|08.29.08||DVD|| ...Watching this again on its own, divorced from the all-day cop marathon that preceded my first viewing, was pretty interesting. I found the beginning bits (especially Nick Frost's stuff) funnier than before, but found the ending shootout even more forced and absurd. I kind of have the same feelings with Shaun of the Dead where Wright tries to have his cake and eat it too. I like the movie-geek homage comedy a lot but then it turns and tries to be one of the movies it's heretofore been taking from. For some reason that turns me off, even though I liked that aspect of it in that Behind the Mask movie. I mean I still liked it, it just lessened things for me.|
I am still surprised though about the caliber of actors filling all the parts. I guess that speaks to either the support for Shaun of the Dead or the lack of work in England.
|03.31.07||Alamo Downtown||This Screening is part of event: Hot Fuzztival|
And lo it was time to see Hot Fuzz. There were clearly some people in the audience that had sat through the four previous movies just to make it to this point. When the boys walked out in their Texas cowboy shirts the crowd went apeshit crazy. Austin is definitely a fan to these guys. They were funny and British and nice and excited as well which was cool.
Crazy trailers this time, ending with the unbelievable Thunder Cops trailer. Although that movie's been tainted for me now that I've seen it, I can't deny that it's still one of the best trailers I've ever seen.
So... Hot Fuzz... It was good. I liked it. Almost everyone seemed to like it. At first I was a little jarred by the style of the film (very abrasive and cutty). It's understandable since they're going for a very cop-movie, Tony Scott/Guy Ritchie style but when the subject matter's about very mundane things it took me a while to adjust. Of course, when the things that were happening started getting bigger, the style made complete sense and they sort of fit into each other like a glove, but it's a pretty weird transition to go from having the style be a comment on movies they're kind of sending up to having the style be genuinely what they're aiming for.
Overall, I think I liked it on par with Shaun of the Dead. Parts of it really made me laugh and I can't say I didn't have a good time watching it, but there similar aspects of both movies that cause problems for me. I don't completely get and follow how the movie can be really self-aware and sort of be about packing references and commenting on a genre and then falling into the same traps that it kind of makes fun of earlier on. Kind of like how in this year's Oscar broadcast they had a joke where Al Gore was about to announce his running for President but the orchestra cuts him off... but then later on in the same show the orchestra cuts off numerous people trying to say something in their moment of glory. It's kind of a "well if you know about it, why do you keep doing it!?" thing for me...
I hesitate to say either of Wright's movie make fun of the genre they're in though. I get a sense from both that he loves them and these are really more homage pieces than any sort of satire, but he does pack in the references which ends up splitting my enjoyment a little. It's hard for me to appreciate it as a straight story knowing there's all these winks and nods in there but it also ends up hard for me to not groan when the story takes over and introduces familiar cliches.
This movie seemed much more on the level of tongue-in-cheek fun though. I think there's more lines and gags and overt references and call-backs in this than Shaun, and I don't really mind cop-movie cliches like buildings blowing up and bullet proof vests and whatnot as much as I hate the "i can't shoot that zombie, she's my mum!" stuff.
However, this movie also takes a few turns I didn't expect. It picks up a really heavy Ira Levin vibe (I'm purposely leaving that a little vague. don't look him up if you don't want potential plot spoilers) at one point and becomes... not very cop-ish at all, but ultimately returns to form for a hilariously great climax.
I really don't want to give off any indication that I didn't like the movie. But, as someone who didn't love Shaun of the Dead as much as others, I suspect I'll fall in the same camp with this one. Liked it, not loved it.
So that's the fuzztival! Afterward, the boys were kind enough to hang out and sign crap for everyone that wanted it while large circles of friends gathered around in the lobby talking about the day. The general consensus around my circle seemed to point to Freebie as the highlight of the day, but it was fun all around (unless you count the slow parts of Police Story). Slowly but surely, we all started heading out to clash with the harsh reality of downtown Austin at 2am on a Saturday night. After 13 hours in the Drafthouse, walking out to the drunken cacophony of 4th street was pretty sucky. And it's just gonna be worse once they move to 6th. sigh.
But never fear! Next weekend there's the Grindhouse all-nighter!!!