29 June 2012
Beautifully dark, twisted and funny, this is one of those films that will be on end of years lists purely because critics won’t be able to forget it. Read our full review here.
Friends With Kids
‘The Funnest Film Since Bridesmaids’ says a quote in the trailer. So the funniest film in the last 371 days then?
This is a strange beast as it was made prior to Bridesmaids and yet will inevitably live in it’s shadow. It’s stars are Adam Scott who is best known for programmes that are awesome (Parks and Recreation, Party Down) but have never made it to the UK, and Jennifer Westfeldt who wrote and directed this also and yet is probably less well known for her roles in several TV shows and Jessica Stein in Kissing Jessica Stein, and more known for being Jon Hamm’s lady. This has led TV adverts to not even list their names in the UK and instead focus on the excellent cast of Bridesmaids/support cast here (Hamm, Wiig, Rudolph and O’Dowd) to sell the movie. If it’s a third as funny as Bridesmaids it’s probably worth a date movie.
It’s Belgian. It’s whimsical and twee. It is the story of a real life, fully grown female who possesses fairy-like abilities and grants a hotelier three wishes before vanishing after only granting two of them and leaving the hotelier having fallen in love and desperate to find her. It looks lovely and reviews have been strong but sadly it is showing almost nowhere.
Noel Clarke’s name attached to any kind of British property drains my enthusiasm for it. He certainly seems to be the selling point in the trailer, well him and the hot lass from The Inbetweeners Movie. It seems like a very similar premise to Attack The Block but replacing the block with a storage facility and the charming kids with a bunch of nonsense adults. So basically, it’s Alien in England but instead of being Ridley Scott we get Johannes Roberts who’s last four films have an average IMDB score of 3.25.
Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton battle it out and then inevitably become allies in an attempt to take their church to a Glee concert and win. If you make it through the trailer and want to see it then you’ll inevitably like it. Otherwise, it might be funny for the wrong reasons I guess?
Todd Solondz is back and, from this trailer, he seems to have lightened up a bit. Here we get a likable but unattractive dude failing to accept defeat in attempting to date Selma Blair. This looks funny in the same way that maybe Young Adult was funny earlier this year in dealing with a delusional character but, like The Fairy, you’ll be very lucky to find a theatre carrying it.
Your Sister’s Sister
The second mumblecore movie to hit the multiplexes this year (Jeff Lives At Home being the first) this movie has Mark Duplass (co-writer and director of Jeff… and one of the hardest working guys in Hollywood seemingly) heading to Emily Blunt’s lake house, where he fucks her sister and then, when Emily Blunt, his lifelong friend, turns up the next day seemingly wanting to be with him, he finds himself in a pickle. This might be a hefty foot into the mainstream but the story is still very simple and realistic so mumblecore fans should remain happy whilst also introducing the basic notions of the movement to a wider audience.
My Pick: Killer Joe (but Your Sister’s Sister would be my pick any other week of the year)
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REVIEW | Killer Joe
Gratuitous, yet not at all sexual nudity. Rare but relatively brutal violence. Unpredictable characters doing unpredictable things within a narrative outline that is as old as time. It’s the story of a father and son (Hirsch and Haden Church) hiring the titular character (McConaughey) to kill their ex-wife/mother for her insurance money so that Hirsch can clear a debt with a gang. A not exactly normal but not overly bizarre plot unt Joe requests and is granted the daughter/younger sister (Temple) as sexual collateral in lieu of payment up front. From there onwards it is a difficult to pin down, twisted movie that takes elements of genres and their conventions and splatters them all over the narrative to great effect. Hirsch is fine in the ‘lead’, Temple is mesmerising as the dippy girl, Gershon reminds us that she’s not just the one we wanked over in Bound, Haden Church is the one source of hilarious light and McConaughey delivers a career best performance that bears significant comparison to that of Bale’s in American Psycho.
This movie picks you up, shakes you around a shitload and then lobs you back out with its final shot. You will laugh and you will feel wrong doing so. You will judge characters and then find it impossible to continue doing so. You will leave the cinema unsure as to what you think and yet absolutely sure that you saw something that no one involved will ever let you un-see. And you will somehow still fancy some fried chicken.
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REVIEW | LOL
LOL is the most unintentionally funny film of the year. Written and directed by someone who is French but who can only capture the place like a stereotypical untraveled American, who probably did no research as to how young people use social media and who’s dialogue and interactions between characters are so unnatural that it suggests she has never even seen another human being before let alone spoke to them and had them speak back, this film feels like a bad school play written by a teacher trying to look hip and acted by kids who do not speak like the dialogue they have been given, aren’t smart enough to adlib and refuse to commit because there friends will think they’re dorks. Even when the dialogue isn’t being odd the film is, for example Demi Moore being in the bath with her too-old-to-be-bathing-with-her-mum daughter when Miley walks in, drops her towel and walks, completely nude, into the shower before having an argument with Demi about her having a Brazilian. I’m not, nor have or will I ever be a teenage girl but I’m certain that this is not a normal thing to happen.
Thing is that it really is terrible but hilariously so. In the same fashion that someone falling down a hole or a fat person falling over is funny, LOL is a car crash where only careers get hurt.
1 June 2012
A film so bad that, despite starring America’s sweetheart Miley Cyrus, it managed to make only £46k on its opening weekend across 105 theaters in the states. Cyrus plays a girl called Lola who’s name is shortened to Lol but LOL is also a relevant title because, as the trailer tells you, ‘her friends are just going with the flow; trying to love and laugh out loud.’ I live in London and yet there are only four cinemas in, and I’m being geographically generous here, central London showing this movie. You would almost certainly have to go out of your way to see this and you’d surely have to be affected to do so.
The Angel’s Share
I didn’t like this trailer to start with and after thirty odd views over the last few months at the cinema, I can barely summon the strength to go see it. As shown in the trailer, John Naughton of GQ describes it as ‘Scotland’s answer to The Full Monty’, and this trailer seems to suggest he might not be far off. For that reason I’m not willing to say it’ll be shit but it looks dreary as balls and I’m really bored of English films being so fucking grey.
I’m one of the few who finds the entire Alien series underwhelming and Prometheus does little to change my mind. Slow start, strong middle and an ending that never knows when enough is enough. Read my review here.
Snow White and the Huntsman
A beautifully shot film ruined by a mix of poor characterisation and, to a lesser extent, Kristen Stewart being Kristen Stewart. Read my review here.
My Pick: Can’t go too wrong or too right with either Snow White and the Huntsman or Prometheus