04 February 2010

Cinematic Titanic Review: "East Meets Watts"

Quicker than promised, too! Recently, I had a chance to check out the latest Cinematic Titanic offering, "East Meets Watts". As stated before, it was a bit of a fusion film, joining both the HK chop-socky action genre with the blaxploitation genre with the 70s genre. The film itself deserved the riffing, yet would probably be decent cheesy 2AM viewing otherwise.

This is the first Cinematic Titanic offering that I have watched, and it did take a small bit of getting used to. Of course, you finally get to hear Joel, Trace, and (for the REAL oldsters) Josh riff the film, and you get the added bonus of Frank and Mary Jo also riffing. I've got a few of the S1 MST3k tapes (Thanks, Meg!) and it's really a blast from the past to hear the original crew. This film was riffed and recorded live, so you see all five of them around the side of the movie... which isn't actually all that distracting, to be honest.

If this is your first Cinematic Titanic experience, give it a bit of patience. All MSTed movies and fanfics have spots that lag and lull, and unfortunately I think that one of these spots happened from the beginning of the film and lasted for a bit. (It started getting better when the Chinese guy was departing from the boat, with Josh's Journey line). To be honest, I was not overly impressed with the beginning, but when the riffing picks up it shines. To be honest, it was even closer to the MST3k experience than Rifftrax is, if only because you can see the riffers and don't have to jiggle around a movie or a track, and you get the whole "cheap movie" phenomenon to boot. However, I'm glad that there's now two flavors of MST3k rather than just one (or, really, zero).

Riffing live was another good decision, I thought. Having a crowd there was terrific, especially when you could hear the reactions to certain jokes. Josh cracked a riff about twenty to thirty minutes in that took the crowd five seconds to process, but you could hear the laughter ripple once they got it. I also enjoyed hearing the cheers from the MST3k fans when the riffers did a few callbacks to the original MST3k, accompanied by Frank's (faux-)outraged splutter, "Pandering!"

Overall, this was a terrific movie and well worth checking out. I hope that they do more live shows, that was fun to see and hopefully the riffing will continue to shine. Considering the creators behind this, I can only believe that it will.

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