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Jimmy Carr: Funny Business (2016)
Jimmy Carr has been described as "the hardest working man in comedy" but apparently didn't seem to have put much original effort into his latest show Funny Business which came across more like a best-of than anything else.
With a timid crowd today in the Netherlands, Carr just seemed to be working through his routine, offering little in the way of freshness or unexpected pun. With at least a quarter of the jokes coming from previous shows, Carr failed to impress his audience with his all heard before routines and curious lack of oomph. Especially his patented laugh, ordinarily a source of amusement, seemed off timed and calculated which added to the staleness of the performance.
It was especially the second part of the show that failed to impress; jokes were often either something he already did or an obvious variation of them. As a result, the audience didn't seem too eager to offer him the heckles he could work with. Some were so painfully terrible, even Carr must have noticed he simply wasn't reaching us with his rehashed material.
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Derivative and plain boring.
Goodman plays Howard, a paranoid psychopath and the proprietor of a large underground hideout, built for the occasion. In said hideout, he plays house to two co-dwellers: a bearded moron (John Gallagher Jr) and an attractive young lady played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Is there really a threat outside, will Howard behave himself? The problem is, after 20 minutes of tedious scenario and bland characters, who really cares?
The film never picks up any speed, sports no subplots, feels like it could go anywhere without sticking to any internal logic (which indeed it doesn't) and merely serves hollow and underused characters.
It's obvious the writers of this project wanted to fuse two genres of film but ended up having half the audience wet their pants over the ridiculous ending in which an alien spacecraft is destroyed by a bottle of Single Malt and the other half of the audience so abashed, they dare not admit they just wasted 2 hours of their lives.
Boring and nonsensical
A woman and her son are held in a garden shed, referred to as 'room', by a man who uses the woman as his sex slave, having abducted her 7 years earlier. The woman concocts a plan to smuggle the son out in order for him to find help and free them. After the plan is successfully executed, we follow the two in the aftermath of the ordeal, struggling to retrieve the life that was previously stolen from her.
The film is repetitive and annoying. At no point is the captivity nor the woman's response to the situation believable. It's just a garden shed located in some suburb instead of underground. The woman's not shackled and can virtually escape every time the captor enters the room.
Relying on child actors is a notoriously shaky endeavour and again the constant whining of the kid and the way it talks, is grating and tiresome. There also seems to be no real connect between the first and second act. The 7 years she previously spent in the room might just as well have been a written premise at the start of the film. With no deeper layers to the film and with no character really fleshed out, the film feels aimless and not well thought-through.
A Bigger Splash (2015)
All over the map..
As the former lover of a recuperating rock star re-enters her life, complications between him, her and her current lover ensue.
The film follows a typical Woody Allen set up, but fails completely in the delivery. With a mute Swinton, totally unbelievable as a Bowie like rock star, and a blabbering Fiennes, the film simply gets on one's nerves. The interpersonal intricacies are one- dimensional and never develop. Also the depiction of local law enforcement as a bunch of bumbling buffoons straight out of some French comedy franchise from the 70s, was especially grating.
After his wife is killed in a car crash, Davis Mitchell (Gyllenhaal) deals with the lack of feeling any emotions by demolishing buildings, furniture and household appliances. He also befriends a customer service employee from a vending machine company.
Probably meant as a comedy of sorts, the film is totally ridiculous, not entertaining and insulting to the intelligence. The absurdity of the Gyllenhaal character and his love interest doesn't match the universe of the other characters in the movie which results in a total disconnect for the viewer. The script is weak and the contrived situations simply not funny. An attempt is made at infusing some symbolism but it's neither here nor there. A real stinker.
Saoirse Ronan plays Eilis, a young Irish girl exchanging her hometown in Ireland for Brooklyn New York. After the long voyage she finds employment and a husband. When her sister back in Ireland dies, she is forced to go back home and has to deal with the lure of both homes.
Brooklyn is a well made movie with superb acting. The story however is surprisingly thin, predictable and too slow paced towards the end to hold one's attention. There's simply not enough conflict and the characters are not fleshed out to any satisfying degree, rendering them little more than stereotypes.
Back to the Future (1985)
Back to Back to the Future
When Marty travels back in time to 1955, he accidentally ruins the moment his parents would have met, threatening his own existence. With the help of the younger version of the scientist who built the time machine back in 1985, Marty has to find a way to get his parents back together as well as trying to find a way back home to 1985.
The movie is brilliant from start to finish and reminds of that other comedy classic Groundhog Day. Both movies are superbly well written and directed as well as sporting a near perfect cast. Even after 30 years, Back to the Future is a joy to watch with truly iconic performances by Christopher Lloyd, Michael J. Fox, Thomas F. Wilson and Crispin Glover.
Craig, hopefully for the last time, once again yawns his way through a non existing scenario as he gets send once again on an errand to save the world. Sporting some beautiful locales, explosions and hand to hand combat scenes, what the film was actually about, was lost in the noise of people scratching their heads as they watched it.
Familiar faces come and go as the nonsensical script lines fly across the 7.1 spectrum in a lame attempt to obscure the fact that apparently no one in the cutting room had an inkling as to the intended sequence of the individual scenes.
Even compared to your run of the mill action thriller time-waster, Spectre Skyfalls short on every aspect one could think of when reviewing a film. A film with Connery and Moore watching a freshly painted wall dry, while they talk about their glory days portraying Bond, would have easily been more entertaining.
Saul fia (2015)
Should have been a short-film..
Son of Saul, set in 1944 Auschwitz, follows the walking head of a prisoner for 107 minutes as the head goes from place to place in the camp. In the background of the images recorded, we see the blurry outlines of corpses, blood and people walking about trying to burn as many bodies as they can. With a minor plot involving the lead trying to find a rabbi to bless the body of his son who is not his son, the movie does its best to give us an idea what it must have been like being a member of Specialcommand in Auschwitz.
But apart from giving us that idea, the movie offers really nothing else. It could as well have been a 15 minute short and perhaps should have been. After 30 minutes you really get the idea and wish for the film to finally take some direction and to stop sporting only horrible imagery and morally bankrupt circumstances. It never does however, which turns the entirety of it into little more than a brutal test of one's patience. A real shame considering the subject matter it portrays.
A Perfect Day (2015)
Plot-less bore of film
A team of aid workers lead by Del Torro and Robbins are bumbling around somewhere in the Balkans in search of a rope. The rope is needed to lift a corpse from a well, the only operational well in the area. The movie relies heavily on its script and the two main leads but fails miserably at being anything other than a drag. Terrible performances by both Olga Kurylenko and Mélanie Thierry further ruin any credibility the movie might have regained. As if the soundtrack wasn't already thoroughly corny.
For a film that relies almost solely on its script, it is remarkable they couldn't write something other than the ridiculous and repetitive back-and-forths between the dismal characters to fill the runtime of the movie. One truly wonders what Robbins and Del Toro ever saw in it to commit to such an aggravatingly dull and witless scenario.