The Heat

So the new comedy from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig stars its co-star Melissa McCarthy and average comedy veteran Sandra Bullock as a rogue cop and an up tight FBI agent who team up take down drug dealers in Boston. The concept is not a new one, a tried and tested formulae that’s been used ever since the 80’s, so the idea doesn’t spark conference with its by the numbers concept. In many ways its like traveling back in time to 1989, heck even Biff Tannen makes a appearance. Despite The Heat’s retro premise, the film releases on its two starts and it conference of its jokes that are hit and miss, but surpassingly hit.

Bullock and McCarthy have great chemistry together as the unbelievable as they are in their roles but lets face it, believability is not what the film’s aiming for. What is shooting for is not clear. The buddy cop formulae is all there as their the exact opposites from each other, although Bullock’s FBI agent is a mixed bag. One minute she’s professional and straight-laced with her unnatural ability to find the things that police dogs can’t and is still seen liability. She switches to the butt of every joke as when is suits. As uneven as it feels, Bullock is a natural comedienne and makes it work while watching even if you take a step back, it doesn’t feel right.

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It is also surpassing violent for a film this light. Amongst  the physical comedy where characters get stabbed in the leg, bad guys getting blown up and shots to the head with more blood than most action films these days.

The Heat lives and dies on its ability to make you laugh and pleasingly it does. The jokes come think and fast and perfect for a good friday night out. It falls down when it tries to get all serious and deal with its  subject matter of drugs in a way that a daytime TV drama. As far as two-hour comedies go, you could do a lot worse.

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Episode 23 Inglorious Bastnerds : The Wolverine

Hello it’s another fine review episode brought to you by the Bastnerds. This episode myself (@cinematronix) Allan (@mysocalledbrian) and Scott previously (@Celluloidical)  of look at The Wolverine. We talk talk a little bit about how great but tough going Blackfish is and why Francis Ha failed to wow me as much as most reviews would suggest. We also talk more superhero stuff (yeah I know…. for a change) Beverly Hills Cop and some thoughts on Only God Forgives. Sit back, listen and enjoy.

 

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Commentary

Its another commentary track from your favorite podcasters  the Bastnerds. Joining me  Chris @CinemaTronix on this adventure is Scott @Celluloidical as we watch and talk over this nonsensical mess

 

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Enjoy as Scott makes me see how truly bad this film really is.  We also babble on about Twilight amongst other things afterwards for some reason.  There seemed to be synicing issues as Scotts version seemed to be running faster but we ramble on reguardless. Enjoy the audio…. because the films is shit.

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The Wolverine

 

 

No one has played a superhero more time than Hugh Jackman and after the disappointing X-Men Organs, fans have still yet to see a Wolverine film they really want. Sadly we’re never going to get an over violent blood filled film starring the one they call Logan but is The Wolverine the best we can hope for? Based the Graphic novel by Chris Claremont and  Frank Miller, sees our adamantium clawed hero fly to Japan to meet Yashida, an ageing millionaire who he once saved in the past, is dying and offers to take away his powers/curse from him. Needless to say shifty bloke with dragon tattoos and samurai swords start attacking left right and centre and Logan’s healing abilities are all of a sudden gone. Leaving him to protect Yashida’s granddaughter the while at he’s most valuable.

 

The Wolverine rights most of the wrongs of the last film by being all about its lead character rather than cramming its plot with other mutants, making a mess of the story and pissing of the fans who love them so much. It also lets Jackman have an entire film to himself adding more depth and more slashing and stabbing. The action and the pacing is well handled. Within its two-hour running time there is never a dull moment with some memorable set pieces, particularly the sequence on a bullet train. However dispute its enjoyable experience, The Wolverine lacks a certain kick to make it anything other than perfectly fine, which is a shame as it could have been great. Director James Mangold does a really great job although it seemed like he’s restrained by the 12a/PG13 rating keeping it safe and a tad plane when the story itself is yearning as something more darker. That’s not to say the all is missing is a tone of gore and limbs flying about the place (thought that would be awesome) but the over all tone feels more lightweight and is missing that extra depth.

 

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Jackman is great as all ways and backed up with solid support by Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima and Hiroyuki Sanada. Mangold  makes use of the new Tokyo surroundings giving the series a breath of fresh air and even though we’ve seen the whole superhero being stripped of his powers story line been done many times before, for Wolverine is makes sense, especially when facing against mostly human foes, retaining the sense of danger that he may not make it out of this one. But again these elements about him having to cope with injuries never feels fully explored which is a real shame. regardless of its failings, The Wolverine gives the fans the film they wanted, it just could have been amazing instead of good..

Inglourious Bastnerds E 22 : Little Miss Sunshine

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The second podcast this week where Scott @Celluloidical chooses one of his favorite films Little Miss Sunshine. In this episode we are joined by Mike  ‏@filmfoolery as they both gush over and convice me that its a better film than I gave it credit for. Also as well as more idle chat about films we’ve seen recently and Mike shares his thoughts on some the the new releases. Look out for a X Men Origins : Wolverine commentery track heading your way soon.

Enjoy

 

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The Worlds End

 

So now the final instalment of the cornetto trilogy is upon us. I say trilogy, they’re a three completely different films directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and ice cream. Ever since Shaun of the Dead became the internally beloved classic that it is, Hot Fuzz has trailed behind it as an extremely cleaver and funny take on the american action movie it was in the end uneven. So after their take on horror and action, now we have Sci-Fi in the form of the The World End. Pegg stars as Gary King, an unlikable 40 something, unable to move on from his teenage life. In an effort to reclaim that crown of glory, he finds his old friends from school to re-attempt the Golden Mile. A pub crawl that consists of twelve pints in twelve pubs that the five friends never did finish all those years ago. As you’d expect things don’t go to plan, what with an alien invasion and all that but they’ll be damned if that will stop them from completing the challenge.

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At worst, The Worlds Ends feels like a film  made on obligation, made purely because of public demand.  However as far as obligations go, it is pretty excellent stuff. Consistently funny through out, it never fails to entertain with fine drunken banter from a fantastic supporting cast such as Martian Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine holding their own with the best of them. Of course Wright and co make this more than just a comedy, the action set pieces are so incredibly well executed that they wouldn’t seem out-of-place in a Jackie Chan film. You have to give it credit for going down an unexpected dark path that in the end relays more acting and character devilment rather than hitting and running. Considine could be called the third lead as tis long-lost romance with Oliver’s (Freeman) sister Sam (Rosamund Pike) gets a second chance and is a real testament to his acting abilities, with the limited screen time he has gives you everything you need to root for just by giving a gazing look as Gary tries to steal that glory away for his own selfish needs. The real heart of the story belongs to Pegg and Frost as always. With the roles reversed slightly with Pegg playing the fool and Frost as the straight man, their relationship is the most fractured to start with which of course as the drink flow more and more, their old bond starts to repair itself.

 

Shaun of the Dead was always a hard act to follow Shaun being a stable favourite all these years but the Wright, Pegg and Frost have somehow managed it. In some ways Worlds Ends finds more simulates with the RomZomCom than with Fuzz however never quite achieved that warm heart that made everyone fall in love with it. That’s not to say that there isn’t one at all, it’s just a darker and more cynical this time around..

Pacific Rim

 

So here is another summer blockbuster featuring giant robots fighting as buildings collapse around them. No…. wait… come back…… it’s not a Michael Bay Transformers sequel and its an original idea that isn’t based on a comic book or a re-make/sequel. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim basic premise is giant robots vs monsters. Set in the near future, cracks form at the bottom of the ocean as a new dimension opens up releasing the Kaiju, creatures the size of buildings causing distraction in their path. To protect us all from these horrendous attacks, we create Jaegers, huge robot machines that act as guardians piloted by two people with their minds merged together working as one.

 

Del Toro is the perfect choice to take on such a silly idea with his inner child revealing in the fun making Pacific Rim such a joy to watch. It reminded me very much of the blockbusters of the 80’s 90’s, where all it took was a redial idea with a sense of adventure. Most of the big movies these days try to have they’re cake and eat it by having massive things hit other massive thing as everything explodes while buildings fall down all the while aspiring as witty intelligent and meaningful. That’s not to say that you can’t have both but that requires a strong vision from the start instead of an after thought. Pacific Rim is the former with its roots firmly set as solid entertainment with a warm heart at its centre.  Character development and story maybe be lacking but is just about strong enough to get you through as the over 2 hour running time flies by. The dialogue is a bit choppy and that may sound like an over statement up until the point you realise that its been said by characters with such names as Stacker Pentecost and Hannibal Chau with robots fighting monsters.

 

This is not a high water mark of cinema but you have to judge on its own merits and aspirations and Pacific Rim is nothing short of pure childhood fun and there is nothing wrong with that..

Episode 21 Reviews and News : Inglorious Bastnerds Podcast

Hello we’re back and this time we’re doing a 2 episodes a week. This is our recent releases and news section  where we talk Comic-Con and The Worlds End and defend Pacific Rim with all my might (Its just good fun deal with it).

Be warned… We do talk SPOILERS…. kind of……

This episode features the vocal talents of Allan @mysocalledbrain Scott @Celluloidical  Ian @i_nesbot   and of great and wonderful host Chris @CinemaTronix

Look out for another episode latter on in the week with Little Miss Sunshine…….Enjoy

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The Bling Ring

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Inspired by true events the new film by Sofia Coppola is a look at celebrity culture. When a group of teenagers obsessed with fame starts desiring Gucci handbags and expensive jewry, partially of one Paris Hilton, one of them gets the idea of googling  the stars home address and walking in when she’s out and using it as one big free shopping mall. Once they get away with it without any hassle they return multiple times while stopping off at the homes of Linsey Lohan and other reality TV stars.

The the films takes an objective view at these characters letting the audience decide for themselves how they feel about these characters while they idolise possessions over anything else. Copula does a good job in finding the kids relatable pointing the blame in numerous directions, whether it’s the media, idle parenting or the celebrities themselves but you can’t help but feel anger as your surrounded by such shallowness. Emma Watson is be the face you recognise the most apart from Lessie Mann as her clueless mother, but the rest of the cast do a great job of bringing these horrific characters to life in a naturalistic way.

What you take from The Bling Ring is what you get out of it. Its doesn’t condemn the actions of its characters or does it glorify them. The glitz of of the Hollywood hills shine through the screen, matching the faux glamour of said reality stars. The Bling Ring has many targets and they are all too real..

Now You See Me

Now you see me is the new film by Louis Leterrier to make a crime caper that involves magicians. Sounds like fun. Throw in a cast that has Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine and you have my attention. So a fun premise with a sold cast, it has to be at least be reasonably enjoyable…. Right?

Eisenberg, Harrelson, Fisher and Dave Franco (James’s brother) are a bunch of small time street magicians and pickpockets summoned by a mysterious figure to form a magical group know as The Four Horsemen. A collective of magicians who become the biggest magic act in the world. When they actively rob a bank as part of their show, its up to a frustrated F.B.I agent Mark Ruffalo to constantly running after them as they use magic to escape.

Now You See Me Works best when its a fast paced detective story set to solve the way these heists/magic tricks are set up. However despite the film telling you to look closely and pay attention as if it was about to pull off something really cleaver, it in fact pulls off something really dumb. Dropping the interesting parts where you have the secrets revealed, it turns into a visual effects show with Morgan Freeman stood in the corner looking smug. It doesn’t help that the lead four aren’t very likeable. Eisenberg plays a character that is arrogant and pompous , Harrelson has more charm until you realise that he is just a creepy con-man and Isla Fisher is there just so that it’s not all dudes and Franco is the disposable one. Watching it almost makes you feel almost as frustrated as Mark Ruffalo as he tries to carry the entire film on his shoulders with added forced love interest in the form of a partnered Interpol Agent (Mélanie Laurent).

Ultimately, Now You See Me is set out as a fun ride but a real cleaver edge to it. Instead it’s a reasonably fun ride that throws everything it has at the screen just so you wont see what it has up it’s sleeve, not very much. .