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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, September 5, 2008

Title says all you need know about this dumb flick

By Rick Bentley
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

From left, Nicole Parker, Matt Lante, G. Thang and Crista Flanagan are among the cast of "Disaster Movie."

Jon Barren Farmer

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"Disaster Movie"

PG-13, for crude language and gross humor

90 minutes

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"Disaster Movie." The name says it all. Not since the Hindenberg has something crashed and burned as spectacularly as this film.

This is the latest juvenile attempt, released last week, by writer/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer to milk laughs out of the formulas used in their "Scary Movie," "Date Movie" and "Epic Movie." The formula had worn as thin as Kim Kardashian's acting skills by "Meet the Spartans." But that dead horse gets one more severe beating.

The focus of what is supposed to pass as humor are films like "Cloverfield," "Night at the Museum" and "Iron Man." All the writers have done is taken a lot of short bits, many you probably already saw on a late-night network comedy show, and thrown them one at a time at the screen like some cinematic version of a paper wad. But nothing really sticks.

Even when the writers stumble across something that could actually generate humor, they kill it by keeping the bit going loooooooong after the laughs have ended.

Take, for example, the scene where Carmen Electra and Kim Kardashian end up in a professional wrestling-diva fight. Funny idea. They start to fight. They fight some more. They keep fighting. They continue to fight to the point you might actually pray for someone's cell phone to ring in the audience just to end the tedium.

The thread that tries to bind together all of the short comedy ideas has All-American Will (Matt Lanter) trying to get to his girlfriend (Vanessa Minnillo) when the end of the Earth starts. He's joined on his quest by Calvin (G. Thang), who has less acting abilities than a coma patient.

And the final member of their group, Crista Flanagan, does nothing more than repeat characters she played on "MADTv" with send ups of "Juno" and Hannah Montana. Why would anyone pay to see material they have been able to watch for free for years?

Along the way, they run into an assortment of characters from at least two dozen films and television shows.

Through it all, there are only two funny moments. One comes when they run into the Enchanted Princess (Nicole Parker). Her fairytale look at the world, often accompanied by her singing, is explained as being the result of loads of "wonderful mind-altering drugs." That's a wicked parody of the Disney film that works because Parker is the only person in the cast who is funny.

The other funny moment is a jab at "High School Musical." That's the parody that should have been done.

The reality is there was no need for anyone to try that hard. A built-in audience exists for this franchise. This is a movie for anyone who gets the giggles from watching Amy Winehouse burp repeatedly or breaks into laughter when seeing a singing chipmunk bite a man's crotch.