Slumpy - Right-On Film Reviews

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Need For Speed (2014)

Sum this mother up in 8 words or less: Computer game about nothing into film about nothing

Okay, lay it on me: Merlin's beard... preposterous nonsense lasting over 130 minutes!? I'm guessing this lot rushed Aaron Paul on his last day of shooting Breaking Bad and he panicked and said 'yes'. Bad call, Aaron, you could have done anything! Anything but this! In fairness, I think I enjoyed it more than those 'Tokyo Fast Drift i'm Furious' films. At least this was done in-camera and had some creative shots. It's starts of as an easy midweek watch but the gargantuan running time really starts to take it's toll after the 90 minute mark. These lads love their cars, so much revving! Also, why is Michael Keaton in this? He must be saving up for a new shed or something.
Clearly too short to see over that wheel

Would you watch it again? No. This is midweek madness and then best forgotten.

Rating (out of 100): There's some form of trying going on here but I can only muster a 51

Chef (2014)

Sum this mother up in 8 words or less: Jon Favreau cooks instead of making Iron Men

Okay, lay it on me: This little beauty completely took me by surprise. After biting the big one and getting critically smashed to pieces for 2011's horrific 'Cowboys & Aliens' big Jon decided to take it back to the streets and make Chef, a low budget flick directed and starring himself. Chef clearly mirrors Favreau's experiences as a director making large studio films but secretly wanting to flex his artistic side by making smaller, more personal projects.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Loved the snappy dialogue, the interaction with Favreau's character and his son, all really funny stuff. Had absolutely no problem with all the Twitter stuff, the graphics that appear on the screen when people are tweeting work really well in my opinion. Also, apparently Twitter had zero part in getting this film made or financed, the directer is just a massive fan and it serves the story. There's Twitter in life baby! Cynics stay away. 
Big Favreau tweeting his face clean off

Would you watch it again? Yeah! So easy. Such an easy watch!

Rating (out of 100): Chef gets a delicious, slow cooked, briskety 81

Friday, 8 August 2014

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Sum this mother up in 8 words or less: It's Thor 2. He visits Greenwich.

Okay, lay it on me: Of all the phase 2 Marvel films this feels like the one they rushed to get released and cared least about. Doesn't really have much impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, doesn't move much along, certainly not compared to it's other phase 2 counterpart, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which basically changes everything. Having said all that this film is still a mighty Nordic romp with great casting and a totally enjoyable fast paced, simple storyline. Given the subject matter it really is a miracle this film works. Best enjoyed on a Sunday evening with a nice glass of Fanta.
Thor in the UK. Just look at that big hammer

Would you watch it again? Oh, totally. Love the Marvel films. Thor me!

Rating (out of 100): I give this a "HAMMER!" 79

Friday, 1 August 2014

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Sum this mother up in 8 words or less: Magazine interns go investigate time travel personal ad.

Okay, lay it on me: A great sci-fi indie from the man who is now directing Jurassic World, (Colin Trevorrow). This totally took me by surprise, it's funny, sweet and is about possible time travel. What more could you want? Plus, it had a totally good ending which is rarer and rarer these days.

Would you watch it again? Yes indeed! 

Rating (out of 100%): I give it a GIANT £90 (90%) for having a big old heart and a nice pair of balls too.

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Conjuring (2013)

Sum this mother up in 8 words or less: Paranormal investigators think the world of themselves.

Okay, lay it on me: This is a good, solid, big budget horror. Finally. Good actors and a steady pacing (for the most part) means that they can play out all the old horror cliches and still keep people interested.

It's your standard haunted-house-angry-at-nice-new-occupants story, not dissimilar to the Amityville Horror (the 'real life' stories are connected too). The Warrens are real life Paranormal Investigators and my advice to you is; if you haven't heard of the Warrens, don't look them up before watching the film. (They are totally annoying fraudsters who only perform séances on tables with table cloths that reach right to the floor.) They will put you off the film.

The scares are good here. There's none of the snazzy (crap) MTV editing of The Woman in Black. And, if you let the film in, the scares are strong enough to will get under your skin. I have a feeling one of the best was shown in the trailer though. But it is cool.

Would you watch it again? Yes. I'm going to buy the Blu-Ray. I hope there's an option to turn of the Warren's smug self-praising (I looked, they were involved in the production as was a giant, stinking mound of cash I presume).

Rating (out of 100%): 81% A really good effort. If the Warrens didn't think so much of themselves I'd give it another 5%.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The World's End (2013)

Sum this mother up in 8 words or less: Weird nostalgic pub crawl gets all robotronic 

Okay, lay it on me: Firstly, I love these guys. When I say 'these guys' I mean the chaps that brought us Spaced, Shaun Of The Dead, and Hot Fuzz, and I guess when I say 'chaps' I'm directly referring to Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. The World's End concludes the so called 'three flavours Cornetto trilogy' and it's fair to say I had pretty high expectations before going in having loved Shaun and Fuzz for many years now.
Get ready for a rip roaring festival of fun! Wait... Oh crap.

Unfortunately it only took around 10 minutes for me to realise that this wasn't going to be the film I wanted it to be. Something was off, this Cornetto had turned! It was a combination of the setup, music and general tone of the opening act that made me as sure as Sherlock's eggs that I was going to really struggle with this ensemble; some kind of generational barrier blocking my relating receptors perhaps? I know they're integral to the story but I found all the peripherals around Pegg and Frost to be gut zappingly dull. The nostalgic pub crawl around their home town is a pretty good idea but to fill it with characters that don't really like each other hardly makes it a fun ride and when the robots turn up it just feels... well, random. Not random in a cool, down with the kids, genius way, but more like in a 'what's our thing in this one? Robots? That'll do' lazy kind of way. The initial robot fight feels really clumsy and a little awkward. The films ideals and notion of 'the past is the past' made me dwell on the directer and cast, I was all like 'yeah, you guys don't do this anymore, do something different, move on, you can't just slip back into Shaun Of The Dead mode, that was bloody ages ago, you're all up in Star Trek and Tintin's guts now. Let go maaaaaan!' That's exactly what I said when I said 'they were all like..
Drink up lads. But seriously, do drink up.

You wanna see Pegg and Frost being buddies, not hating each other and getting all serious. Pegg's character 'Gary King' is relatively annoying throughout but is responsible for most of the big laughs. Oh yeah, there are laughs, I mean it's not a total stinker, it's just a disappointment, like toasting waffles. I will also say this, Shaun and Fuzz were late bloomers, their awesomeness blossomed on repeat viewings, layers etc, especially Hot Fuzz. The World's End may do the same, I just can't see people wanting to reminisce with Gary King as much as they do with Shaun and Nicholas Angel.

The drunker they get in the film the better it gets though, thank god Frost's character starts to drink! He has some really funny physical comedy moments and takes on a terrific WWF fighting style! All the ale stuff is fun and I love the 'Starbucking' jokes about the pubs all looking the same. I mean there's some classic stuff in there it's just surrounded, veiled even, in this weird, dark tone of 'we're really not into this, lets just bang it out because we have to' attitude. As the film went on I did finally start getting into the swing of it but then the ending left me feeling a bit empty, like I wished they'd made a different sort of film tonally to end the trilogy on.

Would you watch it again? Of course. I've been mulling this over for a few days now and feel like I may have been overly critical. A repeat viewing will settle my internal conflict.

Rating (out of 100%): A really disappointing 68%. Some great lines and isolated moments but it never comes close to the endearing charm and fun of Fuzz and Shaun. 

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