#590 – 21 Jump Street

Comedy

It might be a surprise, but 21 Jump Street is actually funny. It’s knowing, it’s stupid and it’s written with a panache that puts serious faith in the comic abilities of the two leads. And thankfully for everyone involved they’re more than able to carry it off. The humour dips as the second act heads to a close, but things soon pick up again. The moment that Tatum floors the gay black guy early on is perfectly pitched stuff, as is the sequence in which both Jonah and Channing experience the four stages of H.F.S. This all begins with a superb conversation with the Phys Ed. teacher… “I don’t like that. Put your tongue back in your mouth…”

21 Jump Street Jonah Hill Channing Tatum

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#589 – The Kid With A Bike

Drama

Yeah, The Kid With A Bike is sort of sad, but nice and happy all at once. It’s a parochial drama that feels very much like a film about a unfortunate French kid that has a bike. This of course makes perfect sense as that’s exactly what it’s about. I guess what I’m trying to say is it is exactly as one expects and in this case that’s a little disappointing.

The Kid With A Bike

#588 – Berberian Sound Studio

Horror

So, the wife of If It Bleeds We Can Kill It thought Berberian Sound Studio was ‘shit’, IIBWCKI himself didn’t get much out of it and my flat mate referred to it as a ‘movie for film buffs’. But what did I think? That’s what matters right? Ok, I thought it was fucking brilliant! I have a love of the Giallo (courtesy of one Prof. Dyer), which clearly helps and anything that makes a fetish of a technical process: in this case the art of sound engineering. Basically this film is contained and constrained in all sorts of good ways, which all serve to give it that sense of things steadily unravelling. The mood is heavy, the lighting is tomblike and the audio mix is phenomenal. Long live the Giallo and films that pay homage to it!

Berberian Sound Studio

#587 – We Need To Talk About Kevin

Drama

There is little doubt that most will find We Need To Talk About Kevin a bleak and depressing experience. It is. But it is also power house film making.

The dynamics of the relationships are portrayed in such searing clarity it reminds one just how divisive and strong film can be when utilised to it’s full potential. The acting is class. Tilda turns in a performance of true quality in terms of a leading lady role in recent years. The gem though is Ezra. Holy shit. The glory and destructiveness of youth is a motif I believe is synonymous with some of the greatest ever movies and man does it sizzle here in the most horrific of ways.

The eponymous Kevin is like Damien on a bad day, except there’s no devil, no mystery, he’s just socio-path to the fucking bone and that’s the work of director and E. Miller.

Cold, cruel and dare I say indie cool all at once this film ticks the boxes art should in a challenging and detached manner… And that final sequence, bathe in its terror, “I used to think I knew. Now I’m not so sure.”

We Need To Talk About Kevin Ezra Miller

#586 – A Dangerous Method

Drama

Arguably not a shoo-in for a project Cronenberg would want to helm A Dangerous Method is on an uneven footing to start. It becomes clear early on that there’s certainly something about the relationship between Freud and Jung that get’s the usually shock and awe style director’s juices flowing, but it never quite comes across.

There’s plenty of shots with two planes of focus, that’re so unnatural as to be jarring, serving only to enhance the artifice. And the spasmodic ‘dark’ pleasure sex scenes are light, really light, especially when you consider who’s behind the camera. It just doesn’t hang together well. It’s almost as if there isn’t enough to sustain the film.

Psychoanalysis is, in this movie at least, a fairly concise and seemingly straight-forward concept. To have everyone agonising over it feels a bit unnecessary.

Then throw in Keira’s love of a bit of slap and tickle and you can’t help thinking everyone should relax and take things less seriously. Who doesn’t like a bit of spanking now and then, right?

A Dangerous Method

#584 – The Sweeney

Drama

It is hard to see The Sweeney as anything other than a vehicle for Ray to be exactly as you expect him to be. It’s a Nick Love film so there are plenty of moral codes. Moral codes which, as an audience we’re meant to view as honourable despite everyone who abides by them doing lots of unpleasant nastiness all the time. Mockney swearing is at an all time high, as are questionable leather jackets. What this film lacks though is a touch of humour and John Thaw.

It’s an OK way to spend a couple of hours, but so generic of the latest evolution of the British gangster film as to offer nothing original and do very little of interest with what it does present. Yes, it’s very London and does a remarkable job of juxtaposing stunning helicopter shots of ‘the city’ with ‘the street’ that the flying squad (ironic naming) are so obsessed with. They seemingly like nothing better than a pool ball in the chops or an axe-handle up the jacksy. Basically you know what you’re going to get with this film, if you like that sort of thing then you’re not going to be disappointed. That said, I do like that sort of thing, but was disappointed…

The Sweeney Ray Winstone

#583 – Final Destination 5

Horror

Final Destination 5 was my first experience of Blu-Ray (shocking I know, but I like to come to things in my own time – or wait until the man behind the quip-laden and dutifully-informed If It Bleeds We Can Kill It gives me the correct equipment…). This meant much ridiculous gore in all it’s HD glory. Unfortunately that glory was a little on the cheap side… as in the special effects were less than staggering, possibly made by a dude with a Mac for the cost of a few brewskis. However it is safe to say that never will laser eye surgery seem such a sensible option thanks to this movie and that is a good legacy to leave behind long after people have forgotten just how many instalments there actually are/were in the franchise.

Final Destination 5

#582 – Ted

Comedy

Ted was so much better than I expected it to be. That is probably more to do with me expecting it to be god damn awful though, rather than it being a great movie. Essentially it’s Family Guy humour and that is always going to appeal. Throw Mark, Mila and Sam J. Jones into the mix and there is very little to dislike. So many 80s nods too. I like it when Seth does his thing, it feels so tailored for guys like me… a circle jerk of gloriously kitsch/naff references. *Flash Jump*

Ted Mila Kunis Mark Wahlberg