Monday, September 6, 2010
Take The Edge Off With Down Periscope
I got back from my Labor Day weekend camping trip today. Had a great time down in Rehoboth Beach. Camped with Ms. Grump, enjoyed the beach, got the obligatory sunburn, and went out to eat where we were served by one of the many Eastern Europeans who live in Rehoboth Beach. Don't believe me? Go to the Delmarva area sometime and if you go out to eat more than twice I guarantee you will have a blond girl in her late teens or early twenties telling you to "For please to enjoy your dinnertime."
Oddly enough, though, after a fun weekend away with my special lady, the part that inspired me to come back to my "Take The Edge Off" segment after many weeks off was the movie we watched when we got back, Down Periscope. And I can't even tell you this is a good movie. In fact, on paper, it's kind of a piece of shit. Kelsey Grammar plays a submarine captain who is put in charge of a Korean era vessel with a rag tag group of misfit sailors in an exercise set up to fail by the douche bag admiral played by professional douche bag Bruce Dern. It's not exactly inspired film making.
But it's also one of those movies that I cannot help but watch whenever it's on. It's just so committed to its crappiness that I just have to smile the whole way through. Everyone knows this is a stupid movie, and so they just go for it. Rob Schneider, the master of giving his all to cinematic turds, is great as the second in command. The director, even on a B-level movie like this one, knew to keep Schneider's role secondary and as brief as possible so as to keep him from getting stale. Basically, he just comes in from time to time to act like an asshole, especially towards the cook, and then he gets thrown off the boat two thirds of the way through the movie. Oh yeah, spoiler alert, by the way.
The always underrated Harland Williams also has a great role (I'm using this term relatively folks) as the "ears" of the sub, which basically consists of running jokes about how he can hear even the faintest of noises. Unfortunately, the fine contributors over at YouTube haven't felt the need to keep the stock of quality Down Periscope clips up to date, so all I have for you is a poor definition segment featuring Williams impersonating a whale. I still think it's funny though.
I think the only thing I could have really done without in this movie was the character Stepanek, who seems to be an attempt to include a good looking bad boy male in the cast. I'm pretty indifferent as to how well they pull this off in the movie, but when I see the guy who plays Stepanek, I can't help but think that he probably had hopes that this would be his big break into leading man stardom. And since I couldn't tell you what the hell the actor's name is at this point, I think we all know how that turned out for him. That kind of makes me sad.
The more I think about it, the more I think that I may be giving you bad advice in recommending this movie. I'm just picturing you watching this movie and deciding 15 minutes into it that I'm an idiot and should not contaminating the internet with my stupid bullshit. But then I remember that that I'm not the only one in my circle of friends who likes the movie. Plus, the internet is already filled with stupid bullshit, so a little bit more can't hurt. So I say give the movie a shot. If you have Netflix, you can even watch Down Periscope free through instant streaming, so it's not like you have a whole lot to lose. A more ringing endorsement you are not likely to find. And, if nothing else, you can play "Spot Patton Oswalt" in his Extras-like two line role in the movie.