Film Friday #119

Beautiful Creatures

Painfully bored Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) has lived in the tiny Southern town of Gatlin, where nothing changes and anyone out of the ordinary is shot at dawn, his whole life. In his junior year of high school, as he counts down the days before he escapes, a new girl called Lena  (Alice Englert) arrives in town and much to everyone’s horror, she happens to be the niece of the town recluse and suspected Satanist, Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons). She also happens to be the girl Ethan has been having unexplained recurring dreams about. As Ethan attempts to get closer to Lena, he discovers that she is a “caster” bound to be chosen for the light or the dark on her sixteenth birthday, mere months away. This is supposed to be based on the novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl but I guess a better description would have been “loosely inspired by the novel in the sense that some of the characters have the same names”. As YA novels go, the book wasn’t bad, but the film interpretation so significantly mangles every aspect of the mythology and characterisation within the film that it is barely recognisable and not for the better. I get that things have to be reinterpreted for screen but this massacre of the original text left the friends I saw this with (who had not read the novel) baffled and me very disappointed. Don’t bother. 1/5

That moment when you've just shit yourself in the family graveyard

That moment when you’ve just shit yourself in the family graveyard

The Grey

A miserable oil worker (Liam Neeson) and his crew of apparent reprobates are involved in a plane crash over the Alaskan wastelands. Here they must band together to escape a pack of ferocious wolves and make it back to civilisation before the cold gets them. If you can get past the serious logic flaws around the completely atypical behaviour of the wolves and the fact that someone probably would have noticed if a whole plane fell out of the sky (it’s 2012, we have technology now) you might enjoy this. I found it so painfully boring that I considered watching paint dry instead. 1/5

XXXX

WORST. PLANE. EVER.

Wild Bill

After eight years in prison, Bill (Charlie Creed-Miles) returns home to find his wife has absconded, leaving his two sons, teenage Dean (Will Poulter) and his little brother, Jimmy (Sammy Williams) to fend for themselves. With Dean hostile, Jimmy unable to even remember his father and Bill doubting his ability to even take care of himself, their future as a family seems tenuous at best  but when it comes down to a possibility of the boys being taken into care, Bill decides to stick around. But with his old gang in the wings, will he be able to stay on the straight and narrow and prevent Jimmy from following in his footsteps? This “western” set on a council estate was directed by Dexter Fletcher and has the standard British film cast of everyone that’s ever been on channel 4. What is also has is a lot of heart and characters you can care about, even if they are a little dodgy. 3/5

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Don’t worry son, we don’t look suspicious at all…

StreetDance 2

After being humiliated at the hands of reigning street dance champions, Invincible, aspiring dancer, Ash (Falk Hentschel) decides to put together a crew of street dancers from around the world along with the help of his “manager”, Eddie (George Sampson). And then for reasons unknown, decides to add some Latin flair with salsa dancer, Eva (Sofia Boutella). Cue the culture clash and much emo whinging from the plank-like Ash. This film depends on you not requiring any understanding of any of the characters motivation for doing anything along with the sense of humour of a seven year old. I will forgive a good dance movie all manner of sins but this one is just lame. Just go and watch Centre State again. 1/5

Look into my magical vagina...

Look into my magical vagina…

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