Walk Of Shame: Stop The Slut Shaming Hollywood

1.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A woman, played by Elizabeth Banks, almost misses out on the job interview of her life after a drunk night out, awaking in unfamiliar terrain.

What to say about this film that hasn’t already been said. I find it amusing that someone who is as outspokenly feminist as Elizabeth Banks, looks at how she handled the failure of Charlies Angels for more, appeared in this deeply sexist and troublesome film. It shows how someone’s opinions can change on a trend. Though maybe I am overly harsh on Banks.

This film is simply awful in many ways, namely the fact that it is not even remotely funny and is instead intent on just reusing stereotypes and quietly slut shaming its protagonist for laughs. Not a single one of the jokes land and worse yet a lot of them are off putting and leave you feel angry at whoever wrote them down, this film is crass and misogynistic in the extreme.

Ultimately I just feel like films with this kind of lazy old fashioned narrative just aren’t needed or wanted anymore, and everyone involved probably wants to forget it.

Overall, widely problematic and unfunny.

Pros.

It is short

Banks has a few chuckle worthy lines

Cons.

Rampantly sexist

It is not funny

Banks deserves better than this

The message of it is all wrong

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South Park Post Covid: The Future Is Bleak, Especially If You Are Apathetic To Covid

2.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The kids of South Park are now men forced to return to their home town after the death of one of their own, in a world still ravaged by covid.

Honestly I think the main reason for my low score is because I am personally I am really bored of covid and talking about it, seeing this whole hour special just go on and on about it became old quickly. I wish it could have been about anything else.

That said I do admire the show for lampooning the current crisis and laughing at how extremely over the top some people have been about it, acting like it is the end of days or something. I thought this coupled with the side plot about comedy in the era of cancel culture/ woke comedy were really interesting and insightful comments on where we are right now as a species.

I didn’t think this was the funniest thing I have ever seen from South Park as though there were a few jokes that landed, and landed well for that matter, for the most part they left me cold. I don’t know if it is because of my apathy towards hearing about covid but I didn’t find myself laughing a whole lot here.

Overall, if this hadn’t been about covid I probably would have found it funnier.

Pros.

A few good jokes

Not being afraid to laughable at how over the top some people have been with covid

Comments about woke comedy

Cons.

I am bored of covid narratives

It is not hugely funny

The central mystery is not all that interesting

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8 Bit Christmas: Do You Remember The Eighties:Of Course You Do

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A child, played by Winslow Fegley, must overcome a sea of obstacles to get a Nintendo games console for Christmas.

This film took eighties nostalgia, which is already quite a tapped out well, and went too far with it. Though I enjoyed the sentiment of the film and thought a lot of its messages were good, I thought the film leant far too heavily into eighties nostalgia and showed us all the things we have seen before, and all too recently at that.

I could never hate this film as it features Neil Patrick Harris in a leading role. Harris is as terrific as always and manages to get a number of good jokes here. I particularly enjoyed the film’s final scene which I thought really hammered home the emotional message of the film, I thought during this scene Harris did a magnificent job of selling the emotion of the scene and turning something that could have felt quite overly sentimental into just poignant enough to resonate.

The laughs were quite sparse for me, like I said Harris has a few funny lines but outside of that the film is quite lacking with most of the jokes not landing. I found a lot of the side characters to be quite annoying and the video game violence subplot to be not only annoying but deeply caricature like of everyone involved, it was silly to include if they had nothing meaningful to say on it.

Overall, a very meh Christmas film that manages to sneak past average thanks to Neil Patrick Harris and a powerful emotional ending.

Pros.

Harris

The ending

A few funny jokes

Cons.

Annoying side characters

Far too reliant on eighties nostalgia  

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The Sitter: Children Are Evil

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

An unemployed slacker, played by Jonah Hill, takes up a job babysitting three kids little does he know just how much he has taken on and how much trouble it will be.

Okay I’ll admit it, every now and then I like a trashy comedy. I won’t sit here and pretend to be highbrow. My sense of humour is darkly juvenile and/or edgy for sure. As such I actually found this film to be quite funny, I wouldn’t say all of the jokes landed but about sixty percent of them did and that pushes the ratio in a positive direction.

I found the film to be surprisingly heart felt at times as well, yes it won’t win any awards for the more serious moments, but I thought when the film took a break to reflect it really worked well. I particularly enjoyed how Hill’s character realised slowly over the course of the film that he was in a toxic relationship; I thought these moments felt earnt and well done.

Sam Rockwell is a delight as the villain though I would say he is underused.

In terms of issues I would say this film is a little too reliant on gross out humour, or little kids saying bad words humour, neither of which land well and more often than not come across of quite desperate.

Overall, a funny trashy comedy film that won’t blow you away and is a bit too reliant on gross out humour.

Pros.

The heartfelt moments

A good number of funny jokes

Hill

Cons.

Too much gross out humour

The ending

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The Change Up: Man Isn’t Having Kids A Hassle, Who Knew?

1/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A single guy, played by Ryan Reynolds, and a married guy with three kids, played by Jason Bateman, switch places because…… comedy.

The only word I can find to describe this film is lame. The comedy is lame, the plot is lame, the ending is lame. The whole film is just disappointing and weak. There might have been some comedy to the premise, I doubt it but maybe, however even if there was this film does nothing with and just pumps out deeply unfunny joke after deeply unfunny joke, with some cliches and stereotypes mixed in for good measure.

To some Reynold’s reached the apex of his career with Deadpool, others saw it as the beginning of his decline. However, this film shows how the former is more apt, this is a Reynolds firmly in his trash period where he is just trying to get noticed and hit it big. His charm is mostly wasted here and his character is just presented as the stereotypical guy who has a lot of sex but is actually deeper than that, yawn.

Bateman is like wisely by the numbers and this film feels very much like a pay check role for him.

Overall, films like this need to go away, comedy films deserve to be more than just the trotting out of stereotypes and the same lame jokes.

Pros.

Reynolds still has charm

Cons.

Reynolds is wasted

Bateman is by the numbers

The jokes don’t land

The over-reliance on stereotypes

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Black Friday: Working In Retail Is Hell

2.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Retail workers on Black Friday must do battle against alien creatures that possess people and turn them into zombie like creatures.

When I saw the trailer for this film I had such high hopes and I was disappointed when I actually saw it.

This film boasts horror icons Devon Sawa and Bruce Campbell but even their horror pedigree can’t help this film, sadly all icons make bad decisions from time to time and this is certainly one of them. Neither Campbell nor Sawa is given anything particularly interesting to do and as such there characters each feel very one note. This becomes even more of an issue as the group of characters that become more of a central focus by the end of the film are both boring and irritating.

In terms of horror this is incredibly by the numbers. You have seen this film before, the premise is nothing new. Some people are praising this film by saying that it is very reflective of the retail experience however, I feel other horror films have done even that better before. There is certainly nothing scary about this film, the only thing scary about it is how long it goes on for.

It has strong pacing issues.

Overall, simply disappointing a waste of good talent.

Pros

It is watchable

A few good moments

Campbell has natural charm that even this film can’t hide

Cons.

It is not scary

It is generic

It has pacing issues

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Year One: Tameness Killed The Dinosaurs And This Films Box Office

1.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Two slacker hunter-gathers, played by Jack Black and Michael Cera, are banished from their tribe and are forced to travel to the Biblical city of Sodom.

I have a fondness in my heart for this film as when I was younger I saw it several times at my local cinema, why? Well because nothing else was on and I liked going. Therein lies the problem. There is something of an acceptance to be average with this film, there are many ways it could improve itself but it doesn’t because it seems to want to try and please everyone whilst also being deeply average.

Black and Cera are fine they are trotting out more of the same shtick that we have seen from them time and time before, so your enjoyment of them here will be dependent on how you feel about their respective shticks. The comedy is mainly misses however there are one or two funny moments especially with the Biblical characters that make cameo appearances.

This is one of those films that I would not be surprised to hear the studio was heavily involved in. There is a tameness to the comedy and the film as a whole that feels very marketed research and corporate. On the whole this film feels very much like a bill paying exercise where no one really cared.

Overall, it is watchable for sure but not much else.

Pros.

I like the shtick of both Black and Cera

It is watchable

Cons.

It has pacing issues galore

It is too tame

It feel content being average  

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Ghostbusters Afterlife: The Freakiest Third Act Surprise You Will Ever See

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A family move into an old farm house left behind by their deceased grandfather, shown to be Harold Ramis’ character from the previous films, there they learn a little bit about themselves and their family history and of course save the world from a ghostly invasion.

This film did everything correctly that the previous film, the reboot, botched. It merges the older films and a soft reboot perfectly; it is a legacy sequel done right. There is enough call backs and involvement of surviving cast members to touch on the nostalgia factor of fans of the original whilst also giving us a new generation of Ghostbusters to care about.

In many ways this is Mckenna Grace’s film, she is the central character and carries the film for a lot of the run time. However, Carrie Coon and Paul Rudd are also scene stealers and make the most out of the scenes they are given, hopefully a sequel will do more with them and give them more on screen time together.

I found this film to be quite funny at times, again particularly Grace’s lead. The older Ghostbusters have some good lines but I would say on the whole they are used sparingly as to not upstage the new characters. I am split on the CGI Harold Ramis, I do like that they give him a proper emotional send off and have each of the characters have a moment with him, however I don’t like the use of CGI to bring back dead actors as a concept, it is troubling.

Overall, a strong revival for the franchise.

Pros.

Grace

Coon

Rudd

Giving the older characters one last hurrah

Cons.

Pacing issues

Finn Wolfhard’s role could be played by anyone

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Easy A: Who Cares Who Sleeps With Who

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Olive, played by Emma Stone, becomes the subject of vicious rumours about her character after she lies and tells her friend that she lost her virginity.

I think at times this film plays like a horror movie, the monster: the prudish, judgemental young Christian- the proto Karen if you will. Truly not only does this film have you caring for Olive but it also has you hating on nearly everyone she is in class with and their stupid pearl clutching morality. I think this film expertly comments on the way teen girls are treated when they try and talk about sex and highlights how we as a society are failing them.

There are a lot of very generic teen film elements on display here, and no having the film call these out doesn’t mean they are somehow good or not their it just shows that the writers think they can excuse themselves from it. I found a number of moments quite groan worthy throughout the film and it is all very predictable.

That said, despite the rather obvious nature of the plot Emma Stone manages to elevate the film into being more than the sum of its parts, with her bringing every ounce of Charisma she has to the role and making her Olive easily the highlight of the film. We do end up feeling attached to Olive and want to see her be happy, and I think the film delivers on that and has the appropriate emotional impact as a result: again thanks in large part to Stone.

Overall, a fun film that whilst predictable has a good message.

Pros.

The message

Stone

The ending

Cons.

It is very predictable

Calling out cliched writing doesn’t fix the issue

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The Princess Switch 3: Vanessa Hudgens Is A TALENT

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Vanessa Hudgens is back switching places with people who look exactly like her again, this time it is because an expensive Christ ornament is stolen.

I unironically like these films, yes I know many think they are trashy and they certainly won’t win any awards for their plot or their characters any time soon, but there is just something so happy and fun about them that I will watch them every year as soon as they come out.

Hudgens does a good job of playing three separate characters and giving each their own moments and character traits so they can feel different and important narratively. I think this film is a little Fiona heavy, she was the character introduced in the last film and is the bad cousin, however I am not complaining really as Fiona is probably the most fun out of the three. It is clear that Hudgens is having a lot of fun here and it is very infectious.

The silliness of the plot and the surely known cheapness only serves to make the film more endearing and likeable as you can’t help but laugh at how dumb it all is. Certainly this isn’t one that you need to pay attention to and can just space out whilst watching, but again that not a bad thing here.

Overall, the film is a lot of fun and if like me you enjoyed the previous Switches then you will most likely like this one too.

Pros.

Hudgens

The dumb fun

The feel good ending

How needlessly over the top it is

Cons.

Hudgens other two characters, who aren’t Fiona, could have done with a bit more

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