I’ve been off work is week and it’s been so nice. A week without stress and being able to do whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, I have to go back tomorrow and am really not looking forward to it. I had every intention of getting an early night but, naturally, I put off writing this ’til the last-minute. But, hey, the way I’ve been this week the fact that I’m writing this on the right day is something to be praised. And, as TBT films go, I’m super excited about this one. I don’t think I really have a favourite genre of film but, if pushed, I’d definitely say that terrible sports movies are up there. Emphasis on the “terrible”. Good sports films are all well and good but they take themselves a bit too seriously. I like the dreadful ones like Mighty Ducks 3 and Little Giants where the acting is horrible, the storyline is full of clichés, and the sport is an after thought. So, taking this into account, my pick for this week’s TBT film is an absolute doozy. I mean not only is it all about a full contact underground martial arts competition but it stars Jean-Claude Van Dame in a role that almost netted him a Golden Raspberry award. What could be better than that?
Back in 2012 I was majorly surprised by how much I enjoyed Pitch Perfect. As someone who has vehemently hated everything about Glee I didn’t necessarily see how it would be my thing. But I loved it. The cast was great, the script was funny, and the musical numbers were really good. I mean, yes, it did have that “isn’t the 80’s great” mentality that so many young people have these days but that was one of only few criticisms I had. I guess I just really like Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson enough to put up with. However, the second film was certainly pushing it for me. I still enjoyed that feeling of nostalgia and fun that remained but there wasn’t really a story there. It was just a rehash of the first one. Hell, if it had been a Star Wars film there would have been thousands of outraged fans campaigning for it to be removed from the canon. So, I have to admit, the idea of a third film didn’t really grab me. I wasn’t exactly rushing to see it, which is why I’ve only just got round to it. So was it as bad as I expected or was it worth the wait?
Anyone that’s been a reader of this blog for a while will know that when I reviewed the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline I wasn’t exactly a fan. For the most part I found it to be an uninspiring and boring story supplemented by an endless and unnecessary stream of pop culture references. It annoyed me that Cline had the audacity to write a novel set in the future and only reference the past. I mean the novel is set sometime in the 2040s which is 60 years after the 1980s. Are we supposed to believe that in 60 years nothing has ever come along to seem cooler than fucking War Games. Now don’t get me wrong, I think War Games is iconic but I was born 5 years after it was released not 50. Anyway, I don’t need to get into this now. Suffice it to say, when it was announced that the book was being turned into a film directed by Steven Spielberg I was hardly on the edge of my fucking seat. I couldn’t see how it would be any good based on the novel or on Spielberg’s recent track record. I mean I enjoyed The BFG and Bridge of Spies is meant to be great but, come one, The Post was hardly anything to celebrate. Spielberg has been a bit of a hack for years. I didn’t see how a huge CGI fest was going to get him out of his funk. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t curious so, this weekend, I decided it was time to find out for sure.
What is it about the late 1980s and body swap movies? I mean there aren’t shit loads but there are more than enough. Was everyone secretly worried about waking up as someone else for the last few years of the decade? Earlier this year for this very segment I reviewed the movie Big… I say reviewed but it was more of a detailed breakdown of how fucking creepy that film is. SHE HAS SEX WITH A CHILD! AND SHE’S WEIRDLY OKAY WITH IT! But I’ve already vented my frustrations on that earlier post so feel free to go and check it out. I have to say, though, my many viewings of Big over the years has really had an effect on my liking of these films. It’s given everything a seedy undertone. So, I went into this sort of mixture of Freaky Friday and Big with a huge amount of trepidation. Especially considering the only time I’ve really heard it mentioned was in that episode of Community when Abed throws the DVD away. It didn’t bode well.
I have to be honest and start this post by saying that I never had any intention of watching this film. It looked so bad and, as a fan of the book, thought it was a terrible legacy for Beatrix Potter’s famous rabbit. That was until I heard the story of James Corden’s dad email to Mark Kermode about the critics review. In it, Kermode described Corden’s performance as “appallingly irritating” which prompted the actor’s dad to write into his show to disagree with him. Replying that, as a parent, it was only the prerogative of himself or his wife to describe their son as such. In the email he also complained about the feedback Kermode gave The Greatest Showman but for different reasons. It wasn’t quite as epic as finding out that James Corden and Hugh Jackman are related. Although, it was a truly brilliant thing that I’m very glad happened. But the whole affair has got me thinking about the film more and, helped along by my recent obsession with Domhnall Gleeson’s face, I decided I had to see for myself who was right? Malcolm Corden or Mark Kermode. Let’s find out.
There are some movies so iconic that you probably know about them without having to watch them. That’s how I always felt about Rain Man. Obviously, it wasn’t something I was going to watch when it came out on account of being/having just been born. I think the first time I became aware of it as a film was an episode of The Simpsons. It was referenced in the episode when Mr Burns opens a casino and we see the main characters at Homer’s blackjack table. I guess over the years I figured I knew enough about the film to not waste my time watching it and I’ve never seen a problem with it. Thanks to this Throwback Thirty project I’m finally getting a chance to see the supposed Best Film containing the Best Acting performance of the year I was born. It seems like the kind of thing I should be watching instead of the all the B movie crap that makes up most of my TBT jar.
Gee there seem to be a lot of long films from the year I was born. Since starting this project, I have discovered something about myself. I have no problem is sitting in front of Netflix and binge-watching a load of 45 minute episodes of a TV show in one go but ask me to commit to a film longer than 90 minutes and all of a sudden I have loads of stuff I need to be doing. I am a ridiculous human being. But I’ve also had another very tiring week at work so the idea of sitting down to watch all 2+ hours of Rain Man just didn’t appeal. So I’ve been desperately searching for easy to consume films from 1988 that I can watch without much drama. It is a search that moved me in the direction of a film that wasn’t even a part of my original TBT film jar. Of course, this might mean that I’m breaking some sort of rule but I’m willing to do that for 1980s Rob Lowe. We’ve all seen him ‘playing’ saxophone in St Elmo’s Fire. We all know how sexy he is. Although, 1988 Rob Lowe is also the Rob Lowe who was dropped in the middle of a sex scandal but we’ll forget about that. He’s been in Parks and Rec since then: if we can’y say all is forgiven now then when can we?
Recently I’ve come down with a bit of a fever. I’ve felt it ever since I saw this Netflix original film last week. It’s main cause is Domhnall Gleeson’s face and the main symptom is being obsessed with Domhnall Gleeson’s face. I’ve been something of a fan of his since I first saw him play Bill Weasley in Harry Potter: although, admittedly I wasn’t as much of a fan of his dodgy accent. It wasn’t a love that prompted me to watch all of his films but it was enough to get me super excited when he was cast in the two new Star Wars films. I had a slight appreciation of his face but it wasn’t enough to make me rush to watch a fucking Richard Curtis film. Then I watched this bipoic of Doug Kenney, the man who helped launch the magazine National Lampoon. I spent a lot of my time looking at the guy playing Kenney’s friend and thinking, “hmm what an interesting face. I wonder who it is.” Cue credits and an obsessive admiration for this adorable ginger Irish man was born. I’ve got it bad, guys. I even stopped so low as to watch that fucking Richard Curtis film. I don’t know what’s happened to me. If only Will Forte hadn’t made it so impossible to ignore A Futile and Stupid Gesture.
I don’t watch as many short films as I should. It’s just not something that I ever really think about. Every time awards season comes round I hear about great short films but never actually do anything about them. I think, over the years, I’ve watched a handful of the animated shorts but that’s about it. However this year, when The Silent Child won an Academy Award I was intrigued. But not for very good reasons. I wasn’t interested because I knew anything about the film or anything. It was simply because the woman who wrote it was once an actor on a soap I used to watch. Yep, I’m a shallow individual but I wanted to see how good her film actually was. So it was perfect when it turned up on iPlayer recently. But it wasn’t until my mother watched it that I finally decided to check it out. And, after the stressful week I’ve been having, it seemed like the perfect thing to review for today’s post. A twenty-minute film? Perfect.
Yesterday at work, I nearly got into a huge argument with a guy I work with. It wasn’t about a professional matter but about his attitude towards dating. Specifically his attitude towards finding love on Tinder. He was being extremely pig-headed and negative about the women he was talking to because, unfortunately, he’s not had much success. The fact that he’s only 20 years old and it doesn’t really matter has escaped him. He is just frustrated that he’s, in his own mind at least, “failing” at dating and that the girls he talks to, apparently, say one thing. Basically, he was skating the fine line between someone dealing with a lot of rejection and the guy who shot 6 people in Santa Barbara because he was still a virgin at 22. Any advice I offered was ignored and I ended up getting more and more angry. I mention this only because I think I was feeling extra sensitive about the subject thanks to this fucking film. As soon as I saw the trailer appear on Netflix I knew I wanted to review this film. However, it was the very reason I wanted to do so that prevented me from watching it for so long: namely that I hated the very concept of the film. It made me so angry that I both wanted to be able to destroy it in a post but didn’t want to have to endure it. Well, this weekend I finally watched it. And, as you can tell from the above anecdote, it left me feeling super perky.