Chick Flix With A Dick: Mamma Mia! by Jamie

I hate fucking ABBA. Their music is really only appropriate in two places, at a wedding party and at a New Years Eve party. In other words when people are massively, massively, massively drunk. When our pub had a jukebox I had my own personal ban on ABBA. If one of their songs came on when the Jukebox was on random play I demanded it was skipped. I did let it play if someone had actually paid for it. I may be a dick but I’m not that much of a dick. Besides, those times were thankfully very few and far between.

Which surprised me to be honest because this film, this fucking film, did better at the box office in my hometown of Braintree, Essex than ‘The Dark Knight’ did. Apparently this town is filled with repressed ABBA fans, glad for a film to come out featuring their music so that they could sit there in the dark cinema where people might not recognise them. So yeah, thanks for that Braintree.

In fact a quick check of the internet reveals that Mamma Mia! Is the highest grossing film of all time in the UK. Yep, we had an empire that once spanned the globe and now we’re going mental for films based around the songs of a 70s Swedish pop group. Rule Britannia indeed.

Anyway, back to this movie. It basically tells the tale of a woman and her daughter who run a villa on an island for some reason. The daughter has met the boy of her dreams and intends to marry him. There’s one problem though. She’d really like her father to give her away at her wedding but because her mother was something of a slut in her youth, she has no idea who her father is. She finds her mother’s diary and sends invitations to three potential fathers, without telling her mother, and waits for them to arrive. They do and shenanigans ensue.

Now, as I previously stated, I fucking hate ABBA but today I found out that I actually hate something more than their songs. It’s their songs sung by people who can’t sing. This was like watching a bunch of drunk people on a bad karaoke night. A really bad karaoke night. Except that I was watching it at work so I couldn’t drink. Dear God, I’ve never wanted a drink so bad in my life.

Well, I suppose that’s a little unfair. Meryl Streep ain’t bad. Not great but not bad. Still, the worst offender when it comes to aural raping is Pierce Brosnan. What the hell are you doing man? You were James Bond for fuck’s sake. You were the James Bond I grew up with, for better or for worse and now your singing ABBA songs whilst making a face that makes it look as if you’re trying to cough up a tortoise.

But it’s not just the singing that’s bad either! Some of the actors in this film are the worst I’ve seen outside of a B-Movie in many a year. In particular I’d like to say that the guy who plays Sophie’s fiancée Skye is a terrible actor. He was so wooden and insincere that I thought that he was being played by some kind of sarcastic puppet.

Oh, and another thing. Half the dialogue in this film seems to be delivered in some kind of strange, shrieking language that I’m fairly sure only women can understand. If you are going to do such a thing then you should probably have included subtitles for those poor bastards who got dragged along to see this by their wives and girlfriends.

Now, there were a couple of times when the film elicited a chuckle out of me. One was when a drill was used as a euphemism for a penis, telling me more than I wanted to know about exactly what childish level my sense of humour is at. The other was at the image of Pierce Brosnan dressed as a hippy. That was kinda funny. There was also one scene which I thought was kinda cool for a split second. The guests at the daughter’s hen party are looking over some kind of cliff ledge and a bunch of people are crawling up it. For one sweet second I thought it was some kind of zombie attack and I thought wow, people kept this twist quiet but alas, it was just the bachelor party on some kind of panty raid. I was sorely, sorely disappointed.

Perhaps the point where the movie really stretched the limit of believability was when all three potential fathers figured out the reason that they were invited out of the blue. They all came to the conclusion individually that they were the girls father and she wanted them to walk her down the aisle. However, they had all spent quite some time together at this point and they all knew that the other two had received equally mysterious invitations. How the fuck did they not realise that the other two were there for exactly the same reason and that Sophie hadn’t yet figured out who her actual father was? That’d be the first thing that came to my mind.

Perhaps the best thing about this movie is the fact that I watched Tremors directly before it. Man, Tremors is such an awesome film. Kevin Bacon is at his finest and you really believe that him and Fred Ward have worked together and been friends for quite some time. And who doesn’t love crazy survivalist Burt? And the Graboids still look fucking good even by today’s standards. Sure you can sometimes see the strings used to operate the tentacles in some scenes but it just adds to the charm of the movie. One thing that does confuse me though is the DVD cover. Seriously look it up now. I’ll wait.

Ok, you back? Right, what the fuck is that creature on the DVD cover with all the teeth and stuff? That looks nothing like the Graboids in the film. It just confuses me. Anyway, overall I’ll give Tremors four pints out of five.

Wait, what? Mamma Mia? Oh fine. I give Mamma Mia! one glass of white wine out of five. And you wanna know what the worst thing is? There is one ABBA song, one song that I can kind of stand. That song is Waterloo. Not sure why I don’t mind it. Maybe I’m just OK with songs based on historical events. Anyway, it’s not fucking in the film until the end credits. I kept thinking, oh just suffer through, at least Waterloo isn’t the worst thing in the world and they must have included it and then it turns out you have to watch the entire fucking film to get to it. And it takes place during this bizarre credit scene where Meryl Streep and her two friends yell at the audience asking if they want another song. Waterloo then follows filled with some of the most embarrassing dancing I’ve seen outside of a wedding reception… Which I guess is appropriate. Still, it well wasn’t worth it.

Fuck, this film has put me in a bad mood for the rest of the goddamn day. Still, if people like this kinda thing, and apparently they do, then it does give some hope for my planned film ‘Snooker Loopy’ featuring the music of Chas and Dave. Laterz.

Review: The Hangover by Jamie
16/07/2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Imagine one of those typical teen comedy road movies. Now take out the road and make the characters in their thirties. Now to top it off, make the movie fucking hilarious. That’s a pretty apt description of The Hangover. It follows the traditional formula of a road movie, to a point at least, with the characters moving from place to place, encountering strange characters and even stranger situations. Rather than travelling across America, however, all of the action takes place in the city of Las Vegas the morning after a monster bachelor party held in honour of Doug. The problem is that when his three friends, Phil, Stu and Alan wake up the next day Doug is missing and none of them have any memory of the previous nights antics. Also they seem to have acquired a tiger and a baby. And so their mission is clear, find out what happened the night before and find the missing groom.

From so simple a plot comes a damn, damn funny film. Seriously, thank fuck for this movie because 2009 and was really, really starting to piss me off. Anyway on with the review, which will probably be a short one because it’s kinda hard to impress upon you just how funny this movie is through the written word. The three lead characters work together incredibly well in spite of, in fact probably because of, their very, very different personalities. There’s Phil, the arrogant prick who’s so enthusiastic that you can’t help but like him, Stu, the responsible dentist who just wants to do the sensible thing and Alan, the man-child who’s a little, well, strange. In most of these kinds of comedies it seems as though the strange, fucked up things are just thrown at the characters and their reaction to them is secondary. In this film it’s very much about, and the comedy is primarily derived from, how these characters deal with the situations that they find themselves within.

Having said that, the film isn’t laugh out loud funny and I’m not entirely sure why. There are several moments where you will find yourself laughing hard but for the most part you’ll just find yourself being entertained and chuckling slightly. The only thing I can think is that the story is genuinely engaging. Having the three friends trying to find out what happened to them the night before introduces a mystery element and you find yourself becoming really invested in the story, pleased when they find a new clue and end up cheering for them. It’s the mystery element I think which really separates this movie from similar ones. In general other ‘road’ movies are just crazy situation leading into crazy situation with a little travelling to join the scenes together. In this film the crazy situations all seem to yield a clue which helps to push the story along.

So to sum up, The Hangover is a damn funny film and the only thing that stops it from being laugh out loud funny is the fact that you find yourself properly pulled into the story. which is no bad thing. Overall four pints out of five…. Fuck, I’ve gotta stop watching films that I enjoy. The reviews are in no way as fun as movies that piss me off. Still, after I’ve reviewed The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire it’ll be time to move on to the Razzies Worst Picture nominations which will feature such classics as Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans and The Love Guru. Good times ahead… And I get the feeling I’m not gonna like The Reader anyway.

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