A film review by one of our members…
Another month has been and gone, and as we march on to April (pun intended) I look back at the month in film viewing. This has been a fairly light month for film watching, but I have the 9 new films I’ve watched ranked from worst to best. Most of these you could probably watch and enjoy. Some of these you should simply stay away from as if they were the plague. I have no more to say so let’s get started. So, kicking off my list…
The LOSER of March 2014 is….
9. Jack And Jill: 0/10 well it wasn’t going to be anything else was it? This is one joke comedy car crash from the inexplicably popular Adam Sandler involves Jack having his twin sister to visit for the holidays and as they don’t get on, trouble happens. And both the brother and the sister are played by Sandler. Seriously, that’s it. While I’m calling it a comedy, it’s more painful to watch than funny, especially when Al Pacino (Yes, that Al Pacino) turns up playing himself… as Jill’s suitor. Adam Sandler gives a boring performance as Jack and a nightmarish hideous one as Jill (AKA a Bella Swan/Jar Jar Binks hybrid). This film is cringeworthy, annoying, badly directed, atrociously written and devoid of structure. It’s not as disappointing as Hangover II, reprehensible as Pain & Gain or as downright terrible as Movie 43. Still, it really doesn’t get much worse than this.
8. Insidious Chapter 2: 2/10 remember Insidious? A genuinely scary movie? So how do you follow that up? By creating an underwhelming sequel as scary as a merry go round? Er no. This continues the story from the first film, following the haunting of a badly acted family. It’s simply a mixture of rarely effective jump scares, white face paint, screaming old ladies, loads of fog, shadows, confusion and kiddy toys that go BEEP BEEP in the night. I can’t be bothered to say anymore about this lazy film which I nearly turned off as I was that bored.
7. The Purge: 4/10 this has a good premise. One night a year, all crime is legal and a family try to survive this night. It’s pretty disappointing though. It genuinely had plenty going for it: Creepy villains, good premise, atmospheric lighting and some tense moments. It remains watchable throughout. But it’s poorly written (Characters change their views too quickly), full of tired and numbing violence, clichéd and ultimately just a generic home invasion thriller. Despite the interesting set up which could be a piece of social commentary, the film is too cowardly to make a point and plays it safe. So naturally a sequel is out later this year.
6. RED 2: 6/10 a pleasant surprise. The first RED was an entertaining action comedy, though not in desperate need of a sequel. Despite the mixed to negative reviews received by this, this is actually quite fun. A gang of retired, extremely dangerous assassins try to stop a villain from detonating a dangerous bomb in London. The cast is excellent, with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren being awesome, although Bruce Willis delivers one of his phoned in performances which he seems to be becoming known for. It’s nothing daring or memorable, with a by the numbers plot and less humour than the first. It’s still funny and features entertaining action which uses the surroundings in an interesting way.
5. Fast And Furious 6: 7/10 not for physics teachers! This follows Dominic Toretto and his gang of likable criminals, as they work with secret service agent Luke Hobbs to stop a bad guy and his fleet of gridlock causing cars. This is pretty dumb. Example: Some cars chase a plane down a runway at high speeds and loads of fights start breaking out of the cars and plane. The scene lasts 15 minutes and they’re still hurtling down the runway (Empire calculated it was 27 mils long and the longest runway in the world is 3.5 miles long)! Despite less humour and a slightly weaker script than its predecessor, it’s still great fun. A fun burst of adrenaline, fun characters and genuinely impressive set pieces. Nice camerawork too.
4. Fast Five: 8/10 I haven’t watched the first 4 F&Fs, but this was meant to be good so I just watched this. It’s totally nuts and just great fun. It never takes itself too seriously and has a surprisingly good script (Containing the best one use of strong language in a 12 ever). Dwayne Johnson shines as the agent trying to stop the gang, easily overshadowing Vin Diesel’s deeply boring protagonist. It does go on a bit, but this is good action filmmaking and while not for everyone, genre fans will be blown away.
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel: 9/10 my only trip to the cinema this month was a good one. This is about a hotel concierge being framed for murder and trying to clear his name. It’s a Wes Anderson film so it’s not that simple. With beautiful cinematography, a funny and surprisingly deep screenplay and a stunning cast (even if most are blink and you’ll miss it cameos) this is an entertaining genre blending comedy thrill ride. Ralph Fiennes does a rare comedic turn, and it’s awesome. Advertised with one of the best trailers of the year as well (Number 9 on this list has the worst trailer ever).
2. The Great Beauty: 10/10 you probably haven’t heard of this. It’s an Italian art film following a socialite who rethinks his views on life after a past love dies. The cinematography is gorgeous and unique and the screenplay is excellent. It’s a deep movie, pretty slow and requires patience, but it’s worth it. While not for my age, I could still appreciate this as a genuinely fine film. So naturally this only made $22 million worldwide while Grown Ups 2 made $246 million.
And the winner is….
1. Badlands: 10/10 the closest thing to a cinematic poem I’ve seen. Martin Sheen (Awesome in Apocalypse now) and Sissy Spacek (Responsible for my favorite ever horror film performance) are great as the lovers on a killing spree. Terrence Malik’s debut, this is a strange and disturbing film, one that again requires patience but is rather extraordinary. It’s visually stunning and very
deep. A powerful and unforgettable film. This one will stay with you.
Well, it was a slightly better month than February at least! I recommend numbers 6-1 (Only if you like the genre though). Don’t waste your time on numbers 7-9 but if you want to see loads of wasted potential, screaming ghosts and Al Pacino humiliate himself than be my guest.