Wednesday, June 27, 2007

27th June 07 - Wedding Daze

Crikey I have been seeing a lot of shite recently, haven’t I? Ok, so maybe a wedding based rom-com isn’t my usual choice. But this was one of those impromptu cinema trips, limited by what I’d already seen and what my companions were willing to watch. I went in expecting utter toss. I wouldn’t say I was pleasantly surprised, but I’d definitely remove ’utter’ from my prediction.

Thankfully staying away from too much lovey-duvy nonsense, Wedding Daze is all about forlorn romantic Anderson (American Pie’s Jason Biggs) randomly asking a complete stranger, kooky waitress Katie (Wedding Crasher’s Isla Fisher with lovely hair) to marry him. When she decides to accept on a whim, hilarious antics ensue.. Well, by ‘hilarious’ I mean ‘vaguely smile-inducing’. And by ‘antics’ I mean ‘a few misunderstandings and stuff’. The tone aims towards gross-out, resulting in some grimacing scenes (parental fetishes) and some sort of funny slap-stick moments (toothpaste spat in the eye).

There’s not much else to write about, really. It wasn’t horrendous and certainly passed the time. But I’d get the same enjoyment from watching foolish teenagers skate-boarding off pavements for an hour in the hope that one of them will fall off. And that would have been cheaper. Wedding Daze is a bit of toss, but harmless none-the-less. And frankly better than Ocean’s Thirteen. Therefore it cruises in with CF-2.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

21st June 07 - Ocean's Thirteen

Like Fantastic Four 2, my willingness to watch this was only down to being tired in Munich and wanting a good sit down somewhere air-conditioned. Ocean’s Eleven was good fun, but Ocean’s Twelve was quite frankly offensive. I’d read that Ocean’s Thirteen is the apology for Twelve. If that’s the case, then this is the sort of apology you’d use when you actually didn’t really mean it. One of those “yeah, sorry, whatever” moments where you roll your eyes. In short, Ocean’s Thirteen is a teenager’s apology.

But let’s throw this out there - it’s not as bad as Twelve. They at least attempt a story with purpose rather than film themselves out on holiday in European cities. One of the gang is stung by Willie Bank (Al Pacino with orange hair that can’t possibly be his own) so the rest gather together to get Willie back with the most elaborate sting you’ve ever heard (yeah, let’s make an earthquake…) Cue lots of inconceivable devices used by the gang, lots of montages of them walking about Las Vegas with “cool” music playing, and… well, I’m trying to think of a third thing to complete this sentence, but I’m drawing a blank. That’s because the film is the equivalent of an episode of popular BBC show The Hustle. Only it’s longer, has more famous people in it, and their hustle isn’t actually that clever. As it all plays out, you’ll think to yourself ;“this can’t just be it, there’ll be something else, something very very clever coming up and… oh. No, that was it.”

I can’t really see a point to them having made this film. The simple story is overcomplicated by numerous plot strands that aren’t fully explained, but don’t actually mean anything anyway. Random jokes are thrown out and sit uncomfortably next to the bland nature of the rest of the film. And let’s face it, who gives a damn if this cool, suave bunch of guys with a shed load of money actually get away with whatever it is they want to do? In the first film there was the challenge of “how will they do it?” In this film problems are solved with the greatest of ease, or the most ludicrous of plans (aforementioned earthquake). Plus there’s the “comic” use of a chemical that makes women want to sleep with the wearer. Um… Rohypnol isn’t funny guys. And neither is your made-up chemical.

Though it didn’t aggravate me as much as Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen was still frustrating, pointless, and, like the Bavarian mountain I recently visited, Wank. Thus it slips down to CF-3. Stop it now, guys. Apology not accepted.

Friday, June 15, 2007

15th June 07 - Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Every sane fibre of my being would have kept me away from watching this. I haven’t seen the first one because it looked like it’d be a gaudy, silly child’s film. But, my situation as a cold, tired traveller in a wet Copenhagen propelled me into the cinema, and this was the only real choice. And yup. It was a gaudy, silly child’s film.

However, that doesn’t mean it didn’t pass the time in a reasonably enjoyable fashion. It’s bright and colourful with good effects and a sort of likeable bunch of characters. The Human Torch (Chris Evans) is amusingly cocky. The Thing (Michael Chiklis) is fascinating to watch after getting through a few series of the Sheild (it’s baby-faced brutal cop - covered in stone! When’s he going to hurt someone…?) Mr Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd) is a little naff but dead stretchy. And then there’s The Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba). She’s just plain scary. Her eyes are the most weirdly CGI-enhanced plastically creepy eyes I have ever seen. Couple them with massive lips, skinny face and unnatural blonde hair, and she resembles a creepy version of a creepy plastic doll that’s got all warped in the sun. It’s a shame they had to “enhance” Alba in this way (she avoids my hate-list somehow, probably because she’s not yet smug like the Johanssons and Knightleys) but it does sort of add to the comic book feel.

The film revolves around the Silver Surfer, and his big boss who actually eats planets. Pretty cool, really, yet any hint of darkness is constantly washed away with slapstick moments, or silly jokes, or camels. But hey - FF is not a dark comic, and this film matches the mood perfectly. Characters behave in laughably stupid ways (hey you’re evil, I’m not trusting you. Now wait in this room filled with useful tools while I turn my back. Don’t do anything evil, though.. I’ll just be over here..) And the baddy, Dr Doom (the lovely Julian McMahon from Nip/Tuck) is ham-tastic. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d added comedy sound effects during the fight scenes. Maybe little animated birds twittering round someone’s unconscious head. Or Mr Fantastic slipping on a banana peel.

It’s all very silly and a bit throw-away, but not half as horrendous as DareDevil. The Danes certainly enjoyed it, though I suspect their subtitles had better jokes (there was a lot of laughing in the cinema at jokes that weren’t overly funny.) I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend this, but it didn’t rate too highly on my scorn-meter. Therefore Fantastic Four comes in with a CF-1. Not Fantastic, but not Four-king awful either (that’s about the level of humour you can expect. Minus the swearing.)