24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Will Forte

Sundance 2011: 'Fight for Your Right Revisited' brings the Beastie revolution

January 20, 2011 | 11:45 pm


The Sundance Film Festival’s "Short Program I" had no shortage of visceral kidney punches and visual shockers for the jam-packed audience at the Library Theater in Park City, Utah, on Thursday night.

Director Ariel Kleiman’s “Deeper Than Yesterday” provoked deep unease depicting the rage that lurks beneath man’s civility –- or at least the simmering hostility manifest in pasty-faced mariners deep beneath the ocean’s surface in a Russian submarine. “The Terrys” (directed by Tim Heidecker and Eric Warheim) presents an extreme slice of White Trash excess (“ice” gets smoked, Zubaz pants are worn, a surprise pregnancy results in a not-quite normal baby). And “The External World” (directed by David O’Reilly) shows us a video game universe where Japanimation characters find themselves in disquieting –- but nonetheless hilarious -- predicaments that play up an almost shockingly complete list of comedic taboos: pedophilia, genocide, spontaneous combustion and gratuitous pooping.

But the short movie that a large contingent of the opening night showing had come specifically to see was “Fight for Your Right Revisited,” directed by an individual named Adam Yauch. That would be the guy better known as MCA from the seminal hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys.

Yauch’s aliases are myriad. He sometimes goes by an alter ego named Nathaniel Hornblower to direct short films and movies such as “Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” and “Awesome I … Shot That.” And at the Indie movie distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, he goes by the title chief executive.

Yauch directed the 20-minute movie as a kind of bizarro companion piece to the Beasties’ smash 1986 frat boy anthem “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party).”  The film follows actors impersonating the group in period-perfect costumes in the denouement to the wild party (where pies are thrown, Spanish Fly is dumped in punch and a TV is famously sledge-hammered) depicted in the video.

But not just any actors. Seth Rogen portrays the Beasties’ Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Elijah Wood embodies Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and a trash-talking Danny McBride channels '80s-era Yauch via four-day growth of beard and sleazy leather jacket.

The trio rob a bodega, spray beer all over passersby on a New York-esque (read: Hollywood movie studio backlot) street and generally raise havoc wherever they go, terrorizing a Who’s Who of movie bigshots in the process: Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Will Arnett among them -- but also Kirsten Dunst, Rashida Jones and Orlando Bloom (wearing a vintage Def Jam jacket in homage to the group's former record label). But the Beastie party mayhem doesn’t stop there. The “Beasties” are picked up by “metal chicks” portrayed by Chloe Sevigny and Maya Rudolph with whom they ingest whippets and drop liquid acid.

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'Macgruber' adds time to its ticking clock

March 1, 2010 |  5:13 pm

Those hoping for a dose of "Saturday Night Live" '80s action satire on the big screen next month will have to wait a little longer.

Universal says that "MacGruber," the Will Forte-starring spoof of MacGyver, is moving back a month to May 21, confirming what sources have been saying for the past several weeks. (In other release news, the studio also said its "Fast Five," the latest installment in the "Fast & the Furious" franchise, would come out June 10, 2011.)

The MacGruber shift is the result of a bit of studio musical chairs. Warner Bros. recently moved the comic-book action movie "The Losers" from April 9 to June, then moved it back to April when executives fretted it would be bumping into "The A-Team."

But Warners didn't return the film to the original April 9 date, instead pushing it two weeks to April 23. That meant "MacGruber" was now  squarely competing with "Losers," a move that went straight into the maw of the young-male fan base. So the film is pushing to May.

The date Universal has chosen is a fairly open one with the MacGruber core audience -- "Shrek Forever After" that weekend and "Sex and the City 2" won't exactly play to the same crowd -- although it will now be coming out the week after "Robin Hood," an issue if some of the same people who remember MacGyver fondly are also interested in a swashbuckling Russell Crowe.

-- Steven Zeitchik


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