One of my favourite moments in The Gentlemen was during the scene in which Hugh Grant’s scummy PI tries to sell his film script. He attends a meeting at Miramax and a huge poster for The Man from U.N.C.L.E can be seen in the background. It just went to show that this may be Guy Ritchie’s attempt to show that he’s still the East-End gangster director but he doesn’t want you to forget that he’s a Hollywood name now too. Although, really what have his blockbuster franchises ever gotten him? Sherlock Holmes has, at least seen a couple of sequels. 2019’s Aladdin remake wasn’t exactly a critical success and the less said about King Arthur: Legend of the Sword the better. I’m not trying to criticise Ritchie for his varied career but it was a really odd flex. The Man from U.N.C.L.E didn’t do that badly but it’s hardly fondly remembered all these years later.
Nobody really expected Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle to be any good. At least, nobody who remembered the original 1995 film fondly. Of course, it turned out to be a pretty enjoyable experience. Certainly more enjoyable than the first pictures suggested. Thanks to Karen Gillan’s unnecessarily revealing costume, it seemed as though it was suffering from the same sexist approach as other Hollywood films. It turned out there wasn’t quite so much to worry about and the film made just under $1 billion worldwide. With figures like that, it was inevitable that a sequel would be on its way and, two years later, Jumanji: The Next Level was released. I had mixed feelings about the film. Part of me was really excited to see if they could match or, perhaps, better the 2017 film. The other part was worried that it would go the way of most Hollywood sequels. Wanting something fun and carefree to watch on my holiday, I decided it was finally time to find out.
When we were children, our local newsagent used to rent films on VHS. On one of the occasions that my sister and I got to pick, we chose Addams Family Values and I loved it. I don’t know how many times we rented it but there were definitely multiple viewings. At the time, I didn’t really consider how super dark that film was. Obviously, I didn’t. I was a child. But going back to it as an adult is weird. It’s still a great film but there’s a lot of darkness. I mean Joan Cusack gets electrocuted by a baby. It’s all a lot of fun but it’s quite a lot for a children’s film, right? And who doesn’t immediately think of Anjelica Huston’s portrayal of Morticia? Surely it’s not right for someone to be quite so sexy in a family film? So, the announcement that there was going to be a new film was one of interest but fear. We know from Addams Family Reunion that bringing this family back is not always a sure thing.
I didn’t get much sleep last night. I don’t know what went wrong but I woke up at 2am, went back to sleep for a couple of hours and then tossed an turned until it was time to get up. So, I was planning on getting this sorted out as quickly as possible and getting an early night. Then I started watching Murder Mystery on Netflix. I had to do it. You know I love a shitty Netflix film and this seemed pretty bad. But Netflix gave me a 98% match with it. All of those shitty Christmas films have really fucked up my algorithm now. God knows what my viewing choices say about me. Anyway, long story short, I got a bit involved in watching it and have only just started writing. But I’ll get there. I’m determined. I can’t have another terrible night.
Is there something of an Arthurian revival going on at the moment. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve watched two films that involve the legend of King Arthur. Last week I finally managed to see The Boy Who Would Be King and now we have Hellboy fighting a foe who was almost vanquished by the legendary King. Am I missing something? Not that I’m complaining. It’s a great story. You know I love swordy stories about Knights and Wizards. It just seemed like my life was being dominated by it. Anyway, I should really be reviewing the Joe Cornish film this week as it was the one I watched first but I came back from Hellboy on Saturday night needing to get this out. I have a lot of thoughts. So many thoughts that I don’t think I really talk about the plot much in this review. Basically, the set-up is much the same as 2004 film but this time we’re fighting an evil old witch who wants to release Hell on Earth. She was stopped by Arthur and Merlin years ago but is back. So Hellboy and some new friends, have to stop her. Standard comic book stuff really. But could it possible live up to its predecessor?
Steven Soderbergh’s remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film was a great film. Featuring a cast of big names and possessing an even bigger sense of fun, it was something I enjoyed watching again and again. Then the series went downhill thanks to the release of Ocean’s 12 and had a slight improvement with the final installment Ocean’s 13. Soderbergh was adamant that neither he or George Clooney wanted to carry on with the films but that didn’t stop the rumours of a gender-swap reboot. Now, I’m all for female centric films but was there really anything to add to this series? Soderbergh’s trilogy proved that it was an area that you couldn’t really get very innovative with so would we literally just see the same film but with females in the male roles? The cast list was sensational and exciting. Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter. Love them all. Anne Hathaway? She’s had her moments alongside her undeserving Oscar wins. Rihanna? I guess. So I was there. Really, I was just secretly glad that Leslie Jones wasn’t here in the Bernie Mack role. We’ve seen where that gets us in Ghostbusters.