Category: Seen

The Voices

The Voices

The Voices

I have been looking forward to watching “The Voices” since I read about it’s release back in 2014. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to catch it until recently (it’s on Netflix now!)

At first glance, the film is a whacky comedy. A pre-Deadpool Ryan Reynolds plays a naive and troubled kid who accidentally commits a crime and then comes off his meds to try and escape from his actions.  The voices in his head manifest in his pets, a judgemental Scottish cat who tells him to do bad things, and a forgiving dog that tells him he’s not to blame.  Without his meds, his situation gets worse, while he tries to convince himself everything is fine and normal.

Although there are some real laughs, there is an underlying sadness. Jerry is a lonely guy desperate to connect with someone. He’s had the worst possible start in life, and there was never really any hope for him.

The most surprising part of the film is when the camera shows Jerry from the point of view of his victim.  I hadn’t realised the film was showing what was in Jerry’s head instead of reality.  Seeing the true squalor of Jerry and his life shows him as a more traditional serial killer, and there is a genuine moment of terror.

This is an unexpectedly entertaining and touching film, with just enough wackiness.

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Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman V Superman

Batman V Superman

Much like the rest of the cinema going public this weekend, I was disappointed by Batman V Superman.  The title promised so much, but the execution of the film fell flat and I was left bored and frustrated.  I’ll try to sum up my thoughts on the film (without comparing it to Marvel)…

To sum up, the two lead characters talk and pout into the camera for the first two hours, then they have a 10 minute fight and continue moping for the final 20 minutes.  Although the fight scene is generally good, it was also a let down as there was no reason for it.  The fight doesn’t make any sense in terms of the whole, and generally useless, plot.

The first two hours is spent threading together a flimsy excuse for the two heroes to dislike each other enough to have to fight it out.  And even when they get there, the fight could have been avoided had Superman just spoken a little louder.  Once they finally figure out the real villain is a very manic Lex Luther, there are some vague attempts at setting up some sequels and spin offs.

The only interesting part of this film is the title.  We were promised an answer to the age old question: Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?  But instead, it seems the film was a solution to tie together a few loose ends before continuing with the franchise: Superman was hanging after the last film but he can’t carry a film on his own; Batman needs an origin story but it’s really well known already, and they need to create some buzz around the Justice League spin off films.  None of these things seem all that appealing, so why not promise a massive fight to drag in the punters?

The characters in this film are one dimensional, from Batman being concerned with and only with the crime in Gotham.  To the point that there is LITERALLY nothing else going for him.  He doesn’t host or attend any parties (except one at Luther’s house, which he attends to look for clues), there are no ladies in his life (the one female he meets, he is so preoccupied about crime in Gotham that he forgets to hit on her), he doesn’t even talk about work!  I thought this guy was a billionaire businessman?  Apparently not Ben Affleck, he just inherited daddy’s money and thinks about bad guys.  Superman isn’t any better: he has to decide whether to continue being a hero to the ungrateful human race, however this provides little tension as he’s too good and wholesome to let us all die. However he too sits around looking sad while pondering the decision.  The problem with the two leads is that both are furiously boring, that even having two doesn’t equal one good superhero.

The other characters have been added as an afterthought to assist with progressing the plot to the fight.  Lois Lane has to be rescued no fewer than THREE times by Superman.  Meanwhile, she contributes ZERO to the plot as a character in her own right.  What she does manage to accomplish, though, is throwing a spear of kryptonite (created by Batman to kill Superman) into a small pond a few steps away from where they were fighting.  Good, he’ll never think to look over here, should he decide to try and kill your bae again.  But wait, Luther has unleashed a monster from Krypton on the world, and they need that spear to kill it.  So off she swims to retrieve it, getting herself trapped and needing rescued from Superman.  It’s so tedious.  Lex Luther is a bit of a throwback from a few Batman movies ago, with his erratic and manic behaviour becoming almost cartoon-like.  But I have to admit, I didn’t mind his character and ended up rooting for him.  Can they just kill each other so I can go home?

We’re also introduced to Wonder Woman.  She comes across as a love interest for Bruce Wayne as she is a sexy and mysterious stranger, but we are soon disappointed to discover that she is actually a superhero.  It’s not bad enough she has to scamper around baring her flesh, while the boys are head to toe in armour, she is even introduced to us simply as someone Bruce might have sex with.  I really want to support the female superhero here, and I understand that the costume she wears is similar to the comic book, and I get that it’s all just a bit of fun.  BUT it’s really difficult when the film shows her in a power pose for a full 30 seconds before she starts fighting (what’s the hold up?  You’re not on pause, that monster can still swing at you!?)  and it’s really difficult when she gets knocked to the ground and again pauses for 30 seconds to pose, smiling, with her legs open.

Anyway.

The reason this film deserves all the fierce criticism it’s currently receiving is because this SHOULD have been the best thing we have ever seen, but it’s not.  And it’s not good on purpose.  They had so much opportunity to make this great, but they chose to be lazy and throw together a plot that didn’t make any sense, to include not only 1-dimensional secondary characters, but the main characters too.

And to top all that off, this film is a 12A.  This is unforgivable.  They could have thrown in some more swear words and they could have shown some more blood and it would have been rated a 15.  Why is this such a big deal?  I went to the cinema on Saturday morning during the Easter weekend and I was surrounded by very young children who’s parents had thought on this miserable, rainy Easter weekend let’s take the kids to see this kid-friendly superhero film.  And these poor kids had to watch their heroes sulk and talk for 2 hours.  I understand they want to distance this from light-hearted Marvel films and instead do a darker take on the genre, but they opted out and chose a misleading title and lightened the content to make it suitable for under 12s, when 90% of the film won’t entertain them.

Batman V Superman has left me concerned for the rest of DC’s offerings, let’s hope Suicide Squad isn’t as bad!

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“True Romance” this Valentine’s Day

Is True Romance the Best Love Film?

Is True Romance the Best Love Film Ever Made?

 

Is True Romance the Best Love Film Ever Made?

 

I’m not an overly romantic person, and when Valentine’s rolls around I struggle with the pink fluff and candy hearts.  My other half and I prefer a lavish and indulgent home cooked meal, – not so much lavish as “I tried really, really hard…” – and a chilled bottle of champagne (and gorgeous flowers!)

This year, I chose the film we watched with dessert (this Oreo cheesecake, *drool* give it a try!) and I chose True Romance (1993).

My other half was pleased, as he hadn’t seen it for a while, but miffed.  I had veto’d his suggestion of going to the cinema to see Spotlight.  That was a very inappropriate Valentine’s evening activity.

And yes, True Romance was much, much more appropriate.

From an exceptionally brilliant cast to a breath-taking love story, from pimps to murder – this film is perfection.

The script was written by my favourite, but not everyone’s cup of tea, Quentin Tarantino, but directed by Tony Scott (Ridley’s brother who sadly took his own life a few years ago).  True Romance has the tell tale signs of Tarantino: meaningful dialogue, engaging characters, exaggerated violence, and an unbelievable cast.  But Scott, director of Top Gun and Man on Fire, brings his own style to the film, making clear this is no Tarantino film, even changing the ending to make it fit his impression of the film.

Scott wanted to direct two scripts written by Tarantino: True Romance and Reservoir Dogs.  He was forced to choose just one, and although I can’t help but wonder what Scott would have done with Reservoir Dogs, I think he made the right choice.

The love story is a simple one: Boy meets Girl.  Girl is a prostitute.  Boy murders girl’s pimp and accidently lands a big suitcase full of drugs.  Boy must sell drugs to run away with girl.

Jeez, kids these days!

Perhaps not the most conventional romance story.  This film features my favourite cast from any film, ever.  An unrecognisable Gary Oldman as a pimp, Brad Pitt as a stoner, Samuel L Jackson as a drug dealer, a menacing James Galdolfini securing his role as Tony Soprano, and a nightmare-inducing Christopher Walken as “the Antichrist”, a Sicilian gang boss who I belief to be the most terrifying character ever created.

Not convinced?  Val Kilmer plays Elvis.  I’m serious.  And of course the happy couple themselves: Patricia Arquette as the charismatic Alabama, and Christian Slater as the cute boy-next-door-starting-to-lose-his-mind, Clarence.

True Romance isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster and it’s not a typical romance film, but it is a 23-year-old love story that I’ll still be watching in another 23 years.

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