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

grimsby

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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Film: Bright – “like a nuclear weapon that grants wishes”

Netflix is a relatively recent novelty in our house, I tend to prefer films to TVs series simply because I can have a start, middle and end for only a couple of hours of investment – although films are starting to have such long running lengths that I may soon need to reassess this logic

There aren’t many films that I’ve been that taken with on Netflix so I was excited by the trailer for ‘Bright’ which looked like a mismatched buddy cop movie with added fantasy elements such as orcs, elves and magic

It also reunited Will Smith with ‘Suicide Squad’ director David Ayer and in many ways it felt similar – funky ideas and hints of really super things that didn’t make it onscreen

There were dragons in the sky, centaur cops in the background of a couple of scenes as well as references to a Dark Lord and a prophecy – however disappointingly none of these were explored.

Despite that it was a fun enough film, it is essentially a cop film set in a slightly different version of contemporary America – where orcs are the underclass and elves are the distant (and under-explored) upper class.

I really wanted more world building and more detail, however perhaps the sequel will provide some more depth

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Film: Hail, Caesar! – “The whole setup only works if I play along, right?”

My Sibling definitely told me that they had seen ‘Hail Caesar’, however I can’t remember if they loved it or were disappointed; it seems to be one of those films that divides people

The Coen Brothers have been involved in the writing and/or directing and/or production of a lot of weird films, some of which have been more amusing than others.

‘Hail, Caesar!’ is certainly weird, however it has a solid concept – as it follows 1950s Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix clean up problems – non more pressing than when big star Baird Whitlock disappears.

Hail,_Caesar!

George Clooney and Josh Brolin work really well as opposite sides of the same coin – both are part of the system however see very different sides to it.

Personally I know very little about 1950s Hollywood – other than vague details of the types of film were popular and that there were a lot of blacklisted writers; so for me the film was funny and lighthearted, I wasn’t expecting a bigger message or a deeper plot.

Maybe if you have higher expectations it won’t be so fun, which would be a pity as it’s a cute little bit of nothing

**Amazon Affiliate link for Hail, Caesar! if you are so inclined**

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Film: The Mummy (2017) – “It’s not an exact science, this business”

Any remake runs the risk of struggling under the weight of expectations set by the original, this felt very apparent in the Tom Cruise version of ‘The Mummy

The main reason that I had any interest in seeing this film was because of the unintentionally funny version of the trailer that was put online with most of the sound effects missing – leaving the random grunting and screaming to take centre stage.

The_Mummy_(2017)

Watching the finished film is a fairly similar experience, there are monsters and special effects however it feels like something fundamental is missing. Tom Cruise plays his usual barely two-dimensional self – which works for the first half of the film as the audience is meant to think that he’s a self-serving jerk, however it doesn’t make him believably redeemable

The plot is predictable enough to be light entertainment if you detach your brain there are various action scenes however there is no real sense of peril and the acting deserves special mention for being rubbish – even for a big budget action film

Russell Crowe as Dr Henry Jekyll, yes THAT Jerkyll, is utterly awful and feels shoe-horned in, however at least he got a central role; poor Sofia Boutella plays the title character yet is very much not the focus of the film (that would be Tom).

The best actor – and indeed character, in the film was Jake Johnson who plays Cruise’s semi-hallucination very dead sidekick, he was a less OTT version of Beni from the 1999 version of The Mummy

If you can watch this film very very cheaply and have very very low standards then it might be largely unintentionally funny enough to bother

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Film: Django Unchained – “I don’t know what positive means”

As with most aspects of modern pop culture Quentin Tarantino can be rather divisive; some people are very enthusiastic about this work, others are less so.

Personally I liked the overdose of pop cultural irrelevance mixed with artfully stylised violence of ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘True Romance’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’. Even ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ had a disposable watchability about it

django unchained

However I find that I’m increasingly indifferent to his later output, with ‘Django Unchained’ being a good example of why; almost of the characters outside of the two leads lack depth or any sense of real dimension, the dialogue feels like it was written purely to be performed – it doesn’t tell you much of value and it’s hard to imagine natural conversation flowing in the way that Tarantino seems to think it does.

Some people have hailed ‘Django Unchained’ as being a powerful piece of cinema that showcases the brutality of slavery – I was pretty happy in the knowledge that slavery was bad before I watched the film so maybe I wasn’t the target audience.

Watching the film did permit me to see Tarantino’s usual mix of unpleasant scenes, emotional set pieces (generally from underwritten female roles) and lots of dead people. The ridiculous overuse of squibs in the final act was noteworthy and probably meant to be humorous, however it got to the point of feeling overblown and silly.

However it was a lot better than ‘Death Proof’

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