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Tropic Thunder

Tropic Thunder

Date: Nov 12 2008

Themes: History

Grammar: Be Able To

Intro

1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Some actors will do almost anything to create realistic characters. Demi Moore went to a real-life boot camp to prepare for her role as a soldier in the movie G.I. Jane. To portray a Holocaust survivor in The Pianist, Adrien Brody spent weeks starving himself. And in the new comedy Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey Jr. plays an actor who will do anything for a part, even change the color of his skin!

Tropic Thunder is about pampered actors who get lost in the jungle while making a movie about the Vietnam War and have to fight their way out. The movie makes fun of how seriously some people in Hollywood take themselves. Listen to Mason tell Marni about it.

Dialog

1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Marni

Marni

Mason

Mason

Marni:  So, I’m a little behind the times but I finally went and saw >Iron Man.

Mason:  Oh my God, you are behind the times!

Marni:  I know, but I love a good Robert Downey Jr. film and, like, what else is there?

Mason:  Well, let me tell you this. Get thee to the cinema to see Tropic Thunder.

Marni:  That’s right, because of the…

Mason:  Yeah, you probably didn’t even recognize him…

Marni:  Exactly.

Mason:  With the blackface.

Marni:  The blackface!

Mason:  They’re bringing it back. They’re bringing it back. It’s the turn of the century all over again.

Marni:  So is it like a social taboo to even say that?

Mason:  I don’t think so. I mean, I don’t think they really reference it in the film, to be specific. But, uh, you know, he’s certainly… He’s doing all the affectations. He’s owning the character. But it’s so satirical. It’s so comedic. And they do actually have, you know, a black character in the cast. And they kind of call that out, you know, him calling him on it. It’s like, “Man, they hired a white guy to do the best black role in the film!” So, you know, I think that they were able to address all sides of the issue.

Marni:  Okay, well, then, God…I mean, and how’s the, you know, the actual story itself?

Mason:  Oh, it’s hilarious.

Marni:  It is hilarious? Okay.

Mason:  I mean, it’s, uh, it’s really meta-something…I don’t even know. I want to make up a new word for it. It’s one of those stories that turns in on itself. And, uh, it’s a lot more intellectual than you would think.

Marni:  Okay, because sometimes with the Ben Stiller comedies and, you know, like, it’s just this rehashed...I don’t know.

 

Grammar Point

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Quizzes

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Lesson MP3

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Discussion

Marni didn’t realize that one of her favorite actors, Robert Downey Jr., was in Tropic Thunder because he wears blackface in the movie.

White performers used to use blackface to portray black people in a stereotypical, racist way. So Marni is surprised that blackface is used in Tropic Thunder. But Mason explains that the movie is a satire. It makes fun of people in Hollywood who take themselves too seriously. So it isn’t actually a racist movie.

Do you think Hollywood takes itself too seriously? How far should actors go to create characters that seem real? Do you think some actors are pampered?

 

Comments

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SantD.

SantD.

Brazil

I’m a little behind the times, since this lesson is almost from 4 years ago, but I have to make a comment here, ‘cause this movie deserved! For me, Tropic Thunder is timeless! I’ve seen it five times already and I just can’t get enough! Ben Stiller really nailed it, his direction was great. And kudos to the cast, they were brilliant, especially Robert Downey Jr. coz, as Mason said, he really owned his character in a way that nobody can tell it was a racist thing. 


And of course there’re some actors pampered, but, in my opinion musicians are way more pampered than actors. Have you ever seen the “demand list” some musicians make for things they want in their dress room? Really over-the-top!

11:48 AM Jan 28 2012 |

hamidgoodboy

Iran, Islamic Republic Of

  saw thise film,,,,,a group of funny  actors g to war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying.Cool

07:10 PM Jan 27 2012 |

miffoo

miffoo

Slovakia

yeah, this movie is very funny LOL

12:41 PM Jan 17 2009 |

Marcelolic

Marcelolic

Brazil

This film I not to saw yet,but I pretend,it must be funny :D

10:57 AM Nov 18 2008 |

Marcelolic

Marcelolic

Brazil

I usually like Ben Stiller's film,I think it very funny…But this I didn't have the opportunity to see…

I say "yes",The actors generally make your characters too close to reality and they tend to be seemed with themselves ;)

10:51 AM Nov 18 2008 |

Marcelolic

Marcelolic

Brazil

I usually like Ben Stiller's film,I think it very funny…But this I didn't have the opportunity to see…

I say "yes",The actors generally make your characters too close to reality and they tend to be seemed with themselves ;)

10:51 AM Nov 18 2008 |

smart2022

smart2022

Saudi Arabia

wow, i saw that movie long time ago. i'm not gonna tell what happened. you gonna see it yourself.

 i'm cool at this moment

10:53 AM Nov 17 2008 |

Ruilong

Ruilong

China

Lol…maybe the movie is just foe entertainment,but anyway,i m not going to comment in it before i see it!

 

03:27 AM Nov 17 2008 |

guobingyou

guobingyou

China

I can't wait to see it!

01:22 AM Nov 15 2008 |

Roger_ksa

Roger_ksa

Saudi Arabia

I think that tropic thunder was a movie which could illustrate the ability of tips the scales .. i mean i saw Robert Downey Jr. wears a blackface without being racist!

 Really, i enjoyed the movie :)

05:07 PM Nov 14 2008 |

reave

China

The movie is so wonderfull that I have a good laugh and makes me feel good.

02:33 PM Nov 13 2008 |

Mr Writer

Mr Writer

Brazil

It must be an awesomely funny movie! I can`t wait to see it and crack it out in laughter. XD

04:36 PM Nov 12 2008 |

Totto

Totto

Sudan

I notice almost all the lessons on here are about movies.  There are mainly nothing els but movies.  May be it is a way of advertising them.

03:56 PM Nov 12 2008 |

kaira_harry

Yemen

hahaha

i remember it

i saw it

hahahah…really he's a movie funny very funny

 

01:26 PM Nov 12 2008 |

kaira_harry

Yemen

lol
i saw it
very funny
lol

01:25 PM Nov 12 2008 |

yhq502498@163.com

China

the feeling of hollywood is very real

11:04 AM Nov 12 2008 |

alez1986

China

 Personally,this movie is very funny,i laughed out several times while i saw it.

p.s

Wow,it's strange when i learn these lessons recently.Smile

Am i a comedy?Am i laughably serious?

May be,may not.

Honestly,i am just a ordinary student.If there is a difference,which may be that i like thinking.

I'd like to learn anything inclusively. 

But,don't wash anything please,don't bring orange here please.

Actually,i'm willing to be a well- behaved student.Laughing

08:54 AM Nov 12 2008 |

kurt2000

Germany

it's a funny moive , I saw this movie last night im my room!

08:21 AM Nov 12 2008 |

kukuka

kukuka

Ukraine

thanks for the lesson, i'm gonna watch the movie now. 

08:21 AM Nov 12 2008 |

Gawana

Gawana

Russian Federation

Hi! This is good cinema, I see that only home=(

06:33 AM Nov 12 2008 |

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