2020 In Film Day 3: The Meh

Films which had moments, but I felt nothing.

An American Pickle

This should have meant more to me. It was heartwarming, and featured Seth Rogen doing something original. So why didn’t I? I guess it’s the script. It feels like it’s never quite sure what the story is, going from possible plot to possible plot before any of them get a chance to develop. Maybe it would have been better as a miniseries I don’t know, all I know is that there was a lot of ideas in this that could, and should, have been expanded upon but instead only lasted for about 10 minutes before never being mentioned again. This meant that it felt nothing in the film mattered as it wasn’t a story but a series of sketches, so if you missed something you wouldn’t have needed catching up on anything as what you missed didn’t effect the plot at all. 

Original review here

+Seth, without a shadow of a doubt. He carries this movie.

-The lack of identity the film has.

Best moment: When we find out what the company is named after. Very sweet.

Sonic The Hedgehog

A film that is nowhere near as terrible as I expected it be. Yup, high praise indeed. The script is an inconsistent mess, it sacrifices logical storytelling for jokes which sometimes aren’t that great. I can’t tell whether Jim Carrey ruins or makes this movie. His character seems to be from a completely different movie, at times it resembles Kate McKinnon or Will Ferrell at their best, adding an air of manic energy and humour to scenes which otherwise would have been dull, and at times it resembles, well, Kate McKinnon or Will Ferrell, being embarrassingly unfunny and just awkward to watch. 

Original review here

+Has some genuine laugh out loud moments (the line about a duck stealing a bagel made me lol)

-Seems very “first draft”

Best moment: The scenes of Sonic at superspeed resemble the Quicksilver moments from the X-Men movies, in the best possible way.

Tenet

Some people may be surprised that this film ranks so low and may think less of me for putting it here. Maybe they’re annoyed that I rate it so low. Well prepared to get even more annoyed: it’s very lucky to be in this section and not the “bad”. It JUST made it into here. Nolan is a great director, but oh do I hate his choices when it comes to sound. He seems to make a conscious choice to make his films difficult to listen to. His defence of this is that it makes the audience “lean in”, but to be honest it makes me tune out, there’s a reason Taxi Driver didn’t have all the dialogue drowned out by the sound of traffic, or why when you’re filming a scene and a plane flies overhead, you stop filming until the sound dies down.  It ended up frustrating me to the point where it soured me on the film, especially when important plot details get told in a single line of dialogue which you can easily miss. I think from now on I’m only going to see Nolan films at cinemas if they have subtitled screenings. And considering how little cinema seems to cater towards those who are hard of hearing, that might prove difficult.

Original review here

+The fight choreography was amazing to see.

-The waste of talented performers.

Best moment: Hard to pick, so let’s just say the action scenes. 

The Gentleman

The cinematic equivalent of a greatest hits album that confusingly is missing a few of their best songs. Guy Ritchie needs to adapt, and needs to do it soon otherwise he runs the risk of seeming like a relic. He needs to justify why he belongs in a modern cinematic world instead of just replaying the Lock Stock formula. Not the easiest thing to do for him as his moves away from that have been his biggest flops, so he inevitably comes back to what he does well. And he does do it well, there’s no denying that, but we’ve seen it all before. There’s nothing new, nothing that makes you sit up and take notice. Really, there’s no reason you HAVE to see this.

Original review here

+Fun at times.

-The ending is too “oh look how clever we are” for my tastes.

Best Moment: Everytime Hugh Grant is on screen.

The Gentlemen (2020)

I liked this film, not enough to ever need to watch it again, but it was okay while it lasted. A return to form for Guy Ritchie after the flop of King Arthur, pretty much confirming to studios that nobody wants to watch films based on King Arthur, rather than the truth, which is nobody wants to see shit films, oh wait, they do. It’s a shame as those films can be good, and whilst King Arthur did flop, I believe that The Green Knight will be the blue pill that cures the flop.

This is definitely a return to form, but I think that’s one of the biggest criticisms I have of it; I’ve seen it all before in his previous films. At times this doesn’t seem like a new film, but more like a re-recording of his greatest hits. To make matters worse, the story isn’t as clever as it seems to think it is. For a seemingly complicated plot, it’s remarkably straightforward. I hate to talk about it again (that’s a lie, I love discussing it whenever I can), when I got to the end of Searching I thought back to earlier moments in the film and suddenly a lot of things I thought were mistakes made sense, it made me immediately want to go back and watch the film again and look for more things I missed. You don’t get that with this film, there’s no “ohhhhhh, that’s smart” moment, and I feel it really needs one. There is one clever subversive moment, a gang of youtube rappers stumble into a drugs den, where they get caught by the security. I expected it to go like this:

  1. The security beat the shit out of the kids
  2. One of the kids turns out to be related to someone important.
  3. Bloody revenge

Instead, the teens beat the holy hell out of the security, then upload the video of it online. It’s clever and new, and is something I wish the film did more of.

The performances are okay, personally, I couldn’t unsee Charlie Hunnam as a discount Tom Hardy though. The real MVP is Hugh Grant though, he’s had a great last few years when it comes to weird roles; this, Paddington 2, Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists etc. He’s really developed from the “oh golly gosh if I got you a wine would you touch me?” roles from the 90’s into some incredibly fascinating ones, and is all the better for it. There are a few members of the cast I would have liked to see more of (not like that, settle down you pervs), and at times it does seem like there are so many characters the script has forgotten what’s happening. On the bright side the audience never feels lost, which is a risk with a fractured narrative like this. The editing and directing are skillful enough that you are always aware of where you are, there’s none of that “okay who was that who died, where are we now?” style editing that haunts lesser films. That being said, the ending is a bit shit.

Musings On Marvel: Day 11 (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

Director: Joss Whedon (writer of Toy Story and uncredited co-writer on Twister)

Budget: $250million

Box Office: $1.4billion

  • Why did you need to find the Loki Pokey stick? Wasn’t it at the top of the Avengers tower at the end of the Avengers movie? Was it stolen at some point in the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D series? And if so, f*ck that noise. Don’t make me hours of a TV show necessary viewing for a movie that’s already way too long.
  • “lasting a little long, boys” Yeah I’ve had that problem before.
  • “Fire on the weak ones” See, this is why you don’t have weak ones.
  • “send in the Iron Legion” Why not start with that? That way you don’t have to even be there.
  • Wait, didn’t he promise to destroy all the suits at the end of Iron Man 3?
  • Do the people here understand English? Surely that’s a logical flaw Tony Stark would have fixed?
  • “I want to poke it with something”. That’s exactly how I deal with almost every problem.
  • “yay” Is Tony Stark now a fifteen year old girl? I mean, what kind of self respecting person says “yay”? Note: I don’t count, I don’t respect myself.
  • See, this annoys the hell out of me. That shot of the broken shield was used in the trailer. It created intrigue. I was waiting, wondering how that happened, wondering what force could create that. And then I found out: dream sequence, didn’t happen, doesn’t matter. F*ck you film industry. It’s one of the most annoying things about film trailers and I’d love to see it stopped, that, and ruining cameos. There was no reason to showcase that Spider-Man is in Civil War. Close to that: people in the trailer who are only in a handful of scenes. Such as Hugh Grant in Man From U.N.C.L.E.
  • “no pepper? no jane?” Yeah, we couldn’t afford for them to come to this party.
  • “Jane’s better” normally I would really disagree with you, but the other person is Gwyneth Paltrow so it’s more like “please, please, they’re both terrible people”
  • Wait, you’re a celebrity funded by a multi million dollar agency. How do you not have enough money?
  • “this was not meant for mortal men” But you are mortal! Your mother died just a few movies ago, and you think your brother died. You should be aware of mortality by now.
  • “he’s also a huge dork, chicks dig that”. As someone who is almost the court jester of dorks I can confirm this is most definitely not true.
  • “on the world’s leading authority on waiting too long”, no. You slept for most of that, does not count.
  • If I was Thor I’d totally leave the hammer on the toilet seat so people couldn’t pee.
  • Tony Stark makes a joke about raping the women of Asgard. Comedy!
  • So Captain is “slightly” worthy?
  • Ultron waited until all the other party guests left before attacking.
  • An evil robot in a Marvel movie? Wow, never seen that before.
  • The film isn’t perfect, but James Spaders performance is pretty close.
  • So Ultron went on the internet and now hates the world? I see he’s seen the Daily Mail comments section then.
  • “he’s taken the Loki Pokey stick and now we have to find it, again”. Even the movie knows it’s repeating itself.
  • “it was built in the centre of the city so everyone could be equally close”. That’s not true, as in, that wouldn’t work. Unless there’s only one line of houses in a perfect circle then there’s going to be people living closer. I mean, draw a perfect circle on the floor, mark the centre, now stand two meters away, now have someone else stand one meter away from the centre. Are you both the same distance from the middle? No, you’re not. Lee: making fun of movies via math. Usually I only comfort people with mathematics, and that’s only during certain circumstances.
  • “our parents go in”, wait, your dad is Magneto. So does Magneto die really early on in this universe? Harsh.
  • “Cuttlefish: deep sea fish, they make lights” no they don’t. You’re describing an anglerfish.
  • Just realised they’re in Wakanda, shouldn’t Black Panther be there?
  • Movie spend the time providing a backstory to Black Widow when surely she should have had her own movie do that for her?
  • Wait, was that Clara Oswald? For one shot.
  • So Black Widow fantasises in cinematic low angle shots?
  • Why isn’t the hulkbuster suit the default suit?
  • I assume there was a deleted scene here which explains why Thor is just f’ing off. How do these films manage to be both too long, and have so many things missing?
  • “they have a graduation ceremony where they sterilise you” Apparently Greenwich Uni has the same procedure.
  • Wait, did they take the only strong female character in this thing and make her tragic backstory tie into childbirth? Damnit. And if you don’t see why this is problematic: imagine if Captain America’s main backstory was that the serum turned him sterile, and that was his biggest issue. See how weird that would be? But they had to make the only female character the only one who has a backstory that involves childbirth.
  • “everytime someone tries to win a war before it starts, innocent people die”. As opposed to normal wars where absolutely no innocent people die.
  • “guy’s multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit”. I never noticed that line before.
  • Why did Ultron shoot the road, not the person?
  • “how do you want me to take it”. Obvious sex joke is obvious.
  • “without the homicidal glitch that he thinks are his winning personality” oh but without that I have nothing.
  • Why is he keeping Black Widow alive? It’s not to lure the Avengers there, as they kind of already have reason to find him and attack him.
  • Hey it’s a naked Paul Bettany, that’s never been done before.
  • Wait, where did he get the cape from?
  • Paul Bettany delivers what is essentially a shakespeare monologue in a film that doesn’t really deserve it.
  • Ok, that bit where Vision picked up the hammer was pretty awesome.
  • Quicksilver uses Adidas.
  • It’s a shame Quicksilver was done better in X-Men Days Of Future past otherwise that bit would have been awesome.
  • It’s a shame we’ve seen Magneto lift a stadium up in X-Men Days Of Past otherwise that bi….god damnit.
  • This plan doesn’t really work, that mass dropping wouldn’t have same impact as a meteor of the same size. The reason meteors cause so much damage is because they have high levels of speed because they’ve dropped such a great height. This land mass isn’t being raised high enough to gather enough speed.
  • Other point: if this city is being raised to 18,000 feet, shouldn’t that change the temperature? Should be below zero surely.
  • “you get killed” he says, as the camera focuses on the only main character to die.
  • Wait, can Captain now call his shield to him with telepathy?
  • Yeah, good job Captain America and Thor, saving those two people when you could be saving a lot more.
  • “Thor, you’re bothering me”. He bothers me too.
  • Hadouken!
  • Hawkeye wastes valuable time making stupid jokes. Funny stupid jokes that were adlibbed on set but still.
  • “Where else am I going to get a view like this?” A mountain, a plane, riding Iron Man?
  • “You kiss your mother with that mouth?” His mother’s probably been dead for like a century, not cool!
  • “show em what we’ve got” Yeah, that’s right, show that army you’ve got one guy in a suit. They’ll be shitting themselves.
  • “if you get through this, I’ll hold your own”. Well, they both survived, so I assume that scene will be in Civil War.
  • Villain tries to say a funny line and gets hit by Hulk. Just like in the first movie.
  • Finally a major hero dies.
  • Well, I say “major”, he had like 20 minutes of screen time, if that.
  • So things that aren’t worthy can’t keep the hammer aloft? There was a moment in the last Thor movie where the hammer was put on a coat hook, was the coat hook worthy?
  • Holy crap that film felt long.
  • Oh wait, it was long.
  • Thanos decides to retrieve the stones himself. You know if he did this earlier, these films would’ve been other before Thor. Ah, we live in hope.