Some of the wonderful things rattling around in this full brain 'o mine. UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY (or at least twice a week)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Weekend – Grindhouse and Hot Fuzz!!!

Howdy all! Hope you had a great weekend celebrating or not celebrating Easter. As promised, this blarticle is to review the Advanced Screening of Hot Fuzz, but I wanna throw a quick word out there on Grindhouse.

Grindhouse = **** out of ***** Pulp 70’s style action and horror at it’s finest. Death Proof is the better overall film (along with more Holy Sh*t moments), but I liked Planet Terror more, it just seemed to have more fun with itself, and Robert Rodriguez seemed to more naturally blend all his elements together. Zoe Bell and to a lesser extent Freddy Rodriguez should be made stars by their work in these films. Rose McGowan should do 2 things. First is get Robert Rodriguez to let her into Sin City 2, and the second would be to start finding other director’s who want to make such fun films, and get the ball rolling. She comes off the best out of everyone, not as an actress, but that she’s made to do films like these. She should embrace that, and run with it to make a career out of it.

Oh yeah, and Kurt Russell is the man! If only we get could get a Kurt Russell and Bruce Campbell Grindhouse style buddy film….now that would be heaven.

The main event though was Hot Fuzz on Saturday night. Through Aintitcool I found out about a month ago that the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica would be showing an advance screening of Hot Fuzz. The movie would be followed by a Q&A with Hot Fuzz actors Simon Pegg (who also c-wrote the movie) Nick Frost, and writer/director Edgar Wright. Finally, after the Q&A, there would be showings of Point Break, and Hard Boiled, both of which are films Mr. Wright and Mr. Pegg drew inspiration from whilst writing Hot Fuzz.

First of all, once we (the girlfriend and I) got into the theatre, we decided to sit in the absolute back. It’s wasn’t a huge theater by any means, perhaps 200 – 250 people, with no stadium seating, so it wasn’t a big deal. There really wasn’t a bad seat in the house. Notables in the audience that I saw were James Duval of Independence Day fame, at least that’s what I know him from, and Brian Posehn, of The Sarah Silverman Show fame. Finally, someone started the show. The editor of Geek Magazine came out to introduce the people we really cared about: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. They talked briefly, getting the crowd into it, and finally they walked off the stage, and the movie started.

Before I actually get into the review of the movie, I have to mention something. The Girlfriend and I just moved out to Cali in Jan. I haven’t been here that long. Of course, having worked at a theater for dang near 10 years, I had been to plenty of sneaks, but those were only for employees. Last year, while we visited LA, we did get invited to an advanced screening which turned out to be The Break-Up, but that was free. I have never been to any midnight openings of any of the geek movies (Star Wars Prequels, Spider-man, X-men, etc.). This was my first time at an advanced screening of a movie, where everyone knew what the movie was, and we were all anticipating it quite a lot. I think there’s something to be said for that. It’s a special geek culture and quite an interesting experience. In short, I loved it, and I’ll be attending as many as I can from now on.

Anyway, onto the review. In short, ***** out of *****. I have never laughed so hard in my life. Of course, I’ve seen Shaun of the Dead, and I’ve seen some Spaced on the BBC. Shaun should be recommended watching for anyone thinking of seeing Hot Fuzz. I never considered myself a fan of the Zombie Horror Genre…but I loved Shaun of the Dead. Well, Shaun is to Zombie movies as Hot Fuzz is to Action movies. I love action movies. I’ve seen thousands of them, many over and over again. I got a lot of the allusions, but probably not all of them.

For those of you who have no idea what Hot Fuzz is about: Pegg plays Nicolas Angel, a hard-nosed too good cop in London who gets shipped to Stanford (statistically speaking, the safest village) because he’s making all of his co-workers look bad. Angel gets paired with the son of his new Police Chief, Danny Butterman. Together they stumble upon a series of incidents that most everyone writes off as “accidents” but Angel believes they are a part of something more entirely sinister.

That’s the basic plotline. The comedy that follows is quite hilarious. Warning: slight spoilers ahead! The emerging friendship between Danny and Nicolas is quite a thing to behold, as before now Pegg and Frost have always been friends when the story starts. The two actors have learned to play off each other quite well, and the friendship between Danny and Nicolas is heartwarming to watch even if it sometimes set off my gaydar. (That’s a word I learned from the Girlfriend ^_^)

The supporting cast also rocks, most of their jokes hitting spot on with few misses. The townspeople are pretty amazing as well (most of them are well-known British actors and actresses I’m told), I especially loved seeing Timothy Dalton in something meaningful.

The allusions to action movies (especially in the last half hour) are hilarious, often taking direct shots from well-known movies (Point Break, Hard Boiled, Bad Boys 2, Lethal Weapon). There are a lot of great “Holy Crap” moments near the climax of the movie, which makes you wonder how the whole idea for Hot Fuzz got started. I’m thinking it had to do with a late night watching of Trailer Trash’s Most Hilarious Videos with some Grandma getting accidentally walloped in the head, and Edgar and Simon thinking…”Huh, that would look pretty cool on film. Beating up old people is always fun.” If you’ve seen the trailer on TV with Angel drop kicking an old lady was one of the parts where I almost peed myself. Overall, a great time. If you’re ready to laugh, you won’t be disappointed.

The Q&A was great, at least as good as the movie itself. Also, they brought out an additional special guest: Timothy Dalton! Bond himself! Interesting notes from the Q&A: Nick Frost’s favorite action film is Bad Boys 2 (Now with added Cuba!). Edgar Wright considers himself a Dirty Harry fan. They plan on doing one more movie taking on another genre (Zombie Horror, Action Film, ???). There’s a British Comedy Mafia. My gaydar went off during the film because they had to completely cut out Angel’s love interest in the story, and some of her lines were given to Danny. Nobody mentioned anything about Ant Man. Actually, Edgar didn’t mention much else about his next projects as he didn’t want to give anything away too early. Timothy Dalton had the most fun shooting scenes on this movie, even over his Bond experiences. Simon had accidentally mentioned MI3 before an MI3 was even a reality, so now he mentioned something about playing a part on Heroes…and Nick Frost wouldn’t mind playing Chris Farley in a biopic. Overall a great evening. The Girlfriend and I left right after the Q&A, we didn’t feel like sitting through Point Break, just to get to Hard Boiled.

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