Jackass 3D / Due Date / Let Me In

A three-film weekend, and the final one of the list due to Gillian being a horror fan. Nice to get off my backside and see an extra movie, though. Next week’s releases look amazing. Oh dear.

Jackass 3D

“Oh god, why do I have to be Steve-O?”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Plot? It’s a Jackass film. Good grief. Get to the back of the class.

First up, the 3D is pointless. The film doesn’t benefit at all, though they have tried to make it a little more grim with some ****, vomit and the like coming out of the screen. As with pretty much every 3D film I’ve seen, though, it just doesn’t need it.

More importantly, how is the Jackass formula holding up? Not too badly, to be honest, although I found myself laughing less hard than I did at the original movie. That one had me completely creased up unable to breathe at points. This third outing got more than its fair share of guffaws, a moment or two of queasiness, but on the whole I’m thinking this may be a good point for the series to finish.

Sacrilege? Maybe. But let’s be honest, Dirty Sanchez were doing ruder things on TV by the time Jackass were finally allowed to show their arses without black bars over them. The budget of the first Jackass film allowed for bigger and sillier stunts, and this had progressed on with this third film.

Thinking back, I was more laughing at the ideas they’d dreamt up rather than the actual execution of them. The simple fact is that Jackass simply isn’t outrageous any more. It’s had its life span and I really hope they go out on a relative high.

Fans: see the film. Mr Knoxville and crew: retire with your heads held high and your arms in plaster.

Due Date

“I’m sorry we drank your father”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Two unsuited guys end up sharing a car across the US for a couple of days.

Due Date is the bastard child of Planes, Trains and Automobiles and The Hangover, having the plot of the former and the level of humour of the latter. Sadly, though, it doesn’t match up on either count. In fairness, I never really “got” P, T &A aside from the hilarious Steve Martin “****” scene which the BBC continue to deny us when screening it. The Hangover on the other hand was incredible.

The film suffers from one major problem which afflicts so many releases these days – virtually every funny bit is in the trailer. Had I not seen that (several times) I genuinely feel I’d have enjoyed the film more.

As a saving grace, Robert Downey Jr puts in another great performance though I still think he’s better wisecracking in Iron Man. Zach Galifianakis returns to stereotype as “fat, stupid bloke”. Yawn.

The main problem is that Due Date doesn’t offer anything new. It’s a plot that’s been used before, as have many of the jokes. The performances are fine, but the whole thing’s ridiculously predictable, especially if (as I’ve already said) you’ve seen the trailer. In all honesty I’d say there were maybe 5 jokes which I’d not already seen before I sat down to watch the actual movie.

It’s not an utter dead loss as far as films go, but it’s a huge let-down after the side-splitting Hangover. Oh, and it has an incredibly well-filmed “inside the car as it happens” car crash. Which is weird as that’s also a highlight of…

Let Me In

“I’ve been twelve for a very long time.”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: A little girl moves in next door to a little boy, but she can’t be friends mainly as she burns in sunlight, has superhuman strength and drinks blood. Erm. Few clues there?

Now, this one I enjoyed. It’s no perfect, but it has a lot going for it. Gillian’s seen the original (Let The Right One In) which I haven’t, and apparently this is a lot more accessible – it’s in English for a start – but has lost of a lot of the artistry and beauty of Tomas Alfredson‘s 2008 Swedish version. In other words, it’s a typical American remake.

Having said that, with nothing to compare it to I quite liked it. The young actors are excellent across the board, from Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz as the two central characters (Owen and Abby) to the support there isn’t a complaint to be made. Moretz manages to be scary yet conjures up sympathy in her more human aspect. Smit-McPhee is perhaps a little too “soft” but that’s more the character than the actor.

While adults certainly appear in the film, it’s very much a story about these two characters. In fact, we never get to see the face of Owen’s mother.

It’s quite a grisly film and includes some rather disturbing imagery, especially given that the children are in many scenes. As disturbing as the horror aspects the the bullying and victimisation that Owen suffers at school. However, the fate that befalls his tormentors leaves the viewer a little unsure as to whether they deserved it.

The whole film generates conflicted emotion. Abby is a creature suffering from something that’s not her fault. She’s a child, in a child’s body with a child’s mind… but she’s also a dangerous creature when the mood takes. So should we feel pity for her or should she be treated as a monster? I suppose we’ve been asking questions like this since Mary Shelley had a certain book published over 100 years ago.

Having read a little more about the differences, I’m definitely interested in seeing the original – and the book on which it’s based.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Kick-Ass

Kick-Ass Poster
Kick-Ass

I managed to catch one of the “preview” screenings of Kick-Ass this evening. Surprisingly, the cinema wasn’t packed despite the huge hype and positive reviews. After watching, I think it got the audience it deserved…

Kick-Ass

“Okay you c**ts… lets see what you can do now!”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: geeky teenager becomes non-super-powered superhero Kick-Ass… and lands himself in a world of trouble as a result.

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a nerd. A geek. A comic book dweeb. Who one day wonders why nobody has ever tried to be a super hero. Not that they should, just with all the source material out there why hasn’t someone actually patched together some lycra and gone out crime-fighting?

So he does.

And he’s monumentally crap at it. Which, in honesty, is far more entertaining than someone actually being good at kicking criminal backside. It certainly leads to some very brutal slapstick.

On the other side of the coin are Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and his daughter Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz). Both highly skilled and dripping in cash, they’re more Batman and Robin-esque. Only somewhat happier to eviscerate the opposition than Bruce Wayne ever was. Or crush them. Or blow them up.

Kick-Ass has its moments, and a ton of references (some subtle, some not so) to past films, TV series and comics. The action sequences are frenetic and bloody, the jokes sometimes humorous but a lot of it is down to shock value (like a small child using the “C” word). So if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll not laugh as hard. Nor will it really stand up to repeat viewing.

It’s fun. It’s just not as fun as I was expecting or hoping for. Still, it’s a good adaptation of the original comics, even though it’s slightly less violent (seriously). Don’t expect a masterpiece and you won’t be disappointed. And it’s good to see Cage in a superhero film that’s not crap. Not to name any Ghost Riders or anything.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]