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The Young Offenders (2016)
Dumb and Dumber meets Snatch
That's not meant to be derogatory. I loved Dumb and Dumber. They were both silly and funny and had as the basis a true friendship in times of adversity. However, this film had a bit more edge and showed a bit more real life. Acting was uniformly good and the scenery was just gorgeous. I'd love to see a follow up in a few years time and hope that the two lad have not lost their zest for life, cheek or too much of their innocence. Effortlessly watchable
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Slow , uneven and not funny
It has so much potential. Great cast, great sets, great premise. It is hard to know what went wrong. Lets start with the plot. Pretty weak. There were so many opportunities for action, drama or humour and there was just nothing. So it scores nothing Dialogue: I do hope that this was not ad-libbed. Because then I would have to say that the actors got it seriously wrong. Let's just assume it was a the corny dialogue that made most of the stars look like they were phoning it in using autocue. There was one scene with a minster, a bishop a rabbi and an orthodox priest. again a target rich environment for humour.. and it was just flat.If there was any clever word-play I missed it And that sums up the whole film. Great possibilities, under-par delivery. Disappointing
In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
Good in parts
To start off with, Moby Dick is a great story. It has withstood the test of time. Switching it to a story about the writing of the book gave opportunities to do some explaining and add drama that might otherwise have gone missing, and gave us that know original story already , something new to view and digest Solid acting for the most part. CGI was almost there but occasionally looked really amateurish which really detracted from the drama. The final appearance of Moby in particular looked like people on a green screen poking about as a cardboard whale was waved in front of them. As a remake of Moby Dick , a dud. As a new slant on an old story it was good.
Haunting, touching and quite beautiful
I was skeptical about yet another Holocaust film. I have seen those all too often and am almost becoming immune to the horror of the story and I don't want that to happen. This film does not moralise, demonise or condemn, it tells the story through the eyes of an eight year old boy. Full of innocence, trust and belief that his parents are good people doing good things. The interplay between the characters is touching and very believable. This film has stayed with me days after I watched it. The film is bright and colourful (compared to the usual sombre and dark colours associated with Holocaust films) and there is just enough menace lurking in the background to keep you alert. A beautiful story that has been translated well to the big screen thanks to some great direction and acting. I don't need to see it again for a long time because this is one that will stay in my conscious for along time.
Provocative, embarrassing and hysterically funny
This is satire at its best. Baron Cohen is a master and fearless at exposing hypocrisy, bigotry, prejudice, unawareness, boundarylessness and plain old arrant twaddle. There were several cringe worthy moments and a lot of that was realising that I too could have fallen into one of Baron Cohen's very toxic but seductive traps. The things people will do for fame, for their god, for their country, for their ego, greed, fear or vanity are surprising. He is very good at slapstick and pretty good at accents. Bruno was less convincing than Borat as a character and I missed the streak of innocence and vulnerability that made Borat lovable if not very likable. I don't care how much of it was real and how much acted, it was still thought-provoking and in places wildly funny. In other places it was shocking and even a little scary. My hat goes off to him. This is a very smart, insightful man with a very strong sense of moral outrage about the world we live in. That he can show this outrage and still make us laugh is absolutely brilliant. If this wasn't a very powerful film about the power of prejudice then there is no way that Sting, Bono , Elton John, Snoop Dog or Chris Marin would have leant their support to it. Fantastische Bruno!!!!!! Ich liebe dick!!!! :)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
A Bond movie without Bond!
We all know who James Bond is. Even the baddies know it, that's why nearly every Bond movie has some badly accented fellow saying, "Ahh Mr Bond, we have been expecting you". And the Bond we know is a winner, a grinner, tough, likable, sexy, irreverent, slightly flawed, disrespectful of authority and can handle his cars, his drink and his women. Well, guess what? He wasn't in this film! We had some unsmiling robot who rushed around killing people who appeared to have nothing to do with the story whilst being followed by a pre-schooler with a handy-cam. He couldn't handle his grief and so couldn't handle anything else. I am not ready (and I guess the world isn't either) for a maudlin mumbling Bond. The film was a very dark revenge movie with an invisible plot, invisible enemy and no hook to get the audience involved. I came out frustrated, confused and annoyed. Bond is a brand. A very strong brand. However, this film not only failed to enhance the brand, it destroyed a good chunk of it. I do hope that the next Bond movie gets back to its core values. Excitement, glamour, action, humour, sexiness and hero.
Crash and Burn (2007)
Rev Head Heaven, rest is crud
Nothing really wrong with this apart from the plot, the dialogue, the acting and the music. What does that leave? The cars and the car chases. The cars were the best thing about it. I only wish they had spent more time showing us these beauties because they managed to lay their hands on some incredible kit. The plot was a generic ex-crim turns Fed and uses his skills and connections to hunt down some baddies. Usually an opportunity for an actor to show that he has more than one dimension. You know, the conflict of using your friends, and loyalty to the badge, handling the inevitable love interest.... Sadly our hero never deviated far from the happy-go-lucky car thief. The baddies were "baddies" in the good old movie sense. If they had black moustaches and wore black hats they could not have been any more transparent. They looked bad, spoke poorly and did bad things. Oh dear.
But, hey, it was a TV Movie so it couldn't be too complicated and as a mindless diversion with some nice cars in it, it wasn't too bad.
Adam and Eve (2005)
OK film but it is not National Lampoon Material
When I think of National Lampoon I think of school-boy jokes, smut, innuendo, gross-out scenes and heaps of gratuitous flesh, beer and stupidity. It's the kind of thing I found outrageously funny at 13 (and still do 40 years later). There is scarcely any need for acting because the "actors" are playing themselves. But Adam and Eve is not like that. It has a plot, it has some character development, it even has some real acting in it. I enjoyed the basic premise of the story even if it has been done a hundred times before. It's an old theme, and it can do with re-examining on a regular basis as society changes (or doesn't). It had a few (relatively tame) gross-out scenes and some funnyish scenes but mostly it had what no National Lampoon should ever have: subtlety. Not great cinema, but a bit of good fun.
Tempe Tip (2002)
Gentle and funny recreation of suburban Sydney
Surprisingly enjoyable little comedy about a friendly cosmopolitan suburb in Sydney which should have perhaps been more realistically set about 30 years ago. The plot was even-paced but was secondary to the characters and their relationships. I was impressed by the acting which was consistent without resorting to caricature and had a subtlety that is rare in this genre.
There's nothing flashy about this film. It's a slice of life about real people. I enjoyed the music although it too was 30 years out of date for the movie.
I'd watch it again.
Elephant Juice (1999)
A wasted opportunity
The concept was good (relationships amongst 20-30 year olds in London), the script posed some good questions (`How do you choose your friends?'; `Can you tell someone you love them?'), and the settings were a refreshing view of a side of London that most of us don't see. There were flashes of interesting dialogue that had me waiting to see if eventually something worthwhile might happen. It didn't. What disappointed was that none of the good questions asked were answered (some weren't even addressed) and the not one of the characters was believable or likable. If that wasn't bad enough, the music was undoubtedly the worst I have ever heard. Intrusive, jarring, inappropriate, in poor taste and masked a good 30% of what may have been interesting dialogue. What a waste of a good concept and viewer's time