NYNM#3: From one extreme to the other

I think we chalk this one up as an epic fail.

18. Pina (2011), Total Recall (2012)

Pina Recall

‘A tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her dancers perform her most famous creations.’

‘A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall – a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led – goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.’

Right, not proud of this, not proud of this at all.

After the shit that was The Grey, and a long long long day that involved an hour long phone call with someone eating down the phone at me, I desperately needed something gentle and soothing to watch, that didn’t require too much brain power.

In my wisdom I thought it was finally time to crack open Pina, Wim Wenders’ love letter to the amazing choreographer Pina Bausch. I saw the Tanztheater Wuppertal perform a few years back and it remains one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

I lasted five minutes.

Temperamental DVD player, brain battery on 5% and The Italian crapping on at me about… Waitrose?… meant that sucker got turned off faster than imagining you’re in bed with Michael Gove. To appreciate it fully demands wine, an alert brain and no one talking about supermarkets.

So we ended up watching Total Recall, the remake of the Arnie classic, with Captain Eyebrows O’Farrell himself. It was big, loud, stupid, not a patch on the original (GADDAMID COHAAGAN GIVE DE PEEPLE DE AYUH!) but it was OK. Also, I fell asleep about 20 minutes before the end so I’ve got no idea how it ended (I’m presuming Colin won whatever he was fighting against.)

As I said – epic fail on my part.

(Not grading either film until they’ve been seen in their entirety when my brain is working).

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NYNM#3: Geriaction

The Italian chose this film.

He’s not allowed to choose the films anymore.

17. The Grey (2011)

grey

‘After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.’

Full disclosure: it’s almost pointless me writing a review of The Grey because I was always going to hate it. Let’s look at why:

  1. It fails the Bechdel test, miserably.
  2. Liam Neeson needs to pipe down and stop Matt Damoning about #MeToo.
  3. He could stop being the poster boy for Geriaction movies while he’s at it.
  4. And he might want to stop making movies in which he punches things, broodingly.
  5. The humans are on the wolves territory, so really they’re the ones at fault.
  6. This kind of toxically alpha male piece of shit masquerading as something existential makes me want to rip my face off and serve it to my friends for a light supper.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good action movie, but I could actively feel my brain atrophy the longer this aberration went on. 0/10.

NYNM#3: Money Makes the World Go Round

So, I currently work two jobs, in a bid to get myself out of a financial abyss of doom. Before starting job number 2 I was, if not quite hand to mouth, then definitely relying on the kindness of friends. Which was embarrassing, and did something weird to my brain because it turned me into a really bitter person with such cripplingly low self esteem that I continued to hook up with The World’s Worst Human for far longer than advisable. So taking all of that in relation to this film, I am Jennifer Aniston.

16. Friends with Money (2006)

After she quits her lucrative job, Olivia finds herself unsure about her future and her relationships with her successful and wealthy friends.

I liked this. Great cast, really interesting look at friendships and how they change as we get older and/or find ourselves in different financial situations.

It’s maybe not the most dynamic film I’ve ever seen, but I wouldn’t tell someone not to watch it. 7/10.

NYNM#3: Parenting, a mansplanation

Because obviously all any woman wants in life is to breed.

15. Admission (2013)

A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.

This wasn’t on the list of films I planned to watch this year, but I happened across it, saw the cast list and Netflix synopsis and thought it was worth a punt.

Jesus tonight, how wrong can a person be?

I was actually offended by this, and by the decision of the actors to sign on the dotted line. Was it a “need a paycheck any paycheck situation”, Tina Fey and Paul Rudd? Lily Tomlin, is it so exhausting being your glorious self that you need to humble yourself by appearing in absolute dross every now and then? And you, Michael Sheen, is this what prompted you to give up acting and fuck off back to Wales to do politics? I don’t understand how any of them could have read the script and thought, ‘yep, this is a great story!’

It’s entirely plausible, of course, that the reality TV excuse of choice applies here- ‘it was edited badly!’, but you can’t polish a turd, a shit script is still a shit script.

So why am I getting so annoyed? There’s a certain amount of my own projection going on, I’m sure, but of the themes at play parenting is the dominant one. All women want (or should want) to be a mother. Men (on the whole) don’t (and if they do they think they’re being selfless). Urrghhhh.

This whole film is a colossal and pointless waste of time. I worry that I’ve missed some kind of subtle point about… what? I don’t know. It just really pissed me off. 3/10.

NYNM#3: Welp

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

14. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

I saw the trailer for this when this was first released and thought, total sobfest. I mean, the clue’s right there in the title.

But no! Not a sobfest! I mean, it’s not exactly a laugh a minute but it won’t dessicate you either. It doesn’t set out to do that either, to be honest, not in the way a John Green adaptation would.

Sweet, sad, funny, clever. Well worth a watch. 8/10.

NYNM#3: Return of the Eyebrows

We’re living in strange times. I open the Guardian app most mornings and peek at our ugly world through my fingers, either because politics, or because a well known male celebrity has been accused of harrassment or has Matt Damon’d about it.

13. The Beguiled (2017)

The unexpected arrival of a wounded Union soldier at a girls school in Virginia during the American Civil War leads to jealousy and betrayal.

Oh my. Oh my indeed. This is perhaps the most beautifully shot pieces of film I’ve ever seen. It looks stunning. Every technical aspect is just spot on. It would be worth watching just for the cinematography, even if it had a a terrible plot.

But thankfully, it doesn’t. Christ, there’s so much to unpick though, I could think about this for days. The whole thing could be an allegory for #MeToo, #EverydaySexism or just about anything really. Pick a hashtag, any hashtag.

If I had to pick a word to describe it I’d go with ‘sultry’. The setting, the mood, you can cut the sexual tension with a knife at times. I had a glimmer of the horn after watching (which felt a wee bit grubby given the narrative).

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the nuanced, note-perfect performance of my perennial favourite, Colin Farrell’s left eyebrow. 9/10.

NYNM#3: Channeling Gok

I could not stop swishing round the flat after watching this, telling Barney and The Italian that ‘IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CONFIDENCE!’

12. Confidence (2003)

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‘Jake Vig is a consummate grifter about to pull his biggest con yet, one set to avenge his friend’s murder. But his last scam backfired, leaving him indebted to a mob boss and his enforcer.’

Do you remember back in the mid-90s, when everyone was saying that Edward Burns was like the new Orson Welles? Didn’t really happen, did it? Mind you, being married to Christy Turlington might distract a person from any Wellesian life goals.

Anyway. This was alright… I like a good crime film and it was enjoyable enough. I’d probably put it behind Out of Sight and Oceans 11 and 13 (not that I’m a Soderbergh groupie or anything), but way ahead of the dreck that was Oceans 12. I had to read the synopsis on Wiki straight afterwards cos the Italian and I were arguing over why a certain plot point happened… so you kind of need to concentrate. Not a wasted viewing though. 7.5/10

(I’m ignoring the elephant in the room that is the harassment allegations against Dustin Hoffman. It was definitely in the back of my mind watching this though. One to ponder for a future post)