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Source Discourse: Young Einstein ***--

Feb 28 2012 02:57 AM | Malkmusian in Media Reviews

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Have you ever seen something that's literally impossible to poop? If the answer is yes, then the state of modern media is worse off than I thought. Of course, you have stuff like "Sonic Underground," but that's because the show is so mediocre with its offerings that it doesn't satisfy anything pertaining to YouTube Poop.

However, I've found the first movie that's pretty much considered, in my eyes, to be unpoopable. That movie, if you haven't already noticed the image, is Yahoo Serious' 1988 directorial debut Young Einstein. Now, the story behind this film is very intriguing: Greg Pead, a college filmmaker who made a documentary about the state of coal mining towns in Australia, decided to drop out and study experimental comedy overseas. Whereas most people would study something along the lines of George Carlin's scathing black humor or Monty Python's affinity for high/low satire, Greg instead looked at prop comedy like Gallagher and his Sledge-o-Matic shtick. With that, he decided to carve out a name for himself as one of those high/low comedy innovators, poking fun at the absurdities of this world while keeping his stuff relatively safe.

And thus Greg became Yahoo Serious. For three years, from 1984 to 1987, the man worked on what was to be his big breakthrough to audiences. Inspired by a native in the Amazon wearing an Albert Einstein t-shirt, Yahoo had an ingenious plan: what if Albert Einstein kept a good amount of his traits, but was Australian AND invented rock music? With his brand of conscientious prop comedy, he set out to make the film. In short parts. Because he couldn't get the funding for the entire film at first. And he had to pass it off as an "artistic experiment" in order to get funding. In the end, it didn't matter - Yahoo was then considered a joke in the US and he now hikes trails and surfs in his spare time.

This movie sickens me. Not only does it violate many, many rules of comedy (much like Serious' other "serious films," such as Reckless Kelly and Mr. Accident), it also has an obnoxious air of pretentiousness - as if it wants so desperately to say something, but ends up blabbering like an immature brat who's whining just because Mommy over here turned the radio from Kip Casper's block on KLON to that show with the boring guy talking about life in the Midwest while some bluegrass band plays some patriotic ditty. In that sense, what we're looking at here is a very terrible episode of Family Guy - without the occasional bit of good humor.

Now, why have I deemed this film so unpoopable? What's so wrong with it that it doesn't allow for itself to be made fun of? It's because it lands in that very awkward spot between so-bad-it's-good and so-bad-it's-bad. It doesn't allow for itself to be manipulated to hell and back like the MST3K movies, but it also doesn't have any of the accidental comic potential of the Zookeeper loops. The jokes, while outlandish and incredibly stupid, are just that - they don't take that extra mile to misfire so bad that the audience laughs at the ineptitude of the director. As I watched the film, I just sat still throughout. I laughed a couple of times, but only because I was desperate to find something funny. The film is just a forgettable '80s relic.

Another thing why the film is unpoopable: the rest of the film is just boring. The "witty" dialogue between the characters is so bland that I can't remember any of it. Yahoo's short little tirades on the state of the world and how people should be pacifistic ecological conservationists like him (remind you of someone a little more smart, Democratic, and liberal?) aren't insulting or even fanatical to begin with. They're as boring as the rest of the movie. Hell, even the fucking props in the film are boring. Young Einstein doesn't have the gratuitous insanity of Reckless Kelly nor does it have the gratuitous cartoonishness of Mr. Accident - it's a very excruciating movie to sit through. Hell, I was originally going to take notes just to have stuff to make fun of, but I gave that up. The entire list would be me nitpicking everything wrong.

Everything about the film, from Yahoo's overuse of '80s cultural references (again, REMIND YOU OF SOMEONE?) to the misuse of Icehouse's "Great Southern Land," pisses me off, but here's what really pisses me off: that Yahoo considers this to be art AND that HE considers THIS to be in the same vein as Monty Python. OK, I'll admit that the Pythons are very infamous for their ADHD comedy. And I'll admit that the guys are overrated in some aspects. But let's face it: comparing yourself, a 35-year-old who dropped out of art school and got lucky by making a film over three years, to a comedy quintet who radically altered the face of media over the past 40 years JUST DOES NOT WORK.

Yahoo has a very large ego - and it shows in this film. He's not trying to test the waters here - he thinks he knows how to make a film when in fact, he's stumbling around all idiot-like and adding in useless pieces of misfired slapstick. He thinks he's carrying a very important message, but tell me: what in the fuck kind of message is this?! And what kind of message is he trying to tell me here? I really thought the Kendricks were the end-all-be-all of lowbrow cinema passing itself off as high-brow message fare, but no. Yahoo's here to show me otherwise.

So, yeah. Other than making a complete failure of a film that's literally impossible to poop, Yahoo Serious is probably the closest thing to a real-life Sath McFarland alongside Seth Macfarlane. No, scratch that - at least Seth sometimes has humility. Yahoo Serious IS Sath McFarland. Both of them think they're so smart when, in fact, they're reusing the same shit formula over and over again so that they can indoctrinate us with their viewpoints (albeit poorly and very bluntly). And they make their causes (Sath for liberalism, Yahoo for conservation) look so dumb. Instead of pooping any Yahoo Serious film, the only thing you can do with this is to make him a Sath McFarland clone. He has all the traits. All we need is the execution.

Spoiler


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G'day. I am Yehoo Serss. I am Australian. I also make movies. Ripper. I make movies for smart communisms everywhere. They are filled with great jokes that make fun of capitalists and rich people. Ha ha ha - just saying that makes me laugh so hard. Ha ha haaaaaaa. Australia loves me for my three nineteen hundred 80s movies: Biopic Movie; Hollywood Satire Movie; and Cigarettes Are Bad and So Are Corporations. They are big box-office hits. Ripper. I am making a new movie about black people in Australia. They mine for coal and they die at the hands of evil capitalists. What joke would be best? Should I cast Phil Jamieson as the evil capitalist or shall I cast J.D. Fortune since he's from America? I go with Mr. Furtone because he is America and American is gay and retaaaaarded. I want to place in Phil Jamieson in there because people will point up at the screen because he is Australian and plays music for the popular Australian nineteen hundred nineties band Grinspun. Ripper.