Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Disaster Movie

Review by Chris Keller

“Directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer”.  Is there any other credit that injects such overwhelming fear and disgust into the hearts of cinephiles and casual film-goers alike worldwide?  In recent years, these two “directors” have destroyed the art of moviemaking on levels that rival that other, villain of the internet, director – Uwe Boll. But even some of Boll’s worst schlock looks like Citizen Kane-esque works next to the output of the Friedberg/Seltzer “Movie” movie factory. These films resembles the result of bored monkeys at your local zoo – they’re just mammals throwing poop (poop jokes, in this case) at a wall (or on film) just to see what sticks. And with their latest effort, Disaster Movie, even less sticks then usual.

As anyone who has ever had the displeasure of watching one of these new-age “spoofs” knows, they have an extremely thin plot – or what passes for a plot with these guys. In Disaster Movie, Matt Lanter (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) plays Will, a commitment-impaired man, who cannot provide the relationship that his girlfriend. Amy (Vanessa Minnillo), desperately would like to have. Somehow, predicted by Will’s dream of Amy Winehouse and 10,000 B.C, the world begins to end, leading Will and his band of friends, Calvin (G. Thang), Lisa (Kim Kardashian), and Juney (Crista Flanagan doing a spot-on take of Ellen Page), to save Amy from the Museum of Natural History.

Within the first five minutes, the audience is treated to such comedic gold as Amy Winehouse belching for 2 minutes straight or Will waking up next to Flava Flav (a joke already used in Epic Movie).  In the first half-hour, an ungodly amount of laughter-stifling send-ups are used, almost to the point where one does not have time to roll their eyes before the next joke is already up to bat. To put it into mathematical terms, within the first 30 minutes, there is an unfunny joke every 15 seconds, although there’s only a pity chuckle once every 20 minutes or so. This leaves you with a joke-to-laugh ratio of only 80:1 – making for one extremely gag-inducing, and very humorless, first act.

However, to the credit of these two filmmakers, as the movie moves into its second act, they slow down the culture references quite a bit and start developing some jokes. For instance, the sequence in which the chipmunks from Alvin & The Chipmunks attack the group in a warehouse is very well-played, especially when the chipmunks turn evil and start rocking out to the sounds of some Rob Zombie-like heavy metal. On the other hand, they can take a mildly humorous scene and stretch to the point of wanting to walk out of the theater, i.e. when the cast of High School Musical performs a foul language song-and-dance that painfully lasts almost 15 minutes, even though it feels much, much longer. If only Friedberg and Seltzer would take their grain of salt of a movie-related joke and flesh it out or actually satire it, they would have an immensely superior product on their hands.

And it seems that these two know that there are not enough movies in the universe to simply reference at the pace that they do, since they branch out to make fun of things and/or people that have nothing to do with Hollywood. They attack such non-sequitur products such as eBay, those Head-On commercials, the funny “dropped calls” AT&T commercials, Facebook (they call it FaceNook – hilarity ensues), MySpace, Ambien, American Gladiators (an extremely stupid joke about Wolf runs throughout the whole movie), and My Super Sweet Sixteen. They even end the film with a take-off of those “I’m F%cking (insert movie star)” viral videos that encompasses almost every character that appeared within the movie.

With such movies taking their respective hits to the face (Iron Man, Hellboy, The Dark Knight, Hancock, You Don’t Mess With Zohan, Wanted), it’s obvious that the filmmakers responsible have become disenfranchised with simply spoofing movies, they apparently are now going after trailers of films. Such a lowdown practice would be headache-inducing if everyone didn’t already expect such from this class of “Movie” movies. Even though it seems like the Apocalypse-causing team of Friedberg and Seltzer have no sense of what any audience wants, they do know enough to get some fresh faces in the female department – they smartly kill off Carmen Electra and introduce two new C-list actresses with something to look at – Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Minnillo. While their acting talents somehow come off as worse than Electra’s, they are presented in a bevy of low cut dresses and skintight leather outfits. And when you’re watching one of these abdominal spoofs, that’s about all you can expect to enjoy for 90 minutes.

1 ½ / 5 stars

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