Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Phua Chu Kang Movie Postmortem

"PCK Private Ltd! Best in Singapore and JB, and some say Batam!"

Phua Chu Kang

This is not a review.

I did not plan to write again until this weekend because I've still got a tonne of shit to do, but my commitment to the good of humanity necessitates that I relegate my more mundane chores to afterward. Word needs to get out and quick. Phua Chu Kang: The Movie is the worst, most soul-suckingly joyless piece of excrement I have ever seen in my entire life. It is made out of anti-entertainment, a substance new to science discovered by director Boris Boo, and it is an amalgam of orphan tears, terminal cancer and the still screaming souls of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

If this movie has an anus, I would ram a cactus through it.

It all started during a student presentation on orthopaedic short topics in campus today when Shaki leaned over and asked me if I wanted to catch a movie before dinner. Sure thing, I said, and we perused the movie schedule using his phone. We shortlisted Friedberg and Seltzer's Vampires Suck, that new Adam Sandler bromance comedy Grown Ups and Step Up 3D, a dance flick in genuine stereoscopic 3D! That exclamation mark was warranted, by the way. Then, because the stars were aligned in an apocalyptic constellation or something, I saw something else in the listing and went, "Hey, the Phua Chu Kang movie's out!"

And Shaki was like, let's totally check this out, can we make it in time? I was like, sure, sure, I'll drive real fast. I am shaking my head at that two guys now. If I have a time machine, I'd travel right back to that moment, look me in the eyes and knee myself in the balls hard several times.

We both remembered the sitcom to be actually kind of funny back when I still watch television (haven't done so in more than 5 years). Sure, it had brows lower than the hadopelagic zone but comedy about class clashes and racial sterotypes was still something of a novelty here in the Southeast Asian region when Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd first aired (then, our favourite curly haired, yellow-booted Singaporean contractor and his wife moved to Malaysia in the spin-off series Phua Chu Kang Sdn Bhd but I have yet to see a single episode of that). The Movie is set in Kuala Lumpur, devoid of half the original core Singaporean cast. The Movie is also the Child of Satan.

About 5 minutes in, Shaki and I started talking about the movie between us because we can only go without entertainment for so long, and the only source of it available was ourselves. Don't worry because we saw it in the biggest theatre of the Malaccan GSC and the closest anyone else sat to us was like a bajillion seats away - there were 20 people max by my reckoning. So, why the fuck did this cheap small production affront to human dignity get to be shown on the biggest screen when what is essentially the best blockbuster of the year in both scale and creative talent, Inception, was projected on a tiny ass bed linen?! I knew the guy who ran the Malaccan GSC was an idiot even back when I worked part-time under him but c'mon, have some fucking business sense!

"Do you know that in the US, you can walk out of a movie and get a full refund if you do so in the first 15 minutes?" I told Shaki because I was seriously considering to do that. Let me put this in perspective: I watch about 2 to 3 films in the cinema per week and I've done so for years now - and never once, in all my life, have I ever hated a movie enough to want to leave it midway. Shaki and I would preferentially watch movies that we think are going to be crazy awesome or hilariously awful. Yes, we are two guys who would spend good money to watch bad movies because we are total nutjobs capable of seeing the entertainment value in them. But both of us despised this film so much that we were making plans to knife the people who allowed this film to happen as we were seeing it.

"I can't believe I'm saying this but I wish we're watching a 3D dance flick right now," I said and we both laughed like jackasses in that very empty theatre, the first audible peals since the movie started. No one found it funny, not even our dependable Malaysian philistines who ensured that a Senario film gets made like every year since 1999.

When I say that I have seen high school skits better than Phua Chu Kang: The Movie, that's honestly not a hyperbole. There are slapstick gags and physical comedy moments that would appear lame in a kid's cartoon, I shit you not. Obnoxious musical cues pervade every scene. Something shocking about to happen? Scare chord! Wait-a-minute moments were punctuated by the sound of record needle scratches. The quote unquote touching parts had the most typical vanilla uplifting soundtrack to go with them. I was surprised there was not a laugh track to tell us when we are suppose to laugh because I sure as heck couldn't tell. The director also kept pulling amateur camera tricks as if he learned all he knew about film-making from watching bad YouTube videos. There were ridiculous sped-up chase scenes where the camera focuses on a single setpiece and people kept doing off-screen teleportation and popping out of ridiculous places - and at one point, it became all muddled and the pursuers became the ones being chased. Haha, hila-fucking-rious.

And dialogues? Let me give you a sampler. There's an exchange between two characters, the first calling the second a cheater and the second calling the first a thief. It got repeated ad nauseam till they got confused and the first one started calling the second a thief, and the second calling the first a cheater. That's it. That's the joke. It was funnier when Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck did it in 1950. They actually had a punchline then.

Was this film shot over a weekend? I can actually believe that because I don't remember hearing anything about it prior to a fortnight ago. It's apparent to me that Boris Boo doesn't watch movies at all because there's no fucking way anyone can be this clueless about what constitutes entertainment. There was an undisguised, non-satirical advertisement for Nippon Paint grafted right into the middle of the film, and the parts of the movie before and after that felt like they were made as an afterthought. You can cut that bit out and play it on television during ad-time and no one would be able to tell that it came from a movie.

Boris Boo is the Antichrist. I just feel like throwing that out there.

"I can make a better film," I said without irony as we exited our torture chamber. Shaki agreed, also unironically. We also discussed idly if we should find out where Boris Boo lives, sneak a decapitated pig's head into his bed and shit on his lawn. Because there should be such things as justice in this world.

Caught AIDS by watching this movie,
k0k s3n w4i


McGarmott said...

Ooh, thanks for that. I was considering watching it this weekend. I'll watch Step Up 3D and Avatar: Special Edition 3D instead. Not too sure about Feng Xiaogang's Aftermath.

Phoebs said...

i should have warned you bout this yesterday T_T sigh.. i was so frustrated throughout the entire movie. wish i watched love in disguise instead T__T

Vin Tsen Gan said...

Guess when they said don't play-play, they literally meant it. Since it's THAT clueless and ridiculous XD

Your Humble Servant said...

Thanks for your warning :)

Allison said...

hmm quite disappointing to read that it's so bad cz PCK drama was like one of my fav drama of all time and i was kinda looking forward to the movie hoping it'll be even funnier than the dramas themselves. Guess now not anymore. :(

Malek Ku said...

lol..i knew it...pck drama is much better

戏痞三赖 said...

obviously boris never study the
possibility to adapt sit com into
movie situation. looking at the
whole the movie is just like you
say a cheap stack way to live up
phua chu kang legends again.Not
only the plot are thin but the character render so soulless that
i thought i was watching the puppet
show and the script logic also somehow seriously lacking.imagine
our police is so useless that can let a just catch convict leave the police car safe and sound..SO BOLEH
and also the bad influence and value install where rossie is allow to kiss frankie foo walau ehh..speechless..and the most speechless of all..they even decided to come with part 2..OMG plz dun...

obviously so obviously vampire suck parody genre is way way better than PCK...

and ohh..for ur HINT..step up 3D is awsome !! be sure to check it out..

Michelle Chin said...

Sheesh... It's a bastardized version!

"I" the writer said...

WOW! That bad huh...

jfook said...

Oopps I never thought it's gonna be that bad.

Chloe said...

Isizt that bad?Don't play play!

TMBF said...

I've watched a bit of PCK on TV recently. It's just as bad as the movie sounds like. I don't know if the show was ever good, but I can say that if you still like watching the latest episodes, you'll probably enjoy the movie.

I, of course, will watch it, review it, and am looking forward to trashing it. ;)

calvinn said...

watched it and totally agreed with you. i've waste $8.50 on it. totally waste of time. anyway, nanged and visited :)))

Cicadasx said...

Thank you for this
i actually am thinking to watch it
But now, maybe not

k0k s3n w4i said...

McGarmott: glad to have saved you from abject misery then. i wanted to see step up 3D, but our state's only 3D screen isn't playing it. it's either in 2D or nothing :(

Phoebs: you should have warned me! not that i would have listened to you but it's the thought that counts!

Vin Tsen Gan: it's don't pray pray! say it right, mate!

My Humble Servant: you're welcome, man :)

Allison: yes, stay away from the film. watch reruns of the old series instead!

Malek Ku: for shure!

戏痞三赖: shaki and i personally thought the movie was making a statement about how inept our police force is :P vampires suck is by friedberg and seltzer, and unless they have improved tremendously, i doubt i'd like it. those guys don't really understand how to make spoofs, if you ask me :/

Michelle Chin: it's basically an ah-beng live-action cartoon, and that's an insult to cartoons.

"I" the writer: believe it!

jfook: neither did i, mate. neither did i.

Chloe: sure le. worst in singapore and jb, and some say in the history of humanity.

TMBF: i think the best thing about the series in its heyday is the class comedy between the ah beng ah lian couple (pck and rosie) and the upper middle class architect brother and his shrewy, vegan wife (chu beng and margaret). the movie and the spin-off series lacked that. but even if they managed to get the entire original cast back, the movie still has to contend with the atrocious direction. am looking forward to your review of it, by the way :)

calvinn: well, i paid the student price for my ticket so i only lost rm 6. i'd pay an extra rm 6 to forget i saw it.

Cicadasx: if my post can discourage a good number of malaysian and singaporean moviegoers to give the pck movie a pass, i'd feel i have achieved my objective :)

Anonymous said...

I watched the 3D dance flick. It was... a dance flick. Hehe, it did get slightly better towards the end, but the truth is some parts left a lot (and I mean A LOT) to be desired.

k0k s3n w4i said...

lovealynna: i realise that all the movies i saw post-PCK were enjoyable. that movie was so bad that it made everything seem so much better in comparison. it totally reset the bottom of my barrel. besides, i'm only in it for the 3D and dance choreography.

Evie Yang said...

I think everyone kinda expected the movie to be good cos we all had fond memories of how funny Phua Chu Kang used to be..i guess this movie kinda just killed the funny Phua Chu Kang we all had in our minds. :(