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First Annual Freeper Screenplay Festival and Chili/Bar-B-Cue Cook-Off
Danny Lee ^ | 2-27-2005 | Danny Lee

Posted on 02/27/2005 5:39:10 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2

Well, Oscar Night is upon us again.

And if Chris Rock is nearly right, I might be the only straight white man who watches the Oscars for both the pretty women almost dressed plus the primetime fun of making rude comments as the awards are handed out.

I think I seen about every Academy Awards when I've been able to since my folks got a television set in 1955. It was always in the back of my mind to one night walk up and accept one of those small golden guys.

I tried the acting route, even obtaining a SAG Card, and made a very small splash in some very bad films and TV commercials. I was not good enough looking to be a leading man in the McQueen-Newman-Redford heyday and not ugly enough for the anti-hero period that followed. Proof of that is directly below:

It could be said I envisioned myself as the next John Wayne... Yet in truth came closer to the poorman's Gabby Hayes.

There are five stages in any actor's professional life. The first is "Who is Danny Lee?" The second is "Get me Danny Lee!" The third is "We need a Danny Lee type!" Fourth is "Where are the young Danny Lees?" And fifth and last is the "Who is Danny Lee?"

I, to be honest, am still in the first "Who is Danny Lee?" stage after 40 someodd years of acting.

BTW Danny Lee was nominated for an Oscar in 1979 for Best Visual Effects for The Black Hole and Yes... it was not me. I was in Hollywood at the time and found myself in a very funny situation that very Oscar Night. But that is a hot tub story for another time.

My writing was good enough to get my screenplays perused in La-La-Land, but I never seemed to be able to get them in front of the guy in the head office who would say, "Pay this Danny Lee fella a pile of money and let get this script on the screen!"

As the years have passed, I realize Hollywood and I have two different, distinct visions on film making. That and my declining years have me too crippled up to chase the ladiesand on too many medications to stay drunk... So all I have left is to chain smoke and wind my watch.

Also the politics of Hollywood and I have gone two entirely different directions. I stayed about the same and they went on a very hard left. This past election proves that without a shadow of a doubt.

Therefore, knowing there are some screenwriters here on Free Republic, I hereby declare the First Annual Freeper Screenplay Festival and Chili/Bar-B-Cue Cook-Off to be off and running!

There will not be any awards outside of criticism and indigestion. Freepers who have written screenplay may post links to their work and those FRers who cook can post their fixin's and methods for chili and grilling to perfection.

Now, what could be better for Oscar Night?

I Guess we shall find out...


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Pappy's Tree was a screenplay I wrote the first draft of in 1981. I have fiddled with it off and on over the years. I finally tuned it down to a TV Special for Christmas. In that form I posted in on Zoetrope.com in 2003. Even on that nest of liberals it got read by some and it was voted the 2nd best teleplay for the month it was listed. And to top it off, my script had someone mentioning God in a positive way, not one thirty-mile car chase and none of my character jumped in the sack for carnal knowledge.

Here is a a link to "Pappy's Tree" in .pdf (.pdf) HERE
Right click on it to open in a new window.

Here is a link to "Pappy's Tree" in a .zip file four saving and reading at your leasure (.zip) HERE
Right click to save.

I hope any here who read it enjoy it. I know it has brought me a lot of pleasure in writing and rewriting it over the past twenty odd years. And I look forward to any criticism, both pro and con.

Now, you other Freepers who have screenplays, get them linked. And if you don't write, but do cook, tell us about it.

My chili is known far and wide as Armadillo Chili. Nothing special in the making, yet I do include the trimmed hind quarter of a rabbit. When someone always ask, "Armadillo Chili?" I stir around a mite and laddle up those hind quater bones and say, "See? Road kill always makes my brew tasty!"

BTW I saw Sideways recently and it was fairly funny. Thomas Haden Church was much better than expected and I must admit a guilty pleasure in watching Sandra Oh do anything. Loved her 'Rita Wu' in "Arli$$."

I saw The Aviator when it first came out and enjoyed it very much. The style of the film, the music, the atmosphere was terrific! Cate Blanchett was super as Kate Hepburn and this was the first film where I truly enjoyed Leonardo DiCaprio acting. He was dead on 'Howard' in the Senate scenes and Alan Alda was at his top form. Martin Scorsese directing was excellent. I would vote down the line for The Aviator if I could.

Enough from me, let the Festival begin!

1 posted on 02/27/2005 5:39:14 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2
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To: sonofatpatcher2

We LOVED Sideways. We have lived in the LA area three times and we recognized all the places, like Solvang, in the movie, and we recognized restaurants we have eaten at. Fun movie. I think a really good movie last year was also Napoleon Dynamite.


2 posted on 02/27/2005 5:44:15 AM PST by buffyt (It is important to protect people from a local crime - what about an entire nation??????)
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To: buffyt
Never saw Napoleon Dynamite yet due to your recomendation, I might rent it as it is out on DVD. Any Oscar picks?
3 posted on 02/27/2005 5:47:34 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: PatriotHewett

Here's something to chew on until football season starts...


4 posted on 02/27/2005 5:53:30 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: sonofatpatcher2
WELLESLEY WENCH

An FR origianal. A fascinating tale of love, murder,intrigue, and black pantsuits!

5 posted on 02/27/2005 5:57:12 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: DainBramage

Ah! Ha! "...a dark and stormy night" classic.

I shall read it and we'll do lunch...


6 posted on 02/27/2005 5:59:03 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: sonofatpatcher2

A compilation of many authors, darting from scene to scene faster than you can yell "You FJB".


7 posted on 02/27/2005 6:08:10 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: sonofatpatcher2

No "first annual"....just not right.....


8 posted on 02/27/2005 6:14:01 AM PST by dakine
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To: DainBramage
Gad! The WELLESLEY WENCH thread is locked. I was going to add:

Hillary took another deep drag from her cigarette, then exhaling heavily through her nose. "How dare she!" she thought, then said aloud, "How dare she?"

"What's that, Hun?" asked Bill.

"How dare Condi Rice wear that black outfit!" she blasted back.

"Well," Bill replied, "She did look hot in those high heels. Say, Hun, want me to promote a pair for you?"

Hillary didn't think twice as she picked up the marble ashtray and planted it square on Bill's noggin, ringing it like a chapel bell.
9 posted on 02/27/2005 6:14:57 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: dakine

Re: - No "first annual"....just not right.....

Well, next year we can call it the Second Annual...


10 posted on 02/27/2005 6:16:41 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: buffyt

Interesting. My 16 year-old son had "Napoleon Dynamite" on his Christmas list.


11 posted on 02/27/2005 6:20:03 AM PST by truthkeeper (Yeah, I have a 1998 signup date. So?)
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To: truthkeeper
Having not seen Napoleon Dynamite and with little knowledge of it... I think it is about kids in high school. What leads you to find it "Interesting" that your 16 year-old son had it on his Xmas List?
12 posted on 02/27/2005 6:31:00 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: sonofatpatcher2

Just the fact that a FReeper recommended it as well. Maybe I'll look into getting it for him. I haven't been to a movie in ages, so I'm out of it. (Too expensive, I usually wait for the video.)


13 posted on 02/27/2005 6:35:13 AM PST by truthkeeper (Yeah, I have a 1998 signup date. So?)
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To: buffyt
We LOVED Sideways

Very, very good movie. Aviator sucked.

14 posted on 02/27/2005 6:40:35 AM PST by Drango (Freepmail me to get on/off the *NPR/PBS* ping list)
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To: truthkeeper

Went to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0374900/ and got this plot summary: Preston, Idaho's most curious resident, Napoleon Dynamite (Heder), lives with his grandma and his 32-year-old brother (who cruises chat rooms for ladies) and works to help his best friend, Pedro (Efren Ramirez), snatch the Student Body President title from mean teen Summer Wheatley (Haylie Duff).

Rated PG for thematic elements and language.

Rated on IMDB as a 7.2 out of 10.

Looks tame enough, but you never know...


15 posted on 02/27/2005 6:48:33 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: sonofatpatcher2

Thanks for that.


16 posted on 02/27/2005 6:49:42 AM PST by truthkeeper (Yeah, I have a 1998 signup date. So?)
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To: Drango

Re: "Aviator sucked."

That pretty much takes the other side of my picks. Well, that's why they have horse races and give out Oscars...


17 posted on 02/27/2005 6:51:30 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: truthkeeper

Re: "Thanks for that."

Happy to be of service...


18 posted on 02/27/2005 6:52:28 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: sonofatpatcher2

Then Hillary stepped over Bill's prostrate fat body and went to the freezer to check on Buddy. Still dead. Impatiently she clicked on her high heels to the closet. Still no black high-heeled boots.

Impatiently she picked up the telephone and with great impatience she screamed, "Juanita! Get me my personal shopper, now!"


19 posted on 02/27/2005 6:53:39 AM PST by squarebarb
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To: squarebarb

To which, Juanita shouted back, "You no have no percanal chopper. You fired hem when yew found out he waz chewish!"


20 posted on 02/27/2005 6:56:54 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: sonofatpatcher2
Looks tame enough, but you never know...

I've seen Napoleon Dynamite. It's tame, and it's pretty good.

21 posted on 02/27/2005 7:02:03 AM PST by lowbridge
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To: lowbridge; truthkeeper
Re: "I've seen Napoleon Dynamite. It's tame, and it's pretty good."

Truth, that 2 recommendations from FReepers. Looks like your son may get it after all.
22 posted on 02/27/2005 7:07:44 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: sonofatpatcher2
There are five stages in any actor's professional life. The first is "Who is Danny Lee?" The second is "Get me Danny Lee!" The third is "We need a Danny Lee type!" Fourth is "Where are the young Danny Lees?" And fifth and last is the "Who is Danny Lee?"

Here's the sixth stage: WHICH Danny Lee are you? There seems to be dozens listed on the IMDB.

23 posted on 02/27/2005 7:08:43 AM PST by lowbridge
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To: sonofatpatcher2

"Then get me my IMpersonal shopper," she shrieked impatiently, "Or I will throw you back across the river you dismal wetbackette!"

Juanita, the Dismal Wetbackette, with enormous patience, continued to insert the electronic Bugging Device on Hillary's phone; she had bought it from the Telesnort Buggery Company with her last dismal paycheck...


24 posted on 02/27/2005 7:09:03 AM PST by squarebarb
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To: All

Well, I have to run over to Waco for the day, I shall return this evening. Hope those of you that read my script enjoy it.

Ciao!


25 posted on 02/27/2005 7:09:23 AM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: sonofatpatcher2; truthkeeper
Truth, that 2 recommendations from FReepers.

Make it three. I watched it with my 10, 11 and 13 year-olds, and it was pretty good. Not one single profane word (not even using God's name...the favorite expression of exasperation was "gosh"). No sex scenes, no nudity. There were some innuendo scenes, but nothing explicit. Good story about the little guys (even if they tower over 6 feet) winning. We ordered it on PPV for $3.99, so it wasn't a big investment. Still, a good (and PG!) movie that I think you'll enjoy.

26 posted on 02/27/2005 7:18:56 AM PST by shezza
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To: sonofatpatcher2

I don't have a screen play, although the novel I'm writing will be a great movie. It's not posted anywhere yet; still in revision. I do however, have an award winning chili recipe. Does the chili need to be bbq'd? Or is a big ol' pot sufficient?


27 posted on 02/27/2005 7:20:56 AM PST by Vor Lady
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To: sonofatpatcher2

I've written a bit, short stories, poems, lead in ideas and such.

Haven't published anything. If you are interested, I could send a few for review, input or flaming.


28 posted on 02/27/2005 7:38:26 AM PST by wizr (Freedom ain't free.)
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To: sonofatpatcher2
I thought this was funny, it's one of the world's shortest screenplay contest winners:

A Madrasi (resident of Madras India) happened to participate in a competition, which was about writing a shortest story.

The organizers had put a condition that a story must have four ingredients viz. religion, sex, suspense and mystery.

Madrasi's turn came after many attempts by others. Madrasi gave a story, which was just one sentence and read:

"O God, my wife is going to deliver a child".

Ostensibly amused, the organizers asked the Madrasi whether it contained all the four ingredients. Madrasi replied affirmatively and gave his explanation as below:

O God: religion

my wife: sex

going to deliver a child: suspense (whether a girl or a boy)

But where is mystery?' asked one of the organizers.
The Madrasi replied: "Who is the father?"

29 posted on 02/27/2005 8:15:20 AM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: sonofatpatcher2

Yes, a two-star FReeper okay. Sounds good to me!


30 posted on 02/27/2005 8:40:24 AM PST by truthkeeper (Yeah, I have a 1998 signup date. So?)
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To: sonofatpatcher2
I love chili con carne with a passion, and I've made quite a few potfuls over the years, some better than others but all enjoyable. I've never quite settled on an exact recipe. All you chili chefs know what I mean; chili is not a destination, it's a voyage. It's a fluid, ever-changing process that occupies hours of pure enjoyment and not a small amount of tasting in the process. Frequently I don't have to eat after making a batch; I've already had mine from the big spoon. Anyway, this is approximately the procedure I follow when making a batch of chili.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound ground or cubed animal, fresh
various cans of tomato products or fresh tomatoes
several cans of assorted beans
1 can sweet corn
dried chilis or chili sauce
1 large onion, diced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, smashed
little brown sugar or molasses
salt, pepper and fire juice to taste
1 bottle vodka
1 beer
One dollar and one dime.

PREPARATION:

Brown the fresh animal and soften the onions in a spoonful of lard, add the garlic for the last minute then drain.

Add a can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, add two of the cans of beans of your choice. Taste and analyze.

Pour one ounce of vodka and drink it. Now taste the chili again. Better now. Add a pinch of salt.

Now add the prepared dried chilies or chili sauce by eye. However don't touch your eye. Good thing you didn't use the really hot ones since your wife has to eat this too...oh, you did use the really hot ones? Taste. Holy cow, that's too hot! Dilute with another can of tomatoes, try diced this time. That's better. A little more salt.

Now it's kinda thick and acidic with all the tomatoes. Thin with beer, and add a little brown sugar or molasses to take the edge off. Taste. Now we're getting somewhere! But the meat content is looking a little thin.

Brown and drain another pound of animal, add. Good.

At this point, unrestrained creativity usually kicks in even when it probably should have been restrained, since you now have a good tasting pot of chili. Hmm, this time I think I'll give it a Southwest twist with some black beans and corn. Add and taste. More salt, little fresh ground black pepper. Taste again. Taster now on reduced sensitivity.

Pour another ounce of vodka and drink. Taste again. Oh yeah, that's good. I shouldn't mess with it any more.

Teenage son comes in and informs of the unacceptable concept of corn in chili. Spend next hour carefully removing an entire can of corn, one kernel at a time. Wife informs of unacceptability of black beans in chili. Repeat kernel search-and-destroy exercise. Pour several more ounces of vodka, taste frequently. Heck, start eating the corn and black beans.

Now it's fixed, family-friendly and well-seasoned, and your taster is mostly burned out due to heat and capsicum. Who cares? Got er done. Looks a little bean-shy now, add another can of non-black beans. Yeah baby. Final taste: it is chili. Call family downstairs.

Son informs that he has been eating an entire cold, dried pepperoni pizza and isn't hungry. Wife tastes perfectly acceptable chili, even after smothering the blessed gruel in crushed saltine crackers as a sort of control rod, makes scowling face and asks if I am trying to kill her?

Finally, take the dollar and the dime and run to Wendy's for wife's favorite chili. Send teenage son down the street with skateboard. Serve and enjoy.

31 posted on 02/27/2005 8:45:30 AM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: truthkeeper; buffyt; sonofatpatcher2

My 15-year-old son wants Napoleon Dynamite too, so I assumed it might be either lame or inappropriate for 15-year-olds. I'll have to check it out.


32 posted on 02/27/2005 11:14:42 AM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: stainlessbanner

BBQ chili drama ping.


33 posted on 02/27/2005 11:15:29 AM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: wizr
I'm hard at work on my lessee....5th screenplay and have SEVEN teleplays done as well...but I think my agent would have what is loosely known as a CONIPTION if I posted them while he is still trying to sell them....
34 posted on 02/27/2005 12:14:55 PM PST by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: ExSoldier

O.K. What an agent? I know, silly question.


35 posted on 02/27/2005 12:31:26 PM PST by wizr (Freedom ain't free.)
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To: sonofatpatcher2

Napoleon Dynamite is on Pay View View this weekend. I just finished watching it and LOVED IT!


36 posted on 02/27/2005 12:38:35 PM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (I don't support gay male prostitutes, beating up people in strip bars or poor grammar.)
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To: wizr
An Agent is somebody who has "contacts" in the industry and makes his living selling his clients work to the film industry. Typically he is a signatory to the Writer's Guild of America to agree to stand by and obey all of it's rules for the handling of creative material. An agent gets a flat 10% fee of whatever the script or property he represents sells for. The median price these days for a feature film script is around $800,000. I've been a writer for over 12 years. It took me ten of those years to get GOOD enough that an agent would consider representing me. Hollyweird gets over 12,000 screenplays a year. Of those only about 1200 are any good. Of those perhaps 300 get an option and about 150 actually get made and distributed. ALL of these are repped in one way or another. It is the RARE property that is not represented by an agent...in fact this is almost the stuff of legend.

I have three scripts under active consideration right now. If I sell any or all of them, my retirement will be essentially set! Selling a teleplay for an existing TV series won't quite do that, but it will bring a lot of income in the form of residual payments over the long term versus a single one time bigger payment for a screenplay. My agent works on both types of sales for me and get's 10% of everything, including residuals. In fact HE gets paid before I get paid and thats fine by me. Now I've only been a client for a short while and so he hasn't actually sold anything of mine, yet. But he's established and has been in business for over 20 years, so I remain hopeful just as I remain busy. All in all, I write for me not for the $$ it might bring. Still, it is an important possibility.

37 posted on 02/27/2005 1:16:58 PM PST by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: truthkeeper; buffyt; sonofatpatcher2; Sender

From Plugged in Film reviews (Focus on the Family)

Every high school has them: those kids who seem lost in their own world, tragically unhip and perpetually excluded from the ranks of the beautiful and athletic. Napoleon Dynamite paints a quirky, satirical portrait of "them" as they try to make the most of their low-key lives in the rural community of Preston, Idaho.

The opening scene sets the stage for what we can expect from the film's antihero, Napoleon Dynamite. On the bus to school, Napoleon surreptitiously ties fishing line to a plastic action figure and tosses it out the window. He gleefully trolls the plastic hero behind the bus—for no apparent reason other than the joy of simpleminded (and typically harmless) mischief.

The gangly, bespectacled Napoleon, who is the quintessential object of derision for the popular crowd, then proceeds to meander through a random series of seemingly meaningless vignettes involving his friends, Deb (a budding photographer with a nearly imperceptible crush on Napoleon) and Pedro (who is almost completely devoid of personality, yet decides to run for class president), and his older brother, Kip (a 32-year-old chat room junkie who still lives at home). Each character is focused on a particular, if modest, goal, and each must endure the mockery of those who oppose them. In addition to the jocks and popular kids, Napoleon also squares off against his Uncle Rico, a sadly misguided character who's living in the past (1982, to be precise) and who seems determined to thwart Napoleon's best efforts.

One typical—hilarious—scene has Napoleon lamenting his inability to attract girls because he lacks "skills": "Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills. You know, like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills." Pedro reminds him that he likes to draw, and suggests that Napoleon sketch a portrait of the girl he wants to ask to the dance—putting his skills to work.


Napoleon Dynamite offers many opportunities to laugh heartily at (with?) its underwhelming characters. It also invites us to identify with their determination to take risks in pursuit of what they want in life. Their progress is modest, but real—just as is often the case in our lives.

Napoleon has a taste for unfashionable T-shirts with animals on them. One such shirt has the word "Endurance" emblazoned over the top of a faded horse graphic. One suspects that endurance might be the primary subtext in the film, as each of the four main characters perseveres through ridicule, scorn and mockery in their respective pursuits.


Pedro comes from a Catholic home, and the family's house is full of pictures of Jesus and Mary. Napoleon mentions magic twice in passing; his favorite animal is a "liger." "It's like a lion and tiger mixed," he says, "bred for its skills in magic." He claims that a wizard's magic spell protects the Loch Ness Monster.


The film doesn't have any overt sexual content. One of Uncle Rico's money-making schemes, however, is "Bust Must," an herbal breast-enlargement product. Rico pitches his product to an older woman named Starla, but also to Napoleon's high-school classmates Summer, Trisha and Deb. (The scenes with Rico interacting with high school girls about their breast size have a creepy, inappropriate feel.)


Napoleon tries to ride Pedro's mountain bike over a jump, but the ramp collapses, and Napoleon rams his groin into the handlebars as he goes down. Napoleon's grandmother rides over a sand dune ridge on her ATV, flying off the back of it.

Napoleon and several other "nerdy" characters are frequently harassed by the jocks at their high school. These bullies slam Napoleon up against his locker, put him in a headlock, and generally push him around. One jock does the same thing to another geeky student, putting him in a head lock until he coughs up 50 cents. Later, the same bully tries to intimidate that student into letting him "borrow" his bike.

Kip is convinced that he's a karate master and asks Napoleon to hit him. Napoleon offers a weak jab that Kip blocks, then kicks him in return. When Kip doesn't expect it, Napoleon slaps him in the face. Later, Napoleon puts Kip in a headlock while they're wrestling. Napoleon and Kip check out Rex Kwon Do's karate school after seeing a commercial for it on TV where the martial arts master disarms an assailant with a gun. At the karate school, Rex humiliates Kip by blocking Kip's lame attacks and showing the students how to strike back.

Uncle Rico flings a half-eaten steak at Napoleon, hitting him in the face. Napoleon hurls a grapefruit at Rico's van, then at Rico himself. The two then begin wrestling on the ground, and Napoleon elbows Rico in the chest to get away from him.

Rex Kwon Do pummels Rico. (Sounds of the encounter are all moviegoers experience; the camera retreats to the front of the house.) A farmer shoots a cow, horrifying a passing busload of schoolchildren.


Napoleon frequently uses exclamations such as "gosh," "jeez," "freakin'," "crap" and "heck." One character talks about being "p---ed off." Napoleon intones, "There's like a butt-load of gangs at this school," calls people "idiots" several times and says, "You guys are retarded."


None.


Uncle Rico is duped by an Internet offer selling a time machine. The machine consists of a control box, an electrified headband and a T-shaped plunger that the user puts between his legs. Both Rico and Napoleon find out the hard way that time travel isn't real but electricity is, a lesson that leaves them limping.

Napoleon is prone to lying and storytelling. Responding to a classmate's inquiry about what he did over summer break, Napoleon responds, "I spent it with my uncle in Alaska hunting wolverines." Later, Napoleon brags to Pedro, "This one gang kept wanting me to join because I'm pretty good with a bowstaff." And when Deb gives him a picture of a woman she's photographed as an example of the kind of work she does, Napoleon keeps the photo and tells Pedro that it's his girlfriend from Oklahoma.


Napoleon Dynamite is an odd yet appealing and funny film. On the surface it appears to be just one more iteration of the popular Revenge of the Nerds theme: misfit kids banding together to throw off the oppression of those who are stronger, more beautiful and more popular. Underneath, it's less about battling the privileged than about four kids trying to make their own unique way in the world.

Likewise, it's a typical teen movie. And yet it isn't. Some of the standard features are very much in place: the odd-kid-out looking for his place in the world, and popular teens mercilessly harassing the geeks. But that's where the formula ends. Other elements that countless teen movies have programmed us to expect—profanity, flagrantly rebellious behavior, sexual exploits and unbelievable plot twists—are absent from this curiously un-edgy film. Call it the anti-teen movie.

Yes, it does go for some easy, slapstick laughs at the characters' expense. But at the same time it exudes a knowing self-awareness. For example, Napoleon Dynamite might be the most misnamed character in the history of cinema. It would be hard for Napoleon to have less in common with his namesake, the French emperor and would-be conqueror of Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte. In contrast, Napoleon Dynamite's gentle goofiness marks him as a social pariah. Dynamite he is isn't. His very name is a wink at the audience, a clue for how to watch.

I don't believe the filmmakers intended their work to be taken at face value. Instead, we are to recognize that these characters are creative caricatures. We all know these people, somehow. Thus, Napoleon Dynamite becomes an everyman whom we can all relate to. We laugh at his idiosyncrasies even as we realize that we may be blind to some of our own. What could be a mean-spirited film picking on hopelessly unaware nerds is actually very aware of who these characters are—and we root for them. Napoleon Dynamite is hip precisely because its makers are aware of how unhip it is. We're not invited into the film's world to mock these characters—though some desensitized teens and twentysomethings may well do so—but to relate to them and use them to reflect on our own foibles, and our own dreams and goals.

That said, Napoleon Dynamite is a cult comedy classic in the making (it could easily take on a Monty Python—like mythos), and it elevates geek chic to a whole new level. It doesn't, however, exalt geekiness as much as it lauds the idea of being who you are. In the words of the movie's tagline, "He's out to prove he's got nothing to prove."


38 posted on 02/27/2005 3:27:54 PM PST by mlmr (The Majority of the Murders Committed Worldwide have been Committed by Leftist Governments..........)
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To: lowbridge

Re: "WHICH Danny Lee are you? There seems to be dozens listed on the IMDB."

Gad, Low! Don't know if I am listed or not. I'll have to check it out and get back to you.


39 posted on 02/27/2005 4:56:34 PM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: Grannyx4

Granny, if I can talk about my "Armadillo Chili," you can speak of your brew.

Bring it on!


40 posted on 02/27/2005 4:59:10 PM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: Grannyx4
Chili recipe, please!

You can always put a little 'GPS error' in the directions if it's a secret :)

41 posted on 02/27/2005 5:04:29 PM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: wizr
Post 'em, Wizr...

Remember: "No pain, no gain!"

Therefore, I hereby amend the official rules to allow other forms of rightin' for this event.

Just watch them limericks!

Ms. Berry looks nice tonight!
42 posted on 02/27/2005 5:05:46 PM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: Sender
You fixin's sound good, but some purists (Like them no good Derrick Days judges) frown on the inclusion of any tomatoes in chili.

Me, I go by taste, no matter what goes in the pot...
43 posted on 02/27/2005 5:09:39 PM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: ExSoldier
Hey X, happy to hear you are near cracking the nut.

But it is hard to have a screenplay festival if mine is the only script submitted. Pull out one of your old also-rans and give me a run for the money.
44 posted on 02/27/2005 5:13:38 PM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: sonofatpatcher2
Don't know if I am listed or not.

If you're not, you will have to put yourself up there. I appeared as an extra in four low budget films. One or two of which were mere student films. Only one of these 4 films were listed at IMDB. So I added my name into the credits of that one. :-)

After 40 years, you should have quite a list of credits.

45 posted on 02/27/2005 5:13:58 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: sonofatpatcher2

Have you appeared in any well known movies or tv shows? It would be easier to find you if you would list what you appeared in. Especially speaking parts.


46 posted on 02/27/2005 5:15:54 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: sonofatpatcher2
I've made chili completely without tomatoes, and I've made it with an overdose of tomatoes. Personally I like a little tomato content at least; I like to add a can of diced or petite diced tomatoes drained at the very end, so the cool fresh tomato bits contrast nicely with the warm chili gravy.

I know there are purists who don't even put beans in, but I always do. Beans are an enhancement and I am not good enough to enter any contests anyway.

47 posted on 02/27/2005 5:17:31 PM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: Sender
Re: "...world's shortest screenplay..."

Seems I heard that Isaac Assimov once wrote the shortest Sci-Fi story:

The last man on Earth heard a knock at the door.

Or something to that effect...

Gad! Did Hollywood ever trash Assimov's I Robot!

48 posted on 02/27/2005 5:17:59 PM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: lowbridge; sonofatpatcher2
The only 'sonofatpatcher2' credit in IMDB appears to be an extra from the film 'Gigli'.

LOL, just kidding

49 posted on 02/27/2005 5:22:52 PM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: Sender

Really, I'll never say such a terrible thing again. I'm sorry.


50 posted on 02/27/2005 5:23:52 PM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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