For some reason, I find this all incredibly emotional. I’ll go see it, of course, but expect copious amounts of weeping.
It’s my experience that we all choose our families. Sometimes they are relationships of blood (hej hej the Cuffs), but sometimes they’re not who we’re born with but rather they are families magicked together out of friendship or sex or shared experience or even of necessity. So I totally get the basic premise of We’re The Millers – finding your true family is a wondrous thing. It takes a while to get there though….
In We’re The Millers, Jason Sudeikis plays David, a self-absorbed, small-time Denver pot dealer who’s forced to make a drug run into Mexico on behalf of a gleefully amoral narcissist. To get through the border there and back, he enlists the help of a spunky teenage runaway, a geeky naif and the proverbial stripper with a heart of gold (Jennifer Anniston) to fake the happy all-American Miller family. Thus ensues an R-rated comedy that’s partly genius, partly stomach-cringing crass, partly funny, partly embarassing – but ultimately it’s saved from its gross-outs (I’m about 30 years too old for all the cock and vagina jokes) by a genuine affection for the mismatched protagonists.
Denver isn’t Denver of course, it’s Wilmington, and Mexico is New Mexico, but what can you do?
You know what I loved? Every single, uproarious moment of Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. It would still have been brilliant as a bittersweet, wry, finely observed Mike Leigh comedy about five school friends who reconnect for a pub crawl through the small country town they grew up in. But – a big but – add in some ink-blooded alien bodysnatchers, some brutally epic fight scenes, some Rosamund freakin Pike, and sixty pints of lager, and you’ve got a hilarious instant classic.
Simon Pegg is actually completely brilliant here, and the rest of the gang – Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan – are pitch perfect, It’s Nick Frost though, completely playing against type as the uptight lawyer who is standout here. And did I mention Rosamund Pike? Brilliant.
So I laughed out loud. A lot. And loudly, too. And do you know what? You can even do the pub crawl in Welwyn Garden City next time you’re in Blighty. Seriously. Fantastic.
Paranoia isn’t really about paranoia, it’s about corporate espionage, and a couple of greedy biznis bigwigs who are out to destroy each other by stealing each others secrets. The ill-considered tool they use for their shenanigans is flobby Liam Hemsworth. A hapless pawn in their nefarious intrigues, he’s forced to lie, cheat, steal and compromise his friends and loved ones for no good reason at all really.
It’s dreadful on the whole. And while Paranoia has the bling Manhattan locations and crisp, glossy styling of a movie like Limitless, it has little of the panache or feel, and none of the sense. Hemsworth in particular must be thanking his lucky gods that he’s got two more Hunger Games movies in his future, because if his career path was to be determined by his vacant, slack-jawed performance here, it’d be stalling like a 1982 Citi Golf.
I so don’t know about this Sabotage movie. It has such a great cast – Olivia Williams, Mireille Enos, Terence Howard. But on the negatives, it got Arnold Schwarzenegger (that’s a BIG negative) who’s just smug and self-referential and dreadful in so, so, many ways. And I never got Aussie brickie Sam Worthington as a movie star of any note.
Nerdy CIA policy wonk Jack Ryan gets a 2014 upgrade and goes all James Bond on your ass.
I used to really love Hugh Grant. But then he bought into his own marketing and he trans-morphed into a vain, preening, self-satisfied hokey old ham of an actor. He’s essentially become unwatchable these days, so self-aware and inward-looking are his performances. As a producer of The Wolverine debacle, you can almost hear him sending daily notes through to the Director: “Mr. Grant thinks the audience would like more scenes where he’s shirtless….”
The whole movie smacks of his self-indulgence, and it is painful. I saw the extended version too. If you want those boys in Guantanamo to hurry up and confess, show them this on a loop. Seriously. And let’s not talk about the gaping plot holes, or the really really really annoying trend of giving us a Superhero movie, and then actually denying him his superpowers. (Yes I’m thinking of you, Spider-Man 3) Anyhoo, The Wolverine filmed in Japan, so it’s got some interesting-y locations, but the bulk was actually shot in Sydney, so it’s just not interesting enough. Honestly, I really wouldn’t bother.
I can’t remember why it’s Red in the first place. Code Red? Something like that. Anyway Red 2, the sequel, brings back the old guys from the rollicking first movie, and throws them into the deep-end of some complex and convoluted turmoil that necessitates random killings, transitory alliances and blowing shit up. The plot has something to do with an old British spy from the Cold War who’s buried a nuke in the Kremlin (because, you know, well, yes….) and the guys have to both rescue him and prevent the bomb from falling into the wrong hands.
The wrong hands is that revolting, moon-faced old gerontophile Catherine Zeta Jones, who’s supposed to act all sexy but spends most of the film being as big-boned and charmless as bad drag. Even the Mary Louise Parker character – so quirky and delightful in the first movie – has devolved into a bored housewife who basically gets off on guns and violence. Red 2 filmed in London and Moscow, amongst other places, and has a few nice aerial shots to prove it, but otherwise it’s fairly non-challenging in the locations department. It’s not a bad film, but it’s seriously disappointing after the promise of the first.
The latest 80′s scifi to be treated to a reboot: RoboCop. Though why anyone thought weedy-Swede Joel Kinnaman could begin to hold his own against the collective scene-chewery of Sam L Jackson, Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman is beyond me.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of casting: Abbie Cornish, love, you’ve GOT talk to your agent about your movie choices….
“TAKE THE ARC!”
Oh f*&k off….. (*shakes head despairingly)