Wednesday, 29 January 2020

J and Silencio Bob

While I'm not a fan of stoner comedies, I do tend to give Kevin Smith a pass. So yeah, I'll absorb this.

Jay and Silent Bob return to go to Hollywood over the Bluntman and Chronic movie... sound familiar? It is supposed to, because this is clearly meta-commentary on the whole reboot/etc stuff. It gets even more meta when most of the story line revolves around Jay being the unknown father to one character, who is played by Harley Quinn Smith... yes, Kevin's daughter. (And Jason's daughter also turns up.) You can tell a lot of scenes were aimed squarely at that relationship.

I did find a lot of this fun. I'm sure people will bounce off it, but I've been on board with their other movies, so no reason I'm not down for this. There are some moments when they just go whole hard on the unsubtle message, but since that is about Nazis, sod it, I'll give that a pass too.

As ever, there are a lot of 'hey, that actor', but they seem to be having fun, so...

Basically, I'm giving this whole movie a pass, but your mileage will depend on how you feel about those movies.


Read more!

Wednesday, 22 January 2020


A movie about how bad Fox is? You don't say. Although, to be fair, it's not just Fox that has this issue, just that this is the corporation that this movie focuses on.

Gretchen Carlson has had enough of sexual harassment at Fox, is fired, and decides to sue. Meanwhile, plenty of other women are also suffering this, mainly at the hands (and other appendages) of Roger Ailes, but there are a range of reactions from 'it's what you have to put up with' to 'I'm not putting up with this'. Although that latter is far rarely, however we follow Megan Kelly as she decides to finally move into that latter camp. We also see Kayla Pospisil as the 'new girl' who encounters this system.

Women get treated horribly in businesses run by men. That is a fact, as awful as it is. This was a particularly public lawsuit happening, but this is an ongoing mess that is happening elsewhere. And so ultimately, I didn't really connect with the ongoing struggle here, because I know a lot of women have a lot worse in other places.

Now, this does give some kind of visibility, but I'm not sure other women are going to see this and then decide to stand up to their bosses, because this isn't really a cherry picture. Gretchen and Megan have a lot of money, a (admittedly limited at times) support network and can afford good lawyers, moreso than others, and that can help a lot.

Maybe I just wasn't in the best mood to watch this? I do come across as rather down on the movie, but that's mainly because I kept thinking of the wider context rather than getting into the movie itself.


Read more!

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

The Yentlemen

A Guy Ritchie film about tough criminal side of London? Is he the English Martin Scorsese?

When a drug king decides it's time to retire, suddenly people come out of the woodwork to consider and possibly overtake his domain. Although we do get most of the story as told to us by a dirty reporter, so already I'm suspicious of 'untrusty narrator', so I'm not incredibly sure of who is going to turn out to be after who. That said, it's a tale spun with Ritchie's style of lots of gangsters being lots of tough and many dirty dealings.

I think Guy has gotten mellow in his old age. Not so much blood and gore, just some decent performances all around. Even Matthew McConaughey isn't as over the top cowboy as he is in other movies. Charlie Hunnam is great in the supporting role, and Hugh Grant gets to extend himself. And, hey, good roles by Henry Golding and Colin Farrell. Oh yes, there are some women in this too, but they are largely considered property from the point of view of the movie.

Overall it's rather fun, but it doesn't really feel like Guy is stretching himself here. Still, very watchable.


Read more!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020


A nice fun movie, let's go for it!

First of all, let's cut to the chase: did they have to be more than slightly contrived to get all the original players back as well as throw in some new ones? Yes. But is it still fun? Of course it is!

Frankly, you can see why Dwayne Johnson and co want to play this. They get to play as different people as them, so they get to do a range of characters, not just stuck with one. Although this does raise the point of character interaction vs actor interaction. Is it still meaningful if the characters interacting aren't being played by the actors that developed them?

Anyway, there's a plot, but since this is a video game, it's just a silly series of set pieces. While that could describe a lot of movies, this does get away with it more because it's supposed to be a video game and really a lot of video games don't have a sensible plot when it comes to stringing set pieces together. So that's still on brand.

We also get Danny Devito doing 'old man schtick' and Danny Glover just playing himself as a relaxed old man. I'm also fairly sure that Awkwafina isn't going to be seen as doing a typical role, but hey, see above.

So, all in all, fun movie that is basically want you want for casual enjoyment.


Read more!

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Doctor Sleeeeeeep

Ewan McGregor, okay, I'll buy that. But Stephen King? I'm not so sure.

Danny grew up and had problems. Big surprise. But he managed to find a place in society and keep quite. Enter a group of travelling vampires that feed on people with steam (aka shine), and a particular girl they set their sights on. Who connects with Danny. But he's not eager to get involved.

And it takes over half the movie for that to happen. Some of this is quite captivating, but I'm looking at the time and wondering when the hell the story actually begins. A lot of time is spent on set up of the villains, of the girl, of Danny, but it just takes too long. Get on with it.

Eventually the people do come together, and then it's quite quick. There's one part where you go 'huh, guess they weren't that much of a problem after all', which is an on-going problem with this movie. The main villainess is decidedly evil... but when the rest of them get dealt with easily, and the girl doesn't see her as a threat, why should I?

Eventually, yes we get back to the Overlook Hotel, and there are some great moments where they recreate the sets and some of the previous characters, and those moments are nice. There's likely all sort of emotional reasons for it not to be that way, but I would have liked to see the Overlook Hotel play more of a role of bringing these people together and have them have to deal with each other because of that, as well as with the hotel.

In all, it's decent enough, but easily could be cut into something tighter.


Read more!