Film Friday #267

Deadpool (2016)

By his own admission Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is not one of the good guys. In fact he makes his money as a “merc”, kicking the shit out of guys who are essentially worse than him. What he does have going for him is a loving relationship with his beautiful but tough girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). When Wade discovers he has terminal cancer, he is willing to do anything to stay alive for Vanessa and not put her through watching him die a slow and painful death and so he takes up the offer of a shady organisation to activate his mutant genes and in so doing not only cure him but also give him super powers. What he doesn’t realise is that to do this he’s going to have to go through weeks of sadistic torture at the hands of Ajax (Ed Skrein) which will leave him unrecognisably scarred and hungry for revenge. Ajax and his sidekick, Angel Dust (Gina Carano) are not to be underestimated and neither is the X-Men team of Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) who are trying not only to contain him but also recruit him. Where Deadpool is amusingly different from the remaining X-Men films is in its self-awareness and willingness to break the fourth wall. Wade/Deadpool constantly talks to the audience and director Tim Miller pokes fun not only at himself but also at the cast and audience during the opening credits. It’s also rampant with bad language, violence, deeply inappropriate humour and nudity which puts it more in the leagues of Kick Ass than First Class. And it all works really well especially since this is the role Ryan Reynolds was obviously born to play. The question of course is whether it lived up to the earth-shattering hype. For Mr O, who is quite the Marvel fan (comic books as well as films), for me it didn’t. While I really enjoyed Deadpool, I can’t say I laughed out loud much and I found Ajax to suffer from the usual underdevelopeditis of comic book villains. Definitely worth watching but possibly not quite as “Oscar worthy” as some corners are claiming it is. 3.5/5

Deadpool

Either Sky makes all the Adult channels free or the teddy gets it!

It Follows (2014)

After sleeping with a guy she is dating, Jay (Maika Monroe) is followed by a strange threatening presence. She is warned that the presence can change its appearance to whatever it wants, only she can see it and it will continue to follow her until it kills her, unless she sleeps with someone else and passes it on. Reluctant to do so she hunkers down with her friends and attempts to come up with various schemes to get rid of the menacing presence that keeps appearing – as her neighbour, friends, family members and an array of weird strangers. I found It Follows to be quite a perplexing film… in a good way. First of all it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it is set. The soundtrack is pure eighties electronica, the TVs are all from the 70’s and there are no mobile phones but one of Jay’s friends appears to have an eReader. There’s also clearly a lot of symbolism around modern relationships, sexually transmitted diseases and even potentially the disintegration of the family unit since Jay and her sister never seem to spend any time with anyone else in their family – even though they appear to live with them. At the same time it is also a creepy, atmospheric horror movie that eschews gore in favour of creating a sense of unease especially considering that the presence following Jay appears not to have any motive for its intention to kill her. It is potentially a bit slow moving and less scary than it is unsettling. Maika Monroe again proves that she is a rising star with a compelling performance as the terrified but resilient, Jay. Worth a watch if you like “unhorror” horror movies. 3.5/5

Hugh was going to make Jay watch the entire extended edition Lord of the Rings box set no matter what it took

Hugh was going to make Jay watch the entire extended edition Lord of the Rings box set no matter what it took

Still Alice (2014)

Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, a happily married highly successful linguistics professor with three adult children. Shortly after her fiftieth birthday Alice starts to experience bouts of memory loss and confusion so she decides to see a neurologist only to discover that she has genetic early onset Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease progresses we watch first Alice’s struggle to accept that she will lose everything about herself that is familiar as well as witnessing her ingenious coping strategies for living with the disease. At the same time there’s her husband, John’s (Alec Baldwin) desire to support her intermingled with his frustration and pain at losing his once fiercely capable and independent wife and the different ways in which Alice’s children deal with their mother’s changes. While the performances from Baldwin as well Hunter Parrish, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart who play Alice’s three very different children, it is very much Moore’s show. She ensures that Alice is an empathic character but manages to avoid turning her into a saintly cliché, which is particularly evident in her interactions with her youngest daughter, Lydia, where she could be accused of using her disease as a bargaining chip. The whole time I was watching the film I kept thinking, I can’t imagine what it would be like if this happened to me and feeling robbed of the years expected ahead as well as of being capable and independent, which to me is the biggest evidence of just how successful this film is at achieving its goals. Moving, thought-provoking and a testament to Julianne Moore’s talent. 4/5

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TBC

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun’s (Simon Pegg) life is going nowhere. He lives with his feckless best mate, Ed (Nick Frost), works in a dead end job and has just been dumped by his beautiful girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield) because she’s sick of spending every night in his local pub, The Winchester. When he and Ed wake up from a night of drowning their sorrows and discover that the country is in chaos having been taken over by a zombie plague they decide that they need to rescue Lucy, Shaun’s mum (Penelope Witton), kill his stepdad (Bill Nighy) who has been bitten and hole up in the Winchester. Unfortunately even the best laid plans never run smoothly and a hilarious and gory adventure ensues. As horror comedies go Shaun of the Dead absolutely deserves its place as a cult favourite. Not only do Pegg and Frost have amazing chemistry but there are enough pop culture references, incidents of slapstick humour, flights of dialogue fancy and disembowellings to satisfy anyone. At the same time it’s also a brilliant metaphor for the way in which the average person stumbles around in a zombified manner not realising what is going on around them or how life is slipping away from them. Endlessly rewatchable and always a treat, if you haven’t seen this you are most definitely missing out. 5/5

shaunofthedead

Shaun and his friends were feeling a little worse for fear after a night out at the Clapham Grand

 

20 Comments

  1. Great round up! Deadpool was tons of fun, but definitely won’t work one hundred percent for everyone. I still want to see Still Alice, Shaun of the Dead is always entertaining, and I was not a fan of It Follows – it had a strong start and then just pissed away all the potential it had. Pity.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Still Alice is quit depressing. Make sure you’re in the right mood.

  2. I loved It Follows! But I see why you say it’s a bit slow. And yes! Shaun of the Dead 🙂 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      Overall I enjoyed It Follows a lot more than I thought I would.

  3. I live Shaun of the Dead! And looking forward to seeing Deadpool. I think my husband will really like Still Alice.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I hope you have fun with Deadpool. It’s really entertaining!

  4. Great group of reviews and a ton of variety! A little something for everyone! 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thanks. My viewing habits are always a bit eclectic.

  5. theipc

    It lives under your bed.

    It obeys.

    It follows.

    It lurks.

    1. abbiosbiston

      It smells.

        1. abbiosbiston

          #truthhurts

  6. I’m so excited to see Deadpool, I love Ryan Reynolds. He was especially good in Van Wilder, so I’m looking forward to him in this. I also love Shaun Of The Dead, I think it’s great that it’s always on ITV2! 🙂

  7. Thanks for the reminder that I should see Still Alice. I’m a huge fan of Julianne Moore.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Me too. I think this is her best performance so far.

  8. I’m not a fan of zombie flicks but I enjoyed Shaun of the Dead a lot! Pegg/Frost is a fun comedic duo, I also love ’em in Hot Fuzz!

    1. abbiosbiston

      Oddly enough I didn’t like Hot Fuzz but I did love The World’s End. Have you seen the TV series Spaced?

  9. really looking forward to deadpool. no interest in IF (horror) 🙂
    Still Alice really showed JM’s talent and SoTD was fun, but maybe too british for me 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      I suppose Shaun of the Dead is really quite British in some places.

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