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Carrey video is stale, effective

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Updated: March 28, 2013 12:07AM



Leave it to Jim Carrey to one of the most brilliant AND one of the most outdated video parodies of all time.

Carrey’s “Cold Dead Hands” is a meticulously constructed satire of “Hee Haw,” and if you’re under 50 I can understand if you’ve never heard of that cornpone country humor show that went off the air in 1971 and virtually disappeared even from the musty deep nights of secondary-channel syndication some 20 years ago.

In the Funny or Die video, which has more than 1 million views and has aroused the ire of some Fox News Channel commentators and hardcore gun-rights advocates, Carrey does a spot-on imitation of the late Charlton Heston and his famous “From my cold dead hands!” speech at the National Rifle Association Convention in 2000. Carrey also does an amazing impersonation of gravel-voiced actor Sam Elliott.

With Carrey on lead vocals, “Cold Dead Hands” is musically a pitch-perfect parody of a certain type of Grand Ole Opry music. The lyrics poke fun at gun owners who overcompensate for other shortcomings. The Heston stuff is funny, though a final joke about Chuckston literally shooting himself in the foot falls flat.

Laura Ingraham of Fox News Channel said Carrey hasn’t “been funny since … ‘The Truman Show’ ” and noted the irony of Carrey “being protected by an armed person when he travels.” Greg Gutfeld of Fox News’ “The Five” called Carrey “a moral coward” and ripped Carrey for “going after rural America and a dead man.”

Carrey Tweeted, “Cold Dead Hand is [about] u heartless motherf------ unwilling 2 bend for the safety of our kids. Sorry if you’re offended by the word safety!”

Checklist time:

1. I’m in favor of Americans owning guns and having the right to protect themselves, their families and their property.

2. There’s no way in the world any law-abiding American needs some of the assault weapons currently available for legal purchase.

3. Some — I say SOME — gun owners seem much more passionate about never budging an inch on gun control than they are about the mass killings of innocents.

4. Carrey’s video, while executed with great talent, is so strangely outdated I have to wonder if that’s part of the performance art. Why in God’s name WOULD you go after an actor who’s long gone, a TV show many have never heard of, and a style of music utterly irrelevant to 97 percent of the nation?

But people are talking, so it worked, right?

Unforgettable, that’s what you are …

A week after my print and video reviews of “Spring Breakers” were published, I’m still hearing from media outlets wanting to interview me and viewers/readers urging me to seek help after I called the film “the most unforgettable movie of the year so far.”

First, some perspective. I didn’t say “Spring Breakers” is destined to win the Oscar for Best Picture or that I expect it to be more unforgettable than “Oblivion,” “Iron Man 3,” “The Great Gatsby” and potentially dozens of other films still on deck for 2013. On the day I wrote and recorded my reviews, we were precisely 21.64383 percent of the way through the year. There’s a lot of 2013 yet to come.

That said, “Spring Breakers” IS the most unforgettable film I’ve seen so far this year. Weeks after seeing it, I’m still thinking about it, debating whether it’s exploitative soft-core porn or insightful social commentary or both; chuckling over the dark humor; hearing the music in my head (and on my Recently Added playlist); admiring the hard right turn the plot takes once the girls are down in Florida.

“Spring Breakers” has inspired conversation and debate. Most of the big hits of 2013, including “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “Identity Thief,” “Safe Haven” and “A Good Day to Die Hard,” have barely crossed my memory-radar once I was done with the viewing/reviewing process.

Weeks after seeing it, I’m still marveling at James Franco’s instant-classic “Look at my [stuff]!” monologue, in which he catalogs his shorts, his nunchucks, his dark tanning oil, “Scarface” on repeat, gold bullets, designer T-shirts and a whole lot of other [stuff]. It’s like something Tarantino would have penned for the Gary Oldman character in “True Romance.”

Yes, there are hundreds of movies and multiple hundreds of performances yet to be seen in 2013, but I do believe Franco deserves Best Supporting Actor consideration for “Spring Breakers.”

And you can quote me on that.

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