Film Friday #271

The Emperor’s New Clothes (2015)

After starting his career mostly known for his penchant for drugs and busty ladies, comedian and TV presenter, Russell Brand has reinvented himself as something of a socialist revolutionary. In this film he looks at how capitalism, particularly in Britain rewards the rich and punishes the poor leading to an ever-increasing gap of inequality. And how the idea that when the rich get richer everyone benefits is an illusion. There’s a strong correlation between The Emperor’s New Clothes and this year’s Oscar nominee The Big Short with the former being focused more on the aftermath of the 2008 crash and how the lack of consequences for bankers and the willingness of the government to focus on the needs of the elite affects some of Britain’s hardest working people. It’s hard not to watch this and feel angry and incredulous, especially if you’re a British tax payer on the other hand it feels a bit like Brand oversimplifies things and that some of his everyman schtick can be hard to swallow when he is now one of the richest 1%. The biggest flaw this documentary has is that while Brand pushes the message of “standing together” and is very specific about the problem he is a lot more vague about what that actually means and how the average person can truly enact change. If you’re not someone who is generally interested in politics and want a starter for what is actually going on behind what politicians say this is an excellent and entertaining way to get an introduction especially if you like the idea of watching Brand argue with security guards in Canary Wharf. Definitely watch to the end for George Osborne and David Cameron’s rap. 3.5/5

emporers new clothes

Russell was briefly distracted from his cause by the sight of a fit bird

Deliver us from Evil (2006)

Deliver us from Evil looks at one of the true stories behind the happenings that inspired this year’s Best Picture winner, Spotlight. Focusing on Father O’Grady, a pedophile priest who was passed around a series of US parishes in the 70’s following a series of accusations of molestation. The documentary follows three main threads. The first is the suffering of the victims and their families and the intense influence the Catholic Church has over its followers. The second is O’Grady himself, a man who is still at large in Ireland and while acknowledging that he has done wrong has a completely warped view of his own actions. And finally the efforts of the Church to cover up O’Grady’s actions especially those of Monsignor Cain whose desire to further his own interests at the expense of the victims is truly reprehensible. This is a brave and very affecting piece of cinema that in some ways resonates even more than Spotlight does because it puts the viewer face to face with actual victims and their families, some of whom are suffering terrible guilt because of the unintentional part they played in enabling the abuse. A true must watch that is likely to leave you thinking for days. 5/5


Scum, in its human form

Europa Report (2013)

A group of astronauts travels into Deep Space aiming to explore Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons where water has been found. After the mission has gone wrong scientists on Earth try to piece together what happened. That’s pretty much the whole story. There’s a messed up landing, some potential alien organisms, someone gets lost in space and there’s an attempt to make it all look interesting by presenting the story as some kind of faux documentary. Some bits are interesting but the story is all over the shop and I found it really hard to care about any of the characters. Possibly things would have worked better if they focused down rather than trying to explore a hundred themes at once. Disappointing. 2/5


This is how many good movies I have actually made

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

When paleoclimatologist Jack Hall (Dennis Quad) spots some worrying trends in global warming he becomes convinced that the next ice age is imminent. Of course the government doesn’t want to hear anything about it until a series of devastating storms starts to wreck havoc across the globe. Jack’s son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) is away on a school trip and becomes trapped in Manhattan in a desperate battle for survival while his ex-wife (Sela Ward) is trapped in the hospital she works in when a sick child is left behind during a last ditch evacuation. Now Jack must face the storm and do whatever he can to get to Sam before it’s too late. On the good side the Day After Tomorrow  is great popcorn entertainment if you don’t think about it too much and the graphics and effects have stood up pretty well considering that it’s twelve years old. On the other hand the dialogue is as cheesy as all hell, it’s uber predictable and derivative and the character development is of the “she’s a doctor so she must be a kind person” variety. Essentially this is the movie that San Andreas was based on and if you got a bit of guilty entertainment out of that like I did you’ll probably get a similar kick out of this. 3/5


Hold on, is that Kim Kardashian’s arse?


  1. Deliver Us From Evil sounds good. Hard to watch, though. I prefer popcorn end-of-the-world shit like Day After Tomorrow. Those types of movies always suck but they’re a definite guilty pleasure. 😉 I keep thinking about watching Europa Report… Sounds like I’ve not missed much!

    1. It was a very tough but very worthwhile watch. Although I totally get the need to veg in front of the popcorn movies. You might like Europa Report more than I did but it just couldn’t hold my attention.

  2. R. Henneberg

    My younger self was a huge fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, so I loooved The Day After Tomorrow way more than it deserved, but it is still a pretty good movie within the genre.

    1. Oh I hear you. I think there are loads of movies from my younger days that I only enjoyed because I had a crush on the male lead 🙂

  3. Day After Tomorrow is a guilty pleasure. I don’t know why I love it so much, I must have seen it five times over the years–don’t ask me why!

    1. It’s a favourite of Mr O’s as well. It’s silly without being ridiculous and the performances make the crap script bearable. Perfect guilty pleasure material!

  4. Lol, Europa Report has been in our Netflix queue for years. Maybe I should just go ahead and delete it.

    Day After Tomorrow is a guilty pleasure of mine.

    1. It seems Day After Tomorrow is lots of people’s guilty pleasure. Lol! Maybe you will like Europa Report more than I did. My concentration span isn’t what it used to be.

      1. Ian hates it, lol.

  5. I’ve only seen the last two in your post. I thought Europa Report had an intriguing start but I hated that ending! Can’t say I remember much about The Day After Tomorrow.

  6. I’ve got Deliver Us From Evil ready to watch right now, really looking forward to it after seeing Spotlight. Meanwhile I’m really intrigued by Russell Brand’s film but I agree with you, often his plans of action sit so high up in the idealistic stage that it’s difficult to know exactly how to put his lofty ideals into action. I love how passionate he is though, it’s tough not to be influenced by that!

  7. Week 271! Unbelievable – what a run!

    After having seen Spotlight, Deliver us from Evil is a must. Thanks for the tip,Abii. Keep up the good work!!

    1. I was in Stellenbosch a fortnight ago for a wedding. What an amazing place!

      1. It is stunning. Both amazing scenery and a quirky personality.

    2. It has been going for quite some time. Think it’s going to slow down quite a lot after I have my baby next month!

      I would highly recommend Deliver us From Evil but it’s a hard watch.

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