Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category


Cockneys Vs Zombies

July 8, 2013

Cockneys vs Zombies

As the name suggests, this is a very serious British period piece set shortly before the death of Queen Victoria, the general plot follows an assassination attempt on……

No, it’s cockneys, guns, zombies, guns, old people, and guns.  It is everything that you’d hope the film would be, scene stealing actors (not great actors but scene stealing ones), zombie action, and some of the funniest scenes I’ve seen in a movie in  years.  It is camp to the extreme, but done brilliantly for the budget and keeps the laughs coming.

I was fortunate enough to see this film as CONvergence, a yearly con in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, at a screening prior to it’s limited US release and with James Moran, the screenwriter, in the audience.  There was then a question and answer section after that.  So a bit of “history” on this film, it was the idea of the films director, with the original idea being a more serious film until James Moran got his hands onto it and turned it into a hilarious comedy/action film.  He had a few goals in this film, which included coming up with three things that he had never seen in a zombie film before, I would write what they are, but I only remember two of them and they are a bit spoilerish, albeit on the light spoiler side.  This film also has a moment that James Moran said was the best idea he’d ever come up with and that he wouldn’t ever come up with anything as great again, it is one of the most hilarious scenes in the film and very memorable as well.

The story is pretty simple, two brothers are trying to help out their granddad, but don’t have any legal means to do it, so they decide to rob a bank, while they are in the bank, the zombie apocalypse happens in London and they have to fight there way to try and save their granddad with various adventures and odd moments along the way.  What works with how this is written is, firstly it doesn’t take itself seriously, at all.  It keeps the jokes coming quickly, and with non-stop hilarity.  Secondly, the characters have their own stories and personalities.  Thirdly, for the type of story it is, it has a happy ending, and one that works perfectly with the film, I get a momentary chill thinking about it, it doesn’t seem like a happy ending was stuck on, but a sad ending would have been so out of place that it would have ruined much of the first part of the film.  And the blend of characters works well, you have a good sized range in age and type, plus none of the characters are pigeon holed into one area.    And Moran doesn’t do two common zombie things, firstly, he doesn’t spend time explaining where the zombies come from, they are found in a tomb, genetic experiment, contaminated ground water, previous zombie outbreak, who knows, but it doesn’t matter.  And lastly, he doesn’t spend time explaining about the head shot.  This takes place in modern day London, if you and I know to take out a zombie with a head shot, why wouldn’t these people.

The big names in this film aren’t really the main characters for the most part.  Alan Ford and Richard Briers, Snatch and Watershipdown respectively,  have rolls in this film and are on screen for a strong period of time, but aren’t the two major protagonists.  Rasmus Hardiker and Harry Treadaway play the two main characters, they do a good job in those roles, they play off of each other well, as does everyone else in the film, but they are minor names when it comes to American knowledge of their acting with City of Ember and Your Highness being the most recognizable names on their IMDB pages, after Cockneys vs Zombies (or at least I hope it will become that).  I should also mention Michelle Ryan who has been in a number of things as well including Jekyll and Cashback, her role is different than the normal girlfriend sort of roll she’s had and she apparently jumped at the opportunity to play a stronger smarter character.

Visually this film has a low budget, the make-up and special effects are solid, but there aren’t a ton of them like you would get with something like Zombieland, but it works well enough in this film, and zombies are so popular now that they had extras coming out from everywhere who wanted to be zombies.  One of the extras even sent a 20 minute screen test of himself being a zombie in to become an extra, he got a slightly larger roll than most zombie extras in one of the most memorable scenes.  But there aren’t any major mistakes in this film that I caught with continuity or anything like that, and with the type of film it is, who cares.   The music also works very well for the film, and a British Cockney band, Chas ‘n’ Dave wanted to be in the film ,but it wouldn’t work with their schedule so they wrote original end credit music for the film.

Overall this is a film I could gush over a long time.  Find this film, watch it, it’s coming out in 8 cities in the beginning of August in the US, but also VOD the same day.  It is hilarious, well done, and a feel good film.  My best comparison for this films is Black Sheep (NZ), but it isn’t nearly as bloody and gory as that film was, and I think it works better that way.  It doesn’t try and have the zombie horror jumps, it just is a very straight forward action/comedy film with zombies, and while zombies are starting to get over played a little bit, this is one case where they remain simply fabulous and work.

Critical Grade: C

Entertainment Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A

Just a quick reason for the grade, this film isn’t meant to be looked at through such a critical lens, there are films like this that are just meant to be enjoyed for the absurdity that they are, and if they don’t completely suck in other ways they can be enjoyed, so that is why this has an overall grade of an A while maintaining a C critical grade.



50 New Movies in 100 Days: Transylvania 6-5000

March 12, 2013

Transylvania 6-5000

This is probably the only G movie that will make the list, but it had Jeff Goldblum in it so I had to watch it.  He’s always entertaining on the night shows and in the other movies I’ve seen him in, and that is what drove me this movie.  It is kind of a goofy sort of movie, I would call it an early spoof playing off of creature features and turning them into a fun lighthearted family movie, but still something that is quite funny.

The story starts with Jack and Gil being sent off on a after there is some found footage of Frankenstein.  They are sent there find if there is something actually going on for a tabloid.  Things in the town don’t seem quite normal, and Jack falls in love, while Gil decides that the stories are definitely real.  However, things don’t go all that well, Jack doesn’t believe Gil.  Things change with Jack’s flame’s daughter gets kidnapped by one of the monsters from all the old horror movies, Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy, and many more.  The town folks come to kill the monsters, but it turns out they aren’t quite as monstrous as they seem.

The acting talent is pretty good.  Jeff Goldblum is obviously the actor of note in the film, and it is a pretty good film because of that.  He has his normal nice goofy quality to the film.  Ed Begley Jr, Spinal Tap and other films.  So there is a second name with some note in it the film, and they play off each other fairly well as the two main characters.  The supporting cast is good too.  It seems, the acting style is actually pretty old in terms of how they wanted it to look, it makes sense because they are spoofing a lot of old films, but they do so very well and it fits the whole goofy mood of the film.

Visually this film works, like I said, playing off of an older style and feel, where it mirrors more closely to the older creature features.  It has a nice light and goofy feel to it, and it is a very entertaining G film.  It has a fairly predictable twist at the end of it, but it comes off really nice and is enjoyable, even with the goofiness.

Overall this is a film that is very out of my character, I don’t watch all that many goofy children’s films, but this one, like I said has Jeff Goldblum in it, so that is why I watched it.  Overall I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.  Twist was pretty predictable but overall I don’t think it should have ended another way.

Critical Grade: B-

Entertainment Grade: B

Overall Grade: B


50 Movies in 100 Days: The Order of the Black Eagle

February 22, 2013

The Order of the Black Eagle

This is a late 80’s parody of James Bond, it is somewhat funny from time to time, but ends up being more of a drag than anything else.  The main character is actually pretty good, but the story just seems to drag on and on.  The Jax is kind of closer to Clouseau than to James Bond, but in a comedy that should work.

The story starts with a Nazi group kidnapping a scientist to try and take over the world.  The best spy is brought in to try and take them down, Duncan Jax, along with the help of Tiffany, a blond Interpol agent.  They manage to infiltrate the gang and find out that as well as using a laser beam to destroy countries, they are planning on bringing Hitler back from the dead.  Duncan escapes, but Tiffany is captured, and Duncan meets up with some people he’s worked with before.  They manage to get back and defeat the Nazi’s and blow everything up at the last moment.

Like I said, for the most part the acting is suspect, and everything in it is pretty suspect.  Ian Hunter is actually pretty entertaining as an actor in this film, he is obviously a caricature of James Bond trying to be as suave as possible, and then ends up being nearly a complete failure.  The other actors are pretty blah.

This movie almost seems like it had a decently sized budget, not because there is any actual talent in the film, but because everything seems really cheesy, and like they try and make something that is pretty grand.  The music in the film is pretty awesome 80’s sound, but overall not that hot. And it kind of just rambles on and on through many a different character and plot line.

This is one of those 80’s films that had a fair amount of potential but ends up being pretty much a failure.  The plot is kind of entertaining at least as a premise, but ends up being a failure as the characters are absurd, and it isn’t all that entertaining.  It has some jokes on it, but for the most part it seems to take itself more seriously than it should, or maybe more so it just is a poorly written joke.

Critical Grade: D-

Entertainment Grade: D+

Overall Grade: D


50 Movies in 100 Days: Unicorn City

February 22, 2013

Unicorn City

This is a fun indie comedy about all things nerdy.  It is mainly about LARP-ing and role playing quest games but it’s done so in a very entertaining way and is completely over the top.  It is semi-predictable but they do a good job in character development as well as a good job with creating a villain that you really don’t like.

The story revolves around, Voss, a loser nerd who can’t keep a job and who basically just enjoys playing role playing games.  But when the dungeon master of their game kills him and he interviews for his dream job, he ends up creating Unicorn City.  Unicorn City is a place where people can play their role playing characters.  The “city” starts to flourish until Shadowhawk, the dungeon master from the RPG, comes and parks next to them, he steals all the LARP’ers away from Voss.  Things fall apart and Voss is kicked out of Unicorn City.  He decides to come back and save Marsha, the girl who loves him, but he hadn’t figured out that he liked her until now.

The acting in this film is surprisingly good.  Jon Gries is probably the biggest name having been in MIB, Supernatural, and other movies and shows.  He is a very solid bad guy in this film, not really evil, just egotistical, which is evil in the world of nerds.  Devin McGinn and Jaclyn Hales are Voss and Marsha.  McGinn is actually in The Last Lovecraft, which is also a very good movie and I’ve seen for the 50 new movies in 100 days.  He hasn’t done much besides that, but he’s a really good nerdy actor.  Hales hasn’t been in much else.

Visually much about this film is pretty low budget but looks good and is well done.  It is a character piece as much as having a major story developing Voss and the vilain.  They hit the nail on the head with how nerds are portrayed, those who believe themselves to be elite and better than everyone, and nerds who rage from time to time, and the much simpler just nerds for nerds.

Overall this is a really funny film that I highly recommend people.  It’s quirky, it is a good character character development, and a lot of good humor.  It is smart, and deals well with the nerd community and how it works.  Some of the nerd rage and elitism really reminds me of Batman fanboys flipping out when The Dark Knight Rises got less than perfect reviews, and that is what makes it work.  It is probably too nerdy for some, but the majority of people will like it.

Entertainment Grade: A-

Critical Grade: C+

Overall Grade: B


50 Movies in 100 Days: Safety Not Guaranteed

February 18, 2013

Safety Not Guaranteed

This indie comedy is an enjoyable ride through some character development and fun situations.  It isn’t what you expect when you start it out which is nice and enjoyable, unfortunately about half way through it is easy to figure out what else is going to happen in the film and it ends up being pretty predictable at the end.  It works well though and is an entertaining film that is put together with a bunch of heart.

The story revolves around a newspaper add stating that someone is looking for someone to travel back in time with them, safety isn’t guaranteed and you have to bring your open weapons.  A Seattle based magazine decides to write a story about it, mainly so the writer can try and find an old girlfriend of his who still lives in their home town.  He takes along two interns and they track down the old girlfriend and the time traveler.  Things aren’t quite as they seem, the girlfriend isn’t the same and the time traveler isn’t all that right in the head, but he really believes what he is doing.  The journalist can’t get in with the time traveler (eventually does with the old girlfriend) but Darius, the intern can.  They continue collecting on the story and Darius becomes the fellow traveler, but the story falls apart when the journalist is rejected by his old girlfriend after they sleep together and it turns out that the time traveler is going back to save someone that didn’t die, but was an old crush of his that never had the same feelings about him.  But he was rightfully paranoid throughout the whole thing as the government did suspect him as a terrorist and were trying to find him.  He turns on the time machine and we’ll leave my retelling of the story there.

The acting in the film is good.  Aubrey Plaza, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and Parks & Rec, does a very good job as Darius, it isn’t a step outside of her comfort zone, she is still quiet and awkward and sarcastic, but she does a really good job of it.  Mark Duplass is good as the crazy time traveler, from the League, he comes across as paranoid, slightly insane and damaged but not as a dangerous crazy person, but someone who is off, probably suffering from some social mental disorder, but brilliant otherwise.  Jake Johnson is solid as the reporter who is fairly all over the place, he has a high image of himself but isn’t an outright bad person.  That is one thing interesting about this film, none of the characters are outright bad people, there is no pure villain, even the government officials aren’t bad, they have reason to be worried about the time traveler after he stole from government buildings, and they aren’t jerks.  Everyone is just normal in many ways, well very abnormal people, but normal in that there aren’t clear cut good and bad, everyone has their good things about them and everyone has their bad things about them.

Direction wise, this is a well put together film.  It has polish to it and doesn’t get caught up in trying to be stylized.  It is simply shot and shown and is a great character piece because of it, the characters only develop a little throughout the film in terms of progression, but there is a deep and rich back story which sheds light onto the characters as you go along.  There isn’t anything about this film that is overdone, even the time machine was a impressive looking machine is clearly cobbled together by the time traveler and isn’t this slick device.  It is bulky and the time traveler believes it will work, but no one else is completely sure about it and is very skeptical throughout the whole film.

The more I think about it, the better I like it.  The depth and flavor of character is really well done, even the side characters have their own back story which we get to hear part of.  It is predictable in the end, but that doesn’t detract a ton from the film.  Safety Not Guaranteed is a well crafted story that is very character driven in a very unique situation, and it doesn’t get bogged down in trying to be clever and people don’t act like they wouldn’t in those situations, so while the premise is very far fetched, the acting and everything seems very realistic in tone and makes for an enjoyable watch that I would highly recommend as a film that most everyone can enjoy.


Critical Grade: B

Entertainment Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B+


50 Movies in 100 Days: The Experts

February 17, 2013

The Experts

Time to party like the 80’s, this is a hilariously absurd movie.  John Travolta with a mullet makes this movie, and the completely absurd plot makes everything work.  A Soviet town which looks like something from middle of the USA in the 1940’s is being used to train KGB agents for the infiltration of America.  Of course, it is set in the 1980’s, so the Russians are a bit backwards, which is where John Travolta and Arye Gross come in.

Anyways, more on the plot again now.  It is completely absurd like I said. A Russian officer goes to New York City to try and find something to bring the Russian training into the current time frame.  He ends up recruiting two young “hip” seeming former club owners, Travis and Wendell for a club that he says in the small town USA, Nebraska in particular.  They think the town is off and lame, so when they open up a new style club, it ends up flopping, they convince the Russian  officer to get them some stuff from the states,  and they end up creating in the people the idealism of the American freedom, some of the old steadfast KGB agents who decide to blow up Travis and Wendell, they escape, to get captured again when Wendell’s girlfriend turns him in, but by that point in time, the people in the town want to have freedom, so they escape again and  take almost the whole time with them to the USA and New York City, they realize that it feels wrong, so they take them to a small town in Nebraska to settle them there.

The acting is pretty hilarious.  John Travolta seems stoned throughout much of the performance, which is okay because it isn’t meant to be a serious film.  Arye Gross is maybe even more over the top.  His character goes through massive mood swings.  And they manage to change the whole town to their side in seemingly the matter of months, but, hey, it is a secret fake US town in Russia, so it is allowed to be hilarious.  Kelly Preston shows up as a KGB Agent who is sent by the committed Russian officer to break the boys and seduce Travis, but then she falls for Travis, and her performance/accent is as hilarious as almost everyone else in the film.

The film itself  actually has some solid look to it, the Russian town actually looks like it was a step back in time.  So Dave Thomas did a pretty good job with the look and feel of things, getting the actions of the people right.  And it was a great excuse for them to throw in almost every house song from the 80’s into a single film.  The sound track isn’t good, 80’s house music, isn’t all that great, but it is pretty hilarious, and it works wonderfully with the film.

This is one of those 80’s films that is so bad that it is great.  It is hilarious, intentionally, and just hits on every level of 80’s-ness.  If you aren’t up for a film that is very cheesy and absurd, then this isn’t for you, but if you want something to look back at (and reflect back upon if you were born in the 80’s or love the 80’s) and feel “nostalgic” about, this is a great film for that, extremely over the top, but very fun.

Critical Grade: D

Entertainment Grade: B+

Overall Grade: C-


50 Movies in 100 Days: God Bless America

February 7, 2013

God Bless America

The best way to describe this movie is a pitch black comedy about the sensationalism of America and how horrible people are famous when they should be ignored.  It’s incredibly dark, closest dark comedy in terms of the dark humor I’d compare it to Teeth, but this one might even have Teeth beat, it is less uncomfortable than Teeth to watch, but it really hits hard to some issues about how we as America are obsessed with celebrities, and how we hold up and mindlessly repeat what people say because someone says it.

The story starts with Frank, and insomniac with migraine issues, a lousy job, and a general contempt for reality television and faux celebrities.  His life isn’t all that great, his daughter hates him, and his ex-wife is getting remarried, he loses his job because he was trying to be nice to someone, and his Doctor tells him he has a brain tumor that really is as risky to operate on as it is to leave in his head.  He almost kills himself one night but comes up with one thing he has to do first, as he is watching an MTV like Sweet 16 show.  He wants to take out the spoiled brat of a girl on the show who complains that she didn’t get the right car, that she couldn’t find the right dress, etc.  So he goes to her school where he meets Roxy as he is spying on the other girl.  Roxy basically thinks he’s a creeper until she happens to see him kill the girl.  He takes off in a hurry and again tries to kill himself, but Roxy stops him, because she has a laundry list of bad people whom she wants killed and she tells him about her family life which is terrible.  They go off on a killing spree, killing bad people, like the sweet 16’s parents, people who talk and don’t turn their phones off during movies, someone who takes up two parking spots at a mall, and several others (this is where it gets tiring at times because there is a distinct political slant to the film which ignores one side of the aisle, even though I don’t disagree with who they are killing because they aren’t good people, it is obviously tainted one way).  They eventually end up deciding that moving to France and just getting away to somewhere that dislikes America as much, seems like a great plan.  However, then Frank finds out that Roxy had lied to him, and she comes from a normal family, but she’s just an teenager who doesn’t like the world.  He leaves her (which I should point out, they aren’t having a creepy relationship, well, it is creepy, but not creepy sexual).  Frank goes off on one last mission which changes their relationship, and everything.

This film has great acting.  Frank, played by Joel Murray, has a Ricky Gervais sort of look about him, but much better acting chops.  He is very depressing and serious person who can’t lighten up, and plays that to a tee.  Roxy, Tara Lynne Barr, is equally up to the challenge, showing off a disturbing glee and hatred throughout the film.  Her performance is what really drives the film, and Frank is intentionally a blah downer character to have against the excited Roxy.  The rest of the characters are really spoofs of various political commentators, shock jock radio hosts, celebrities, and fake celebrities.  There are easy ties through out most of them to people in real life.  They end up being caricatures and aren’t all that greatly acted, but the film is really driven by the two main characters and exploring their dynamics more than any of the side characters.

Bobcat Goldthwait, yes, that is the name, does a good job directing this film and creating a world that is basically the world we live in, in the US, and creating a story that shows a strong duplicity to the characters in many ways.  Visually this film has a crisp professional look.  It doesn’t seem like a big budget film, but the quality of work done in the film is noticeable.  They also use Alice Cooper for some of the songs in the film, and to me that is great as I’m a huge Alice Cooper fan.

What works well in this film is the duplicity of the characters, they don’t like the heroes and anti-heroes as portrayed by the media and television, but are worried when they don’t hear anything about what they’ve done on the television.  They crave the fame in some ways, or at least Roxy does, and Frank ends up going that way slowly throughout the film. This duplicity builds the film which could be seen as a highly anti-American, which I don’t know that it is, it is just highly anti-American culture/climate of what matters in news/television, etc. and takes away from the political slant because the two main characters probably would lean one ways, but are themselves what they don’t like.  It is extremely dark, so I’ll warn people watching it about that and there is a fair amount of violence, but it is a well crafted film.

Critical Grade: B

Entertainment Grade: A

Overall Grade: B+


50 Movies in 100 Days: DeadHeads

February 7, 2013


The best way to put it is that this movie is a poor mans Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland.  It is a low budget zombie romance comedy that has a very predictable plot.  However, that is okay, because the dialog is hilarious with some of the better one liners and awkward scenes that you’ll see.  There are definitely some forced lines in there, but the stoner zombie has many a great line that makes it an entertaining movie.  It isn’t on the same level as the other two zombie spoof movies that I’ve mentioned, but it holds its own for an entertaining ride.

After waking having been shot three years earlier, Mike finds out that there are now zombies roaming the Earth, not a ton, but more so in his area.  Things go from bad to worse when he realizes that he is a zombie as well.  He, however, is a higher functioning zombie where he doesn’t just eat and kill but can talk and think, and remember bits and pieces of his old life.   He is befriended by Brent, another high functioning zombie.  Mike finds and engagement ring in his pocket and is confused until he remembers his old girlfriend Ellie, and he wants to go back and find her and give it to her.  Brent decides that sounds like fun, so he tags along.  Along with the help of an uninfected old man they manage to break the quarantined area (along with their new mindless zombie friend whom Brent names Cheese).  They reach the home town where they are captured again, but not before Mike almost asks Ellie but chickens out.  They get help to escape so that Mike to fulfill his mission (and this is after he’s remembered that it was Ellie’s dad who had killed him).  And he finally tells Ellie, and she still loves him and says yes.  That is where the movie ends.

The acting in this film isn’t all that impressive.  The two lead actors are okay, Ross Kidder and Michael McKiddy, Brent and Mike respectively.  Kidder is probably the better of the two, but he also has the best lines to work with in the film.  Benjamin Webster, as a jerk perimeter security officer is probably one of the worse performances I’ve seen in a long while, it seems like something you’d see in a poor highschool short film, he overacts everything, which I think is what they want him to do, and yes, his character is meant to be annoying, but it isn’t annoying because he’s a jerk but because everything is so over the top and you don’t give a rip about his character.

Visually you can tell this film is a cheap film to make, which is kind of nice.  Brett and Drew Pierce do a good job directing this film for the most part, and more so did a very good job writing for this film.  They keep the jokes coming and make them so they aren’t completely predictable in their jokes.  And they tie in other movies like the Evil Dead quite well to their film, which their dad actually worked on.  And for their first feature length film, it isn’t all that bad.

This is a fun film, crass at times, over the top at times (well a lot of the time), but it is a fun blend of a zombie spoof.  It looks a bit cheap in the quality, but makes up for it with the jokes and a few of the characters, Brent and Cheese mainly.  If you want more of a zombie fix, you’ll enjoy this film.  It doesn’t have a ton of depth, but they keep it a cohesive film and it moves along quickly and isn’t all that long.

Critical Grade: D

Entertainment Grade: B

Overall Grade: C


50 New Movies in 100 Days: The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu

February 5, 2013

The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu

I give this movie props, it is raunchy, funny, over the top, and slightly comic book like in how it handles some things, heck there are some comic books even in there.  It is a story that makes no sense, a relic of Cthulhu has been found, which is likely going to bring him forth and the only one who can stop him is this group who has the other half the relic, and the only one that they can give it to is the last remaining relative of HP Lovecraft.

So, I basically summarized the story already, but to go into more detail.  Two slackers, Jeff and Charlie are in a dead end job, there is a girl that one of them likes (and that’s the last we see of that girl).  Then there is a professor who gets pulled from his class by a secret organization which he is a part of, they give him the task of bringing their part of the artifact tot he last descendent of HP Lovecraft, who turns out to be one of the slackers, and a creature from the deep tries to steal the artifact, they run off to their nerdy highschool losers place (who happens to still with his Grandma.  They go off trying to find a sea captain who had run across the sea creatures before.  They end up eventually defeating Cthulhu’s minions in a pretty hilarious manner befitting the film.

The acting and whole film are really low budget, but it works for the film.  It is meant as a completely absurd comedy action film and no doubt that it actually works for the extremely low budget that it is.  Everything is completely hilarious in the action.  But Harry Saine, the director does a pretty good job.  The Kyle Davis and Devin McGinn are the two leading actors and they are pretty hilarious.  Barak Hardley is probably the best comedy in the film as the lonely nerdy friend.  Like I said, the production values are really low, but for the small budget that it likely had, it doesn’t seem cheap.  I started five minutes of the movie Cross, and it had bigger names, and it looked much cheaper in how it was put together.

Overall it was a pretty funny film and is actually entertaining to watch, and isn’t a long watch.  If you are in the mood for something that is completely absurd and full of wonderfully odd pointlessly weird situations.   It isn’t worth all that much more than a silly comedy and anything with Cthulhu mentioned in it, and briefly seen in animated form, is pretty good in my book.

Critical Grade: D+

Entertainment Grade: B-

Overall Grade: C-


50 Movies in 100 Days: Iron Sky

January 27, 2013

Iron Sky

This is a film that I had heard about 6 months or so, when I happened to track down the trailer on-line.  Nazi’s with a secret moon base and coming back to take over Earth in this time, what could go wrong? It was somewhere between great and terrible, there were elements to it that were hilarious, and awesome but it got bogged down in a movie that clearly shouldn’t have any message or ideals, when it clearly tried to have some.  Those points in time were basically a waste in time, but there were many moments where that wasn’t the case.

The US has sent two men back tot he moon during a presidential election year to try and bolster the public support for the president who is a poorly done caricature of Sarah Palin, which was funny in concept but much less successful in execution.  One of them is captured, who is an African-American model, and he is studied in the Nazi base.  He says that he knows the President, so the Nazi’s turn him white, and take him to Earth on a mission to plan their attack.  Things don’t go all that well as one of the Nazi’s, who has studied Earth, ends up realizing the Nazi’s aren’t the good guys like she thought.  The Nazi invasion happens, and things don’t go all that well for them.  The US has a space ship with weapons, going against a treaty, and then it turns out that almost every country does, minus Greece.  Things almost work out, but then the Nazi’s use a tablet computer to power up their Helium-3 weapon, but the Nazi who has become good and the model manage to stop the massive weapon that the Nazi’s have built.

The acting performances in this film are pretty hilarious.  The actress who plays the Sarah Palin president, Stephanie Paul, looks like Palin, but really isn’t all that good an actress and is given predictable lines to work with over and over and over again.  Christopher Kirby, as the model actually does a hilarious job, he has great lines, and performs them well doing the opposite thing that Robert Downey Jr did in Tropic Thunder.  The rest of the actors were pretty good, Julia Dietz, as the good Nazi, aren’t bad, they go overboard a lot in the lines that they are given.

This film is shot primarily in grey tones, which was annoying at first, but actually works fairly well.  The Nazi’s, on the moon, are very clueless as to how life on Earth is now, so there are many old fashioned things that make the filming in grey tones actually pretty good.  They also work in a lot of older sounding songs into the film.  Timo Vuorensola hasn’t done anything else that is all that notable, but seems to be working on films now or attached to films that sound basically like this film.

This was supposed to be a better film, but there were a few things that went really wrong.  It got preachy at time mocking the USA in not all that funny a way, it had some potential, and they could have poked great fun at Sarah Palin, but they just did a poor job of it.  The best way to put it would be that they are trying to make a joke, but it comes across in joke form that they really mean exactly everything they are saying, so the insults which are jokes are actually insults, and it comes off as way to forced.  This was especially sad since it could have been a hilarious film and kept much more straight forward.  I was hoping for a film that was somewhat campy and had lots of absurd action and lines.  It had enough of that to make me glad I watched it, and it is one that I might watch from time to time, but it could have been much better and while not being great something I would watch over and over again, like G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra.

Critical Grade: C-

Entertainment Grade: C+

Overall Grade: C