Showing posts with label Bill Nighy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bill Nighy. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Total Recall

Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick which was the inspiration for the 1990 film of the same name, Total Recall takes place after a chemical war at the end of the twenty-first century. Following the fallout, only two areas are left habitable on Earth; The United Federation of Britain (UFB) and The Colony (the landmass of Australia) which is where the workers are forced to live. Each day they must take “the fall”, a kind of superfast lift which takes them through the centre of the Earth and joins up the two habitable areas. One of these workers is Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) who wakes up from a reoccurring dream about trying to save a woman from synthetic cops. Upon waking he is comforted by his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) but feels as though he is meant for something more. Quaid discovers Rekall, a company which can implant false memories and decides to check it out. This decision creates a ripple effect and leaves Quaid unsure of whom he is and why people, including some of those closest to him want him dead.

I saw Paul Verhoeven’s original 1990 film again recently and having now seen both cannot make up my mind as to which one is better. Although they have a similar plot and share themes they are two very different films, made for different times.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Chalet Girl

This cinematic abomination is the story of a former skateboarding protégé (Felicity Jones) who gave up the sport after the death of her mother in order look after her loveable but useless father (Bill Bailey) and has to work in a fast food restaurant to support her and her dad. She somehow manages to wangle a job as a Chalet Girl in Austria and is thrown into a world she just doesn’t understand. She is confronted with toffs who treat her badly but somehow overcomes all that is put in front of her to win people round and win the local snowboarding competition.

This film is terrible! After about four minutes I turned to my girlfriend and said “so she wins the snowboarding competition and gets the guy”. I received a frown in reply. The film is so stupid and obvious. It isn’t in the slightest bit funny and is infuriating to watch. Somehow Felicity Jones manages to get a job after insulting a woman interviewing her for another job. Once she gets to Austria she is confronted by cartoon rich kids and orange girls who don’t like her because she can’t ski and doesn’t have blonde hair, Ugg boots and end every sentence with the word ‘babe’. Also, just look at how ugly she is. I mean eww! Gross! But wait, she’s put some make up on and suddenly WTF! She’s actually beautiful. How did that happen?? Oh fuck off stupid film! (Sorry, a bit of internal monologue there). This film actually made me angry.

"I'm pretty and blonde, so I'm a bitch and there's NO chance we'll ever be friends..."

The music is predictable and pathetic. There is dingly-dongly piano and strings when the couple (spoiler alert) get together and plenty of uplifting chick-flick pop during the numerous montages. The acting is also awful with Felicity Jones the only actor who emerges with any credibility. Bill Nighy is underused and I don’t even know what Brooke Shields is playing at!

Even a naked Felicity Jones couldn't save the film.

I can’t be bothered to go on talking about this film. All I’ll say is it is really stupid, boring and obvious. The characters are caricatures and painfully annoying. It tries a Tess of the D’Urbervilles type storyline and fails, BUT… Felicity Jones is a bright spark and proves that her shot to stardom was not a fluke.   

If you do have the misfortune of seeing this film, and please try not to, make sure you leave before the credits in order to avoid the HILARIOUS out-takes and stupid miming to the end credits song which puts to bed any credibility the cast may have otherwise escaped with.


Monday, 12 March 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

"Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not the end."
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a feel good film about a group of British pensioners who forgo to the traditional Rest Home in Eastbourne or Villa in Spain and instead decide to spend their golden years in Jiapur, India in a Hotel run by enthusiastic young Sonny (Dev Patel). The film features a mix of stereotypical middle class pensioners which includes Widow Judi Dench, unhappily married Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton, retired High Court Judge Tom Wilkinson, grumpy, racist Maggie Smith and singletons Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup. Quite a cast!

Upon arriving in India each character copes differently with the culture shock with some settling in as though they’ve lived there all their lives, others trying to experience all the country has to offer and some staying hidden in their rooms in case they see or taste something different to their norm. There are love interests and surprises but on the whole the plot is fairly predictable. It is funny though. I laughed along on multiple occasions with the entirely OAP audience I saw the film with. It is obviously aimed at older cinema goers but can definitely be enjoyed by all age groups.

The cast of The Avengers 4: Vacation

The acting is great across the board but it is Britain’s go to Indian Dev Patel who comes out on top. His character is frantic and funny, caring and loveable. He does a great job by giving the film real heart. His is a great performance. Bill Nighy was also very likeable but he was basically just playing his usual slightly stoned old guy character. Tom Wilkinson showed interesting emotional touches and there was no real weak link, as you’d expect from a cast of this calibre.

India looks and sounds beautiful. While it’s not particularly difficult to fill the screen with beauty and colour when a film is set in India, it still looks fantastic and the music had me tapping along throughout. I could listen to the sitar all day. (Look up Ravi Shankar if you are unfamiliar with Indian music. It. Is. Sublime.)   

Patel playing 'whose a lucky bugger' again with his love interest.

This is a very good film on the whole but there were some problems. Firstly, Judy Dench’s character manages to get a job within a couple of days despite never having had a job before in her life. The film also glossed over the poverty of the country with only a passing mention to the financial and social problems that millions of its citizens face. Maggie Smith’s characters transformation from racist old biddy to zen master/financial whizz seemed a little far fetched and felt a bit too convenient.

Despite these problems, it is a lovely film with plenty to like. Not least the wonderful love stories which feature throughout. It is also very funny and well written and acted and would recommend it to anyone, young or old.