Archive for the ‘Film Sewer’ Category

Hot Fuzz (2007) Film Review 5/5

April 21, 2007

Two things are going to unfairly harm this film: its Britishness and the timing of its release. HOT FUZZ has the misfortune of being released here in America only a few short days after an attention-craving stalker maniac shot 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech University. Not the best time to release a film in which lots of gunplay and action sequences are prominently featured. A lot of great films have been harmed by circumstances outside of studio control, and I hope this will be given a fair shake, because it’s a certified classic.

The more action movies you’ve absorbed over the course of your life, the more you’ll appreciate Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s incredible action movie/spoof/homage, HOT FUZZ. Like the classic SHAUN OF THE DEAD was to zombie movies, HOT FUZZ is a direct hit, on point send-up of buddy cop action films. Hold on, I’ll get back to this in a minute. Allow me to digress.

Everyone praises Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, for obvious reasons. Wright is the director. Pegg is the star of the show. The two men wrote the script. That’s all well and good, but that leaves out the person who is most responsible for the success of these projects, and who doesn’t get any credit: Nick Frost.

Where’s the love for the lovable lug of a second banana (or as they say in Britain, bananer)? In a movie such as this, the buddy cop movie, the sidekick is significantly more important than the lead character. The lead is boring, studious, by the book (or alternately he’s a borderline psychopath) and it is only through the effort and friendship of the sidekick that he loosens up, shows a little humanity, and learns to embrace a life that isn’t all about doing things by the procedural (or to not be a psychopath all the time, but this is a film about a by-the-book cop, not a loose cannon).

Nick Frost’s character, Daniel Butterman, is the counterpoint glue to the lead character, and if he’s not done well, the whole film falls apart. There needs to be chemistry between his character and the lead, and we need to care about the sidekick so when he’s put into danger (and they always are, since they’re the sidekick), we care whether or not he gets saved. Every time Daniel and Nicholas are on screen together, there’s a natural chemistry. You can tell these two are good friends off-screen, and it translate into a great on-screen relationship. Toss in an incredible supporting crew of actors (especially Jim Broadbent), and you’ve got yourself a winning ensemble.

This is, without a doubt, the best black comedy since SHAUN OF THE DEAD (what a surprise, huh? I wish I could have reviewed this movie without constantly comparing it to SHAUN, but those are the breaks). This film starts off well and only picks up steam until the ludicrous and hysterical closing act, working as both an action film and a send-up of action films, without any of the snide superiority of, say SCARY MOVIE and more of a NAKED GUN feel.

I cannot recommend it strongly enough, so get off your arse and go give it a look. Just be careful. There are a lot of accidents out there.

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (2007) Film Review 3/5

April 13, 2007

AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE COLON MOVIE FILM FOR THEATERS is, well, impossible to explain to someone who hasn’t seen the TV show. If you’ve seen the show and you like the show, you’ll like the movie because they figured out a way to make the weirdest, most random show on television even weirder and more random. If you don’t like the TV show, or have never seen the TV show, this isn’t the place to start.

Basically, the movie sums up the entire series of AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE in one fell swoop. It has moments where you’ll nearly lose control of your bowels because of the hilarity, it has moments where the jokes fall as flat as the 2D Mooninites, and it has moments where it is just plain weird on toast. Sometimes, it can be all three at once.

Your average episode of ATHF, as the kids call it, is basically a bunch or random stuff happening for 11 minutes or so. There’s usually some sort of paper-thin plot, but basically the show is an exercise in Dadaism for the 21st Century. Weird for the sake of weird, it’s a show about three food products (Fryloc, Master Shake, and Meatwad) who have adventures, foil alien plots, and make life miserable for their neighbor Carl, who don’t need no instructions to know how to rock.

I don’t know why I’m explaining the basis of the show; if you’ve read this far, you’re already familiar with it.

Basically, the ATHF movie is an origin story for our heroes, with a chance to bring back everyone’s favorite recurring villains (though villain isn’t the proper term, since these ‘bad guys’ are more obnoxious than malevolent). The Mooninites (Ignignokt and Err, favorite of potheads everywhere) show up; the Plutonians (Emory and Oglethorpe, named after two universities in the Atlanta area) and The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future figure heavily into the plot, and there’s even a Willie Nelson (the character, not the country singer) cameo.

When they’re not trying to figure out who made them and why, the Aqua Teens have to try and stop Carl’s Insanoflex exercise machine/giant killer robot from wrecking downtown (echoing the plot of the pilot episode in a nice throwback to the show’s humble beginnings and the falsified premise that launched Adult Swim’s biggest breadwinner).

And none of that makes any sense to anyone who hasn’t seen the entire run of the show, but whatever!

This is the ultimate in fan service, as much as a reward for long-time viewers as it is an actual movie, making it more like Kevin Smith’s JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK than, say, CLERKS. If you’re not a fan, you won’t even notice this movie’s undoubtedly brief box office run. If you’re a fan, you’ve probably already seen it by now.

Troma’s War (1988) Film Review 4/5

April 9, 2007

It’s hard to explain a Troma movie to the uninitiated. Is it a comedy? Sort of. Is it a boob-filled exploitation movie? Kind of. Is it a gore flick? Yes and no.Troma films are incredibly low-budget flicks that cross a variety of genres. Assuming you count comedy spoofs, gratuitous lesbianism and boob shots, AIDS jokes, and splattery gore special effects as movie genres. You can pretty much tell by looking at the poster of the film whether or not it will be your mug of beer.

Given that the name of our website is “Film Sewer,” you know we’re Troma fans, so this particular slice of Troma cheese was eaten up like a fresh plate of baby at a cannibal buffet.

The plot is simple: A plane crashes on an island and the survivors have to learn to work together for their own survival. Complicating matters, the island they happen to crash land on is a nest of generic terrorist guerillas of all stripes, nationalities, and clichés, who don’t want their plans to be foiled by a bunch of rubes from Tromaville, New Jersey.

Of course, in any sort of situation in which normal people (a fat guy, an old man, a fake James Bond, a young mother, a slick dude, a chick with big boobs, a token Mexican girl, a kung-fu granny, and a black Catholic priest from the pre-pedophilia days) are stuck on an island with insane guerillas bent on destroying America, there’s going to be a gunfight. As we all know, all it takes is a couple of horrific incidents to turn any normal person into Sly Rocky Rambo Cobra. Just a couple of horrific incidents and a face-painting/arming for battle sequence, of course!

Now that we’ve gotten the plot out of the way, the good stuff can begin.

That’s right. We’re talking slow-motion gunplay. We’re talking a woman getting shot in the boob. We’re talking explosions, car flips, and Siamese twins separated by homemade surgery. We’re talking bad one-liners, good one-liners, karate, and a flaming truck crashing into a boat. We’re talking mindless fun, gross-out gags, inappropriate groan-worthy sequences, jokes a-plenty, and a fat guy making out with a blind girl.

We’re talking one of the most expensive Troma movies ever made: a spoof of big-budget 80’s action movies with a sense of humor that swerves between tasteless, classless, and outright goofy (expensive in a Troma sense is like what Paris Hilton pays for her daily supply of Valtrex). It’s as dumb as you’d expect, but with 1/25th of the budget of your average flick of the genre. You can’t help but groan and grin.

It’s not smart, but it’s funny and a hell of a good time. Pop some popcorn, get yourself a case of beer, find yourself a cute little Tromette, and park it on the couch for 87 minutes of “I can’t believe they went there!” fun.