Monday, May 13, 2013

Asterix at the Movies...

I just saw "Asterix in Britain," the latest adaptation f the Asterix graphic novels fro Europ by Gosciny and Uderzo.

It was fucking brilliant.

The problem with many "satires," "parodies," and "pastiches" in recent years is hat they seem to work on the assumption that merely mentioning, evoking, or referencing a popular movie, TV show, commercial or "meme" is enough to et a lough, as if that was comedy. That is not the case. you have to use it in a way that says something about the subject that you are parodying, and you get bonus points for saying something about what you are referencing as well.

It also helps if the actors are talented, the story is moving, the script is well-written, and the editing is paced properly for the material.

Comedy has rules. A running joke is used three times, and the third time goes wrong. Characters reveal their true natures under stress. Hang a lampshade on an obvious plot device. Someone getting thrown out a window is funny. Cultural differences are funny. Important people being taken of their high horse is funny. People from different walks of life falling in love is funny. British people are funny. A bit with a dog, and love conquers all.

"Asterix" used all these rules, and used them well. It also referenced everything from James bond to "Pirates of the Caribbean" to "Shrek" to "300" to "Downfall" and did it well. My GF could barely contain herself in several scenes, and had never seen an Asterix comic in her life.

The film is a worthy companion to the recent "Adventures of Tintin" in to category of "recent adaptations of classic popular cult European graphic novel series that never quite hit the mainstream in the US but are really, really good," and is flat-out one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.

For those of you who need more: The story is loosely based on the graphic novels "Asterix in Britain" and "Asterix and the Normans." It follows the adventures of Asterix, a Gaulish warrior in the time of Julius Caesar, and his friend Obelix as they go to Britain to help fight the Romans. They decide to bring a nephew with whom they are charged with turning into a man, but who would prefer to be a bard and spends all his time wooing maidens and singing…badly. They are also charged to bring a magic potion which gives great strength to the Britons, and in the course of the adventure the barrel is lost. They happen to run into a allow from India time and again. Asterix and Obelix have a falling out. A lampshade is hung on an obvious plot device. British people are funny. People are thrown out of windows. Cultural differences occur. People are thrown out of windows. People from different walks of life fall in love. There is a bit with a dog, and love conquers all.

See this movie. Now.

Here is it on

Here are some other movies in the seres...

No comments: