After their adventures in the previous instalment, Dale (Charlie Day), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Nick (Jason Bateman) decide to go into business for themselves with the Shower Buddy a kind of car wash for your shower. When Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) and his son Rex (Chris Pine) cause them to become hugely in debt, they devise a ridiculous kidnapping and extortion plan which they attempt, but give up when things don’t go to plan. Unfortunately for them, Rex has decided that it is a far better plan and blackmails them into going through with it – with him as a partner. And it gets ridiculous.
I just had a look at what I thought about he first film – I felt that it wasn’t enough story for a full film, but it was ok. Perhaps that is why I liked this one more – perhaps it had more plot, or something. At any rate, I did quite enjoy this one, with all of it’s filthy humour, and it was good to get a few callback characters like Dean ‘MF’ Jones (Jamie Foxx), Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) and Dr Julia Harris, D.D.S. (Jennifer Aniston).
Based on his youth, Home Song Stories tells the tale of part of the early life of award-winning writer, producer and director Tony Ayres. His mother brought he and his sister to Australia in the late 60s, married an Australian sailor but then immediately left, living with a variety of ‘uncles’. Finally, at the point the film starts, Rose (Joan Chen), Tom (Joel Lock) and May (Irene Chen) return to the sailor, Bill (Steve Vidler). However his mother also lives there, and before long, the family have moved out with Uncle Jow (Yuwu Qi). Unfortunately, Rose suffers from depression, and things get really tough for the family.
It’s a terribly sad film, and is told in a way that even when I wanted to dislike some characters, I couldn’t. (Well, apart from the openly racist – it’s not hard to hate them) Each time that I wanted to shake someone and say ‘stop it!’ I was equally as aware that their behaviour was often the result of circumstance, mental health issues and so much more. Tragic and at times, hard to watch, but capturing perfectly a moment in time.
Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is a journalist who has become famous for her puff pieces despite her intelligence and ambition and is stuck writing a piece in which she intends to act like a crazy woman to end a new relationship. Ben Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is an ad executive who thinks he is better at his job than two women and the way he is going to do this is to make a woman fall in love with him (because that is logical). The two women have heard about Anderson’s piece and so, naturally, make her the mark. Now, can they survive ten days without giving up?
I watched this because I wanted something light and fluffy, that I expected I would get quite annoyed at, and I didn’t have the headspace for much at all. And I got it. It’s pretty appalling. I actually quite like both Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, so I could bear them. There was also the nice addition of Adam Goldberg, Kathryn Hahn and Bebe Neuwirth to get me through. But really, there is pretty much nothing new in this film at all. If you want a romantic comedy, you could do better, but you could do a lot worse.
Well, thank goodness they did a total rewrite and didn’t try to use the most recent Bridget Jones book, Mad About the Boy, as the basis for this film. This is a book spoiler alert – in the book, Mark Darcy is dead and Bridget is raising their kids alone and is (as always) desperate for a man. It was a good book, but oh so sad! Thank goodness Helen Fielding was on board for creating a whole new story.
Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is single again, having broken up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) a few years previous, and he found someone else and married. She’s a successful news producer, although still makes typical “Oh, Bridget” mistakes. That would get most people fired on the spot. Suspend that disbelief. She goes off to a weekend camping festival with news presenter and mate Miranda (Sarah Solemani) and bumps into the very hot Jack (Patrick Dempsey) and they have a good old shag. A week later at one of her mate’s kid’s christening (which for some reason is as big a party as a wedding, these people are insanely rich) she bumps into Mark who reveals he is getting divorced and they have a good old shag. Three months later, Bridget finds out she is pregnant and doesn’t know who the father is. She tells them both and the rest of the film is competition win Bridget over.
It’s great – if you love Bridget Jones and this type of film. All of the old cast are back – Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, Sally Phillips, Shirley Henderson and then get great surprises like Emma Thompson as the fabulous obstetrician and Neil Pearson as one of Bridget’s colleagues. There is the issue of being all about a woman needing a man to fulfil her, which was always the goal of Bridget and always felt to me a bit disempowering for women. However what works here is that Bridget is successful in her career already and has a fabulous flat and great friends. She doesn’t desperately seek the handsome American as probably would have happened in earlier episodes – in fact, only tracking him down when she needed some info about paternity. My favourite moment was that, even though she loves Mark Darcy and clearly they get along well and love each other, she pushes him away because he is a workaholic. She doesn’t blame him, but just clearly states it didn’t work for her for the ten or so years that they were together and she’s not prepared to go back there. Go Bridget!
A girl has done the unthinkable – gone into her school in a small country town and killed a group of students, then herself. And left behind her twin sister to not only deal with her own loss and pain, but as a horrific reminder of everything her sister put their small community through.
What a fabulous concept! How does this sister and the town get through? Due to my own misreading of the back of the book, I thought this was what I was going to read. But instead, this takes the strange twist of putting the living sister, Alice, into a strange dream world, created through the dreams of the townsfolk, where she and a group of survivors try to outrun and survive the evil schoolgirl who regularly appears to kill them all. It wasn’t the book I wanted to read when I started it, and it wasn’t the book I was expecting. But it was a book that took me a whole heap of different places and still has moments that play on my mind. And I thought it was strange and amazing.
Steve Martin plays a wacky weatherman, Harris K. Telemacher, in LA, who is unhappy with his life until he meets Sarah McDowel (Victoria Tennant), a British reporter. However she is going through the motions of recociling with ex-husband Roland Mackey (Richard E. Grant), while Telemacher is dealing with his girlfriend Trudi (Marilu Henner) and cute shopgirl SanDeE* (Sarah Jessica Parker). All of this with the backdrop of crazy, happy, vacuous LA – and the assistance of a electronic sign with personaility.
I seem to recall quite liking this film. There are certainly some quirky things that I kind of like – especially the sign. But overall, it’s a real mess – the gags tend to get in the way of the story, it’s just messy and silly. And fun! But messy.
You know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk? Jack is dumb and poor and trades his cow for a handful of magic beans that his mother throws out the window and in the mornign a beanstalk has grown to the sky, and so Jack climbs it and steals a whole bunch of stuff from them and then he cuts it down and the giant dies. Well, let’s rewrite this a bit. First, the giants have attacked the world once and were driven off by a king wearing a magic crown and have remained above the clouds for a really long time. But now, due to a couple of silly mistakes and the scheming of the nasty Roderck (Stanley Tucci), there is the chance for the giants to return. It ends up being up to the kings men, notably Elmont (Ewan McGregor) and Crawe (Eddie Marsan), helped by Jack (Nicholas Hoult) who was saving Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) to kick the giants’ butts.
I totally should have loved this more. Apart from Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Nicholas Hoult and Eddie Marsan, all of whose performances I generally really enjoy, there was Ewen Bremner, Ian McShane and Warwick Davis. The story should have been good enough to carry me along. Yet there was something lacking. Something that I just didn’t love. Was it that yet again, there was only one female character? And that while she had a bit of personality, essentially she was just another princess waiting to be rescued? Or did it all just feel a bit forced?