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Miami Vice (2006)
So very, very disappointing.
I have to commend Michael Mann. It's not often that one goes to see a film with so much going on without anything vaguely interesting occurring on screen.
Instead of exciting plot twists, good dialogue and stunning cinematography, Miami Vice is a baffling cavalcade of bad music, lengthy shots of fast vehicles driving around, dull sex scenes and utterly pointless digital shots. It was honestly a bit like watching a two hour music video.
Which is a shame really, as Michael Mann's not a terrible director. I guess he just phoned this one in.
In Search of Santa (2004)
Don't show this to children. Please.
'Twas the night before Christmas, and I sat down to watch this £1 DVD with two younger siblings. Straight away I had a bad feeling about this, mainly because the cover had a picture of a penguin with a hairstyle. Penguins don't have blonde ringlets. Such an abomination shouldn't exist.
Unfortunately, the bad character design was only the first of my worries. I know this is a film for kids and all, but the plot barely makes sense, with sinister oligarchs, terrorist pirates (really), and magical "flying dust". The animation is hilariously bad, with characters clipping through the scenery and each other. The dialogue is at best perfunctory, and the musical pieces literally made me sob with horror.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this film is the slow dawning realisation that mankind appears to be, with the exception of Saint Nicholas, extinct. The penny drops and you realise you're being shown a nightmarish vision of a post-apocalyptic world where mutant penguins with stupid hair have created a fascist monarchy on the south pole. And pirates have plastic explosives or something, I dunno. It really didn't make much sense.
24 Hours in London (2000)
A movie which is so charmingly awful, it nearly works
When I was staying on holiday in Wales this year, I had the misfortune of being stuck in a house with a VCR player and a video of the cheapo movie 24 Hours In London.
After watching the first ten minutes or so, the acting seemed okay, the plot seemed to have potential, and the cutting on the titles section was first rate.
Then the film plummeted like a goose with no wings. Without giving too much away (The film does enough of that itself with heavily signposted plot elements), 24 Hours In London swings unsteadily between what appears to be an attempt at a cockney gangster flick and outright slapstick comedy.
The latter half of the film is particularly bizarre, with plot holes so large that the entire film seems to be progressing at random.
So why did I bother watching it to the end? Well, I keep asking myself that. Is it because, despite all the shockingly-bad acting, there were a few actors who could actually convey emotion? Is it because the lumbering comedy moments were actually pretty funny, in an oafish way? Or is it that maybe, despite all its glaring errors and hilariously wooden acting, the film's shoestring charm manages to shine through? I honestly couldn't say.