• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

My Name Is Bruce

TITLE: My Name Is Bruce

YEAR: 2007

GENRE: Horror and Comedy

It is pretty safe to say that Bruce Campbell is the current king of B-rated cinema. Between his legendary role as the not-so-bright square jawed Ash in the cult classic Evil Dead trilogy to his epic cameos in the Spiderman films to his over the top roles in films such as Bubba Ho-Tep, Campbell is raised over and above any living actor or actress who dares venture into his low budget territory. Although mentioning Campbell’s name in the same sentence with Vincent Price as one of the very greatest B-movie actors is a premature glorification at this time, a few more epic roles may change that. One aspect of his career that Campbell has done is actually create a full-length parody film of his own history and rabid fanbase, something that I am sure Price did not do in his own illustrious career. My Name Is Bruce does have its short comings, but is a comical and often charming production that takes a tongue firmly planted in cheek look at his career.

Four teenagers venture into an old cemetery where they vandalize some 19th century graves of some Chinese mine workers killed in a cave-in. Much to the surprise of the teens, they awaken the demon Guan-Di (played by James J. Peck) who has been charged to protect the souls of the miners and to destroy anybody who disturbs their eternal rest. Jeff (Taylor Sharpe), the lone surviving teenager, is lost in the world of low budget cinema so he does what any normal teen would do to save the day: find his favorite action movie star Bruce Campbell (himself), a washed-up has-been drunkard,  to come to the town to save the day. Bruce believes that this is all a ploy cooked up by his agent to celebrate his birthday, so he plays along and goes to the town to be the proverbial hero. However, when Campbell discovers that the monster is literally real and is killing the townspeople he discovers a second enemy: his own short comings.

For those who have not seen the Bruce Campbell catalog may be lost with some of the in-jokes, but there are more than enough routines in My Name Is Bruce to make the film a fun time on the old sofa. Campbell is a pretty funny drunk, especially when he needs a drinking buddy and drafts his dog to load the mutt with “hooch for the pooch”, the scene where he is making a bad sci-fi film and gets about ten gallons of slime tossed at him after an alien kill is downright funny, and the line when asked if he is prepared to confront the demon he states “Kid, I made a movie in Bulgaria, I’m ready for anything”. There are also several guest appearances fromCampbell’s film including Ellen Sandweiss (The Evil Dead) as an uninterested mom who catches Campbell’s eye and Ted Raimi (The Evil Dead) as a sign painter. What does not work for My Name Is Bruce is the overly dumb antagonist, as Guan-Di is not so exciting as a hack and slash villain including a cheesy Chinese samurai mask with glowing eyes. In addition, Campbell is downright funny but the rest of the cast seems to just be cashing a paycheck as the acting is pretty sub-par in most cases and grossly over exaggerated in others.

It has been announced by Dark Horse Studios that a sequel entitled Bruce Vs. Frankenstein is currently in production and should see the light of day in 2012. I am sure that the Bruce Campbell fanatics will be lined up waiting with baited breath, but in the meantime My Name Is Bruce is a fun parody of the schlock moister’s career and is worth watching even though Campbell is the film’s only real shining moment. In this case however, Campbell is more than enough ham for the entire show.

* * *

–Mark

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