We’re starting a new feature on PopWatch: Every Monday, you’ll find a post where you can dissect the weekend’s most notable film release with others who braved the crowds (cell phones, crying babies, etc.) to see it as well. The discussion will always start after the jump, so you can speak freely. Translation: Spoiler-phobes, stop here.
EW critic Lisa Schwarzbaum referred to Tropic Thunder as "the very best and funniest" of Ben Stiller’s oeuvre, and I’m prepared to follow her there. Those opening trailers gave us all the backstory we needed on the "actors" — and honestly, the preview for Satan’s Alley (pictured), featuring MTV Movie Award Best Kiss winner Tobey Maguire, was my favorite part of the film.
As for the disability advocacy groups who protested at the movie’s premiere over its repeated use of the word retard, I agree with costar Jack Black, who told EW.com that he believed the groups would understand that the Simple Jack joke wasn’t on them if they watched the film. (It’s on the actors who think a certain type of role is a surefire Oscar winner.)
In the end, the only thing that may have actually made some audience members uncomfortable was their willingness to laugh at Tom Cruise. Though some people applauded for him during the credits in my showing, a friend of mine refused to admit that his turn as the hip-hop loving film producer made her like him again — because she thinks it was a strategic move designed to do just that. Does it matter?
Your turn. Share your praise (could Robert Downey Jr. be looking at a supporting actor Oscar nom?) and your gripes below.