/slash 2017 – Day 4: This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy

This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy
USA 2016
Written by Andrew Beszant & Christian Nicolson
Directed by Christian Nicolson
Watched on 24.09.2017

More than anything else, I’m a fan of Science Fiction, be it the new stuff or the classics. Thus, as SF-nerd, “This Giant Papier Mache Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy” was just my cup of tea. Now, obviously, the concept is a rip-off of “Galaxy Quest” (which in itself was the Sci-Fi-equivalent of “Three Amigos!”), just this time, it’s not the stars, but the fans, who get sucked into a SF-B-movie, but for me, that worked really well.

I especially liked the black-and-white-portion. The set of the ship was absolutely awesome, taking recognizable real-world things and putting them there as part of some sort of futuristic device (just as the films and TV-shows of the 50s and 60s often did, out of necessity – just like the makers of this homage), and with lots of funny details in the background (advice: take note of what’s happening in the small windows of the spaceship). It combines elements from all different kinds of movies and TV-shows of that period, as well as the 60s, 70s and early 80s. For instance, the main bad guy clearly is a riff on Emperor Ming from “Flash Gordon”, but that really is just one tiny example (I really don’t want to give too much away). I also really liked the space scenes, which again were very old-fashioned, with models on a string. All of that made the movie incredibly charming. Next to the first half hour or so, my favorite part of the movie was the “Arena”-homage, which was absolutely awesome. Granted, not every gag hits home. Also, one thing that didn’t really work for me was the way some of them, after being transferred into this b-movie, start becoming the characters they inhibit. I think I would have preferred if they would have just stayed themselves, using their knowledge of the SF-genre to get out of tricky situations, et cetera. It also would have been nice if the biggest nerd would have turned out to be the big hero, at least in this scenario. Also, the characters were all rather one-dimensional and not particularly interesting. And, like so many movies at this year’s festival, it’s a tad too long. You could have easily cut 15 minutes without losing anything essential. Then again, whenever I thought that the movie started to drag (which happened more frequently with increasing runtime), the next random weird shit (including a Benny Hill-reference), which made me laugh or at least smile, was just around the corner. Thus overall, despite its weaknesses, I mostly had a blast.


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