Malcolm McDowell plays an unnamed gangster remembering back to when he was Paul Bettany (at this point still looking hot) and his ruthless rise from lacky to “gangster no 1”. On the eve of the release of his nemesis, Freddie Mays (David Thewlis AKA Professor Lupin), he starts to wonder who he is and what it all means. This film employs some interesting devices. Bettany as the younger gangster is almost mute with the older McDowell voicing over his thoughts and all the acting is rather spiffy. Unfortunately the script just doesn’t match up. A for effort, C for actual result.
When the perfect family moves into a suburban neighbourhood, it’s not long before their neighbours are desperate to emulate their impressive lives, complete with sexy gadgets and enviable relationships. What they don’t know is that the Joneses are not a real family at all, but a stealth marketing team employed to push high-end products. This is sort of funny but it goes wrong by trying to make some kind of social commentary and the darker element doesn’t sit well against the silly love story between Mr and Mrs Jones (David Duchovny and Demi Moore).
The critics didn’t love this Ricky Gervais (writer, director and supporting actor) vehicle but Paul and I certainly did… maybe due to a bit of a love affair with the 70’s. Bruce (Tom Hughes… pwoargh), Freddie (Christian Cooke… couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag) and Snork (Jack Doolan) are three working class best friends on the cusp of manhood. Freddie is bursting with ambition but unsure of where to direct it, Bruce is angry and rebellious but doesn’t know why and Snork just wants to get laid. The plot is highly predictable and very derivative but it’s sweet and funny and worth a watch.
Oh god… where to start. It’s not hard to see who’s genius idea it was to round up a selection of the action stars of the last 30 years (in varying degrees of ruin and washed-upness) and put them into one film… Stallone… I’m looking at you. We’ve got (amongst others) Stallone (writing and directing as well), Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Eric Roberts, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Arnie himself. Stallone and “friends” play a group of mercenaries who have taken a job to oust some dictator out of an island near Mexico. I think. I fell asleep briefly and I couldn’t figure out who was on whose side half the time. At some point I think Stallone’s character has a change of heart after instantaneously falling in love with a woman young enough to be his granddaughter… but then they might have been on the same side to start. But never mind that… there is lots of shooting and clichés and in-jokes and about three quarters of it is laugh out loud funny. I don’t think it was supposed to be. Should you watch this? Probably.