Abandoned: Straight Up Slop, Hard And Lacking Nourishment

1/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Yet another horror thriller film about post-partum depression.

How many times are we going to be served the same slop? Is there supernatural goings on or does the lead character have post-partum depression, and or is the baby possessed or does the lead have post-partum. We have seen it so many times before and frankly I am becoming agitated with the generic storylines that keep making it into horror cinema, the Babadook did the idea well and all the films that have come after it have been bargain basement knockoffs at best.

What’s more I am beginning to question whether Emma Roberts can act or whether she simply gets roles because of who her aunt is. We have all seen and enjoyed Wild Child, Adult World and American Horror Story but outside of those productions Roberts seems to be phoning it in, unable to communicate any kind of emotion at all in any of her performances.

The mystery here isn’t a mystery if you have ever watched a horror film or a thriller before, it is just mind-numbingly obvious.

Overall, Roberts is slumming it for an easy pay check.

Pros.

It is watchable, it is not offensively bad.

Cons.

Roberts is awful

The mystery is entirely predictable

You have seen this film before

It is not scary or thrilling

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The Man From Toronto: Don’t Mistake This Film For A Better One

2/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A chap, played by Kevin Hart, out for a nice romantic getaway with his significant other, played by Jasmine Matthews, becomes wrapped up in a world of hitmen when he falls prey to a case of mistaken identity.

This movie is a turd, but make no mistake it is not Kevin Hart’s fault. If it were not for Hart this film would get a lot lower, and I mean a lot. Hart does provide the film with a number of laughs and makes getting through it slightly less excruciating and for that I thank him.

That aside, this is why Netflix is in hot water, yet another stupid pointless action film that does nothing new and thinks that by just throwing famous faces into whacky situations it makes a film good; it takes far more than that. The whole premise of this film is incredibly familiar, but it is not even as though Netflix is ripping off other better action films, no, it feels like Netflix are ripping off their own back catalogue. Moreover, the idea of the soft guy teaming up with the tough guy, here played by a very much phoning it in Woody Harrelson, is more than a little stale at this point. Really this film is peak generic, that is probably the best and most succinct way to describe it .  

Overall, yet more terrible Netflix fare slightly elevated by Kevin Hart

Pros.

Hart

It is watchable

Cons.

It is generic

It has been done better before

It is Netflix plagiarising themselves

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Mothering Sunday: Prepare To Be Depressed

1/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Set in a post WWI Britain this film tells the tale of Jane, played by Odessa Young, a maid who falls in love with a wealthy man, played by Josh O’ Connor.

This film was fairly bleak across the board. With the amount of death and heartbreak in it one questions whether this is even a romance film, or whether it is simply a drama about the impacts of post war trauma and gilded cages. I was so depressed by the end of this film that I had to watch something happy and upbeat almost straight away, be warned.

Moreover, the film has a needless amount of nudity throughout. This goes in both directions and feels as though it has just been stuffed in to give a shock to the older market that would usually come out for this sort of fare. Rather than feeling daring, or perhaps subversive, this instead feels incredibly try hardy.

For positives I would say that this film is certainly watchable, Colin Firth and Olivia Colman both give strong performances even if they are only featured infrequently. However, The leads seem far too detached for most of the film, which makes it hard to care about either of them, or even the film itself at times.

Overall, I am curious who this was made for?

Pros.

It is watchable and Firth and Colman give good performances

Cons.

The excessive amount of nudity

It is depressing

It is hard to care about any of the characters

It is terribly paced

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Good Luck To You, Leo Grande: A Sexual Prime Is Never Over

4.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

After the death of her husband a woman, played by Emma Thompson, grapples with rediscovering her sexuality.

I think this film is a marvel. Not least for what it does in terms of pushing age boundaries in Hollywood and reconstructing the idea of a nude scene, but also because it is so earnest and tender.

For the most part the film is a series of conversations in a room between Thompson and a male prostitute, played by Daryl McCormack, who she hires. This could easily have become very boring and drawn out however, the film does a great job of exploring these characters and allowing us to see further and further past their carefully crafted masks as the film progress.

Furthermore, I thought the conversations between the two often became very heartfelt and insightful, not only reflecting the struggles of life but also the very notion of British repression. I thought the two actors had great chemistry together and the screen really came alive when they were interacting.

Overall, I thought it was a wonderfully thoughtful film.

Pros.

Thompson

McCormack

The writing and the insight

The feel good nature of the film

It made me smile frequently

Cons.

It certainly won’t be for everyone  

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Crimes Of The Future: Where We Are All Heading

3/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

In a future where humans are evolving to eat plastic, a war is being fought over what makes someone human as well as notions around monstrosity.

Honestly this film will not be for a lot of people. I myself had a fair amount of issues with it such as: it was far too long, it sometimes came across as pretentious and smug and thought it was a bit more intelligent than it actually is, and of course there is a scene where you see a child’s penis. No scene in any film should show a nude child, just no.

However, despite that opening painting a rather damning picture, I don’t think this film is all bad and I do think that there are some trace amounts of greatness in here. In many ways this can be seen as a traditional Cronenberg film, or certainly as the director returning to his roots. The body horror aspects are all very inspired and well done and as such the film stands out in the modern horror landscape, however, there are a few times wherein the gore and the viscera became a little too much for me; what can I say I don’t like live surgery scenes and there are a lot of them here.

Moreover, I think the performances across the board were also terrific. This is highlighted with gusto by a very game Viggo Mortensen and a surprisingly unsettling Kristen Stewart. I think that the characters and world created are so intriguing that it allows the film to get away with some of its worse sins. I also really enjoyed the originality of the premise as I felt like I hadn’t seen this before.

Overall, very much a film made for a niche audience, but one you should experience for yourself all the same.

Pros.

The performances

The world

The premise

Cons.

It is too long and at times overly pretentious

Showing child nudity

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Jerry And Marge Go Large: Bryan Cranston Is The Ultimate Dad

3/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

After retiring from this job Jerry Selbee, played by Bryan Cranston, and his wife Marge, played by Annette Bening, decide to take advantage of a mathematical flaw in their local lottery and win money to help the town to stay afloat.

This film is deeply forgettable. Clearly this film wants to be the feel good film to cheer us all up in these dark times, and that is admirable, however really it is just incredibly generic. I think the acting weight of Cranston and Bening really do help to pull it up, without them giving deeply earnest performances I would have scored this film lower, much lower.

I understand it is based on a true story so there is only so much they can do with creative license, but this film feels like about a hundred other all American films, where the nice humble small town Americans get rewarded. In many ways without even watching this film you can accurately predict where the plot is going and how things will end up.

Moreover, I have looked into the true story this film is based on and can’t see any mention to the entitled college kids who become the villains to these simple down to earth folks. The whole narrative is so cliched and laughably bad, I don’t know why the film needed to include it in the first place.

Overall, fine. Cranston and Bening do a hell of a lot of good work, without them this film would just be forgettable schlock.

Pros.

Bening

Cranston

It is watchable

Cons.

The evil college kids

It is incredibly cliched and generic   

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The Starling: A Favourite Film Of Guantanamo Bay

0.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A couple cope after the sudden death of their child.

Boy this film was badly on quite a number of different levels. However, I think one of the roots causes of this film being awful was the casting of Melissa McCarthy. Some people would argue that like Adam Sandler that McCarthy cam be good in the odd dramatic role here and there, the same people would point to her performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? However, I would argue that her performance in that film was nothing more than a fluke, and that by and large she is only capable of giving one kind of performance loud and obnoxious, and that is true in whatever film she is in comedic or dramatic. It certainly is true here.

It has to be said though that the failings of this film cannot be entirely blamed on McCarthy, as the script is also frequently terrible, being not only overly sentimental but also incredibly tonally off at times. There is a scene in this film wherein the message seems to be that it is okay to be angry at suicidal people for being that way which sends a hell of a bad message even if that is not how the writer intended it to come across.

Overall, the film is incredibly generic, it is the very definition of the kind of trash we have collectively come to expect from a Netflix original over the years.

Pros.

Timothy Olyphant is always great and a welcome presences

Cons.

McCarthy

It is very generic

It has a bad message

The tone is all wrong

It borders over-sentimentality

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The Warriors: Shirtless Street Gangs

3/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A street gang from Staten Island must get back home after a get together of all the New York gangs goes awry and they become hunted.

To many this is a classic cult film and whilst this didn’t hit me in the same way something like Battle Royale did in that regard, I did find a lot to like about this film.

To get the negatives out of the way first I didn’t like the pacing off this film, it felt far longer than it actually and does drag in places. Moreover, the performances are a deeply mixed bag some of them are good but some are laughably bad, to the point where there is no way you can imagine them as gang members.

In terms of what I enjoyed, I liked the style of the film I thought it was very distinctive and had almost an apocalyptic feel to it that I thought worked really well. Furthermore, I also thought the film communicated great threat during its runtime, as such you were worried for the fate of the characters as danger seemed to lurk around every corner.

Overall, not perfect but very much a snap shot of a point in time.

Pros.

The style

The ending

The threat

Cons.

The pacing

Some of the performances were quite bad

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Gods Favourite Idiot: Possibly The Antichrist

0/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Clark, played by Ben Falcone, is hit by angelic lighting and later told that he is to be God’s messenger tasked with stopping the apocalypse.

This is hot garbage don’t watch it.

In the not too distant past Netflix made a statement which basically boiled down to they were going to focus on making quality programs rather than lots of trash, did this show miss that memo?

If you thought the films made by Ben Falcone and his wife Melissa McCarthy were bad then boy howdy you haven’t seen anything yet. With one of their films you at least get the reprieve that it is only on for two hours tops, however, this is on for a lot longer and wants you to feel every horrible minute of it.

There are so many ways in which this show sucks, such as having the comedy be lazy, bland and dry. Think about a Melissa McCarthy film from the last ten years, think about the kind of jokes you would expect and then turn it up to the max. Not only does this show stretch its jokes so thin that it kills them but it is also trying so hard to be funny and to appeal to younger audiences that It just comes off as desperate.

Worst yet neither of the two central characters are in any way likeable, Falcone’s Clark is incredibly bland and feels like a cliché of the timid man in almost every sense, whereas McCarthy is driving around a modified rascal shouting at people and demanding special treatment from those around her… Need I say more?

Overall, awful, just awful.

Pros.

None

Cons.

McCarthy

Falcone

It isn’t funny

The characters are deeply unlikeable

It is terribly paced

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Lightyear: Back In The 90s This Would Have Been A Good Idea

2.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The film that inspired Andy to buy Buzz in Toy Story.

I think this film makes a pretty clear cut argument for how Disney has slowly corrupted and ruined Pixar, forcing the studio to make sequels, prequels and spin-offs that don’t need to exist and to sacrifice their heart and soul in doing it.

I am not going to say this film is awful and needless all the way through because that isn’t true, it does have good moments here and there, but by and large the biggest issue here is that this film never justifies its existence.

I thought the writing was exceptionally weak, which is a shock coming from Pixar. This can be seen with lazy storytelling choices such as having the important crystal be destroyed but then moments later they just have a new one and can go back out into space, with no mention as to how that is. Moreover, the character journey of Buzz having to learn to trust other people and then having an older version of him be the villain of the piece just feels insultingly obvious and on the nose. I understand that this film is for kids so it is not going to have the best writing, but come on this is just so lazy.

Chris Evans is fairly fine as Buzz Lightyear, you forget it is him after a while and the difference between his voice and Tim Allen’s become less noticeable over time.

Overall, fairly meh. Nothing special.

Pros.

It is watchable

It has a few sweet moments

It is fairly short

Cons.

It doesn’t justify its existence

The writing is poor

It is very forgettable

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