Secret Life Of Pets/The Boss

Two very different films, but both suffer from from the same flaw: the background characters are the best ones in the entire film. Not the only problems however.

Secret Life Of Pets

I have two problems with this film:

  1. As I alluded to earlier; the main characters are the least interesting ones, which, considering one of them is played by Louis CK is kind of unexpected. It’s not just the characters, the main plot is not that interesting either. The entire main plot is shown in the trailer, nothing new or exciting. There is, however, a fantastic B-story that shows up; the idea that animals that were once pets were thrown away and are now bitter and angry and ready to get their revenge. THAT’S a film, that’s the kind of thing that Pixar or Disney would do. On the subject of Disney there’s already been a lot of controversy about Finding Dory. People are saying that it could lead to an increase of people having exotic fish as pets and then discarding them when they get bored (like they did with owls after Harry Potter And The Quantum Of Solace or whatever it was called). The idea of an animal-led film that has discourages people from getting pets just because they saw them in films? Not only would that be good but it would also be a subtle attack to Disney and Pixar, a “This is why we have a problem with you, you’re irresponsible, not like us, we’re truly wholesome and safe for children to watch with their families”.
  2. The realism. I know, it’s an animated film aimed at kids so I shouldn’t expect 100% realism. But at the very least I should expect it to stay consistent within the world it’s created. The world within the film is supposed to be our world. This is decided very early on when a human character hear’s one of the main characters “talking” and it’s just barking. Yet there’s lots of moments in here which break that realism, moments such as a rabbit and a dog driving a bus off a bridge. Pixar usually does this kind of thing very well. Look at Finding Nemo etc, it takes place in our world, and we do see humans, but the interactions between the humans and the main characters is minimal, and the main characters, although living in a human world, don’t effect that world that much. This film has way too many instances where the animals have a major influence on the human world, there’s the aforementioned bus crash, there’s a break in at a sausage factory, a rabbit beating up a dog catcher etc.

But other than those two problems how was it? It was thoroughly ok. The closing shot was beautiful. It’s one of the great things about animation is that you can occasionally get absolutely gorgeous visuals, but apart from the closing shot it never really does that. In fact it doesn’t look great throughout, the animals just look ok, and the humans in it look like they’re made of twigs. The story is serviceable and does what it needs to, but I don’t feel I need to see it again. It’s biggest flaw isn’t the fault of the film, it’s just circumstance. A lot of times studios release films which (judging by poster alone) look very similar. Has happened a lot before: Antz/A Bugs Life, Finding Nemo/Sharks Tale etc. This films competitor? Zootopia. For this film to come anywhere close to that would be difficult. Zootopia (so far) is probably in my top five films of the year. This? Well be at the bottom of the top half so far. But considering Kubo isn’t out yet, this can easily be pushed down. Although this film did have a subtle Mario green shell reference, which is kind of cool.

The Boss

Nope. Just no. Here’s my massive problem with this film: you have a character get arrested, then when they’re released they go to a Girl Scouts meeting and decides to set up a new business luring Girl Scouts from their group into a new group helping her in a business with communist workers overtones (their logo is a red badge with a picture of a girl raising her fist in the air and wearing a hat). When one of the mothers at the group objects to this, she calls her a cunt, then insults her daughter, whom she later knocks out. The daughter’s age? Between 11-15. So, the “hero” of this story bullies and beats up a school girl just because she doesn’t like her mum. Comedy!

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Actually this film, tonally is kind of weird and all over the place. It attempts to get cheap laughs and sacrifices story to do that, destroying all story momentum for the sake of a joke. For example: there’s a scene where she goes to her old business associates, and they all tell her they hate her and want nothing to do with her. It’s the kind of scene that’s like a large roast dinner, it’s a lot to take in and you need to give it time to settle. Instead, just after the scene takes place the film makes her fall down a flight of stairs, thereby pouring custard on the emotional roast dinner of the previous scene. It’s like the film was written by different writers who never contacted each other to check if their bits lined up. You have important characters turn up for one or two scenes and then are never mentioned again.

It’s a shame as I really want to like Melissa McCarthy; she was great in Bridesmaids, and Spy was excellent. I just feel she has a habit of picking bad films, films where she is only asked to do her usual shtick and doesn’t allow her to stretch herself (otherwise known as Jim Carey syndrome). Which is a shame as when she’s good she’s amazing, check out the aforementioned Spy for evidence of that, and St. Vincent, where she manages to be one of the best characters in a film which contains Chris O’Dowd and Bill Murray (or to give him his full title: Bill Fucking Murray). She can do better than this, and her continual choosing of below-par films just provides ammunition to her increasing number of detractors. Luckily the next film she has lined up is Ghostbusters, I’m sure that is under no pressure.

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I also saw Independence Day; a film which (ironically) seemed like it was written by aliens, completely devoid of human emotion and everything seemed slightly fake and contrived.

Musings On Marvel: Day Eight (Thor: The Dark World)

Director: Alan Taylor (Terminator: Genisys)

Budget: $170million

Box Office: $644millions

  • This is the third movie to feature Thor, and the eighth in this universe, do we still need to open with narration?
  • “before there was light there was darkness” narrated over a black screen. First year film students everywhere go “woah, that’s so deep” and use it in their next shitty films about how hard it was to grow up on the mean streets of Henley On Thames.
  • Dr. Who is that?
  • “through the power of the Aether”, is that anything like the disembodied voices in the ether as featured in our award winning short film Three Words?
  • I appreciate that was the cheapest of cheap plugs, but meh.
  • This movie really wants to be Lord Of The Rings.
  • Second movie in a row where “turning your insides into fire” counts a superpower”
  • “and the aether was no more” oh great, this film’s over then? Woohoo.
  • “bury it deep, so deep that nobody can ever find it”. That’s what she said.
  • Odin is annoyed that wherever Loki goes there’s war and death, yet the introduction to both of these films have included Odin fighting wars on different planets.
  • “next time we start with the big one”, but he didn’t run up until halfway through the fight.
  • “human lives are fleeting, they’re worth nothing” wait, but weren’t you bitching at Loki for not treating humans well. In fact, the entire reason you’re imprisoning him is for attempting to rule the earth. So if humans are worth nothing, then why are you punishing him so harshly? I’m beginning to think that maybe Loki is right, and you’re kind of a dick to him.
  • If I had a choice between a badass warrior woman, and Natalie Portman, I’d go with the warrior.
  • Hey it’s Chris O’Dowd.
  • You know he’s probably seen the news about the Avengers thing in New York so he knows abut the existence of Gods and aliens etc. None of that “he went away” cryptic bullshit.
  • “Maybe you should stop saying Sea Bass”, why? It’s still better than some of her dialogue.
  • Now you’re thinking with Portals.
  • Did the pointy eared evil dude just say “Rush al dente a fanta”?
  • “the Universe hasn’t seen this marvel” well I hope it’s better than this Marvel.
  • How much time do you think he wastes watching people as they shower?
  • “they are mortal” so are you. That was the entire point of your argument with Loki earlier, that you’re not gods, you are mortal too. Damnit Odin get yo shit together.
  • “humans do not belong here any more than a goat belongs at the banquet table” That’s racist.
  • “Protector of the nine realms”. Well aren’t you doing a great job with that?
  • How on earth does the infection know what will harm her? More importantly, why does it care? Even if she comes to harm it can just go to someone else. A parasite doesn’t care if the hosts dies if there’s hundreds of other hosts nearby.
  • Wait, did she accidentally fall into something that was supposed to be well hidden and never to be found again?
  • “the Bifrost was destroyed” you still could have called, or at least visited instead of eating Shawarma
  • Couldn’t this and the opening narration be condensed into one section? Do we really need two history lessons in this movie?
  • “every five thousand years the worlds align perfectly, during this time the borders become blurred, it’s possible you found one of these points”. No it’s not, as it’s been talked about as a future event even after she “fell”.
  • “don’t let him hear you say that” how on earth did she hear that from all the way over there? He was doing his low-volume sexy voice too.
  • So they don’t check these people for explosives? Have they not seen The Dark Knight?
  • Everybody swings axes yet nobody gets decapitated.
  • “I need you to do everything I ask, no questions”, yet when I tell women that I get called a pervert and to get off the bus.
  • That ship is invisible right up until the point where somebody touches it? Well that’s pointless.
  • Why are all these ships now visible? Is it just so we can see them get shot down?
  • Why didn’t he raise this shield in the first place?
  • That ship actually dropped it’s trajectory just so it could crash into the forcefield. Whoever is piloting it doesn’t deserve to live.
  • Ship crashes through a shitload of columns, building remains standing. Magic!
  • So the colour of all weapons in the first phase was blue, this seems to be red.
  • It’s amazing the amount of aliens who look just like humans but with prosthetics.
  • Was there something cut out there? Her being captured etc didn’t really work visually.
  • “where is the aether?” I thought you could sense it.
  • Even if it was invisible the ships can still be attacked, we saw this earlier.
  • “we are all but defenceless” you could probably try giving Hulk, Iron Man etc a call. Have you even tried that?
  • Didn’t they already see this in the news earlier?
  • Thor is told not to go somewhere and fight someone by Odin who orders the Bifrost closed. Thor does it anyway. Isn’t this exactly what led to him being banished in the first movie?
  • Loki gets slapped by Jane and his response is “I like her”. Well, whatever turns you on.
  • Movie just rubs it in our face that the rest of the avengers aren’t in this movie.
  • Loki is definitely the best part of these movies.
  • Turns out to fix anything you just need to hit it hard. Reminds me, I must get my cats fixed.
  • Why was that guy laughing at being attacked and buried under strange men?
  • “I wish I could trust you”, movie gets closer to Brokeback Mountain than it probably intends to.
  • Ian would be a lot better if played by guy who played Rory in Doctor Who. He’s practically the same character anyway.
  • A woman is levitated and put into a christ-like pose in mid-air. Holy Harry Potter Batman.
  • Pfft, like they’d really kill Loki.
  • A giant spaceship with a glowing red light appears and destroys a small part of Greenwich University. Still less destructive than the Conservative party.
  • “your universe and your family will be extinguished” You couldn’t say “exterminated” could you? Just for the giggles.
  • “I thought you’d hit harder”. Me too. Supposed to be an all-powerful being yet all he can do is knock someone over slightly.
  • Thor is sexually harassed by a woman on the tube. This is apparently funny. Plus, no trains go straight from Charring Cross to Greenwich,
  • Wait, so Loki killed Odin? So the film killed Anthony Hopkins off-screen? Isn’t that illegal? And I know what people will say when I say this “oh, but you have to wait until the next movie”. Bullshit, if you include the MCU as all containing one narrative as the studio wants you to, then there’s been four (hah, Thor) movies since this one, and none of them have mentioned it. There’s another four (hah, Thor) movies until the next Thor one. So that’s eight movies you have to wait to find something out. Now if you include only the Thor ones, then that’s from 2013 to 2017, which is a four year wait for one plot point. I mean, yeah it’s a kind of ok plot twist, but it makes no sense once you think about it for more than thirty seconds.