July 20th, 2008

FARCE OF THE PENGUINS (2006) **

 

If you’re like me, then you were probably wondering how in the heck a movie like March of the Penguins made like a zillion dollars.  In that respect, this parody of that Wild Kingdom bullshit seemed like a good idea.  Add to the fact that it was written, directed and performed by Bob Saget, a man who can be very funny when he’s able to say the four letter words he wasn’t allowed to say in the presence of the Olsen Twins.  (He also happened to direct the woefully neglected comedy classic Dirty Work.)  Unfortunately, Farce of the Penguins is pretty hit or miss. 

 

The plot is the same as March:  A bunch of horny penguins walk 80 miles in the Antarctic snow to find suitable mates to get funky with.  This time though, Saget and a bunch of his comedian cronies (who include Lewis Black, Gilbert Gottfried, and Tracy Morgan) dub over the penguins’ voices and make them all out to be horny dudes looking to score. 

 

This all could’ve worked but the premise is beat into the ground early on.  It also doesn’t help that a lot of the jokes just aren’t very funny.  Sure there are a handful of chuckles to be had, but there are very, very few laugh-out-loud moments.  For the most part, the film plays like an overlong Saturday Night Live Sketch with lots and lots of profanity.  Having the always great Samuel L. Jackson narrate the film was an inspired touch but it’s Harvey Fierstein who steals the show as the voice of Sheila the panda.

KINJITE: FORBIDDEN SUBJECTS (1989) *** ½

 

Charles Bronson stars in one of his best non-Death Wish movies of the 80’s.  It’s also one of his most warped.

 

Charley B plays a cop who is VERY protective of his teenage daughter.  He’s also a big time racist who HATES Orientals.  (At one point he tells his superior, “Could you put someone else on the case who’s a little bit more sympathetic to the Asian community?”)  The only thing he hates more than his daughter’s horny boyfriends and random Japanese people are PIMPS; especially the ones who specialize in underage girls.  There’s this particularly sleazy pimp named Duke (Juan Fernandez from Crocodile Dundee 2) who kidnaps and taints the innocence of a Japanese businessman’s (James Pax) young daughter.  Bronson has to learn to put his prejudices aside in order to solve the case. 

 

But just because Charles Bronson has to watch his P’s and Q’s around the Asians, doesn’t mean he still can’t throw a black guy off a building and hit a Mexican with a crane though.

 

Kinjite:  Forbidden Subjects was the NINTH and final pairing of Big Chuck and director Lee J. Thompson, and boy was it ever a good one.  Sure, the film has its fair share of problems.  For one, there’s that subplot about Pax feeling up Bronson’s daughter that goes absolutely NOWHERE.  The whole time we’re expecting Bronson to find out what happened and either A) kick the shit out of the guy B) be torn between still helping the guy find his missing daughter and kicking the shit out of the guy, or C) not helping the guy find his daughter and then kicking the shit out of the guy.  Unfortunately NEITHER happens.  Nothing.  Not even when Bronson’s daughter recognizes Pax as her molester.  Talk about a missed opportunity to bring some moral issues into the movie, not to mention another opportunity for Bronson to kick the shit out of some more people. 

 

Speaking of that Japanese dude with the missing daughter, WAY too much time is spent on his home life.  Yeah I know that Thompson was trying to show the difference between Japanese and American cultures, but if he had cut out all of Pax’s back story, it probably could’ve saved us all about 15 minutes. 

 

Now it may seem like I’m harping, but in the scheme of things, these are really minor complaints.  What really matters is that Bronson is in top form and gives one of his all time best performances in this flick.  Not only that; but a lot of this movie is just too fucked up for words.  Like the opening scene where Bronson catches a dude tying up an underage hooker (a pre-Baywatch Nicole Eggert) and trying to shove a dildo up her ass.  Bronson sees this and gets so damn mad that he tosses the guy around the room and then says, “Now you’ll know how it feels!” before SHOVING THE DILDO UP THE GUY’S ASS!  (Thankfully, it happens off screen.) 

 

In-fucking-credible. 

 

Later in the movie, Bronson corners the pimp and he tries to bribe Bronson with his $25,000 watch.  Chuck gets extremely annoyed by this gesture and makes the dude EAT his own watch!  (“You’ll have to stick your head between your legs to tell the time!”)  We actually don’t see the guy shit out the watch later, but we can all be assured that when he did, it wasn’t a pretty picture.  Finally in the film’s coda, Bronson locks away Duke by putting him in a cell with a gigantic (and horny) male rapist.  (“Now that’s justice!”) 

 

Charles Bronson just HATES criminals’ assholes in this movie, folks.    

 

It doesn’t matter how many shortcomings a movie has, as long as it features Charles Bronson exacting revenge by violating criminals’ major orifices, its okay by me.