My Name is Bruce (Blu-ray / DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Grace Thorsen, Ellen Sandweiss, Dan Hicks
Directed by Bruce Campbell
Distributed by Image Entertainment
My Name is Bruce is finally hitting home video thanks to Image Entertainment, and there's good news and bad news. The good news? This flick is a must-see for the hardcore Bruce fans out there. The bad news? For the rest of us it kind of sucks. Before we get into all of that, though, let's do a quick story recap for the uninitiated out there.
Campbell, playing himself, is frustrated with doing films like the current one he's involved in, Cave Alien 2. He feels as if he should be on Hollywood's A-List or at the very least given some respect amongst his peers. Good thing for him a teenager from a small town named Gold Lick has unwittingly released Guan Di, the Chinese God of War and Bean Curd(!). After realizing the hell he has just unleashed, our hapless teen turns to the only man he knows who can handle demons! This is Bruce's chance to finally feel needed, but he thinks it's all a put-on for his birthday. Before you know it, things become all too real as heads begin to literally roll. Will Bruce turn tail and run, or will he be inspired by the great Ash and fight the hell-beast as a means to save face and get the girl? In a nutshell, that's pretty much the story, and on paper it sounds like a good idea if handled right.
It's too bad it was Bruce himself handling the material. What we have here is an hour and a half of self-referential masturbation disguised as humorous quips. Okay, Bruce, we get it. You're the director, you're the star, the film revolves around you, we know you can be funny. It's like listening to the same joke told relentlessly without taking a breath. Truth be told, there are a few genuinely funny moments here and there, and the rampant beheadings and eviscerations by Guan Di were at times pretty cool, but wow! What an overall headache of a film.
If you loved the movie, which for me was akin to having Bruce cum in his hand and fling his load at you like Spider-Man slinging a web, then you will love the special features. They're all about guess who? It should be noted that the special features are identical on the Blu-ray and DVD, and yes, of course in Hi-Def everything looks and sounds better.
Things kick off with a commentary that at this point I just could not listen to all of with Campbell and producer Mike Richardson. It seemed kind of lively, but the real meat of the supplemental material can be found in the hour-long documentary The Heart of Dorkness, which is a lighthearted if not dumb look at every facet of making this movie. Still need more? You asked for it. From there are five featurettes mostly about Bruce and making Bruce's movie, but there are a couple of bright spots -- One is the Love Birds featurette in which Jake from Evil Dead 2 and The Blacksmith from Army of Darkness profess their love for one another, and the other is the mock behind-the-scenes of the film within the film Cave Alien 2. Other than that we get trailers and several photo galleries. I have to say it's quite a haul of material and truthfully more enjoyable than the film.
This one is a hard one to rate. As stated in the opening paragraph, huge Bruce fans will probably think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Speaking as someone who digs Bruce but is in no way a super-fan, I found My Name is Bruce to be a strictly middle-of-the-road experience, and don't even get me started on that friggin' song! At the very least Evil Dead fans will have some fun spotting the familiar faces. I guess that's something, right?
2 1/2 out of 5
4 out of 5
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