Sunday 8 July 2012

Flight of the Melvin (2011)

Director: Paul DeNigris
Stars: Isaac DeNegris, Laura Durant and Shane Dean

After reviewing Parallax, this year's peach of a Paul DeNigris film, I felt I should follow up with this one. It's as frivolous as Parallax is serious but, while it's certainly not of the same quality, it's a heck of a lot more fun. It's also notable because it has his son, Isaac DeNigris, in the lead role of Melvin, graduating from supporting slots in so many of his films, and because it has Shane Dean, who I still see primarily as the neo-Nazi in Death Factory: The Bloodletting, however many of his films I see, playing every one of a whole host of little green men on a flying saucer (oh, and the yellow and blue ones too). Yes, it's that much fun. Both of them must have had a blast filming this seven minute comedy, as their enjoyment is so contagious that it reaches through the screen at us. It's a family friendly affair, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's some sort of soporific Disney picture with cutesy singing candlesticks. It's so much better than that.

Melvin is a space nerd in Pleasantville. He has the glasses and the models and he knows how to use the tools. His only flaw is that he never remembers to clean the birdcage, but this ripping yarn renders that unimportant. He builds himself a jetpack with cool wings and flies up into the sky for an adventure as predictable as it is fun, just like the score which is suitably uplifting and optimistic but exactly what we'd conjure up in our heads if we turned off the sound. If it wasn't for the CGI, it would feel like a fifties film. Certainly Melvin would be a better fit there, with its emphasis on engineering over video games, than here today. The biggest flaw is that it ends; I want to see a Melvin feature, albeit one with a more expansive storyline than this little slice of adventure. After that, it's the rear projection which isn't as good as the jetpack, the flying saucer and especially its doors. The fun overrides that though. I dare you to leave this without a grin.

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