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apropos of nothing

‘Superhero Movie’ Just Makes Us Wish for Better Spoofs

Courtesy of Dimension


Dimension's Superhero Movie performed poorly at the box office, earning only $9.5 million and finishing third for the weekend. Perhaps the film was actually hurt by the promised fanboy boycott — or perhaps we're just reaching the end of the natural lifespan of the latest breed of spoof movies. Ever since the tagline of 2000's surprise blockbuster Scary Movie ("No mercy. No shame. No sequel.") proved true, true, and false — launching Epic Movie, Date Movie, Not Another Teen Movie, and more — we've been hoping that Hollywood screenwriters who are, you know, funny, would pick up on the box-office returns, sit down at Starbucks for a couple of hours, and churn out an Airplane! or a Blazing Saddles. Because, frankly, there are a lot of genres in dire need of spoofing.

How about a Judd Apatow spoof? A beautiful bromance is broken up by the introduction of a woman (Anna Faris), leading to scenes with the director's kids, a wang, and McLovin. At the film's climactic moment, our hero realizes with horror that women menstruate, but eventually learns to accept the awful truth.

Or a Wes Anderson spoof! Identical quadruplet wunderkind brothers (Jason Biggs) journey by dirigible in an attempt to find their father (Leslie Nielsen). Luckily, they've brought a wisecracking South Asian person (Kumar Pallana) along for the ride! In the end, one brother attempts suicide (to the tune of Belle and Sebastian), one falls in love (to the strains of Nick Drake), and two have an aborted, awkward fistfight (to the sounds of Elliott Smith).

And aren't the Coen brothers due to be spoofed? A complicated three-minute Steadicam shot takes us through a snowbound Minnesota house as a homespun narrator (Sam Elliot) discusses matters of fate and whatnot. In the living room, John Goodman (Frank Caliendo) and John Turturro (Jennifer Coolidge) play poker. Goodman: "Surely you don't think we can dispose of this corpse in the Ronco sausage maker?" Turturro: "I do, and don't call me Shirley." See how easy that was? —Adam Raymond