The reason this documentary will stand as a work of greatness for decades to come is simple: it absolutely nails the psychology of the stand-up comic, the most narcissistic, petty, self-obsessed, hateful, and bitter breed of entertainer known to mankind. And though Jerry Seinfeld is the film's chief subject--Comedian documents his arduous quest to write and perform a brand new set of material for club audiences--he is not the prime example of the vile strain of comic mentioned above. That honor belongs to Orny Adams, a young up-and-comer whose ruthless self-absorption and sense of entitlement make a beautiful counterpoint to Seinfeld's more craft-driven professionalism. And not surprisingly, it's Adams, despite his despicable presence, who emerges as the more fascinating subject. As Seinfeld himself says to an audience, "You don't get any bigger than me." He's out to prove to himself that he's still a comic at heart after being a TV star for the last 10 years. For Adams, every minute of every living day is another minute that he hasn't yet made it, and hence, every person he encounters is either a mark or an obstacle on the road to fame. He's such a prick, and so singularly driven, that you just know he's going to make it. SEAN NELSON
Everyone always rushes out to see the sex films hoping for that surge of excitement, minus the embarassment of setting foot in the adult video store. This film, about the sordid mid-life of Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane, is about his exit from wholesome family life and entrance into a life of mad humping, videotaped sex orgies, boozing, and getting flabby--but sadly, it's not one bit exciting. The story has no arc and plays more like a plot summary for people who've heard the legend a hundred times--whoever that is? Anyway, I think the point of making this film was to get one of Crane's sons some money and also, imply that Bob Crane had a homoerotic relationship with his best friend, even though this sentiment is never explored. KATIE SHIMER
Jackass: The Movie
This being the Mercury, a decidedly safe harbor for all things juvenile, there was little doubt that this here review of Jackass: The Movie would be a positive one. Stupid shit makes us laugh. Painful, stupid shit even more so. And it is painful, stupid shit that Jackass excels at.
With a lean running time of somewhere around 80 minutes, Jackass: The Movie is little more than an inflated episode of the once great MTV show, only free from the shocked gapings of MTV's censors. Chances are you've seen the show, which means you either liked it or didn't, so what I have to say about the flick now, whatever praise I may heap on it, really doesn't matter. You've either already seen it (since it made $20 million last weekend), or you never will. And that's fine. Jackass isn't for everybody--only teenage boys and those who understand (and appreciate the hilarity of) self-hatred seem to get it--so this review is little more than wasted space, just as many reviewers feel about the film itself. But if you want to witness it, and have yet to do so, you have my full encouragement. If nothing else, you will forever be wary of the display toilets at your nearest hardware conglomerate. BRADLEY STEINBACHER