Day 170 – My Science Project – 1985

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Trying to jump on the popularity of Back to the Future and Alien with mixing the two together creates a big mess for high school students Michael, Ellie and Vince when they find a mysterious device that can control time and space. Directed by Jonathan R. Betuel (who also wrote The Last Starfighter) and starring John Stockwell, Danielle Von Zernack, Fisher Stevens and Dennis Hopper the film flopped at the cinemas with reviews from 1985 saying “far less clever ad less expensive Back to the future.”

Michale Harland (John Stockwell) is a student at the high school who’s only passion is fixing up muscle cars with his best friend Vince (Fisher Stevens). During a science lesson, his teacher Dr Roberts (Dennis Hopper) asks him to bring him something so he can pass the class. Clambering to locate something he takes Ellie the class bookworm and crush to a government airbase which contains all old vehicles. They find a device of which glows and reluctantly bring it to school the next day. They find out it is a device that can control time and space. They show it to Dr Roberts and turn it on to show him. He gets sucked into a random part of time and space so it is up to the trio so save him from pending doom.

The film tried to mix the nostalgia of Back to the Future with the mystery of Alien with the device turning the school into a trove of time travelling apparel. With mixed messages, the film ultimately fails on every wing with the main characters being stale and boring (minus Fisher Steven and the loopy Dennis Hopper). The entire film tries to bring a sense of mystery to the device the trio find, but the story throws the origin story behind the device in the back seat with comedy going up front. As I said before the humour is stale, but the special effects are pretty good. Considering the age of the film and budget of the film, they actually did a pretty decent job with certain sequences.

The actual characters are written in a tone that makes you like them and director Jonathan R. Betuel has creates an interesting story with them contained. The only problem is that the story is weak and there is no overall conclusion at the end. You can tell this film was rushed by the studio thanks to the lack of attention to the script.

It is a cheap knockoff that tried to hold its own but ultimately fell foul to copycat tactics that made it fail. At least the cast did successfully with John Stockwell becoming a Hollywood film director and Fisher Stevens and Dennis Hopper nominating and winning Oscars after the film.

Should you watch it: NO

Day 166 – Mr Deeds – 2002

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Another Adam Sandler film where he plays a man who is out of his depth thanks to coincidental life issues. Starring the main man, Winona Ryder and John Turturro the film was actually a remake of the 1936 film Mr Deeds goes to Town. Directed by Steven Brill (who actually has directed Adam Sandler in the Netflix Movies), it was released in 2002 to critics stating it was ‘stale and unoriginal’.

Longfellow Deeds (Adam Sandler) is a man who inherits his great uncles business after his passing. Being a simple natured man who earns his living by running the local pizza shop he is brought to NYC to see his new empire. At the same time the board of the company want him to sign the papers to sell the company and raise millions from it, and fire thousands of staff. Also he meets Babe Bennett a local girl who falls in love with deeds after making a deal with local media man Mac MacGrath (Jared Harris) to get in the inside scoop behind the business. Along for the ride is Deeds butler Emilio Lopez played by a charismatic and mysterious John Turturro.

The film is actually a remake, moving the timeline into our day and age. Unfortunately for Adam Sandler the execution and motives of Longfellow Deeds and why he does half the stuff in the film is not explained at thats where the film fumbles. Essentially Deeds gets 300 Million Dollars and good things with the money whilst the antagonists are trying to stop him with love and deception. Its a boring film which ultimately gets Deeds into some sticky situations but the filmmakers try to make it funny with gags and jokes that miss the punchline.

The film has a predicatble storyline, the cast are sidelined with a boring plot and the overall tone is missed thanks to poor generic acting from Adam Sandler. The film down righted sucked, just like Adam Sandlers other films such as Little Nicky, Big Daddys and his first film Going Overboard. He brought back the funny with Click, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Grown Ups, but unfortunately this film is a bad remake of what I think was a celebrated classic.

Should you watch it: NO

Day 165 – ChiPS – 2017

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Dax Shepard decides to remake a classic 70’s show and turn it into a comedy reboot starring himself in the lead. Mixing Michael Pena, Kristin Bell and Vincent D’Onofrio into the cast it was released in March 2017 to terrible reviews. Throwing out the highway drama for terrible gags and tame jokes the film flopped (for good reason).

Dax Shepard was fantastic in Employee of the Month with Dane Cook. Then he made this, tainting his comedic talents in a big way. Written and Directed by Shepard he plays former motocross champion Jon, who loses his sponsors to get a job with the California Highway Patrol. At the same time, Ponch (Michael Pena) is working undercover for the FBI and is tasked to find out the corruption of the California Highway Patrol. He meets the overenthusiastic Jon and they both go to find the problems as the CHiPS.

Usually, films containing Dax Shepard and Michael Pena are hilarious. This one was not. Mixing gross-out comedy with unsuitable gags and we have a recipe for disaster compared the fantastic trailer that the studio made. The film completely sucked. I went into this film thinking it was going to make me chuckle, however it did not. Unfortunately, the humour is timed to a degree where it tries to be overly funny but always falls flat. The other problem is the plot.

The main characters seem to fall into situations of where they come out on top, but in harsh reality, they would have been killed or severely injured. The risks that Dax Shepard puts them through it terrible. He tried to run off the steam gained from the other TV show remakes such as 21 Jump Street and Starsky and Hutch and create his own adaptation. Unfortunately, he sucks at it, like his last film endeavour 2012’s Hit and Run also starring his wife Kristin Bell. Like that film, his character was a former extreme sports star on the run. I think he has tried to create fun and caused chaos with it. Poor Warner Brothers.

The film clearly has identity issues. One minute it is a comedy, the next it’s an action film. The film is not good at all and to be honest I am ashamed to have watched it in its entirety.

Should you watch it: NO

Day 162 – Unfinished Business – 2015

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Unfinished Business is an Unfinished film starring Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco. Mixing business with slapstick comedy it was directed by Ken Scott to the terrible audience and critic reviews stating the film should have stayed on the shelf.

Dan Truckman is an excess metal salesman who is sick and tired of his boss Chuck (Sienna Miller). He quits and leaves in a blaze of glory asking other staff members to join his new business. Outside he meets Tim McWinters (Tom Wilkinson) who has also been fired thanks to him being too old. Also outside is Mike Pancake (Dave Franco) who doesn’t work for the company and is only standing outside after hearing Dan’s speech. They create Apex Select and go off on their adventure. A year later their business is grinding to a halt. One day Dan gets a message from Bill Whilmsley (Nick Frost) who is heading to Portland with his boss Jim Spinch (James Marsden) who will be offering a bid on excess metal to the lowest bidder. It is up to Dan, Tim and Mike to get to Jim first and win that bid.

The film is awful. The pacing is off, the acting is subpar and the overall look is dire. It is like the screenwriter had an idea, and wrote an interesting first half of the film but gave up in the second half, so the director made his own ending up with dire consequences. It just straight up sucks. I wasn’t involved in the characters, Dan especially was a wasted character, because Vince Vaughn is a great actor with comedic timing and charm. The film downsized him to become a bad father, and leader of a terrible company. Tom Wilkinsons character was a sex-crazed pervert, and Dave Franco’s Mike Pancake was a mentally challenged individual who goes on this crazy adventure with those two. Poor Dave Franco, I think he signed up for the paycheck rather than read the content of the script.

How did the producers think mixing the antics of a European trip with business would be a good idea. This film sucked.

Don’t watch it. It is unfinished. Literally.

Should you watch it: HELL NO

Day 160 – The Mummy – 2017

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Disney has the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Warner Brothers have the DC Cinematic Universe. Univeral decided to make the Dark Universe with their back catalogue of Monsters. The problem is that they have had some fantastic films over the years, but decided to reboot once again a classic. The Mummy is a complete retelling of the origins story brought to the 21st century and was directed by the writer of the Transformers films: Alex Kurtzman. Starring Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis and Sofia Boutella as the title character.

Honestly, this film was destined to fail. Remember when you first saw Iron Man. It was a film that had its own story and was self-contained. At the end, after the credits, it introduced another character to essentially create a shared universe. Same with The Incredible Hulk another self-contained story where at the end they introduce something to join a shared universe. The problem with The Mummy is that it shoves the characters and exposition of the “Dark Universe” down your throat as soon as the film starts. I miss the days when Brendan Fraiser took on the titular villain with the classic motifs and action of past. Shame.

Dr Jekyll (Russell Crowe), of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, has an organisation called Prodigium (terrible name) that contains and studies supernatural threats. His team locate a tomb in the underbelly of 21st century London and finds a knight who is holding a red jewel. Apparently, in Ancient Egypt, there was a princess who turned evil and conjured the dark side of the Egyptian god – Set. He gave her supernatural powers to take down her enemies and bring himself to life with the red jewel and a dagger. Luckily she was captured and sent to a tomb encrusted in mercury (apparently it stops evil from spreading). Millions of years later Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his sidekick Chris Vail (Jake Johnston) find the tomb, awaken the princess and all hell breaks lose.

The film had the unique opportunity to make the Mummy a genuine threat for the onscreen heroes including Nick Morton and his love interest Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis). The problem is that the script was written for the characters to rush into the threat, and then meet the team tasked to take it down with no explanation of how and why they are helping them. World building is a concrete way of making a franchise, but flashing it front and centre is just desperate. Its embarrassing to see Universal throw money at the screen by casting Tom Cruise to take on their new take of the Mummy.

The plot was rushed, no clear character development. No physical love interest for the hero, and personally no threat for him to take on. Sofia Boutella was superb as the feminine version of the classic Mummy, but her time on screen was wasted thanks to an arbitrary look on how to take on the world. The only interesting thing about her Mummy is the eyes. They split, and that’s pretty cool. Also, the makers tried to over sexualize her, and that’s not good at all. The action in the film is tasteful, to say the least, with the sequence taking place in the cemetery clearly taking on the vibe of the horror pictures of past in Universal’s monster catalogue. The film also has various humourous parts, which completely take you out of the scary moment the director has tried to create. The tone is lost, and so is your attention.

Overall a completely wasted approach to The Mummy, rather than tell a self-contained story Univeral try the hard sell with their new Dark Universe and waste the talents of Tom Cruise from hero to a selfish art thief who looks out for himself. The only good thing to come from this film is the artistry of Sofia Boutella who’s career will flourish further thanks to her portrayal of The Mummy. This film is a disgrace, and more importantly, we need Brendan Fraiser back.

Should you watch it: NO

Day 159 – The Belko Experiment – 2016

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What happens when you have 90 people trapped in a building, and they have to kill each other to survive. Chaos. This film brings us the chaotic look of how to survive against all the odds. Starring no one important minus John C McGinley who played Dr Cox on Scrubs, it was written by the legend himself – James “Guardian of the Galaxy” Gunn, and with no imagination directed by Greg McLean and released in 2016.

The premise of This film sounded quite interesting, unfortunately, the direction of the plot and play loses its flair literally 10 minutes into it. There is no backstory of why the building is on lockdown, and why the employees of The Belko Company are killing each other except for a tannoy telling them they have to. Ohh and also they have an explosive in the back of their heads in case they don’t comply. The film was poorly paced, and the acting sub-par. It was destined to be in the bargain bin at the supermarket and on the lists of “great horror” films on Netflix.

I respect James Gunn for all his work on Slither, Guardians of the Galaxy and Dawn of the Dead. They all have interesting genres, with Dawn of the Dead being likened to this film. The horror aspect is lost once the employees start killing each other for survival, and the film moves rapidly from horror to straight-up gore. It is not even good gore, just splashes of red on the walls and the camera moving off the action the moment the hit occurs.

The main character Mike Milch (played by an uncharismatic John Gallagher Jr) is the office everyman. He has the girl, and the respect of all the office, unfortunately, its not enough to stop the mayhem. He just is a boring protagonist for the audience as he has nothing to save (minus his girlfriend). There is also the James Gunn special, his brother Sean Gunn and Michael Rooker who star in most of Gunns motion pictures. The film is just straight up boring.

Overall a weak film from the mind of James Gunn (he’s lucky he didn’t direct it). An office of people get trapped inside a building and have to kill each other to be the victor and survive. Plagued with terrible performances and a weak plot the film was destined to fail.

Should you watch it: NO

Day 150 – Grimsby – 2016

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Grimsby is from the mind of Sacha Baron Cohen who brought us classic characters such as Ali G, Borat and Bruno. He started to create these zany characters on television and then made one into a film. Ali G Indahouse, Borat: Cultural Learnings of American For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and The Dictator where he played a middle east dictator sent to New York to find himself. This time around he takes us to Grimsby, the town in the north east of England. Starring himself, Mark Strong and Isla Fisher it came out in 2016 to lacklustre reviews.

Nobby Butcher (Sacha Baron Cohen) lives in Grimsby with his girlfriend and 11 kids in harmony. He goes to the pub to celebrate Englands win and entry to the final against Germany in Chile. While at the pub he is informed by friends that they have found his long lost brother Coddy and will be attending the WorldCure event. Nobby agrees to visit him, not realising his brother is an undercover MI6 agent tasked with taking out bio-terrorists at the event. He, unfortunately, gets rumbled thanks to Nobby and they retreat to Grimsby. From there they have to escape the WorldCure goons who threaten the world’s AIDS crisis by planting a bomb at the World Cup Final in Chile. It is up to Nobby and Coddy to stop the WorldCure CEO Rhonda George (Penelope Cruz) before its too late.

Well, what can I say? Are you a fan of crude jokes, audacious escapades and desperate jokes. Then this is the film for you. Sacha Baron Cohen film, unfortunately, doesnt have the same magic that his former films or characters had. This time around he brings the laughs, but unfortunately, it comes across rude in most cases. The humour is aimed at the teenage audience, and luckily it reaches that market audience. Unfortunately for me, it was more a laborious in watch then in practice. It was funny but in the crude nature.

If you are a fan of stupid comedies, then this will abide your time. Don’t expect to overthink, just laugh. Its fun, but to a point where it becomes tame. Don’t waste your time on Sasha Baron Cohen taking the piss out of Liam Gallagher’s hair.

Should you watch it: NO