Early in "Tropic Thunder," Robert Downey Jr.'s Kirk Lazarus, who has altered his skin color to play Sgt. Lincoln Osiris, tells Ben Stiller's character, Tugg Speedman, "Man I don't drop character till I done the DVD commentary."
Turns out that's true. Downey Jr. does the commentary with Stiller and Jack Black as Osiris, and it's pretty funny. Some highlights:
As they're watching the satirical trailer within the movie for "Satan's Alley," in which Downey-Lazarus and Tobey Maguire play two priests who have an affair: "Man, I was tryin' to ride Tobey when we were shooting this thing. He wudn't havin' none of it, talkin' 'bout (happily) married."
Downey-Osiris spends a lot of time admiring Stiller's physique in the movie and busting Black's balls for being late to the recording. Commenting on an early scene where Speedman is wearing a tank top while taking a break from shooting: "Ben, it looks like you wudn't too swoll up for this sequence. Like maybe you was too busy to pump."
On an early scene involving Matthew McConaughey: "I'm gettin' a little bit of Zeppo Marx offa McConaughey right now. Is that true? And Jack, can you stick around or you gotta cut out? Because we still gonna watch the rest of the movie togetha you late-ass muthafucka."
On the fact that Steve Coogan, who plays the director of "Tropic Thunder," is not as wimpy as his character: "He's actually a fairly masculine dude, and I seen him everyday we shot this movie -- I wanted to beat him down like a sissy. Crazy little hair, all sunburnt like a motherfucker."
Osiris as Sherlock Holmes (Downey's next movie): "Elementary, my dear Watson. That shit's elementary. Don't even trip on that."
Anticipating the "full retard" scene between Speedman and Lazarus: "Here comes some classic shit. Classic Stiller-Downey shit."
On Stiller's eyes: "You got great eyes for film, man. Look at them thangs."
Black asks whether Stiller is doing any other projects with Tom Cruise. Stiller demurs. Downey-Osiris says: "Dip in the darkness! Don't be so diplomatic. Whachu got goin' on with the TC, brotha? ... I wanna work with that motherfucker."
Watching the scene where Osiris is slapped by Motown, the soldier who's actually black: "Yeah I mean we did 60, 70, 90 takes of this. (Smack.) Fuck! Remember when you had him smack me all goddamn day, Ben? I remember. Like it was fuckin' yesterday."
On the scene where Black's character is tied to a tree in his underwear: Black: "What's sad is I think I was trying to suck in the gut as much as I could when the camera was on me." Downey-Osiris: "Man, I don't mind yuh titties. When I look right at 'em."
Oscars rarely if ever go to comedic performances, but Downey at least should have won the Golden Globe for this. It's one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. I said it before, and I'll say it again: Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker was overrated, just like "The Dark Knight" itself.
On an unrelated note, there's a bit where Stiller and Downey talk about ditches sometimes being dug for actors to make them not quite so tall in relation to the person they're talking to. Don't know if they were being serious or not. But it's kind of funny, given Stiller's friendship with Cruise, because my friends and I joke about how, in the volleyball scene in "Top Gun," the crew must have elevated Cruise's side of the court to help him spike the ball. Either that or they set the net at 5 feet.