What do you get when combine Project X, The Hangover with a good dose of Weekend at Burnie’s? That is what 21 and Over seems like a reasonable answer. Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore who wrote the first (and the good) Hangover film, it follows three old high school friends reuniting to celebrate when the youngest Jeff Chan turns 21. Cue lots booze, frat parties, blatant nudity and bodily fluids with a party soundtrack. All this fun leaves Chan passed out with our heroes without a clue about where he lives, with an interview organised by his strict and intimating father first thing in the morning, Casey and Miller find themselves in quite a predicament.
21 and Over has traces of Project X’s youngsters partying without a care for anyone else and of course having one of its leads, Miller, making dick-head decisions no matter what anyone says. However, whereas Costa from Project X was flat-out horrable in every sense, Miller at least likeable and has some character depth. Okay, so the word depth is a strong word to throw around a film like this but it’s what last years worst film sorely lacked. Also its way to much fun than a air-head 80’s teen comedy retread has the right to be. All the old clichés are here. One of heroes fall for a nice grounded college girl who is dating the popular psychopathic college jock, the sororities with its stupid and probably illegal rituals and a rampaging bull. Well…. maybe not the bull but this is still feels like an update of a teen sex comedy from twenty years ago.
There is no denying it, this is a dumb movie that rests only with how much you like its lead roles, and if you can chuckle the dialogue about fucking ones sister at the start you’re in for a treat. It was clearly a mistake not to hire Jon Lucas and Scott Moore to write the second hangover as they know how to make to make someone eating a tampon funny. Despite all the stereotypes that we’ve all seen before, this is an enjoyable experience. So this might not be one of this years best comedies, in fact I think I may have laughed more time in Iron Man 3 but even to laugh I did and more than that, I sat through it with a big goofy smile on my face. Not many comedies have done that recently.
This is a spoiler episode where we SPOIL the shit out of Iron Man 3, so if you’ve not seen it, go away and watch it, be entertained and come back this and enjoy. Joining me on this bonus episode are two of my regular team mates Ian and Scott, two past guests Christopher and Amon and soon to guest Emma. Please listen and enjoy and check out Amon awesome summer movie trailer montage.
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This week we talk about one of the best films of the last 10 years, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. With me on this episode are regulars @raghavmodi@i_nesbot and @mysocalledbrain with our first guest from across the pond Mike Wright @filmfoolery
Join us as we talk about the Michel Gondry classic as well many other thing including Evil Dead, Oblivion, Olympus has Fallen, The Look of Love and as I can’t say much about Iron Man 3, we end up talking about Iron Man 2. Look out for a spoiler podcast later on Iron Man 3 and please check out the Film Foolery podcast here or you can subscribe to it on iTunes
The thought of a re-make of a beloved horror classic is itself getting tired and old. It’s not that I am against them, it is just that hollywood churned so many out as just mundane run of the mill carbon copies, that I barely muster any interest what so ever. I think remakes are a great idea, if you just take the premise of the original and make a completely different film from it. This version sits squarely in the middle . Produced by the Sam Rami himself, this is the feature film debut of Fede Alvarez who got the gig after making a short film on YouTube called Panic Attack. The story is the same as before, except for a new group teenagers to maim and dismember. Starring Jane Levy as Mia, a heroin addict who retreats with her brother and friends to a remote cabin in the woods. When one of them finds the book of the dead and reads aloud from it (dispute being wrapped in barbed wire with warnings of do not read written on every page), bad things happen to say the least.
The good thing about this is that it’s made with the up most respect of the original. It doesn’t hold back on the gore that are all done practically. The problems with it is that it doesn’t separate itself to become its own film. Rami made a low-budget nasty horror film that paralleled with slapstick humour. With Cabin in the Woods taking the same premise and turning it into a satire and hitting it out of the park, Alvarez can only go down the serious route. Where Cabin took the same set up and became its own film, Evil Dead relies on the moments that were in the original two, with a little dose of The Exorcist for good measure. Sure they play out differently, but as nasty as the informs tree rape scene, watching hands getting sawn and torn off and the think gooey blood spraying everywhere, it will only be copy of an original film. That’s not to say that it’s not fun. As far as copies of classic horror films ago, it’s very enjoyable, all the jumps and chainsaw/ shotgun action is a blast, however it is not scary. At least not for hardened horror fans, which when you want to take the new Evil Dead in a serious tone, lack of scares does stop this from being great. So it does look like the Buffy guy already gave us the best Evil Dead remake last year..
Tony Stark is back in the third instalment in the Iron Man series and being the first film to follow The Avengers (still leaving out the Assemble) in the Marvel franchise, it better not drop the ball. What is even more important to me, is that this is the new Shane Black movie. The Shane Black who wrote a such action classics as Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout and of course, Hawkins in Predator. Iron Man 3 has Blacks signatures all over it. Set at Christmas time, it’s satirically dark with a wise cracking flawed hero that at times plays up to the buddy genre with Starks life long friend Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) as they verbally bounce of one another. He even manages to fit a bit of gun play in what is usually a more high tech affair.
Usually the these trilogies, by the time we’ve reached the third film, the story falls apart. Whether its struggling to come up with fresh ideas that work or over compensating to make them bigger than the previous two that they get lost ( Ahem…. Spider-Man 3). This time though the Marvel have struck gold yet again. Iron Man 3 may not reach the same heights as The Avengers and may not have the heart and charm of Thor but it is one of the most entertaining and packed full of surprises. To talk about the plot may give away too much but this is Tony Starks story. There is no one from S.H.I.E.L.D or any other superhero to back him up. He is alone in this one and for good reason. Our favourite playboy billionaire philanthropist is experiencing anxiety problems after his near death experience in New York (Spoiler alert…. but come on… if you’ve not seen it by now then you have yourself to blame). Burying himself in his work letting the suits take over. When a terrorist called The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) steps in and attacks him on his door step, he is left alone and without a functional suit essentially stripping him of his powers. Now he must find a way to save the day and get back into the action, while fighting off geneticlly altered superman created by Aldrich Killian (a shifty Guy Pearce)
At times, this feels like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with Robert Downy Jr being self-aware narrating the opening as it foreshadows the events yet to unfold. What works well here is Black’s sense of humour along with his ability to keep momentum going. It’s very dark and satirical and clearly doesn’t give a fuck and goes for what it wants. Taking parts and elements from various comic books of the series, most notable is the Extremis story arc, this may not please some purist fans with its treatment of characters and plot threads. What this does is simple take parts of Iron Man’s legacy and mould them together to tell a new story, it balances everything quite nicely while made some improvements. The villains are memorable and do not feel wasted this time round, even though that maybe open for discussion. The jokes are funnier, there is a real sense of threat and Tony goes on a journey to find out if can still be the hero without the suit. This feels more like a complete film. Like the first one but with more meat and less like the second one with one eye focusing on the up and coming Avengers. Gwyneth Paltrow is likable here as is Don Cheadle who is even more to do other than sitting inside War Machine. All in all, this is solid entertainment to kick off the summer blockbusters this year. This isn’t the best Marval movie but it is the best Iron Man one. Go, see, have fun and thank me later..
God I miss the 90’s. Remember when action films where straight up, unapologetic action films rather than über serious Bourne like spy thrillers or another superhero/comic book movies. The most we get now is a lifeless carbon copies of 80’s/90’s classics that only remind us of how much fun we had with the original. The word original is some thing that best describes Olympus Has Fallen as it is basically a blend of Die Hard with a bit of Air Force One, particularly when we will see the same plot again later this year with White House Down.
Gerard Butler is our John McClane, playing Mike Banning. A secret service anent close to President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) and his family. When a tragic accent happens, Banning is now banished to a desk job as South Korean Prime Minister pays visit to the White House. Everything seems normal when chaos erupts as very heavenly armed terrorists attack the monumental building with some of D.C with it. Banning, using his instinct and helps fight with his formal colleges until it is just him left to save the president and most of America and South Korea. Watching Olympus Has Fallen feels like a flashback to 1996 with all the clichés that comes with it. Such as the valiant hero with something to prove, Morgan Freeman in the control room as acting president with Angela Bassett vouching for Banning while an angry head of military (Robert Forster) doesn’t trust him and makes every bad decision that you can possibly make and of course it is unbelievably silly. However, criticising Olympus Has Fallen for being silly and predictable, would be missing the point as it doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should the audience. Despite the dead pan tone and big speeches of patriotism, it still winking its eye at the audience, telling us to just go with it.
What did surprise me the violence and the carnage that occurs just in the first 30 minutes. It maybe because after being use to so many 12a action films, that to see our hero have a fondness of stabbing bad guys in the head a bit odd. It is nice to see a recent action film that hasn’t been toned down its brutality of the fighting scenes. I would have preferred real blood packs rather than CGI gunshot wounds but it was so full on I didn’t care. There so many deaths on-screen that it may well be up there with one of the highest body counts I’ve seen in quite some time. Rick Yune does what he does best as the cold and vicious no-nonsense terrorist, willing to kill anyone to get what he wants without any remorse. Some of the special effects do look unfished. This maybe due to production being pushed forward due to Roland Emmerich’s rival film due out latter this year. Till then, I guess we’ll have to wait and see which Die Hard in the White House film succeeds. For now, this is a reminder of what action film looked like in the 90’s and I missed them
Skype wasn’t kind to us on this weeks episode as it keept kicking people out and making us sound like robots, however the show must go on and its a full house. Back for second week is @MovieUmpire along with @mysocalledbrain@raghavmodi@Celluloidical@i_nesbot as we get our asses to Mars and talk about the 1990 classic Total Recall. As well as re-make we also talk Superman, Evil Dead, Scary Movie 5 and Olympus Has Fallen. It’s over 2 hours so enjoy it. I dare you.
The new episode is out were me @CinemaTronix Raghav @raghavmodi and another Chris (two Chris’s) @MovieUmpire Talk about the cult film Big Trouble in Little China. We also talk about Oblivion, I gush over The Place Beyond the Pine, The Secret Life of Timothy Green, Spring Breakers, more on Trance and the new trailers for Filth and Elysium as well as re-makes and a it on Fast and the Furious.
Next week Chris will be back as we get our asses to Mars for Total Recall
The Place Beyond The Pines is an ambitious epic that spans across three different stories that connect with one another. Director Derek Cianfrance re-teams with Ryan Gosling after the excellent Blue Valentine, as Luke Glanton, a travailing stunt motorcycle driver living day to day. He is visited by a former lover Romina (Eva Mendes) and finds out he has a baby son. Deciding we wants to provide for his child and salvage his relationship with his mother, he stays behind but with no means of a decent income, he learns that robbing banks is a lot more profitable. The other plot follows a young police officer Avery Cross (Bradley Copper) with high ambitions and a baby son of his own. Just as he is injured in the line of duty, he becomes a local town hero however after taken of active duty he is exposed to corruption within his fellow officers. These two different stories are all brought together by its third tale of two teenagers (Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan) who are both from different sides of the of the tack but are both struggling to find themselves.
Gosling is as charismatic as ever a daredevil racer with a dangerous side to him but it’s Bradley Copper who is the most impressive. e In his performance that is naturalistic and convincing, he displays more range than his usual comedic roles. With the third and final Hangover film due this summer, may very well bookend those type of films leaving more roles like this one and Limitless and Silver Linings Playbook that demonstrate his dramatic chops as an actor. Ray Liotta is fantastically intimidating that when pared with his bum out of luck gangster in Killing Them Softly, you’ll see just what a great actor he is. The rest of the cast are strong with the likes of Rose Byrne as Avery’s troubled wife, Bruce Greenwood as an inquisitive internal affairs officer, Mahershala Ali as the stepfather to Luck’s child and Ben Mendelsohn as a local mechanic who shows Luke the ropes when it comes to robbing banks . Every characters here is well rounded and well written that it makes this film so engaging.
It’s runs in at two hours twenty minutes and does feel long but not over stretched telling its story. The cinematography by Sean Bobbitt looks both gritty and real and yet beautiful at the same time when matched with its subtle and at times grand score by Mike Patton (Yes him of Faith No More). Cianfrance previous film Blue Valentine was all about it’s two leads and their fancstic performances and nothing else. Here very thing is taken into account and for a second effort at feature film, it’s very impressive and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
The new film by Harmony Korine doesn’t hold back on its exploitative themes with the the sight of young adults partying hard on a beach flashing breasts, leering into the camera pouring beer over one another in a slow motion to a head thumping Skrillex music. Taking a hard look at the culture of spring break, watching college kids go on a insane drug fuelled rampage of sex, bozze and chaos. The plot is fairly thin. Centered around four college girls, three of whom, played Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine, decide to hold up a local chicken shop to fund their escape from their borning mundane lives. Faith (Selena Gomez) is the girls church attending friend who is also bored of her usual routine, joins them in there vacation in Florida.
After a week of fun, the girls get arrested while a attending a drug filled party that ending in destruction. With no money left to bale them out, they find a life line from local silver toothed, cornrowed, rapper, drug dealer Alien (James Franco). Alien is an ridiculous creation that lure the girls into his world while taking them under his wing.
I felt very confused by Spring Breakers, on one hand it doesn’t seem to about anything thing. Watching these girls drinking in their bikinis while bragging about stealing money normal people and sharing their love for cock in the first half, with the second being all about James Franco’s performance as he parades about with all his possessions as the official twitter account @LookAtAllMyShit would suggest. There was a moment half way through where I thought Spring Breakers would lead somewhere as the one religious girl, Faith (the only sympathetic character) shows her mis-trust with Alien, foreseeing only disaster ahead and tries to save her friends from going down a path of sin. However that theory vanishes fast. On the other hand, the film has a tons of energy and is oddly engaging, given that you are constantly looking for reasons (and failing) to follow these girls on their journey to find themselves using pink balaclava’s and AK 47’s. It’s colourful and vived and very in your face. With consent echo’s of a cocking gun and Franco’s creepy tone saying “spring break” over and over again.
Franco steals the movie having fun in a role that requires him to give fellatio to two guns and to sit on a piano singing Britney Spears, where the girls go for broke to break away from the disney label that started Hudgens and Gomez’s careers. Gomez stands out as the only one with any character. The other three merge as one and are not really identifiable and this is a problem in the latter part of the film. Korine direction is bold and stylish but as it seems to take a cynical view of things society lets kids do just because it’s spring break while at the same time, rolling around in the its own exploitation of drugs, sex and crime. I’m looking for a genuine meaning amongst all the crazy madness, as it turns out Spring Breakers is just about Spring Break..