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Archive for the ‘Film Reviews’ Category

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After getting his stash of pot stolen, small time dealer Dave (Jason Sudekis) is ordered by his boss to go to Mexico and smuggle pot back into the United States. Deciding that the best way to make himself look innocent while crossing the border is to take a fake family, he enlists the help of stripper Rose (Jennifer Aniston) to play his wife, geeky virgin Kenny  (Will Poulter) to play his son, and streetwise Casey (Emma Roberts) to play his daughter. However, things inevitably go awry and they find themselves chased by a drug lord and his henchman, and trying to avoid getting arrested.

I really liked this film a lot. It’s true that it was never going to win any major awards, but if you want a barrel of laughs – some definitely on the adult side – then this does nicely. Naturally there is some good-heartedness as the rag-tag bunch go from animosity and antagonism to actually starting to care about each other. Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn also showed up as a couple of fellow travellers, who get enmeshed in ‘The Millers’ adventures, and both were excellent. I belly laughed several times.

Overall, if you are looking for a light hearted comedy, and don’t mind some adult humour, I would highly recommend this film.

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Year of release: 2013

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Writers: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Sean Anders, John Morris

Main cast: Jason Sudekis, Jennifer Aniston, Will Poulter, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Ed Helms, Molly Quinn, Matthew Willig, Tomer Sisley

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In this British comedy, Rufus Hound plays Raif Moyle, who is returning home to Cheshire to be the best man at his brother Tim’s (Robert Webb) wedding to Saskia (Lucy Punch). He decides to film the wedding preparations and the few weeks before the big day as his wedding present to the happy couple, but instead ends up capturing events as they spiral out of control. From Saskia’s society-obsessed mother (Harriet Walter) taking over the arrangements and ignoring her daughter’s wishes, and Saskia and Tim’s constant disagreements, it starts to look like the wedding might not even go ahead at all….

After watching this film I read some reviews, and was surprised that they were so scathing. In truth, had I read the reviews beforehand, I probably wouldn’t have even bothered watching, but as it is I’m glad I did watch it, because I really liked the whole thing. All three of the leads were great, especially Lucy Punch. Harriet Walter was unsurprisingly brilliant, and Miriam Margolyes had a small but excellent part as Saskia’s grandmother.

If you like British comedies, I would suggest ignoring the reviews and giving this one a go. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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Year of release: 2012

Director: Nigel Cole

Writer: Tim Firth

Main cast: Lucy Punch, Rufus Hound, Tim Webb, Harriet Walter

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The Campaign is a satirical (although satire is fast becoming reality with Trump as President) political comedy. Will Ferrell is Cam Brady, a Democratic Congressmen who is running unopposed for his fifth term. His campaign is damaged by a mistaken phone call, and the corrupt businessmen, the Kotch brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Ackroyd) seize the opportunity to persuade Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) – an honest but somewhat naive local tourism director – to run against Cam as a Republican candidate.

What follows is a campaign that gets progressively nastier and more violent as both men are determined to win. It’s very funny and not as ridiculous as it would have been ten years ago, given that we now have a man in the White House, who knows no limits whatsoever regarding what is acceptable and what isn’t.

Both leads are excellent even if Galifianakis reminded me of Nick Offerman throughout, and the supporting cast also do an excellent job. Highly recommended if you fancy a good belly laugh, or something to take your mind off how screwed up the American presidency is right at the moment. Great fun.

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A Civil Rights movie based on true events, 42 tells the story of Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player admitted into the Major leagues, and who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He wore player number 42, hence the film name.

Although some players and fans supported Robinson, he also became the target of racism and discrimination from those who believed that black players should stick to their own African American league.

Fantastic film and fantastic acting by all involved, especially Chadwick Boseman as Robinson. Harrison Ford played Branch Rickey, the sports executive who signed Robinson. It’s also always good to see Christopher Meloni in any role, and here he played Leo Durocher, coach of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Highly recommend this film – you certainly do not need to be a baseball fan (although that may well help). Definitely one of my favourites so far this year.

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Year of release: 2013

Director: Brian Helgeland

Writer: Brian Helgeland

Main cast: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, Alan Tudyk, Nicole Beharie, Andre Holland, John C McGinley

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Basically – Richard Gere plays Will Keane, a 48 year old successful restauranteur and well known playboy. Winona Ryder plays Charlotte Fielding, a 22 year hat designer, who has a terminal heart condition. And they fall in love. After navigating various minefields, such as the age difference, and his inability to keep it in his pants, things go well until tragedy ensues.

In all honesty I should have hated this film. I’m not even sure why I watched it – I wanted to watch something uncomplicated and romantic one afternoon and I picked this. I didn’t hate it, as it turns out, but there were things that would have narked me were I not in such a chilled out mood when I watched it. For one – there’s a lot of corny dialogue. Also – Will’s character is a bit of a heel, who at at least one point in the film, she should have kicked into touch. The ending was not only predictable, but actually inevitable, but it made me cry (I cry a LOT at films).

If corny films aren’t your thing, then I definitely do not recommend this. If you can get past that and do fancy something undemanding, then maybe….

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Year of release: 2000

Director: Joan Chen

Writer: Allison Burnett

Main cast: Richard Gere, Winona Ryder, Anthony LaPaglia, Elaine Stritch, Vera Farmiga

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replacements

Sports film (not often my genre) about American Football (a game I do not enjoy). Should’ve hated it, but really enjoyed it.

Due to a players strike, the Washington Sentinels American Football team need to put together a team from a ragtag bunch of has-beens and never-weres. (The film was actually inspired by the actual strike of 1987). Keanu Reeves leads the fray as Shane Falco, a washed up player. Other cast members include Gene Hackman as Coach Jimmy McGinty, and Jon Favreau, Orlando Jones, Rhys Ifans (yes really) and Michael Jace as other players, with Brooke Langton as the obligatory love interest.

The film is played for a lot of laughs, and perhaps for this reason, I really enjoyed it. (Also maybe because I watched it with my husband after in the pub. And because Keanu Reeves.)

Recommended to fans of sports films, underdog films, or Keanu Reeves!

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Year of release: 2000

Director: Howard Deutch

Writer: Vince McKewin

Main cast: Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves, Brooke Langton, Jon Favreau, Orlando Jones, Rhys Ifans

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Made for TV rom-com, which is entirely predictable yet thoroughly enjoyable. Autumn Reeser plays Jaclyn Palmer, who is getting married to Peter (Antonio Cupo), but it’s clear that she has doubts about it, and his overbearing mother certainly doesn’t help. A few days before the wedding she meets a handsome stranger who turns out to be none other than Peter’s brother Max (Shawn Roberts).

The wedding day dawns…and then dawns again…and again…and again…this is basically Jaclyn’s Groundhog Day as every time she wakes up it’s the morning of her wedding day again. As she tries to work out what is happening she learns a little more about herself every day, and figures out what she is actually looking for in life.

If you don’t like romantic comedies, or you DO like to be surprised by your films, then this is not the movie for you! But if you occasionally just want something light, fluffy and to make you smile, then give it a whirl, you might love it.

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Year of release: 2015

Director: Ron Oliver

Writer: Nancy Silvers

Main cast: Autumn Reeser, Antonio Cupo, Shawn Roberts, Ali Liebert

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