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Heckler - Only Bitches Talk Ish

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 6, 2007 06:09pm | Post a Comment
I saw Heckler at an AFI screening the other night. In it, the nearly universally-derided Jamie Kennedy turns the camera in the direction of hecklers and online film critics, attempting to argue that they're essentially the same thing. In the process, comedians, filmmakers and a dancer share anecdotes
about how they deal with relentless negative criticism and live with the pain caused by disruptive heckles. That may sound awful but it's actually quite enjoyable.

  
Jamie Kennedy in the ten-years-too-late Kickin' It Old School, which Richard Roeper courageously gave a "thumbs down," which is good, because I thought it was going to be a masterpiece along the lines of Seabiscuit.

The first part of the film focuses on the hecklers. Comedians that I don't even usually find terribly funny are, for the most part, pretty successful at making the viewers feel sorry for them and a lot of the filmed scenes of comedians being heckled are extremely tense (and in some cases, familiar from YouTube). If you have any sort of recognizable emotions you'll feel sorry for these easy targets of doltish goons trying to learn us something.

The second part of the film attempts to portray online film critics as no more than hecklers operating behind the safety of anonymity and protected from recourse from the heckled comedians. In this portion of the film, Jamie Kennedy is filmed confronting some of the writers of the most mean-spirited criticism and personal attacks which also ends up creating an alternately funny, sad and tense air. But I even felt sorry for the critics, who seem like harmless, socially-retarded dorks across the board (and I don't mean that in a mean way).

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