Napoleon Dynamite

Rated: PG
Release: 2004
Director: Jared Hess
Starring: Jon Heder

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This movie goes out to all the kids with Coke-bottle glasses, to all you lonely kids who were the last picked in gym classes. Napoleon Dynamite wasn’t clued-in enough to realize the 2 Skinnee J’s were singing about guys like him and the director was clever enough to set the movie in a way that makes it simultaneously dated and current. You aren’t really sure when the movie takes place, but you’re positive it isn’t right now. Napoleon is the dufus oblivious to how socially inept he really is while simultaneously harboring more cool than his shallow peers will ever be able to grasp. The movie plays out like a day-in-the-life experience of teenage love, life, and dissatisfaction, with a sub-plot of Napoleon’s brother Kip and Uncle Rico trying get-rich-quick schemes on the local town’s people, which is both a blessing and a curse for Napoleon. After befriending a Pedro, a new kid at school, Napoleon and the local Glamour Shots girl help Pedro in his bid for class president against the hottest girl in school. While there are moments in the movie where you may find yourself feeling sorry for Napoleon, there are other moments when the script is down right brilliant giving an almost reality show feel to the events on screen. This is the best Hollywood movie I’ve seen in a long time, even though it’s pretending to be an indie flick. The deleted scenes were cut with good reason, but there are still a few clever moments to make the DVD more than just another way to distribute the movie.