Big Trouble (spoilers)

So I saw Big Trouble yesterday and I have to say that I really liked it. I had never even heard of it until I read that it was postponed because of the terrorist attacks. This really surprised me since I’m a big fan of Dave Barry and wondered how this book slipped under my radar.

As usual, there’s the whole “differences between the book and the movie”. Some of them are obvious and important, some are nitpicky and I don’t understand why they were changed. Examples:

Book: Elliot does an ad for Hammerhead Ale
Movie: Elliot does an ad for Fishhook Ale

Book: Elliot drives a Kia
Movie: Elliot drives a Geo

Book: Officer Kramitz gets squirted by the frog
Movie: Arthur Herk gets squirted by the frog

The movie also leaves out much of the backstory about Arthur Herk and his construction company. This I can understand since it probably would have translated poorly to film.

Other thoughts:

Jason Lee can pretty much only play one type of character–Brodie or Banky from the View Askewniverse, or the rock star in Almost Famous. He plays more or less this same role here as Puggy, and I think he pulls it off well. Great casting. Johnny Knoxville of “Jackass” fame (infamy?) is also perfect for the role of the dumb crook. Tim Allen was a bit too “Hollywood” for a guy who is supposedly down on his luck, though.

I can see why they postponed this movie from September, but I think there really is no concern about it now. Yes, it’s ultimately about a bomb in a suitcase and a plane gets hijacked and may have to be shot down, but the overall tone of the movie is light-hearted and silly, as opposed to sinister and mean like, say, Collateral Damage (another postponed film). Only one person actually dies in the movie, and even that scene is composed in keeping with the general tone of the film.

I also enjoyed the still-frames with narration. It was a cool way to break up the story for exposition.

Although I admit I didn’t see the whole credit sequence, I thought a movie with a cast of this size needed one of those “show the people and put their names on the bottom” sequences like in Dogma or The Blues Brothers. I was in a hurry and couldn’t stay so maybe they in fact did do this. Can someone fill me in?

Roger Ebert discussed the “running jokes” in his review and didn’t care too much for them. I think this comes down to what you think of Dave Barry’s style. If you’re a fan, chances are you’ll like them. They played very well in the book and worked in the movie, at least for me. I think the sports-talk radio gag was even better in the movie than the book. I was kinda upset that they more or less tossed aside the “I WANT YOUR LOVE POOTY!” song by the Seminal Fluids, though.

Altogether? Funny movie, but Dave Barry fans will definetly enjoy it more than non-fans.

I loved it, myself.

Patrick “Puddy” Warburton did a great job in it.

Hmm…I love the trailer just because of the “was that a goat” (LMAO) line.

But now I wanna see the movie.


Hammerhead Ale is a real beer. WAG - Either they wanted $$ for the use of their name , wouldn’t pay to have their name mentioned or didn’t want to be part of the movie.

Kia vs Geo probably resolved down to who would pay more for the placement.

Actually, currently reading the book, Arthur Herk gets squirted by the frog in both. He drives Officer Kramitz crazy while believing his dog is an evil soul-stealing Elizabeth Dole (which I hear has been changed in the movie to Martha Stewart).

As for Kia vs. Geo, Geo is no longer in business, whereas Kia is well-known for being a Korean company that currently makes the worst cars in terms of crashability. (A CNN review of the film mistakenly said Eliot drives a Yugo, which I think is funnier than either a Geo or a Kia.)

I heard about the movie just before Sept 11, and read the book shortly afterwards. Great book. Too bad it wsn’t very heavily advertised (the book, that is).

I’m just wondering if they’re going to leave out the disparaging comments about NYC (that’s the part that I bet my roommate would get cut - well, that and the ‘Geez, those airport security guys are idiots’ bits).

I saw it yesterday, and really enjoyed it. Book is funnier, of course, but isn’t that always the way?

Since we’re adding up differences, in the book, officer Kramitz is left handcuffed to the shelving unit, and in the movie, it’s officer Ramirez. If her name is still Ramirez in the movie- I can’t remember. But why wouldn’t it be?

I figured the change in cars was because the Kia does not really come off well in the book, and Kia would be eager to not have their oh-so-well-made vehicle identified with poverty and loserdom.

Coulda sworn it was Kramitz. But that’s what I get for not having the book here with me.

Does Dave Barry have a cameo in this movie anywhere? I remember he was on an episode of *Dave’s World * once.

I didn’t read the book. I saw the movie because I like ensemble cast movies with caper plots, like Get Shorty and Snatch.

I thought the actors did as good a job as they could with the script, and I thought the script was really weak. They would introduce a character by their quirks, but there would otherwise be very little character development. The audience laughs at what they identify with in a character more than the quirks. What depth is there to a hippie who likes Fritos and is stronger than he looks? It was like the writers threw one-line character descriptions into a hat and drew them out randomly. OK, we have a character named Puggy. Draw out three slips from the hat. 1) Hippie. 2) Likes Fritos. 3) Stronger than he looks. OK, work that into the storyline. Next character?

Not to say I didn’t laugh at parts of the movie (like the toe-sucking scene) but it could have been so much better. I don’t think the sneaking-the-bomb-aboard-the-plane scene was funny, nor do I think it would have been any funnier before 9/11. That whole scene could have just as easily taken place on a bus or train, where it would have been a bit more plausible.

But then again, I didn’t read the book, so I don’t know the story behind the story. But it shouldn’t have been required reading.

He’s one of the cigar-smoking lawyers-which Barry once said was the part he’d love to play if the book was ever made into a movie.

Thanks, mobo. In the book, that part reminded me of his column about the proposed Cigar Avenger, who would patrol restaurants with a super soaker or something and extinguish cigars.

I also saw Big Trouble yesterday, and I, too, enjoyed it as a mindless, silly comedy (hey, I’m not always in the mood for deep movies).

I found Tim Allen and Rene Russo to be rather unnecessary, aside from the whole plane rescue at the end. But, ultimately, the whole “We meet and instantly wanna do it” thing came off as pretty gratuitous. We speculated that a good deal of film had been cut before being released.

I loved the running jokes. My brand of humor involves beating a joke to death (the whole thing with the goats had us all laughing).

In my opinion, Ben Foster and Zooey Deschanel were absolutely horrible. The two of them brougt the movie down a couple notches in terms of quality.

Anyway, my best friend’s going to be meeting Puddy later this week (he does framing for him, and they have coffee together), so he’s going to relay our enjoyment of the movie.

Oh, and one last thing… the movie made my friend Flip say “Poing!”