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Saturday, June 13, 2015

'The Yes Men Are Revolting' Theatrical Release: Pranks for Public Purposes

Product Details

Learning of the release of  the documentary "The Yes Men Are Revolting," which hit VOD platforms on June 9 2015 and big screens on June 12 2015, was one of the most exciting bits of  news to reach Unreal TV since learning of "The Yes Men Fix the World" in 2010.

One can only hope that "Men" Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum (nee Igor Vamos and Jacques Servin) do not wait five more years to release another movie; seeing them take on the 2016 presidential race would be too good to be true.

The best way to think of Bonanno and Bichlbaum is as the thinking person's Penn and Teller. These purely platonic kindred spirits have a 20-year history of (temporarily) successfully impersonating government officials and corporate representatives for the greater good. "Revolting" further explains this concept in a segment that includes looks at their greatest hits.

On a larger level, "Men" is a terrific franchise that makes those of us in the know feel cool about it and provides equal pleasure in turning other folks onto it. Those with the latter experience who also were at least a tween in the mid-70s will flashback to discovering the original SNL cast; the thoughts of younger folks will turn toward watching their first "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episode.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Revolting" achieves the dual purpose of such "shorts" in that it provides a good sense of the film and makes you want to run (not walk) out to see it. The fact that no aspect of this production is the least bit misleading speaks volumes regarding the integrity that Bonanno and Bichlbaum demonstrate behind the camera.


"Revolting" awesomely reflects the dystopia that both is an occasional theme of posts in this forum and that the documentary "That's Not Funny" addresses. A primary aspect of this is newly aggressive backlash throughout "Revolting." The phrase in the Unreal TV review of "Funny" that notes that society has gone from f**k 'em if they cannot take a joke to f**ked if you tell 'em a joke summarizes this shift. A textbook suit making a textbook ass out of himself in "Revolting" shows that this new hostility is funny because it is true,

"Revolting"further reflects the reality of 2015 by making pranks that are designed to highlight the already catastrophic effects of climate change the primary focus of the film. Our two men without a "half" companion presenting arguably the most concise and entertaining explanation of climate change is a nice bonus; animation truly is the best sugar to help any "medicine" go down.

The opening scene in which our dynamic duo introduce "survivor balls," which are described as a protective suit that is designed to allow people to withstand the effects of virtually any natural disaster, perfectly introduces the spirit of the film and the best brains behind it. The subsequent pranks, a.k.a. hoaxes, are less visual but equally powerful and relevant.

"Revolting" additioally reflects modern life by including a highly enjoyable reality show element into the movie. A total of roughly one-third of the film depicts the daily activities of Mike and his wife raising young children and a major lifestyle change of that clan, Andy facing challenges related to being a gay man, and the manner in which these aspects of those lives create professional and personal strife.

One bit of personal synergy is that the reaction of Andy to Mike having children and the related impact of parental responsibilities on what once was a more beautiful friendship illustrates some of the points in the recently reviewed documentary "Generation Baby Buster," which addresses the trend of many modern women choosing to either postpone having children or not engaging in that activity at all. One scene in which Bonanno and Bichlbaum very frankly discuss their feelings on this subject would perfectly fit in "Buster." Only Bonanno actually saying "you gotta see the baby" would have made this scene any better.

This "must-see" depiction of appropriately fraudulent responses to an inconvenient truth wonderfully wraps up with closing credit segments that briefly recap past pranks. One highlight is a false McDonald's ads that promises victims of police misconduct a free Happy Meal.

The bottom line regarding all this is that "Revolting" and the other "Men" productions depict the essence of comedy; their antics are funny when they are directed at someone else.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Revolting" is strongly encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.