action, films, fucking awful, meh, reviews

Tuesday’s Reviews – Proud Mary (2018)

taraji-p-henson-proud-mary-015_star_rating_system_1_and_a_half_stars¬†I didn’t know anything about¬†Proud Mary when I watched it this week. I genuinely don’t think I’ve heard anything about it but it sounded like the kind of thing that could be quite fun. As much as I’d like to use my cinema viewing as a chance to make a stand against gun violence given the current climate in American, I’m a bit of a sucker for a good action movie. My inner 12-year-old boy comes out every time there’s a decent gunfight or car chase. It’s the only reason I continue to watch all of the godawful¬†Transformers movies. Robots, check; guns, check; fast cars, check. It’s got it all but a decent script and a good cast. In spite of everything, there will always be a part of me that thinks that movie characters who are super handy with a gun are cool. It’s like smoking. On screen it looks totally badass but, in reality, it’s really harmful and awful. Gun control is a real issue and I do believe that Hollywood has a need to be careful with how they portray guns but, at the same time, I really love a good gunfight. Which is the very reason that I actually watched¬†Proud Mary despite knowing nothing about it. Well, that and the fact that¬†Taraji P. Henson¬†is an absolute legend.

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30booksformy30th, 30th birthday, books, fucking awful, fucking obvious, thriller

30 Books For My 30th – Number 22

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dscn7305Dear Gone Girl,

A few years ago, I lent you to my sister and you have been sat on her shelves ever since. At least until last weekend when she finally brought you back. I can’t say that I was very pleased to see you. Really, I only wanted you so I could take a picture to accompany this post. I’ve never liked you. I didn’t finish you. You annoyed the shit out of me and, if I’m honest, I was glad to get you out of the house. You have a ton of hype surrounding you even to this day. But I don’t get it. I feel like I’m the lone survivor of some awful disease that makes you love shit books.

You’re constantly being praised for being clever but you’re not. What you are is super obvious. How anyone can read the first half of the novel and not realise that it’s all bullshit is beyond me. I didn’t even finish the first half because I couldn’t be bothered waiting for the inevitable. And before you start crying and saying “but how do you know if its obvious if you didn’t finish it?” Bitch, please. I have Wikipedia.

I’ve put off writing this letter for ages because I just didn’t want to come face-to-face with you. I’ve never met a book that deserved its reputation so little. Even¬†50 Shades of Grey was acknowledged as being shit despite its massive success. But you. You fooled everyone. You continue to fool everyone and you’ve started an endless parade of increasingly poor psychological thrillers.¬†Girl on a Train? Urgh. It was even more obvious than you were but at least I fucking finished it.

Whether it admits to it or not, at least Girl on a Train¬†knows its place. It knows it’s trash. You have the audacity to think you’re better than trash. You suffer from the Dan Brown complex: a trashy novel that thinks it of great literary worth. Just because you put on a fur coat and some fake diamonds it doesn’t make you different. You’re still Jenny from the block.

So why am I writing this letter to you? After all, this is supposedly a list of the books that “changed my life”. Well, in spite of everything, you did change my life. You were the first book I ever purposefully did not finish. Before I met you I struggled through every shit book I picked up no matter how hard it was. No matter how long it took me. I mean, yeah, there are books I stopped halfway through with the intention of picking up again that still sit, unread, on my shelf. That’s not the same. See, I genuinely hated you. You made me angry. I was so annoyed by you. I couldn’t do it. I don’t know how you’ve managed to fool everyone else but I see through you. I see what you really are.

There is a lengthy and oft-praised passage inside you which discusses the idea of the “Cool Girl” and how it doesn’t really exist. You know what? You’re the ultimate Cool Girl. You pretend to be this clever and refreshing new type of thriller so everyone will like you. But it’s all just bullshit. It’s all just pretend. Your tagline is “there are two sides to every story”. Well, there is: mine and all the idiots you’ve managed to trick.

We complete each other in the nastiest, ugliest possible way
Laura

P.S
The line “Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.” is the biggest piece of bullshit I’ve ever read. This isn’t good prose. This is nonsense!

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1988, 30 years, 30th birthday, 80s, Arnie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, buddy comedy, Danny DeVito, films, fucking awful, fucking ridiculous, review, TBT

Throwback Thirty – Twins (1988)

So¬†today is the first in my new series that I have, ingeniously, called Throwback Thirty. As I laid out in my blog update post, for the next 52 Thursdays, I will review a film that came out the same year that I was born. This is all in honour of my 30th birthday: an event that will take place on March 5th. Am I making a big deal of it in the hope it distracts me from the fact that I’ve not made it to the point I thought I’d be at this age? Maybe? Am I also hoping that seeming okay with it will make me comfortable with being a 30 year old? Maybe? Am I just using it as an excuse to watch loads of questionable 80s movies? Erm… hells yeah! I am a huge¬†love of 80s films anyway so a year of watching some of my old favourites and some that I’ve never seen before sounds perfect. I’ve put the title of loads (way more than 52) films in a jar and each week I will pick out a title. By happy circumstance that first title I picked out was Twins. I guess it’s only right considering I am, in fact, a twin myself so this is also my sister’s 30th birthday year. In our 3 decades together, my sister and I have never got involved in a dodgy deal about a prototype fuel injector but we’ve got into some scrapes. I’ve got no doubt that I’d be the Danny DeVito of the pair and she’d be Arnie… although I’m not sure she’d necessarily think that was a good thing. We’re very different people. Me? I’ve been practicing trying to say “put the cookie down now” in my best Arnie voice ever since I watched¬†Jingle All the Way¬†last month.

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bad books, books, bullshit, did not finish, DNF, fucking awful, fucking obvious, fucking stupid, Harry Potter, hated it, list, YA

My Least Favourite Books of 2017

Yesterday I uploaded a top 10 list containing my favourite books out of the ones I’ve read this year. There were plenty of super obvious and unoriginal choices on the list but it’s hard to deny how great they are. Whilst I was writing it I couldn’t help but feel that my book choices have improved somewhat this year. I may not have made great strides in terms of the number of books I’ve read this year because, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t feel that reading should be a competition. However, I haven’t read as many books that I’ve disliked this year. Normally I would have fallen into the trap of buying super cheap thrillers that are always half price following their super hyped release. I’m talking books like Girl on the Train¬†and similar psychological crime thrillers. The kind of novel that always follows the same path as the previous psychological crime thriller but with a heroine with a slightly different emotional crutch. This year I made the bold move to stop myself being taken in by the hype marketing that surrounds certain books. I just can’t do it to myself any more. I’ve done quite well on the whole so, when I was reviewing the books I’ve read in the last 12 months, I was shocked to find so many books that I’d enjoyed reading. There were a few glaring errors though and I thought it only right to highlight these to prevent anyone else making the mistakes I did.

  1. One of Us Is Lying¬†by Karen M. McManus : This is the book that I’m most annoyed at myself about this year. I have a long and complicated history with YA fiction anyway but this has the added dread of being a crime thriller. On paper it sounded perfect. It was being billed as something of a mix between The Breakfast Club¬†and Murder on the Orient Express and I bloody love both of those things. However, this book is everything that I’ve come to hate about bad YA fiction. I’m sure there is some Young Adult literature out there that isn’t determined to dumb itself down for its audience but this book was so simplistic. It was painfully obvious from the first page who was responsible for the murder that the rest of the novel was just dragging out the inevitable. Then you have all the staple YA cliches and stereotypical characters. There was nothing original, exciting or worthwhile about this book. The writing was uninspiring and fairly insipid. The characters lacked development and the dialogue was so bad. This, more than any other YA fiction I’ve read, felt like a grown adult trying to remember what being a teenager was like but failing miserably. I, honestly, don’t think I could find one positive to say about this novel. I really don’t think I’ve ever hated a book as passionately as I hate this one. It wasn’t worth my previous time.
  2. Losing It¬†by Emma Rathbone : This was the first book I finished this year and was one that had been part of my Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016 list. I had super high hopes for it being a triumphant work of feminist insight. Instead, it made me all ranty and horrible. The novel was supposed to open up a dialogue about our society’s obsession with sex but, instead, it just made virginity seem even more depressing and humiliating. This is a book intended to be read by young people. YOUNG PEOPLE. You know, those hormonal and already confused and anxious bunch who have enough trouble working out their attitude towards the opposite sex. They don’t need Emma fucking Rathbone coming along and writing a book telling them to have sex asap. I didn’t just hate Losing It¬†because of it’s content, of course. Emma Rathbone is, without a doubt, one of the worst writers I’ve ever read. She has no idea how to utlitise the English language in an appealing and entertaining way. There were moments in this novel that were just awful. I highlight a few in my review which were super bad. This was so close to being my most hated read this year. Luckily for Rathbone, One of us is lying came in to steal the crown from under her nose.
  3. The Plague¬†by Albert Camus : Now, strictly speaking I didn’t hate this book but, as this list so far consists of two YA novels, I felt the need to bulk out this post. The Plague¬†was one of two books this year that I started but didn’t finish. I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get into this story. I’m going to blame the translation that I used for it being inaccessible but I just found this book to be very stiff. It’s a fantastic story and Camus is, obviously, a great writer. I just couldn’t get through it. Maybe it was bad timing? I don’t know. It’s not necessarily fair to include it considering how much I hated the previous two books but, again, I needed the numbers.¬†
  4. Chamber of Secrets¬†by JK Rowling : The other book that I failed to read this year? Yep, it was the second in the Harry Potter¬†series. When it comes to this series I’ve always said that Prisoner of Azkaban is my number one book and film. I love it so much and think the series really took off from the third instalment. As I’ve grown older I’ve come to really struggle with the first 2 books. They are both so childish and badly written that I have never been able to fully reread them. I managed to push on through with The Philosopher’s Stone¬†this year but genuinely couldn’t get through its successor. Chamber of Secrets¬†is, by far, my least favourite book in the whole series. So little happens in it and there is so much preamble before we get back to Hogwarts. It is so slow and, again, it was during JK’s first experiences of writing. It’s so immature and simplistic. There was nothing pushing me on to finish because I kept remembering what I had to get through before anything interesting happens. I think, if I ever try to reread the entire series, I could happily skip past this one completely and not feel I was missing out.
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America, bullshit, Christmas, films, fucking awful, fucking weird, meh, TBT

TBT – A Christmas Story (1983)

Everyone has their own favourite Christmas film. It’s a deeply personal and, often, confusing thing. I, personally, don’t understand why anyone would say anything other than The Muppets’ Christmas Carol¬†but there are some weirdos out there. Love Actually¬†is one of the those films that genuinely baffles me. There is so much love for that film but, when you really look at it, it’s just awful. I know people who willingly watch it repeatedly throughout December. Who would do that to themselves? Netflix should stop trying to shame fans of A Christmas Prince¬†and starting calling out the people who are watching Love Actually again and again. They’re the real worries. Alongside the more contemporary Christmas viewing there are the real classic Christmas films that people just adore. Although, not all of them seem to be as popular over here as they are in America.¬†I don’t know why but it feels like A Christmas Story¬†hasn’t really translated to the UK market in the same way that most other Christmas films have. Every year I see and hear loads about it but, up until recently, I’d never seen the film myself. I knew quotes from it but had no context for them. After a recent prompt for an Instagram challenge I’m doing this month referenced the film, I decided it was finally time to watch it. After all, people seem to bloody love this film. Why else would it be played over and over for 24 straight hours? Oh god, imagine a world where somebody starts doing that for Love Actually? I couldn’t cope.

Now that I have seen A Christmas Story¬†I have to say, I don’t get it. I was so ready for it to be the greatest thing I’d ever seen but I just don’t get it. I mean, it’s a fine collection of stories and all but it’s nowhere near as funny or endearing as I’d been lead to believe. The film is narrated by adult Ralphie Parker as he reminisces about the Christmas he had when he was 9 years old. Specifically about how desperate he was to get his dream present:¬†a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Unfortunately, as he’s only a fucking kid, most sensible adults see this as a bad idea. Ralphie isn’t one to be stopped so tries every trick he can think of to convince his parents that it’s a good idea. Along the way, there are several smaller plots going on including Ralphie’s father winning a ridiculous prize in a competition, an ongoing joke concerning his dad and the neighbours’ dogs, Ralphie’s encounters with the school bully, and a brief encounter with some ill-advised swearing.

A Christmas Story is a very odd film that attempts to win favour with its nostalgic setting and fairly twee sensibility. The story is set around the 1940s so there is a slightly magical feel to everything. It’s a little historic whilst being incredibly familiar. Hearkening back to a time when Christmas was much less commercial and families thought about the more important things. Although, there is something quite off-putting about the setting. It feels too forced. I just couldn’t get on board with it. I like nostalgic TV but it has too feel natural. Take something like Mad Men, which makes the historical references work within the context of the story. A Christmas Story¬†just seems to be using the past as a way to create a feeling that it is unable to generate naturally. Using nostalgia to create a festive ambience.

It’s not as if there aren’t good moments in this film but they are somewhat outweighed by the bad. For all the jokes that land fairly well, there are far more that just feel forced or cringey. There are parts of this film that make me feel so uncomfortable because they’re so bad. Like the moment Ralphie’s father is opening a crate and misreads the word “fragile” for no reason whatsoever. It’s not funny or silly. It doesn’t make any sense. Just like the whole film. I get that it is supposed to have the feel of several small vignettes coming together to create a festive treat but it just feels too disparate. There is nothing, other than Ralphie, that really ties these stories together. It just feels badly edited and unconnected. And super long. It’s not actually that long a film but watching it felt like a fucking marathon. I can’t imagine how long a 24 hour repeated watch would feel.

I guess it’s entirely possible that I’m missing something that I’d get if I was in America. Maybe that’s why the film hasn’t really made it over here. Something fundamental has been lost in translation. All I do know is, this film certainly won’t make it into my yearly festive rotation of films. It’s not the worst Christmas film I’ve ever seen but it’s certainly not an experience I’m keen to repeat.

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boring, bullshit, Christmas, films, fucking awful, Netflix, review, rom-com, romance, terrible, uninspired

Tuesday’s Reviews – Christmas Inheritance (2017)

There’s a thing with Christmas movies that mean the expectations regarding quality shift. I mean there’s got to be a reason so many people love the film Love Actually¬†when it is, clearly, the worst thing ever made. I mean it’s a horrible mix of plots that are offensive and irritating and really not very romantic. I have a complicated enough relationship with Richard Curtis without this affront being played a million times every December. But there is a genre of Christmas films that really scrape the bottom of the barrel. The kind of unoriginal TV movies that are churned out in amazing quantities by the likes of Hallmark. And, apparently, Netflix have been trying to get in on the act. Last week I reviewed the film that the Christmas film of 2017: Netflix’s original A Christmas Prince. I watched it and, to my surprise, didn’t totally hate it. I mean I mostly did but I still found some festive pleasure watching it. Still, I was happily done with the “genre” until I was shown the trailer for Netflix’s second big holiday production: Christmas Inheritance. I’m starting to worry about the inevitable increase in the number of recommendations I’ll get from the age 12-14 film category because of these films. Ah, what the heck, my recommendations are already pretty fucked up thanks to all of the 90s gross-out comedies that I’ve watched.
Whilst it might seem that A Christmas Prince¬†and Christmas Inheritance¬†have a lot in common that simply isn’t true. Both feature a female as their protagonist but these protagonists are very different. One is a terrible journalist whilst the other is a terrible CEO. Oh my god, so different! In the latest film, Ellie (Eliza Taylor) is the daughter to the CEO of a fairly twee and family orientated gift company. She expects to take over from her father, Jim, some day but she is more preoccupied with partying to care about the traditions that her father and his business partner started so many years ago. In order to push Ellie into learning more about the company’s values, Jim sends her to the small town where everything all started. She has to go undercover and with only $100 to her name. Yeah, it doesn’t really make sense but it is the only thing that drives this film forward so I’ll go with it. Unluckily for Ellie, Snow Falls is in the middle of nowhere with no amenities and very few ways to contact the outside world. Can she get over her New York ways and prove she deserves to run the company?

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Christmas film without the added touch of romance. Whilst Ellie is engaged to an obvious wrong-un from New York, she finds herself drawn to literally the first (and seemingly only) young man she meets in town. He runs the inn owned by her father business partner and has no time for her big city bullshit. Until he finally starts to see the kind heart that she hides underneath, of course. This is standard rom-com fair: high maintenance girl sent out to hicksville and getting her hands dirty before falling in love with the local dishy Samaritan. But this is different because… it’s Christmas? Obviously, he eventually finds out she’s been lying about who she is and, suffering from his own inner demons, our flannel wearing hero turns his back on the rich young thing.

I’ll be honest with you, I thought after my reaction to A Christmas Prince¬†that I would react more favourably to this film. I didn’t. Just like their previous offering, Netflix’s new film is a mash-up of so many romantic-comedies that have come before it. This time it manages to be as unfunny, inexplicable and unoriginal as A Christmas Prince whilst also giving us a heavy dose of its patronising attitude towards simple rural folk. There is always going to be problem with the conceit of a young rich girl going back to her roots: it always has to imply that there is something so twee and magical about small town living. It forces us to believe that these folks are so backwards that their good nature and kind hearts are an unusual thing. It’s fucking annoying. Snow Falls is the manic pixie dream girl of small towns. An unrealistic place that manages to show the main character who she is and who she needs to be thanks to its endless parade of outdated stereotype characters.

I also found Christmas Inheritance’s¬†inevitability much more annoying. I kind of accepted that A Christmas Prince¬†was going to be exactly the kind of film I thought it was going to be and found it funny to second-guess the plot. Here it seems much less acceptable. Maybe it’s because this film tries to ground itself closer to reality or because it takes itself more seriously? I don’t know. What I do know is that I was much angrier when I was shouting the future plot strands at the screen this time around. In reality, Christmas Inheritance¬†is no worse a film than A Christmas Prince¬†but, if you were to really push me, I’d definitely pick the latter to watch. But it’s entirely possible I never got over my childhood dream to become a princess one day and it’s affecting my life’s choices.

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TBT – Angel of Christmas (2015)

After I watched A Christmas Prince¬†the other day I went on a bit of a Christmassy binge and watched a few films. Not all of them good. As anyone who has read my lists of the best and the worst Christmas films ever made will know, there is a huge variety when it comes to the quality of Christmas films. Now, I’ve watched a lot of shit ones in my time but usually only indulge in my favourites. It never really feels like Christmas until I’ve seen A Muppet Christmas Carol¬†and, obviously, I really fucking love Die Hard. I tend to stick to a select group of tried and tested classics throughout December so newer Christmas films aren’t really on my radar. Still, the terrible A Christmas Prince hadn’t made me want to vomit quite as much as I thought so I went back to Netflix for today’s TBT post. I picked the first film that sounded remotely similar but, let’s face it, all of these TV Christmas movies are basically the same premise. Young girl, media job, carefree young man, festive magic, romance, the end. How bad could this really be? Spoiler alert: really fucking bad!

This is one of those stupid TV Christmas movies that isn’t meant to do anything but offer a bland viewing option for people in the festive season. It isn’t challenging and follows such an obvious narrative structure so its audience literally don’t have to do anything other than passively watch it. It doesn’t need to be original, well written, well acted, or, really, any good at all. The rule is: the schmaltzier the better. Logic and reality don’t play a part because it’s Christmas. Why should anything make sense. Now I realise that I criticised A Christmas Prince¬†for being written using all the best Christmas teen movie staples but Angel of Christmas makes that film look like Citizen Kane¬†in comparison.

You know, I can just about see how a young, under-qualified wannabe writer might be sent to report on some European royalty story because, when you think about it, it won’t be such a huge story. I can believe that the aforementioned writer would be able to pass herself off as a tutor to a royal child without having to show anyone any identification. I can even bring myself to imagine that the journalist is the first person since the King’s death to go snooping around his desk in order to discover the secret adoption papers. I can do that. What I can’t do is believe any of the narrative of Angel of Christmas. Something even weirder when you consider how fucking similar the plots are.

Here we have a wannabe writer who gets given the chance to write a huge Christmas story for her publication (sounds familiar). She, however, is given the super generic task of writing about Christmas. I mean what kind of assignment is that? Her choice? Writing about the story of her great grandfather’s doomed love for a random actress. I know, weird. But it’s fine because it’s actually really fucking magical. You see, the great grandfather in question carved a wooden angel for the woman he originally wanted to marry but, after she rejected him for her craft, the angel went on to introduce him to his true love. This angel was passed down to his children who found their true loves. It’s a magical, matchmaking Christmas ornament, y’all.

I don’t even really want to write about this film because of how much it offends me. The final, supposedly magical, reveal is so fucking obvious from the start that it’s just annoying. The plot is dragged out way longer than it needs to be and there are far too many twee Christmas montages and establishing shots of snowy vistas. There’s even the world’s least believable love triangle because, well, how do you know the couple are really meant to be together if he’s her only choice, right? This film offers no warm and fuzzy Christmas feelings. It’s presented as some magical and heart-warming tale but it’s just dull and predictable. There are plenty of bad Christmas movies out there but they at least offer some kind of festive cheer to distract you. A Christmas Angel¬†is one of the total disasters that leaves you feeling less Christmassy despite the fact it says the world Christmas about a million times.

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Christmas, films, fucking awful, fucking twee, fucking weird, Netflix, rom-com, romance, so bad it's good, teen movie

Tuesday’s Reviews – A Christmas Prince (2017)

You gotta love Netflix. I mean the platform has revolutionised how we all consume television and film. It’s made our lives all so much easier for such a small price. I’m waiting for the day they get their own version of the cinema where you can pay to watch current film releases from the comfort of you own home for a small fee. But until that day Netflix is on hand to provide its own original programming. Let’s be honest, what with Stranger Things¬†and everything Marvel related, the site is nailing the television element.¬†Although, they haven’t exactly found their niche when it comes to films. They’ve done some great things and some truly horrendous things. Something that it is more than willing to admit. Yesterday, 11th December, the twitter account tweeted the following:

To the 53 people who’ve watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?

You gotta admit that that’s a bold move on behalf of their social media person. Not only are they openly calling their newest Christmas release shit but they’re making it seem as though they use their stats to mock their members. I know that, supposedly, there’s no such thing as bad publicity but this might be one of the exceptions. This tweet didn’t really get me thinking about Netflix and their use of my viewing data. I assumed they’d be doing all sorts of shit with that anyway. No, it got me thinking, just how bad is A Christmas Prince?

If, like me, you’re more obsessed with Buzzfeed than you should be, then you’ll have been seeing stuff about A Christmas Prince¬†for ages now. It’s one of those films that¬†appeared on my Netflix home page and I just ignored it. I mean I bloody love Christmas films but it wasn’t going to be top of my viewing list any time soon. Maybe if you’d taken it back¬†to the 90s/early 2000s and cast Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray in the main roles I’d be all over that shit. Now? With that cast? I wasn’t in any rush to see it. But, if I’m being very honest, I did assume I’d watch it. Most probably on Christmas Eve after an awful day at work when I couldn’t focus on anything else.

Anyway, considering the massive hype I’d seen surrounding the film and needing to write something for this blog, I decided it was finally time to sit down and watch it. I mean it’s only about 90 minutes long and it was hardly going to be too taxing for me. It’s classic teen girl romantic comedy. You could take out a checklist and tick everything of because¬†it’s all there: girl struggling to make as a writer; handsome Prince; sick younger sibling; strict mother; bitchy romantic competition; and an evil cousin. It’s also got a Christmas tree in basically every scene just because you can’t ever forget that he’s not just a Prince: he’s a Christmas Prince.

This film is a mash-up of so many shitty romantic comedies. A young wannabe writer gets the chance of a lifetime¬†to write a story on the complicated situation with the royal family of Aldovia (a generic European country where everyone speaks with a British accent and everything is twee and old-fashioned). The King is dead but his heir, Prince Richard, wants to relinquish his hold on the throne. Rumour has it the young prince is too much of a playboy to bother with ruling over his people so our heroine, Amber, must find out what’s going on. Unfortunately, she is mistaken for the tutor brought in to teach Richard’s young sister, Emily, who suffers for¬†spina bifida. Amber decides¬†to keep up with the charade in order to find her story.

I don’t really need to spell out what¬†happens next do I? It’s all so basic and unoriginal that it’s as if Netflix wrote this using a teen romance algorithm. You know that episode of South Park¬†where the kids discover that family guy is written by manatees choosing balls at random? I imagine a similar situation except with Christmas Elves opening crackers or some other festive shit. There’s no real attempt to make this film funny, good, or original. So much of this is frustratingly bad and doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand the motivations of anyone. The mood and character of everyone changes in the blink of an eye to help move the plot along. The main character is an awful manic pixie dream girl type who definitely wouldn’t be trusted to write this kind of story. And, finally, at the end of the film she starts a new blog, writes one post and gets 20,000 views in 3 days. I mean that’s fucking nonsense.¬†

Except, despite hating so much about this film I didn’t exactly hate it. There’s something addictive about such terrible stuff. I hate everything about the film Mama Mia¬†but have the urge to watch it occasionally. For the past two days, a friend at work and I have been constantly quoting Tommy Wisseau from The Room¬†because it’s so fucking funny. Most bad films¬†(like Geostorm) are so bad that they’re just bad. Occasionally. though, bad film will come along that makes your heart soar because of how bad it is. You almost become proud that it was even made.¬†It’s like rooting for the underdog. This is the film¬†equivalent¬†of Eddie the Eagle or something. You know it’s got no substance but you can’t stop yourself cheering for it… and isn’t that what Christmas is really about? It’s not but who cares?

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TBT – Left Behind (2014)


I promise you that I definitely meant to write a bookish post yesterday but I’ve recently contracted the plague. My head feels like it’s full of sea water, aquatic life included, and I swear there is someone trying to jam a screwdriver through my right eye. There are various liquids slowly seeping from every available space on my face and my nose would come in handy on a foggy Christmas Eve night. Yesterday, during the worst day of my cold so far, I genuinely believe there were tiny pixies stabbing me in the head with tiny swords. So as you can see, I really wasn’t in any state to try and come up with a post for you. I am hoping to have recovered enough by tomorrow to manage something but we’ll see if I survive the night. In relation to today’s TBT post, I have to admit that I’m kind of ashamed that I watched this film but, again, in my sensitive state, I really wasn’t able to focus on anything too taxing. So I took to Netflix and searched for Nicolas Cage. Boy was I left with a myriad of shit. My friend and I always disagree about Nicolas Cage. She’s convinced that he has more good films than he does. I admit that there are a few decent ones out there but, let’s be honest, the ration is more in favour of the bad than the good. Still, I will say that his films are probably worth a watch just for how bad they are. I mean, I’m in no rush to see Drive Angry again but I’ll never fucking forget it.

I tried to describe Left Behind¬†to someone I work with today and it just made me sound fucking mental. Starting with the words “it’s a film about the rapture” is bad enough but then you have everything else. It’s a film about the rapture starring both Nicolas Cage and Chad Michael Murray: two of my favourite guilty pleasure actors. It’s a film about the rapture that is actually based around trying to stop a plane crash. It’s a film about the rapture that sees the people that have been “left behind” immediately start looting, attacking each other, and just being general dicks. It’s a film about the rapture that neither promotes Christianity nor really criticises non-believers. It’s a film about the rapture that is so bad it’s not even funny. It’s fucking mental.

Left Behind¬†is the big (ish) budget reboot of a previous film series from the early 2000s. This time starring Nicolas Cage doing, perhaps, the least acting he’s ever done in any film. He plays pilot Ray Steele who is flying from New York to London on his birthday. Why is he doing this? To get away from his overly relgious wife (Lea Thompson) and spend a dirty weekend in England with a sexy, young air hostess (Nicky Whelan). One of their passengers is investigative journalist Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray) who, by happy circumstance, has just spent the last few minutes flirting with Ray’s daughter Chloe (Cassi Thomson) in the airport. Suddenly, a load of people, including several passengers on the plane, disappear leaving their clothes and belongings behind. Chloe loses her younger brother at the mall and is caught up in the chaos that ensues. She must find her way home safely and see if she can find her mother. When his co-pilot disappears, Ray must find a way to land his plane and save the remaining passengers.

Left Behind¬†sounds like an incredibly parody that you’d see on some sort of sketch show. It’s that fucking ridiculous. But it’s based on a popular Christian novel about the end of days. It’s source material was produced to warn people about the dangers of ignoring religious teachings and not taking God into your life. This film? Well, I’m just not sure what it’s trying to say. All of the Christians depicted in the film are fucking mental so it’s not as if they’re even casting themselves in a positive light. Then, the a lot of the non-believers all seem like really nice people who don’t deserve to be left no Earth to face whatever punishment awaits them. If anything this film just seems to push the idea that God, as the Bible writes him, is a cruel and unfair master. I mean there’s a woman suffering from dementia who is left behind after her loving husband is saved. What kind of God would leave a confused, old lady alone on a plane that’s about to crash?

It’s also just a really bad film. Even when you ignore the preposterous idea at it’s very core this film is just plain bad. It’s badly written, poorly acted and the CGI is just incredibly shit. I mean even Geostorm¬†looks like a technological success next to this film. The worst thing about Left Behind¬†is that it’s not even so bad it’s funny. It sounds like the kind of camp nonsense that could have been played for laughs but everything is handled with such seriousness. There isn’t an ounce of self-awareness within it’s relatively short running time. I mean at least Geostorm has me laughing at it occasionally. I couldn’t do that here. It’d be like laughing at someone with a disability: unnecessary, cruel and immoral. Although, like every other Nicolas Cage film I’ve seen recently, it’s an experience that I won’t forget in a hurry.

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Tuesday’s Reviews – Geostorm (2017)

There was a time, back in about 2012, when I genuinely believed that Gerard Butler was going to be a great actor. I admit, this was mostly to do with the film Coriolanus¬†where he blew everyone’s minds by being fucking awesome in Shakespeare. Since then, Hollywood has continued to cast him in underwhelming action movies or shitty romantic-comedies. How many of you out there can name a Gerard Butler movie that they enjoyed? Okay, I’m sure a few of you will have said 300¬†but then we have to get into the whole Zack Snyder debate. I mean the guy fucking sucks! Look at what he’s doing to DC. I mean I’ll give him Watchmen because I was one of the few people who liked it. Anyway, I can’t get into this again. So, ignoring 300¬†(because we’ll never agree) name a Gerard Butler film that you actually like? It fucking tricky, right? Can you even name 5 Gerard Butler movies? They all pretty much meld into one so it’s really difficult to tell them apart. Kind of like Vin Diesel, if you’ve seen one Gerard Butler film then you’ve seen them all. Or at least that’s what I thought before Geostorm¬†came out. I genuinely believe that this film marks the very moment that Gerard Butler became the new Nicolas Cage. It was a film that looked so preposterous that I never planned on seeing it. The kind of film based around such dodgy scientific fact that you walk out of it feeling like fucking Stephen Hawking compared to the writers. Still, I wasn’t counting on being full of cold this week. I wanted to watch and review the new Netflix film Mudbound¬†because it looks bloody amazing. My brain wasn’t quite prepared for that though.¬†So yesterday, overcome by the various fluids that are slowly filling the hole where my face normally resides, I decided it was a good idea to actually watch the film that made Gerard Butler one of the most unconvincing American scientists ever seen on-screen. I mean, it is only about 109 minutes long. Even in as close to a snotty death as I was, that was a length I could manage.

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