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The Darwin Awards
The Darwin Awards (2006)
Movie
  • Director:
    Finn Taylor
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Finn Taylor
  • Cast:
    Joseph Fiennes,Winona Ryder,David Arquette
  • Time:
    1h 34min
  • Year:
    2006
To investigate bizarre insurance claims that transpired in either accidents, death or both, a former cop and an insurance investigator travel throughout the country to look at the cases up close.
Casts
Cast overview, first billed only:
David Arquette David Arquette - Harvey
Ty Burrell Ty Burrell - Emile
Josh Charles Josh Charles - Paramedic
Kevin Dunn Kevin Dunn - Insurance Exec
Nora Dunn Nora Dunn - Mrs. Pearlman
Joseph Fiennes Joseph Fiennes - Michael Burrows
Judah Friedlander Judah Friedlander - Simon
Lukas Haas Lukas Haas - Farley
Tom Hollander Tom Hollander - Henry
Brad Hunt Brad Hunt - Stan
Juliette Lewis Juliette Lewis - Joleen
Julianna Margulies Julianna Margulies - Carla
Tim Blake Nelson Tim Blake Nelson - Perp
Alessandro Nivola Alessandro Nivola - Ad Exec
Chris Penn Chris Penn - Tom

The Darwin Awards (2006)

After Siri and Michael argue in the café and Siri storms off, the book-reading couple Michael briefly talks to are played by Winona Ryder's real-life parents, Michael and Cynthia Horowitz.

The segment with the rocket powered car features MythBusters (2003) host Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage as the surplus salesman. The first episode of 'MythBusters' dealt with that particular urban legend.

The scene involving the JATO rocket is not the only "Mythbusters" connection in the film. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman also examined (and debunked) the story of the ice fishing with dynamite mishap in a subsequent episode of Alaska myths. Additionally, the "pulley" sequence with Michael and the filmmaker sliding up and down the building face on a rope is a slightly-altered retelling of the "barrel of bricks" myth which Adam and Jamie also investigated (and found somewhat plausible if highly unlikely).

The title is based on a real set of awards given to people who inadvertently "help" natural selection by acts of sheer stupidity that result in their removal from the gene pool, either by their death or any other act that makes them incapable of reproducing.

Metallica are performing their song "Sad but true" in the film. It was recorded at a regular live show in Salt Lake City on November 22, 2004. The show was interrupted during "Sad but True" but the song was only played once. To celebrate the premier of the movie at the Sundance Film Festival on Wednesday, January 25, 2006, the band played at a private party following the screening that day.

Burroughs says emetophobia is the fear of blood, when actually, it is the fear of vomiting. Hemophobia is the fear of blood.

During the search in the library for the author, behind Michael is a man reading a book. The book is actually "The Darwin Awards" book of stories much like the ones in the film.

Onnell
Onnell
While quite original in it's concept of studying people who kill themselves in incredibly stupid ways, the delivery is jumbled and not as entertaining as it might have been. If you were to lose the totally unnecessary documentary film maker and the ridiculous, cartoon-like serial killer, the movie would have benefited. When it is describing one of the outrageous idiots and their stunts, the film is in high gear. Unfortunately it repeatedly bogs down and this starting and stopping ruins the whole tone of "The Darwin Awards". I recommend simply checking out the idiotic segments and skipping the rest. This would have made a superior short, but as a feature it fails, because there is too much going on at once. Less would have been best. - MERK
September
September
The Darwin Awards is a quirky little independent film, loosely based on the website & spin-off books cataloging the real-life stories of people who have suffered accidents caused by their own stupidity. Any individuals who are killed are posthumously given a 'Darwin Award' for improving Mankind's gene pool by removing themselves from it.

The movie stars Joseph Fiennes as a police profiler whose unfortunate tendency to faint at the sight of blood (he's phobic) causes him to get discharged from the force. Finding employment with an insurance company, he's partnered with experienced, hot-shot investigator Winona Ryder, who specialises in bizarre and unusual claims. Together the two of them travel back and forth across America, examining various strange accidents.

One of the things I liked most about this film is that the accidents that Fiennes and Ryder investigate are all based on well known urban legends, and such modern-day myths have always fascinated me. I own many books on the subject, and have enjoyed previous movies that have either used an urban legend as a starting point and then built a story around it (for example, Dead Man's Curve, When a Stranger Calls, and Lover's Lane), or have featured several legends (all three Urban Legends movies, and the anthology film Campfire Tales). Therefore, I got a huge thrill seeing several urban legends reenacted in The Darwin Awards.

Although it's an independent production, the movie has an impressive budget and features many big name stars in cameos (including Chris Penn in his last role - he died the day before the film debuted at Sundance). However it went straight to DVD, both in America and here in the UK. I suppose it's hard to market an offbeat, character-led black comedy in which most of the laughs are generated by people getting either seriously injured or killed. Personally, I liked it a lot.
snowball
snowball
Choose "The Darwin Awards" if you want a relaxing afternoon or evening watching a fun film with enough laughs to make you walk away satisfied. Looking at my IMDb ID, "fastforwardaddict," you would surmise correctly that I have no patience for lame or poorly constructed movies. I fastforward through everything that is subpar. If the writing and/or the acting are bad, the DVD goes right back into the Netflix or Blockbuster sleeve. Favorite movies of mine include those that are considered by such critics as Leonard Maltin to be four star rated. I say all this because when this came out in the theatres, I read newspaper and magazine reviews that made it seem like a dud. Seems rather fishy now, because I watched this with a male who is also very hard to please and we both liked it. At the end, he said, "You picked a winner this time." One criticism I read was that there was no chemistry between Joseph Fiennes and Winona Ryder. First of all, the movie was about Fiennes truly irritating the h... out of Ryder. Haven't you ever worked with someone who drove you nuts? Well, Fiennes couldn't have played this more perfectly. I've known characters like this and he is right on the money. I also knew a character just like the one he played in "Forever Mine" and he was right on the money there, too. His facial expressions are enough in so many instances, he doesn't even have to talk. His stiff body language was absolutely suited to the character he was playing. Ryder was excellent as his co-worker. Why do you think she survived her legal and public relations' problems? Because she is a very good actress. As for the chemistry between them, that is subjective; I sensed it.

Most of the Darwin situations, i.e., what the nutty victims did, were priceless, particularly the fellow who attached the missile to his car. The actors who played the husband and wife who were nearby made those characters very believable.

The comedic writing was good. The quips between Fiennes and Ryder were great! I hardly ever watch a movie twice, but I would watch this one again just to hear them go at each other, and to watch with even more of my friends and relatives to share the lighthearted fun. Sarcastic but cute give and take in a conversation is not easy to write, but the writers succeeded here.

Fiennes's range is wide: all the way from well-acted serious films such as "Luther" and particularly, "Leo," to this light and happy, very good-for-a-Saturday-afternoon provider of laughs.
Tygolar
Tygolar
I watched this film "cold"--I had not heard of it before and was not expecting a comedy, per se; I truly had no expectations as someone else chose the film and I did not read the DVD cover at all, just jumped right in. That said, I thought it was fantastic. Those expecting a rip-roaring, sidesplitting gigglefest ought perhaps to have watched something intended to be so. This was funny at moments, disturbing at others, a little shallow in some places, but I sincerely doubt it was intended to be taken as deep philosophical delving despite the lead character's commentary. As for the chemistry between the leads, I agree with a previous reviewer's assessment: they were meant to irritate one another, and I thought the slow and gradual depth of the relationship was far more romantic than any of the stereotypical big-bang overnight transformations into meaningful interaction. Perhaps more people should watch films without having any clue what to expect of them. It keeps the viewer from making perhaps inappropriate demands that may or may not be met.
Dilmal
Dilmal
I had never heard of this film before I rented it so I had no expectations which is always nice. The main character is lovable and hilarious. The premise of the movie is unique as is its production. I also loved all of the cameos. This movie was good social commentary and thoroughly enjoyable. My friend and I were gut busting laughing through a lot of it. I had been told by the guy at the video store that it was too gory. This almost made me not want to watch it, but it was not at all bad. Just blood and in the context of comedy it is not gory but I might not let a kid watch it. I think if you liked Idiocracy, Hot Fuzz you would like this movie.
Brightcaster
Brightcaster
You see this movie because you've followed The Real Darwin Awards. You see it because you want to be guaranteed a laugh. It's a movie about people who do things so stupid that they die in the process. Got it? These other reviewers are reading too much into it. You want a spoiler? The rocket powered car doesn't . . . um . . . land well. The skyscraper's windows . . . uh . . . aren't really that well secured. Fido fetches everything . . . even dynamite. There is a scene in Darwin Awards with two stoned-out Metallica fans (Judah Friedlander is one) which is so laugh- out loud funny it could be spun out into its own movie.

Winona Ryder is adorable in this movie. She is the girl next door in a push-up bra. I want her to shoplift in my store and so will you after you see this movie. The cameo by the two guys from The Myth Busters is a classic. I saw it at the Berkeley premiere before Sundance and would see it again.
Mustard Forgotten
Mustard Forgotten
Despite the terrible reviews this movie has garnered, it has some qualities that raise it above average and gives us something that, over all, is pretty darn good. In addition to explaining some of the more foolish acts performed by people in an entertaining way, the work attempts to give us an understanding as to why these people commit those foolish acts.

There is, in the eyes of this work, a duality of man that shifts between normal, safe and acceptable behavior and insane actions that may often lead to one's death. Throughout the movie, David Arquette's character is straining to discover what it is, exactly, that drives an otherwise normal human being to acts of profound stupidity and danger. The character's goal shifts from an attempt to discover a common profile for these people into something more personal and real.

However, the movie ultimately fails on this premise. While it does raise the question, it never bothers to give us an acceptable answer. The best it has to offer comes from Ryder's character regarding 'a maze of automatic telephone voicemails' when dealing with insurance companies. Arquette's character can't seem to come close.

Overall, the look and feel of the movie is fresh and original. While it borrows from a number of different styles that will immediately be recognized, but it brings them together in a wonderful way. In addition, the soundtrack to the movie is superb.
Justie
Justie
This was a movie I was really looking forward to at Sundance. We're all familiar with the Darwin Awards, a website started by Stanford molecular biologist Wendy Northcutt to humorously recognize extremely stupid acts that lead to self-inflicted, accidental death. Northcutt's notion is that the human gene pool improves when these tragi-comic figures, who are presumably plagued by genetic stupidity, are removed from the population. Hence the Darwin Awards (www.darwinawards.com).

It sounds like a terrific premise for an outrageous comedy and like the rest of the audience I was licking my chops. Unfortunately, this movie was about as funny as Origin of the Species. Director Finn Taylor has made a couple of refreshingly oddball films (Dreams with the Fishes, Cherish) but The Darwin Awards fails on almost every level.

The concept was probably doomed from the outset by the decision to incorporate a bunch of award-winning events into a linear storyline, including madcap crime investigations and a little love interest. Casting Joseph Fiennes and Wynona Ryder as the leads was the second mistake, as neither of them was right for their parts (and despite their efforts, came off very flat). Follow that with writing that is simply not very clever and you have a disappointing movie.

The vignettes do include some great casting choices, including Chris Penn, Tim Blake Nelson, David Arquette and Metallica. But unfortunately, they are lost in the woeful script, and give us only the occasional funny moment.

As many have heard, actor Chris Penn was found dead at his Santa Monica home the day of the Sundance premiere. Finn Taylor had some nice words to say about Chris prior to the screening. And afterwards Winona Ryder, who had known Chris for 15 years, spoke at length about him. "He wasn't just Sean's younger brother," she said. It was a genuinely nice tribute.
Snake Rocking
Snake Rocking
The fun part was saying, "Oh, that's so-and-so" during the movie. And any movie that casts the Mythbusters as arms dealers is OK by me. I thought Ryder and Fiennes were good--but I would watch Joseph Fiennes read the Yellow Pages, so I may not be a good source. Excellent use of Ferlinghetti and Metallica as well. The murder mystery plot line was a little weak; I would have liked to see more examples of Darwin-ish behavior. All in all, it was a good way to spend 1:34 of my time, and I recommend it to anyone to watch instantly. I don't know if I would wait for it to come in the mail but as an impulse, it was good. Netflix should add more like this.
Teonyo
Teonyo
This was the coveted ticket at Sundance, apparently. We arrived 2 1/2 hours before the screening and were shocked to find that we were nearly 90th in line! We luckily got into our screening,but unfortunately, the movie was a disappointment. The cast is stellar; Joe Fiennes and Winona Ryder are the headliners, and there are many cameos, including Tim Blake Nelson and Robin Tunney, who starred in director Finn Taylor's last movie, Cherish. In addition, Chris Penn (who unfortunately passed away just the day before the premiere of this film at Sundance), Wilmer Valderrama, Alessandro Nivola, Ty Burrell, Juliette Lewis, Tom Hollander, and David Arquette were some of the other cameos included.

Joe Fiennes plays a police detective who is thrown off the squad due to his propensity to faint at the sight of blood. He and Ryder's character get together and try to find out what makes these "Darwin Award" winners tick. I am not sure that point is ever resolved in this film, which is part of the reason why it is uneven. Also, there is just no chemistry between Ryder and Fiennes. I really didn't care whether or not the two of them "got together" or not.

There are a few laughs in the film as the Award "winners" demonstrate what they did to "win." The problem is that they just didn't effectively sum up the movie. It was a little confusing. I will probably rent the DVD when it comes out so that I can see if I just missed it. Another problem is the documentary "filmmaker" who tags along. Why? He seems pointless.

All in all, we had a great time at the screening; Fiennes, Valderrama, Burrell, and Brad Hunt, as well as Finn Taylor, and the author of the book (The Darwin Awards) led the Q and A session afterward. That was the best part of the screening! My recommendation is that if you want to see a good Finn Taylor film, rent "Cherish".
Dikus
Dikus
I was extremely disappointed by The Darwin Awards.

With a stellar A list cast and great ideas behind it I had expected The Darwin Awards to be a romping comedy but every scene left me feeling more confused. Nothing meshes together and all the stories are disjointed and have little heart thrown behind them. The actors go through their lines with very little conviction. The whole production has a cheap made in my basement feel about it as if Finn Taylor had hired a bunch of school boys to do the editing and special effects.

The Darwin Awards books and website has a very large collection of stories. Finn has chosen to show a few of them but hasn't woven a good story around the accidents that take place. Fiennes and Ryder play a pair of detectives investigating the accidents and a serial criminal. This is an excuse to sell a romantic comedy angle that doesn't work because there is no chemistry between the leads. Fiennes has never been a good comedian and Ryder, well she has good timing but is too quirky and irksome to play a full blown woman's role yet. She still hasn't shed her childlike impish nature. The cameo actors perform much better than the leads. I can't help imagine how much better this movie would have been with a better production team and if the casting was shuffled around and David Arquette played lead.

The Darwin Awards might also offend audiences who will ask themselves why should they laugh at someone's death. We just about all have lost family members through accidents and never laughed about it so why should we laugh at the deaths of unrelated people? If some people like to get off on that fine but I can't see the majority laughing. I am not surprised that the vote for this movie is being manipulated. It is so bad only desperate measures can save it. If it wasn't for these fake votes (average score of 9.4 from 10 IMDb readers outside the US before Sundance and where it hasn't been released?) I would have given it a higher rating. Even worse than this movie is the number of Winona Ryder fans who have tried to get rid of this review for one line of criticism. The rest of the review reflects the same opinions as the other reviews. Freedom of speech, honest opinions and quality motion pictures appear to be lower on their list of concerns than shoplifting.
Scream_I LOVE YOU
Scream_I LOVE YOU
Definitely a great entertaining film. Not saying that because I'm a child or have little intelligence (thank you previous commenter for that insightful look into my iq). This movie was pretty simplistic...did the people who rated it that bad want this to be an in-depth soul searching look into the darwin awards? Did they want more politics thrown in for more intellectual fare? Why were they bothered so? I'm really getting annoyed with how some people will tear apart a movie so voraciously you'd think the movie's creators killed their dog for something. I mean, hell, tear apart real fluff like "wild hogs" or something. So it didn't live up to your super high expectations, but hell, not every movie is going to move your soul. And this one was named "darwin awards" what did you expect??? It's like thinking the movie "Idiocracy" will change our education system for the better. This movie was not pee your pants funny, but it was funny on par with "America's funniest videos". Not going to rock your world, but gives you pleasure for about 1.5 hours. Me and my husband liked it and would definitely recommend it. (And not just because my father-in-law may someday qualify for the Darwin Awards. ;) ) So it was filmed documentary style, I think it added a bit of spice-especially when he wouldn't call 911. The love interest thing well, at least we didn't get full on cheese. I don't know if anyone knows this...but anytime you travel with a good looking man or woman and they are single and you spend every waking moment with them, lust or love will ALWAYS come up. That's what humans do.
Laizel
Laizel
Here is one movie which begins well enough and the social premise is that accidents are everywhere. The film is called " The Darwin Awards. " The theory of social stupidity and why so many people commit suicide through thoughtless accidents is redundantly explained. However, there are just as many people who don't wait for the accident to happen, they insist on accomplishing their task despite the obvious dangers and possible consequences. Michael Burrows ( Joseph Fiennes) plays a washed out policeman who cannot stand the sight of blood. Seeking employment, he is teamed up with Siri Taylor (Winona Ryder) to investigate a rash of accidents which have million dollars insurance policies. In their travels, they discover how a simple plan, can unleash a series of mishaps and behavioral actions which cause great bodily injury. With special guest in cameo roles like Wilmer Valderrama, Lukas Haas, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, director Finn Taylor creates a comedic wild ride for audiences. A laughable film which contain much slapstick, but somehow does not quite hold the story together. Nevertheless, a fun film to watch. ***
Kea
Kea
Ah, the Darwin Awards, the epitome of poor life choices and a literal how-to guide of what NOT to do with a disposable income and an excess of free time. In 2006, this collection of ridiculous situations that resulted in death had the good fortune to be presented on the big screen. Unfortunately, I've noticed that a shocking number of people were disappointed with this film.

Granted, Joseph Fiennes and Winona Ryder's characters being the uptight, overly cautious man and the free spirited, devil-may-care woman isn't a terribly original concept, but I felt that it was easy to get past considering how well they played their parts. Apart from that, the cast of this film features a laundry list of familiar faces, including a cameo from Alex and Jamie from Mythbusters and an appearance by Metallica, which, as a metalhead, I absolutely loved.

Now, for the film itself. Joseph Fiennes plays a brilliant criminal profiler for the San Francisco Police Department and specializes in homicides, which is unfortunate for him as he has hematophobia, causing him to faint at the sight of blood. He's being followed by a college student (Wilmer Valderrama) who is filming him for a documentary. Fiennes is soon let go from his job after fainting while trying to apprehend a suspected serial killer, allowing him to escape. Afterwards, he develops an interest in the Darwin Awards and goes to an insurance agency claiming he can identify these individuals with this "X Factor" which will save the agency millions of dollars in insurance claims. He is then paired with a claims investigator (Ryder) and is given four weeks to travel across the country and investigate a number of claims to prove he can do what he says he can do. The movie is filled with re-enactments of actual Darwin Award cases, and despite most being gruesome, they're all filled with countless laughs. For some people, I can see how this may not be the best of movies, so it certainly helps if you have a slightly twisted sense of humor. Overall, it was a fine comedy filled with a great cast, excellent acting, and as much laughter as there was blood. I definitely recommend you watch this film at least once if you have a couple hours to spare, and in the end, it has a great message. While Fiennes' character wanted to find a way to prevent these Darwin cases, he realizes he can't save the world and learns the one ultimate truth of the universe: Sh*t happens...
Xtani
Xtani
The Darwin Awards, which is a real event, is an example of good film that died because of bad distribution and promotion. I can't understand how such an enjoyable film, despite being lightweight, was buried almost without a trace.

The leads Joe Feinnes and Winona Ryder (in her post shoplifting wilderness years) do good jobs in a tongue-in-cheek, yet serious role about investigating moronic actions that get people killed.

I never get tired of watching what could be David Arquette's best performance. The film is a riot...it really a lot of fun if you don't take it too seriously, yet realizing these are actual cases that have been part of the awards.

The documentary that is being made as a fly on the wall for our two protagonists, serves as a humorous and effective way to present dramatic asides. Yet, the final action is left for the cameraman.
Anarawield
Anarawield
This is a hit and miss comedy with four or five hysterical scenes and four or five too confused to be funny scenes. It has some sharply original moments, but it also copies too much from the television series "Monk" The television series "Pushing Daisies" also seems to have elements in common.

It actually could have been good as a television series. Joseph Fiennes is much better here than he was on "Flash Forward". At least here, he laughs and shows some human emotions. Winona Ryder gives wonderful support as usual.

There are lots of stars here, but unfortunately there parts are only four or five minutes each. It is nice to see people like Nora Dunn and Juliet Lewis who don't work enough these days.

Sadly, this was Chris Penn's last major film. He accidentally died of a massive heart attack brought on by drugs like cocaine, and over-eating steaks and chocolate milk shakes at the rather young age of 40. It is quite ironic that his last major work should be a film about the stupid ways that people die. Not to be cruel, as Penn was a wonderful actor, but his death could be added quite easily to the five or six ridiculous deaths and accidents that the movie chronicles.

My favorite scene in the movie is the one at the Metallica concert. I have a feeling that Heavy Metal music fans often win Darwin Awards (awards for bizarre and stupid deaths).

There's a good selection of popular songs on the soundtrack.

If you don't expect too much in the way of coherence and can get into the silly spirit of the film, it can be enjoyable.

Incidentally, you should keep watching to the end of the credits for one last joke at the end.
Ttexav
Ttexav
A very imaginative and interesting idea for a film.

The film was very funny throughout the whole 90-and-so minutes. Joseph Fiennes did a really great job in depicting a character who is bright, intuitive and a little weird at the same time. Winona Ryder was also great, you get the feeling she was quite spontaneous and relaxed (no wonder, next to a guy like Michael Burrows everyone can seem normal...).

I won't get into too much detail, however, I would highly recommend this film to anyone who is looking for a good laugh, interesting plot, 'situational humor' and not an overrated cheap comedy we get every day on TV. I hope this will convince you enough!
allegro
allegro
Now, I can say that I have sen two films with Wilmer Valderrama, both in the same week.

I have always enjoyed reading the Darwin Awards, and it was interesting to see them on film. Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) and Winona Ryder (Girl, Interrupted; Heathers) made a good team (with Valderrama in the background) to keep things interesting - and funny.

This is clear evidence that explosives and military hardware should be kept far away from people who shoot guns, and foreigners with international drivers licenses should not be allowed on the road. Well, I had one of those in Europe, so maybe I'll rethink it.

It was a funny film about accidents and how we cannot avoid them.
Malien
Malien
This was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, hands down. It did take a few minutes to get into, but ultimately my husband and I enjoyed it immensely. Definitely worth renting.

There were so many scenes we loved, where my husband literally almost fell off the couch from laughing so hard.

Not sure why some people didn't like it. Maybe I can understand the issue of mocking death. But then why would you go see a comedy that you know is about death to begin with? So don't pay attention to ridiculous comments from people who are oversensitive. The movie is well acted and very, very funny.

Also was good to see Winona again. Okay, so maybe she's a klepto, but hey she can act. And that Joseph Feinnes is awesome as well...enjoyed his nude shower scene :-)
Na
Na
A cornucopia of what I call "folding."

Here is the setup: we have our standard inner representative, a detective. He is obsessed with understanding the world, so as to understand the "Darwin Effect:" people who do stuff so dumb they kill themselves, thereby taking themselves out of the gene pool. In basic shape, it is the standard noir form.

As the story proceeds, he becomes himself one of these folk, providing some amusing episodes. By my count, that is two folds. Along the way, he is accompanied by a woman: part buddy, part love interest and part person-to-explain-to.

Not content to stop there, this filmmaker piles it on and on.

The thing is framed as a documentary. There is a film student making his thesis film by following our hero. He is acknowledged frequently, but at the end the film slides into the disembodied camera we are used to seeing outside of the story. We often have the situation of the film we see, that has the camera within it, watching our guy watch things on the web.

The detective has a second obsession: to catch a serial killer loose in San Francisco. This folds in an entirely different direction. The killer is a frustrated beat poet, so has confabulated a life as killer, "writing" on his acts. This actually makes sense. We have Lawrence Ferlinghetti appearing on screen as part of the detecting! The motive of the killer is teased out from a beat philosophy in an amazingly literate way.

But the folding doesn't even stop there!

Some of these Darwin Award episodes are possible urban legends; a key attraction of the Darwin awards website is that they verify (from news accounts) that the episodes really happened. A TeeVee show, mythbusters, checks others in dramatic ways to see if they were physically possible. The mythbusters hosts appear here as characters.

One final neat fold. Our detective has a theory that the Darwin award candidates are that way because they are second children, and that they are trying to better their older sibling. This is elaborated a bit as the award candidates are proposed not as merely lethally stupid, but as living life to the fullest. There is an earnestness in the second child syndrome that the actor playing our detective has. He actually gets this across.

But he is played by a man who has a much more successful older brother. A surprising number of the other important characters are also played by actors in an identical situation. Its pretty cool, but has been overlooked and not mentioned in any remarks I have read on this film.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
you secret
you secret
This is obviously one of those quirky "indie" films that somehow manages to slip down the cracks & is quickly forgotten, until it turns up in video shops to quietly gather dust on some obscure shelf in the corner. This is one of those examples. The film proposes to make known the fatal examples of those idiots that try stupid stunts (kind of like the case studies in either of the 'Jackass' films). About the only different thing about this is the fact that the stunts are not real, and there's something of a plot line about an ex cop (Joseph Finnes), turned insurance investigator, who is obsessed about the actions of these mental dwarfs who seem to have a thing for acting really dumb. Wynonna Ryder has some nice time as a fellow investigator,who is on board to find out pretty much the same. There is an unnecessary romance subplot going on that only manages to pad the film out. The film does, however manage to get some nice screen time with some juicy cameos from the likes of Chris Penn (his last film before his unfortunate death some time ago),John Doe (from the L.A. punk band X),legendary Beat era poet & publisher Lawrence Ferlingetti,performance artist/writer Josh Kornbluth,and even Metal Gods, Metallica. Despite this,this is a 3rd tier film that may do o.k. as a late night film (if there are any cinemas that still screen midnight flicks),but it won't lose anything if viewed on the small screen.
Hugifyn
Hugifyn
Many reviewers bring up valid points concerning this movie. The people I saw it with 'hated it'. It wasn't that great -- however in my opinion this is the weird type of story that the next generation will pick up on and want to see for the death scenes, the sheer stupidity of these people who got themselves killed.

And therein lies my biggest complaint. The film needed less of the Ryder/Fiennes romance and more stupid human behavior resulting in senseless deaths.

Years from now this oh-so-strange tale will be hot in cult-ish way. People will point at some of the cameos, including Chris Penn's last movie. Other cameos features Lukas Haas, David Arquette, Juliet Lewis and Alessandro Nivola.

All said and done, Finn Taylor, I liked your effort.
Lailace
Lailace
I was so disappointed after seeing this movie. I had great expectations for it. I've been following the Darwin awards for some time now. Call me a sick person, but I find them funny. Anyway, there was a lot of potential for this film, and having checked the cast before hand, I thought I had all the more reasons to check it out. Little did I know that the guys would make such a p_ss poor job at putting together a decent story, that the main actors would look so awkward in their roles, and that the guys I was looking forward to seeing in the movie (i.e. Chris Penn, the "MythBuster" guys, Juliet Lewis) are only doing cameos.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not a bad movie, I gave it a decent 7/10 because it had it's moments, but considering it's potential, I was ... well... disappointed. Can't think of another word.

Oh, and this might tick quite some guys off. But here it is anyway. Metallica have just gone one more step down that road. I'm not against going for the money. To all those saying "they're selling out, man, they are bowing down to the almighty dollar" I'd just like to say "so are you, mate. because you need the money to provide yourself with the best lifestyle you afford". So I'm not against "selling", I'm just against doing it with no style at all.
Little Devil
Little Devil
Nice. Simple. Hilarious. Description of stupidity's roots, small obsessions and accidents. Romantic pieces for a good taste. Some classical love story in the form of old recipes. And search of explanations for bizarres accidents. Nothing complicate, much gangs and a beautiful couple. Natural option for Sunday evening, simple piece of lost of time in a agreeable manner. In fact,insignificant and naive definition of human condition. Refuges, escapes and strives. Words and fate. All in a pink slop with expected happy end. An exercise to be child again. Far of adults life and careful observer. A film. Like many others. Spaces of dreams and graves for tension. So, a very nice movie.
Ynye
Ynye
It seemed a bit disjointed. I plan to watch it a couple more times, but I'm only writing this after the 1st viewing and I was mostly going 'Huh?' through the plot related bits. Partly because the actors were mumbling, and partly because I suspect there was a lot edited out that shouldn't have been. Y'know, so it fit into the typical 90 minute format.

I've read nearly all of the darwin award incidences portrayed (as well as those that didn't qualify 'cos no one got killed, like the dense eurotrash girl that didn't understand cruise control). All of them were hilariously done. Or maybe I need to see a psychiatrist.

Anyway, I LOVE intelligent, well thought out films you need to watch a few times to really 'get'. Warner Ho's- uh I mean, Bro's, have really found the sweet spot with their usual Batman films and so on. They always get good reviews 'cos they're so moronic, you only have to watch them once, but if you're the type thats utterly bored of that stuff, go see this instead.

I laughed so hard at the frontmen of Mythbusters as illegal weapons dealers, I think it just cured my lung cancer. +1 point.

And then there's the whole homicide investigator that faints at the sight of blood thing. +1 point. Mostly for not dwelling on it so long that it became annoyingly stupid. That could have been a disaster, but it was handled well. In fact, it was so well done, that I wonder if a lot of previous reviewers even saw the irony in it.

And so on... In short; it's not 'Dr. Strangelove' brilliant, because it will age very fast (although I bet you a million bucks 'ol Stanley didn't think of that either, at the time), but it's pretty good now.