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Review: The Diamonds of Metro Valley

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Director: Aaron Arendt
Starring: Jon Cohn, Mary McIlwain, Michael Holmes

The One Where You’ll Believe A Lizard Can Drive….

With screeners I guess you just never know what you’re going to get.

The Reef and The Rebound would have been Love Films for Team Truscott for sure. Getting to see them early was a bonus. Enjoying them was even better. Blessed I may never have even seen, but am glad I did. So what does that all lead me too?

Presumably a film that makes me want to give up films for good. A film so awful that I tell Phil to never contact me again. A film that makes me so depressed I end up living a Groundhog Day life, where I use my Cine Pass to see Hereafter over, and over, and over. Saying Hail Mary’s and cursing modern cinema.

Then Phil emailed me.

Phil: I notice you’ve only been reviewing three movies a day… That’s down on your normal “post a million reviews whilst you still have the chance attitude”… Is everything OK?

Me: Yeah, I’m good. Hereafter just put me off films for a bit. Possibly indefinitely. I’m trying to grow a beard, and look like Ben Affleck. I’ve gone back to killing pixels on Black Ops, pretending they are bad career choices by Clint Eastwood.

“Take that, Blood Works… Ha! I knifed you in the back, A Perfect World*”

Phil: OK… You seem like you’ve gone a bit head mental, which is perfect. Remember I sent you those screeners you wrote one review that could have offended the Director by your stupid obsession with opening credits?

Me: …I do vaguely remember that, yes.

Phil: Well you need to get on the wagon. Next is The Diamonds Of Metro Valley. I’m intrigued. Try to get your tongue out of your cheek, and be less flippant.

Me: But… I… Can’t… (Whilst doing best Edward Scissor hands impression).

Phil: Then, it’s been fun. I guess. And prolific. I’ll miss the 20 emails a day, and the way you managed to review a film whilst never actually going over the plot. Or sometimes even mentioning the film. You should try that someday.

Me: I wish I could quit you.

And like that I realized that I needed to see The Diamonds Of Metro Valley. It had “intrigued” Phil. The front cover looked like Star Wars on drugs, and the back cover had a picture of a lizard. How could all of this tie in together? How could it live up to the description on the back?

“Notorious Metro Valley gangster Jonas needs a violent robot to steal some very special diamonds” – Holy shit. I need to call Mondo. Why would he need a robot? Let alone a violent robot?

It gets better…

“Genius drug addict Dr Thadeous Price has one: a Remote-Operated, Nocturnally Aggressive Lizard Device” – What. The. Fuck. “A Genius drug addict”? Who owns a R.O.N.A.L.D? That is aggressive at night?

I just realized I couldn’t go on. The description on the back is so detailed; I don’t want to spoil anything. But I will leave you with one thought…

“”By the end of this epic, you WILL believe a lizard can drive”.

I have to say, if you’re not already going to a dodgy street corner to buy this, then my faith in films is forever diminished. A lizard driving? I’m not kidding, I felt like forwarding just to the chase. I wanted to see a lizard driving so bad, I kept having flash backs to Hell Comes To Frog Town.

So what do we get? Can a film ever live up to that impressive billing? Did I regret that I’ve never done drugs, and yet may have just watched the ultimate stoner movie?

Well, we get a style that for the budget is fantastic. It looks like they were aiming for Sin City with the pop up backgrounds, and characters looking like they were super imposed in the front. They ended up achieving that for the most part.

I was continually impressed at the visual style. Not least when we get to see a R.O.N.A.L.D in the opening scene. It’s almost like the people involved said, “Yeah. We have a lizard. We’re actually quite chuffed with how it looks, and we’re going to prove it…. Oh, and this bad boy can go from pocket size to gargantuan (love that word), at the flick of a button.” And they bring it. They really do. If you’ve seen Robocop recently, think how ED-209 looks now, not how you remember him in your head.

Unfortunately there is very little quiet acting. This is very much the sort of film Mickey Rourke would have made in between his nosedive and The Wrestler. Very “Shouty Al” as I like to call it. But that’s what the film needs. This is a comic book film. And it’s better than The Spirit.

Any stoners out there are going to soon forget about Cheech and Chong for their midnight kicks. This film is mental sober, and clean. If there are any “genius drug addicts” out there watching, they may well have found their Spiderman. A super hero movie for stoners that answers their prayers.

And so the car chase. Where a lizard drives. I had a massive grin on my face as they raced over the Metro Valley Bridge, and cars fell at will. The bit where the lizard driving the car, (HE CAN DRIVE A CAR!), flips his car, onto the “baddies” car is genius. It may be the best action sequence I have seen this year.

Highly recommended.

Check out The Diamonds of Metro Valley Official Site where you can also buy the film.

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