DVD Tuesday: Hot Fuzz pokes pitch-perfect fun at the excesses of Hollywood cop pictures while simultaneously delivering real action. How cool is that?
Hot Fuzz courtesy Universal
This week's DVD Tuesday pick isn't profound or obscure or controversial: I just loved it.
does for American-style buddy-cop pictures what
Shaun of the Dead
(2004) did for zombie movies: Writer-director
take every cliché, every stock character, every narrative contrivance and give it a sly half twist. The result is so close to the real thing, a careless channel surfer could go right by without realizing it wasn't, while being completely, utterly hilarious - even more so on a second viewing.
Pegg plays London supercop Nicholas Angel, whose compulsive overachieving has cost him his girlfriend and his job: The girlfriend because she's sick of competing with the job and the job because everyone else is sick of competing with Angel and coming up short. So to keep peace in the ranks, Angel's superiors ship him off to quiet, ye olde Sanford, where the overzealous Angel busies himself busting locals for driving under the influence - including his soon-to-be partner PC Danny Butterman (
Shaun of the Dead
) - and meeting the zealous neighborhood watch whose primary concern is making sure no one messes with the town's brilliant flower beds.
Mistakenly calling in reinforcements to disarm an inert WWII-era bomb in a local codger's shed destroys whatever credibility he may have had, so when Angel detects a pattern in the increasingly bizarre and bloody accidents that keep felling upstanding Sanford citizens, fellow cops and civilians alike pooh-pooh it. But - in a nod to hundreds of bucolic English mysteries in which nastiness lurks beneath the small-town cobblestones - there's
going on and Angel won't stop until he finds out what it is.
is a doozy, and before the rip-roaring showdown in a child-sized replica of Sanford, Angel has come riding back into town like Clint Eastwood, ready to right a punishing world of wrongs. And rest assured, that runaway swan the chief keeps badgering Angel and Butterman to round up and return to its pond plays a very special part in the film's ludicrously bloody conclusion.
was, it spawned a school of broad, gross and incoherent movies that barely bother to find an overarching conceit on which to hang their witless jibes at popular movies, trends and whatever else they can sling a bodily function joke at.
Shaun of the Dead
are something else entirely: Wright and Pegg pitch their films to people who, like them, know and love their targets. Sure, they may get exasperated with the dumber
-style zombie pictures, or lose patience with the insane excesses of, say,
- that's where the poking fun comes in. The
films drip contempt, but
is made by fans for fans fans who can take a joke.
Things to consider:
Favorite movie parodies? Which ones and why? Parodies you really hate?
The line between a smart spoof and the real thing can be very thin and that's part of the thrill - I think immediately of
An American Werewolf in London
, which has its laughs and rips them to shreds, too. Thoughts?
The appeal of genre movies is that they're all the same only different. Is there a genre you really love (for me it's horror), and what does it take for a movie in that genre to lose you?
Send your movie questions to FlickChick.
See Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this week's new flicks on the Movie Talk vodcast!
Hear Maitland on the weekly podcast TV Guide Talk!
Previously in DVD Tuesday:
Ace in the Hole
Eyes Without a Face
Gone in 60 Seconds
Bob le Flambeur
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
I'm Not Scared
Shocking Grindhouse Double Bill! - Scanners and The Candy Snatchers
Don't Look Now
Kiss and Make Up
Kiss Me Deadly
The Long Good Friday
What Alice Found
The Devil's Backbone
The Devil Wears Prada
The Thief and the Cobbler
Panic in the Streets/Jack Palance Interview
The Pusher Trilogy
In Cold Blood
This week's new DVD releases