Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jackboots In Whitehall

Long long ago, on an island far away, the British did some funky things with puppets. "Thunderbirds," was to me a weirdly disturbing view as a kid. Folks today talk about the "uncanny valley," when dealing with CGI but there was just something disturbing about watching a puppet buried up to his neck in the desert sand suffering from the heat. On the one hand I knew it was only wood, on the other there was a reality to it not a part of animation. The disconnect left me feeling almost ill.

"Jackboots in Whitehall," is a direct descendant of Thunderbirds, but I've grown up some since then so puppets don't bother me anymore.  We won't mention either that one episode of "Nanny and the Professor."  Anyway, what we have here is a rather straight forward satire of WWII movies.  Here we have the nazis actually invading England only to be thwarted by a motley gang of brits, yanks, and anyone else that hates nazis.  The subplot has our main hero forced to stay out of the war because of his ginormous hands.  Of course, this makes him attractive to the ladies cause you know what they say about big hands...it means you are a Scotsman.  Unlike Team America, this film is only mildly naughty. 

You can't fault the puppetry, and moves along fairly well.  It just lacks say about ten percent more umphf to put it over the top.  Unlike a lot of current films they keep the in jokes to a minimum but there were some odd references to "Braveheart," "Zulu," and of all things "Independent day."  I think, it could have used even more nazis.  You can't go wrong with more nazis in a film I always say.  Over all though, I liked it enough to remain interested.

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