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My Name is Bruce (2007)—and I don’t mean Bruce Lee.

The second film in our series is “My Name Is Bruce,” the 2007 comedy-horror-spoof-film, directed, co-produced and starring the “B” (or C+ if you listen to some people) movie great Bruce Campbell.  As you know we just took a look at Army of Darkness (by far my favorite Campbell film); this time around we are discussing a movie about Bruce Campbell playing Bruce Campbell.  Unlike unintentional actors who are not really acting on screen, like when Chazz Palminteri plays Chazz Palminteri in every film, Campbell parades his status as cult B-movie genre megastar and makes a film that pokes fun at his acting career.  My guess is that most Hollywood “stars” have too big of an ego to make something with this sort of self-deprecating humor in it.

 

In his film, Campbell exaggerates all possible perceptions of what life is like being Bruce Campbell.  Portraying himself as a gone to hell, ruined by the devil’s nectar, divorced, making wretched sequels to already awful movies and living a trailer with an alcoholic dog, being Bruce means at best you are a proud loser barely maintaining a toehold on the “C” list of celebrity parties.

 

Somehow believing that Bruce is the hero he portrays in movies, Jeff, a fan and the sole surviving member of a group of Goth-like teens attacked by an ancient oriental evil demon that protects the souls of dead Chinese and bean curd, decides to kidnap Bruce and take him to his small town in the Heartland.  There, Bruce erroneously assumes his agent has set the stage for his birthday present (which was actually a hooker) by setting him up for yet another horror film shot in reality-style with an all-amateur cast.

 

Bruce is a little slow on the uptake in realizing that this Midwest jerk water burg of Gold Lick is under actual peril from an ancient, white-bearded God of War set on avenging the lives of 100 “Chinaman” workers lost in a mining disaster 100 years earlier.  Nevertheless, Jeff has sold him as the town’s savior, and like in Army of Darkness, takes up a “Hail to the King Baby” lifestyle.

 

After visiting Goldlick’s gun shop, Bruce and many amateur-actor citizens of Goldlick follow Bruce to take on Guan-Di, which Bruce thinks is just part of the movie.  When he finds out that it’s a real demon, he gets the hell out of Dodge, disappointing his female love interest Kelly and upsetting Jeff as well as the entire town of Goldlick.  When Bruce returns to his trailer home, he finds that everyone, including his junkie dog, hates him.  He has a restraining order placed upon him by his ex-wife, Cheryl who also wants more alimony, and finds that his “surprise birthday present” from Mills was just a singing prostitute.  Bruce is then called by Jeff, who informs him that he’s going to take on Guan-Di alone in spite of Bruce’s embarrassing retreat.

 

The hooker takes Bruce back to Goldlick, where he is treated with contempt but is determined to rescue Jeff.  He drives to the old cemetery where they planted dynamite at the mausoleum and try to lure Guan-Di inside with a cardboard cut-out of Bruce, which Guan-Di doesn’t fall for.  Displaying his machismo, Bruce decides to sacrifice himself using bean curd to luring Guan-Di and the dynamite is blown up.  He emerges from the debris alive, and hangs the medallion back on the mausoleum wall soothing the spirit.  Guan-Di then also comes back to life, and at the very last minute, it turns out the whole story was a movie being screened by the principals at the studio.  Bruce argues with Ted Raimi about the timeworn ending and turns it into a “happy ending,” which involves Bruce and Kelly married, living in a nice house, white picket fence and their son, Jeff, who is accepted into Harvard.  After the movie ends, Bruce asks, “What could be a better ending than that?” after which Guan-Di appears and attacks Bruce.

 

I must admit I was a little surprised with this film, I didn’t know what to expect—there are not too many movies where one satirizes one’s own career.  Fans of Bruce Campbell and the genera he represents I am sure were delighted by this film.  Though I am generally not a “B” horror movie fan (I enjoy many other “B” movie types) this film was not a cheap horror at all; instead it was a unique (and funny) look through the lens of the world of cheap horror movies.  It was better than I thought it would be and it needs to be watched more than once before catching all of the hidden humor; and anyone looking to kill a couple hours could do much worse than watching My Name is Bruce.  I will say this, while researching this review I looked at Bruce Campbell’s filmography and I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that all but the most elite actors would give their right arm for the professional opportunities he has had.  Not bad for someone relegated to the seedy underworld of “B” horror movies—according to the site Celebrity Net Worth his is estimated at six million—I don’t know about you but that is a hell of a lot more than me.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Movie Reviews

 

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We Interrupt thsi Bruce Campbell Tribute to Bring you Another Review from EJ & SJ: Arsenic & Old Lace (1944) or How to have a Mausoleum in your basement.

EJ & SJ have hit us with another review this time about the classic Cary Grant film Arsenic & Old Lace (1944). Let’s see what they have have to say about this classic comedy starring the larger than life Cary Grant.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Movie Reviews

 

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The Xmas JPFMovies next big giveaway!

That is right viewers and fans of JPFmovies, we are going to have another DVD give away extravaganza! This time it is you the viewer who will do the reviewing. I have picked three movies and who ever writes the best review for anyone of the three (or any combination of the three) will win two, that is right two, dvd’s (including blue-ray’s) of their choice per movie (6 total). The movies you can review are:

Peter Sellers in the Millionairess

Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront

The Three Outlaw Samurai

If you do not have any of the movies, please let me know and I will get it to you electronically.

If you are the only one who reviews a movie then you win automatically. Otherwise we will judge which review is the best for the prize. Remember a total of 6 movies are going to be given away and the deadline is Monday, December 20th, 2010.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2010 in Movie Reviews

 

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A Little Woo Goes a Long Way: Red Cliff Parts 1 & 2.

Debbie and I have always said “a little Woo goes a long way.”  Well this time John Woo has outdone himself with Red Cliff Parts 1 & 2.

Simply put, John Woo’s film, Red Cliff , Parts 1 & 2, in which he re-creates (at an $80 million dollar price tag, I might add) the oh so legendary battle of Red Cliff  in 208 A.D., which ultimately led to the demise and fall of the notorious Han Dynasty, can only be described as a breathtaking war epic, edge of your seat cinematic masterpiece!!!

From the Prime Minister waging war against the western kingdom, in hopes of eliminating opposition and placing himself as sole ruler of his envisioned unified China, to the ironic friendships which flourished among an unlikely alliance, not to mention, the strategic genius of Infantry verses Naval wits, that culminate into one of the most famous battles in history.

Even for those of us who are not familiar with famous battles in history, though, this is a film to be cherished. The music alone is uplifting and invigorating. It could almost be described as Star Wars-like. The characters are much more finely drawn than you usually see in any blockbuster film and certainly more well developed than you would usually find in a war movie. And, although Red Cliff is about a famous battle, Woo does more, much much more, than cast this one battle in broad strokes. He goes beyond even Kurosawa in this respect. Kurosawa’s films are visually beautiful, painfully beautiful even, and every frame could be frozen and hung on the wall in a museum, quite frankly. But Woo takes time to savor the moment. I guess that’s why this film is broken up into two parts, each of which is two hours long…but they’re well worth it. They’re what make this film three-dimensional and human–more than just art but something that can touch the spirit.

For example: consider the moment when the army is ordered to stop the demonstration it is putting on for visiting dignitaries, all because the chief of defense has heard a flute playing out of tune in the hill over the training grounds. The chief of defense climbs the hill, while the entire army waits, frozen in place. He finds a boy and his grandfather. The boy is playing the flute. The chief of defense looks at him sternly, demands that he turn over the flute, takes a knife out of the boy’s belt, and fixes the flute. He then hands it back to the boy who finds that it is in much better tune now. He plays again and the army and visiting dignitaries all smile…and, as happens all the time in Red Cliff, this moment, which is carried out so sweetly, immediately gives way to another, in which–well, I won’t give away what happens this time, but the entire army ends up spontaneously kneeling in response to the boy’s grandfather suddenly kneeling. For a rag-tag army, many of whom we are told used to be pirates, such a spontaneous show of respect for the elderly is very touching.

Having said all of that, I have still only scratched the surface of what is so wonderful about this movie. There are the brilliantly creative tactics devised by the army’s chief strategist, when the army is running out of arrows, for instance. There is the chief strategist himself–if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I suggest you read the subtitles carefully whenever he has anything to say! There is the princess who refuses to play the role of a subservient woman–she responds to a proposal of marriage by punching her suitor and knocking him out, and then she proceeds to find her own way to defend her kingdom, leaving to become a spy on the other side, taking along pigeons to use in sending intelligence back across the Yangtze River. There is the general who saves his lord’s baby son, and proceeds to tie the baby on his back and ride into battle with him. There is the other general who manages to escape after being cornered by 30 or 40 men all pointing spears at him–he takes his own spear and flings it at the prime minister, then grabs one of the spears being pointed at his own throat, uses it to knock down the men in front of him (killing at least one along the way), runs straight at the prime minister and knocks his horse onto its side, then grabs his side’s flag from the ground, jumps on the horse as it stands up, grabs his spear (still standing up where he threw it) and rides off. The prime minister, at that point, lost in admiration, refuses to allow his men to counterattack…I have to stop here because Red Cliff is full of moments such as this. You’ll just have to watch the movie!

On a side note, I personally loved the fact that this film had sub-titles and was not dubbed.  I found it to be more realistic and authentic to its true form and it did not come across as a watered down, been there and done that Hollywood Blockbuster. If you are a John Woo fan and are waiting to feast your eyes, ears and mind on a juicy mind-blowing, smack that A$$, who’s your daddy flick, then this is a MUST SEE EPIC! WHOA!!!!

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2009 in Movie Reviews

 

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