2. French Kiss
3. Excess BaggageThe Matinee podcast recently, as I had just seen it. I first saw this film on TV one Saturday afternoon. At first I wondered what the hell was going on and thought it was terrible, but I watched the whole thing. Re-watching it on Netflix, I liked it. I know it was a flop when it came out and I can definitely see why. The plot is basic but weak, the script is rather repetitive, the characters seem like parodies from more serious films, BUT its so bad that its good. Rich brat Emily (Alicia Silverstone) just wants her father to care and notice her so she stages a kidnapping, set to hide herself tied up in her car's boot. But before the police can go collect her, car thief Vincent (Benicio del Toro) steals the car, oblivious to the cargo. Chaos literally ensues. Emily's father send his old friend Ray (Christopher Walken) to find his daughter. Vincent's boss sends his people to retrieve money owed after Emily accidentally burns down the garage with all the stolen cars. Throughout all this, a relationship forms between Vincent and Emily. Of course. I'm unsure if this is a comedy (I did laugh, a lot) or a family drama, gentle gangster film, simply crime caper, its hard to categorise this film, mostly because its all over the place. The crazy turns the film makes, it has an ace cast and its perfect for a lazy afternoon watch. 3/5
4. Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box
5. The English Teacher
6. While We're Young
8. A Little Chaos
9. MortdecaiBonfiglioli as it was humerous, odd and for the most part, easy to read apart from the clunky start. However, this cannot be said for the film adaptation. First off, the story is fabricated. Mortdecai doesn't have a wife until much later on, which is probably why I was constantly irritated by the character's presence. She, Joannna (Gwyneth Paltrow), really wasn't needed apart from to be a reason for Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) and Martland (Ewan McGregor) to argue in a petty school way. It was rather tiresome. The most interesting scenes in the film were actually between Mortdecai and his man servant Jock, an actually well cast Paul Bettany. Mortdecai, dramatic aristocratic art dealer/art thief, has run out of money so when he hears that a missing Goya painting has resurfaced and been stolen AND that is a matter of national security, he sets out to find and bring it back or does he?
The story in the book came across interesting, don't know why by art theft always feel refreshing even though its nothing new, in the film is a muddled mess mixed in with Depp's Terry Thomas impressions. The plot had no urgency to it, nothing felt like 'national security' was in danger. There was too much focus on Mortdecai's new moustache and his marriage. The casting wasn't great either. Depp, who used to be a great character actor has been reduced to Tim Burton puppet or 'man who appears in films that failed'. I thought he would be great but alas my hopes were dashed. He was funny, he and Bettany together even better. Whatever character he created was hilarious but it wasn't Mortdecai. I cannot even be bothered to go into detail why Joanna and Martland were miscast. In short, the book was better. 2/5
10. Frances Ha
So, it's about experiencing your own situation/problems/obstacles from bad to worse to good. Frances never gives up, she tries her hardest at the same time taking the 'easy' way out. I was worried at the start as everything seemed too good to be true vibes. Frances is following her dream of being a modern dancer, she goes out and has fun, she lives with her best friend 'we're the same person but with different hair' and she even has a boyfriend who wants to live with her. But the latter is where things take a turn making this film amazing and relatable to anyone who has tried, failed, tried again and made a little sacrifice to make progress. When she breaks up with her boyfriend because she would rather live with her best friend, who, at the same time is leaving her for a better apartment. The film is split into sections, all starting off with where she is living. The first part, is bliss. The second is still fun and unrealistic, especially when she looses her job and one her roommates continuously calls her 'undateable' whenever she says something a little off. She then stays with a sort of colleague who makes her feel inferior and childish. After that limited offer to stay expires, she ends up moving back into her old college dorms for the Summer while being paid to be an R.A. But it all turns around after a surprise visit from her best friend. She takes an admin job at her old dance company place while creating a new dance piece. It's her stepping stone and she finally gets her own place. To me, this is inspiring as I'm almost at this age where I will have to sacrifice the artist in me to get a move on and the determination and strange optimism Frances has is great. Also, what I liked about this was that no character at any point felt fake. It was all very real and we all knew it but it wasn't over dramatised. It was simple, like the final dance. 4/5
Avengers: Age of Ulron
I saw this film last week but I was mulling over how to approach this brief paragraph to express how much I enjoyed this film. It wasn't 'just another Marvel' film, it was an epic action film about a group of friends/colleagues who have to fight against a dellusional almighty robot. Unlike all the previous films (and TV shows, except Daredevil) there wasn't really any tie in with the previous films at the start, the film just starts, with a snowy bang. Things are explained throughout the sequence but not to the point it was all clear what was happening. At least not until I saw this week's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That aside, I loved the film, Wheadon has really made this (part of the) franchise his own. Screen time and story time was spread out much more evenly between the characters. The main focus of Ultron as a delciously evil and civil sounding overlord robot, voiced to perfect by James Spader was not kicked to the side. The Avengers even had time to develop their own personal issues away from the team. For me Hawkeye and Captain America were the stand outs, mainly because they had some of the best lines. 'We're on a flying city. We're fighting robots. I have a bow and arrows. None of this makes sense!' A pep talk from Hawkeye himself. CA had the saddest storyline of internal emotions still not yet laid to rest and I think he always will, he is the man out of his time. I don't want to spoil anything but I think that non X-Men versions of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch made excellent additions and proved their worth in the fight. I admit I did roll my eye at the whole, Black Widow- Bruce Banner romance as it kind of came out of nowhere and was annoying, yes, they're both monsters, apparently. One of my favourite moments is just before it all kicks off. The gang are all relaxing and joking around trying to pick up Thor's hammer. The film/story balances the playful moments with the plot heavy, serious ones and it feels like that the films are only getting better.