Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Top 20 Cinema Snob Episodes

The entire show is a big extended joke on how ridiculously smug and wrong-headed some of the more popular film critics can get. A joke that was apparently so funny that, especially nowadays, he constantly feels the need to wink at the audience to tell them that it’s just a joke… time after time after bloody time. Look, I get that Internet fandoms don’t exactly spawn the most rational creatures (case in point: this entire bleeding month) but it’s rather unsettling that he would become so jaded by comments to take this course of action. That, and he dares to mock my Lord and Saviour, but we’ll get to that later in the month. In the meantime, I’m counting down the 20 best episodes of The Cinema Snob.

Starting out on a weird reminiscence on Uncle Creepy, this review of a pretty damn irritating Thanksgiving slasher film is pretty standard for Brad’s riffing skills. Alongside questioning the actions of a character literally named Mistake and the badly realized death scenes, he also gets weirdly personal when talking about eating foods that you don’t like… that is honestly kind of awesome in a homespun kind of way.

#19: The Lonely Lady

In recent years, the Snob has taken to looking into instances of what he likes to call “What The Fuck, Hollywood?!” and, even as that umbrella covered the infamous John Wayne epic The Conquerer, I’d still count this as the best of that lot. It’d normally be rather difficult to crack jokes about the infamous use of a garden hose in this film, but out of both the scene’s own absurdity and the Snob’s wording, he turns it into a running gag that carries a lot of the review. That, and pointing out the horrors of a film about screenwriting that apparently doesn’t know thing one about writing a good script.

Without a doubt, one of the weirder musicals out there (and yet, it wouldn’t even be the weirdest that has appeared on the show) and while I do think that he’s a little too harsh on the film’s sense of humour, there’s something kind of fun about just how much he gets into some of the musical numbers. Just… try to ignore how badly framed Brad’s camera work is here; seriously, unless your name is Colin Mochrie, no-one should have that much head room on screen.

#17: Wired

While looking at this really tasteless biopic on comedic legend John Belushi, you can tell that a lot of what is being said isn’t coming from the Snob but from Brad himself. His disappointment at how much Chiklis’ performance is wasted on this pissed-on-grave of a script, combined with his complete cut downs of the events depicted that paint a rather shallow view of Belushi; you get a very strong feeling that Brad genuinely detests this thing, without descending into typical Internet reviewer extravagant rage.

One of the big staples of the series are Nazisploitation flicks, and this might be the only time that the Cinema Snob has legitimately come across as a snob with a film he’s reviewing. Rather than doing his usual satire of hoity-toity film critics, he comes across as someone who is very learned in this sub-genre and highlights how this film is pretty much just a weird and uninspired highlight reel of the entire genre. I’d say that it’s a testament to his skills that he is able to make cannibalism funny, but then again this wouldn’t be the first (nor the last) time he’d do so.

#15: Bat Pussy (DVD)

Yep, a DVD-exclusive episode. And, oddly enough, not the one where Brad shows his dick. Yes, that actually happened. As for this episode though, from his recent Unerotic Fantasies DVD, it’s essentially a re-do of one of his previous reviews and, in this case, it makes sense. Just how ugly and anti-sexy the film truly is only comes through when the scenes in question don’t have to be censored. As a result, this does require a strong-ish stomach but Snob definitely shows how this is easily one of the worst pornos out there.

Apart from showing that he knows so much more about Super Mario Bros. (and gaming in general, if we’re being honest) than the people behind this little-known porno spoof, I’d actually rank this up there among his arguable “classic” episodes. It highlights a lot of his style of humour, which is helped by how a lot of jokes hit hard like the 1-up gag, and it’s compacted to the point where there isn’t anything that feels like it could be cut out.

#13: Troll 2

When dealing with a film as notorious as Troll 2, you can be forgiven for thinking that it’d be hard to say something different about the material. As such, along with his usual wisecracks about the infamously bad acting, he actually goes into possible reasons for why it’s as bad as it is, like going into the production history involving director Claudio Fergasso. Hell, he even gives some credence to this being an actual sequel to Troll which, given how haphazard the name would be used after the release of Troll 2, is a pretty tall order.

#12: Dolemite

In a more perfect world, the Snob would be reviewing a lot more Blaxploitation films, going by The Black Six as well as this review. He acknowledges the film’s surprisingly prevalent legacy, but also highlights the film’s very evident flaws such as the drinking-game-level appearances of the boom mic and how Rudy Ray Moore seems to be literally sleeping through his performance. “At this point, just film the entire fucking movie in front of a giant mirror!”

A fictionalized account of the very real case of the Illinois Enema Bandit, this film is ripe for mockery. And keeping up with his surprising track record for making one-track jokes work for an entire episode, he makes this video full of enema and bodily fluid jokes really effective. In particular, when he has to describe the action on screen that, from the sounds of it, not even the best censorship boxes could salvage.

For as funny as the review itself is, especially his reaction to the further punishment given to an inmate that already had his tongue cut out, this video makes the list primarily for the ending fight scene between the Snob and sister show host Kung Tai Ted. It might be one of the few instances where someone actively trying to make a bad fight scene has looked good, with the obvious sound effects and “not even trying to hide it” stunt doubling making for a very fun finale.

Yep, we got cannibals again on this list. That should give you a good indicator of how… unsavoury some of the review material can get with this show. His reactions to the cartoonish levels of gore are always fun, his jokes aimed at a particularly promiscuous character that hit funny without hitting slut-shaming, and him field-testing a rather bizarre bit of pillow talk give him and Jillian a pretty damn funny exchange. Also, him dancing to the music playing during the New York scenes is kind of adorkable in its own way.

#8: Hercules

More so than any other video on this list, I think this is the one that I have come back to the most. Every time the “As the Ghost of Christmas Present…” line comes up, I immediately crack up no matter what’s going on at the time. Don’t let that give the impression that this is a one-joke review, as the Golan-Globus production qualities and the frankly absurd events of the film provide a lot of joke fodder. Now that we finally know how Ursa Major came to be, I am only filled with even more burning questions. Namely, what in the hell just happened?!

#7: I Spit On Your Grave (Parts 1 & 2)

Reviewing a film most widely known for its extended rape scene, that is also the film’s friggin’ centrepiece, would be a rough ask for any critic, even on with as high a belt in Riff-Fu as the Snob. However, through a tie-in bit with the Cinema Snob Movie that is actually just as effective even without having seen it, he makes a pretty choice statement about the gender double standard with these kinds of films. Even though I should be commending him for actually making this film watchable, let alone humourous, that one segment in the first half is another one of those “You have my undying loyalty” moments.

#6: Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls

One of the primary influences for the character of the Snob was Roger Ebert’s snootier side, like when he reviewed Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. So you could guess that Ebert’s unfortunate death would have a definite impact on this show. As such, when the Snob takes a look at a film co-written by Ebert himself, the Snob barely plays a part as you can tell a lot of the jokes and connections made are with Brad, making for a frankly resonant and retrospective review.

While I can understand why some people have a problem with referential humour, there is a certain art to making those kind of jokes work. Take, for instance, this video is laden with Simpsons jokes at a mile-a-minute. Porn parodies like this are usually pretty blank slates for straight riffing, and even the Snob himself admits that these are pretty easy episodes to write for, but that doesn’t change how masterful the arrangement of jokes in this episode are.

You know that one guy who keeps trying to predict what's going on in a murder mystery on the fly while watching it, just so that he can say he was right? This might be the only time that such a person was tolerable, let alone funny. His live commentary and self-congratulatory tone highlight one of the funnier manifestations of the Snob's ... snobbish aspects. That, and his popcorn acting is top-notch.

Part parody of the film, part hyper-realistic depiction of the making of the review, this is Brad at his filmmaking best in terms of his reviews. Aside from his usual high standard for comedy, his back-and-forths with co-star Brian are solid, the reactions from Jillian and Jerrid are funny, and the overall ‘storyline’ is incredibly loose with a non-ending but it’s pretty fitting for the genre of film he’s looking at.

#2: Maniac

I have very, very regularly brought up how I hate the elitist mindset that some critics have. So it should come as no surprise that I highly approve of this particular video, which is a colossal piss take of not only the critical response of the film in question but also of that mindset in general. Not only that, through the Snob’s facetious demeanour, Brad shows how much the film actually does well and even brings up the hypocritical attitude that would come with the majority of critics who reneged Maniac when compared with other films that they otherwise praised.

#1: Caligula (Parts 1 & 2)

For the 100th episode, Brad decided to review his favourite movie (a recurring theme amongst these guys) and not only did he pull out all the stops in terms of cameos, all of which are funny in their own rights, he also unloads all sorts of tidbits and jokes about the film itself. You can clearly tell that this is a film that Brad has a lot of admiration for, both with the details he points out and the general air in which he depicts its frankly insane contents.

Now, don’t think that our look into the work of Brad Jones is over just yet. Oh no. Come back next time where I’ll be taking a look at his first feature-length film: Freak Out.

No comments:

Post a Comment