Film: Baywatch – “Wow. This is gonna take a while”

I’d never seen any of the Baywatch TV series, however there was a really sleazy kid at school who was obsessed with Pamela Anderson despite his being way too young for it to be even vaguely appropriate

So basically I associate Baywatch with sleazy perverts and poor parenting… Although I’m assured that wasn’t the main aim of the show

Anyway it’s years later and Hollywood desperately needed something easy to write that would make money at the box office, so Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and some ladies in uncomfortable looking swimsuits try to break up a drug ring

The plot was paper-thin and incidental: there was far more focus in the script about dick jokes and how many times everyone could say “f**k”- it was a lot of times

My favourite part of the film was that beginning credits which were in a colour and font that looked like it wanted to drip blood, it was a perfect horror film font and utterly wasted on this film

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Film: Pirates of The Caribbean 5 – “No shame in that, dear. We all have to make a living”

Depending on your geographic location Pirate of the Caribbean 5 will have been either ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ or ‘Salazar’s Revenge’ – which seems a stupid way to market a film but maybe they felt the Americans prefer dead bodies to foreign names?

Sometimes it feels a bit of a mystery who the target audience for a film is, for example is there really a huge market of people wanting to pay money for the fifth instalment of Johnny Depp playing an inept drunk pirate who inexplicably ends up coming out on top of any situation?

As IMDB list the cumulative worldwide gross as being $794,861,74 then yeah I guess there are, admittedly I wasn’t one of them, I just found the film on a streaming service that I already have a subscription for and had enough curiosity to press play on

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The first hour is watchable in a hammy sort of way; Will Turner’s son Henry is all grown up and looking for a way to break daddy’s curse – he thinks that way might be Poseidon’s Trident.

Henry meets the semi-zombie Captain Salazar who Jack Sparrow managed to trap in a Devil’s Triangle a few years ago.

In Saint Martin a young woman, Carina, who has an interest in astrology (that links to her currently unknown father) and is promptly accused of witchcraft. Jack is also on the same island and is being generally daft, after some hi-jinks he trades his magic compass for alcohol – which is a bad idea as somehow this frees Salazar from the Triangle and he isn’t a happy zombie so decides to hunt down Jack

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The hunting down part takes a while and gets rather dull, apart from the underused zombie sharks. A surprise-free summing up of the entire last hour of the film is: Jack wins, all the named cast fulfil their guessable fates, everyone else is irrelevant and are treated as such.

Much like the last couple of films in the Pirates franchise there is absolutely no point or character development and only mild entertainment. Maybe they should just open another theme park ride based on the next script, it might just about work for a 5 minute ride.

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Film: Hollow Man “C’mon guys. That’s funny”

As a general rules I find that films from the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s with a rock/metal soundtrack aren’t very good; they tend to be horror/thriller films that have surprisingly large budgets given how poor the script is.

For example if I pick on Powerman5000 in that time period their tracks have featured on the soundtracks of ‘Spawn’ (1997), ‘Bride of Chucky’, ‘Dead Man On Campus’ (1998), ‘End of Days’ (1999), ‘Universal Solider: The Return’ (1999), ‘Dracula 2000’, ‘Scream 3’ (2000), ‘Freddy VS Jason’ (2003), ‘Alone in the Dark’ (2005) and ‘Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave’.

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This means that if I hear a rock/metal track obviously in a film score early on then fearing the worst feels reasonable; to be fair Powerman5000 don’t have a track present in ‘Hollow Man’, however there are a couple of cringe-inducing inserted rock/metal tracks that Google tells me are Skunk Anansie’s Charlie Big Potato and Sunna’s Power Struggle

So early musical warnings aside even as a concept it seems a bit ropey to make a film inspired by H. G. Wells The Invisible Man but not so inspired that you want to admit it. It was direct by Paul Verhoeven, yet features little of the social commentary or satirist depth present in ‘Robocop’ or even ‘Starship Troopers’; instead ‘Hollow Man’ is more a generic thriller / horror film about a scientist who makes himself invisible and truly embracing the creepy pervert aspects of his personality where were heavily hinted by his visible behaviour

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Since the scientist was such a creepy pervert to start with the film doesn’t have any shock value to utilise when he goes completely off the rails, nor does it really know what to do with him within the confines of a laboratory and a small pool of potential victims, so it’s not massively interesting.

If I hadn’t been doing other things whilst watching this film I wouldn’t have made it to the half way mark, maybe it needed Powerman500 on the soundtrack after all

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Film: Falling Down – “I’ve passed the point of no return”

‘Falling Down’ came out in 1993, yet in many ways it still feels remarkable current and relevant; the annoyances that trigger William Foster’s angry day are very normal and understandable to most people.

Even over 20 years later the ‘normal’ measures of worth in mainstream society are having a job and a family, losing either, let alone both, tends to have a powerful effect on anyone – with rage  being an instinctive emotion.

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Not that I’m suggesting that losing these ‘norms’ plus a bit of bad traffic should inspire someone to decide to ignore a restraining order put in place by their ex-wife (who also has custody of their child) and go across town causing increasingly violent mayhem in response to situation that are inconvenient or aggravating – but I understand the urge

Michael Douglas is a very convincing man well over edge and gives the depth of a role that could easily have been someone doing bad things for no reason.

Unfortunately whilst, or perhaps because, the film captures a certain zeitgeist it also faithfully depicts that usual outcome for someone rejecting all societal norms and rules – it doesn’t tend to end well

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Film: Grimbsy – I can find nothing safe to quote…

Sacha Baron Cohen does have a knack for comedy that could offend and ‘Grimsby’ is no exception – for starters it wasn’t even filmed in Grimsby

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In the interests of keeping this post family-friendly there isn’t actually much that I can say about ‘Grimsby’ other than it’s about a spy and his long lost brother, it also really isn’t family friendly!

I did watch some parts of it with my hands covering my face and it was surprisingly that some of the ‘jokes’ didn’t get cut at the insistence of the censors – although there were some actually funny moments in between all the shock value bits

If you can watch it legally without it costing you any additional money – for example it appears on a streaming service that you subscribe to, then it’s worth watching just to see how high your tolerance of the unnecessarily vulgar is – apparently mine isn’t high enough to not hide for at least some of the film …

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Film – Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead – “are all men from the future loud-mouth braggarts?”

I hadn’t seen any of Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead’ films in years so jumped at the chance to watch the 3rd one – which in the UK is known as ‘Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead’; although may have a different name depending what country you are in!

Because nothing helps a film like having an unclear and muddled marketing campaign!

The plot is Ash (Bruce Campbell) ends up trapped in the Middle Ages and eager to get home in the right timeline, however this is almost incidental as it does little more than enable lots of undead to be killed.

For a comedy horror film from the early 1990s it’s held up pretty well and due to the handy recapping introduction you don’t even need to rewatch that first two ‘Evil Dead’ films. The film itself is pretty good – silly but enjoyable, I did catch myself thinking that some scenes weren’t exactly as I remembered however I assumed that was due to the years elapsed since I last watched it.

However things got a bit weird when it got to the ending as it wasn’t the ending that I was expecting at all!

Apparently there are two endings depending on if you view the US version or the UK/ Director’s cut

The endings are: (SPOILERS)

The US ending has Ash return to the present and back working in the S-Mart where he confronts one last Deadite. This was the ending that I was expecting and didn’t get!

However apparently the other ending is preferred by Raimi and Campbell, where Ash walls himself into a cave – with his Oldsmobile, takes too many drops of magic sleeping potion and wakes up in a post-apocalyptic landscape

So all very confusing!

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Film: Zootopia – “Life isn’t some cartoon musical where you sing a little song and all your insipid dreams magically come true. So let it go.”

‘Zootopia’ sounded a fun premise, a rabbit is inspired to be a cop in the seemingly perfect utopia of Zootopia where predators and prey live together in harmony

Having attained her dream she finds that the big city isn’t so perfect and has to work with a con-man fox in order to unravel a mysterious conspiracy

Without giving too much away the plot is fun, the knowing nods to the audience are fun, the voice actors are well chosen and the characters are well rounded – all this despite it being an animated film ostensively aimed at children

I really enjoyed ‘Zootopia’ and it made up for some of the really iffy junk I seem to have watched over the holidays!

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