Film Friday #123

Argo

In 1979 during a demonstration the US embassy in Iran is overrun by revolutionaries. Six Americans escape, taking shelter in the home of the Canadian ambassador, unable to escape out of fear of being executed as American spies. With limited ideas on how to get these somewhat ordinary individuals to safety, the CIA calls in their top “exfiltration” expert, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck). His colleagues are initially dubious when Mendez comes up with the idea of claiming that the trapped Americans are a Canadian film crew on a location scout for a science fiction film but as the situation becomes more perilous, Mendez gets the go-ahead. In order to make the story appear plausible Mendez ropes in an aging producer (Alan Arkin) and special effects make-up artist (John Goodman) and they set about working on Argo, the greatest sci-fi film never made. The skill in this film comes from its exceptional build-up of tension and a series of edge-of-your-seat near misses. I really enjoyed Argo. It’s well made, well acted and very exciting butI’m not sure I am completely sold on the hype or that it was the best out of this year’s Oscar nominees.  4/5

"What is the product you use on your hair? It's so FLUFFY!"

“What is the product you use on your hair? It’s so FLUFFY!”

Goodbye Lenin!

After his father leaves, Alex’s (Daniel Bruhl) mother, Christiane (Katrin Saß) becomes a passionate supporter of the GDR. When she has a heart attack years later, she falls into a coma, only waking up after the Berlin Wall has come down and western communism has worked its way into every aspect of former East German life. Desperate to protect his mother from any further shock, Alex sets up an elaborate ruse to convince Christiane that the GDR is still intact. At the start this is a, this is a sweet somewhat awkward comedy.  However as more secrets are revealed and Alex comes of age in a turbulent environment this becomes a touching and rather sad portrayal of a family in crisis. 3.5/5

Moustaches: Making 80's news readers around the world look sexy

Moustaches: Making 80’s news readers around the world look sexy

Ted

Ten year old loner, John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) wishes his teddy bear, Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) into life, beginning a bromance for the ages. In his thirties, John meets, Lori (Mila Kunis), a successful executive and the two fall in love. Unsurprisingly their relationship is not helped by the presence of Ted, who has grown up to be a foul mouthed, womanising party animal, who takes every opportunity to lead John astray. As Lori demands more commitment, John must choose between the love of his life and his best friend or risk losing them both. Although I found the conclusion of this film somewhat annoying in the fact that Lori was expected to make a massive compromise with none expected from John, there is no denying that Ted is hilarious. I watched this on my iPad on a flight and had to stifle several full on LOLs. It’s also ultimately relatable if you’ve ever dated someone with a friend who was a terrible influence. One of the better comedies I’ve seen recently. 3.5/5

When John suggested Lori get bare in bed, this was not what he had in mind

When John suggested Lori get bare in bed, this was not what he had in mind

Cockneys vs Zombies

Cockney brothers, Terry (Rasmus Hardiker) and Andy (Harry Treadaway) decide to rob a bank in order to raise enough money to stop their grandfather’s (Alan Ford) care home from being closed. Unfortunately this is also the day that a zombie plague breaks out in London and the boys are faced with a race against time to save granddad and his OAP friends. This film is blatantly ridiculous, but with a title like that you wouldn’t expect any different. Fortunately it is aware that it is ridiculous, which kind of makes it watchable from a so bad it’s good perspective. Although it’s all supposed to be about championing the East End, it might have been more believable if most of it wasn’t obviously filmed in Wandsworth… us South West Londoners know the back of Southside like the back of our hands! Anyway… I managed to enjoy this on some level and it was better than the title suggested. 2/5

The 200m sprint in the All-Inclusive Olympics was taking a decidedly odd turn

The 200m sprint in the All-Inclusive Olympics was taking a decidedly odd turn

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