Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Old School is Better than The Hangover

Back in 2003, Roommate #2 was telling me about a trailer he saw for a movie about a bunch of grown-ups who go back to college and start a fraternity. My first reaction: "that sounds stupid."

A few weeks later while watching another movie, I actually saw the trailer myself and had a complete reversal of opinion. I couldn't wait until this movie came out. As we now know, Old School was far from stupid and unbelievably funny.

Old School was released in February of that year, but the staying power of the film was tremendous, due in no small part to the plethora of hilarious moments, memorable music and great performances.

The Hilarity
I recommend you stop being such a faggot. (Totally came out of nowhere. So unexpected and well-delivered, it was hilarious.)
I'm here for the gangbang. (Another out-of-the-blue moment. The look of the guy and delivery were great.)
I told my wife I wouldn't drink tonight. Besides, I got a big day tomorrow... Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday. We're going to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond. I don't know. I don't know if we'll have enough time. (I think all guys should consider this when deciding whether to get married.)
It's so good. Once it hits your lips. It's so good. (So true, and still quoted.)
Honey, you think KFC is still open? (Don't we all wish?)
You're my boy, Blue! (R.I.P.)

The Music
The movie brought some classics back to life, and even paved the way for The Dan Band to make appearances at wedding scenes in other similar movies, such as Wedding Crashers and The Hangover.
Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler (as performed by The Dan Band)
Dust in the Wind - Kansas (as performed by Will Ferrell)
Here I Go Again - White Snake

The Characters
Frank the Tank (With all much due respect to Zoolander, this was Will Ferrell's first major hit and paved the way for his string of major movie successes.)
The Godfather (Totally made up for Legally Blonde, and also cemented Luke's status as the better Wilson brother.)
Vince Vaughn (Going to his strengths and reminding everyone of why we loved Swingers so much.)
Elisha Cuthbert (She was in her prime and riding the success of 24.)
Dean Gordon (Cheeee-eeeese. Entourage hadn't debuted yet, but this definitely set the stage for us hating Jeremy Piven.)
Craig Kilborn (Played the jackass to perfection. I'm still wishing he'll return to SportsCenter.)
Ellen Pompeo (She was actually cute and likeable here, before she became whiny and annoying on that horrible show-that-shall-not-be-named.)
Seann William Scott (Showing there is life beyond American Pie.)
Snoopaloop (His greatest role since the cripple on Training Day.)
Red Dragon (I know it was just a car, but to its credit it wasn't exactly street-legal.)

So, why am I getting so nostalgic about this movie? Because everyone is getting moist over The Hangover 2. Don't get me wrong; The Hangover was a very funny movie. I'll give credit where credit is due, but The Hangover 2 seems to be the exact same plot. Not only were they too lazy to come up with a new plot, they were too lazy to even come up with a new way to do a sequel. They totally aped the way to do a sequel from The Karate Kid: take the exact same movie, move it from the western US to Asia, and have a white guy get yellow fever and fall in love with an Asian girl.

I just want to make sure Old School gets the proper credit it deserves for laying the groundwork for all of these raunchy buddy comedies for this century. The granddaddy of them all is probably Animal House, and there were a lot of good movies after that. However, Old School propelled careers and a comedy-movie genre.

With that said, I'm probably going to see The Hangover 2. I'm sure I'll get some good laughs. Plus, Jamie Chung is in it.


  1. Aren't they both Todd Phillips? Follow the formula my man. (In the order of Hangover, Old School, Road Trip):
    1 Normal(ish) guy (Ed Helms, Luke Wilson, Breckin Meyer)
    1 super cocky "Guys" guy (Bradley Cooper, Vince Vaughn, Stiffler)
    1 outrageous comedian (Zach Galafanakis, Will Ferrell, Tom Green)

  2. Yes. They are both Todd Phillips films, but I still say Old School was superior. Interesting fact: Todd Phillips was the "gangbang" guy in Old School.

  3. One more for the music section:

    Simon & Garfunkel - Sound of Silence (Frank gets darted, falls in pool)

  4. Ebert reviews Hangover 2:
    Says same as you, that it is exactly same as first.

    Buy wouldn't a more accurate comparison be "Old School" v. "The Hangover"? Don't get me wrong, I loved OS, but comparing it to a sequel seems unfair.

  5. @TFong. Thanks for the link. I guess I should've been a bit clearer in my blog, but I guess I'm just railing against the whole Hangover franchise in general. I think part of the reason people are so excited about Part 2 is that they think Part 1 was the greatest thing since sliced bread. And it's not.

  6. Another Interesting Fact: Todd Phillips is the guy in the elevator in the Hangover when the guys are going up to the roof. Shortly after they make fun of Zach for having a satchel.

  7. The Hangover franchise IS bigger than it should be. But I'm grateful for it, especially considering everything else Hollywood is currently manufacturing.

    I love Galifianakis; he's pretty much the same character in everything he does, but not many other comedian/actors are doing anything interesting right now. He's a bit Steven Wright-ish but pretty good in verbal misdirection.

    Glad you gave credit to Animal House.