10-20 years from now, future generations will look back on this decade and cringe at how their parents and grandparents belly-laughed at the offensive, nonsense humour of Seth MacFarlane, in much the same way as we do now at old sitcoms from the 70s. Clips of Family Guy's most near-knuckle gags will be shown in TV documentaries that explain how the 2010s were a less civilised era, before society learned to behave like better people. Luckily, we are already on the cusp of more progressive times as the tide has started to turn against the squeaky-faced MacFarlane’s now-familiar string of stoner/racist/pop culture/left field references. 2015 is truly a cornerstone year as MacFarlane Fatigue has firmly set in and, on the basis of Ted 2, it's easy to see why.
Three young friends lark about with a video camera, filming themselves eating sweets and making private jokes like typical teenagers. They start to sing Happy Birthday to the girl holding the camera, but one voice stands out – a rich, soulful and mature voice completely at odds with the young face its coming out of, one that will be later compared to the likes of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. It’s an astonishing opening to Asif Kapadia’s moving portrait of tragic singer Amy Winehouse, and it’s as sad as fuck.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 01:10 on 01 Jul 2015
Terminator Genisys represents everything that is wrong with modern movies. Absolutely everything. It is a hopelessly contrived revisit to a once famous franchise, long since dragged through the mud and reanimated - for the third time - in the hopes that it can repeat past tricks. It is a reboot that fails to perform the basic function of a reboot - to start afresh with a blank canvas - instead preferring to muddy the waters of an already terminally confusing timeline. Worst of all, it is chronically boring and manages to make a movie about a robot uprising seem about as exciting as the launch of Tidal. In short, it is the worst film of the year by far; a catastrophically bad moviegoing experience that not only manages to insult fans of the first (and only) two decent Terminator movies but manages to botch the franchise to such an extent you wonder if even the 12-year-olds it's aimed at will be impressed by its static action and needlessly convoluted plot.
The Beach Boys: squeaky-clean surfers, or the subjects of sordid sex scandals, substance abuse and psychotic breakdowns? Whatever your level of familiarity with these endless harmonisers and their incredible off-stage history – fatherly abuse, drugs, rivalry, death, links to Charles Manson, drummer Dennis Wilson falling out with lead singer (and cousin) Mike Love and then marrying his daughter – the chances are that you don’t know the whole history…. because, frankly, there’s just so much to tell. Any Beach Boys biopic just couldn’t possibly do justice to their entire 53-years-and-counting career. Thankfully, this new film focuses on band figurehead and recognised musical genius, Brian Wilson. And even then, it still feels like just a drop in the ocean.
I know, I know. It's hard to believe that such an incredible, inspiring life could be contained to just 236 pages.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 23:15 on 23 Jun 2015
The actor Andrew Garfield vanished into thin air today, as all traces of the British 31-year-old evaporated and his collective atoms were forgotten for ever more. "Andrew who?" said an onlooker.
Sometimes I just don't understand Hollywood.
It is hard, as a fan of a TV show, to divorce yourself from your feelings for it and watch the end-of-series movie without prejudice. And probably you shouldn't: it's meant for you, as a sort of valedictory reward for your loyalty. But then releasing it in cinemas suggests a pitch to a wider audience, so while it might satisfy the existing viewer, as Entourage sort-of-just-about does, you wonder who else they're expecting to queue up for tickets.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 01:30 on 11 Jun 2015
There is no escaping the fact that I can't write an unbiased review of a Jurassic Park movie. Jurassic Park is my Star Wars, my Lord Of The Rings - my formative moviegoing experience that opened my eyes to the wonder of cinema. I can never be too down on movies about rampaging dinosaurs; even a bad Jurassic Park movie - and there have been more of them than there have been good ones - is entertaining in its own way. But by any measure, whether you're a super-fan or a casual observer, Jurassic World knocks it out of the park: it's a shamelessly entertaining blockbuster that simultaneously pays homage to the original while putting a fresh coat of paint on the formula. If you're a Jurassic Park fan, Jurassic World is everything you want it to be - I'd even go as far as saying it's as good a Jurassic Park film, post Jurassic Park, that you could ever possibly expect.