Thursday, October 31, 2013
Monday, October 7, 2013
The final installment of the Cornetto Trilogy does not disappoint. Admittedly I am a huge Simon Pegg fan and I have been since Spaced. I am looking at this as a separate movie from the previous ones because they aren’t tied together except for the wonderfully delightful Cornetto cameo in every movie. So setting down my copy of Nerd Do Well I am going to try and be as objective as I can. I LOVED IT!!
This movie surrounds the life Gary King (Simon Pegg) who is stuck in the past trying to hold on to the glory days of his youth. While all of his friends have moved on in their lives, Gary has not. While in group therapy he realizes they never got a chance to finish an epic pub crawl known as The Golden Mile. He gathers his friends together to try and complete what he failed to do in their youth: a pint in all twelve pubs in one night ending at the pub known as The Worlds End.
Gary talks his old friends, Andy (Nick Frost), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Peter (Eddie Marsan) into going back to Newton Haven to finally complete The Golden Mile, Going home is hard. Nothing is ever quite the same, especially as almost everyone you knew has been replaced with an identical-looking robot.
By the by on our trip to London we were actually in the town of Welwyn Garden City where they shot this film. We did not know it at the time but once the group got back to their home town my wife recognized it immediately. I said all small London suburbs look the same. She was right. POINT wife.
Edgar Write co-wrote this with Simon Pegg and he does an excellent job of mixing in emotional connections with the characters and humor at the absurdity of the fact they have to fight killer robots. You can pick out people in your life from the types of characters they are portraying. They are so identifiable you have the person who is pining for a love they passed up, or the over-achiever or the Bluetooth guy. Everyone has one friend who is still trapped in the high school glory days. If your circle of friends doesn't have one, then it might be you.
Edgar Write makes a well-balanced film, the action scenes are spot on. It has the pace of an Asian action movie with sci-fi elements and a great mixture of humor and seriousness. The fights have attack and counter-attack pacing that is on par with a few Jackie Chan fight scenes but no death-defying feats. Plus, it gets quite bloody, but not bloody as the robots all use a blue coolant-like substance for blood.
This level of work is nothing new to writer and crew. It’s like his previous work, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The truly good story-telling is when you allow the audience to feel for the characters. Through the story we learn more and more about Gary King and realize how lost in his youth he is.
Another good thing about this crew is they can be used as an example for movie studios, if you have a good cast and crew and you want to do another movie please don’t do a sequel just to do a sequel. Here is a perfect example of working with people you like but doing a different movie every time. I could watch more from this group of performers. Ok, so fine! I am letting my fanboy self write this review. So what? I love this film, so sue me.
If you excuse me I am going to go re-watch Spaced and plan my movie marathon when this comes out on
DVD. I wonder if I could order Cornettos from London to Denver.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I was a fan of the original Kick-Ass film. This is one where Roger Ebert and I differed. He did not like the original at all. I enjoy it because it was a fun movie, even with the horrific level of violence and vulgarity in the story. Instead of repeating the same elements from the first film, this one gives us new things to think about and advances the overall story. Things escalate in this movie and if they go further with this franchise it’s going to have to escalate to epic levels of carnage. I give Kick-Ass 2 a cautionary green light, as it’s well-done, but may not be for everyone.
Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has put away his costume and is trying to live a normal life, but it is empty and he is denying his true self by not going out and patrolling as Kick-Ass. Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) is also trying to make it as a high school student because she has made a promise to her guardian, Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut). They start out by doing what they can to keep living the civilian life. Kick-Ass, like a drug addict, can’t stay away from the life and gets Hit-Girl to teach him how to fight and improve his skill.
On the last movie Chris D’Amico’s (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) father was killed by Kick-Ass. He now wants to take revenge and become the world’s first supervillian. He makes his bodyguard, Javier (John Leguizamo), gather together a team of hitmen to become his league of evil.
Kick-Ass joins up with Colonel Stars and Stripes (JimCarrey) and his team of good guys to parole the streets. They are obviously going to have a standoff, blood will be shed. The climax of the movie was way too predictable but still a fun ride.
For this one, Matthew Vaughn moved from director to producer and gave the director’s chair to Jeff Wadlow. Wadlow’s resume is short, but impressive. Mark Millar is still involved in the writing on the project so I expected a consistent feel to the story. Big thanks to the team for moving forward with the story and not trying to rehash the original films success.
The main draw for me is how the characters are evolving, and time passes with consequences. The actions by the heroes and the villains all have a cost and this movie doesn’t let them off the hook. Do they need to make a sequel? No. But they did leave room for one if the script is right. Another installment would have to be off the charts in the violence department. You can only go higher with this kind of story. Anything smaller could threaten the franchise.
On that note Jim Carrey plays a character, who doesn’t use any guns. He uses an axe handle and a German Shepherd. They started filming before the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Mr. Carrey has taken a strong position on gun violence in movies and because he has already completed this move was unable to pull out of the project. He decided to do no promotion for this move. He was reported as tweeting:
First tweet “I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to e”
Second Tweet “I meant to say my apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”
I think he has every right to take a stand and his comments were respectful and he is standing by his convictions. He said that he was initially drawn to the role because of the way that his character didn’t use any guns, however bludgeoning someone with a half inch of their life is just as violent and a damn sight more brutal. A lack of gun doesn’t limit how violent this movie gets.
In my opinion, violence in movies doesn’t translate to violence in real life. As I write this I am just finishing listening to a report about the shooting at the Navy Yard. We have a problem in the country and it’s deeper than who feels whose rights are being trampled on. If everyone lived by this one simple policy things would go a lot smoother. Don’t be adick. Thank you Will Wheaton for providing us with a simple way of taking a look at ourselves and make sure that we are playing nice.
If you don’t stop and give in a little on an argument, you’re being a dick. If you feel that your belief is the only way that peace can be achieved, you’re being a dick. If you are too busy fear-mongering to listen to reason, you’re being a dick. If you think that all the problems can be solved by other industries changing their product but you leave yours untouched, you’re being a dick. Don’t be a dick.
If you decide that you can’t be a part of a project that you worked on so you decide not to help promote it and explain your reasons in a respectful way, you are not a dick you are Jim Carry.
How can you avoid being a dick this week?