Film study… week 58

Extract

Directed by Mike Judge, this is another one of those films attempting to be quirky and irreverent that just ends up being dull and annoying.  Jason Bateman plays a factory worker who is easily influenced by his druggy bartender friend (Ben Affleck) to do a series of idiotic things, including hiring a gigolo to seduce his wife (Kirsten Wiig). In the meantime he’s desperate to have it off with Mila Kunis, who is a kind of slutty con artist. Really… don’t bother. If you want a good Mike Judge film, I’d suggest Idiocracy.

Don;t worry, I've put valium in your drink. You won't feel a thing!

My Cousin Vinny

After being banged up in the Deep South for a murder they didn’t commit, New Yorkers Bill (Ralph Macchio) and Stan (Mitchell Whitfield) call on Bill’s lawyer cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci) to represent them. Unfortunately Vinny is barely more than an ambulance chaser and it’s taken him six years to pass the bar… hilarity ensues, particularly when Vinny’s fast-talking car-obsessed girlfriend, Mona Lisa (Marisa Tomei) gets involved. This is a 90’s classic and if you like the “stick it to the man” films that were prevalent at the time you’ll love this. It’s a little dated but definitely worth a watch.

Vinny was having one of those terrible nightmares where you wake up in court in a bus conductor's uniform

The Help

I’m not sure if growing up in a country where having domestic help is the norm and there was segregation in the past had something to do with my reaction to this film, but it moved me in a way that not many things have managed to. The story follows “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone, back on form) at the height of the civil rights movement as she decides to write a book from the perspective of the help in a Southern town. The film has had some Hollywoodisation… and I won’t pretend that I don’t know that it’s oozing worthiness. BUT it’s beautifully shot, the stories are compelling, the acting is exceptional and I cried for about 90 minutes out of the 137 minute length. If you go for nothing other than cloths so beautiful that you could lick them, it will be worth it.

What you see behind there, Minny? Is it them Parktown Prawns again?

We Need To Talk About Kevin

I know that critics are raving about this adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s iconic book but I can’t say I was completely sold. It might have been because I loved the book and the film didn’t grab me the same way but I felt as if at times it was being too clever for its own good. It was so draped in SYMBOLISM that it lost a lot of subtlety… but then that might have been the point. Anyway, for those who don’t know the story, I’m not going to give it away because half the point is not knowing what’s going on until the end. Tilda Swinton is amazing… and this is probably the best possible way that this book could have been adapted but so much of the book is missing that it feels a bit hollow.

Beth couldn't help thinking, if only Andy Warhol could see me now...

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