Saturday, May 30, 2009

DVD: My Name Is Bruce

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Directed by Bruce Campbell
Written by Mark Verheiden
Starring Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Grace Thorsen, Taylor Sharpe, Ellen Sandweiss, Dan Hicks, Ben L. McCain, James J. Peck

Bruce Campbell has made a career out of being Bruce Campbell. So it's only fair he makes a film about himself. Although it may perhaps be considered an egotistical move on one hand, Bruce spends near enough the entire film mocking himself, his career path, and his movies.

The general storyline of 'My Name Is Bruce' revolves around a small town named Gold Lick which befalls the wrath of the Chinese God of War following the reckless behaviour of a group of teenagers. A much used, and here intentionally mimicked, horror B-movie device. One of the teenagers is an avid fan of Bruce Campbell and his movies, and convinces the town that Campbell can be their only saviour, kidnapping him to be such.

What this movie is essentially aiming at is a tongue-in-cheek take-off of not just Campbell's own movies, but action/horror movies in general, with intentionally-ham-fisted performances, less-than-serious dialogue and a script for Campbell that only Campbell could write. But it's not for Bruce's fans only, although being one does help.

Indeed if approached with the expectation that anything low-budget or corny is meant to be that way, the performances of most involved can be recognised and the good turns that they are. Campbell is obviously perfect playing his movie self, and has written a script to match the general behaviour of the characters he's known for, while Ted Raimi (acting brother of Sam Raimi, director of the 'Evil Dead' trilogy, Campbell's most notable films) appears in three ridiculous but highly amusing roles as Campbell's agent, Wing the aging Chinaman and the handyman responsible for adjusting the population count on Gold Lick's town sign.

The movie plays out mostly as viewers would expect, with Campbell filling the majority of his scenes with over-confident one-liners and the monster involved picking off several bit-part characters and extras until the final showdown. There's a small amount of faux-moral here and there, but it's mostly a well-executed exercise in self-derision for the purposes of humour.

Campbell really doesn't make enough movies anymore, and several references to his generally good performances in otherwise bad productions are both true, and hint that Campbell truly recognises his place.

“ a well-executed exercise in self-derision ”

Special Features: Commentary with Bruce Campbell / Heart of Dorkness - The Making of 'My Name is Bruce' / Awkward Moments with Kif / Bruce on... / Kif's Corner – The Making of Real Fake Posters / 'Cavealien 2' Trailer / Beyond Inside the Cave: The Making of 'Cavealien 2' / Poster art gallery / Prop gallery / Photo gallery / The Hard Truth News From Hollywood – The REAL Bruce Campbell / Love Birds / Trailer / Easter Eggs

Release Date: February 13, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2009
Studio: Dark Horse Entertainment
Feature Running Time: 81 mins
Special Features Running Time: 147 mins
Certificate: 15
Language(s): English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Other Format(s): Blu-Ray