"Men are like buses," says the Bridget Jones's Baby advert on the side of the ones currently making their way through school run-gridlock, possibly because we're awful and stained with last night's food and can't be relied on to turn up. Bridget's choices were often bad over the first two films, but the scripts usually ignored the fact that her men were worse. Three films in, the franchise seems to have caught up and started rewarding her.
What a Beatles documentary has never quite captured is their cultural significance. You can't, not really: it is too tightly bound up in everything we hold as self-evident about popular culture and our relationship with celebrity. Ron Howard, having had the sense to focus his film on the touring years up until 1966 rather than compress The Beatles Anthology into two hours, allows us a window into just how mental those four years were, and gets closer to the truth of it than anyone else has managed.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 22:10 on 15 Sep 2016
Forget America and Great Britain: the real special relationship the UK has is with Oceania. I've always felt closer to my Australian and Kiwi brothers than I have our American chums, and I think self-deprecation plays a big part in that. Our friends from across the Atlantic often struggle to laugh at themselves, but our friends in the Pacific have a healthy appreciation of self-mockery; the New Zealander sense of humour feels far more aligned with our own. Perhaps this is why Taika Waititi's comedy Hunt For The Wilderpeople feels so comfortingly familiar: it's an inward-looking comedy that's not afraid to poke fun at its country's own foibles but still manages to feel like a celebration of life on a little island.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 23:46 on 14 Sep 2016
If you find yourself staring at the marketing for Sony's The Magnificent Seven thinking 'Who is this for?', then you're not alone: I've just seen it and I still don't know. It is an odd choice for such a straight-laced remake, particularly in the current age of the gender swap but PARTICULARLY because the Seven Samurai trope is the most well-worn story in cinematic history, having been remodelled in various forms over the years. We've enjoyed it in ronin form, as a western, told via science-fiction, remade as comedy and even reinvented with animated insects. They say each new generation deserves their own version of all the classic stories, and I daresay the 2016 adaptation of Magnificent 7 is the version this generation deserves: polished but still remarkably unremarkable.
Worst superhero movie ever. Don't bother staying for the mid-credits sting to see if Wolverine shows up; there's NOTHING.
As I was leaving my work office to come to the screening of this film, I happened to tell a colleague where I was going. His response was: "Oh cool! I saw a trailer for War Dogs. It looks like The Hangover meets Lord Of War". He's not wrong, but it's the kind of reference point used far too much these days
and is so simplistic as to become meaningless. He might as well have said "Oh cool! War Dogs looks like Todd Phillips meets gun-running". Or "It looks like funny stuff meets serious dangerous stuff". "Oh cool! I saw a trailer for War Dogs. It looks like Jonah Hill meets Miles Teller". Yes. Yes, he does.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 09:00 on 17 Aug 2016
You may think that The Purge: Election Year has been smart in piggybacking the US electoral campaign, but in actual fact, it suffers in comparison to current real world politics: in case you needed reminding, one of America's presidential candidates has already advocated the assassination of his rival and has claimed that he could shoot someone dead in the street and still not lose any voters. Donald Trump's car crash campaign makes legalised murder look pretty tame in comparison, leaving The Purge: Election Year struggling to stay relevant: if the first Purge movie was a high concept in search of a budget to match and sequel Anarchy was a satisfying exploration of that world, Election Year takes the concept to its ludicrous and illogical extremes.
It's hashtag-InternationalCatDay today, so what better time to publish our review of cat film Nine Lives - in which Kevin Spacey turns into a cat - as reviewed by a cat.
I have been trying to write a movie script for a few years now. Of course, I am under no illusion that it will be any good but, like all aspiring screenwriters I am hoping for two impossible things to happen: 1) it will be lauded as a magnificent piece of art, and 2) it will actually get made into a film. What Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates shows, however, is that if you care less about 1), there are some quick and easy ways to make 2) happen.
Here's something that shouldn't be a thing: any director, cast member or studio that says "we made it for the fans, not the critics". Now, I would say that I occupy a space somewhere in between those two clearly very unique and separate positions. I'm an occasional blogger currently writing a review (that, heaven forbid, will be listed on Rotten Tomatoes) but who particularly enjoys superheroes and comic-book movies. So where does the DC party line of 'fans not critics' leave me? I'll tell you where - in the same place as literally anybody else who sees this film: with an opinion, and only that. Obviously, it should be argued as objectively as possible, but for the sake of DC's stance in the matter, let me try to review this like a fan rather than like a clueless critic doing super-serious critiquing on Marvel's payroll
. With that in mind, Suicide Squad is a bit rubbs.