Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Sapphires

SF: I was a little resistant to seeing this film, the trailer made me think it was Glee meets Dream Girls with a bit of extra adversity. About ten minuets in I found I didn't need to worry at all. This was like a cup of tea after a long hard day; sweet, welcoming, never preaching or over staying its welcome and leaves you happier than you were before. The song choices are superb and delivered by very impressive singers. Yes there are a few predictable moments but by the time they come along you don't really care. The more serious elements are never overplayed. I think I might get the sound track 7.5/10

50 Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: Great, great songs. There is slightly more to the film than ["The Commitments in Australia"] the trailers (which have been running for months) implied. There are several parts of the film which will bring to mind some of the reduxy parts of Apocolypse Now. Any film which gets video of Bobby Kennedy announcing the death of Martin Luther King in Indianapolis deserves extra credit, even if they didn't play the part where he (mis)-quotes Aescylus. The film also gets a bit of MLK having a dream in too, and it earns the right to without being manipulative. 7.5/10

Overall: 7.5/10

Monday, November 26, 2012

Project Jen- The Good Girl

A red letter day in Project Jen; for the first time ever, two reviews in one day.

I felt so awful after seeing The Bounty Hunter I had to eat chicken soup and watch The Good Girl. I feel as your reviewer (I watch these so you don't have to), I deserve special credit because The Good Girl was only rescued from its country retreat (my parents' attic) yesterday and made the long journey from storage to DVD rack along with The Complete West Wing and The Complete Quantum Leap.

For those reader who do not know me already, I must point out I would have rather watched any episodes of either of those fine television shows than any Jennifer Aniston movie.

That being said, I did already own The Good Girl before Project Jen was even conceived.
This is definitely Jennifer Aniston's best performance, she is entirely believable.
While the film isn't laugh-out-loud-funny, it does have a dose of black humour to it. Zooey Deschanel's character who I didn't remember at all is also funny.

This is the first time I have been able to write this since I started Project Jen; if you haven't seen this I think you should see it, rent it.

Rating: 4 Green Dresses

Project Jen- The Bounty Hunter

We have another challenger for worst film starring Jennifer Aniston.

This 'Project' is developing into something of a race to the bottom. This film is the pits, it is just awful, it is worse than Marley and Me.

Ms Aniston is once again a journalist and she once again fails to impress.

I will spare you the plot summary and say that after 45 minutes, I paused watching to see the Formula One pre race show. This was because I wanted to know if it was raining in Sao Paulo, that is how boring it is. I did not laugh once. When I noticed that Jennifer was supposed to be a journalist in this film (like Marley and Me) and that Jason Sugeikis is in this film (as he is in Horrible Bosses) I spent quite a long time thinking about whether it would be possible to do a two degrees of separation diagram linking all Jennifer Aniston films together. I will keep you posted.

Soundtrack news: No Beach Boys songs, and one of those highly irritating "of the moment" pop soundtracks which dates the film almost immediately.

RATING: 1 Green Dress and I didn't think this film deserves photo but I've been overridden

Thursday, November 22, 2012


SF: With Alan Rickman and Colin Firth in one film, plus the Cohen brothers touching up the script - how could I not see this. Sadly the best thing I can say about this is that it's not bad. Then again it's not good either. I laughed a bit when I was supposed to, but the plot was horribly predictable. Yes I know its a remake but that alone does not mean it need be formulaic, also I haven't see the 1966 caper so I can't compare. All I can say is that the previous outing had to be at least good enough to get people to bother paying money to make what is a rather flat film. Nothing stands out in any way, even Cameron Diaz was okay but there was nothing for her to ruin. The audience we were watching this with clearly thought it was a lot funnier than I did. If you want a great art thief comedy caper stay home and watch How to Steal a Million 4/10

50Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: If you've seen the trailer you've seen the film, apart from the one funny scene with some quite creative innuendo fun with the hotel concierge staff. Incidentally what is it with films like this having the funniest scenes in them be with the guys behind the desk in a hotel: Pretty Woman, Notting Hill etc etc. Its great to see Alan Rickman getting a (semi) leading role. Its just not funny, or intriguing in any way really. The audience I was in laughed (I am not exaggerating, SF will back me up) at one of the Production studio cards before the film starts; they clearly had a low bar. It took until at least thirty minutes in for the corners of my mouth to even hint upwards. It really isn't funny. 3/10

Overall: 3.5/10

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Project Jen- Horrible Bosses

So here we are: Horrible Bosses (extended cut) is on the Blue Ray. Pervert followers of Project Jen are hoping this means we get to see more of Jennifer in her lingerie, you don't. Instead you get longer scenes of "witty banter", including bonus homophobia from one of the horrible bosses.

I've seen Horrible Bosses before, in the cinema, and the problem with the film is that it just isn't funny enough, the other problem is, nothing on earth about Jennifer's character in the film would make anyone in the audience even consider having sex with her. Jennifer Aniston cannot do predatory sexy; she is abominably miscast, the role is outside her range- Mila Kunis would have killed in this part.

Here's the thing: Jennifer Aniston is not sexy. Her entire career, her oevre if you will, is the ridiculously pretty (for real life) girl next door. That is her schtick. It's attractive, but the reason she is popular is because she seems nice.

The second viewing confirms all my memories, if anything it's even less funny than I remember. I can't really summon the energy to write very much about the film.

Jennifer gets a "with" credit for the film, she isn't in it very much and when she is its not funny or sexy. The joke is that she is very explicitly trying to seduce her assistant, who finds this uncomfortable because he is happily engaged. I think the funny thing is supposed to be that as men we are all supposed to think "oh I wish I was him, it's Jennifer Aniston, she's hot, I wish she was talking dirty to me and groping me.", but the guy in the film is thinking about having her assassinated because he is so uncomfortable. It doesn't work because she can't pull it off (so to speak).

It is still better than Marley and Me though.

Rating: 2 Green Dresses

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rust and Bone

SF: It has been two days and I still do not know what to make of this film. The acting can not be faulted in any way. However this wasn't enjoyable to watch and there was only one scene I liked (Top row, second box from the left). I believe the film makers were going for a raw and gritty feel, with an unstated approach to direction. This can work really well (watch Let the Right One In for the perfect example) but in this case they film was missing the emotions. Personally I didn't find this evoked anything from me and for a character based film it is a major flaw. The deus ex machina ending also ruined everything I think the film was setting out to achieve. 6/10

50 Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: It's an acting film; there are problems with the plotting I think but the central performances are powerful. Cotillard is brilliant: her character is at once vulnerable, powerful, sexy and utterly believable as a disabled woman. The downsides are the ending and the amount of acting with the back of the head- one assumes this is due to the difficulty of making a film about a woman without the lower part of her legs with an actor who has all of her legs. 7/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Monday, November 12, 2012

Project Jen- Just Go With It

So we reach film two in Love Film's randomly dispatched Jennifer Aniston films. I still haven't watched Leprechaun, but this film is on Blue Ray- everybody get exited.

First the bad news, I haven't started watching yet but the label indicates that this film contains Adam Sandler. I posit that this is a precaution movie studios have undertaken in light of the serious allergic reactions which are common in a large portion of the film watching public from exposure to even trace elements of Adam Sandler. To be clear he has made some films which are not just unobjectionable but actually very good; unfortunately Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer and the masterpiece which is Punch-Drunk Love are only three acting credits among 46 listed on Imdb. The balance of his output can cause nausea, deep depression and an almost insurmountable urge to knaw at your own fist so bad are the rest of his films and so irritating a screen presence he has become; Sandler's sub Jerry Lewis mugging is just intolerable.

Anyway it does not look promising but here I go......

I've watched the film and here's the facts:

It's no good. It has a Beach Boys song in it. We are asked to believe that Jennifer Aniston is ugly, she does this by wearing glasses, however she never needs these glasses again for the rest of the film.

[Aside: I'm watching Big Bang Theory while I write this review, Leonard when asked what he does for fun by a girl in a bar has just said "hiking, karaoke in Korea town.... any Jennifer Aniston movie", she laughed because she could tell he was being ironic.]

I laughed 0.5 times, and snickered twice. There are several spectacularly misjudged things about the film included some European accents.

As this is Project Jen I think I should reveiw Ms Aniston's role in this film- she is well in her comfort zone here: she is required to act badly, have her hair styled, dress in clothes and be the attractive one it takes the guy a while to notice.

It will come up again and again in these reviews so I will deal with it here, in this film we are told at one point that Jennifer Aniston has horrible hair- this is laughable; the Rachel haircut may not be to everyone's taste but for several years she was literally the poster girl for good hair. At the start of Marley and Me she undoubtedly has bad hair- but for anyone to suggest that her hair is beyond redemption as the stylist does in this film is ridiculous.

The characterisation is poor and inconsistent, the script weak, plot predicatble and incredible.

Rating: 1 Green Dress

 Please let it get better soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


SF: For these new Bond films I use Casino Royal as my benchmark (9/10) and sadly the last outing Quantum of Solace was horrific (2/10). So this didn't have to do much to redeem Bond for me. It starts with all the action you'd expect, ticking boxes all round. A few nods to previous films, Bond sleeps with two women in two days, out comes the Aston Martin. This should have been great...but I got very bored and too many things annoyed me. ***SPOILER*** The tube crash - urgh. Then Q being dumb enough to network the villain's computer. The worst part was seeing Bond's childhood home and the film turns into some sort of stand off. The very point of this character is we don't know anything about his past and we like it that way! I fear next they'll do some sort of teen origin story. Or worse some sort of prequel about his father. On the whole this had plenty of potential and some fun scenes but I don't think I would watch it again. 6/10

50 Eggs: For my money this is absolutely as good as everyone is saying (SF not included!). Right from the off you know you're getting the usual Bond action, but with added gravitas. This is definitely a more character driven entry than we're used to, and the pay-off is that there is a sense of jeopardy that isn't normally present in these films. Whilst watching the film I was formulating the criticism that it's not what I'd call 'sustainable Bond', because there are too many revelations and structure changes. But by the end I was happy to see that Sam Mendes had brought the series full-circle and ready to kick-on to the next installment.  Casino Royale is still my favourite, but this is a close second. 9/10

DonkeyB: It's better than Batman, but it certainly reminded me in lots of ways of the best bits of the Christopher Nolan trilogy. Bardem is a superb Bond villain. It speaks to the quality of the film that I don't remember who Bond slept with, it's incidental to the plot...what will stick with me for absolutely ages are some of the images from the film. This is the second three reviews film in a week which looks spectacular. Roger Deakins must be up for awards for the cinematography. Here's how good I thought it was; I have been seriously thinking about going to see it again ever since I saw it the first time and I almost certainly will before it leaves the cinema. 9.5/10
Just go see it.

Overall: 8.17 /10