No one will mistake Jeff Reigert (Paul Rudd) for Moses or even Charlton Heston, but they all have something in common. Like Moses and Heston, Jeff's job is to introduce the world to the Ten Commandments. But, in David Wain... more »'s loopy comedy The Ten, he is not exactly the picture of virtue...In fact, surrounded as he is by gigantic replicas of the famous stone tablets, the genial host to this special presentation is so busy juggling wife Gretchen (Famke Janssen) and girlfriend (Jessica Alba) that he can barely get through a single commandment without breaking one himself. But that venality is part of the charm of this amiable, outrageous and frequently hilarious biblical parody. Wain and Marino use the commandments as an excuse to indulge in ridiculous, often surreal and sometimes tasteless humor... it lives up to the one unbendable commandment of comedy: It's funny. - Pam Grady, San Francisco Chronicle« less
Shannon R. (StephanieMorelli) Reviewed on 8/24/2008...
I didn't care much for this movie. I thought it was lacking a real plot and was lacking humor. It goes through the 10 commandments and presents a scenario for each one. I only made it to the second one before I turned off the movie. I can tell by the community rating that I am not alone in my opinion of this movie.
4 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Flashes of brilliance...not for the humorless or the squeami
Russell J. Coller Jr. | Washington, DC-- the Murder Capital, see our Mor | 08/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In a mass-media, mass-consumption, perpetual self-improvement society, a whole bunch of "Thou shalt nots..." are rather passe' (to say the least.) This movie had about 25-30 laugh-out-loud moments in a 75% full theater. Each of the 10 sketches has elements of bad taste (of course) along the lines of South Park / Family Guy / Reno 9-11 / Daily Show, but in the end a laugh is a laugh is a laugh. The cast includes some big-time heavy-hitters: the shocking Justin Theroux as Our Lord (who will 'get around to' the Apocalypse... eventually) and the hillarious Rob Cordry as a prisoner who seeks true 'love'. ...Only for the well-read, open minded, movie-goer who is repelled by political correctness. Gretchen Mol, Winona Ryder and Jessica Alba never looked better."
Dove Plan | New York, NY | 08/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you liked "Wet Hot American Summer" you won't be disappointed - it's a movie that's fun to watch and looks like it was fun to make. It's silly and crude and smart .... the introductions by Paul Rudd do slow the film down (as does his own story)... but Winona Ryder returns to glorious comic form. She's fantastic in this and worth the price of admission."
The Cinema of the Absurd
Daniel D. Jones | 10/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are many mediocre films in the world. And then there are brilliant ones. Often the brilliant films are ones of which it is said "Either you'll love it or you'll hate it." This is said frequently of trademark filmmakers like Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, and Darren Aronofsky.
I hesitate to include David Wain in the class with the above, because he certainly doesn't subscribe himself to a league of serious artists. But his works (Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, The State, and The Ten) do have a trademark to them, a quite brilliant one. I've tried to give serious thought to what it is that makes his films work so well, and finally settled that it is a brilliant mix of the dedicated parody and the absurd non sequitur.
In his work we often see him take a cinematic staple and put it to the situational test. In "The Ten" we are given multiple treatments of a traditional story with a situational twist: a young man's values are put to the test when he becomes a Hollywood superstar; two sons wonder about their true father; lovers fall apart as one of them begins to fall for another. In the hands of filmmakers over time these stories have been given a genre treatment that has led to certain expectations. We expect the sweeping musical score, the intense close up, the slow motion, the emotional dialogue. In the hands of Wain the sequence is the same, but the situational elements are turned on their head. Specific story elements become non sequiturs, chosen under the criteria that they have as little to do with the cohesive theme as possible: the young man's fame comes from him being stuck in a hole in the ground; the sons are told their father is actually Arnold Schwarzeneggar, and instead of reuniting them they are introduced to a Schwarzeneggar impersonator; the lovers turn out to be two quite masculine prison inmates who end up arguing as if they were on a soap opera.
This abuse of genre is definitely Wain's strong point. It would be difficult, after becoming used to his style to trust him with something more sincerely emotional. In fact, the very vignette which works least in "The Ten" is the one where he is the least satirical and the most original - "The Lying Rhino." Though it is a brilliant animation, and absurd, it is the only one with a complete absence of any reference to make it relatable. However, within his trademark element Wain takes the most established cinematic traditions and lovingly butchers them to a point where an audience member can no longer even watch "Law and Order" or "Oz" without scoffing at sincerity of the characters.
Going to a place beyond the slapstick parody, Wain actually adopts the storytelling techniques of the genre, wedding it to a completely absurd reality taken as far as possible. There is no winking. There is no nudging. It is truly sincere. This results in humorous irony in its purest form, taking Wain's work to a place beyond comedy - closer to Dadaism - and yet more accessible than high art - given rapid fire jokes and an approachable premise.
That said, if you are unfamiliar with David Wain, you definitely have to come to The Ten with a complete absence of expectations. Appreciation comes only with acceptance."
Jason L. Curtis | New York, NY | 10/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'The Ten', directed and written by David Wain of MTV's 'The State', is an often hilarious, consistently humorous, grow-on-you film. Wain and pretty much everyone who was in 'Wet Hot American Summer' join some heavyweights including the emerging comedic genius, Paul Rudd, Jessica Alba, Adam Brody, Winona Ryder, Famke Janssen, Liev Schreiber, Oliver Platt, and, yes, even Ron Silver.
I heard there is a theory that the movie is funniest the tenth time you watch it. How titularly appropriate.
Buy this movie if for no other reason than to own the hottest Savior Sex ever recorded on film. Or for the hottest puppet sex..."
Super Funny - If It's Your Thing
G. Palm | 10/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Look, I can understand this isn't everyone's type of humor, but it should be. It's absurdly hilarious. Not all the sketches are equally funny, but they add up to being almost as good as Wet Hot. If you liked Wet Hot, and you should, then you'll like this."