Run Ronnie Run!
Like all great sketch comedy writer/performers, "Mr. Show"'s David Cross and Bob Odenkirk were probably destined to get a movie. They even based their first film Run Ronnie Run! (2002) on a character from the show named Ronnie Dobbs (played by Cross) who in one sketch was the most arrested man on the obvious "Cops" parody show "Fuzz" and then was put in a musical about his life. The filmed version follows Ronnie's story as he is discovered by failed infomercial product maker Terry Twilstein (Odenkirk). Terry recognizes Dobbs' genius at being arrested and making an ass out of himself, so he gets Ronnie to star in his own TV show where he gets arrested and make an ass out of himself. A big hit, the show turns Ronnie into a superstar who's able to have a trophy girlfriend (Nikki Cox); but in his heart he really wants his old girlfriend Tammy (Jill Talley, also from "Mr. Show") back, since she's the mother of his children (three boys named Ronnie) and she's already married him three times already. Unfortunately, the minute he sets foot back in his hometown the new governor Hark Trellis (M.C. Gainey) throws Ronnie in jail under his new "No Strikes" program. Run Ronnie Run! was shot in 2000, has a 2001 copyright, and finally made its direct-to-video release in 2003, which pretty much assures that this was a troubled production for the stars and director Troy Miller. And it's easy to see why, as some very obvious mistakes were made along the way. Like "Mr. Show," the movie is best when not trying to tell a simple narrative; when the script is forced to conclude its main story with Ronnie in jail and a kidnapping plot set to foil the governor's plans of executing our hero, the whole thing seems to run out of ideas. What's more, there is no main target of satire white-trash stereotypes and reality TV are pretty easy focal points, but they never become the critical target, and having a central object of derision usually drives great sketch-comedy films (like Monty Python's Life of Brian or Kids in the Hall's Brain Candy). That said, there are some great lines and bits and an abundance of cameos including all the "Mr. Show" regulars (including Tom Kenny and Jack Black), some famous comedians (including Ben Stiller, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, Scott Thompson, and Dave Foley), and some amusing brief appearances (including Mandy Patinkin and Patrick Warburton). And, on the whole, there are enough asides and funny moments to make this better than the majority of the SNL skit movies. Just the same, David Cross's comedy album "Shut Up You Fucking Baby" is much funnier, and Cross and Odenkirk have since disowned the project (on www.bobanddavid.com, the boys wish the film to suffer euthanasia). New Line presents Run Ronnie Run! in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround audio. Extras include 15 minutes of cut scenes, a music video from "Three Times One Minus One" (Bob and David's parody soul band), a trailer, and bonus trailers. Keep-case.