Monday, February 14, 2011

InstaRapFlix #32: Lil Jon Unauthorized

Have you ever used the program PowerPoint for work or something? Have you ever stayed up all night making a PowerPoint presentation and felt so proud of it the next day that you felt you just had to press it onto a DVD and market it commercially? Well, apparently somebody has! And if you're bored enough, you can even stream it on Netflix.

I'm talking about Lil Jon: Unauthorized (Netflix Rating, surprisingly: 2 1/2 stars). This is... I have no words. This only barely, technically qualifies as a film. First of all, it's not feature length, clocking in at less than an hour. And then... only about 10% of that time is made up of actual video footage. It's all still photos being slowly narrated by some guy who takes painfully long pauses between every other word to pad the running time. What's more, I'm sure all these photos are just lifted off of Google images... some even have tags on them from other websites still on them! And they're all photos you've seen before and they're often squashed into the wrong aspect ratio or heavily pixelated, because they've been amateurishly resized to fill the widescreen frame. Other times, only a fraction of the frame is filled and we're stuck looking at a tiny picture floating in an empty, black sea. When the narrator says Lil Jon's father was a welder, they don't have any pictures of his father, so they just show generic industrial pictures of men welding stuff. Oh, and the pictures recycle; so you'll see the same ones again and again.

Want to hear some Lil Jon music? Not here! These guys mean it when they say "unauthorized." And what little video footage there is? That 10% I mentioned? Well, there's two varieties. One is low-quality clips of his music videos (again, without his music), which must've been taken from Youtube... back in the early days when they were all tiny, compressed messes. What's more, the video clips are so short, they actually just loop... you'll see the same five seconds of footage replay four, five times in a row sometimes. Then the other kind of footage are these goofy interviews with a couple unidentified guys shot on the street somewhere. All together, they add up to less than two minutes of footage, and just offer inane comments like, "he's like the BeeGee's of 2000."

Then sometimes the narration just stops. You'll go a minute or two just looking at random Lil Jon images waiting for the narrator to come back and say something. And it gets sparser and sparser as the film goes on, until you're almost watching a silent montage of old photos. What's more, the narrator has an odd habit of speaking for the artist, saying things like, "working with Jay-Z was a big honor for Lil Jon." Like, huh? Is that your opinion?

But, no, it gets worse! Soon, the footage starts repeating! The guy who called Lil Jon the BeeGees of 2000? They play that same clip again around the 40 minute mark. And it's like that with everything. All the footage from the first half of the film comes back in the second. Silent, 5-second long music video clips filling just 1/5th of the screen just looping without their sound... it's fucking insane that this was released commercially! The narrator complete abandons the film about halfway through (literally, he's gone at around the 30 minute mark), and we just watch the same, low-quality photos repeat over and over again. Eventually, they start showing the same photos with flashing dots behind them.

Finally, at the 58 minute mark, the closing credits pop up and people actually put their names to this disaster, although I think (wisely) most of them are pseudonyms. Some guys just put their first names, like "INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED BY GABE." Oh, and they misspell the word narration, saying, "NARRIATION BY." And one last bit of sadness, just to bring the whole thing home... the final minute, actually over sixty seconds, is just static black screen. That's how desperate they were to pad this out to an hour (which they only make if you round up).

Here's something new for InstaRapFlix... a challenge! I defy any of you who have Netflix to watch this all the way through, from beginning to end, without getting up and walking away from the screen or fast-forwarding! And no reading a book or texting... just sit and watch the film while doing nothing else. It'll be like a vision quest; if you make through the ordeal, you'll automatically become a tribal elder.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like your review is more entertaining than the movie itself.