Monthly Archives: April 2013

Iron Man Three (2013)

ironman

Synopsis

Tony Stark is back after the horrifying events of “Avengers Assemble”, and trying to slot back into his life. However, people and issues from his past, both remembered and forgotten, show up to make his life that little bit more difficult.

First Half Review

The first Marvel movie after “Avengers Assemble”. This could go one of two ways; good or terrible, with no in between. Am I going to compare this to that ensemble cast of awesomeness?  Nah. Wouldn’t be fair.

We’ll compare it to “Iron Man 2”.
My god, that was a poor movie. Well, poor as it came after such a strong opening in “Iron Man” and a villain in Whiplash didn’t feel that threatening. Back on track..
We open in 1999 with Tony in his old lifestyle of women, sex, alcohol and rock and roll, with the teensiest bit of foreshadowing thrown in for good measure. We then fast forward 13 years to “Present Day”.
Tony’s suffering from Post Traumatic Stress after the events of “The Avengers” and not coping too well. When we left him previously, he was on mark5/7 armour (can’t remember which) but we meet him now, he is on mark42 so a good few suits have been made since. He explains that he can’t sleep, and goes to his man-cave to “tinker”. Tony’s day is only about to get worse.
The villain of this piece is “The Mandarin”,  played by Ben Kingsley, who is conducting a war of terror on the US and is making Bin Laden type films to strike fear into the hearts of Americans. He has bombs going off in public places and does some killing people live on air, broadcast to millions of people all over the USA.
We have a professional rival in the form Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearse) whom Pepper Potts knew in a time before dating Tony. Aldrich is some sort of chemist who was a Tony Stark groupie back in the day, but now appears to want to work with Tony again, in making Aldrich’s new chemical breakthrough marketable.
RDJ plays a blinder again as Stark. Who else could talk like that to a kid and not come off as a complete dickhead? He has the quips and mannerisms down. From what I’m led to believe, and if the internet has told me anything,  Marvel created Tony Stark as an alternative version of Robert Downey Jr which is why he plays him so well (disclaimer: not actually true. RDJ is awesome though, just not time travelling awesome.) [AS FAR AS WE KNOW O.O]
It will be interesting to see how Stark is and his role when the “Avengers 2” comes around.

Second Half Review

I have a confession to make. I have the world’s shortest memory, and even though “Iron Man 2″ came out in 2010, I don’t recall the plot. I honestly had completely forgotten about “The Avengers” movie until it clicked with me about 30 minutes into “Iron Man Three” that the big ol’ wormhole in New York was actually in “the Avengers” movie. So. There’s that. I had also forgotten that Gwyneth Paltrow plays Pepper. I dislike Gwyneth Paltrow. When I saw her, I remembered that I dislike her. That made me slightly pissed off.

Anyway, Tony is unable to sleep. He constantly dreams of New York and what happened, and what could have happened. He isn’t involved in running his company, and fills his days making and improving the Iron Man suits. He starts to have anxiety attacks, but has no effect on the story, other than to provide a few gags.

The whole plot focuses on this movies “Bad Guy of the Week”. In this case, it’s “The Mandarin”, which is possibly the silliest bad guy name I’ve ever heard. The Mandarin portrays himself as this mystical teacher who is hell bent on destroying America for some never really explained reason. He inspires fear with deadly bombings, and hijacking satellites to broadcast his videos of rhetoric and ultimatums.

Tony gets drawn into this whole mess, when his ex- bodyguard, Happy, gets caught in one of these bomb blasts. Tony then does something incredibly stupid and reckless, even for him, and the movie then revolves around him trying to make amends.

Robert Downey Jr. is absolutely fantastic as Tony Stark. He’s the right mix of snarky and charming. He has some very witty and quite funny one liners. He carries a lot of this movie, to be honest. The script isn’t overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination, and is a bit bloated in parts.

I don’t know what role Tony Stark will play in the next Avengers movie, given the ending of “Iron Man Three”. The whole movie seems to hint that perhaps Tony is getting tired, and wants to just live happily ever after. Should be interesting to see the direction in which this franchise moves.
First Half TL: DR – The follow on from last summers “Avengers” you may have heard of

Second Half TL: DR – Robert Downey Jr. is a very attractive gentleman. Very.

Evil Dead (2013)

evildead

Synopsis

A group of friends arrive at a deserted cabin in the middle of the woods to help support one of the group who is about to kick a substance abuse habit by going cold turkey. Things don’t quite go to plan, and evil soon seeps in.

 

First Half Review

So here we have a REMAKE of the Evil Dead. Yeah yeah yeah, the director is calling it a “re-imagining” and you can argue that point, I suppose, but at heart, it’s a remake,

The movie doesn’t have a Ash type character to be honest it doesn’t have any standout character. It has homages to the original “Evil Dead” and “Evil Dead 2” but it lacks the charm and wit of these cheap, cheesy, ’80s B – movies.
So instead, it goes for scares. Which it lacks, to be honest. Sure, it has jumpy moments but after the 3rd time of the camera panning to an over the shoulder, out of focus monster behind you, it starts to lose it’s charm. It too often foreshadows what’s meant to come, be it a chainsaw or a look in the basement. It takes the horror and replaces it with gore. And the gore itself isn’t scary.
So the monsters in this are quite particular about the conditions that must be met in order for them to arrive. Eating of said numbers of souls etc etc. Now, there are 5 souls we have here: Mia, David, victim 1,2,3.
Mia is a heroin addict and her friends have taken her to the cabin in the woods to detox her. I will admit this is an excellent concept as the things she says are what a junkie will say to get what they want. Her friends are having none of it. Which is a lot better than the “i just saw something in the woods” followed by “you’re drunk” “you’re seeing things” it was probably nothing” “you’re a scaredy cat” tropes.
 
We have the tree scene which the movie actually gives a reason for. The oldsmobile, which people debate is Ash’s car and this is set in the same universe, is present. Yes, I have seen and read people’s debate about the “Evil Dead” timeline, but this is not the place to get into it.
Now the other rumour is that there will be a sequel with Ash returning and there will be an Army of Darkness 2. But now we are getting off topic a bit. So back to the remake.
Everyone thinks the junkie is trying to get away as she doesn’t want to be there which, to be fair, is true. No one likes going cold turkey.
During the course of “Cabin in the Woods”, whoops, sorry, “Evil Dead”, We find something in plastic and wrapped in barbed wire. So what should we do? Cut it open and find out it’s a book which has stitches on a skin like cover and words written over it saying “don’t read this”, “it won’t burn”, “you’re going to die”, and all straightforward warnings.
But nah, lets read the text anyway. That happens and then shit goes down for the next 60 minutes.
While I don’t think it’s a bad movie, it’s neither scary nor as memorable as the original. Also last year’s fantastic “Cabin in the Woods” has kind of ruined it as Scream did for the slasher genre in the 90s and 2000’s.
If you like the original you’re probably going to see it for comparative reasons and cause you enjoy horror movies. If you don’t like horror movies this isn’t as gory as say Saw or Hostel, and probably won’t keep you awake at night.
There is like with every movie these days a scene at the end which I would say stay for, it’s “Groovy”

 

Second Half Review

Finally got to see this movie! After a mental week in work, I was looking forward to the slightly dangerous thrill (for me anyway) of going to see a horror movie. Sure, I saw it at 6 p.m. on a Saturday evening, but how and ever.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the 1980’s original “Evil Dead” so this was going to be a completely new movie to me. I didn’t really know what to expect beyond the usual horror tropes, which are all there, in abundance, but didn’t seem to irritate me as much as they usually did.

The movie opens with a guy arriving at some decrepit old cabin, with his nondescript and totally forgettable girlfriend (Natasha? Katie?). Turns out his sister, Mia, is going to be going cold turkey, from some unknown drug. Old friends, Nurse Girl (Olivia? Maria?) and Super Irritating White Guy (Ethan? Eoin?) are also along for the ride. NG states that under no circumstances should they allow Mia to leave, as she will try every trick in the book to try and leave once withdrawal truly sets in. Big Bro David says that he can’t promise he won’t take Mia back to wherever, but he will try to keep her in the cabin.

I have to say, I have never seen any of these actors in anything before. I wasn’t bowled over by any of their performances, but Jane Levy’s “Mia” was probably the best. Shiloh Fernadez’s “David” seemed to muted, and disconnected a lot of the time. Lou Taylor Pucci (SIWG) and Jessica Lucas (NG) were unremarkable, but this may have been more to do with the script than anything else.

The concept of the movie, the cold turkey house, was a really nice twist. Mia’s possession, in the early stages, mirrors quite accurately the initial stages of withdrawal from a narcotic. And, of course, by the time the others find out what is truly happening, its too late.

I was kind of concerned, before I went to see this, about the gore, as I am a “hide behind my hands/cushion/available friend until its gone away” kind of gal. But I need not have worried. After the initial “urgh, that’s awful!” you become almost expectant of it, and I was left disgusted and slightly in awe at the special effects, in all the right places. The audible reactions of the cinema audience when a hollow needle made its appearance was enough to make me smile!

I’d recommend to go see this movie. It’s not scary, there are no thought provoking moments. It’s old fashioned gore, with a highly polished edge. Plus its short, clocking in at about 90 minutes. If you’re a fan of horror, go check it out.

 

First Half Review TL: DR  – No Bruce Campbell *sad face*

Second Half Review TL: DR – Any twat dumb enough to read THAT book deserves to get his soul eaten.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)

gi

Synopsis

The “Joes” are back and surprisingly, things are not going well from them. The world is in jeopardy and only the small team that are left can save it.

 

First Half Review

The new “G.I. Joe” movie.

It’s essentially a reboot/new toy commercial. Do you remember the 80s Hasbro cartoons the likes of My Little Pony, Transformers, GI Joe were based off? 30 minute adverts wrapped in a the pretense of a cartoon. This hints of that, but with live action!

Well, we’ve got the natural progression right here. Still not as hard hitting as the 1986 Transformers movie but it’s still up there in the whole “advert” vibe.

We’re treated, in the first 10 minutes, to who the new guys (the new “Joe” team) are, nothing said about the older ones from the previous movie. The passing of the torch to a new leader and then a wise old man shows up. Yup this isn’t a sequel or reboot, it’s a new line of toys to sell.

We also have the vehicles. The motorbike that has loads of cool little bombs and rockets, the tank that is invincible, and the new super guys again, ninjas!

Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed this film for the stupidity of it. It’s very much an 80s action movie lite; none of the swearing or blood though.

It’s a fun stupid movie which you can enjoy with not much thought. The Rock was quite good in it but Bruce Willis seemed to phone in his cameo. The ninja fight scenes were interesting but nothing more.

Second Half Review

Got dragged to see this movie, was totally not planning on it but how and ever. I had not seen the first “G.I. Joe” movie, and for a brief moment, was concerned that I was going to miss some major plot point from the first one. Hah. I shouldn’t have been worried!

There is absolutely no continuity from the first one. No cast have come back on board, well, none that are of consequence. The whole movie’s tone was set for me in the first 10 minutes, and that tone was not good. The “Joes”, as they are constantly being referred to as, have to break into the DMZ. Yes. the DMZ. The Demitiarised Zone between North and South Korea. The whole scene is so farcical and ‘Murica that I cringed the entire time.

The cast was pretty underwhelming. I liked Dwayne Johnson, because I like his energy, he constantly seems to be having a good time. Bruce Willis is in this movie, for about 30 seconds, although you wouldn’t know that from the movie poster.

I don’t hate this movie. I “nothing” this movie. I instantly forgot everything about it, bar how much it irritated me.

 

First Half Review TL;DR – Overall Enjoyable but forgettable.

Second Half Review TL: DR – How Cobra Commander became the leader of the most “evil” organisation in the world is beyond me. Totally ineffectual.

Spring Breakers (2013)

spring 3

Synopsis

Brit, Cotty, Faith and Candy are four college girls who have been life long friends. They desperatly want more from life than that which they are experiencing whilst at college. They figure the best bet for this would be an awesome spring break. But things take an unexpected turn, and soon the girls are thrust into situations that would cause pause for thought.

First Half Review

This movie.

I dunno, it reminds me a lot of “Grand Theft Auto Vice City” mixed with “My Little Pony”.  That would be how I describe it. It has this washed out colour of blue tint on it all the way through but that’s a visual choice. At times it felt like a video game and seemed somehow realistic, but as I dig deeper into it and start to think more I wonder. First off there will be spoilers here so be warned.

The girls who have been saving for spring break since the start of the school year only have 300 odd dollars yet the next scene is them doing coke off each others legs, smoking, drinking. I don’t know the street value of coke these days but if they don’t buy the coke and weed they would have a little bit more money and wouldn’t have to rob a restaurant.

So to rob the restaurant they steal a teachers truck. It’s implied that one of the girls is fucking the teacher but not much more than that. So they rob his car keys and off they go. Now while robbing the place and threatening the fullish restaurant with a hammer and a water pistol the other girl circles outside so knowing ‘Murica there is security cameras everywhere so that would be picked up. One of the girls wears a bright pink schoolbag. While smashing the cash register open with a small hammer the other girl is on the other side of the restaurant a good bit away from her accomplice. these two girls could easily be overpowered. The girls are fairly distinctive but no consequences are evident for the entire movie of these actions!

The next memorable part was when they are arrested, all in the eyes of the law are more than likely under 21 and doing many illegal things, drink and drugs, public drunkenness etc. Yet they get told ok pay the fine or spend two days in prison no calling legal guardians or anything to a bunch of minors.

Lastly. The GTA scene. The girls arrive on a jetty and proceed to walk up it. the girls are meant to be at most 20 i’d guess. They arrive on this Seafront Mansion and with a unlimited ammo uzi/mp5 take out an entire gang with no bother. I just thought this part of the whole lot was a step beyond. They were calm collected and acted like traine assassins ns when in reality we were led to believe they were just some girls gone wild and to finish it they drive off in a 200k Lamborghini.

James Franco, however, is fantastic as a sleazy gangster.

The movie as a whole is enjoyable but ultimately forgettable. It would be a great companion to either Drive or 13.

Second Half Review

I had heard a really mixed bag of reviews in relation to this movie. Some people praised it as “the new cult classic” (Movie Bob at theescapist.com, I’m looking at you!) and yet more thought it was bland and just a typical teenage movie (sourcefed.com). I had decided that I wanted to see this, regardless. So, my expectations were fairly muted going into this. And the result? I was pleasantly surprised. Really enjoyed it. Definitely can see the reasons why it got the praise it did. I’m unsure if it I would go as far as saying it will have a place in cult-dom beside “Natural Born Killers” and the like, but that’s for time to decide.

Faith, Cotty, Brit and Candy are four girls who are best friends forever. Brit, Candy and Cotty are a little bit wild, always up for party, and with a morality (in the truest sense of the concept, not constrained to religious ideology or the slur of a woman’s sexuality. Just morality, good and evil and every shade in between) of a compass on a magnet. Faith is the obligatory good girl, going through the various religious motions (loved the hip preacher in this movie, by the way. Never heard religion being described as “righteous” before, but moving on..), but feverishly wanting to experience something new. Spring Break is the perfect opportunity.

Brit, Candy and Cotty rob a fast food place, and the girls are off! This part of the movie is bright, loud, colourful and full of drinking and partying. The girls are having a spectacular time, until they end up having too good of time. They are quickly arrested for drug use, and its then that James Franco, “Alien”, rescues them, by bailing them out of jail.

Things take on an almost surreal aspect after this. Sex, drugs and violence rule the day. The girls are almost portrayed as being removed from reality, that the aura of Spring Break has severed them from their own lives, and it’s only when they are going to return home that they begin to snap out of this reverie. Of course, they murder about 20 people whilst wearing AWESOME outfits whilst a recording of their last calls to the mam’s plays over it, before the spell is broken.

This movie is brilliant, totally enamoured by it. The costumes, the sets, the overall design and look of the movie just exudes a sort of fake excess. The other worldly “Spring Break” seems to permeate every aspect of this movie, it forces itself upon the attendees. Even the atypical good girl Faith ends up buying into that hype/idea and almost becomes someone different. The other girls, being of slightly looser morals (and exhibiting possible sociopathic tendencies at times) are pushed towards a hedonistic direction and its not clear if they can come back.

Go see it. Do it. It’s awesome.

First Half TL: DR – Sexy girls are sexy.

Second Half TL: DR – If you ever wanted to see what James Franco would look like sucking a cock, go see this.

Top Gun (1986)

topgun

Synopsis

“Top Gun”, as it’s known among Navy pilots is a legendary flight school that teaches successful candidates to be the absolute best pilot in the world. Very few pilots make it to such hallowed ground, and our guy, Maverick, is one of them.

 

First Half Review

So, from what I can gather, “Top Gun” is a montage of 1980s power ballad and up tempo rock music videos with the background of planes and fighter pilots.

It opens with jets getting prepped like a rollercoaster would before launching into “THE DANGERZONE”. Come on! How fucking awesome a start is that? Try not to get pumped up, though, while you hear Kenny Loggins belt out “Highway to the DANGERZONE!!!!” The movie is so full of clichés and homoeroticsm that it’s funny. I think science has found testosterone levels increase while watching this movie and your balls actually get bigger.

The movie is about a “plays by his own rules” pilot called Maverick…… yup, you did read that correctly. His best friend called “Goose”  and a guy who never loses his cool called “Ice Man”. Seriously, was this written by a 7 year old?

Maverick is a loose cannon and would be the best in the Air Force, were he not a bit reckless and have to live up to his father’s reputation (for some reason). He falls in love with a girl and tries to court her. It fails when she finds out he’s a Top Fighter Pilot and she starts to slide off chairs around him. We then have about 4 small snippets of Berlin’s “Take my Breath away” “bom bom, bom bom.”  More music video montages!
Then we hit the motherload. We get a volleyball scene that it is so perfect, so beautiful, that you can’t help but stare open mouthed in awe and splendor.

Our hero is in “Top Gun”  for the best of the best to be trained as a better fighter pilot and to be deployed when necessary.  He graduates coming to terms with love, loss and a slew of other emotions. As more “Dangerzone!!!” is belted out we go to war with some Migs (Russian/North Korean). The good guys win and the bad guys lose and we have our end credits. Pretty sure there’s plenty of drinking games in this movie to kill you so go look.

Second Half Review

I had never seen this movie until we watched it recently. I could have happily gone on without having seen it, but I shall soldier on!

Tom Cruise plays “Maverick”, a guy who’s sexy and knows it, who knows that the mere mention of his career as a super studly fighter pilot will cause ladies everywhere to be overcome with an emotion that leads to the removal of underwear. His co-pilot, the likeable Anthony Edwards is “Goose”, with possibly the silliest call sign ever, is always up for Maverick’s hijinks, be they in the air or on the ground. For you see, Maverick has a tendency to disobey all rules when it suits him. This, of course, goes down super awesomely with the higher ups in the Navy, and of course, Maverick and Goose get punished… by being sent to super amazing awesome flight school, for some reason.

Maverick and Goose meet other aptly and silly named pilots such as “Ice Man” (Val Kilmer) “Hollywood”, “Jester”, “Viper” and a whole other array of manly man type things. Maverick continues to fuck the rules until he meets What’s her Face. I honestly can’t remember her name.

A quick Google assures me its “Charlie”. Brilliant.

Maverick then proceeds to fuck Charlie to the very awkward tones of “Take my Breath Away”.  He then gets all emotional and doesn’t fuck her again.

I paused the movie at one to ask my counterpart if the homo-erotic vibes I was picking up from the movie was actually intentional or if it was a byproduct of such a hyper masculine environment in the movie. I think he was joking when he said it was unintentional. Seems too real for that. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the slew of half naked, toned men playing beach volleyball.

So would I watch it again? Possibly. As part of an 80s movie night or Tom Cruise special, but beyond that. no.

Also, I think this movie had the smallest budget for a soundtrack ever. They used the same 3 songs over and over and OVER again. I swear, if I ever hear “HIGHWAY TO THE DANGERZONE!!!!!” one more time, it’l be too much.

 

First Half TL;DR – It’s the epitome of 80s movies, music, talk, fashion it’s all there. Go enjoy it.

Second Half TL; DR – DANGERZZZOOOOOONNNNEEEEE!!

 

Scream (1996)

scream

Synopsis

Sidney Prescott’s mother has been dead a year, having been brutally murdered. In the run up to her anniversairy, one by one teenagers in the town are being murdered in increasingly savage ways. The killer, a person wearing a white mask, is quickly dubbed “Ghostface” and the race to survive begins in earnest.

 

First Half Review

Ah, my first horror movie; I remember you all too well. Back in 1996, I was 11 and rented it out of Xtra Vision. I then brought it to school. I was in 4th or 5th class at the time. Remember giving the video to the teacher asking if could we watch it and was told no, as the teacher looked slightly concerned.

I had watched it 2 or 3 times the day/night before and loved it. Didn’t find it scary at all. It was my first proper foray into horror; prior to that I had seen “Robocop” when I was 5 or 6 on a freight ship while eating Rice Crispies at 9am on the way from Holland to Belgium and had been traumatised by the “Omen 2” (the part where the guy is cut in half in the lift.) So this was the first time I had seen a big horror movie, the adverts were on tv all the time so it seemed like an event for little 11 year old me.

So, it does take a lot from Hitchcock and the 70s and 80s slasher movies. But it felt so real. There was no supernatural crap behind it (Freddy, Jason, Michael, Pinhead). It wasn’t as far fetched as some other monsters (Leatherface, Hannibal). It was a group of teenagers being killed off by someone they knew. When I was asked to describe it, Little me said “Scooby Doo with blood”.

It begins with a pretty 20 something Drew Barrymore (we’ve all seen this.)  We find out there’s a serial killer on the loose. He’s angry and wants blood. There doesn’t seem to be any motive behind the killings but ya gotta have a motive these days. It perfectly sums up the 90s horror movie too. It’s well written, there’s jokes, pop culture references, the tropes of all horror movies – the rules. We all know “the rules” now, it’s ingrained in us. It pokes fun at other movies. The sequels? Well. the less said, the better.

So if you haven’t watched “Scream”  go do it. It’s fun, it’s not scary. Come on, an 11 year old watched it!

 

Second Half Review

Unlike my counterpart above, I didn’t see this movie when it came out. I saw it several years later, possibly 2000/01 at one of many a girly sleepover. And as is par for the course at such events, there is always a soppy teenage love story movie and one super scary one. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned in this blog before that I am GIANT wuss when it comes to horror movies. Seriously. I spend most of them tucked away behind my hands or a handily placed cushion. I have grown somewhat of a tolerance in my 20s but little teenage me was beside herself when she saw this.

“Scream” is a movie about teenagers doing teenager type things and being horrifically murdered for it. Watching some of the cast being murdered whilst at their friend’s house to spend the night is hardly comforting when you too are spending the night at a friends house. I honestly remember being so scared by this. I jumped every time a phone rang for weeks afterwards.

Looking at it now though? It’s not scary. The only part that is somewhat scary seems to be lack of any kind of concrete motivation. Sure the killer explains why they are doing it, but it seems so tenuous  so unlikely, that it seems almost unreal

The characters are, to be honest, deeply unlikeable  There are certain conversations that happen that upon rewatching, I found myself exclaiming “why is he saying that?! Why isn’t she calling him out on that!? That’s ridiculous!”

I felt delighted after I finished watching this though. It reminded me how much I’ve changed since I was that scared kid trying not to cry as my friends laughed along at this movie. I CAN LAUGH TOO NAO GUYZ!

 

First Half TL; DR – Jamie Kennedy’s least annoying role ever

Second Half TL; DR – a horror movie sans horror

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

burt

Synopsis

Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton are childhood friends, whose dreams of becoming famous magicians became a reality. Thirty years on, and a tired Las Vegas show later, things aren’t so rosy for the one time inseparable duo.

First Half Review

Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, Jim Carrey. What could go wrong?? 

A lot it seems, with so much comedy and acting talent how could this come to be such a damp squib? This is the story of a Vegas magician duo, kinda like those guys with the tiger.  

Burt, down on his luck, going through the paces, doing the same tired tricks year after year, show after show, going through countless women as his assistant, his partner is getting tired of his shit. Along comes a new edgy magician who may as well be called David Blaine, who holds in his piss for a week or sleeps on hot coals for a night.  

We also have the standard love interest and finally the wise old sage.  It’s a by the numbers family comedy. That has a lot of good ideas and I think was probably originally pitched as a more adult themed movie but went the family friendly way.  

Jim Carrey and Alan Arkin who play the “new magician” and the “wise old sage”  are fantastic in it. Buscemi is a perfect foil, playing a tender hearted magician and wanting to breath life into the show.  Carrell, surprisingly, is the weak chain in this comedy armour. He sounds and feels bored all the way through. You can see his jokes coming a mile off, you can tell which way the story will progress.  

It has moments of genius but they are few and far between. A friend of ours who came to see it bust a nut at Jim Carrey hovering off into the bar.

It’s an inoffensive movie that a family will enjoy but it will also be forgotten probably by the end of the year.

As a comedy for adults, it’s subpar.
As a comedy for a family, it will have a market.

Second Half Review

Ended up going to see this purely by chance. I had seen one or two trailers in relation to it, and thought that it looked interesting. I had hoped that they wouldn’t take the usual route of putting the best bits into the trailer, but how wrong I was!

The story of this movie is very simple, very shallow and so obvious a blind man could see it unfolding the way it did. A childhood friendship transforms into a professional working relationship that ultimately is doomed to fail. Steve Buscemi ends up only being in about a third of the movie, as he brings magic to far off lands, and is not seen from again until the hero’s redemption.

Steve Carell plays the hero in this, the titular Burt Wonderstone. I personally find Carrell to be a tiresome actor and would not be overly pushed to see something with him in it. Wonderstone is a womanising, one dimensional, loathsome little man in the movie, and it’s hard to see why the audience empathise with him at all. Of course, he goes through the very obvious “transformation” and only then will the leading lady, in this case, Olivia Wilde’s Jane, sleep with him.

The only entertaining sections of this movie involved the increasingly dangerous and outlandish “magic tricks” performed by Steve Gray (Jim Carrey). His trick with the card and the puppy certainly are eye openers!

It seems strange that with two acting heavyweights, Steve Buscemi and Steve Carrell, that this film falls as flat as it does. Jim Carrey was on fine form, as its what Jim Carrey does best: gross out comedy.   Olivia Wilde’s only function in this movie is to serve as the reward for Steve Carell’s character, once he gets his act together. She could literally be played by any woman, anywhere.

Don’t even get me started on the “show stopping” trick they use to get the duo back together.

 

First Half TL:DR – You can see the strings!

Second Half TL: DR – I’d imagine you will see this movie on TV in the run up to Christmas next year, possible on TV3. Don’t even watch it then. Trust me.