Sunday, 31 July 2016

At The Movies - Squid and Me

Squid and Chumba (Joshua) at my mums.

So far this year Squid and me have been to the flicks eight times. We have seen a host of films all of which have been Squid's choice, not mine. Some have been good, two exceptional and others about which I shall not dwell on. We have seen 'Daddy's Home,' 'Goosebumps,' 'Chipmunks 2,' 'Kung Fu Panda 3,' 'X-Men - Apocalypse,' 'The Jungle Book,' 'Ice Age 5' and 'The BFG.'

'The Chipmunks' was not really for me. Nothing wrong with the film if you are aged 10. I am not. I laughed at the escapades minutes after the audience and probably was the only male there in long pants. I loved Alvin and Co; when I was knee high but what was riotous fun in the early sixties is now simple slapstick in my mid-sixties. Maybe if The Junior Jays been just a little older then I might have enjoyed it better through their hysterics but this was just plain silly.

'Daddy's Home' was better.  Will Ferrell is always good for a laugh especially when he takes his shirt off, a gut-bucket with pallid arms that lack any definition . Mark Wahlberg is the opposite, a man whose physique looks as though it were carved by Lysippos. It was a tale of two fathers; one the natural father, the other the step dad. The majority of the film was OK but the final scenes at the ball game lift the film before concluding on a high. We liked it even if Mister Wahlberg makes me sick.

'Kung Fu Panda 3' and Ice Age 5' share a problem. You have to know when to quit. 'Shrek' went one film too many as did 'Toy Story.' In fairness 'Panda' manages to pull if off  even if I think this should be the final chapter in what has been an impressive series. All characters have been pretty much fleshed-out. There really is nowhere for the writers to take the film now. That said it had its moments where I found myself laughing out loud.

'Ice Age 5' was slightly better. It still has a way to go with a range of characters yet to be developed, storylines still to be explored. This was my least favourite in the franchise even if it scored higher on the laughter scale than 'Panda.'

'Goosebumps' was a little corker. Jack Black is a vastly underrated actor. The film reminded me of 'Jumanji.' Sure, it lacks the genius of Robin Williams but, as I said, Jack Black is truly gifted. His manner of speaking defines his style. Strong phrasing with impeccable timing coupled with a range of expressions that propels the tale forward. Like 'Jumanji' we witness a sequence of horrors, of monsters released from the pages of author R.L. Stine's books. Stine is in reality, Mister Shivers (Jack Black), who's book's all have keys to keep the contents along with the monsters within. The problems, like the monsters, are released when new neighbours move in and set off a series of events that threatens the civilised world. Well,  America anyway.

'The Jungle Book' is nothing like the 1968 Disney cartoon animation. I longed to hear again the songs I so loved as an adolescent but was strangely glad, relieved even, that this remake makes no attempts to recapture yesterday's momentous achievements. What it does, with some incredible voice overs as supplied by Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba and the wonderful Bill Murray, is to retell Kipling's story pretty much as it was originally published. Yes, this is a great film. I would have thought it will be in the running for some award or another.

After 'Days of Future Past,' the best film thus far in the X-Men franchise, it would have been hard for 'X-men Apocalypse' to come close and it doesn't but nonetheless remains watchable. Again, we have a time travelling angle that sees a range of actors from Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy. The best scene is where Quicksilver flashed back and forth at superspeed bashing super villain En Sabah Nur. A good film, hugely entertaining with some great scripting and even better action scenes but unfortunately lacking the vital ingredient its predecessor had. 

Squid's star award's go this way

FIVE - 'Jungle Book,' and 'Goosebumps.'
FOUR - 'X-men Apocalypse.'
THREE - 'Kung Fu Panda 3,'  'Ice Age 5' and 'Daddy's Home.'
TWO - 'Chipmunks 2.'

And Next...'The BFG.'


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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

1 comment:

Cara H said...

The only movie I've seen this year (with my son, who is 26) is Independence Day 2. Roland Emmerich may not be a high class filmmaker, but he does create a damn good disaster epic. I enjoy his cheesy, splashy roller coaster rides.
My son loved Alvin and the Chipmunks as a kid. I like the little guys, but unlike some cartoons which I still love, they really haven't held up for me as well.