Kill the Giggler
31Jan/110

Bad Reviews and ‘The Tourist’

At Den of Geek I seem to be assigned to see a lot of bad films at the moment, and I’m slightly worried that if keep slating them at this pace I’m going to get a reputation as an overly mean and vitriolic nerds. I love Charlie Brooker, Yahtzee, the Nostalgia Critic and the rest,but they’re very, very good at what they do and I’m worried if I’m not careful I could just become a cynical old fart writer who just joylessly rips on everything he sees.

However…it’s just so much fun to rip some films to shreds, particularly where they’re cynical, stupid cash-ins with an obvious contempt for the intelligence of its audience.

You have to punch up, though – while the acting, writing, directing, and mise-en scene of all but the very worst mainstream films are normally a cut above the best direct-to-video movies, it’s no fun at all to highlight the shortcomings of something that was clearly made in trying circumstances.

So the films that I’ve really laid into are the expensive wastes of money and talent, films that focus on one, marketable aspect then give up on providing a compelling story or characters that you actually want to spend time with.

There are other reasons to dislike a film of course – sometimes, it can genuinely offend you by either rejecting your prejudices or assaulting you with some of its own, but this sentiment is a lot rarer than the one of feeling like you’re being scammed by some suited bigwig, who worked out that this MIGHT be something you would be interested in based on your previous purchase history, like some sort of sentient Amazon toolbar.

With that in mind, I’ve potentially got a really, really bad review of one such film being posted up on Den of Geek in the near future that you should look out for – I was genuinely angry the film during the screening, and would have walked out if I hadn’t been compelled to stay for work reasons. It’s rare that I’m bored into a fury, but it happened here.

I have felt like this before while watching The Tourist for Den of Geek, and as a result I produced a really scathing early review that seemed to entertain quite a few people. At the bottom of the review I mention that I don’t think The Tourist is an offensively bad film, but I’ve changed my mind about that now. It really is a despicably lazy piece of shit.

So as a primer for my upcoming mystery review, please check out my review of The Tourist here. There are some jokes in it. Thanks.

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27Jan/110

Den of Geek Review: ‘Paul’

Ever get the feeling a film's been made just for you? That's the way I felt about Shaun Of The Dead when I first saw it. It hit me at exactly the right time. In my teens I was in the relative twilight of my serious film watching career, and I'd spend a lot of time working through the critical canon. One weekend would be the Scorseses, the next would be the Kubricks.

In the year leading up to the release of Shaun Of The Dead, I'd broadened out into the cult classics, and had watched An American Werewolf In London, Dawn Of The Dead, Suspiria, and the Evil Dead trilogy for the first time in a very short time period. So, when Shaun Of The Dead arrived, my tiny geek brain was completely primed to be utterly blown away by it. And it was.

Then when Hot Fuzz was released, I was so excited to find yet another film that scratched an itch I had that I didn't realise needed to be scratched: an affectionate and impeccably constructed parody-cum-love letter to the brainlessly sadistic and violent action bromances that I would stay up and watch (heavily edited, of course) on late-night ITV as an excitable, hormone-addled 14-year-old boy. Of course, it turns out that, many years later, there's still a hormone-addled 14-year-old boy inside of me.

Yeah, there's probably a better way of saying that.

So, why, in the lead up to Paul, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's first film together since Hot Fuzz, have I felt so chilly towards it?

Read the rest of this article on Den of Geek here.

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27Jan/110

Lights Out Episode 3 Review: ‘The Shot’

Pablo Schreider in "Lights Out"

Lights Out is now officially on a hot streak, following up two solid introductory episodes with the first truly great one in 'The Shot'.

After the violent conclusion to last week's episode, it would have been safe to assume that 'The Shot' would carry on the gangland storyline and perhaps shed some more information on the shadowy Brennan, who appears to be pulling strings that will embroil Lights, both into his own criminal empire and back into the fight game.

However, in this episode, Brennan was largely a nonentity (with the exception of a brief but key moment where we are reminded of how deep and far-reaching his political influence is), as we focused on the main players in Leary's Gym, manager Johnny, coach Pops, contender Omar, and, of course, Lights himself.


Read the rest of this article on Den of Geek here.

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26Jan/110

Den of Geek Review: ‘No Strings Attached’

2011 looks like it may be the year that Natalie Portman follows up her award-worthy performance in Black Swan with the Ivan Reitman directed romantic comedy No Strings Attached, pairing a serious and more 'worthy' film with something fluffier, presumably to cleanse herself of all the psychological trauma and baggage that comes with playing a demented ballerina. This has come to be known (by me) as the ‘Coens gambit'. The alternating of tones, I mean. Not the ballerina thing.

Portman's co-star is Ashton Kutcher, who is, of course, famous both for being Bruce Willis's son (apologies to Ricky Gervais) and for irritating other celebrities in MTV prank show Punk'd.

(A quick digression: the print of No Strings Attached I saw was accompanied by the trailer for Justin Bieber's upcoming 3D concert film Never Say Never, a surprise that was met with audibly pained gasps of horror from the audience. The Kutcher-helmed Punk'd finished in 2007, but it was recently announced that the concept was due to be revived and reimagined, Batman Begins-style, with a new presenter at the helm, Justin Bieber. Such is the intricate tapestry of asinine 21st century pop bullshit.)

Read the rest of this article on Den of Geek here.

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