Monthly Archives: October 2010

Films You Really SHOULD Have Seen (Or Maybe Not).

Dinner for Schmucks turned out to be a pleasant surprise...

...unfortunately the same could not be said for The Other Guys.

Hello all, so nice to see you again!

Now, I know what you are all saying. “Where the hell have you been?! You said something about chicken goujons about two months ago, and I haven’t seen you since. We were so worried! You didn’t write, you didn’t even call. And now you just want to waltz back into our lives?”

My response to that would be this: What the hell is wrong with you? Its a fucking blog. Jeez…

Anyway, in the two months I’ve been away, I’ve seen a lot of films. I mean they’ve been out for a while now, so if you wanted to see them you’d have probably gone by now. Anyway, shut up. You’re lucky to have me at all.

We start with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. No, I haven’t read the comic book, I don’t do that. I don’t even know the backstory to Batman or Superman. I keep asking people why this Nick Fury bloke is appearing in all these upcoming films. But, as anyone who went to see the film will tell you (comic book fans or not), its actually very good. And for multiple different reasons. For those that will understand them, there are plenty of comic book and video game in-jokes. For music fans there is a superb soundtrack. And for my mate Jon there is Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays principle love interest Ramona Flowers. But for me, aside from anything else, it is simply a hypnotic experience. Director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz/Shaun of the Dead) fills the movie with snazzy computer effects and clever techniques. From the 8-bit Universal logo at the start, you know you are in for a visual treat. It flopped at the cinema, but if you are sensible you will get it on DVD when it comes out.

Straight on we go, to Dinner for Schmucks, which was initially just a filler for me, I never expected anything good to come from going to see it. It certainly hasn’t garnered any glowing reviews so far. Which meant it was a pleasant surprise when it got a big belly laugh from me. Followed by another, and even more afterwards. The casting is fantastic, a welcome relief from Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Owen Wilson and other Frat Pack stalwarts. Honourable mentions go to Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Chris O’ Dowd (The IT Crowd), but the star of the show is Steve Carrell. I’ve been a fan of his since he managed to out ‘Jim Carrey’ the man himself in Bruce Almighty. He is again supreme playing the complete moron , just like in Anchorman, but don’t assume this is a silly comedy. The laughs are very clever, and there are several moments when the mood is completely changed and you find yourself feeling real emotions of sadness. And the film has done more for me than any other to appreciate the beauty of taxidermy. It must appear a very baffling review, but Dinner for Schmucks is in all honesty the best film I’ve seen this year. And yes, I’ve seen Inception. And YES, I’ve seen Toy Story 3.

On the other hand, The Other Guys was a film I’d been looking forward to all summer. What is more, it has received some warm reviews from critics and viewers alike. What a shame then that the team that brought us Anchorman, along with the prospect of Mark Wahlberg playing a comedy role, lets the whole thing fall flat. The jokes are few and far between, it was poorly shot and almost painful to watch at times. It relies on the old Will Ferrell tactic of serving deadpan sentences before going into REALLY LOUD LINES THAT TRY TO GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT THIS JOKE IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY! Its not often that you can say Steve Coogan is the funniest element of a film, but it shows how low the rest of the cast had to have dropped. But the most confusing element of the film lies at the end. Having learned that our police officers are trying to foil a pyramid scheme that threatens the police pensions scheme (No spoiler alert there: trust me, its for your own good), the end credits inexplicably go into a preachy fact rundown of how greedy corporations killed the economy. And I can honestly say that was the part of the film I most enjoyed.

Phew! I think that was the first critical review I’ve given, and I enjoyed it immensely. Now you all remember why you missed me so much.