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Fist Fight (2017)
Dumb. Stupid. Not to be taken seriously.
That's how I would describe Fist Fight, but if you just want a quick laugh then this film is worth checking out.
It's hard to analyse a film like this because the plot is ridiculous and so over the top. It's not trying to be anything special so we have to take it for what it is. I done that and end up laughing more than I probably should have done.
The characters are all one dimensional and up to no good. Charlie Day and Ice Cube are both play their usual characters and provide enough laughs throughout the short run time of 80 or so minutes. Jillian Bell was an excellent supporting character. I think the funniest scene was the Father/Daughter sing and dance competition.
Not the funniest film you could wish to see but still enjoyable for a quick laugh. 7/10.
Santa Clarita Diet (2017)
Santa Clarita Diet
Netflix have made some great shows in the last few years, with Stranger Things & Narcos being two favourites of mine. This is the first comedy that I have liked though.
Most of the jokes are standard sitcom style jokes but due to the story line (Sheila is dead and needs to eat people, not a spoiler, you already knew that) it has its own unique style and feel to it. It has been described as gory and as a horror in general but it's so over the top its just funny and makes you cringe a little.
The two lead characters are fine but I found the scenes involving Eric & Abby to be more interesting and Lisa was probably the character who provided me the most laughs with her sharp wit.
I liked the continuity of the episodes which made it a show that was really fun to watch through in 2 or 3 sittings. If it was a show where I had to wait a week then perhaps I wouldn't be compelled to keep watching it. Although I had a great time watching it, I don't think there is enough material here to have a long run, 2-3 seasons at most will probably be enough.
Overall a good 1st series but it has a few flaws. 7.7/10.
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
The Edge of Seventeen
If taken purely as a comedy, it's not the funniest film in the world (although it has plenty of very funny moments) but compared to other films of this genre (coming-of- age drama/teen comedy), its one of the best out there.
Hailee Steinfeld plays Nadine, a teenager with only one friend, struggling to find her way in life. She doesn't get on very well with her family either. Things get worse when her best friend Krista starts dating her brother Darian.
It is a pretty basic plot and something which we have seen plenty of in the past but with Hailee Steinfeld giving an outstanding performance in the lead role, this film had a likable character that I actually cared for.
Usually in films like this it's ALL about sex, and although this film did revolve around sex at times, it was more about her character growing as a person, overcoming her struggles, meeting new people & making new friends. There was a lot of depth to Nadine's character and the scenes with Woody Harrelson (teacher) were some of the best moments.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable film but I wish it had been tied up a bit better at the end. Although you get the general idea with the ending, it would've been nice to see a little more. Maybe there will be a part 2 to carry it on further but if not its still an excellent film which I highly recommend.
Talking Snooker (2017)
Talking Snooker is a two part mini series that was aired on the BBC. One episode before the start of The Masters and the final episode on the day of the final.
Episode 1 is 'The People's Champions' which looks closely at the lives of Alex Higgins, Jimmy White & Ronnie O'Sullivan. Episode 2 is 'The Game Changers' which looks more at the game in general as well as some stuff with Barry Hearn & Steve Davis. Stephen Hendry's younger days as a snooker player is also looked at.
I've watched various documentaries/read books about snooker. Also during BBC tournaments they often have small segments during the intervals etc but this two part mini series seemed to go a bit further. Sometimes other documentaries are insightful but often tell the same stuff over and over, which a majority of hardened snooker fans will already know. I understand that new viewers may watch these documentaries so in that sense its fine but Talking Snooker seemed to take it up a notch and I actually felt that I learned something new while watching it.
There was a lot of old footage which I'd never seen before and it was fascinating to see it as all the players have been through so much since then.
I hope to see more sports documentaries like this in the future. Well done to Alistair McGowan and everyone else involved.
Harper's Island (2009)
13 Weeks. 25 Suspects. 1 Killer.
That's not strictly true, I watched it all in two days, I suspected only a about 8 different people throughout and in the end I'm pretty sure more than 1 person made a kill at some point.
Anyway this series was well worth watching. I did have my doubts at first as I didn't want it to be left on a cliffhanger that won't be resolved since the show wasn't renewed for any further seasons.
I really liked the setting of the show, the island was so big that nobody really knew what was going on and that kept me guessing. Although most of the characters make questionable decisions throughout the series, it was just one of them shows that kept me interested. It's no where near perfect but so watchable, loads of twists, characters dropping like flies and I kept wanting to find out more/get closer to the reveal.
Some of the dialogue was a bit corny at times, and the music sometimes made it feel like I was watching a soap. Overall the style and watch- ability of the show is very similar to Scream: The TV Series.
The reveal scenes were handled very well even though I was right about the killer with 2/3 episodes to go. The small description of John Wakefield (Harper's Island killer of 7 years previous) worked well to set the scene, then everything else is on this island until the end where we see some extra scenes to wrap the show up with a satisfying and resolved ending.
I wouldn't really be interested to watch any more episodes if it was to be about what happened next to any surviving characters but a new series with new characters and possibly setting, I would watch.
Overall, far fetched but compulsive viewing. 8/10.
Paper Towns (2015)
I watched this film without knowing what it was about and found it to be very enjoyable with likable characters. I didn't even know a novel existed so I have nothing to compare it to in that sense.
The film can easily be broken down in to 3 acts. Act 1 is a little bit about the lives of the two main characters (Margo & Q). Act 2 is about taking some revenge and Margo disappearing. Act 3 brings other characters in to it as they all search for Margo via a road trip.
The cast were pretty much unknown to me and this was the first film i'd seen most of them in. The lead characters all gave good performances and had good chemistry. I had heard a few little complaints saying that Q's friends pulled away from the main story a bit too much as they sorted out their own issues, but I found these parts to be worthwhile as well. In fact Q with Ben & Radar were some of my favourite parts.
At times the film does seem a little far fetched and as the film progressed I started to ask myself why did she even leave clues about her disappearance. But without taking it too seriously it was a film that was easy to like as a coming of age comedy with a little something extra.
It wasn't the most hilarious film you could wish to see but it had plenty of laugh out loud moments. It wasn't a film which relied on constant toilet or sex jokes either. For those that don't find it that funny, it wasn't full of comedy all the time so it could easily be enjoyed as a drama/romance and even a bit of mystery too.
8/10. Would recommend.
Crashing is a comedy series that revolves around a group of 20-30 year olds living together as property guardians of a hospital. I really liked the setting of the show and the characters grew on me right from the start.
Although there isn't really much here in terms of storyline, there was just something unique about it that kept me watching. The performances of all the cast were spot on and each character had their own traits. The show relies heavily on sexual jokes and crude stuff such as puking up on food and poo in the bedroom, so obviously it's not going to be for everyone.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (the writer and main star) is a very similar character to Fleabag (her other 2016 show) and so she is hilarious once again. Kate was an awkward character in the first 2-3 episodes but in the last few episodes she provided a lot of laughs. All of the guys were funny also but my favourite character has to be Melody, there was something edgy about her and I enjoyed her scenes the most.
The show is predictable in a sense that its pretty obvious which characters will end up with each other, but there's only 6 22 minute episodes so it's well worth checking out. I finished it in two sittings and I really did enjoy every second of it. It's good for a quick laugh.
I hope for a 2nd series soon.
The Witness for the Prosecution
I haven't read the original from Agatha Christie, nor have I seen any other adaptations there might have been before this so I had no idea how the story was going to play out.
Following the success last year of And Then There Were None, I was very much looking forward to this years BBC adaptation. I find that when shows like this are shown over consecutive nights rather than weeks, it's much easier to follow. It's easier to get more involved in the world on screen whereas sometimes when a show is weekly you may forget key parts (especially, if like me you watch a large variety of different things).
I had read a few reviews and comments from various sources of social media and there seems to be a lot of complaints about the sex scene and also the green mist, with people claiming they struggled to see what was going on. I personally found the picture to be perfect and the green mist gave the show a real gloomy atmosphere.
The story was intriguing with plenty of twists and turns over the two episodes. The acting from all the cast was very strong also, Andrea Riseborough in particular was impressive yet again.
The 1st episode was excellent and really set up the 2nd episode nicely. It kept me guessing all the way through. There was a slight lull in the 2nd episode but towards the end when the main reveal happened I was left satisfied with how it all turned out.
Overall a strong mini series that is well worth catching up on if you missed it. Highly recommend and I'm hoping that there is more of this type of drama to come in the near future.
Trolls is exactly what I expected it to be, good lighthearted fun. The plot for the film is basic and very predictable but nothing really worth criticsing since at the end of the day, it's just a fun film that hopefully all the family can enjoy. At just over 80 minutes it passes a bit of time.
The animation is superb, really nice to look at with lovely vibrant colours throughout the whole film. The songs were really catchy, some moments even made me laugh out loud but overall it was just one of them films that I happily sat and watched with a smile on my face. I like animated films but most of the recent ones just aren't very good so I'm pleased that I at least enjoyed this one. Also I don't do singing in films (can't stand Frozen) but this one wasn't a constant song fest.
The voice actors were very good, although most of them were easily recognized without even looking at the cast list. Overall a solid first film in which is more than likely going to end up as a franchise. Worth checking out.
David Brent: Life on the Road
It's very rare that a sitcom transforms successfully in to a feature length film but nonetheless, as a a huge fan of The Office, I was looking forward to checking this one out.
The first 20 minutes or so were excellent and felt like one of the original episodes, it was a laugh a minute. Although I was a bit disappointed not to see any of the other original characters, some of the new characters had their moments, in particular the two guys from PhoneShop.
Once the film starts to move on to the road part, it really starts to drag. The road characters were mostly uninteresting, the songs were not funny and in general the laughs were pretty rare & very repetitive.
Gervais transformed back in to Brent seamlessly but overall there just wasn't enough material to warrant a feature length film. I give it a 6/10 overall and in future I will stick to re-watching the original episodes.