Set in South Africa, we have all the usual setups, corny and cliche as you could possibly make them. Though in its defense there is no nudity here, which given they hit every other one, that is a small surprise.
What is even more horrendous and to be quite frank unforgivable is
Morgan Freeman making an appearance as a politician who is implicated in this disaster (on so many fronts). Clearly though he was picking up a pay cheque here, because all of his scenes are at the end of a phone. So hopefully that new kitchen he was decking out was worth it.
Purefoy has probably the worse ever haircut in any of his movies ever. Surely he can’t look back on this and think, that’s one for the grandchildren? It is a mess from start to finish.
I really don’t want to go on just how bad this movie is. I have already wasted way more of my life on this one as it stands. It gets my infamous 0 out of 10 rating.
#95 in the series
Viewing Date Saturday, 21st November 2015 (Richmond)
So after 3 nights in Las Vegas what better movie to watch on the flight home than Ocean’s Eleven – the Clooney/Pitt version. I do have the original rat pack version in my library which I will review at some point on this movie-a-day-for-a-year journey. Amusing that the stranger, sitting beside me on flight, she opted for The Hang over, another Vegas set movie.
Here we have Clooney and his crew looking to rob 3 Las Vegas casino’s of their large cash reserves on fight night. The action is setup by’n’large around the infamous Bellagio hotel. If you don’t know what one that is, then you aren’t alone. I rang my 9 year son one bright morning and said to him I was in Las Vegas. Silence. Okay, I am standing in front of the hotel with the big fancy water fountain that was in Ocean’s Eleven. He bursts into a wave of excitement and envy. So now you know.
This outing was an extremely fun outing that they boys should have stopped at and not made the subsequent two follow up movies. This was near on perfect; sharp dialogue, beautiful scenery, top notch cast, nearly believable story line and clever set pieces you were hard pushed to see coming.
Now while they shouldn’t have made the follow up movies, the on screen dynamic of Pitt and Clooney works extremely well. They nearly capture the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin dynamic of the original. Andy Garcia plays the villain with great effectiveness with Julia Roberts providing the beauty of the ensemble.
Clooney is irritability good looking and suave in this, as he wears a tuxedo in a button down, tie undone way better than when all done up. Pitt is another fashion statement strutting his stuff around the screen. The others don’t get the same clothing budget as our top two stars.
Ocean’s Eleven, while a departure from the Sinatra outing, stays close enough to the spirit of the original as to not disservice its good memory. Thoroughly enjoyable romp and especially fun to watch if you have just been a guest in the sin city.
#75 in the series
Viewing Date Sunday, 1st November 2015 (Leaving Las Vegas on United flight)
I will confess that this one was an impulse watch on Netflix. Sometimes the odd gem pops up on Netflix that missed all the usual marketing hype. This isn’t one of them.
Here we have a bunch of college students, who are apt at acquiring credit cards through fair means or foul and then spending on them before the card is canceled. Sometimes a good cast can make a bad story good, but even here, we have a B-players simply turning up and reading their lines. You have enough faces here that you think, where have I seen him before?
Emma Rigby (from Hollyoaks) all providing the central gang members. There is no dynamics between them, nothing that would make you want to root for them.
Of course, inevitably they run a foul of the local gangster who tasks them for acquiring a huge haul of money in a very short space of time or be killed. They have a bright idea, of heading over to Miami in Florida (by the way the movie is set in London by in large). They look to suck dry the credit cards of the big whales that have been identified for their heavy spending.
That all goes wrong in the usual predictability that has you rolling your eyes so they turn their attention to acquire diamonds from a local deal, posing as a wealthy Arabian prince.
Graham McTavish, who I can only imagine was bored between Outlander seasons, plays the diamond merchant they con to coming over to London with the diamonds.
I mean the whole thing is just stupid on so many levels, the fact I am writing this much about it, only serves as a warning to others who may find themselves going down this path unaware of the sheer futility of it. For that reason, I am giving it my second only ever 0 out of 10 rating.
Viewing Date Thursday, 29th October 2015 (San Francisco, Marriott)
After last nights viewing escapade, one needed something a little lighter, something that didn’t require too much thinking and would lift the spirits with a chortle or two. Interestingly this particular movie also stars
J.K. Simmons doing what he does best; off beat personality. So with that, the 2004 remake, The Ladykillers, was chosen.
The setup of this movie is a good old fashioned heist, involving 5 criminals of varying skill sets, camped out in an old ladies basement as they tunnel their way through to the local casino to rid them of $1.6M. Naturally, the old lady suspects and therefore must be dealt with for fear of jeopardizing the whole plan.
Tom Hanks plays the Professor, the ring leader who assembles the group and for the large part does all the talking and planning. He talks in a very verbose, yet succinct, tone, painting a whole landscape with each sentence. I loved this articulation and found it most amusing.
Professor: Yes, I must confess. I often find myself more at home in these ancient volumes than I do in the hustle-bustle of the modern world. To me, paradoxically, the literature of the so-called “dead tongues” holds more currency than this morning’s newspaper. In these books, in these volumes, there is the accumulated wisdom of mankind, which succors me when the day is hard and the night lonely and long.
Irma P. Hall plays the old, church going, god fearing black lady who is just a riot to watch as she innocently bumps into the truth. She is a widow who sits under her late husbands portrait hanging above the fireplace telling him all about the events of the day. Keep an eye out for this picture, as it changes expressions throughout depending on time (a technique seen in
J.K. Simmons as noted earlier, plays a wonderfully comedic bomb expert who is suffers Irritable Bowl Syndrome with impeccable timing. Simmons reminds me of the great Stephen Tobolowsky who can also create a unique off-the-wall character each and every time without ever overlapping.
We also have one of the younger Wayans brothers, Marlon Wayans doing an excellent job of providing, what has to be said, the majority of the cursing. But done in a wonderful way. Keep an eye out for a particular funny scene in a Waffle Hut when he is proclaiming “you brought your bitch to the waffle hut?”.
The Ladykillers is from the director/writer brother duo the Coen’s. They do a fantastic job of capturing the humour and wit from the original 1955 Alec Guinnessversion. I recall seeing that one Sunday afternoon, when the BBC would screen the black’n’white movies when I was but a young lad.
Special attention should be made to the soundtrack of this movie. Like the earlier Coen outing, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, this movie is also blessed with a rich, toe-tapping soundtrack that is weaved throughout the story to bring each situation to life. Very gospel in nature, with a dash of ‘hippity hop’ music thrown in.
This is too beautiful a movie to give away any spoilers, but this movie has a definitely repeat-ability to it and you will find yourself coming back to it as they years roll by.