…and the quest to see everything

Archive for January 17, 2011

Dukes of Hazzard

This is the only movie I’ve seen in LA back in 2005. Mark McGrath was in the audience, or I assumed he was unless he was smart enough to watch something else. Don’t denigrate this movie too much, however. The film adaptation of The Dukes of Hazzard has the misfortune of the cast being too manicured to look believable Southern ‘yokels’ as the cast of the TV series would have looked like three years ago. It’s also the first and only movie I’ll probably watch with Jessica Simpson, here the iconic Daisy Duke and she’s actually passable in here, as well as the two leads Johnny Knoxville and Sean William Scott.

Read some more. The film’s also made and set in 2005, and although America’s pretty divided then, the movie’s premise that again, Southern ‘yokels’ can also be environmentalists, actually work here. The Dukes’ enemy is a famous race car driver from Hazzard County, Georgia, who’s kept his accent yet is indifferent the county’s environmental ruin. He’s not an elitist, and that someone is trying to destroy his home and relegate the words ‘shit hole’ to it kind of hurts, actually. This film instead goes back to earlier Southern attitudes of loving their land and sticking through it in either its best or worst. And Southerners who have no qualms on pretending to be Japanese?

Speaking of America’s (re)division is the contentious rebel flag on the roof of the Duke mobile, or whatever they call it. The brothers go to Atlanta to find the results of the soil sample tests, they meet a traffic jam, people heckle them for not being in the 21st century. There are different kinds of Americans who still use the rebel flag, those who know what it means now and uses it to hurt others and those who stick to the flag for its past and are oblivious and/or indifferent to what it means now. I don’t know what it says about me that I’m not fully outraged for the second set of reasons.

Talking about this movie is probably a bad place to bring up the discussion above, and probably the worst to bring up what I’m discussing in the next paragraph. As a tacky gag to show how different and insular the Dukes of Hazzard are to the rest of the world, they reach a university Atlanta and get information about Japan and Australia wrong. They mess with the labs, get coal on their face and end up in a predominantly black neighborhood. Why did the two girls at the back seats they nothing? Is it because for some reason they’re dumb even if they’re going to college? I have this weird fascination with blackface and yellow face and yeah, it’s wrong and I don’t know why on both counts neither. The black people in the neighborhood have been brought up through generations and have their own spins to their culture, and these two white boys show up like that and think they can get away with it? The same goes with the theatrical tradition that is alive today – I’m looking at you, Angelina Jolie! This movie doesn’t answer my questions in all, even if for two seconds I thought it did.

Also, I slightly dislike Burt Reynolds.

After this movie and Mamma Mia, I’m thinking of having a guilty pleasure tag. I’m not cruel nor hypocritical enough to call this movie bad.