Movie PictureI don't know what my problem is. Ever since I got back from Comic Con, I 've had the worst luck. I don't want to delve too deep into the shazbot that has slapped me in the face these last two weeks. That would be a book. But in the last twenty-four hours, I've split my toe open on a flowerpot. It's black and dripping ooze. I found out I wasn't going to be attending a set visit to Ireland (my favorite country). I plugged my brand new Sony plasma screen and HD-DVD player into a dead plug and blew out both sets . It was a quiet, but sickening electrical explosion. You can still smell the burning blue electricity when you walk in the room. My sister's dog (whom I was babysitting) jumped the fence, snuck into the neighbor's house, and ate all of his weed (which is really two problems, isn't it?). Then, to top it all off, I got into a physical altercation at the Vons. This guy was blocking the entrance. He was turned sideways, and had a backpack as big as a baby elephant strapped to his person. I squeezed past. Actually said, "Excuse me", then was on my way. But he popped out one of his ear buds and screamed, "Yo, man! You say excuse me!"

I didn't even know the guy was talking to me. I turned around to see who was screaming. The guy puffed up his chest and repeated his mantra, "Yo, asshole. When you pass by me, you say 'Excuse me!' Or I'll beat yo ass." I was shocked. I told him I said the courteous words, but before I could finish my sentence, he was all over my shit. I tried to explain the effects of listening to an Ipod in a crowded store. That it's possible to miss something. And the fact that he was carrying the equivalent of a dead, bloated horse on his back. But he was just in the mood for some fisticuffs. There, in the middle of Vons. What set it off? I told him to shut up. He didn't like that. He didn't like the one-two knockout gut-punch I gave him either. Oh, I'm sure he would have come back at me had the very large security guard not grabbed him and tossed him out of the store. It was decided that he was to blame. The cops came, and he left with them. I was still sort of shook up. It was hard to continue shopping. I bought sardines in tomato sauce. I'm not sure why.

I went home and contemplated my horrible day. There, alone, staring into the dark. The ghosts no longer wanting to call themselves my friend. Then a weird thing happened. I started to think about Seth, and all of the things he goes through in Superbad. I started laughing at lines I'd heard two weeks ago in a teen movie. I pondered Seth's luck. The way he gets hit by two cars. A bat. How he, too, gets into a fight about something that wasn't really his fault. It'd been a while since I saw Superbad, but here, removed from it for about a month and a half, the film was giving me a certain kind of joy all over again. It was making me feel better about life. Seth's uphill battle reminded me of Christ's struggle with the cross in Mel Gibson's popular torture porn biopic. Which leads me to call Superbad the The Passion of the Christ of Jewish cinema. Only, these guys deal with pain and suffering in a funny, heartfelt way. Not a brutally devastating way. Don't get me wrong; I like both takes on the subject.

Simply put: I love this movie. I've only seen it once, and I already know it's one of my favorites.

Superbad stands within the upper echelon of this summer's entertainment offerings. Its one of the few true classics that has raised its head in the last five years. And I think everyone is pretty much in agreement on that. I've heard a couple folks, all critics mind you, that didn't jive with the hype. But they're killjoys. This is a movie I could watch three times in one day. It's that special. Seriously, I haven't bought a movie poster in at least seven years. I just unwrapped my Superbad poster moments ago. It is now framed and hanging on the wall next to other such classics as Little Darlings, Big Trouble in Little China, The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh, and License to Drive.

I don't want you to think I'm jumping on the Judd Apatow bandwagon, here. I've never been that into the neo-realism movement. And his last couple of films have been thiscloseto being set in the Italian pragmatism genre of the late thirties. The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up are cinematic workhorses that Scorsese would have studied in film school. I was sort of amused by Virgin, but it was a movie I could only watch once. And I didn't like Knocked Up at all. I hated the hype machine on that one, because I thought people were unfairly heaping critical praise upon it. It was one of those movies where I felt like you were being "forced" to like it. The people who told me it was funny seemed to be programmed to say that. I didn't get that they really felt that way. The exact opposite is true with Superbad. I get the feeling that people don't want to like it, but afterwards, they can't deny how much they loved it.

Seriously, I know you've heard this before, but huge chunks of dialogue get swallowed by the audience. Not just in one scene. Throughout the entire movie. This isn't like "There's Something About Mary" where you get four solid jokes, then an hour and forty minutes of filler. Superbad is a joke machine from beginning to end. The entire thing is funny. It never stops or slows down for a second. The two cops are kind of annoying, but thinking back on their secondary plot line, I find myself liking it as much as anything else.

It's hard to pinpoint way this film is so special. It's not revolutionary, by any means. It's about two kids trying to buy beer and get laid. It borrows heavily from American Graffiti and License to Drive. We've seen this movie before. A million times. Its just made-up of that special kind of matter that only shoots down from the cosmos ever so often. It's a complete team effort. Every single working force on the film has put their heart into it. Its not just one guy with a bunch of people working around him. It's a group of like-minded comedians focusing on a single point. The head of a needle.

The soundtrack, the photography, the set design, the wardrobe department. They all seeped into this cohesive singular form. And they've given us one of the best teen comedies ever. Superbad is one of the best comedies in film history. Period. I just wish they would have given Richard Pryor a credit. His presence weighs heavily on the first half hour of this film. Its almost as if he is one of Seth and Evan's friends. Heck, he even upstages McLovin for a few seconds. Looking at Pryor's filmography, its not at all blasphemous to say this is one of his top three films. Maybe his best.

I better get off this computer before it blows up in my face. Or I get stabbed, typing this up in the Laundromat. The guy circling the fabric softener vending machine looks like he wants to shoot the laundry clerk in the face. With my luck, I better get out of her before that becomes a realit. . .

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.