Blogging in direct sunlight. Never tried this before but there are no seats inside the Starbucks. Hopefully I don't look like a lobster by the end of this.
Yesterday I watched on Twitter Mike Nelson and his cohort at Rifftrax, Conor Lastowka, defending their recent MST3k style riffing on the film Starship Troopers. The group has riffed on films they've liked--unlike with MST3k, where they were free to riff on the lousiest movies ever made, Rifftrax, which relies on syncing mp3 riffs with films they have no chance of obtaining the rights to sell versions of, often depends on prospective customers already owning the DVDs for the movie in question. However, the complaint in this case wasn't that they were riffing on a good film but that they were riffing on a film that was already satire, a film that critics and audiences often fail to recognise as satire.
I haven't heard the riff but judging on reactions, I'm not sure if the riffers knew all along the film was a satire or if their egos as comedians were bruised for not having gotten a joke. Both men linked to This Atlantic article.
Nelson: "This article convinced me of 2 things: 1) Starship Troopers is a work of misunderstood genius 2) I am not funny."
Lastowka: "Pausing mid-barf to link to possibly the worst 'Starship Troopers is satire' article yet"
I haven't seen the film in a long time but I remember thinking it was very obviously satire of a war propaganda film, though the trailers made it look more like a straightforward lightweight action film. I felt it was the trailers that largely led to misinterpretations of the film--and lazy critics who watched fewer of the movies they reviewed than they'd have liked known.
Much like Verhoeven's other beloved, somewhat satirical science fiction films, Total Recall and Robocop, I certainly think Starship Troopers is overrated, but possessed of a sort of purple meat charm.