Take Two

by Luke Bumgarten & r & & r & Open Season & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & e'll get to how stoked Demi Moore's kids must be about this movie - indeed we'll get to talking about the movie itself - in a second. First, though, a comment to the folks at Kid Cuisine:

Dear Shameless Marketing Jackasses:

Until Saturday, I didn't care that your marketing goons were making toddlers consumer/slaves by getting to their gray matter before reason and discernment do. I honestly didn't. My self-righteousness is vast, but it's suspended in a thick solution of ennui and general immobility. If you want to incur my wrath, you have to come to me.

You did exactly that Saturday, when a commercial for your cleverly cross-promoted Open Season Kid Cuisine frozen dinners played before the film. While the balls on you all must be something to behold, the execution got me angry enough to spit. Not only does your meal look like a series of turds bobbing in a sea of pudding with a side of macaroni, you shaped those turds like pine trees. Apparently this passes muster in your corporate climate, but, sirs, three tree-shaped baked/fried things do not a successful movie tie-in make.

Hence, when that little girl said, "They're TREE-rific" or "TREE-mendous" or whatever the hell she said, I vowed to kill every last one of you.

And I will.

Yours, L. John Baumgarten

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & o the rest of you: Since Open Season is less a film with a plot than a series of sight gags and one-liners floating down a poorly written and generally forgettable river, I'm going to mimic it. The sum total of Open Season suggests that pith and decade-old slang are all it takes to get a multi-film deal in Hollywood. I got both those things, so I hope you studio types are paying attention:

Demi Moore's kids must be super-stoked that their fake dad (Ashton Kutcher) has not only been animated, but given the role he was born to play: a moron. Did I say "fast-talking, junk-food-swilling white-tailed deer?" Good. I meant "moron."

Screenwriters Bencich and Friedman are collectively the whitest person in the world.

Martin Lawrence has made a career acting in black face, feeding ignorant white people their own racial misperceptions back to them.

Bencich and Friedman seem to have studied Lawrence's work in order to conjure their street-wise (read: black-sounding) main character, Boog.

The fact that Lawrence actually plays the part of Boog creates a feedback loop of stereotype we'll never break free of.

Sticking with stereotypes, who thought it was a good idea to assign specific ethnicities to specific animal species? The White Tails are the white folks, obviously; the ducks are French; squirrels are Scottish. The skunks -- and this'll be infuriating to at least 14 percent of America -- are all Latino.

Oh, and porcupines seem hydrocephalic, which isn't an ethnicity, but considering the seemingly handicapped animals come off smarter and more stable than either those that represent Latinas or the French, I think we're dangerously close to another Inquisition.

Realizing that they might be called the greatest bigots who ever lived, Benchich/Friedman apply for a little rez cred by creating Gordy, an old Indian man with a long black braid, and making him the town sheriff. Of course, since homeboys can think only in broad, myopic generalizations, Gordy is wise, weary and shamanistic, just like Indians are supposed to be.

Honestly though, calling Bencich/Friedman the greatest bigots ever is too much credit to give.

They're just really, really lazy writers.

The film has a dozen-ish sight gags that play brilliantly, a testament to directors Roger Allers (The Lion King) and Jill Culton (writer, Monsters Inc.), who must've been paid a lot of money to direct this film.

Which brings me to my conclusion: It's honestly a shame that Open Season isn't a silent film.