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Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
A genuine and pleasing rom-com (with sausages)
I was very pleasantly surprised by this film. You could see the plot coming a mile away but it was executed with such easy panache that you can forget how obvious the plot is, and just enjoy the ride.
One of the things I liked about the film is they managed the unusual feat of making the whole thing believable. The characters seemed genuine, even the millionaire lothario pop singer, and the action did not seem forced. There was just the right amount of sentiment, it was not gushy, yet there was the feeling the characters really did care for each other. I am not sure if the dialogue had any element of improvisation, but the exchanges, especially at dinner had a sound to them as if they were actually communicating, and not just waiting for their next line.
For me, the two most surprising performances were from Mila Kunis, who not only had a captivatingly cheeky smile, but brought some depth to her character, and Russell Brand, who made his character seem like a nice bloke despite all the very obvious flaws and callous attitude. I do suspect that Russell had an advantage, though, in that I imagine that is how he is normally!
I have seen some criticism of the film for shoddy camera work, but I didn't notice anything amiss, though I admit I was too wrapped up in the film to really notice. Other have commented on the fact that Jason bares all in a few scenes. For me as a bloke it wasn't anything that I don't see every morning, night and several times during the day, so wasn't bothered. You'd have thought from all the fuss, that he was starkers for the whole thing. In actuality it was only a couple of shots. Not really worth all the furore. The girl sitting next to me seemed quite shocked by it though. I think she was a bit excitable.
In summary, I found it a very funny film (after the first ten minutes or so) with a suitable amount of sentiment, and a pleasing feel-good factor. I would recommend.
I watched this the other day on demand- it was six in the morning and it sounded mildly amusing without having to follow a plot.
I was pleasantly surprised. The filming is annoying in places when Alastair films on his webcam, but the script was very funny, the acting was OK and the characters were engaging.
The story was slightly bizarre, as kids programmes often are, following Alastair Fury and his friends 'the revengers' as they plotted revenge against his family for the various slights and indignities they had forced upon him. Invariably these 'revenges' came back to haunt him in a comical turn of events leaving him in a worse situation than when he started.
I was a little perplexed why they were calling the sister fat, when if anything, she was approaching skinny- don't want kids thinking they should be thinner than her, they'd be wasting away- but it wasn't a major issue.
I'd recommend it to anyone with some time to kill, it's quite entertaining (in a kids programme kind of way)
Not a bad film, but not great
I've not seen the first film so I can't comment on what other people have said regarding the plot line's similarity to the first.
I found this film interesting though. It's clearly aimed at kids and I think that kids would find it entertaining. I have to admit the plot didn't completely make sense, and there were some parts that just made no sense at all. But I suppose that the target audience probably wouldn't be too worried about the inconsistencies.
The plot centres around the granny witch's spellbook which is stolen and used to place a 'grey spell' on halloweentown, turning the town listless and uninteresting (although I found the 'boring' characters more entertaining than the lively ones, I never thought seeing someone sort socks would amuse me so much). The young witch then has to attempt to regain the book despite not seeming to know her arse from her elbow.
At no point in the film was I bored but I was slightly annoyed by the ending given that it was something she could easily have done at the start of the film.
In total I'd give this film 6/10 allowing for the fact it's not aimed at me, and young kids would probably enjoy it.
Wedding Crashers (2005)
Wilson and Vaughn attack the script with the subtlety of a steamroller, but ultimately it is very funny
Wilson and Vaughn play two wedding crashers- going to weddings uninvited in order to pick up women. Just as Wilson's character is tiring of the life which he is increasingly viewing as sleazy (cue montage of topless women falling onto beds), they pull off the ultimate crash- the Cleary wedding, Wilson becomes infatuated with Claire Geary (Rachael McAdams)...with hilarious results!
It's far from a perfect film. There are many scenes which are simply unnecessary, and contain no jokes or plot development. It had a tendency to vacillate between the silly humour we've come to expect, to sweet love scenes and lingering meaningful looks between the leads. Too many meaningful looks. Please, we're not stupid, we've realised they fancy each other but she can't overcome her inertia. WE GET THE IDEA!! please stop the doe eyes and mooning glances!
Wilson and Vaughn attack the script with sledgehammers, there's no subtlety to their performance. Vaughn's character is inconsistent, and Wilson is wasted as he forgoes his usual shine for the tortured lovestruck eye acting which wastes everyone's time. I'm not joking, if anyone spent that much time staring at me, i'd think they were some kind of psycho.
However, there are some genuinely funny ideas in the script, there are parts which really shine (Vaughn in the bed), and some very funny lines which redeem the film. And Will Ferrell. He steals the whole movie, and he's only in 2 or 3 scenes. How anyone can make the word 'meatloaf' so amusing is incredible.
Also does have it's romantic tones, while I complain these make the film erratic and patchy, these may be the parts which other people enjoy the most. Girlfriends who may not enjoy the Wilson/Ferrel/Vaughn style of humour may enjoy the romantic aspects which do have some quite poignant moments and lines.
In short, I liked the film, I enjoyed it. It's certainly not the best film of the year, but it is entertaining (for a little too long at 2 hours perhaps). I'd recommend other people to see it but I'd also recommend they don't expect anything mindblowing.
I'd also like to launch a personal attack on the two leads. The end of Wilson's nose is all wonky. During the climatic scene I could only stare at his wonky nose, it's so distracting. And Vaughn looked absolutely knackered all the way through. Get some sleep man, I'm sure the producers will understand, you look half dead! I kept thinking, 'you'll never get any of those women looking like that, you've clearly not thought this plan through' But that's largely irrelevant to the actual quality of the film.
Johnny English (2003)
Rowan atkinson gurning makes this film funny
It's a simple plot, rubbish spy Jonny English is given his big break as a major spy and manages to luck his way through the mission despite incompetence.
All the jokes are completely transparent, and I was guessing the punchlines before he was saying them. This should be a dire film and I almost regret the fact I absolutely love it.
Rowan Atkinson is hilarious. Even though you know what's coming, it's the way he does it that keeps you laughing despite yourself. The variety of ways he embarrasses himself and his assistant, Bough, keeps you with the film and rooting for Jonny. Comic timing is spot on between Jonny and Bough, and their exchanges are the best parts of the film.
Malcovitch is annoying. That accent, uggh! My housemate is French and he admitted he found Malcovitch extremely annoying. But after a while you can forgive even that, and just try to ignore the man.
I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this film. It's complete rubbish. But funny rubbish. Watch it, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Amazing cross-lingual humour
I was very impressed with the enduring humour of this film. I watched it in French in which I am not fluent but I still found this film very funny. The phrase 'J'ai glisse, chef' has entered my everyday vocabulary The film follows three hapless soldiers of the French army, who are cut off from the main body of their company by the invading Germans. Through incompetence, laziness and general uselessness they somehow manage to ride to glory and rescue their company.
Despite being thirty years old this film is still delightfully amusing. The French scenery is breathtaking, the characters lovable and the jokes simple enough for even someone who cannot totally understand French to comprehend. It reminded me very much of 'Dad's Army', it's a lighthearted romp through a potentially dangerous subject.
It is not a cinematic masterpiece. The characters are stereotypical idiots, bumbling around falling in rivers, losing their shoes. It is not a deep movie. The plot doesn't really make a lot of sense, and the direction is not memorable. But it was never aiming to be any of these things.
I would class this as a Sunday afternoon film, it's not serious and it's perfect to watch lazily on the sofa with a beer in your hand as Sunday lunch goes down.
indifferent film but DVD extras are very good.
Jonny Vegas has become acclimatised to the high life and has lost touch with his audience and his humour. Celebrity fixer Tony Kanna kidnaps Jonny and subjects him to humiliating performances in order to reconnect Jonny with his audience.
Jonny Vegas is not a great actor. Most of the film seems completely improvised, but, while this was probably very cool to perform, on film it comes across very unpolished and some of the time, they seem to be talking just to carry on the conversation rather than to actually say anything. Tony Kanna and Angelo are very one dimensional characters and have only a couple of interesting moments. Sometimes you wish they'd stop hitting poor Jonny Vegas and get on with the next scene. Lads, if the improv scene breaks down, don't just resort to hitting the main character with a chair. It's not always his fault.
I admire Stewart Lee as a very talented man, and I can imagine that perhaps the film would have been worse without his direction, but I have no proof of that, so can only shake my head and tut. I think I'd have made them write their lines out first, Stewart. Maybe ruin the improv, but maybe stop them slapping Johnny up when it all goes wrong.
However Johnny Vegas is a great stand-up, and the parts of the film where he is on stage are extremely funny.
The extras are what make this DVD amazing. There are outtakes, where Tony Kanna (I don't know his real name) talks about himself and says some genuinely hilarious stuff, and there are two stand-up sets by Johnny, the second of which 'tough crowd' I've been playing to everyone who visits my house.
In short, the film is uninspired and slow, but the DVD extras are great!
Funny in a relaxed way
This is a perfect Sunday afternoon film, when you're stuffed with roast and vegging on the sofa.
The plot is nowhere to be seen, but the film ambles along in a series of sketches and setpieces usually involving Dundee being amazed by the crazy Americans and coming up with some Australian saying to sum up the situation.
'Gay, well I am kinda happy' Yay Mick, you show those Americans who's boss.
In summary, a ludicrous film, but I really enjoyed it. And I agree with crocodile dundee about coffee enemas. 'Don't order a coffee here, you might not like how they serve it'
15 Storeys High (2002)
Is mandy there?
Great stuff. Sean locke's character is just a mean bloke who seems not to be able to stand anyone else. Despite this he shares his flat with Errol, who is a simple fellow, perhaps a more less caricatured version of Father Dougal.
The beauty of it is that despite the strange situations they make for themselves, they remain real characters you can believe in. Errol is naive and extremely likable. Vince is the opposite, cynical, and nasty, taking out his vitriol on other people in unprovoked acts of spite (but in a funny way).
The supporting characters inhabiting the rest of the building are the exaggerated, strange beings, and i thought that a great deal of their antics were just slightly too bizarre to exist alongside Vince and Errol's reality.
But this is one of the funniest first series I have seen, and I look forward to seeing the second (hurry up and release it on DVD!!)
Mean Girls (2004)
Not brilliant, but entertaining on a rainy day
This film was great in places, there were some genuinely very funny moments scattered through it. Unfortunately these were not frequent enough to hold my attention, and stop the film from dragging considerably.
Lindsay performs well in a role which basically requires her to look good and look apologetic, but her co-stars playing her best friends give very lackluster and one dimensional performances. In fact all the characters in the film are fairly one sided and lack real depth. A lot of their motivations are left unclear, and I got the feeling a lot had been cut from this film which perhaps would have explained these
But I suppose this film was not aimed at me, and my little sister enjoyed it, although I was shocked on her behalf at some of the content. After seeing what these 16 yr olds got up to, I think I went to school in the wrong country!