Bridesmaids is a comedy film directed by Paul Feig. The story follows Annie (Kristen Wiig), a woman whose life is coming apart at the seams, yet she handed the responsibility of being her best friend Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) maid of honour. What follows is a struggle for power between Annie and Helen (Rose Byrne), Lillian’s new fancy friend who seems to upstage Annie at every turn, with the struggle between the two threatening to take over the whole wedding.
I have been meaning to watch this for some time, I enjoy the films of Paul Feig for the most part, with the exception of his Ghostbusters film, so I went in with high expectations. It does serve to be a more nuanced version of a gender swapped Hangover, which many accused it of being, and is probably the better of the two films.
I appreciated the comedy of this film it was far more subtle then I was expecting to be. When I saw the names of those involved with it, I was expecting gross out jokes and a lot of physical comedy, and though that is a part of the comedy profile of the film there are also a lot of smart jokes as well. In that regard Melissa McCarthy was actually bearable, not only that but she made me laugh.
Overall, this film showed off the talent of all involved except Byrne who it wasted badly, a strong comedy film and a mostly enjoyable watch.
Reigning in McCarthy and the others
Not relying on gross out gags and slapstick and having some actual well thought out smart jokes
Nailing the drama
There is no reason that this film is on for two hours and ten minutes
Reviewed by Luke
I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is a horror mystery film directed by Oz Perkins. The film follows a young live in nurse Lily (Ruth Wilson), as she slowly starts to unravel the past of the house she is staying in.
I am not going to lie to you even after watching this I still have very little idea of what went on and why. The reason for this is because the story is told in one of the most obtuse ways I have ever seen in cinema, there are cuts to a novel (which is also real life), and a constant stream of narration that only serves to make the film more confusing.
Perkins doesn’t seem to understand that by being pretentious it does not make his film good, nor does it make it deep and meaningful. This film seems to be in love with itself, it thinks it is so clever and well put together and it thinks you should think that to. Well sadly, it just comes across as a mess of confusing pretentious airs with little charm or engaging story telling to keep you invested.
Overall, this film wastes the talents of Ruth Wilson and is far to up in own arse to ever be good.
It is confusing
It is pretentious
The storytelling doesn’t hold up
It is smug
Reviewed by Luke
This Is Where I Leave You is a comedy drama film directed by Shawn Levy. The plot follows a family as they grieve the death of their father, and are trapped together for a week, by their mother. Old rivalries are reborn and the past rears its ugly head once again.
So, this is a depressing watch. I put it on because I enjoy the comedy of Tina Fey and I thought it might make me laugh, boy was I wrong. I didn’t laugh once not once, and that wasn’t through a lack of trying on the films part, but when I left it I was bummed out. I had to watch a series of funny shows and programs to try and shake it off.
It is a failure as a comedy film, that we have established, thought comedy is subjective. Sadly, it is not much better as a drama film, I felt like the film was not as deep as it thought it was and a lot of its big revelations about life just came off as obvious clichés. The writing just wasn’t up to snuff to make it an impactful drama film in the way it wanted to be.
Overall, this is a failure as both a comedy and drama film, moreover it manages to waste a great cast and be thoroughly disappointing
The actors are trying
Sadly they have nothing to work with
The writing is bad and over reliant on clichés
It is not funny
It feels laughably shallow when trying to be deep
Reviewed by Luke
The Sleepover is a comedy crime family film directed by Trish Sie. The plot sees a quiet suburban mum Margot (Malin Akerman), have her super thief origins exposed to her family and then promptly get kidnapped along with her Husband (Ken Marino), and her ex-partner/ fiancé Leo (Joe Manganiello). It is up to Margot’s kids to save their parents.
So this is yet another miss in the original film category for Netflix, it has very little going for it and is borderline unwatchable. It seems to want to be so many different films, namely Adventures In Babysitting and Spy Kids, and fails miserably at both.
The child acting in this film is mind numbing they might be the worst child actors in the history of film, everything they say is so asinine and cringe that it proves whoever wrote the dialogue has never met a teen or a young person. The line about the Dewey decimal system was the moment I knew this film was utter trash. Stranger Things’ Sadie Stanley is probably the best of the child stars, but that is by no means an endorsement.
The adult sections of the film are better, in that they give my eyes a reprieve from rolling, and if the film had given them more focus then the film would be a hell of a lot better. Akerman kicks ass and is believable as a super thief, Manganiello plays the hammy villain well; spoilers but you weren’t really going to watch this dumpster fire were you? However, the standout of the whole film is Ken Marino as the bewildered but well-meaning husband to Margot, he actually made me laugh quite a few times and made the torture of watching this film somewhat bearably, if they do a sequel cut everyone else keep Marino.
Overall, maybe Netflix should stop letting a computer green light their films, maybe that is a good idea; obviously it is.
The adult sections and storyline
The kids are awful
The dialogue is heinous
It is so dumb
It is a waste of your time
Reviewed by Luke
Survival Skills is a drama film directed by Quinn Armstrong. It is a fake police training video done in the style of an 80s after school special. We follow officer Jim (Vayu O’ Donnell), during his first year on the job. As the film goes on we learn that nothing is at it seems, and things start to get trippy.
I have to hand it to this film; I have not seen anything this unique in a long time. It is a wild crazy ride and it is very hard to tell what is going to happen next. I enjoyed the retro style of the film and think that it added a keen sense of personality to it. However, it did come with a few noticeable visual draw backs.
I found the story of Jim trying to stop a domestic abuser whilst keeping to his policing rules to be truly riveting. It was compelling and we much like Jim really want to see the abuser get what is coming to him, the film shows Jim’s breakdown as he is roadblocked by red tape and turns to taking the law into his own hands.
Overall, I found this to be a very fun watch, nothing was quite as it seemed, the drama was compelling, and the horror was chilling. A very well-done film that is guaranteed to be the most unique film you see this year.
The overlap and crisscrossing worlds
The trippy nature of the whole thing
The horror and the drama
The style is a double-edged sword
Extraction is an action film directed by Sam Hargrave. The plot sees mercenary Tyler (Chris Hemsworth), charged with saving a hostage and then safely extracting them, as you can imagine things don’t go quite to plan.
I have said it before and I will say it again, whoever Netflix has in charge of green lighting these action films needs to be fired, not because the films themselves are terrible, no because they all feel and look the same. This film could be so many different action movies, with the only difference being the actor and the location and a few minor plot details, it is so samey it is boring.
The story, I found to be incredibly dull. Maybe the Russo’s should stick to directing? I didn’t really care about what was going on and often lost interest. The worst bit of writing in the whole film comes when this kid early on in the film clearly wants to kill Hemsworth’s character, so you think ‘oh the showdown between those two will be a pretty big deal’. No, he just shoots him in the back of the neck with no pomp or circumstance, and it just feels lame and disappointing.
The two things I will credit this film for are both Hemsworth related. The first is that Chris Hemsworth actually gives quite a good dramatic performance, one that made me sit up and take notice. Before this I had not taken him seriously as an actor at all. Secondly, the action scenes are well done and well-choreographed, not John Wick level but still.
Overall, more generic action fare form Netflix
The action itself
It was so so dull
Reviewed by Luke
The Second-Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a comedy drama film directed by John Madden. The plot this time around is far more centric to Sonny (Dev Patel), seeing him and Muriel (Maggie Smith), attempt to secure finance to build a second hotel.
I enjoyed this film more than the first, there was an air of finality to it that I thought worked well. The spectre of death hung over the characters, but rather than be depressing it felt real and earned. It furthers the idea that we have to enjoy the time we have while we have it, which is the philosophy these films seem to live by.
Judi Dench takes a backseat, really only having a b side plot, with Smith taking centre stage, I believe this is for the best as of the two Smith delivers a better more nuanced performance in both films. As Judi Dench is just playing Judy Dench.
I enjoyed see Dev Patel getting more of the centre stage, he is a very likeable lead and an enjoyable on-screen presences; the first film wasted him, but he is given time to shine here. The new additions to the cast are okay, they don’t bring much to the dynamic and fail to match the energy of some of the actors that didn’t return.
Overall, a better more thought out film.
Giving Patel centre stage
Feeling like the end
The new characters don’t add much
Some of the drama feels a little clunky and forced
Reviewed by Luke
Patrick The Pug is a romantic comedy film directed by Mandie Fletcher. The plot sees young woman Sarah (Beattie Edmondson), become stuck with her grandmothers’ pug after she dies. At first Sarah hates the dog as it screws up her life in many ways, but then she learns to love it. Also there is some kind of Bridget Jones esque romantic comedy happening in the background.
So, this is very watchable but also very tame. The issue with it is that it doesn’t seem to know who it is aiming itself at. On the one hand it is playing up all the dumb humour with the dog, which by the end of the film seems to have supernatural powers, that clearly appeals to kids, but then it has all the romantic comedy stuff for grownups. So who is it for?
The humour is passable, and Edmondson is fine in the lead role, that is the thing, nothing is never bad or good with this film everything is just fine. I enjoyed seeing some other famous British faces filling out the cast, though for the most part they only had very small roles, but still somehow managed to out act Edmondson.
There is also a troubling underdone of a white saviour narrative here and there in it, with Sarah appearing to lead her non white students away from a life of crime, which has some not so stellar implications, but hey maybe that was just how I read it.
Overall, this is not good or bad just very meh, but watchable meh. A knock off Bridget Jones with a pug.
It is very watchable’
It feels like comforting junk food
It isn’t very funny
It feels too safe and as though it doesn’t know who it was made for
The racial undertones
Reviewed by Luke
Captain America: Civil War is a superhero film in the MCU directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. The plot sees the Avengers become torn as the US government wants to bring in new legislation that will force heroes to register with them and be subject to government oversight. So, rather than move to a different country that didn’t have said legislation, the superheroes get angry at one another and have a fight.
I think this is probably the worst of the three Captain America films, mainly because he is side-lined in favour of an ensemble and this is basically just an Avengers films. Many people have a soft spot for this film as it was the first film to introduce Spiderman (Tom Holland), to the MCU, but upon rewatching said introduction feels gimmicky.
Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), is one of the weakest villains in the MCU, yes he has strong motivation, but his character is ignored for the most part in favour of superheroes battling in the street, so he feels underdeveloped. It is an interesting twist to see a villain’s plan work, before Infinity War obviously, that helped the film to feel fresh.
My main issue with this film is how bloodless it is. It is called Civil War, my question to you is it a war if no one dies? I know they like to play it safe but come on, you couldn’t even kill off one of the pointless side characters, to make matters worse they tease a death with War Machine (Don Cheadle), and then don’t follow through.
Overall, more spectacle than substance, a bloodless waste of a potentially good Captain America film.
Watching the superheroes fight is cool for 10 minutes
It introduces some fun new characters
No one dies
The villain is forgotten about and barely used
It is dumb, so very dumb
Reviewed by Luke
The Lego Movie 2 is an animated action and adventure film directed by Mike Mitchell. The plot see Emmet (Chris Pratt), try and become tough so he can still be appealing to Wild Ride (Elizabeth Banks), however in doing so he accidentally ends the universe.
If you’re thinking that premise feels familiar that because it is. In the first film Emmet has to become a certain type of person, in that case the mythical chosen one, to impress Wild Ride and gain confidence; the story telling is recycled.
As are a lot of other beats from the first film such as the emotion family stuff in the real world, though this time it is far less impactful.
Repetition never makes a film better and that is very true here, this film probably shouldn’t have been made it lacks a lot of the charm and the heart and soul of the first film. The story feels forced and the characters feel like they’re back for the sake of it. They introduce a new villain an evil queen played by Tiffany Haddish, who they use for a “clever” twist, when they reveal that she isn’t the real villain of the film and that it is actually evil Emmet from the future. Yes it is dumb and obvious and no the film pointing that out doesn’t change the face; it just makes it lazy storytelling
Another thing that bothered me were the songs. The first film used them sparingly and to make a point, here they are ten a penny, there incessant and it gets annoying quickly.
Overall, a very subpar sequel that really didn’t need to be made.
The characters are still mostly likeable
The repeated character arc
Side-lining a lot of the best characters from the first film
The very obvious twist
Reviewed by Luke