfing montage, that he bequeaths the stock majority in his company to Carrot and conveniently dies only days later, despite being both mentally and physically fit. Now obviously, Rich Guy’s nephew, who might be evil and douchey, and conspiring with a crazily misplaced Raquel Welch to do an evil takeover on his uncle’s company, but still seems to be at least somewhat competent, is none too happy about this turn of events. He vows to fuck up Carrot’s bid at company big wig. 

"I will kill again. Your wife. Your kids. Lock them up, or so help me..."

Forgetting for a moment the sheer amount of disbelief suspending needed in order to comfortably accept Carrot Top as the stock majority holder of anything, and the fact that chairman of the board doesn’t equal CEO of the company in any way, we are treated to a Carrot Top who immediately makes crass and nearly devastating decisions for the company by embellishing the near defunct Research and Development department by cutting on wages. Strikes happen. A lot of other pointless and stupid shit unfolds, as Carrot Top hamfistedly attempts to correct his wrong while ensuring this company makes crazy profits. He does this by inventing a TV dinner with an actual TV in it that is somehow cheaper than previous TV dinners. If you are shaking your head in abject disbelief now, I can’t say I blame you. It’s just like they weren’t even fully conscious when writing this. It’s an immediate success, but then it fails when somebody claims he was turned green by this device. Things crumble, and Carrot is at his wit’s ends. He clears it up though, when he realizes Evil Nephew had put another Carrot Topian invention in the TV dinners, to foil the plan - Crazy Goo. Everything ends well!

I wanted to expire when he showed up in this outfit. Those legs... Everything about this just gets under my skin.
This movie was very standard 90s. Both in look and in story and style. And Carrot Top employs the same style of comedy, that was attempted in movies like Son of the Mask and Jim Varney in Snowboard Academy - the quick witted random comedy where you say a lot of little jokey off context observations to nobody in particular. A style, I believe, Groucho Marx invented, which was later seen used in lots of Popeye cartoons and perfected by Robin Williams in his comedy routines and plenty of his comedic movies. It doesn’t work for Carrot Top, probably on account of him not being funny. They keep throwing colorful attempts at jokes at the screen, probably hoping some of it would stick, but it never really does. Like I said, standard 90s run of the mill production. It wasn’t bad per se, just extremely whatever. And then Carrot Top is insanely annoying. His hair makes me want to test just how well water conducts electricity from a toaster. I’m not usually into bashing people for their looks - but let’s face it. There are genetic looks and then cultivated looks. He wants to look like this, and I don’t get why. Perhaps because he mistakenly believes bad press is better than no press, and the fact that I’m this angered about his hair means he won. I don’t know if I agree with that sentiment, but by all means I’ll let him have this pyrrhic victory. 

He even managed to make killer bees unfunny. They are ALWAYS hilarious. You ruined killer bees for us, Carrot Dick.

Let’s dedicate a paragraph to covering just how many people whose face you know, were in this movie. A regular who’s who of b-list and even c-list actors and -tresses. For starters, rich old dude is Jack Warden, who looked exactly like he does in this film for 50 years I think. Then obviously Raquel Welch, arguably the biggest name in this flick. We’ve got Larry Miller who is perpetually the guy you and your friends try to remember where you’ve seen before. Now you can say “Chairman of the Board” and win the argument, but forever lose status in the eyes of your friends. There is Estelle Harris who most famously played George’s mother on Seinfeld. She is essentially the same here. Then there is Courtney Thorne-Smith who, after making the rounds on short lived sitcoms and daytime television landed the big role of Jim’s wife on According to Jim. Now, let me just take a moment here to tell you, that According to Jim is one of the most infuriatingly unfunny sitcoms. Of all time. Yes, you heard it here first. There are plenty of contenders, but I think I’d almost rather watch Full House. But that’s her. We’ve got Bill Erwin, who has 231 credits to his name, 200 of which, I imagine, are playing “Generic Old Man”. M. Emmett Walsh is in there, and he too has over 200 credits under his name. He was in Blade Runner, among other well known movies, and seems to have been just barely making it big for 50 years. Honorable mentions are Fred Stoller and of course Taylor Negron, the classic B-lister who died a few years ago and kind of made it after that. Let that be a lesson to you kids. Dying is the wisest career move. 

I forgot what the fuck was going on here. I think perhaps he was making an ad for his TV dinner. I hate him.
I was super bored watching this movie. It’s an hour and 30 minutes long, but it took me 6 hours + to watch it, because I kept pausing to quickly watch a Youtube video or send a text or get up and drink something. I’m sure you know the feeling. Not outright revolted, but just not entertained in any way. Carrot Top just isn’t funny. I'm not even getting into the more deeply embedded, but sadly classic, undertones of how the most bumbling idiot can win the girl as a prize like some kind of entitled asshole. It’s movies like this, while seemingly innocuous and light hearted, that lay the foundation for the rape culture that is currently plaguing most of the western world, and the US in particular. Women as prizes? Ludicrous. I could understand if Carrot Top built a company from the ground up, and hired this cool woman to run the company with him, and they developed a relationship over time. But her being adverse to him because, well, he’s Carrot Top, but suddenly being all about him when he’s successful is just pissing all over us as viewers and members of society. I understand that whoever financed and created this mess probably wasn’t aware of this or meant for it to be a thing. That is even worse. If you want to watch a movie that illustrates several sides of this coin, go watch Ex Machina. It’s scary, but for more reasons than is immediately apparent. Alright, end of quasi sociopolitical movie elitist rant. Fuck Carrot Top. I’ll see you next week. 

A gag that involves him coming out of the shower, but the foam on his face kept changing. And then that grin, that makes Jack Nicholson's Joker scream with confusion.


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