Film Friday #263

Paper Towns (2015)

Quentin (Nat Wolff) has lived across the road from Margo Roth-Spiegelman (Cara Delevinge) since he was a young boy and in that time he has always loved her. Unfortunately for Quentin their childhood friendship has unravelled over the years as he’s become a bit of a dork and she’s become the rebellious queen of the school. That is until one night when Margo takes Quentin on an adventure that will completely change his outlook on life and make him believe that there is hope for the two of them yet. However in the morning Margo has vanished leaving only a few clues, which Quentin is convinced are specifically there to lead him to her. As he drags his friends, Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith) into the hunt and gets to know Margo’s best friend, Lacey (Halston Sage) better, Quentin starts to realise that he actually knows almost nothing about Margo. So I read the novel this is based on last year and thought it was pretty crap, probably because I am 35, not 17 and just don’t really get John Green. The film is slightly less crap, mostly because Wolff and Delevinge are good in their roles but most of the characters are still massively annoying. The worst being Ben and his whole creepy relationship with Lacey, which is even more cringe worthy on screen… more down to the script than the actor portraying him. If you feel like you must engage with Paper Towns go for the film over the book… or just skip it altogether because you won’t miss much. 2/5


This was not quite what Quentin had in mind when he suggested a little light fingering

Let’s Be Cops (2014)

Best friends, Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Marlon Wayans) expected to have the world at their feet by their 30’s but after Ryan’s football career was cut short by injury and Justin’s lack of confidence has failed to get him a video game development deal, things are less than stellar. This doesn’t stop Ryan from insisting that they go to their high school reunion dressed as cops (even though it’s not actually a fancy dress party… awkward). When they are actually mistaken for cops and see the benefits that come with being one of New York’s finest, the temptation to try it out again is too much to resist, especially for Ryan. Soon they find themselves pulled into a plot that involves the Russian mob and some very crooked cops… one that will test their friendship to the limits. Okay, let’s be clear… Let’s Be Cops is an extremely dumb movie with a completely implausible premise. There is no possible way that anyone could actually get away with what these two do… especially some of Ryan’s shenanigans. On the other hand the chemistry between Johnson and Wayans is excellent and watching Wayans play the straight man against Johnson’s manic energy does bring some laughs. It would be wrong of me to recommend this film per say but if an afternoon of brainless humour is at the top of your list then you might want to indulge. 2.5/5


Ryan and Justin were not ready for the full view of Subo’s thong

Dogma (1999)

Linda Fiorentino plays Bethany, a Catholic woman who works in an abortion clinic and is unsure of her faith after her husband left her because she was unable to have a child. The last thing she expects is to be visited by a winged man calling himself The Metatron (Alan Rickman) and claiming to be the voice of god. The Metatron informs Bethany that two fallen angels, Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) have found a loophole in Catholic dogma that will allow them to return to heaven, thus proving god wrong and unmaking existence and she has been tasked with stopping them. She won’t be alone though… there are two prophets (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith playing Jay and Silent Bob), a disciple no one has ever heard of (Chris Rock) and a muse (Selma Hayek) to help her on her way. As Bethany reluctantly heads off, Loki and Bartleby wreck havoc and god herself is nowhere to be found. On the surface Dogma seems pretty ridiculous and is packed with the expected Kevin Smith crude humour, poop jokes (or poop demon in this case) and wacky dialogue. Just under the surface though is a razor sharp critique of organised religion but also a surprisingly sensitive and respectful one.  Fiorentino is excellent as the cynical but hopeful Bethany and Rickman steals every scene he is in… and it’s great fun watching Damon and Affleck have fun with their roles and play off each other. This is Smith’s smartest film by far which makes it so much more disappointing seeing his career unravel over the last decade. Whichever level you want to enjoy this on, it’s a great ride and one not to be missed. 4/5


Rufus and Bethany were starting to wish Silent Bob hadn’t had the curry for lunch

St. Vincent (2014)

Vincent (Bill Murray) is an aging Vietnam vet and a confirmed misanthrope, whose only “friend” is a pregnant Russian hooker (Naomi Watts). The last thing he wants is new neighbours but what he does need is money so when circumstances provide the opportunity to babysit his neighbour, Maggie’s (Melissa McCarthy) son, Oliver (Jaeden Liberher) for a fee, he can’t resist. While Maggie struggles to make ends meet and deal with the impact of Oliver’s father having left her for another woman, Vincent takes Oliver on a series of highly inappropriate adventures and we find out just why Vincent is so unhappy and what he needs the money for. St Vincent is not original in any way and even based on this short description I am sure you can picture just exactly the impact that Vincent and Oliver have on each other. And in the hands of a less talented cast it would probably be totally missable… but Murray is made to play the complex but frustrating Vincent, McCarthy injects humour and empathy into Maggie and Lieberher is charming  as the geeky, Oliver.  There’s also a dark subplot featuring some of Vincent’s more shady acquaintances that stops it from becoming a schmaltz-fest. 3/5


Wooah hokey pokey!


  1. I never get tired of watching Dogma. so smart and funny in all the ways you mentioned, Abbi. Rickman was great–they all were. And God is Alanis Morissette ? Sure, why not?

    1. abbiosbiston

      I love that it’s so irreverent but at the same time still respectful.

      1. It was hysterical. All the cameos. I loved Carlin as the Cardinal and bringing out the laughing Jesus. Chris Rock was funny for once and Jason Lee was perfect.

  2. I’m in shock…I’ve finally found a week where I’ve seen 3 of the 4 movies. 🙂 seriously

    Really didn’t like Paper towns so much. Dogma is always fun and I should probably rewatch it. I liked st. vincent a lot. I think Murray is very underrated and he really can be great in serious roles besides his comedic ones.

    New saw LBC and have no desire to 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      This is a great time to rewatch Dogma following the loss of Alan Rickman. It’s one of my favourite roles of his.

      1. Very true. I love him in die hard and just rewatched robin hood last week because of his passing

  3. I completely agree with you on Paper Towns! The book was downright awful (I’m 21 and I don’t get it either) and the movie wasn’t anything special either.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I’m glad it’s not just me. At least with Fault in Our Stars the film was good even though the book was dreadful.

  4. theipc

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah Dogma… the ONLY good Kevin Smith movie… (IMO)

    1. abbiosbiston

      Mallrats? Chasing Amy? Clerks????

      1. theipc

        Didn’t like any of em…

  5. I tried Dogma and never could make it through it. I never tried Let’s Be Cops because I could barely make it through the trailer! 😉 I think I gave St. Vincent the same score and I’ve been curious about Paper Towns. Not quite as curious now!

    1. abbiosbiston

      I guess Dogma isn’t for everyone. I watched Let’s Be Cops on the plane so I guess it was perfect for low concentration levels. Don’t let me put you off Paper Towns. I think some people loved it.

  6. Lol, I enjoyed Paper Towns. Probably because I’ll always be 17 at heart.

    1. abbiosbiston

      It’s a best seller so you’re definitely not alone!

  7. dominicself

    Woah… you’re in the hokey *pokey* brigade too? *looks at you askance*

    1. abbiosbiston

      That’s what it was when I grew up…

      1. dominicself

        It’s like that in America too. I think only the UK is holding out for the hokey cokey. Sigh… oh well, maybe the next generation will switch!

        1. abbiosbiston

          Maybe pokey is too suggestive for British sensibilities.

  8. Dogma’s a classic and St. Vincent was cute but predictable. But I still liked it. The last movie I watched was Spectre (James Bond) and I did not like it and was waiting for it to end. Have you seen it?

    1. abbiosbiston

      I haven’t. I’m really not a Bond fan so I don’t bother with them.

  9. I was mildly curious about Paper Towns because of all the buzz around Cara Delevinge’s performance. But on second thoughts, I think I’ll just skip it.

    1. abbiosbiston

      She’s pretty good but I found the whole thing a bit tedious.

  10. Man, I love Dogma! I actually want to go back and watch that again, it was really good. As for Paper Towns? It was my least favourite John Green novel, so I have absolutely no real desire to watch it. Meh.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I don’t think you’re missing much on Paper Towns. It did nothing for me.

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