Man elects for Ass surgery in this summer’s blockbuster cinema experience.
How To Waste $17.50 This Summer
By Alicia Bruzzone
An hour into New Eared Steve our protagonist emotionally declares, “You wouldn’t understand!”
Truer words have never been spoken. I still don’t understand.
New Eared Steve is tagged as “this summer’s breakthrough drama… dealing with issues of the heart and the importance of relationships.”
I don’t know who they found to coin this tagline, because I thought the movie was a weak attempt at comedy.
Picture this, New Years Eve, soft music playing as the two-minute countdown begins. Steve’s wife has run off to call her mother, leaving Steve a lone figure for an unexplained Chinese mystic to approach. After a short conversation, wherein our mysterious stranger tells Steve that to truly love we need to listen, Steve alters his New Years resolution. He’s going to love fully; by listening.
Ah, I hear you say. That’s why he’s called ‘New Eared Steve’.
Nope. Newly-resolved farmer Steve sets out the next morning with his mangy mule to plough a lower paddock while the weather holds. Crossing over a trickling brook via a cobblestone bridge the donkey’s footing slips, and the structure collapses. In a giant freaking fireball. Because apparently with a limited budget, fireworks were the wisest investment the director could come up with.
Anyway, as Steve rolls around smothering flames, we fade out to the pained brays of the donkey.
Twenty agonising minutes later, we learn Steve’s ears have been burnt off, and the animal died. Instead of having prosthetic ears made, like a regular person, Steve insists on experimental surgery for an ear transplant- and here’s the kicker- with the donkey as donor. Forget the fact the animal was engulfed in a giant fireball, apparently his ears remained intact. Steve then mutters some unintelligible speech about keeping the memory of his trusted sidekick alive or some other garbage meant to inspire us all to become better people. By stealing animal ears.
Beyond the soaring inspirational symphony on the soundtrack, nothing really happened during the following thirty minutes of rehabilitation scenes, except Steve learned to turn his ears independently of each other.
So now Steve gets all bent out of shape because his wife no longer finds him attractive. Well der, he has freaking donkey ears sticking out the side of his head. It’s like they recycled a cast member from the bad-boy island of Pinocchio.
They get into a giant argument, where Steve screams his most memorable line, “You wouldn’t understand!”
No one understands why he elected to have donkey ears surgically attached to the side of his head. I assume the scriptwriter and director are still arguing the point.
Steve’s wife eventually walks out on him; slamming the front door; which somehow manages to generate another explosion. So you know, super realistic.
What follows is what can best be described as a montage of bad hats and terrible costuming choices as Steve’s hides his misplaced donkey love. Pity they burnt through their budget before working out how to get costuming to figure out what size his ears were meant to be; those babies ebb more regularly than the tide.
After watching countless people point and laugh at our protagonist, Steve becomes resentful and bitter about his life. Because of his own freaking choices. At some point he also begins to bray in his sleep. Not creepy at all.
In a nonsensical sci-fi twist (spoiler alert), Steve then begins growing a tail. It’s passed off as something to do with cell memory and donkey DNA, but basically it was a misguided attempt to gain viewer sympathy for an entirely unlikable character.
In short, this movie sucked. The highlight of the entire mess was Steve trying to drag t-shirts over his enormous ears and fiddling to insert headphones. Perhaps if I’d viewed it with a bottle and vodka and took a shot every time one of Steve’s ears twitched, I’d be drunk enough no to mind the wooden dialogue and unexplained fireballs. In the end, the return of the Chinese mystic wasn’t enough to pull me out of an hour and half funk of bad movie, even if his ‘authentic Eastern philosophy’ sums up Steve’s predicament perfectly: “Why would anyone like you now? You turned into an ass.”