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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rexorcist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2024 at 1:49pm
I ended up going to the theaters yesterday because my ride told me he'd be quite late picking me up.  We both agreed it would be more convenient for the both of us if I went and saw a movie, so I ended up seeing The Beekeeper.  It's a John Wick knockoff, but it's a fun John Wick knockoff at the very least.  It just didn't live up to its fullest potential.

And two of my regular customers ended up going there ten minutes after I got there, and neither of us knew we were gonna see it.  They even picked the seats next to me at random!  Free-kee.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2024 at 11:51pm

The Equalizer 3 (2023)

The Law of Diminishing Returns (but maybe not at the box office?)


Easily the weakest of what is yet but a trilogy although there are murmurs of a planned prequel which explores Robert McCall's past in the US Marines and DIA. That might be interesting but I fear they'll soon need a stunt double for the action scenes as even uber cool Denzel Washington cannot be entirely immune to the ravages of time. Scriptwriter Richard Wenk appears to have abandoned the episodic structure of the 1st two incarnations and instead gone for one long arcing narrative throughout. This may have been designed to allow more nuance and depth to the characters but to be honest, there is very little here apart from Antoine Fuqua's by now very finely homed craft of visceral pay back for bad people to be enjoyed by we ferociously good people. The setting in Italy is quaintly idyllic but the locals are strictly demarcated into those who would tend your garden while you are on vacation and those who would bury you in those same gardens if you don't pay your protection money to the local Camorra mobsters. You can probably guess where this is going. Yes, it's still good fun and certainly entertaining but you feel there's an attempt to draw a line under any anticipated sequel by implying RM just might hang up his gun, knuckleduster and icy stare to retire in this secluded little village on the Amalfi Coast.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2024 at 11:54pm


When Nietzsche Wept (2007)

Fritz forgets his whip

Occasionally ridiculous in the dream/hypnotherapy sequences and borderline slapstick bio-pic in others, 'When Nietzsche Wept' somehow remained compelling enough to have me sit right through to the end despite an unconvincing father of psychoanalysis (Jamie Elman as Freud) still having to show ID for the age of consent  and Katheryn Winnick as cigar chomping proto ladette femme fatale Lou Salome.

There is very little exploration of Nietzsche's philosophical ideas here but instead his incredibly prescient innovation in the realm of psychology as seen through the prism of the incipient discipline of psychoanalysis in Vienna circa 1882. Ben Cross is brilliant as the likeable albeit conveniently repressed and commensurately flawed Dr Breuer, adrift in a loveless marriage, a materially successful career but bereft of passion, danger or excitement in his unfailingly dutiful life. Things start to resemble the relationship between poets Verlaine and Rimbaud at this point (see Agnieszka Holland's 'Total Eclipse' from 1995) with Nietzsche advising Breuer to throw off the shackles of his unthinking conformity and embrace his freedom. Nietzsche certainly never did this, having died a virgin (despite being portrayed in a whorehouse) and was an invalid for most of his adult life on a pension paid for by academia. Whether Breuer actually makes this existential plunge is open to debate as the Director would have us believe this whole extended sequence was under Freudian hypnosis. Armand Assante was assigned one of the most thankless casting gigs of all time by being asked to portray the most innovative and radical thinker humankind has produced in over a thousand years. My gut feeling, on a personal level is that when Friedrich Nietzsche entered a room, that room got larger i.e. Assante exudes a cynical but palpable personality consistent with what he sees as his remit but I suspect Nietzsche was silent, inscrutable and withdrawn which is clearly anathema to cinematic portrayals. The movie is based on Irvin D. Yalom's 1992 novel which I haven't read but is purportedly concerned with the idea of limerence which as an idea is about as robust as 'gender' in 2023.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jan 2024 at 11:57pm

Going Off Big Time (2000)

Liver Spots

Many 'British' gangster movies come across as cripplingly self conscious and 'GOBT' is no exception. Why this perceived inadequacy should be the case is unclear, given a likeable cast, strong story line, convincing but never gratuitous violence and a decent script. I didn't think Neil Fitzmaurice would provide sufficient gravitas to his role as 'Mark' but he is convincing throughout as a man who becomes a gangster by accident rather than the rest of his dim-witted crew who epitomize opportunistic wannabes. That said, the message that ex cons cannot get jobs when released so are forced to revert back to crime is facile and just seems another lazy shuffle of the victim's own marked card. There are some very adept twists which keep the action moving forward but given the Scouse talent for coruscating sarcasm and that Fitzmaurice is a distinguished comic writer, some of the humour is rather lame and a big disappointment. Bernard Hill is excellent as wily jailbird Murray but Dominic Carter less so as the cretinous Ozzie, a Looney Tunes version of practically anyone below 'Thug #4 in bar', from 'Rise of the Footsoldier' or 'Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels'. His burgeoning death-wish as evidenced by his mob slaying towards the end just doesn't convince on any appreciable level whatsoever. Bonus points for the film are earned by somehow casting Peter Kay as the Flipper character and you don't want to punch him into paralysis during his few seconds on screen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jan 2024 at 12:01am

Glass Onion (2022)

Inspector Leghorn and the Case of the Missing Laughs


It starts rather unpromisingly as if we are heading into a US Cluedo franchise somehow deserving of a voice-over by Foghorn Leghorn and starring the cast of Friends to make things more palatable for Hollywood audiences. Daniel Craig is likable enough as southern fried Inspector Benoit Blanc but why not dispense with his Norleans affectations and just be Detective Ben White? I mean, lordy lordy, comedy just may not be his thang' y'all? The talents of Kate Hudson and Kathryn Hahn are completely wasted on merely repeating 'Oh My God' over and over again throughout as if this might at some point provide a comedic denouement. Yep, the laughs are very few and far between hereabouts with Edward Norton (Fight Club) about as convincing as a scamming idiot savant billionaire as Ted Bundy was a feminist. That said, Director and writer Rian Johnson reverses out of this casting cul de sac with a very ingenious and entertaining sequence of flashbacks and POV shift revelations that add depth and nuance to what is, at heart, an Agatha Christie whodunnit? With contemporary influencers and technology gurus as the butt end of many of the gags. I haven't seen the earlier film from 2019 so can't say if this might be the law of diminishing returns setting in or not. The palpable chemistry between Craig and Janelle Monae is judiciously exploited to mask many of the film's worst faults of which the music is exempt (if you like the Beatles) Serena Williams has one of the funniest scenes playing herself from a fitness video. That's correct I am starting to run out of positives...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 2024 at 8:54pm

Lady Ballers (2023)

Some Movies are disaster movies, some are just disasters...

I was initially loathe to go in too hard on a movie that has so many cameos from unwitting conservatives I encounter on a daily basis but Michael J Knowles, Candace Owens, Ted Cruz, and Ben Shapiro just don't deserve to be associated with this catastrophic drivel. The creators must have wished in retrospect they had adopted the documentary style that succeeded so brilliantly for 'What is a Woman?' from 2022 for this Daily Wire project. Casting the glacially mordant Matt Walsh as a new age hippie guru is about as wise as having your CEO and founder Jeremy Boreing, write, star and Direct the whole fiasco as a hapless cuckold behind on his mortgage repayments. The basic premise for a comedy is ripe i.e. Should transgender women (read: biological men) be allowed to compete against biological women at sports? Unfortunately this never delivers on it's promise and the reasons are not hard to deduce. To satirise or lampoon a subject effectively, considerable comedic exaggeration is normally required to make the target look suitably ridiculous. In this instance however, very little suspension of belief is required from a transgender lobby that is invariably humorless, intolerant and resistant to any form of reciprocal dialogue with its opponents. To be fair, the Daily WIre's Matt Walsh has acknowledged this in a recent interview. Let's cut to the chase: Apart from Coach Gibson's daughter Winnie regurgitating (for the benefit of the bogus 'female' basketball team) the gender ideology she is assailed with by her school teachers there is not a single funny joke in the way too overlong 1 hour and 52 stamina sapping minutes. Avoid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EntertheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2024 at 3:10pm

The Gentlemen (2019)

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels III

Despite featuring three actors I hitherto believed as being amongst the most talentless in the anglosphere (Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant and Colin Farrell) 'the Gentlemen' somehow still delivers an entertaining and at times, visceral and refreshingly unwoke British crime comedy/drama. This is probably due, in no small measure, to the brilliantly nuanced and understated performances of Charlie Hunnam, Jeremy Strong and Eddie Marsan. The dialogue is sharp, often barbed but always discordantly faithful to the speaker's social class as if it had been transcribed by Martin Amis at his 'London Fields' peak. Unlike the late Mr Amis however, neither the film nor its director clearly take themselves too seriously. Redolent of Woody Allen's 'Broadway Danny Rose' in as much as the plot is revealed in retrospect by the whisky fueled anecdotes of an unreliable witness (Hugh Grant) the pace is unrelenting but never brusque. Now for the negatives. This is the 3rd time Ritchie has made the same movie so its frankly miraculous that the law of diminishing returns hasn't set in sooner. There's always room for a completely unconvincing 'Oirish' accent in a Guy Ritchie film and Colin Farrell doesn't disappoint here. Imagine Hurricane Higgins impersonating Brad Pitt from 'Snatch' impersonating Graham Norton and you're in the ballpark. For those Guardian reading African Trans poetry enthusiasts out there who think this movie 'racist' here's a spoiler alert: some of the characters in 'the Gentlemen' say horrid things to each other just like real people do in real life using language you will not approve of so go and lobby your MP to outlaw free speech.
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