A joke on us?
David G. Smith | Fairfax, CA United States | 04/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My favorite Kaufman routine is one in which he is in a club and he is being heckled by a guy. The guys says "You suck, Kaufman" and Kaufman gives some line back to him. Kaufman takes care of the heckler, classic comedian style. And then the heckler days "yOU'RE NOT FUNNY, kAUFMAN. tHE TRUTH IS, YOU PAID ME TO DO THIS...Am I right? Am I right Kaufman, didn't you pay me...to heckle you? So you would look good, huh?" And this bit goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time. Kaufman seemed to be about layers of uncomfortability...about making the audience feel something other than laughs..Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are fun screenwriters, (though I am not sure they are still working) having produced script for Larry Flynt and Ed Wood....they are not always concerned with tradition, and find great hools in telling the story. They then seem like the perfect choice for writing the story of Andy Kaufman, the most non traditional of performers...and certainly the first five minutes of the film does not dissapoint...Kaufman(Jim Carrey) stands in a movie screen, tells everybody it is his movie and the weirdness ensues.Ok.Well, then the next two hours never captures this same kind of "what is real?" feeling. I mean, don't get me wrong. I enjoyed this movie, and Carrey does an amazing job of recreating Kaufman onstage...but I thought there were a few problems...one is that no one knew Kaufman that well, and therefore it is almost impossible to create a bio pic for someone you can't actually identify with. Therefore we are saddled with forties bio cliches" I Want to Be The greatest of all times" and the fantastic"I want To Play Carnegie Hall", and the obligatory "guy finds cyst on his neck". Second of All, Kaufman just comes off like a jerk half the time.Third of All, when the film ends, we are no further along about Kaufman than When the film started.But as I think about it, here an hour and a half after seeing the movie, I wonder if the wanting more, the frustration, the unanswered questions is not the ultimate Kaufman prank. And the pranks are the major gist of the film. Much of the film is about an audience not knowing how to take it all...and they are brilliant pranks...just when you think you have it figured out, Kaufman's illusionary reality takes over.So have we been had? Is this film pretending to be a meaningful bio, and is the ultimate prank? Did we watch
this just to be part of a giant illusion, to be caught up in the routines, to cringe at the innapropriate gags, to wonder why all the members of Taxi are playing themselves twenty years later and DiVito is playing someone else?, and then walk away feeling we have seen a genius or a madman or both...
and feel like we have been involved in some giant Kaufmanesque experience...All in all, I think this is a worthwhile experience...or maybe Kaufman is alive, and paid me to write this."
An amazing biopic; under appreciated... WHY!
Sheila S. Antonio | (used to be in Guam)... Las Vgas, Nevada USA | 06/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How strange is this; a biopic about a groundbreaking and enigmatic comedian's life (Andy Kaufman), starring one of Hollywood's top actors (Jim Carrey), illustrated through an Academy Award winning director (Milos Forman) is considered a bad movie! Why? Because nobody knows or likes Andy Kaufman? Because it was rated R? It's more like under appreciated... This is an amazing movie in which we see Andy brought back to life through Jim Carrey's performance. In fact, you do not see Carrey anywhere in this film. All the jokes and gags are by Andy, not Jim, ANDY. The rest of the casts' performance supports the movie, such as Paul Giamatti's portrayal as Bob Zmuda and Courtney Love's portrayal as Andy supporting and loving girlfriend, Lynn Marguiles. It's odd how it did bad at the box office and with some critics, who were writing it off as one of the worst films of 1999. Now that it's on video and DVD, it's getting good reviews! Where was the support during the 2000 Academy Awards (it didn't even get 1 nomination!)? You have to understand and figure out the movie before passing judgement."
A FILM DIRECTED BY ANDY KUAFMAN
Mr. Cairene | Cairo, Egypt | 03/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Sellers said that when he was not doing a character he was a man with no personality. At one point in MAN ON THE MOON Andy's girlfriend tells him "There is no real you" and means it. Although I don't believe it, I actually believe that both Kuafman and Sellers had personalities in there somewhere I thank the heavens that Milos Forman didn't try to find the "real" Andy Kuafman. His ingenious film, plays like one of Kuafmans acts. The audience in the theatre where I saw it today where expecting to watch Andy irritate his audience and laugh because they would be in on the joke. But THE ABSOLUTE GENIUS OF THIS FILM IS THAT WE'RE NOT IN ON THE JOKE. We are in exactly in the same position Andy's audiences were in back when he was doing his sketches. Most of the time we don't know weather its a joke or real or a bizzare mixture of both. No wonder then that half of the people in the theatre walked out about two thirds of the way in. They were expecting a traditional biopic, which starts with the discorvery of talent, the rise and the inevitable and tragic fall. Instead we were as his audience was back then, toyed with and involved in an elaborate scheme. He would have loved this movie. Andy Kuafman was revolutionary in that unlike almost every human being on the planet, his actions were not to please or even leave a positive impression on those around him, his primary audience was himself. Once the fear of failure was out of the equation, the door was completely open for the most bizzare and original acts to be created. And although he didn't nessecarily want to please his audience he did want to have them, to toy with them. In a way he was a behavioural scientist. The film is beautifully made, Courtney Love and Danny DeVito don't really give performances as much as points of sanity to anchor the film. Without them we would be completely lost in Kuafmans world. Now we come to Carrey's performance which is incredible, he never lets on, never winks, he is what the Andy Kuafman legend is, it is a riveting performance. To those who walked out on this film, or get bored and press stop on video "You are disgusting and here is a soap to clean yourself", just kidding. Andy Kuafman would have left out the just kidding part."
Harkanwar Anand | New York, New York | 12/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first half an hour of this film shocked me cause I was in tears laughing because of how untamed the humor content is. I couldnt believe this kind of humor was unleashed at an unsuspecting audience watching this film. Jim Carrey is the most underrated actor in the world and No, I didnt like Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind because it is the opposite of what Man On The Moon is all for.
You see, Eternal Sunshine just might be the most conscious semi dark heartful effort ever. All in all, it's consciousness is what makes it "everything that is wrong with our world". Man On The Moon is not for one second taking itself too seriously.
I've always been a fan of Carrey but it is Man On The Moon that made me realise that there is no higher level of acting than this. THIS IS EASILY HIS BEST PERFORMANCE.
Man On The Moon has the most extraordinary of beginnings and the story relation is different yet captivating and it doesn't make you wanna be anywhere else for one second. Based on the life of Andy Kaufman, this film manages to recreate the life of an extraordinary man. Many people felt Jim Carrey is Andy Kaufman. The level and kind of humor this film contains is not meant to be understood by an average movie go'er. Between the 41st minute and 91st minute the film goes into an enjoyable dull period where most actions by Andy have no explanation.
I hate Bongo drums but I cannot believe anyone can possibly sound better on them than Andy in the film. The reason the casting of this film is perfect is because Jim Carrey has one big heart for a comedian. Andy's funeral was the most touching scene in the film and almost a tearjerker.
Im trying really hard to explain what it was about this film that touched my heart but I cannot quite get there because my comprehension fails me. Watch this film to know what I'm experiencing."