MacGruber: Silver screen spoof of TV’s most resourceful hero McGyver. For a Brit that has never seen McGyver or the SNL skits it comes across as an American equivalent of Austin Powers?? The range of humour isn’t very wide; all jokes are either gross-out or something built up then made to look stupid… which starts to wear a little thin by the end. It’s also potty, very potty, with constant sexual references and a couple of back-to-back romance scenes that rival the Team America one. Some gags – like the villain’s name ‘Cunth’ being repeated – get boring pretty fast. The cast all hit the right buttons with their humour & delivery, and the WWE cameos were pretty sweet, especially the Big Show, who was good game. Val Kilmer (ate all the pies!) plays a Seegal-looking villain, and while he’s alright, he doesn’t seem to care much. The whole retro spoof has been done before but this more watchable because it’s done with conviction – the clichéd dialogue/script in particular was my favourite aspect, executed brilliantly for the most part. The soundtrack’s fairly bland, just song after song but with no real purpose other than just being from the 1980s. While it’s not the most polished or sophisticated film in the world it is funny for the duration, totally quotable and has ‘cult comedy’ written all over it. One of the better comedies so far this year.
Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus: three rogue marine scientists try to save the world from two huge prehistoric menaces. After the first 5 minutes you know there’s one big flaw in this – the budget. It’s stuffed with awful ‘action sequences’ (mostly shaky cam), painfully cheap graphics, an atrocious sound mix, a second-rate script, terrible establishing shots and the criminal overuse of several CGI scenes. In the movies defence, an SFX-heavy creature feature with a lot of destruction isn’t the easiest to make on a shoestring budget, but the laughable effects just ruin any possibility suspense and tension. It’s also edited together like a psychological thriller, for reasons that were beyond me. There are a few redeeming aspects: the music is pretty good, some simple shots are very effective and… erm… Debbie Gibson is a total babe!? The promiscuously colourful science montage and questionably raunchy scientists were nice touches. Not without its teachings, I now know that every area of a government complex has a man with a big gun and sunglasses in the corner, racists are generally “equal opportunity” and that scientists get all the pussy. It’s as imaginative as the title, so only watch this for purposes of Irony.
Inglorious Bastards: original ‘B-movie’ version of the new Tarantino release. First big shock was how good the quality of everything was – other than the script! It didn’t feel much like a B-movie, more like the epic war films you’d see on TV in the afternoon. Film quality, locations, action shots and sets were all well above par. It’s been tagged as an ‘exploitation’ film, but it’s really just trashy and naff, with some risqué scenes involving black soldiers, Nazis and gratuitous unrelated boobs. The first hour of the film is a bit disjointed, but the train plot keeps everything sane. You’ve got to love how everyone jumps out of cars / windows / bunkers when they get shot – one guy’s body ascends over 10 feet off the screen! It’s an alright film, but not nearly as gnarly or action-packed as you’d expect (due to a 15 certificate)