Cinepub


Review: Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie by Jamie

If you want me to relay to you what watching Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie is like then imagine a boot stamping on a pair of testicles forever. Full disclosure, I have never seen the series that this movie is based on so I went into this knowing pretty much next to nothing apart from what the trailer told me. And that trailer left quite an impression. What stuck out to me most was the fact that there was an outtake, an actual outtake, in the trailer. This, of course, makes absolutely no sense but fine, I thought, it’s some stupid little joke for the trailer. Put it out of your mind and try and judge this movie fairly.

Then part way through an HILARIOUS scene where blind people are being taught ninjitsu and the man who plays Mrs Brown is playing another character, Mr Wang (“But he’s not even Chinese!” Complains one of the characters, which is fine since neither is ninjitsu.), the actors start cracking up. Holy shit. An outtake in the actual movie itself. Not during the credits, not as some DVD extra but during the actual plot of the actual movie. Then there were two more outtakes, just there in the movie as well. Who thinks this is a good idea? Were they so worried that people wouldn’t laugh at the film so they’d have to laugh at it themselves?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate breaking the fourth wall but there are ways to go about it that work. For example, the Wayne’s World movies break the fourth wall regularly and to hilarious effect. That is carefully crafted, well done comedy. Outtakes are literally the opposite of that and leaving them in the actual movie is the laziest choice a filmmaker can make.

Still, they needn’t have worried about people not finding it funny because people in my screening were pissing themselves laughing. Laughing at the fact that blind people can’t see. Laughing at the Asian character who can’t pronounce Ls properly. Laughing at all this tired, ancient bullshit.

This is definitely a call back to British sitcoms of the past. The problem is that I can’t figure out what. Every sitcom from back in the day that I try to compare it to is much, much better than it. ‘Allo ‘Allo? Better. Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em? Better. Steptoe and Son? Better. I mean, I think we’re literally in the territory of Heil Honey, I’m Home in terms of being just relentlessly, offensively unfunny. This is a throwback to the lowest form of humour, the basest, crassest form that I thought we as a society had moved beyond. I thought things like Seinfeld and The Office had revolutionised the sitcom. How have we found ourselves back here? It’s literally like someone saw the parody of bad sitcoms, When The Whistle Blows, from Extras and thought “Let’s make our show like that.”

I could write a long list of everything that’s wrong with this film. I could tell you about it’s tired plot (Evil people want to buy up Mrs Brown’s stall), I could tell you about it’s offensive stereotypes (The gay guys seem to have no character beyond shrill queens) I could tell you about all that and more, but you know what?. It’s too nice a Sunday to sit here writing a review of this “movie”. Everyone who wants to see it will see it. People who know that they don’t want to see it won’t see it with the possible exception of myself. Roasts are being cooked, pints are being served and actual, real movies are being screened. And as a douche bag played by a murderer once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” 0 pints out of 5. Laterz.

Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie

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Review: Godzilla (2014) by Jamie

I’ve tried to keep this spoiler free but it’s hard to tell what people consider spoilers these days so be forewarned. You may be unintentionally spoiled in some way.

In 1954 the Japanese Toho production company brought a King to the Silver Screen. His name was Gojira, soon to be Americanised to the admittedly better Godzilla, and he would begin a cinematic legacy that would last for sixty years and counting. He has been many things during his storied career from destructive force of nature to wacky good guy who saved Japan from a host of other monsters and back to destructive force of nature again. And there was that American film produced in 1998. That one was… well. Yeah. It just wasn’t Godzilla.
So when I heard the news that the Yanks were going to take another shot at bringing the King of the Monsters back to the screen, I was a little concerned. This concern only grew when I heard that Gareth Edwards was set to direct, my concern originating from the fact that he had only directed one feature length film before, Monsters, which left me slightly underwhelmed. And the trailers started appearing and I was ready to get excited.

It’s hard to describe how it feels to be a fan of a film series that, to be fair, has not always been stellar and then finally looking forward to something new from that series. I grew up watching Godzilla films, Son of Godzilla in particular which is easily one of the worst of the bunch but it played a big part in my childhood so I’ll always have a soft spot for it. Hell, my pet gecko is called Godzilla because a) I love the king of the monsters and b) reptile owners are not the most original people when it comes to names. To be fair, there aren’t that many famous reptiles to go to for names. It’s pretty much Godzilla, Dino from the Flintstones and Rango. Godzilla is clearly the best out of those three… I’m sorry, I seem to have become distracted. Where was I? Oh yes, feeling excitement for a Godzilla movie. It was truly a wonderful thing, especially after that ’98 piece of shit that for all intents and purposes killed Matthew Broderick’s career just like he killed two people that one time in Ireland. Look it up.

And so the weeks went by and the release date grew closer and closer and I took the time to revisit every Godzilla movie ever made, twenty nine films in total. It was a bit of a long haul but overall an enjoyable experience and so I felt properly prepared and primed for the King’s return to the silver screen. Finally, the day of release came and I was working so I went the following day. Would the film see Godzilla reclaim his crown or would it be another American turd in the Tokyo punch bowl? Christ, that was a lot of preamble.

Simple fact straight up: I loved this film. Loved it. Is it a perfect film? No, not by a long shot. There are definitely a few things that could have been done differently, a few casting decisions that could have been corrected and a few special effects decisions that maybe didn’t sit right with me but overall, I loved this film.

Perhaps we should start with the things that weren’t so great. First up, a lot has been made about Aaron Taylor-Johnson and how he’s just not that great in the film and it’s true that he is probably the weakest link in the film. I’m not going to go all the way and say he’s bad, though he does exhibit a few moments of ropey acting here and there. Fact is that he doesn’t have much of a character to work with. He’s something of blank plate which I believe is deliberate attempt by the film maker to allow the audience to put themselves in his position, projecting their thoughts and feelings on to him. It’s an age old storytelling trick, one that was recently most successfully employed in the Twilight series. The fact that a girl can easily imagine herself in the place of Bella is what makes those things so popular despite being poorly written pieces of trash. Yeah, I just bashed Twilight. Deal with it. Unfortunately for Johnson, a lot of people didn’t want to be taking his place, experiencing what he was experiencing. They wanted to see monster fighting and during the middle of the film, it dragged a touch simply because Taylor-Johnson is not a giant monster.

There is also the problem of Taylor-Johnson’s character very conveniently finding himself able to easily move from location to location where all the monster action is taking place. I suppose it could be easily explained by saying that he’s a member of the military so he’d be able to move with the armed forces to where he and they need to be and also what are they gonna do instead? Leave their main character behind whilst the monsters fight elsewhere? Still, it does occasionally stretch the limit of believability in this giant nuclear lizard movie.

Finally, the biggest problem I had was the M.U.T.Os. I was not a major fan of their design, seeming as they did a little bit too Cloverfieldy and then there’s that name. Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism is what M.U.T.O stands for and it seems like such an unnatural string of words to put together just to get an acronym which sounds a little bit like mutant which is obviously the reason that that name was chosen. Which is a shame because M.U.T.O. just sounds fucking stupid coming out of an adult human beings mouth. Seriously, any time someone said it, particularly David Strathairn, I cringed. Just stupid. Frankly it was the kind of role that could have easily been filled by a second-tier Toho monster like the Praying Mantis-esque Kamacuras.

Now on to the good and frankly this all comes down to this being a Godzilla movie and whether or not it is a worthy continuation of the big guy’s saga. This was a Godzilla movie and frankly, I’m surprised by just how much it followed some of the conventions of the series and not just the original ’54 Godzilla as I was expecting. Villainous monsters showing up first to wreak havoc? Check. Humans trying but failing to solve the problem? Check. Godzilla awakening from his slumber to sort shit out? Check. Even the music was perfect. It was loud, it was bombastic. It was everything I wanted from the score for a Godzilla film though I’m perhaps a little disappointed that Akira Ifukube’s Godzilla March wasn’t used or referenced but I suppose you can’t have everything.

Now on to the main event. The Big G himself, Godzilla. There has been much discussion about the fact that Godzilla has so little screen time in the film. This is true. Personally, I loved this choice. It made all the time that we actually got to spend with Godzilla all the more impressive and impactful. Besides, I never felt as though he was missing from the film. From the first time he shows up in Hawaii, I felt his presence was there. Just scenes where you see his dorsal spikes sticking out of the water, flanked by aircraft carriers, as he hunts his prey help to convey his size and really build up the anticipation for that awesome final fight. Seriously, if there is one thing that this film does great in my opinion, it is building up anticipation.

I love the redesign though I did originally agree with some Japanese fans that he was a touch on the chunky side though once I saw it in action, it fit in with this Godzilla’s more bear-like movement and way of holding himself. And of course there’s the roar. The roar is beautiful and really should be heard in a cinema to truly appreciate it. Yes, just like this IS a Godzilla film, this IS Godzilla. I felt his personality come through in the limited time that he was on-screen and it genuinely felt like a certain Godzilla from a certain period of his film history. There’s even one moment which really caught me off-guard in which is probably the best moment in the film, a moment I shan’t spoil here but when that moment occurs, I was literally grinning from ear to ear. The King had returned.

So yeah, like I said, I love this film. I can understand the frustration that some people have with the film but personally it’s a frustration I do not share. Would I hate this film if it weren’t a Godzilla movie? Hate may be a strong word but I definitely would not have enjoyed it as much. It’s the things that make this a Godzilla movie that largely make it enjoyable to me. So yeah. Four pints out of five… And in my long winded ramblings, I realise that I have largely overlooked the actors so lets just say good cast overall though some are criminally underused. *cough* Bryan Cranston *cough* Laterz.

Snowtown_(film)




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