Movie 43

After Baxter (Devin Eash) plays a YouTube prank on his older brother Calvin (Mark L. Young) and his friend J.J. (Adam Cagley), Calvin decides to take revenge. He sends Baxter on an online mission to find the mythical – and apparently fictional – ‘Movie 43‘, a video so foul and depraved that it’s been banished to the furthest corners of the internet, whilst Calvin fills Baxter’s laptop with pornography and viruses. Apparently the video will, if seen, bring about the end of humanity, the destruction of the world, and will make him pull his own penis off, and we are treated to all the videos that Baxter encounters on his search.Movie-43 Continue reading

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Chicago

Last Monday I was not having a good day. I don’t remember having a particularly good day at work, and when I came home the LoveFilm disc of The Class (review coming soon) infected my PlayStation 3, my primary film-watching paraphernalia, with an incurable bout of Yellow Light of Death. Fortunately, after a quick 20-minutes of mucking around with SCART leads and speakers, the back-up DVD player was up and running, but alas The Class had no intentions of playing, and to be honest I was in no mood to read subtitles after that debacle, so instead we settled down for a much more easy to watch and far more enjoyable evening of Chicago.
I’ve seen the story twice before, once on film and once on stage, and I think I preferred the small screen to the grand spectacle, though I think on second viewing it isn’t as good as I remembered. Renee Zellweger is as annoying as ever as the naive, waif-like Roxie Hart, incarcerated after killing the man she was sleeping around with (The Wire’s Dominic West). Whilst inside, she meets Catherine Zeta-Jones’ performer Velma Kelly, herself accused of murdering her sister and husband. The two compete for the favours of Matron Mama (Queen Latifah) and super smooth, silver-tongued lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere).
Gere and Latifah seem to be the only ones enjoying themselves, and why Latifah was nominated for Best Supporting Actress I’ll never know, as her performance doesn’t compare to the award winning Zeta-Jones. There’s far too much of Zellweger simpering around the stage, and she seems to have forgotten to tell her face that she’s acting for much of her performance. Her singing is fine, but she is a thoroughly over-rated actress, who in this film is also far too skinny (but then so are all the girls in this film, Latifah aside). More of Gere’s incredibly entertaining Flynn would have gone a long way, as would more screen time for John C. Reilly as Roxie’s cuckolded husband Amos, who’s solo performance of Mr. Cellophane is my personal favourite, along with the wonderfully choreographed Cell Block Tango and Flynn’s marionette manipulation of a gaggle of reporters.
So, whilst it’s not perfect and a recasting of the lead would have been greatly appreciated (though to be honest, I’m not sure who I’d cast in her place) many of the musical numbers are still great fun. Six Oscars and thirteen nominations though? Seems a little excessive.
Choose film 7/10

Pretty Woman

There’s an area in Bournemouth – where I’d currently hang my hat if I wore won – known as the local red light district, and unfortunately it’s on the road upon which I live. Let’s get one thing cleared up right now: hookers do not look like Julia Roberts, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t be struggling for money, regardless of how much their flatmate spends on drugs.

Remarkably, Aisha had neither seen nor heard much about this chickiest of chick flicks, filling the role of girly film of the decade between Dirty Dancing and the Notebook. And just like those two films, for anyone with a Y chromosome, this film is terrible. Firstly, Roberts’ streetwalker Vivian Ward is a horrendous role model. Not only is she a prostitute, by the end of the film it is clear she would have remained one forever were it not for Richard Gere’s ridiculously wealthy businessman Edward Lewis. The moral here kids is don’t worry, you’re live may turn to crap, but someday someone will come along, wave their magic credit card shaped wand and give you everything you’ve ever wanted. Essentially an, ahem, adult retelling of a fairy tale – Cinderella and Rapunzel are both namechecked – the film retains every sense of logic and reality of its inspirations.
It’s only saving graces are from the supporting cast – Jason Alexander as essentially a more successful George Costanza and the great Larry Miller as a preening store manager (“She has my [credit] card” “And we’ll help her use it, sir.”), but otherwise the story is one-note and the lead performances average at best, with the actors feeling very robotic and over-directed. And even worse, Aisha has now added it to her Amazon wish list.
Choose life 4/10