How I Met Your Father: Pilot

0.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A gender swapped version of How I Met Your Mother.

This was rancid, so much so that I won’t be reviewing any of the other episodes. One was enough for me to check out. Maybe the show will pick up, or maybe it will continue in this vein and if so I am glad I have already given up.

Right from the new cover version of the original How I Met Your Mother theme song red flags are going off, firstly because this theme is not good and secondly because it feels a bit too nostalgia baity. Little did I know that nostalgia bait is the key driving force of this show, as it references and outrightly shows various things from HIMYM in an effort to trigger the member berries in what may be the most desperate way I have seen yet.

Moreover, this film was written by a group of ageing, almost certainly white men, who don’t understand anything about how young people now interact beyond what they see trending on twitter as such this episode is constantly cringe, and not a one of the jokes work. Somewhere after our first tinder mention I started to realise this show wasn’t for me.

Finally, and perhaps most obnoxious of all is the flashforward. Yes, very much like HIMYM this show has a future sequence, where they make terrible jokes about how Alexa’s get things wrong and that older women can be sexual too? Is this funny? This section was so painful it made me want to turn the episode off and honestly I wish I did.

Overall, absolutely terrible.

Pros.

Hillary Duff is trying her best

Cons.

It isn’t funny

It is cringe

It relies too heavily on nostalgia

The new cover song theme song

There is no need for this to exist  

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Sex Appeal: Why Are The Kids Today So Damn Cringe?

1/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A young overachiever, played by Mika Abdalla, must enlist the help of her friend Larson, played by Jake Short, in order to get herself ready for her first time with her long distance boyfriend.

If that doesn’t sound like one of the most generic premises you have ever heard, then honestly I am worried about you. I feel like I have seen about fifty other films with that same premise at least. I am getting so sick of this smart girl breaking bad narrative, it worked well in Booksmart it doesn’t mean you need to copy it relentlessly Hollywood. It is also reductive to the cause as it implies that women can’t be both smart and sexually liberated and adventurous, it has to be one or the other.

The young cast are all incredibly unlikeable, and push the boundaries of cringe honestly some of the things they say and do feel so cringey that I almost had to turn the film off. It feels several years out of date to say the least, now I don’t know any American teens so maybe they do carry on like this but dear God I hope not. It feels more likely to just be old executives thinking this is how teens act.

This film did not need to be made, the money used to construct it could have been used for one hundred superior projects or even just given to charity and it would have made the world better, this film enriches nothing and no one, showing the most desperate side of the industry.

Overall, it is depressing that this film was made.

Pros.

It is short

Cons.

It is cringe

It isn’t funny

It is painfully derivative

It has no reason to exist

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The Interview: Aren’t We All Getting Too Old For This Weak Form Of Comedy?

2/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The film sees Seth Rogen and James Franco play aspiring journalists sent out to interview Kim Jong-un, played by Randall Park, once in country the objective of their mission changes.

I will tackle the elephant in the room before we proceed, yes James Franco has faced abuse allegations, which he has paid off, yes that makes me not want to watch any films with him in, but for the purposes of this review I tried to place that to one side and view the film without thinking about Franco’s sordid personal life.

However, even with that to one side my view of this film is negative. I found both ‘funny men’ to not be all that funny at all instead I found both to just be churning out the same old shtick they always do and in a particularly unlikeable way here. There was nothing about either of the two heroes that made me feel anything towards them other than mild annoyance.

Randall Park on the other hand fares better and actually managed to make me laugh several times, Park really is an underappreciated hard worker in the Hollywood comedy scene he often delivers the laughs but rarely gets the praise for it.

Park aside I found the comedy to mostly be lifeless and overly reliant on cliches, stereotypes and the exceptional sense of American superiority and smugness anywhere outside their borders. I rarely found myself laughing instead I was often bored.

Overall, watchable in a pinch but fairly subpar.

Pros.

Park

It is watchable

Cons.

Rogen and Franco are annoying

It isn’t funny

It relies too hard on cliches and stereotypes

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Peacemaker: A Whole New Whirled

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Peacemaker, played by John Cena, has somehow survived his seeming death in The Suicide Squad and is now back again working for the government this time being brought in to wipe out butterflies.

I understand a lot of people don’t like James Gunn’s tone or sense of humour but I do. Though I didn’t find this episode as funny as the second, review coming soon, I still found that it had me laughing more than I thought it would.

Cena handles the comedy well and makes Peacemaker a layered character. Despite his grovelling to the Chinese Government Cena has such an affability to him that makes him hard to root against, as such you can’t help but like his Peacemaker and want him to succeed. The supporting cast is rounded out by some new faces and some returning, most of whom are fairly bland though Jennifer Holland’s Harcourt is a nice romantic foil for Peacemaker and the two have great banter together.

My issues with this first episode would be that it is still quite rough in places and is obviously finding its footing. Likewise I would prefer to not see Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis, again as I feel she is in danger of being overexposed in the DCEU, however I suppose she was necessary for set up.

Overall, a solid start for the series made so by Cena, a funny script and a nice odd ball sensibility.

Pros.

The tone

The comedy

Cena

Eagly

Cons.

A bit rough in places

Bringing back Waller

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The Parent Trap: Almost Killing Your Step-Mother To Get Your Parents Back Together Again

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Two twins, both played by Lindsey Lohan, switch places in order to try and get their parents back together.

I understand that for many this film is a classic, and whilst I thought it was good and had a number of nice moments I wouldn’t go that far. If I were to pick my favourite Disney era Lohan performance it would undoubtably be Freaky Friday, but that’s just me.

I thought the narrative was a little simplistic, though I suppose it would have been fresher upon release when movies like The Princess Switch hadn’t taken the same concept and run away with it. I also thought the film struggled with its characters with the evil step mother, played by Elaine Hendrix, being the most egregious.

I thought Lohan was good in both her roles if a little samey between the two, as far as child actors go she was on the better side of average as her performance didn’t become irritating to me.

Overall, a warm watchable film that isn’t going to set the world on fire but will nicely give you an escape from reality.

Pros.

Lohan

It is very watchable

A few funny scenes

A nice ending

Cons.

Overly simplistic

A little too reliant on tropes

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Kicking And Screaming: Fathers And Sons Comparing Balls

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Phil Weston, played by Will Ferrell, has daddy issues and tries to exorcise those demons by beating his dad, played by Robert Duvall, at coaching children’s football.

I think within Ferrell’s catalogue of work this is one of his better outings. For the most part he plays the character straight, he is not loud, or overtly weird, and that gives the character far more of an earnest relatability then we often get from Ferrell’s other roles. He plays the everyman well here and we recognise and understand his motivations for wanting to beat his dad.

I would say this film made me laugh a few times, but it also has its fair shares of misses, it is not the funniest film in the world and there are other Ferrell films that succeed more in this regard; however I think this might be the Ferrell film with the biggest heart. There is a nice emotional core at the centre of this film and it is often on show, there are a number of scenes that are quite sweet and maybe even moving and Ferrell executes them well.

Overall, a sweet Ferrell film that highlights the need for reserve within performing, less is more Mr Ferrell.

Pros.

The sweetness

The emotion

Ferrell

Cons.

A fair number of its jokes don’t land

Some pacing issues  

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Licorice Pizza: Grooming And Further Consent Issues

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A young man, played by Cooper Hoffman, pursues an older woman, played by Alana Haim, whilst both try and do something with their lives and become successful.

I will come right out and say it, the age difference in this film really bothered me. The boy is underage and the woman is much older, ten years his senior, I thought the film teasing us with the will they wont they aspect was disturbing as regardless of the outcome he is still a minor. They do in fact end up together just in case you’re wondering. I can’t help but note that if the romance was flipped so it was an older man and a below age girl, there would be an uproar and the film would never have been made yet that seems to be ignored here, suspect.

I also thought this film suffered from some of the worst pacing I have seen in the last year, it felt double its run time and far outstayed its welcome bringing in more and more subplots and side stories that you just don’t care about.

On a positive note, I thought there were things to enjoy here. I liked the charming strangeness of the whole thing and thought that there were a number of very funny scenes, whenever Bradley Cooper came on screen and wrecked something or threaten someone that always got a laugh out of me. I also thought the film had a really strong soundtrack that helped it out in various different ways.

Overall, the film has enjoyable elements, Cooper, the soundtrack, some laughs, but the icky romance and terrible pacing really bring it down for me.

Pros.

Cooper

The soundtrack

A good few laughs

Cons.

The icky romance

The pacing is awful

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He’s All That: Influencers Aren’t Actors

1/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A gender swapped version of She’s All That, the forgotten nineties film, this time with a random TikTok influencer because Netflix are cringe and seemingly more and more incapable of making good original content.

Whoever is in charge of original content development, or if one can call them that the film head, needs to be fired. The recent baffling stream of terrible content being churned out by Netflix would be enough to make anyone else in the space blush, but Netflix doesn’t seem to care because they don’t try and make good films they try and make ones that everyone will watch at least the first few minutes of.

The fact that this film stars and is about a TikTok star just speak to how desperate this film is to appeal to Gen Z, but guess what even Gen Z can see what a turd this film is. This film reads to me as though it was made by a group of out of touch old white guys who realised the kids liked TikTok so decided to base a film around it, whilst not really understanding what it is.

Moreover, Addison Rae has no business being in this film. She can’t act, isn’t funny and barely seems to have any on screen training at all. Whenever she said a line it was so painfully delivered that it took me straight out of the film and reminded me that the price of Netflix keeps going up and made me ask why am I still paying it?

Overall, if the quality of Netflix’s originals don’t start improving I will most likely cancel my subscription.

Pros.

It is unintentionally funny

Cons.

Rae

The TikTok focus

It has no reason to exist

When it is trying to be funny it is painfully unfunny    

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The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain: Cats Becoming People.

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

From watching the trailers for this film I didn’t really know what to expect. It looked strange and abstract and it is and in that is the films’ greatest success. This is indeed a quirky and an odd film and one that you aren’t likely to see again this year, and by doing that it becomes memorable.

This film is a who’s who of British acting talent and has more than a few familiar faces, everyone does a good job and the acting across the board is strong. Cumberbatch is a superb leading man and from his portrayal you really buy the eccentricity of Wain and also the suffering and the loss. Cumberbatch’s performance is transportive. Likewise Claire Foy is also excellent here and her and Cumberbatch have really strong chemistry that really helps to propel the early parts of the film.

My main negative of the film was that it was incredibly depressing and hard to watch at times. Yes, I know this film was based on Wain’s real life and there is nothing you can do to change that or how it was. It being sad and depressing is true to life. However, it is in that where for me at least the film became hard to watch. The trailers which made the film look feel good were almost certainly misleading, this film is upsetting.

Overall, a quirky film with oodles of personality but one that some might find too sad to watch.

Pros.

Foy

Cumberbatch

The personality and charm of the film

Cons.

It is very sad

Pacing issues

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Click: You Can’t Fast Forward Through The Brown Face Quick Enough

1.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

All round terrible person, husband and father Michael Newman, played by Adam Sandler, is given a magical remote control that allows him to pause, skip and rewind reality; naturally he uses it to skip conversations with loved ones and just generally be a dick.

Films like this prove what so many people don’t like about Adam Sandler. He is obnoxious, rude and frankly just deeply unlikeable yet the film asks us to root for him, relate to him and to view his behaviour as normal. This is an almost impossible ask. The character is so deeply unlikeable that it makes the film hard to watch.

Moreover, this film features the ever so male fantasy esque role play of having a model looking wife paired off with some shlub, who treats her poorly. Not only are the two poorly suited for one another Sandler’s character is also deeply unpleasant to her throughout, even when supposedly reformed. His wife is played by Kate Beckinsale here, in a film I bet she deeply regrets doing. To summarise how this film uses Kate Beckinsale there is a scene where Michael has paused time and discusses with Christopher Walken’s character what a ‘rocking bod’ she has. Yes, that’s right. Yikes.

The sexism and racism and many other isms are all on full display here, Sandler faithful Rob Schneider is in brown face playing a foreign prince which honestly he should be made to apologise for because it is both deeply unfunny as well as widely offensive.

By the end of the film where it tries to hit you with its grand moral philosophy on life and love and in doing so tries to redeem Sandler’s character it fails miserably as by that point you hate Sandler’s character and want to see him lose.

Overall, I’m glad that Sandler seems to have learnt in recent years that him just being a dick to everyone around him doesn’t make for a good comedy film.

Pros.

Walken has a few funny lines

The premise has promise

Cons.

Sandler

Beckinsale is treated as a piece of meat throughout

It is deeply sexist and racist

Pacing issues   

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