Monday, 29 August 2011

Backlog Review Extravaganza

Due to various other commitments and procrastinations, I've fell a bit behind all up on this blog so in an effort to bring things back up to date I'm going to bullet point out the reviews I didn't get around to writing, and fast-track my way through this shit. Here goes.


Nutshell: Kevin James is fat and two hot women want him for reasons beyond my understanding

Good Thing: Rosario Dawson is always pretty to look at?

Bad Thing: Kevin James' personality. I'm not against movies about unattractive people scoring hotties, but nothing about James' personality in this film was attractive. A self-doubting, self-absorbed loser who is roughly around the same size as the gorilla he shares screen-time with. Oh yeah talking animals too.

If It Were A Person It Would Be: A useless fat fuck.

Rating: Seriously, what a piece of shit 3/10

Super 8

Nutshell: Kids making a monster movie in a small town, whilst a honest-to-gods proper monster arrives in town courtesy of the most spectacularly over-elaborate train crash of all time.

Good Thing: Clearly a heartfelt project for Abrams, there's a certain nostalgic sweetness to goings on and all the kid performances are very good, particularly Elle Fanning.

Bad Thing: It's kind of stupid, and at times that Spielberg-lite feeling becomes too self-conscious. The science-fiction element is hackneyed I think, with some cheap military villains and awkward exposition.

If It Were A Person: A nerd in high school who gets C grades.

Rating: Well-meaning if a little insubstantial blockbuster. Still better than 90% of other blockbusters. Better than Thor. 6/10

The Devil's Double

Nutshell: Iraqi soldier who looks like Uday Hussein becomes like, his body-double. Hilarious shenanigans ensue.

Good Thing: A gleeful, idiotic sense of insanity taking what should have been a serious story and making a spiritual remake of Scarface. Hell of a calling card for Dominic Cooper, whose turn as Uday Hussein has to be high in the running for comedic performance of the year.

Bad Thing: the extreme OTT of it all incapacitates it's attempts to be actually dramatic, and many serious moments fall flat on account of it. Anyone in the cast who isn't Dominic Cooper, particularly Ludivigne Sagnier.

If It were a person: A Bipolar thrill-seeker on cocaine. Makes about as much sense as you'd expect that guy too.

Rating: Shit is ridiculous, but Cooper is awesome enough to mostly carry it. 5/10

The Smurfs

Nutshell: This is a backdoor film about how hard it is to work in advertising and start a family, with some Smurfs there to get suckers in seats.

Good Thing: Hank Azaria entertains as Gargamel, I always like Neil Patrick Harris. Just about better than Zookeeper

Bad Thing: Why the fuck isn't the smurfs film about the smurfs? They are supporting characters in their own story, and smurf village makes a mere cameo, because Smurfs in New York! Yay! Also it's pretty crappy.

If It were a person: An adult who covers himself in blue paint and calls himself a smurf. Or Tobias Funke.

Rating: Cynical, money making movie making. Where product placement is king and I as an adult creep parents out because I'm seeing the smurfs by myself. Rating: 3/10

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Nutshell: A heart-breaking story of the world's most awkward title and one ape's attempts to become a sentient being while the man tries to keep him down.

Good Thing: So many wonderfully unexpected things. Andy Serkis' heartbreaking mo-cap performance as Caeser the ape, and a moving, character story told in a summer full of soullessness.

Bad Thing: Alright so every human character bar John Lithgow was a complete dud. Tom Felton embarrasses himself, and James Franco is boring. Maybe a bit preachy.

If It Were A Person: A CGI created Ape capable of more emotion than Freida Pinto.

Rating: Isn't it great when a movie you expect to be a complete dogpile turns out to be awesome? Rating: 7/10

Beautiful Lies

Nutshell: French farce about misunderstandings that end up hilariously awkward.

Good Thing: Audrey Tautou continues to do Zooey Deschanel better than Zooey Deschanel, is likable. So are other actors.

Bad Thing: Very predictable, very dated film. Should have been made in the 1970's and maybe even not then. France's love for the farce is something that is lost in translation.

If It Were A Person: A 70 year old man who can't quite figure out why his jokes aren't funny any more.

Rating: Sort of lazy, a script that screams written in a weekend, and all together too much familiarity. 5/10

Cowboys And Aliens

Nutshell: Well duh.

Good Thing: An over-qualified cast help to make the movie feel slightly less like an unremarkable piece of hackwork.

Bad Thing: Sort of pointless, sort of bland and lacking a sense of fun that may have been welcome for such an inherently stupid idea. Way too boring for the kind of movie it is.

If it were a person: Cpl. Hicks in Aliens. On paper pretty badass but in practice pretty boring and useless.

Rating: 5/10. And scene. This movie is something I'll never remember, think about or recall ever again.

The Inbetweeners Movie

Nutshell: Four horny teenagers go to a greek island and well, that'll about do it.

Good Thing: I only occasionally felt violated by this movie, which given what might have been I'm calling a win. A couple of laughs here and there.

Bad Thing: OK, as a British American Pie, teenage sexual shenanigans type movie it's fine I suppose, but is thing really expecting to get like, good reviews and shit. Lowest common denominator stuff, however you look at it.

If it were a person: Dude with an Oxford diploma in English Literature who tells fart jokes and makes puns until the sky turns red.

Rating: Very generic for this kind of thing, I don't mind people going and enjoying it, but don't pretend its a good movie. Rating: 5/10

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