It’s been a long time since I originally heard about My Name is Bruce. By the time it finally saw its (very) limited theatrical run, I was nowhere near a theater that was showing it and had no choice but to wait for the impending home video release. Enter Image Entertainment with their upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release, complete with hour’s worth of extras and an exclusive comic book from Dark Horse to boot. Although the film is now three years old, fans who were unable to attend one of its many special screenings in the US will now have the chance to add some more Bruce Campbell to their collection.
Something evil is stirring in the small mining town of Gold Lick, and it’s not happy. Guan-di, the Chinese protector of the dead, has been awakened by reckless teenagers, and now his bloody crusade to wipe out the town’s entire population can only be stopped by one man – Bruce Campbell (the guy who starred in all three Evil Dead movies and Bubba Ho-tep), B-movie star and deadbeat ex-husband extraordinaire, who’s recruited to be their unwitting savior. When our hero faces off against a dark force more fearsome than a Hollywood agent, the laughs and screams start flying!
I’d seen the trailer for this film in late 2008 and based on that alone I wanted to see it; while I’m not the biggest Campbell fan alive, I have enjoyed his works, ranging from the Evil Dead’s to his role on Burn Notice (he’s actually the reason I started watching that show) and recently I’ve really spent a lot of time watching his past efforts. So while I didn’t get all of the jokes in My Name is Bruce immediately, I did get the majority of them and as a result of this I realized the film really doesn’t work unless you’re a Campbell fan. Hell, it isn’t even a good film to begin with, but since Bruce is involved, everything is magically made all the better.
After watching the film I wondered aloud why a better plot couldn’t have been constructed, but after reflecting on that for a little bit, I realized it didn’t matter. The only reason you would be watching a film starring a celebrity playing himself is because you like the person and that’s really all that makes this film work. Seeing Campbell act like an ass to fans and hearing him blurt out a series of expletives just makes the whole film all that more entertaining. The references to past works pour in and even Ted Raimi’s various roles in the film are highly entertaining.
Really, there isn’t much here to even comment on. The idea of hiring a celebrity who often plays roles to eradicate a real-live threat is nothing new and reminds one of Three Amigos, which isn’t really a bad thing as I find that movie to be hilarious. Nothing about this film is original, but that really doesn’t mean anything; as I said before, Campbell fans will love it just because it’s Campbell doing what he does best: act goofy and shoot his mouth off.
Overall My Name is Bruce won’t ever be offered an award of any kind, but that shouldn’t keep fans away from it. I will say that unless you can appreciate the man’s works and the man himself, then stay far, far away from this film as it will offer absolutely jack to you otherwise. Recommended for Campbell fans, Skip It otherwise.
It may be a bit overkill to offer up a pretty straight-up indie film in Blu-ray considering you won’t get much of amazing picture, but still—the option is there for those who want it, and it’s nice of Image to offer it. The set itself arrives in a standard single disc Elite case with a bonus comic book and a reflective foil jacket. Menus are simple and easy to navigate (if a bit…generic. Seriously, the stroke on the font is kind of distracting) and offer up plenty of easter eggs.
Video for this film arrives in an AVC encoded 1080p 1.78:1 transfer, which is a bit sketchy. Clarity isn’t quite so sharp in some cases and there is definitely some edge enhancement going on in an attempt to make a crisper image, but overall it’s a pretty underwhelming transfer. The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is, again, more of a “just cause” due to the Blu-ray format, as there isn’t really any big advantage between this and the included DD5.1 track. Mostly focused in the front channels except for the Guan-di scenes, which do admittedly get some surround spread and subwoofer output.
The extras are where fans are going to spend most of their time. First up is a Feature-Length Commentary with director/actor Bruce Campbell and producer Mike Richardson that is really probably the best extra on the entire set (well, one of the best). Campbell and Richardson are as informative as they are entertaining and this is a must-listen for fans of Campbell.
Moving on we have a ton of goodies to check out. The second best extra on this set is the Heart of Dorkness (1:00:02) making-of that is exhaustive in content, as it takes full advantage of the run time and details every process of making this film. Seeing how low-budget everything was really made you appreciates the film even more, but more than that you get to see the on-set antics between cast and crew. The remaining extras are seemingly pulled from the documentary and were things that didn’t necessarily fit in: Awkward Moments with “Kif” (1:59), Bruce On… (4:06), “Kif’s Korner” (2:45), The Hard Truth (3:52), and Love Birds (1:07) all focus on one little thing, as evidenced by their run time.
Next up there is some Cave Alien 2 stuff with Cave Alien 2 Trailer (1:42) and Beyond Inside the Cave: The Making of Cave Alien 2 (8:03) and finally there are Poster Art, Props Art, Photo Galleries and a Trailer (2:20, 1080p). Of course no release would be complete without easter eggs, which this set boasts eighteen of, all ranging from near a minute to only ten seconds in length. All extras, trailer notwithstanding, are presented in 480i.
Overall a packed release and definitely worth picking up, although the audio and video isn’t really all that impressive, so those who can only pick up the standard DVD, don’t be too disappointed—you aren’t gaining much with the Blu-ray release. Once again, Recommended for Campbell fans, Skip It otherwise.
My Name is Bruce arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on February 3rd.