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Film Review

Taken 2
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*Two old gentlemen in suits sit in a board room, they’re studio executives, and they’re discussing plans for a sequel to TAKEN, Which just made a lot of money*

Studio Exec 1: “Wow, so that movie made money, huh?”
Studio Exec 2: “It really did, sequel?”
SE1: “Why not. So, something else needs to be taken, how about his dog?”
SE2: “No, no, We pissed off too many Greenies with THE GREY, how about, wait for it… his WHOLE FAMILY”
SE1: “Genius, and we can make this edgy, but not too edgy, and who could take them?”
SE2: “The Russians?”
SE1: “Perfect, since he killed all of their youth in the first film. And we can have accents, but not too many accents.”
SE2: “Amazing! and this time, he should say Taken at least 8 or 9 times.”
SE1: “I was going to suggest 10. we’ll have a trailer out by tomorrow.”
SE2: “Brilliant, should we call the writer?”
SE1: “What writer? We just wrote the damn thing, audiences won’t notice as long as there’s a 2 in the title”
SE2: “Oh you’re so right, they’ll never suspect a thing! God, we’re brilliant”

WRONG, SO INCREDIBLY WRONG, HOLLYWOOD!

Taken 2 stars Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, an ex CIA agent who’s retired after killing just about half the European population from the first film but alas! He just so happened to forget that there’s still a few more lurking in and around Russia and any other place where all the old men look crazy and bug eyed and always carry a weapon bigger than their jeans. These few remaining foreigners decide to kidnap (wait, sorry “TAKE”) Bryan and his entire family consisting of his ex wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen) who has feelings for him once again since he knows how to shoot a man without looking and his 17 year old daughter,(played by the 29 year old Maggie Grace) who has recently got a boyfriend and Bryan wants to eat him. Well, ok, not really, but he does hope he as an accent so he can kill him and call it self defense. Once they’re taken, it’s up to Bryan to escape and save his ex wife whilst shooting just about everyone who needs a VISA and likes potatoes, whether they’re walking past or shooting at him, it. doesn’t. matter. 

The reason a conventional plot synopsis wasn’t provided in this review for Taken 2 is because no effort has been made into telling any sort of story. Taken 2 was not made, not written, it was manufactured by Hollywood so it can make MONEY. If you look on IMDB it says the film was directed by “Olivier Megaton” and written by “Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen“… this is very incorrect, what it should read is “Written and directed by MONEY, produced by gullible film audiences.” Hollywood has made useless sequels to fun and successful popcorn flicks before, and they’ve worked, but the trick is, if you’re gonna steal from audiences, you might as well pretend to buy them dinner first. Taken 2, in all its unoriginal, unholy wisdom, goes straight for the fondling, and it’s not even remotely exciting. 

As for any comparisons to the first film, I was a fan (a 7/10 type fan, as I dug its cheesiness but sincerity), well, folks, there is no similarities to be found. Taken 2 has an M rating accompanying it, yet it could pass with a G, there is no blood, no brutality, no sincerity and worst of all, no real violence or action. They even took that out so kids could spend their chore money as well. Clever, Hollywood, but your movie still sucks. 

Also, if you’re wondering why there aren’t many images throughout the review, I’ve decided to save them all for the end of this write up. you’ll see.

I wanted to have fun seeing Liam Neeson (a great actor who’s spending his time these days making money from bad movies with the exception of The Grey) beat the living bejesus out of Russian henchmen for 90 minutes, and you don’t even get that. I was as disappointed as you’ll be if you pay to see this film. It’s not fun, it’s not intriguing, it’s not even creative, it is fucking boring. 

I wanted to have as much fun as you think you will if you spend your Friday night seeing this film, but please, don’t. Much like those two fellas whose conversation you read at the beginning of this review, it doesn’t care about pleasing you, it only wants to take your money and fondle your time. 

Taken 2… out of fucking 10.

Side Note: Just so we’re not stuck with such a boring damn film the next time Hollywood wants a sequel for Taken 3, I’ve got a suggestion for that said sequel, and I think they might like it:

Trailer voice guy: Bryan’s daughter has just lost her virginity, this summer, he’s going to TAKE her virginity…AND PUT IT BACK IN, Liam Neeson is…TAKEN 3″

Also, here’s the only images I could find of the film, notice anything similar with them all? 

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(Could be a poster for Taken 3 where he’s told you can’t find a tracking signal for someone’s virginity)

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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
Aside

Looper

What’s this? An action sci-fi that isn’t convoluted or confusing but instead incredibly original and exciting? That’s exactly what you’re in for with Looper, one of the best blockbusters to be released this year and with a huge surprise, every badass moment throughout is earned with some great character development and plot.. Well, almost.

Joseph Gordon Levitt stars as Bruce Willis. No, no let me try that again, Joseph Gordon Levitt is Joe, a 20 something year old looper in the year. 2044. If you’re wondering what in the hell a looper even is, it’s basically the guy responsible for killing people who return from the future, looper’s know where they emerge from and kill on sight, without a minute’s hesitation. Time travel has not yet been invented in 2044 but it has in the future, in about 30 years. Looper’s don’t question their jobs or the physics of time travel but simply sit in a field in Kansas where the portal is, holding a large gun, waiting for the person from the future to emerge so they can be killed, it’s as simple as that.

Joe, isn’t one for the details of it all but merely does what he can to save up for a trip to France. He’s a loner who takes a lot of drugs and has frequent associations with a local prostitute. He’s a cold individual who does what he can to protect his interests. This however changes when one evening, the figure that emerges from the portal is his future self (played by Bruce Willis). Of course, Joe fails in killing him and is on the run from his employers, a quick witted yet violent mobster, Abe (Jeff Daniels) and a gun totting yet unreliable henchman, Kid Blue (Noah Segan). Joe’s older self is also hiding from the henchmen yet is on a mission to prevent a tragedy from happening in his future while younger Joe finds himself in the care of a young farmer (Emily Blunt) and her 5 year old son. He still intends on killing his older self and clearing his name yet their paths are soon to cross as his older self is heading their way.

How’s that for an original plot?

This is all thanks to Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brother’s Bloom) who is a creative force to be reckoned with as well as one who knows to respect the audience with great screenwriting and meticulous direction. Trust an art house direction to understand how a fun yet substance filled big budgeted film should go.

What’s so refreshing and invigorating about Looper is the attention to detail in both the plot and it’s characters. Also, as mentioned, the originality of it all! Yes, some plot developments dwell on cliche and the ending could’ve been a little better but this is unlike any recent film to be released as of late. It takes very few conventional routes in its approach to the story, including brutality which the story benefits from this time around. Most sci-fi blockbusters that are released these days carry an M rating (or most notably a PG-13 in the states) but that’s not the case with Looper, characters swear, the violence is bloody, essentially, you’re aware from minute one that these characters aren’t caricatures but instead real people with serious flaws, which helps in convincing the audience that all of the plot details in which these characters have to work within are beyond rational and logic, yet the movie takes its time in explaining all of the details to the audience.

When all is said and done however, Looper is not a perfect film. Like most films the minute the plot’s direction is revealed, the protagonist always tends to hide out somewhere where we meet the female lead or essentially the love interest, played pretty damn immaculately by Emily Blunt. The shift in tone and pace changes and you either go with it or don’t. But it doesn’t derail the narrative/story.

To also make it clear, the performances are also outstanding including a makeup covered Joseph Gordon Levitt, and with special mention to Jeff Daniels, Noah Segan, Paul Dano and Garrett Dillahunt, who plays a bounty hunter,the best in the business his time on screen is pretty outstanding, but above all, Bruce Willis is back to being badass. One scene in particular just proves why we loved him in the first place and why we’ll always rely on him to deliver the action and fun.

With the exception of one scene, Looper is a tight, exceptionally well written and directed action sci-fi that’ll restore your faith in blockbusters and just gives you another reason to want to go to the movies yet also serves as a reminder as to what we love about original storytelling.

9/10

 

 

 

Film Review

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Film Reviews

 

Film Review

The Expendables 2 (2012)


You’ll go in expecting it to be dumb, predictable and geriatric? What if it is, yet its also the best action film to be released so far this year purely on the fact that it’s one of the few big blockbusters of 2012 that does all it can to keep the audience having fun and feeling satisfied?

Sylvester Stallone once again writes and stars in The Expendables 2, a sequel to the 2010 hit action flick with the same name minus the ‘2’. However, this time, Simon West (Con Air. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) is directing. Is there a notable difference between both film? Yes, there’s more inventive action sequences and kills compared to the first film and all in all, a lot more fun to be had. Some could comment that that’s thanks to director, Simon West but amidst all the cheesy lines and godawful puns, there’s still a hell of a lot of fun included in the writing, thanks to Stallone. So, who’s on board this time around? The usual crew from the first film, of course: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li and Randy Couture and a new addition, Liam Hemsworth (who’s easily 700 years younger than the rest of the Expendables gang). Things however things go sour when one of the Expendables crew is murdered on a routine mission. Their response to this? “Track em’, find em’, Kill em'”…and I promise you, that’s EXACTLY what they do.


In addition to their crew, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis extend their cameos from the first film and have a hell of a lot of fun (as does everyone else) and last but most definitely not least, yes, even Chuck Norris joins in on the fun and he has an array of guns that go with it. You know the minute Chuck Norris enters a film in a slow motion walk then proceeds to make fun of himself that you’re watching an action film that knows what it’s doing. If you’d like more of a plot description then I suggest you read a review for just about anything else that’s screening at your multiplex right at this moment. The Expendables 2 will always be known for its lack of plot and three dimensional characters, its novelty, of course, is old action stars we loved back in 1980 onwards blowing shit up and cracking lame jokes in between it all. Why were they so successful? Why do we wish to see them again in The Expendables 2? Because unlike action stars today (Taylor Lautner in Abduction? Really?) they never took themselves THAT seriously, they were good guys and you loved em the minute you saw them. Every cast member’s performance is pitch perfect, especially Norris and Stallone who give it their all and then some. The action’s improved from the first film, the stakes are a hell of a lot higher and above all, the thing we love most about action films besides the action are the laughs. Yes, folks, every actor in this film is aware of how old they are, and they want you to know they’re thinking exactly what you are, that they’re simply “too old for this shit” then surprise you by killing 20 men with a single bullet.


My praises may seem incredibly high for a film that has a paper thin plot with two dimensional characters but really, when all’s said and done, I wanted to spend more time with Stallone, Statham and every other former action star than most characters I’ve seen on screen as of late. These guys are like that cool, older relative you love spending time with because they simply know how to have fun when no one else you’re with does. They understand the fun and cheese that comes with a great, kick-ass action film and all the props in the world deserve to go to Stallone for keeping the fun and excitement in modern action films. You’ll jump to make comments and joke throughout the film the minute something isn’t being blown up or shot at (a grand total of 25 minutes) but before you can, the actors will do it for you. This time around, the humour and bad puns have been taken up a few notches from the first film, along with the action, which is non-stop and involving. This is the ultimate summer action film you’ve been waiting for and if that wasn’t what you were waiting for, then hell, surely you like having fun when you’re at the movies?

The film of course isn’t perfect, some of the dialogue and bad puns can become beyond cringe worthy, there are instances of CGI-blood (looks fake, pay for the ketchup and red wine, Stallone) and some “characters” could’ve had a little more screen time. But if these are the only qualms to be had for a big, dumb action film that knows exactly what it is and doesn’t parade around like its anything else, then it’s an instant success. See it and think of all the action and fun you’re in for, instead of a male version of the golden girls where they rub lotion onto each other’s backs and play bingo with a knife,,,,be thankful it’s not that.

Oh and if you’re still not convinced, please keep in mind, every single one of the actors mentioned are out to beat the living bejesus out of the film’s villain…played by none other than Jean Claude Van Damme!

8.5/10

P.S If you begin wondering why Stallone and Schwarzenegger are talking about their sex life and look A LOT like Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep, then you’ve walked into Hope Springs. Calm yourself and walk into the right cinema.  

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Film Reviews

 

Film Review

That’s My Boy (2012)


Warning: This review contains continuous coarse language…in the name of proving a point and keeping you away.

It looks bad, it sounds bad, it has Adam Sandler yelling at things for 115 minutes, how could it be decent in any way?

Well, whadaya know, it fucking aint.

Ok, So, this reviewer does not hate Adam Sander, in fact quite the contrary, Punch Drunk Love is my fourth favourite film of all time and in terms of his comedies, here’s a list of the ones that were enjoyed by me:

- Happy Gilmore
- The Wedding Singer
- Anger Management
- I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
- You Don’t Mess With The Zohan
- Funny People 
- Jack & Jill (Yes, even Jack & Jill)

At least four of the eight films mentioned include a dancing homeless man, people getting beaten up with objects found around the room, Sandler yells at a senior citizen or a dead person and almost always has fart jokes… so now it can be made very clear, that I can be fair when it comes to Adam Sandler comedies and I walked into this one hoping it would be so stupid and insane that it’d generate some laughs….

Oh why do we as audience members ask for so much? Is it wrong to want to laugh in a fucking comedy?

Adam Sandler stars as Donnie Berger, a loud and immature man child who is being sent to jail for not paying taxes for many, many years unless he can come up with 43 thousand bucks. Donnie, however, is famous, washed up but still well known, for when he was 13 years old, he was molested by his teacher which resulted in a pregnancy. Yes, molested, and that’s even a joke in the film. The knock up in question results in his now 30 year old son, Todd, (Andy Samberg) who is set to get married on the weekend. Donnie, of course needing money, decides to visit his estranged son and make up for all the time he never spent with him, along with embarrassing him in front of his fiance, Jamie (Leighton Meester) and her family and when all’s said and done, smooching some cash to avoid jail time.

Alrighty, let’s put aside the fact that the film’s first joke involves a 13 year old being molested by his teacher who looks to be in her late 20’s – early 30’s. Let’s forget that, the film is almost 2 hours long. It’s 10 minutes shy of John Carter and Prometheus‘ running time, and even if they weren’t great films, they were telling a story of sorts so the running time seemed necessary. How does Sandler manage to be a fuckwit for 115 minutes? He puts on that whiny voice the entire time (you know the voice, the one he puts on before saying “poop” or kicking something) and instead of “shit” he says “fuck” and we’re talking every 15 seconds. He yells, he beats people with bottles and there’s at least one scene where he masturbates while talking in that whiny voice (which lasts for 5 minutes). How can Sandler not care about making people laugh anymore? How can any director (Sean AndersSex Drive) look at half of the scenes in this film and go “ok, great”… there are so many moments where Sandler says “balls” or “cock” followed by a random “fuck” and then silence, just so everyone is informed that that was a joke, and one of the few on offer.

Andy Samberg these days is a hell of a lot funnier than Adam Sandler, and he’s completely wasted in this film. His “character” is that really nervous and boring guy who freaks out at just about everything and goes “dddaaaaddd, you’re embarrassing me!” every couple of minutes.Oh yes and much like the film’s approach with its dialogue, this sentence is missing a profanity…. fuckity. You don’t waste a great comedian like this for Sandler who doesn’t try for a single second in this slogfest of a movie.

That’s My Boy does something very few films have done before, instead of bothering with characters and a structure… or even jokes for that matter, it instead makes every scene an endurance test, of how long it takes for you to leave the fucking cinema. As said before, there aren’t really jokes in the film, it’s a collection of disgusting scenes that get worse and all the more irritating by the minute. You’ll hate the “characters” and yourself for even watching this thinking Sandler bothers to put an effort in anymore.

The best thing about the whole movie is Vanilla Ice, he plays himself and raps here and there. He’s funny, he smiles and poses throughout while Sandler teabags something or someone whilst making bird noises. Yeah, that’s about it in terms of positives.

Mr. Sandler,

Replacing ‘Pee-Pee’ and ‘Poop fries’ with ‘Cock’ and ‘Fuck’ doesn’t make a film funny. Also, what the fuck happened to you, buddy? Remember Happy Gilmore? How you used to yell and it was funny? We DID miss you, until you made this goddamn film. It’s the worst one you’ve ever “made” or yelled in. Stop fucking around with your fans and find a script with jokes in it, not a piece of toiler paper covered in crayola scribbles, PLEASE!

You have our money, now in return, make us laugh again.

Yours Sincerely,
The poor audience who sat through all of That’s My Boy.

This isn’t comedy, this isn’t film, this is the hose that’s commonly used when giving someone an enema. Don’t see it, trust me, and if you still think it’s gonna be good because Sandler’s in it, then get ready for the cinematic equivalent of sitting on a chainsaw.

The first movie I almost walked out of just a few minutes in.

0.5/10

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Film Reviews

 

Film Review

Prometheus (2012)

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Are you going into Prometheus as an Alien fan? How about someone who just digs a few thrills and a fun time? There’s a huge difference between the two when it comes to approaching Prometheus, and if you chose the first one… then get ready to miss the former Ridley Scott all the more.

Note: This review will not contain a plot synopsis, too many viral videos and trailers have already spoiled some of the film’s greater moments. So in terms of an outline if it need be: A group of people go on an expedition to find the creators of the human race… but end up discovering something much more insidious and slimy than previously expected.

So, with those BRILLIANT trailers released (yeah, c’mon, they were pretty great) and the look of the film being better than half of Scott’s entire filmography, what in the hell could go wrong? How could they screw up anything of what was shown in those trailers? The one huge problem with Prometheus is of course, what a large majority of Hollywood films tend to forget these days…. a good screenplay. The dialogue in Prometheus is pretty gosh darn terrible… and I mean pretty bad. What’s the excuse this time? The screenplay was first written by Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour – oh what a surprise) and then additional rewrites were made by Damon Lindelof (Lost, Cowboys and Aliens). So in those revisions, they didn’t notice the shabby dialogue? They didn’t notice that massive black hole they call a plot? Knowing that Ridley Scott’s going to make it as great as he can with his fine direction, you’d think they’d do everything in their power to write a decent script, Nope, you are mistaken. 

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What was the last great Ridley Scott film to be released? (Blade Runner was a long time ago, folks). Any good director would read the screenplay and simply say “no, audiences deserve better”, but Ridley doesn’t do that, at least not anymore. Scenes that contain such suspense and substance are annihilated with one dimensional characters, lame dialogue and a conventional score. The music! It blares in every scene, encouraging you what to think and feel rather than letting the horror progress uninterrupted before your very eyes. Remember the silence in Alien? Remember the patience it had with each scene? If you don’t see it as an Alien film (which I recommend you don’t) then remember how scary a scene could be if it simply kept quiet? Every jump scare moment in Prometheus contains a loud score so you don’t have time to jump or even be remotely scared. This is not the terrifying alien film we all thought it would be.

However, having said all of that, Prometheus is still a solid Hollywood flick. Even with all that terrible writing, there are some great ideas at the heart of the film and Scott does what he can to extract out of them a great sense of atmosphere. The performances are all very solid, even if the characters aren’t. Noomi Rapace is satisfactory, Idris Elba is very good as the ship’s captain, Guy Pearce,does what he can in his limited role.. But of course, as you all knew already at this point, the great, standout here is Michael Fassbender, his delivery and timing in each scene is impeccable and really improves the film as a whole. Unfortunately Charlize Theron is forced to ham it up as a one-dimensional and heartless crew member,She’s literally playing her character from Young Adult but this time…on a space ship, who’d have thought?

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The cinematography and set design are incredibly spectacular as is the CGI which not too much is used, and if it is, it’s barely noticeable. Scott deserves that credit in the very least. Scott also deserves praise for his handling of scenes, even if they’re lacking in scares, it’s more than made up for in engaging direction. One scene in Prometheus is so perfect and over the top, that for a second you realize this is the movie you were expecting, this is the alien film you’ve wanted ever since you discovered the first one, no other scene comes close to it and when it happens you’ll know right away. For that alone the film is worth seeing, Along with Fassbender’s performance and enough scenes that are exhilarating to watch makes this different from your usual loud blockbuster. 

There is a solid flick, and if you want to find it, do everything in your power to go in expecting a decent  big budget Science Fiction movie rather than an Alien film. It’s a stand alone piece even though they do replicate some knacks from the original film. It’s not very intelligent viewing either, but unlike most big films this or any blockbuster season… it certainly tries.

The first and last scene are awful and the second the ‘Prometheus‘ credit pops up on screen, you just know you’re not getting perfect or even amazing… but you do get something that’s worth your money.

Ridley Scott isn’t necessarily back, but he sure as hell is getting there..

6.5/10 

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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Film Review

Get The Gringo (2012)

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This is the old school and bad ass yet fun and exhilirating action film this reviewer’s been waiting for. This isn’t Jason Statham kicking people from miles away then shooting them for no reason, no no there’s a plot and characters and everything! Sounds paradoxical reading that in a review for an action film, doesn’t it?

Mel Gibson stars as the protagonist in Get the Gringo, he has no name we can go by. Along with no fingerprints or I.D, he is sent to a Mexican prison after crashing through the border in a failed car chase with the police during a getaway, and by ‘getaway’ I mean Mel Gibson wearing a clown mask along with his accomplice  (who’s also wearing a clown mask) in the back seat bleeding to death near a bag full of money (around 2 million bucks worth), It’s one hell of an opening. So, with his money gone he’s now stuck in this prison which is more like a small city for criminals and their families, you can buy food, drinks, drugs, hang with your buddies, it’s all out in the open and his character does all he can to make a quick buck and get the hell out of there and retrieve the 2 million (which corrupt Mexican policeman are keeping an eye on). During his stay and amongst his clever ways in stealing a dollar or two from the locals, he befriends a 10 year old boy who knows about survival in a place like this, from here they quickly become enemies of the big boss in the yard who owns just about everything and everyone. It’s his wits and the young boys street smarts that are gonna get them out and back to the money he stole at the beginning of the film. The rest, as they say, is history.

There’s a hell of a lot more to the plot, but to mention it would be spoiling the fun, and what fun Get the Gringo is.

Now, to address the elephant in the room before continuing, Mel Gibson’s performance is stellar, it’s really something great. He’s known for his troubles these days more than he is his acting, and in this case, it shouldn’t come into question, his performance is his performance, it has nothing to do with his personal life. Please do not skip Get the Gringo due to Gibson’s personal life, you’ll forget about all of that the minute he appears on screen wearing a clown masking and yelling at policemen (which some will say was performed without his knowledge of anyone filming).

Gibson also wrote the screenplay, which may not be anything complex beyond recognition, but it does have a plot and a great number of fantastic one-liners. The characters are also well rounded, we like his character, even without knowing his name. We get to love the 10 year old kid, who’s pivotal to the plot rather than being there just to annoy the protagonist, they’re both smart and have a reason for doing the things they do.

Get the Gringo was directed by Adrian Grunberg, a first time director who also co-wrote the screenplay with Gibson and with the exception of shooting in digital (which is annoyingly noticeable at times) he does a fine job. He doesn’t rely on shaky cam or bad performances amongst the action, everything is of a quality degree and the timing of each line and bit of humour is almost perfect, making Get the Gringo much funnier than half the comedies released recently (The Dictator).

Gibson’s character has a lot of personality, he’s as mentioned, a smart guy and when a line is delivered, it’s a lot funnier than what it could’ve been. His character doesn’t rely on insults and looking cool, he knows what he’s doing and as we see throughout the film, one who has respect, even for a 10 year old boy. He just so happens to be a no bullshit kind of guy, which is always refreshing when it works.

Get the Gringo is that special kind of action film, one with fantastic sequences, a plot, some fun characters and a playful sense of humour that never goes away, You’ll enjoy the hell out of every minute of Get the Gringo, which doesn’t think it’s anything more than what it is, a slick, very old school action comedy. Jason Statham could learn a thing or two… along with how to pull different facial expressions while shooting someone and talking to people. Oh and not every foreigner is a villain, almost everyone in this film is the “bad guy” even the Americans… which always adds a nice balance. 

However, with all of this said, there are a few things that don’t work. As mentioned, the film is shot on digital and it shows in a few scenes (not many, but enough to notice). Some of the CGI is noticeable, and could’ve been done without (especially since some of it does look cheap) and the plot does take a cheesy turn with one of the characters having a rare blood disease (an easy way out for film plots as this NEVER happens and builds a bridge for things to take place) but even this is handled better than expected.

Please, do not avoid Get the Gringo because of Mel Gibson, his performance is fantastic and the movie’s even better. You won’t have this much fun from an action film or a comedy in quite a while, so embrace it all you can.

8/10

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Film Reviews

 

Film Review

The Dictator (2012)
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Did you love Borat? Were you one of the very few that didn’t walk out midway during Bruno? Then get ready to try your hardest for a laugh or two in The Dictator. One of the very few movies this week where you’re encouraged to laugh at jokes about 14 year old boys being raped and committing suicide. Laughing yet?… How about now?

Sacha Baron Cohen stars as General Aladeen, a dictator whose country is at risk of becoming a democracy, and while visiting America, he’s taken hostage and stripped of his beloved beard (because no one could recognize a man without a beard that looks fake to begin with) and with that, he’s broke, homeless and still on a mission to prevent democracy from entering his country, which a double (also played by Sacha Baron Cohen) is about to do. While doing all he can to stop this, he meets a vegan feminist (you heard me) who stands for democracy and equality, played by Anna Faris. At first, General Aladeen is at his usual worst, being sexist, racist and just about every other mean thing a human can be, until he has no choice but to “act” like a kind and respectable person in order for her to help him with such basic needs as food, clothing and a job… working at her vegan green grocer shop. Hilarity ensues… yet never comes. With all this in mind, can General Aladeen be recognized in time to save his country from democracy and continue its oppression while in the process become a nice, caring man who falls for a feminist vegan?
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So it has a plot, although ridiculous, it still has one. Now to what it doesn’t have.

Borat is a damn funny movie, Remember when it first came out back in 2006 and it was declared one of the funniest movies ever made by.. well, half the population? Then Bruno was released in 2009 and scared the other half of the population with its constantly dirty humour (which some of was funny). So, The Dictator is essentially the tie breaker, the one that’s meant to bring lovers of Cohen back from Bruno’s unfunny wrath, and does it succeed? God no, of course it doesn’t.

Sacha Baron Cohen is a very funny guy, he knows the timing of a joke through and through, he’s also a great actor (see Hugo and Sweeney Todd) So what’s the problem? it’s not funny anymore. The character of Borat was at times, racist and sexist and ignorantly so, but the majority of those jokes were still very funny, we still liked Borat, there was a heart in all his vulgar ignorance. General Aladeen isn’t funny, or interesting or ignorant, he knows he’s racist and sexist and foul, and his character transformation at the end? Nope, there isn’t one, so you’re stuck for 83 minutes with a racist douche with a terribly unconvincing accent.
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In reading that last sentence, this reviewer must sound like a 70 year old conservative who can’t take a joke or a bit of vulgarity? I’m afraid not, this reviewer is no prude, but instead likes a joke and a heart to go along with all (or any) distasteful dialogue and characters. And that’s The Dictator’s major problem, none of what’s being said is funny, they literally don’t bother with a joke and just say racist and sexist comments while you sit in your chair and squirm. 

If you’re still unconvinced, how’s this, remove 90% of the jokes in Borat… still with me? (We now have a 12 minute movie) and make Borat aware that he’s being an ass and make his accent sound more rehearsed and fake while openly insulting everyone around him and not caring. That’s The Dictator in all its mean spirited glory. This makes Bruno seem like a funny film, remember it wasn’t?

The supporting cast includes Ben Kingsley and John C. Reily who is one of this reviewer’s favourite actors and he’s given next to nothing to do. Ben Kingsley is paid to make a fool of himself and act out some lame physical comedy. Not even two great actors could save this film. More injustice.

But to be fair, even if you do read this review, some of you will see it no matter what and it’s understandable why, the trailer was kinda funny, Sacha Baron Cohen making appearances as General Aladeen as of recently have been really funny and what look to be a return to form of sorts… There are three decent jokes in the entire film and one exceptionally funny joke that is delivered by Anna Faris, the rest is mean and said with horrible accents and poor acting that’d make even a deaf man cringe, they’re distasteful and all you’re left to do is sit there and wait for a joke…. It never happens, trust me.
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What should’ve been disgusting and distasteful with a whole heap of excruciatingly funny jokes is just one long 83 minute rant about how everyone is pathetic in some way.

It’s quite scary how advertising and synopsis’ for the film have lied to everyone by calling it a comedy, The Dictator is essentially Sacha Baron Cohen stripping to his bare ass, turning around and bending over while yelling at the camera, horrible and insulting things about everyone watching and in between each comment shouting “LAUGH, NOW”. Still laughing?

This reviewer all in all wasn’t that insulted by what was said but how it was said and how it didn’t bother to tell a joke amongst any of it. As mentioned earlier, a conversation about General Aladeen raping 14 year old boys is had and it lasts for at least two minutes and there’s no punchline or joke to speak of, it’s just ugly.

Oh and if anything has to be commended, Baron Cohen only pulls his dick out once this time, instead of the usual seventeen or eighteen. Good work buddy.

2/10
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Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Film Reviews

 
 
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