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Case Number 19056: Small Claims Court

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Fartacular Featuring Le Petomane

HERO Filmworks // 2005 // 94 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron (Retired) // June 10th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Bill Gibron wishes he could fart in the general direction of this disaster.

The Case

We all know that farting is funny as Hell. Yes, it's very juvenile and plays into the more prurient parts of our arrested adolescent sense of humor. But when a character cuts the cheese, be it in film, TV, or some other media presentation, the scatological laughs are plentiful. Don't tell that to Hero Filmworks' half-assed presentation being billed as "Fartacular" however. Featuring a boring short biopic of the famous French entertainer Le Petomane as well as a collection of mini-movies and cartoons that would make Howard Stern seem like Lord Buckley, you'd find better examples of butt trumpets watching an episode of The Golden Girls. Indeed, the biggest problem here is that nothing is outrageous or over the top. Grade schoolers could make better jokes than the ridiculousness of the animated celebrity stand-off segments. Just like that stop motion show from MTV, these crudely drawn blackouts give us a chance to see what would really happen if b-list famous people farted on each other in a competition setting. Believe me, it sounds MUCH funnier than it is.

Or what about the uber-meta-ironic attempt at turning the famous Moulin Rouge performer from the turn of the century into your typical unappreciated hero. Sure, the production design is decent and the scale and scope seem respectable. But we don't want classy drama, we want gassy asses—and the celebrated cracker ripper barely breaks wind here. Over and over again, we get the "I'm so misunderstood" mantra, the lead actor lamenting the lack of legitimacy for his anal antics. Then there is this weird subplot involving a curious doctor who is obsessed with Le Petomane's reverberating rectum. More stalker than scientist, this oddball character is so creepy, so "let me closely inspect your bunghole" bizarre that it's impossible to shake him from your consciousness. Even as our star lets fly with one tushy trick after another, we can't stop thinking about the bi-curious medico with a hankering for Le Petomane's pooper. It might have helped had writer/director Steve Ochs remembered to include some jokes, but he clearly believes that the premise of this past life performance artist is humorous enough. It's not.

As for the rest of this dull DVD, there's really not much more to say. The various short films are foolish in their "oops, I pooted" pantomime and even with prevalent posterior palpitations, there is nary a guffaw to be found. Technically, the disc reminds one of a low rent direct to digital compilation. The widescreen image for Le Petomane is soft and made to look like a polished big budget film. It more or less does. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound mix, on the other hand, barely uses the back channels. Even worse, the one thing it could clearly amplify—that is, the bi-labial fricatives—get little or no channel challenging. As for added content, there is a commentary by Ochs (zzzzzzzzz), a Behind the Scenes featurette (really?), and the otherwise worthless compendium of "wacky fartoons and selected sharts" (Har-de-har-har-har). In a world where almost everyone agrees that audible intestinal exhaustion is hilarious, this Fartacular commits the most cardinal sin of all—it finds a way to make air biscuits tedious.

The Verdict

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 30

Perp Profile

Studio: HERO Filmworks
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Bad
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Featurette
• Wacky Fartoons
• Selected Sharts


• IMDb
• Official Site

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