Paul Blart 2 (2015) – Review

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I must have seen Paul Blart: Mall Cop more than a handful of times by now, and so when I saw the Paul Blart 2 DVD for sale on a local buy-sell-swap site, I jumped at the chance.

I was never a huge fan of the movie, but my mum was, so we sat back and watched it one night.

Starring Kevin James, this sequel takes place six years after the original. Blart has lost almost everything, so he appreciates it when he is invited to Las Vegas, Nevada, to the security convention. Once again he is needed to save the day. Will he win, or will Blart bust?

 

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  • It’s funny, got a good ‘action’ storyline, and a more emotional family storyline.
  • I thought Blart’s daughter’s ‘love-interest’ was Josh Peck from Drake and Josh, but even though I was wrong, he was still a good young actor.
  • The scene with Blart and the bird was very entertaining, albeit a little long.

CONS

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  • It overplays the same tired jokes.
  • Kevin James’ weight is horrible. It is not healthy, but I still think he’s an awesome actor.

2.5 out of 5 stars

WolfCop (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.

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Let me begin by saying that Teen Wolf is one of my favourite television shows, and comes from one of the best movies the 80s has to offer. As per the natural reaction, when hearing the name WolfCop, immediate thoughts do not go to ‘award winning’ and ‘influential’, but that does not mean you will not enjoy yourself. This film is a perfect mix of comedy and horror, and is the next in line of popular B-Grade films.

The film follows Lou, an alcoholic policeman who has a habit of making a mess of things. While he is used to waking up in unfamiliar places, when he begins to become hirsute, even he knows there is something strange happening. With turning into a werewolf just part of a bigger, scarier, story, Lou will need to figure out how to save the day, and hopefully become a better man.

The story is interesting, but has trouble working as a full-length feature. Lowell Dean (the director) had won a trailer contest that gave him $1 million USD to make the film, but it probably would have been better as a slightly-longer short film. Parts of the story were fleshed-out, while others were only granted a short screen-time before we were moved along.

B-Grade films have been rising in popularity over the last couple of years – including Sharknado and Piranha – and WolfCop is definitely set to be one of them. It does not try to be anything more than what it is, and allows the audience to escape their lives for two hours and have some entertainment.

The actors are not A-listers, but they play the characters well. When it comes to films, personally, I like it better when I am not seeing the same actors over and over again. Even though this film is far from realistic, not knowing the actors makes it more believable.

Creating a mix of genres is where a lot of films fail. WolfCop was not too bad. Its horror was more gory than scary, but some lines can get a chuckle.

The filming style/technique of WolfCop is also notable. While other feature films are spending millions of dollars on computer-generated imagery, Dean instead used practical effects. This not only let them work on a much-lower budget, but also allowed the team to have greater control over the production.

The reviews have been quite mixed. There are always going to be those that do not appreciate a B-Grade movie for what it is, and mock it for its style. But for those that see these types of movies for what they are, they will understand how brilliant it is.

Obviously this is not a film suitable for kids, and there are many out there that do not like horror and gore. Me, I am in the latter category, but for everyone else, this is sure to be a mindless and enjoyable film.

2 out of 5 stars

Golden Globe Awards 2016

*UPDATE – winners added to list*

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The 2016 Golden Globe Award Nominations have just been announced.

Check out the list of nominees below and see if you agree with my predictions.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight.

My Prediction: I haven’t seen any of these, and don’t know most of them, but I’m hoping The Revenant wins because of Leonardo DiCaprio, but Spotlight might win because of its topic.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Rooney Mara (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

My Prediction: Again, there are none that I feel inclined towards, but I think Alicia Vikander will win for the topic of the film.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Will Smith (Concussion)

My Prediction: I would love for Leo to win, but I think it will go to Eddie Redmayne (for obvious reasons).

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: The Big Short, Joy, The Martian, Spy, Trainwreck.

My Prediction: How did The Martian get into this group?! I guess I’ll go for that.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Melissa McCarthy (Spy), Amy Schumer (Trainwreck), Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van), Lily Tomlin (Grandma).

My Prediction: Everyone seems to be loving Amy Schumer lately, so I’ll pick her.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Steve Carell (The Big Short), Matt Damon (The Martian), Al Pacino (Danny Collins), Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear).

My Prediction: Again, I don’t know how The Martian got into this category, but it seems popular, so that’s my prediction.

Best Motion Picture – Animated

Nominees: Anomalisa, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, The Peanuts Movie, Shaun the Sheep Movie.

My Prediction: OK, rant time. The Good Dinosaur (“what if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed?”?!?!). Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?! There was no asteroid and humans and dinosaurs did live at the same time! I cant believe this evolution and long-age nonsense is still going.
With that being said, I hope Inside Out wins because its good to be open about emotions.

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Nominees: The Brand New TestamentThe ClubThe FencerMustangSon of Saul.

My Prediction: I didn’t know any of these films, so I searched for them online. The Brand New Testament is a horrific premise that blasphemes God. For the other titles, I’m not big on foreign language films, so I have no prediction.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture

Nominees: Jane Fonda (Youth), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Helen Mirren (Trumbo), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs).

My Prediction: I think The Hateful Eight sounds interesting, and I did a review on Ex Machina (HERE), but Steve Jobs will probably win (for obvious reasons).

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Nominees: Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Michael Shannon (99 Homes), Sylvester Stallone (Creed).

My Prediction: Beasts of No Nation is my top pick. It looks emotional and dramatic, and is a theme that often wins.

Best Director – Motion Picture

Nominees: Todd Haynes (Carol), Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Ridley Scott (The Martian).

My Prediction: Finally, a category The Martian fits into! That’s my first pick, with The Revenant a close second.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Nominees: RoomSpotlightThe Big ShortSteve JobsThe Hateful Eight.

My Prediction: Based on theme, I think Spotlight will win.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Nominees: CarolThe Danish GirlThe Hateful EightSteve JobsThe Revenant.

My Prediction: I haven’t heard any, so I can’t guess.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

Nominees: ‘Love Me Like You Do’ – Fifty Shades of Grey, ‘One Kind of Love’ – Love & Mercy, ‘See You Again’ – Furious 7, ‘Simple Song #3’ – Youth, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ – Spectre

My Prediction: I LOVE the Fast and the Furious series, and they have done so well in banding together and dealing with the terrible loss of Paul Walker, that I hope it wins.

Best Television Series – Drama

Nominees: EmpireGame of ThronesMr. RobotNarcosOutlander.

My Prediction: I’m tossing up between Narcos (first choice), and Mr. Robot.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama

Nominees: Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Robin Wright (House of Cards).

My Prediction: Either Taraji P. Henson or Robin Wright.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama

Nominees: Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), Wagner Moura (Narcos), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Live Schreiber (Ray Donovan).

My Prediction: Again, I’m tossing up between Narcos and Mr. Robot.

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: CasualMozart in the JungleOrange is the New BlackSilicon ValleyTransparentVeep.

My Prediction: Transparent (for obvious reasons).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)

My Prediction: I honestly don’t have a pick in this one.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Aziz Ansari (Master of None), Gael Garcia Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle), Rob Lowe (The Grinder), Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent).

My Prediction: Jeffrey Tambor (for obvious reasons).

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television

Nominees: American CrimeAmerican Horror Story: HotelFargoFlesh & BoneWolf Hall.

My Prediction: I don’t know enough about these to make a choice.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television

Nominees: Kirsten Dunst (Fargo), Lady Gaga (American Horror Story: Hotel), Sarah Hay (Flesh & Bone), Felicity Huffman (American Crime), Queen Latifah (Bessie).

My Prediction: As Above.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees: Idris Elba (Luther), Oscar Isaac (Show Me A Hero), David Oyelowo (Nightingale), Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall), Patrick Wilson (Fargo).

My Prediction: I’ve only really heard about Luther.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made For Television

Nominees: Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Regina King (American Crime), Judith Light (Transparent), Maura Tierney (The Affair).

My Prediction: Probably Uzo Aduba

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees: Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Damian Lewis (Wolf Hall), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Tobias Menzies (Outlander), Christian Slater (Mr. Robot).

My Prediction: Probably Christian.

 

So what are your predictions? What do you think of the nominations? Let me know below!

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.


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Robin Williams, may he rest in peace, was a brilliant actor. He expertly played both comedic roles and serious roles, and everything in between. The Angriest Man in Brooklyn displays William’s ability to switch from silly to sentimental without missing a beat. Nevertheless, the finished product really let him down. Based on the Israeli film The 92 Minutes of Mr. Baum (1997), it is not easy to rate the film at either ends of the spectrum, because while some aspects worked, others didn’t.

The film follows Henry Altmann (Robin Williams), the titled ‘Angriest Man in Brooklyn’. While some people have bad days, Altmann has one every day. He hates anything and everything, and as a result, he is not too popular himself. A car accident brings him to the doctor’s office, where Dr. Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis) attends to him. Her day has not gone so smoothly either, and in a moment of weakness, she reveals he has a brain aneurysm – this is true – and that he has only 90 minutes left to live – this is false. The news hits Henry hard, and he rushes out of the office, desperate to find his loved ones and make amends, all within an hour-and-a-half. Of course, a lifetime of resentment is not so easily forgiven. Will Sharon reach him before the pressure overcomes him? Will Henry find a way to reconnect with all those he hurt? Or is it really too late to change the past?

As I said before, there are both equally good and bad aspects of this film that make it hard to give a definite rating.

Firstly, it is always a treat when we get to see both the serious and comedic talents of Robin Williams. Never again we will be witness to his brilliance, so any project he has been involved in automatically becomes a treasured product – whether it was successful or not.

Secondly, there is no doubt that the message of the movie is positive. No one knows exactly how much time he or she has left on Earth, and time spent fighting is time wasted.

Though the cast list boasts a lot of stars – Robin Williams, Mila Kunis, Peter DinklageJames Earl Jones, etc. – their talents were not put to use. The latter characters were merely cameos, though it did fit with the ‘rushed’ theme of the movie.

The dialogue and story were also quite cliché and in no way realistic. A doctor would never deceive a patient like Kunis’ character did; and if they did, they wouldn’t keep their job for long. While the film is not supposed to be a true story, this does detract from its overall believability.

Online reviews have not been the most positive, either, and most consider it not bad enough to be comical, just plain bad.

With so many mixed opinions, it is hard to say either way. So, either watch the movie, or just watch the trailer, because the trailer is basically the entire movie in two minutes.

3 out of 5 stars

Breakup At A Wedding (2013) – Review

OK so I used to write film reviews for CinemaParadiso. It was a lot of fun, and I thought I would share some reviews and links over the next few days/weeks/months.


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I have never been to a wedding. The only wedding experience I have had has been through film and television. I don’t think I’m missing much. Breakup at a Wedding is a comedy that unfortunately falls flat. It does have an interesting new take on wedding movies, allowing us to see through the lens of the wedding videographer’s camera, seeing all that he sees and giving an almost found-footage feel, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for the rest.

The story begins the night before the wedding of Alison (Alison Fyhrie) and Phil (Philip Quinaz). The church has been booked, the flowers are ordered, the dresses and suits look stunning, but then it all goes wrong. Alison suddenly gets cold feet, and does not want to go through with the wedding anymore. Phil is shattered, and to save him from further humiliation, Alison concocts a plan to continue with the wedding. With hopes of winning back Alison’s love, Phil agrees to the sham wedding, and what follows are a series of ridiculous complications set to ruin the day and reveal their separation.

Using the wedding videographer as the narrator and cameraman is the only positive thing about this film. It is a different way of showing an old setting, but the rest of the story felt like it had been done many times before.

Not only were the jokes unfunny, but the characters were cliché, ranging from the bridesmaids wanting to sleep with the groomsmen, wedding crashes, and the bridal party either laughing or depressed after taking drugs.

The most recent – and much more successful – wedding film Bridesmaids (2011) managed to make the same elements work much more effectively. This could be due to well-known comediennes such as Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy, playing the leading roles, while Breakup at a Wedding is only the first film from the comedy group PERIODS.

There have been some positive reviews, also commending the use of the videographer as our conduit to the story, and viewers finding the overall story and ending to be pleasant. Nevertheless, that does not sell tickets.

Breakup at a Wedding was filmed only a few days before real-life director Victor Quinaz got married, which would account for the lightness of the film, especially the ending. Overall, the characters weren’t realistic and believable, doing things that are so clearly set to fail, the major one being going through with a sham wedding all to simply ‘save face’ in front of their relatives. Then there are the illogical complications that seemingly come out of nowhere and are almost as ridiculous as a monkey slipping on a banana peel or a man being hit in the privates with a football.

The only unexpected part of the film is the contribution of Zachary Quinto, something he might now be viewing as ‘illogical’.

Let’s just hope their next film isn’t set at a funeral, because we all know how successful the 2010 remake of Death at a Funeral was.

3 out of 5 stars