Reviews In Short is a regular feature here on Thoughts On Film that basically consists of short, paragraph-long reviews of movies I have watched recently, old and new alike, which I didn’t get a chance to review in full. As always feel free to comment with your own thoughts and opinions on each of the films.
Here Comes the Boom
Clearly first conceived as an Adam Sandler vehicle, Here Comes the Boom instead stars his good buddy Kevin James as a biology teacher who in order to save the job of a fellow teacher decides to become a mixed martial arts fighter. A lukewarm mix of Rocky, Warrior and School of Rock, the film is just not funny enough to sustain its runtime, despite a supporting cast that includes Henry Winkler and Salma Hayek. It gets more and more ridiculous as it goes along (a romantic sub-plot is particularly heavy-handed and unbelievable) and the mawkish sentimentality doesn’t exactly help matters either. It’s not terrible by any means but neither dumb enough to be funny for its sheer stupidity nor clever enough to provide any substantial laughs. James being sick on another fighter is about as good as it gets. 2/5
Love Bite is the type of low-budget teen comedy that gives the British film industry a bad name. It centres on a group of teenagers who find their small seaside town under threat from the presence of a werewolf which prays on virgins. We specifically follow Jamie (Ed Speleers) who takes a shine to Juliana (Jessica Szohr) , an American girl visiting the UK as part of her job as a travel writer – the only trouble is she is suspected of being the werewolf on the loose in the town. Shamefully borrowing its archetypal Brit male teen characters and vulgar laddish humour from The Inbetweeners but with none of the wit or likability of that show, this is juvenile, painfully unfunny stuff with not even close to the level of scares and/or gore to satisfy the horror junkies who may happen across it in the hope of getting the base thrills the genre has the potential to offer. Comedy/horror of this ilk is not hard to find and in the case of Love Bite it’d be wise to look elsewhere. 1/5
Monster Brawl might just be the biggest waste of a great idea I’ve seen in quite some time. The film brings together some of the most famous monsters in fantasy horror history, from Frankenstein to The Mummy to Cyclops (and a few others inspired by but not exactly those you’ve heard of), and gets them to do battle in a wrestling ring. Sounds cool, right? Indeed it does. But the film monumentally squanders that premise with atrocious dialogue, zero attempt to weave together any sort of story to cling onto, bad special effects and the worst kind of hammy acting from real-life wrestling stars like Jimmy Hart and Kevin Nash. And to make matters worse the actual fights themselves are repetitive, boring and very tame when you consider the potential. Only the half-way decent make-up (at times) impresses in this otherwise utter waste of a movie. 1/5
The American Scream
I love a good documentary, whether it be a deeply serious one about important issues than can educate or a light and quirky one which can entertain. The American Scream is an example of the latter. Made by director Michael Stephenson (of Best Worst Movie fame), it looks at the peculiar hobby/obsession of “House Haunting,” which is basically people who take the idea of decorating the house for Halloween to the extreme. The doc specifically follows three separate House Haunters who all live within the same town as they prepare throughout the month of October leading up to the big night. A charming and idiosyncratic film anchored by three likeably passionate guys (and their surprisingly understanding families) who go the extra mile to do up their homes and even make them into haunted house walk-throughs for the local trick-or-treaters, all for the love of a good scare. 3.5/5
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That’s it for Reviews In Short – until next time!