Girls Trip: Pissing In The Street

Girls Trip is a comedy film directed by Malcom D. Lee. The plot sees four friends reunite for a trip to New Orleans, whilst there sparks fly, and friendships are tested.

The core group of actors have a strong on-screen chemistry, Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith all have great banter between them. If I had to pick a personal favourite character it would probably be Smith’s Lisa, I enjoyed her timid begining which quickly gave way into a wild party animal; I also thought she had all the best jokes. Sadly, Tiffany Haddish stood out as a weak link and didn’t quite sell the emotion and the drama as the other characters did, her character Dina seemed fairly one note.

The plot was fairly predictable and standard, you will have seen plenty of other films just like this; it is nothing new. That said, I thought it was quite wholesome to watch and I enjoyed its friendship focus, it reminded me of Like A Boss in a few of the ways it treated grown up friendship; though I think that film did it better.

The comedy was hit or miss for me, I only found myself actually laughing a few times, more often it was the odd smile here and there. Jokes like when Lisa broke her young lovers dick worked for me and made me laugh, but often I found the humour to be too safe and studio feeling, or too gross out; yes I am talking about the wee scene.

Overall, a nice watch that I didn’t find hugely funny or engaging, but for a one-off watch it was okay.

Pros.

The leads all have strong chemistry

Some of the jokes are funny

Cons.

Some of the jokes fall flat

Tiffany Haddish stands out for the wrong reasons

Very standard fare

2/5

Reviewed by Luke

Project Power: Popping Pills

Project Power is an action science fiction film directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. We are shown a version of New Orleans where a dangerous new street drug that gives people superpowers is all the rage. Who is behind it is unclear, but that doesn’t stop one former army major (Jamie Foxx), from trying to bring in all down and save his kidnapped daughter.

I thought this film had a very cool concept, I enjoyed the gritty very real world feel it had; despite a premise that could easily have gone in a silly, superhero direction. It is made very clear to us the audience that these people aren’t superheroes, they’re regular messed up people who are just doing what they can to try and take control of their own reality.

The soundtrack nicely pushes this authentic feel, with each song feeling very necessary and well attached to a certain scene; there was only one song that I found to be clunky and out of place and even slightly awkward.

The performances were stellar from all three leads; however I think anyone would tell you that this is Foxx’s movie and he makes the most of every second he is on-screen. It is also nice to see Joseph Gordon Levitt pop back up, I feel like its been a while since I have seen him in a big budget film.

My one complaint would be that it feels very Netflix. It is of course a Netflix action film, but therein lies the problem, because Netflix seems to keep to a formula with these kind of movies they all end up feeling very samey and there are times when this film feels like it is falling into that trap. Not a huge indictment of the film itself more one for Netflix’s action movies in general.

Overall, a fun ride with a lot to say and some great performances not one that I would need to watch again, however.

3.5/5

Reviewed by Luke

Snatched: Straight Up Racist

Snatched is a comedy film directed by Jonathan Levine. The plot sees Emily (Amy Schumer) and her mother Linda (Goldie Hawn), go on holiday to Ecuador, and because Hollywood is racist and the idea of the South American kidnapping is such an easy stereotype, they get kidnapped and have to escape.

So yeah before I get into this I want to state clearly that I find this film offensive, Schumer’s character uses the word “gay” as an insult and seems to be generally homophobic throughout. As well as this most of the local people are shown as little more than stereotypes.

This film is an object failure to me. Last time I checked a comedy film is supposed to be funny and this is the furthest thing from it. The jokes consist of the same ones that you have heard from Schumer time and again over the course of her career, most of which she has probably stolen from other people. The humour in this film can easily be defined as irritating.

The plot is as uninspired as you would expect, as I have said it furthers harmful stereotypes and misconceptions and just can’t shake the feeling that it is needless.

Overall, this is offensively bad and might be one of the worst films I have seen this year, stay well clear of it.

Pros.

None

Cons.

It is homophobic and racist

It is unfunny

It is lazy

The characters are stereotypes

This is a poorly done copy of something you have already seen one hundred times before

0/5

Reviewed by Luke       

Game Over, Man: Getting Your Dick Out For A Cheap Laugh

Game Over, Man! Is a comedy film directed by Kyle Newacheck. The plot follows three hotel house keepers who get caught up in a hostage situation, they must find a way to save the day and get an investor for their videogame.

So this stars the Workaholic guys, Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson, and this film is basically like a feature length episode of that show; though they are in no official way related. The sad truth, however, would be if this was an episode of that show it would be one of the weaker ones.

The humour is nothing new and feels played out right from the start. You have jokes about one character being in the closet and not releasing that his friends know he is gay, which feel about 10 years out of date and other jokes where one of the characters just gets his dick out for some reason; this feels especially desperate.

The characters themselves and those around them are also paper thin and have nothing to make them feel like actually people and not just poorly written clichés.

Overall, this dumb, lazy and unfunny. Despite not being related it tarnishes the reputation of the Workaholic boys and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for a while after.

Pros.

It is only on for an hour and a half

It is watchable

Cons.

It is lazy, the characters aren’t more than clichés

The jokes feel outdated and worse desperate

It is painfully unfunny

It feels like an hour and a half of your life that you are not getting back

1.5/5

Reviewed by Luke  

Jexi: A Man Has Sex With A Phone, Need I Say More

Jexi is a comedy film directed by Jon Lucas and Scoot Moore. The plot sees loser Phil (Adam Devine), get a new phone that seems intent of making his life better. A bond forms between Phil and his new phone called Jexi (Rose Byrne), and the two have to navigate the difficulties of modern life together, and then Phil gets a girlfriend and all hell breaks loose.

So, high art this film is not, but damn is it funny. I had heard nothing but bad things going in so I was expecting the worst and was genuinely shocked when I was laughing almost from the get, if you view this film as a so bad it is good kind of film then you will enjoy it more for sure.

The writing is poor, but the film encourages you to not think about it and just watch a man have sex with his phone, try and get that image out of your head, part of the fun is the ridiculousness. The comedy works surprisingly well, and Byrne and Devine bounce off each other really well and have a great back and forth. Byrne especially is great; her mean girl style of humour really seems to be working in her favour.

Overall yes this film is trash, but it is also a hell of a lot of fun. I was laughing near constantly for an hour and a half; my one critique would be that the romantic stuff doesn’t work and feels deeply cringey.

Pros.

It is hilarious

Rose Byrne steals the show

Byrne and Devine have a great back and forth

It is bizarre

Cons.

Sometimes it is cringey and awkward

The writing is poor

4/5

Reviewed by Luke

Sucker Punch: Rape As A Plot Device

Sucker Punch is an action adventure film directed by Zack Snyder. The plot follows young woman Babydoll (Emily Browning), who finds herself accused of a crime she didn’t commit by her abusive stepfather. She is committed to an institution and escapes into a world of fantasy, where she fights Nazis and does various other stuff.

I will hand it to Snyder this was ambitious. The imagination on display, however sick and twisted it might be, is staggering. Sadly it doesn’t save this from being a disturbing mess of a film.

The various fantasises that Babydoll and co go to feel oddly random, there is not much rhyme or reason as to why these are their fantasises, which comes across as poor set up stemming from bad writing.

Secondly, this film is a teen action adventure so why is there a constant, and I mean from the off, rape threat throughout? This isn’t an interpretation this is what the film uses to drive its narrative, there are several scenes where it is implied without question and a few more where it is conveyed in a more subtle way. I am not going to lie to you this is deeply off putting and feels exploitative, it is hard to finish.

I feel like in Snyder’s head this was going to be a big empowering female epic, but it goes right the other way and feels creepy and icky to watch.

The only pro I will give it is that Oscar Issac is more menacing in this than I think he has ever been before; he gives one hell of a performance.

Pros  

Oscar Issac

The imagination

Cons.

Using rape as a plot device

It feels exploitative

It makes no sense

It is depressing in the extreme

1/5

Reviewed by Luke   

Postman Pat The Movie: Do The Kids Love Simon Cowell?

Postman Pat The Movie is an animated family film directed by Mike Disa. The plot sees everyone’s favourite postman enter a singing competition to win his wife a trip to Italy.

So, I haven’t watched the show since I was about 3 years old, but the other night I was looking through Prime and I found this; the nostalgia hooked me I sat and watched the whole hour and a half.

First off, the animation is hellish. I can’t decide whether it looks to real or too cartoony, but it looks cheap whichever verdict is reached. I don’t remember the show looking like this when I watched it.

The performances are solid enough, the cast is a whose who of British actors and familiar voices. Stephen Mangan does a good job as Pat; he has the right amount of wholesomeness for the family demographic whilst also having a few good jokes for the adults watching.

This is the second kids film this year that I have watched that has a Simon Cowell type character, this one couldn’t seem to get him so Robin Atkin Downes plays the part of Simon Cowbell, but it is basically the same character. Did I miss the memo? Do kids really like Simon Cowell or something I don’t get it. It is an alarming trend, please let me know if you know.

Overall, a very passable watch, very much a one and done sort of film.

Pros.

Mangan

Familiar voices

A few jokes for the adults

Cons.

The animation is awful

Do kids really like Simon Cowell?

It is very average

2.5/5

Reviewed by Luke   

Mother: A Lot Of Pretentious Allegory

Mother is a horror thriller film directed by Darren Aronofsky. The plot tells the story of a couple whose happy tranquil retreat is ruined by the arrival of unexpected, unwanted guests.

So this one is going to be a controversial for sure, even now years after it has come it is still polarising people, you either love it or you hate it. I find myself torn.

There is a lot of debate as to whether this is even a horror film, but I think it is. I also think the later in the film sequences where all hell breaks loose, which are arguably the horror scenes are strong and work well. The scenes when the followers descend to the house and fight to get a glimpse of the new baby are downright menacing and claustrophobic.

On the flip side, I hate the narrative of this film in so many ways. Firstly it has no story or plot just random events and allegory, it is one of those films where the director wants you to put it together yourself; in other words an excuse for poor writing. Moreover, the clear Bible reading (that everything that happens in the film is reflective of the Bible and the events therein), are so incredibly obvious that it basically beats you in the face with it. Yet in has to be pretentious and act like that is not true and that it has multiple meanings.

Jennifer Lawrence does an admirable job and I will applaud her for steeping outside of her comfort zone.

Overall, divisive to the core you will have strong feelings about it, for me I thought the narrative was weak and obvious, but the practical execution and the acting was spot on.

Pros

The acting

The ending

Some genuinely quite tense scenes

Cons.

The stupidly pretentious narrative

Having no form of story

3/5

Reviewed by Luke

Monsters University: The Tamest College Ever

Monsters University is an animated family film directed by Dan Scanlon. The plot follows Mike (Billy Crystal), and Sully (John Goodman), in their university (or college), years serving as a prequel to Monsters Inc.

This film is needless, there is no way of getting around that: it did not need to be made. However, despite this it adds a few nice character arc wrinkles to the beloved duo that are worth talking about. It shows how when Sully and Mike met they were adversarial, Sully coasted by on his father’s name and didn’t bother to try and Mike is trying very hard to be something that he is not. It is interesting to see their motivations and behaviour here and then to rewatch the first film, it gives it some new flavour.

The trademark Pixar heart is present, in a much-reduced capacity from the original film though. You do empathises with Mike as you can see how hard he wants to be a scarier despite not being scary, it is heart breaking and the big emotional moment at the end of the film when he finally gets to step over the line onto the factory floor is a cheer worthy moment and feels earned.

Overall, this film is needless there is no getting around that, but it adds to the motivations and characterization of various people from the first film adding a new context which is nice and crucially beneficial.

Pros.

The character work

The Pixar heart

Adds rewatch value to the original

Cons.

It is needless

It has pacing issues and often feels like it is filling time

Life After Beth: Whats Love Without A Bit Of Cannibalism?

Life After Beth is a horror comedy romance film directed by Jeff Baena. The plot follows Zach (Dane DeHaan), a young man who has just lost his girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza), however, before Zach can spiral into grief he is reunited with his girlfriend: something is different, however. Beth is now a zombie.

So for many years this has been amongst my favourite romantic comedies, it is so wholesome and has so much to say. When first reunited Zach is so glad to have his girlfriend back, but as time goes on he starts to see it as more of a curse, it begs the question would you want more time with your dead loved one if they weren’t really the same person you knew anymore and were instead something darker.

Plaza is perfectly cast and Baena seems to know how to get the best out of her as the duo would team up years later for The Little Hours, she is great in that too. She is tragically hilarious and her and Zach are a cute horror couple. DeHaan is doing his usually brooding routine, but it fits the film, so it works.

Overall, the definition of a hidden gem, not many people know about this delight of a film if you’re one of them right your wrong. It also has a truly comedic awkward cameo from Anna Kendrick, what is not to like. Check it out!

Pros.

The romance

The horror elements and implied zombie apocalypse

The awkward comedy

The commentary

Cons.

It has a very pacing issues and some sections are weaker than others

3.5/5

Reviewed by Luke