Friday, 25 April 2014
"Frankie Go Boom" on BLU RAY – A Review Of The 2013 Jordan Roberts Film
"…A Strong Kind Man Dipped In Metal…" – Frankie Go Boom on BLU RAY
Sat alone with a laptop in his silver Winnebago in the desert of Death Valley outside Los Angeles – 29-year old Frank Bartlett (Charlie Hunnam) is avoiding his mother’s incessant phonecalls while trying to write a novel on revenge. He basically wants to kill his entire family – or if that’s not possible – then just his older brother Bruce will suffice (Chris O’Dowd).
Bruce - whom his mother Karen affectionately calls a ‘little shit’ - has humiliated and tortured Frankie on film more times than Miss Dharma D-Cup has revealed her wonder chest. But even though the Bartletts are reduced to using mopeds because Bruce sold the car for drugs (“apparently the insurance company doesn’t consider it theft if its family…”) – at least he’s out of rehab and 90 days sober. So there is that.
But while in celeb clean-up Bruce has befriended a whacko Hollywood Director called Jack (Chris Noth) who owns a pig and dates a reformed porn-star (mentioned above) who now wants to commune with God’s angels and not men’s underpants. So perhaps Bruce’s teeny-weeny indiscretion of putting Frankie’s Wedding Disaster video (where his wife sleeps with the best man) up on the Internet for 18 million people to see is all behind him. Well, sort of…
Because on his return home to Bruce’s coming-out-of-rehab party – crashing into Frankie and his beat-up car is the literally edible Lassie on her bicycle wearing a bra made of sweets (and little else). Lassie was going to surprise her boyfriend with her kinky outfit beneath a duffle coat – only he surprised her by being in the arms of someone else. So Lassie is drunk and on a bicycle in Los Angeles and collapses in front of Frankie with a bra made of sweets. What is a nice boy like Frankie to do?
After a wake up conversation in his car – he takes Lassie (the truly gorgeous Lizzy Caplan) back to his home where they go his clubhouse in the back yard. Once inside and sat on the bed - Lassie is determined to have a man desire her after her rebuttal – but unfortunately Frankie is so traumatized by his brother’s humiliation video (made him famous for all the wrong reasons) - he can’t get an erection. Hours go by – but with a little revenge pillow talk - they soon sort out Frankie’s soggy chip and physical and emotional sparks fly.
What they don’t know is that older-brother Bruce has spotted a film opportunity that is just too good to pass up. He’s secretly taped the whole sorry impotence thing and transferred it onto a DVD. Bruce now wants to take this latest Frankie disaster flick to mad Jack as a possible Indie Movie – a sex tape without the sex - even if it means destroying his brother’s life yet again (a small price to pay in the name of art).
Both our lovebirds now wake up not knowing what Bruce has done and Lassie leaves the love-struck Frankie a note – “Thanks for the loveliest and strangest night of my life…” But once inside the house again - Frankie learns from his equally crazy parents (great turns by Sam Anderson and Nora Dunn) what Bruce has done – and in desperate mad cap burglary efforts – tries to get the DVD back from Jack before it goes viral with 35 millions hits and his life is screwed for a second time. And on it goes to Frankie having to show his emotional mettle to a lady in need of a little chivalry…
What makes “Frankie Go Boom” so bloody good is a combo of all the right things – a fantastically funny script by Director and Writer Jordan Roberts and a cast to die for (some of whom worked for peanuts). And like a hip homemade movie reel - it uses hand-written cards to divide scenes and cool Indie tunes in between the set pieces.
But central to it all is the stunning Lizzy Caplan who can probably bat her huge bug eyes at any guy and make them fall in love with her in less than ten seconds (the camera just adores this woman). Siding with her and grounding all the lunacy is Charlie Hunnam who is calm, subtle and just right as the ordinary guy who would be her ‘knight’ when she needs one (dialogue above). Throw in the genius casting of Chris Noth (from “Sex And The City” and “My One And Only”) as a manic Hollywood maverick who wants you to whack his butt to test the firmness of both cheeks as he runs naked on a treadmill - and Ireland’s fabulous Chris O’Dowd as a character who is both obnoxious and adorable at the same time – and you’re on a gigglesome winner.
But the film goes 5-star ballistic when uber tough-guy Ron Perlman (“Sons Of Anarchy”, “Hellboy” and “The Name Of The Rose”) turns up as the heart-of-gold transvestite Phyllis – all make up and fluffy scarves and frilly dresses. His scenes are priceless, achingly funny and even touching (it was a ballsy and smart move on his part to do the role). “I thought one of us in this conversation should be a man…” he advises the lost Frankie on the end of the phone line as Phyllis paints his toenails and smokes a cigar.
I bought the USA Universal BLU RAY (Barcode 025192170461) - which has no REGION B playback problems (plays on UK and Euro machines). The BLU RAY picture quality is superb throughout and the ‘Behind The Scenes’ extra includes interviews with all the cast and the brilliant Writer/Director Jordan Roberts (O’Dowd and Perlman are particularly warm and engaging). There’s 3 film trailers (“Mental”, “A Haunted House” and “Admission”), 6 Deleted/Alternate Scenes and a fun bit on the trained porker ‘Oliver’ called “Pig In the Pool”. Audio is English 5.1 DTS Master Audi and Subtitles are English for the Deaf and Hard Of Hearing, Spanish and French.
“Frankie Go Boom” hits that rare triple whammy with a bullet – it’s cool, it’s sexy and it’s very, very funny.