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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Luke, Mike, and Idiocracy

Although I’m not a movie critic, I’m definitely a movie fan. Philo and I joined the Austin Film Society soon after we arrived in Texas, a great organization that oversees Austin Studios. I really like Luke Wilson, and when Mike Judge, the man behind “King of the Hill”, Office Space, and “Beavis & Butthead”, cast Luke as the star of his untitled set-in-the-future movie in Austin, it sounded like a sure thing. But something happened between the completion of the movie and its very odd and scattered release this week.

The movie is now titled Idiocracy, with Luke Wilson playing an army guy named Joe, and Maya Rudolph playing a hooker named Rita. As the most perfectly average people on earth, they’re chosen for an experiment, end up in the future and find out that the current dumbing-down trend has progressed to…. well, if this sounds funny, it is.

Austin movie critic Jette Kernion put out the word at Slackerwood that Idiocracy would be in very limited release this weekend.

Jette, longtime blogger and recent author, reviewed the movie in another of her blogs, Cinematical.

We saw Idiocracy today. Luke is perfect as Joe and Maya Rudolph was fun to watch as Rita [did you know that her mom was the late singer Minnie Riperton?]. The movie is savagely funny. Its targets are practically every current popular form of entertainment, clothing, language, sports & celebrities, along with DINKS, the government and every large corporation in America. Oh, yeah, it also makes fun of Fox news. It’s an R movie for good reasons, and under the humor there is anguish and anger. If you can’t stand either Beavis or Butthead, or didn’t like A Boy and His Dog, this one won’t work for you. If you like your humor over the top and with a bitter edge, find out if it’s in your city this week. In a very oblique way, Idiocracy has agriculture as a plot element, with crops endangered by corporate interference, so maybe this movie does belong on a garden blog!

In my photo collage there’s a snapshot of Luke, speaking to a reporter at a benefit showing of My Dog Skip a few years ago. I was inches away from him at the Stubb’s Barbecue party following the movie, but was too chicken to say a word, darn it. Now don’t misunderstand – this isn’t a Mrs. Robinson thing – more like imagining Luke as another one of my adult nephews, who could hang out on the patio and tell me about movies and acting while I fed him homemade peanut butter cookies. In my dreams!


  1. I'm insanely jealous of people who get to see this, but I'll get over it .. what does a man have to do to get his movies distributed wider than Austin and a few "select cities"? .. sheesh

  2. I'm not a big Mike Judge fan (I know, heretical in an Austinite) but both your review and the review you linked to piqued my interest.

  3. I'm definitely a fan -- I think Mike Judge’s work is a riot… Every now and again I need a dose of Office Space as an antidote of sorts. And I have to admit -- I like King of the Hill and Beavis & Butthead too – especially the music videos and the Science Fiction Theatre 3000 B-movie critics theme they had going on.

    I’ve just got to see that movie – In my opinion, Maya Rudolph is a comedic genius. Before now, I wasn’t aware that she’s Minnie Riperton’s daughter, but I’m not surprised, though, as I’ve heard Maya Rudolph sing on SNL. She seems to have inherited her mother’s beautiful singing voice along with her other talents.

    The more I read all of you Austinites’ blogs, the more I’m thinking that Austin would be a fun place to visit -- nice and unconventional!

  4. Too bad Maya didn't get to sing in this movie! She had a small role in Prairie Home Companion, too, filmed right before she had her baby with PT Anderson.

    Christin, one thread on the IMDb mentioned that the movie was listed as "Untitled Mike Judge Movie" in some cities, rather than Idiocracy, but I don't know if it'll get to Massachusetts.

    Austin is a pretty interesting city to live in! My far NW area is rather stodgy - the action is in the central areas. It's a high tech town, and also a university town, with energy and passion for art, music and film.

    It's also hot as heck and the city bogs down under the weight of endless discussions. Endless discussions are our specialty! No wonder there are so many Austin bloggers.

  5. Annie, the "hot as heck" part is the only reason I think I couldn't live there. And if I ever do get the chance to vacation there, it'll have to be in mid-winter. To give you an idea of how badly I wilt in the summer sun... I want to learn hands-on about gardening, but I can't even spend ten minutes in the sun in seventy-something degree temperatures without feeling weak. Also, I'm very pale, so I sunburn incredibly quickly in direct summer sunlight.

    I wonder if I can be successful at gardening if I do it only on cloudy or cool days...


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