Film Friday #146

Pain and Gain

Miami bodybuilder, Danny Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is dissatisfied with his place in life so he comes up with a scheme to kidnap a wealthy client of his called Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) and get him to sign over all his money and property to him. But he can’t do it alone so he ropes in fellow body builders, impotent Adrian (Anthony Mackie) and ex-con, druggie Paul (Dwayne Johnson). And then things start to go wrong. Although these three idiots luck into some success, they soon find themselves in way over their heads. As unbelievable as this story sounds (and trust me as you watch it, shit just gets crazier and crazier) it did actually all happen, which makes it that more compelling. Although it drags a bit in places, it’s a very interesting look at the pressures and feelings of entitlement around “The American Dream” and the hyper-colour cinematography really seems to capture the essence of Miami. And there’s a fascinating side to watching a crime story where the victim is so incredibly unsympathetic. Dwayne Johnson also puts in a surprisingly good turn playing a sunshine simpleton with a vicious temper, managing to be both intimidating and very vulnerable. 3/5

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Can you smelllllll what the rock is cooking?

Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey

Unhappy with the peace that Bill (Alex Winters) and Ted’s (Keanu Reeves) music has brought to the future, tyrant, De Nomolos (Joss Ackland) sends an evil robot Bill and Ted to the past to off the real Bill and Ted before they can make a world-changing speech at the battle of the bands. When they prove successful Bill and Ted end up in hell where they must fight off the devil, Bill’s granny and the Easter Bunny before facing off against death to win back their lives and reclaim their destiny. I loved Bill and Ted so much when I was in my early teens and I still love the quotability of this sequel to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and the fact that these two’s special brand of stupidity always seems help them rise to the top. However, watching this with a more discerning eye, it’s full of plot holes and questionable logic and probably wouldn’t have the same resonance if you didn’t first watch it as a kid. Approach with caution and a forgiving spirit. 3/5

I am getting a premonition, you are going to have a long and successful film career

I am getting a premonition, you are going to have a long and successful film career

Slap Her, She’s French!

Super-popular Texan cheerleader, Starla Grady (Jane McGregor) has everything – after all she’s trampled over everyone in her way to get it, so taking in a French exchange student, Genevieve LePlouf (Piper Perabo) seems like just another feather to add to her cap. At first Starla loves showing dowdy Genevieve around but it’s not long before she realises that Genevieve is not quite what she seems… in fact she’s trying to take over Starla’s life. This has got a shocking rating on IMDB but I actually found it clever and very funny, and missing some of the saccharine cheesiness that shows up in a lot of teen movies. I think possibly a lot of reviewers didn’t realise it’s supposed to be a satire and does a pretty good job of it – after all, Starla is the current reigning champion of the Beef Pageant! Lots of fun, if for nothing else than the fabulous early noughties pop punk soundtrack. 3/5

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Come and get the beef, boys!

Cosmopolis

Robert Pattison plays some kind of super-rich finance guy driving across Manhattan in his limo for a haircut as carnage happens around him. People are demonstrating against the banking industry, his wife won’t put out, his favourite prostitute (Juliette Binoche) is being difficult and there’s something with a barber and a guy living in a derelict building. I think there was supposed to be some kind of underlying societal message to this but I could not fathom what the fuck was going on. I don’t know if this makes me stupid or uncultured but I was genuinely baffled. Probably my own fault for watching another Robert Pattison film, he really is painful. Not for me. 0/5

Uuuuh... I think I've just shit myself

Uuuuh… I think I’ve just shit myself

4 Comments

  1. You seriously sat through another Robert Pattinson film?! lol! Slap Her, She’s French sounds like a bit of fun – sounds a bit like something like Jawbreaker, which also has a shocking IMDB rating but I thought was alright. LOVE my boys Bill & Ted but admit the sequel is nowhere near as good as the first one (although the line “full-on robot chubby” cracks me up like a teenage boy). Pain & Gain? Hmm… Didn’t seem your type of thing. I wasn’t planning on watching that one but you make it sound like some thought has been put into it other than just having shit blow up. (Does shit blow up? I’m assuming shit blows up!). 🙂

    1. Abbi

      Yeah I don’t know. Clearly I am a sucker for punishment. I think I saw Jawbreaker about 15 years ago. Might be time to revisit. It did kind of remind me of Drop Dead Gorgeous (which I am intending to rewatch soon) though.

      Pain is definitely worth a watch. A couple of things blow up but the sheer insanity of the story is mind-blowing especially considering it’s all true!

  2. Great post, Pain and Gain does look quite funny.

    1. Abbi

      Thanks! Pain and Gain is a really interesting watch with a bold aesthetic. If you get the chance I’d say give it a go.

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