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Queer Duck: The Movie

Reviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 07/14/06 17:16:38

"This just in: gay men love Streisand!"
1 stars (Sucks)

If there’s anything we could have possibly learned from such miserable movies as “Lil’ Pimp” and “Jake’s Booty Call,” it’s that you should never, ever, ever make a movie based on some Flash animation that you put up on the internet. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever. Sadly, nobody ever told the makers of “Queer Duck,” an online Flash cartoon about - surprise - a queer duck. (Following its success on the net, “Queer Duck” began running on Showtime. I guess they can’t show “Huff” all the time.)

“Queer Duck: The Movie” is as painful an experience as its Flash movie brethren. It’s overlong even at a mere 72 minutes, its script (from Mike Reiss, a vet who worked on “The Simpsons” and “The Critic”) a shambles that slaps together a seemingly endless series of micro-stories - imagine the online series glued together by a string of punchlines so awful you half expect to hear a rim shot following each one. There is a story, yes, but no story structure, as if the whole thing was made up on the fly without regard to pacing or storytelling.

For the film, Queer Duck, a very gay cartoon duck voiced by JM J. Bullock, has his happiness with life partner Openly Gator jeopardized when he meets former Broadway legend Lola Buzzard; she proposes, and he decides to try going straight in order to wed his idol. It’s more or less a limp excuse to make fun of homophobic preachers and gays-love-show-tunes stereotypes.

But if “Queer Duck” doesn’t work in short two-minute spurts, how could it possibly work at feature length? It doesn’t. There are two, maybe three genuine laughs to be found here. The rest is a series of miserable puns, cheap double entendres, and pathetic, overused material. Reiss and director Xeth Feinberg apparently think comedy about Bob Dylan’s voice, Rosie O’Donnell’s weight, and Michael Jackson’s weirdness is cutting edge hilarious. And the less said about the “Moby Dick” parody, the better. (Hee hee, the book has “dick” in the title! “Dick!” Hee hee!)

Because the filmmakers really want to be the new “South Park,” or, at least, “Family Guy,” “Queer Duck: The Movie” also gets to be a musical. Problem is, each song is lifeless and asinine, as if everybody’s gone out of their way to not be funny. Two pandas sing about “homo mojo,” and you start to yawn. A 1960s R&B girl group crooning “Johnny couldn’t master masturbation” has you checking your watch. And the apparent showstopper about “gay baseball?” Check, please.

That last song includes a joke about baseball being gay because it features a pitcher and a catcher, terms also used in gay sex! For obvious reasons, this makes the song remarkably stupid, and I’m really hoping that Reiss was just being silly; I can’t imagine somebody being that dumb.

Speaking of dumb jokes: Bruce Villanch shows up as himself in a few dopey scenes, because the only thing worse than a bad comedy is a bad comedy with Bruce Villanch in it. (Conan O’Brien also pops by as himself in a running gag that’s embarrassingly unfunny.)

“Queer Duck: The Movie” is a series of babbling non-jokes, all of which struggle way too hard to have a risqué vibe. As a satire, it flops miserably - Reiss and Feinberg don’t bother hitting hard enough at any of their targets, although they never show the wit and intelligence it would take to tackle them anyway - and as loose comedy, it flops even more - it’s as if the filmmakers asked a group of ninth graders to write down a handful of penis jokes, and they just slapped ’em together with the list of gay jokes they got by hanging around the adult toy shop. The film is obnoxious, dull, and shamefully uninventive. For a cartoon that’s going to dare to push sexual envelopes, “Queer Duck” disappointingly remains in a safe zone of old jokes and predictable punchlines. It doesn’t shatter taboos; it merely earns yawns and eye-rolls.

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