Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Two Buck Schmuck Reviews Hot Fuz

I had the following options at the lovely LaGrange Theater tonight -- 300, Perfect Stranger and Hot Fuzz.

I am not seeing 300. Okay, maybe I'll see 300. If, 300 days from now, 300 is still playing at the LaGrange, I'll see it. Maybe. Unless something else is playing.

I felt really, really obligated to see Perfect Stranger. I mean, it's a surefire crappy thriller starring Halle Berry and Bruce Willis. It's PERFECT for a cheap movie that I would be able to ridicule into the dirt. I actually had intended to see it last week, but I was wiped out and ended up going to bed at 8pm.

Now, Hot Fuzz is a movie that I actually had wanted to see when it came out in the first-run theaters. According to the marquee of LaGrange's Theater 1, the movie they were showing was "Hot Fuz". Still, I thought there was a strong likelihood it was the same movie.

I enjoyed Shaun of the Dead quite a bit, and was looking forward to seeing Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's tribute to the cop buddy action movie.

So, I saw it. It wasn't a straight parody of cop buddy movies, just as Shaun wasn't a straight parody of zombie movies. Pegg and Wright clearly have an affection for these genres, and aren't attempting to be snarky and condescending to them for the sake of a cheap laugh. Instead, I got a sense they were unironically professing their love, albeit still with a large dollop of some good-natured satire.

Pegg plays supercop Nick Angel, who gets sent to a remote English village by his superiors in London because he makes everyone look bad by his own stellar performance. Nick Frost (Pegg's slob roommate buddy in Shaun of the Dead) plays a local, incompetent constable Danny Butterman who is obsessed with action movies.

I felt somewhat relieved that the main characters in this film were nothing like the slackers of Shaun. For some reason, it really bothered me how lazy and worthless those characters were (I imagine it was supposed to bother me).

A lot of heavy hitters were in this film. Cate Blanchett has an uncredited cameo as Nick Angel's former girlfriend. She plays her only scene completely in a surgical mask. Still, that lady has some damn expressive eyes! Some other notable perforers -- Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Edward Woodward, Bill Nighy, director Peter Jackson as a demented Santa Claus... Stephen Merchant and Martin Freeman of the UK series The Office also show up, as does Steve Coogan. Very, very nice cast.

I laughed aloud quite a bit at this movie, something I don't do that often while watching a film, even when I find things funny.

Some of my favorite parts were relatively gruesome. A man gets his head pulverized by a falling piece of stone from a church roof, and walks around a bit with the rock in place of his head before collapsing. Timothy Dalton has an especially enjoyable comeuppance as his chin is impaled on a miniature replica of a church. Unlike a normal action movie where he would promptly die, he faintly whispers that his injury hurts very much.

Now, I don't intend to see only good movies at the LaGrange, because if I did I'd haveta stop calling myself a schmuck.

So, I leave you one little tidbit to tantalize you.
This was the "Coming Soon...." poster in the LaGrange's lobby:



Tanya Espanya said...

We watched Hot Fuzz a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it; then we watched the Shaun movie this past weekend and also enjoyed it. I can't do clever reviews like everyone else. I just do, Yeah, it was fine or, Nah, dog.

Splotchy said...

tanya, you're the Randy Jackson of movie reviewers (in a good way!).

GETkristiLOVE said...

I love, love, LOVE Shaun of the Deadso I'll have to check this one out, based on your review.

lulu said...

Perfect Stranger? Isn't that the one with the guy from the island coming to live with his cousin in Chicago. That could be good.

Splotchy said...

cool, kristi! I hope you like it.

lulu, in the words of Balki Bartokomous, "Don't be ridikalous!"

Mob said...

Nice review, I've loved everything these guys have done so far.

Joe said...

Sorry I couldn't go with you last night! I had no idea there were that many heavy hitters in the movie. Oh, and you get extra credit for working one of my favorite phrases, "heavy hitter" into your review.

SamuraiFrog said...

Thith really, really hurth. I think I'm going to need thome ithe cream.

Loved, loved that movie.

Reel Fanatic said...

Great review ... I had no idea that that was Cate Blanchett behind that mask ... I had incredibly high expectations for this one, and it lived up just about every one