I’m a peacock, you gotta let me fly!

Tonight I rewatched The Other Guys (Netflix). I’ve seen this film many times, including at the cinema when I got the reaction ‘it was better than I expected it to be based on your choice in films’. Seriously.

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The Other Guys follows desk cops boring Will Ferrell and angry Mark Wahlberg through a series of comedy crime capers. There’s a host of hilarious cameos from some great actors including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Samuel L Jackson. For some unexplained reason Michael Keaton’s character talks in 90s band TLC song titles and Eva Mendes is very, very plain.

My favourite characters are Rob Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr.

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Love these guys!

Mark Wahlberg does short and angry very well but I prefer Will Ferrell when he’s doing his crazy, over the top, scene stealing roles. He’s a bit downbeat in this – other than his fabulous ‘Gator’ speech.

I feel like this film got a bit lost when it came out and seems to have been forgotten about in comedy history. I enjoy it (obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have watched it as much). If you like Will Ferrell and you like the comedy genre then watch this film. It isn’t as crude and ridiculous as some comedy films of the same time and watch out for Gator!!

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Harry Potter and the horns of destiny

I decided to watch the film Horns tonight (yup, Netflix). It stars Harry Potter, sorry, Daniel Radcliffe as an ‘American’ gentleman who wakes up with satyr-like horns shortly after his girlfriend is found dead and he is accused of her murder.

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In a world of re-makes and franchises it was quite refreshing to watch something fairly unique. The storyline and the way it was told were quite novel and it made for an interesting watch.

Straight off I felt uneasy about watching DanRad and Juno Temple with strained American accents. They’re not the best but you gradually get used to them. Juno Temple is actually quite a good actress, I’d only really seen her in British teen films before.

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I missed her glorious hair though.

The story is told through a series of flashbacks and the viewer unravels the story at the same pace as DanRad’s character.

The film is described as a comedy horror. I would disagree with this. I would say it was more of a black comedy/fantasy. Maybe I’ve just seen too many horror films, but I would not classify this in that genre.

The film uses a lot of Biblical analogy and imagery to make the reader question the meaning of morality. There is Eve’s Diner, a lot of talk of angels, a cross pendant and, hilariously, a lot of snakes. Harry, you’re a parselmouth, get over it!

I don’t really know what else to say about this. Perhaps it was a bit long at 2 hours but I would give it a watch, especially if you enjoy the films of Guillermo Del Toro, which I would say is the closest comparison I can make.

I hope this is the start of DanRad moving on from the boy wizard and becoming a more versatile actor. He’s actually quite charismatic, in a weird way. Though, as a die hard Potterhead I did keep shouting spells at the screen whenever he could have got himself out of trouble. Lumos!

Rachel McAdams is not a mean girl

Tonight’s film fare was About Time (available on Netflix) a strange, Richard Curtis affair starring Regina George and Bill Weasley. Also starring Bill Nighy playing, once again, Bill Nighy.

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To tell the truth, I found this film very odd and pretty boring. It started off well and then sort of trailed off into nothingness. Bill Weasley was told on his 21st birthday that he could travel through time but this magical power was just a bit weird and didn’t actually add anything to the storyline. It reminded me of Bridget Jones where she imagines scenarios before she actually goes through them.

I enjoyed the early parts of the film, where he met Rachel McAdams but the second half of the film was just a bit meh. It was all a bit meaningless. The film itself was also rather over long, the same effect could have been easily achieved in an hour and a half, it was over two hours long.

Domhnall Gleeson was very charming (and ginger). His accent reminded me of being back at Durham University. I don’t always like Rachel McAdams. I liked her in Mean Girls (duh) and in Wedding Crashers but I really dislike The Notebook and The Time Traveller’s Wife was a snoozefest. Wait – wasn’t this basically just a reworking of The Time Traveller’s Wife?! Odd.

Their relationship was very sweet but also a bit bland. To mix things up she does things like wearing a red wedding dress, as seen here:

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Edgy.

Bill Weasley’s relationship with his dad was also explored but was still kind of dull. He could always fix things, up to a point, so nothing really seemed to matter.

Some of the dialogue was funny. At one point Rachel McAdams described lawyers as ‘sexy’. The script writer clearly has never met any of us. Not a word I would use to describe us!

All in all I found this film a waste of time, it was about time it finished already! The time travel was just a bit pointless and I kept expecting something exciting to happen but it never did. There are many Richard Curtis films that I love but this just isn’t one of them.

Another Sunday night with Jake Gyllenhaal

This evening I decided to watch Nightcrawler. I’ve been meaning to watch it for a while and I noticed that they’ve just added it to Amazon Prime. I didn’t really know a lot about the film and had no idea what to expect.

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What struck me was how against type Jake Gyllenhaal’s character was. It was instantly noticeable how skinny he was from his hollowed out cheeks and tiny wrists. I could have counted on one hand how many times he blinks during the film, which is incredibly unsettling. His character reminded me a lot of the lead characters from the popular Scandi Noir films and tv. He is distant and finds it hard to empathise with other people. He laughs at some pretty unsettling things for the purpose of furthering his craft – which is filming crime scenes. At one point he pulls this face in the mirror:

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Yup.

Other than Jake’s character, all the other characters were fairly bland and forgettable. There was no one that I really liked or warmed to, including Jake – although I guess that is the point.

I hadn’t really thought about the fact that people film crime scenes. To be honest I didn’t even think it could be a thing, it’s incredibly unnerving and seems rather immoral. A pretty interesting topic for a film.

However, I found that although the build up to the climax of the film was interesting and well-paced the beginning of the film was very same-y and they could have added other elements to move it along a bit. Also, because it all happened at night it was all visually very similar. Though, I guess the clue is in the title!

I think Nightcrawler was an interesting film choice for Jake. He is very good at the ‘on the brink of a meltdown’ acting. I just wish there had been part of the storyline that I could have related to.

Matt Damon (Matt Damon)

Today I went to see The Martian (along with half of the population). First off, I went by myself and had some right banter with the guy serving me. To the point that he joked that the two for £10 offer that came with the ticket clearly wouldn’t be applicable to me!!

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I think I’ve said in a previous post that I like Matt Damon as an actor. He’s intensely likable and I think that’s chiefly the reason why this is such an enjoyable film (well, it’s definitely not the plot!). It’s really fun to watch him joking around to himself, to the rest of the crew and to the people at NASA. I also felt really tense towards the end because I just really wanted him to make it.

The rest of the cast are also great, there isn’t a weak link in a very star-studded cast. Jessica Chastain heads up the crew as a sensible captain who has a heart. The rest of the crew each bring a little something to the mix (and seem to be half the supporting cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – yay Sebastian Stan).

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I miss his guyliner!

Despite being primarily an Action/Sci-Fi film, The Martian has great moments of humour. I particularly enjoyed the Iron Man joke and Sean Bean explaining the Council of Elrond. I enjoyed Sean Bean’s joke so much that I openly laughed out loud and was the only person to do so. One does not simply stay quiet at comedy gold like that!

The film reminds me a lot of 90s survival movies – I’m thinking Armageddon, Twister and Deep Impact. It has a lot of heart and space looked really great on the big screen. I will say that Mars looked a lot like Tatooine though!

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Yeah? You must mean old Ben Kenobi!

All in all, I would definitely recommend seeing this. It’s good, old-fashioned film fun. Just don’t take the plot too seriously. It’s pretty ridiculous and once again the Americans send all their resources to bring back Matt Damon (Matt Damon).

Why did I watch it to the end?!

This evening I watched a RomCom called ‘Bride Wars’ on E4. Let me start by saying I did not enjoy it and I’m not sure why I watched it all the way to the end (yes I do, I was too lazy to find the remote to change the channel!)

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I’m not always a fan of ‘girly’ films. I can find them a bit nauseous and they fixate on issues I find a bit boring. I guess I like the thrill of the chase and the will-they-won’t-they. These couples were couples at the outset of the film. Already my attention has been lost.

Let’s start with the leads. I love Kate Hudson. She is fabulous. She’s funny and beautiful – the perfect combination. However, I hate (and I mean HATE) Anne Hathaway! I think it’s something about her mouth. And her face in general. Well, her facial expressions. I just find her hard to watch. Again, another reason why my attention drifted.

As for their male counterparts, who didn’t really have a lot to do if I’m being honest, I was excited by young, chubby Chris Pratt!

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But even he was disappointing! He wasn’t funny, he was just boring. Give me Peter Quill any day!

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It’s like a Jackson Pollock in there…

The actual storyline was dull and predictable – but perhaps that’s what some people want from a RomCom. I also didn’t find the ‘Com’ part particularly funny. The pranks were unbelievable and really very harsh. I’m not sure I could treat someone as vindictively as they did to each other if they’d supposedly been my best mate.

Perhaps the only reason I watched it to the end was so I could feel justified in criticising it. I just didn’t enjoy it. End of. But if you did, I probably wouldn’t judge you, I’d just think you liked RomComs more than me and had a higher tolerance of Anne Hathaway’s face.

ATJ and a foul-mouthed child.

Tonight’s movie of choice (and also available on Netflix – I’m not sponsored by them, promise!) is Kick-Ass 2. I saw Kick-Ass not that long ago, pretty late to the game and quite liked it. I wouldn’t say I was crazy about it, which might explain why it’s taken a reasonable amount of time for me to watch the sequel.

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After I got past Quicksilver and ‘blatantly Quicksilver but copyright prevents us from calling him Quicksilver’ being friends which I had forgotten from the first film (I preferred Evan Peters – agree?) and had Wikipedia’d ATJ to confirm he’s the one with the older wife, I started watching properly.

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Anyone else think that ATJ looks better blond? (and HENCH).

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Yeah?

Then, because I’d been on my phone, Evan Peters suddenly wasn’t in it anymore?! What even happened there?! Confused!! And then he was played by some other dude?! Huh?! Did I imagine Evan Peters?!

The first thing that struck me is that the language isn’t as bad as the first film. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it was truly shocking hearing Hit-Girl’s language in the first film. It’s still pretty violent, although even the violence seems more slapstick whereas in the first one it seems more real. Again, not necessarily a bad thing!

Most superhero sequels struggle in not being an origin story. Kick-Ass 2 tries to compensate by adding a million new characters. I struggled knowing exactly what was going on and who they were – I have a limited attention span. How come there’s only one new female superhero character and the others are all superficial high school girls?!

The actors are all pretty great. Chloe Grace Moretz is fabulous (and she just keeps getting better), Jim Carrey is refreshingly ‘un-Jim Carrey’ and Christopher Mintz-Plasse is McLovin with weird hair. How many of these actors have three names?!

I liked the storyline of the film but I disliked a lot of the ‘filler’ bits. What was with the sick stick? Unnecessary.

Conclusion: it was watchable but, would I watch it again? Probably not.

(Yes, I was too lazy to write out Aaron Taylor-Johnson each time – get over it!)

The View Askewniverse

Tonight I decided to watch Chasing Amy (again, thank you Netflix).

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I’m a Kevin Smith fan – most people are, aren’t they? I love Mallrats, Clerks and Dogma, I even have a soft spot for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back – mainly for THAT Mark Hamill cameo.

However, I’d never seen Chasing Amy all the way through. Sure, I’d seen some of the ‘famous’ bits – the Star Wars speech for example but I had never sat down and watched it from start to finish.

I know a lot of people like this film for Ben Affleck. I have a lot of beef with Ben. I find him quite unlikeable. I prefer Matt Damon (Matt Damon) who I find funnier. Maybe it is just a comedy thing. I like funny. I also prefer Ben when he’s with Matt (Matt Damon). I’m not looking forward to Ben as the Dark Knight, but then I didn’t like the Nolan trilogy so I don’t have high expectations to start with. Give me Will Arnett any day, babe.

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I only work in black, and sometimes very, very dark grey.

Anyway, I digress. I enjoyed Chasing Amy in that I liked the script, the pacing and the characters but not as much as other Kevin Smith films. It was a good film, but can’t live up to Mallrats. Maybe because I saw Mallrats first and have seen it many, many times (look, a sailboat).

I disliked Ben Affleck’s character. He was needy, annoying and had terrible facial hair – not what I want from a lead. I’ve stopped watching films part way through for less!

Undoubtedly the best part of the film (in my opinion) were Jay and Silent Bob. But then they are best when they’re bit parts, rather than the centre of the story. It’s a Bluntman and Chronic treat!

Maybe if Matt (Matt Damon) had been the lead I would have liked it more.

Sunday Night with Jake Gyllenhaal

Last night I decided to re-watch Donnie Darko, since they so kindly added it to Netflix (even though I have it on DVD).

This is a film I was obsessed with when I was about 14/15 and as soon as I started watching it again I remembered why…

Donnie_Darko_TOP-1My inner emo-girl approves.

In all seriousness, there is a great feel to this film. It’s arty and pretentious, but without it being too much. The characters are interesting and different, but still likeable. It has a beautiful soundtrack and visually moves between the mundane and the brilliantly weird effortlessly.

Jake Gyllenhall is fantastic in this film. He portrays the pretty ordinary teenage boy but is always on the verge of a complete meltdown. At his core he is lonely and uncertain of his place in the world. He is growing up. I know I certainly felt like that in my teens.

It also has some pretty memorable sequences and quotes – I’m thinking the weird fluid that Donnie sees and follows and ‘I sometimes doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion’.

It’s very post-modern. Make of the ending what you will. I know how I feel about its meaning, you should be free to decide for yourself.

After finishing Donnie Darko I decided to re-watch The Day After Tomorrow (another teen favourite of mine, I wonder why…)

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Look at his lovely face!

To be fair, this isn’t as ‘good’ a film as Donnie Darko. It tries to be clever but really it’s just another disaster movie.

Emmy Rossum is annoying (not jealous) and is a pathetic Damsel in Distress – in 2015 we like a strong, practical woman! She’s supposed to be incredibly academic (yay) but doesn’t tell anyone she’s sliced her leg open (boo).

There are some brilliant moments of comedy – I’m thinking when they’re discussing whether to save Nietzche and decide to burn the books on tax law instead (a wise decision). But also moments of actual nonsense – like Dennis Quaid trekking through the extreme cold to fetch his son.

Nonsense aside, I love this movie. It’s easy to watch and it has heart. Everyone loves survival against all odds – even if they decide to just wipe out Europe!