22 May 2016

Why The World Needs SuperBob

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Generally when a British film is made for basically no money, it'll feature an actor whose intensity and regional accent have been dialled up to eleven. Or as they'd say in one of Ken Loach's gritty films, 'dialled up t'eleven'. Oh and by the time of the credits you'll probably want to fucking kill yourself. I mean, don't get me wrong.. I do love movies like Dead Man's Shoes, Hunger, and Nil By Mouth, but they're not exactly 'Friday night fun with pizza and mates' type films are they? Well not unless you're mates with Jeffrey fucking Dahmer, anyway. I have seen one film recently though that was made for slightly less than a packet of Jaffa Cakes and also didn't have me sucking on the car exhaust by the time of the credits. SuperBob tells the story of the world's first ever super-hero who, like Superman, has a variety of amazing powers. Unlike Superman however, Bob is an ex-postman who developed his gifts by being twatted on the back of the head by a falling meteor whilst walking in a park in Peckham. Not to damn it with shite praise but unless the film ends with Bob screaming 'Martha, Martha, Martha' for no fucking reason, then it already sounds like a better story than Batman V Superman.

We all like to wonder what it'd be like if we developed super-powers. It's one of those fun hypothetical questions that we have from time to time, like 'how would you survive a zombie plague', 'what would you do first if you won the lottery', and 'how do you think I should kill my fucking step-mother?' That last one is probably just specific to me and Cinderella, but the point still stands. I'd like to think that if I developed super-powers then I'd use them for the greater good, but I know that in reality I'd probably just become a professional pervert and get really good at stealing shit. Bob however does attempt to do right by the people of the world despite how difficult everybody is making it for him. Has anybody seen Captain America: Civil War yet? Well, you know how that film is all about whether or not the heroes should sign up to the Government's 'Make Me Your Bitch' programme? Well as anally-devastating as I'm sure their make-up sex will be, Iron Man and Captain America could have saved themselves their powered-up pissy-fit by just watching this movie. Does SuperBob suggest that being under the control of the Government will make life easier? As I'm sure the junior doctors, teachers, and the actual decapitated head of an open-mouthed pig will confirm.. obviously fucking not.

Co-written by and starring the comedian Brett Goldstein, SuperBob really is the kind of film that should be seen by everybody. For a start, I know that I've mentioned that its budget was so low that a tramp wouldn't even bother bending over to pick it up, but it's not like it looks cheap. Ever wondered how you can get away with making a super-hero movie without the money for a big special effects spectacular? According to this film, the genius solution is to set it on his fucking day off! I'm sure that the day before and the day after this film takes place Bob would have been dealing with some Doomsday-style alien, whose pixel-based cock alone would require a factory of nerds to work around the clock to produce. However this film's focus isn't on his heroics but on the every day life of a man with relatable anxieties, a high-pressure job, and a date that's fucking with his nerves. The super-hero stuff is almost background to this really, and it wouldn't be impossible to remove it completely and replace it with any other form of celebrity. It's just that unless that celebrity happened to be a suicidal Tony Scott or that bloke who did a parachute jump from space, then you might not get as many 'falling from the sky' slap-stick gags as you do here. Well.. there's like two but you know... they both made me laugh.

I've read a few reviews of this movie and it seems that the most common comparison that people can make with SuperBob is to Shaun Of The Dead. I mean, I guess I can see it a bit, but I think it's a little tenuous. Both involve a likeable British comedian playing a loveable everyman in a low-budget genre movie that isn't shit, which also has a romantic sub-plot that becomes central to its narrative... but you know.. as I resist a “what have the Romans ever done for us' style-punchline to that, I'd say that the two films are basically nothing like each other. Perhaps a closer comparison might be to something like Hancock but only in that it's about a superhero who's held back by his obvious human flaws. In the case of Will Smith's crappy action-er, I guess that would be his addiction to booze and a broad audience hunting, committee-led storytelling team. In the case of SuperBob, it's in the brain destroying, debilitating disease that he received at birth which doctors might refer to as 'being completely fucking British'. Like Hugh Grant at his early-90's and foppish best, Bob is awkward, struggles to say 'no', and fights to remain polite despite increasing pressure. He's also insanely awkward around girls which is an issue that I can also relate to. Although, unlike Hugh Grant, I don't think that neither I nor Bob will get around this problem by simply finding a prozzie and having her suck us off in a car.

Centering the film around Bob's day off obviously works for financial reasons, but it also helps to sell the film's main charm. Brett Goldstein's lead performance is a bit like the acting equivalent of being fucked by a dying Labrador in that it's gentle, a bit tragic, and completely memorable. Being that the film is basically just about him, that innocent, 'heart of gold' vibe essentially transcends to being the tone of the film too. Plus the whole thing is less than eighty minutes long. As of now, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is the twelfth highest grossing movie, world-wide and of all time, and couldn't be more shit if it came out of a donkey's arse and was served for a few quid as an Ikea meatball. However by the eighty minute mark of Michael Bay's dragged-out slab-of-turd toy porno, things haven't even gotten properly started yet. In that same time, SuperBob has spent its first half by being quietly hilarious before moving towards its more sentimental conclusion. Although, it's sentimental but in a 'British Best Man speech' kind of way, in that anything even mildly sappy has to be under-cut with a joke about the main suited-male being a prick.

As I say though, this is the kind of film that you should see because it doesn't put a foot wrong within its moderately ambitious goals. Want a warm romantic-comedy that's actually funny and has enough self-deprecation to stop you spewing up the fucking walls? Something like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice might look difficult to make due to the multi-character balancing act and special effects, but I bet that its creation was made a hell of a lot easier by the truckloads of cash being dumped onto it. That SuperBob has even been made at all is a minor miracle; the fact that it succeeds is not only worth commending but is something that can't even be said of the multi-million dollar Batman V Superman. I discovered this film when I got to 'that age' in which I was angry that God didn't exist. This led me to a Stewart Lee routine about Richard Dawkins on YouTube which got me into the comedian Stewart Lee. This led me towards a love of his comedy partner Richard Herring, which got me into Herring's own RHLSTP(odcast) of which Brett Goldstein was at one point a guest. However as effective as this may have been for me specifically, I suppose relying on this chain of events isn't really a viable method of marketing for a movie.

However I would selfishly quite like either a sequel or at least some other kind of film from either Goldstein or director Jon Drever. So go out, buy SuperBob, enjoy it, tell your friends, and then just buy a few more copies for the hell of it. Throw them on a fire for all I fucking care, as long as the money gets back to the people that matter. I was listening to the radio the other day and the actress Brenda Blethyn told a story about how she'd drawn £200 out of a cash machine before having the money completely devoured by her new pet puppy once she got home. Because of this, she then took the thing to dog training classes where the cheeky mutt decided to do a shit on the floor. The upside being that its shit had a nice new £10 note sticking out of it. Now there are a lot of rubbish films that get more attention than they deserve, but SuperBob is without a doubt the £10 note that should be plucked out from the rest of the shit around it. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time. 



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