Monday, 23 May 2016

DVD Roundup: Cynicism and Depression FTW edition

I'll be upfront here: Spotlight is not a film you'll watch for fun, but it is definitely a film worth your time. Based on the Boston Globe investigation into priests molesting young children, and the lawyers letting them pay off the families, Spotlight is a devastating look into this major news story. Subtly told, and with terrific acting, Tom McCarthy's film was well deserving off all the awards it won, including Best Picture at this years Oscar's. Listen to our full review in the player below.

We saw Spotlight the week after The Big Short, and our conclusion was, this world sucks! Looking into the causes of the 2008 banking crisis from the perspective of the bankers. While including some great performances, especially from Steve Carrell, The Big Short falls down with its hyperactive retelling of the story (courtesy of Anchorman director Adam McKay), and in its attempts to explain complicated economic spiel, often resorts to patronising deviations (you may be familiar with the Margot Robbie in a bathtub scene). Ultimately, this film makes you end up hating the bankers even more then before you started watching. Listen to our podcast review in the player below.

Hunger Games has a lot to answer for, doesn't it? The 5th Wave is another teenage dystopian nightmare, which did sound good on paper: the Earth is being destroyed by aliens with a series of natural disasters and rampant diseases, and we see Chloe Grace Moretz try to survive this as she tries to make her way back to her brother. However, the common consensus is that the film starts well, but ends badly. In my mind though, I keep on confusing it with the The Wave, a very good, but very different film.

You know when you see a film trailer and you feel sorry for all involved? That's how I felt about Dirty Grandpa. This stars the man that once played Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle as a lecherous creep. I haven't seen it, as you can guess, but some of the reviews for it seem funnier than the film should be. Variety calls it "brutally unfunny", Mark Kermode states "Somewhere, in the very bowels of hell, Dirty Grandpa is playing on an eternal double bill with Movie 43", and Cinemablend questions "Why am I still writing about this movie? Why are you still reading about this movie?". Still, the choice is yours if you want to watch it.

OK, this is a film I actually do really want to see. Hou Hsiao-Hsien's The Assassin is a sumptuous retelling of wuxia fiction, which won Hsien the award for Best Director at last years Cannes Film Festival. Shu Qi plays an assassin punished for failing a task by being sent to kill the man she once loved. I'll be honest, I am completely entranced by this films aesthetics, but I am more than ready to succumb myself to its story.

Re-issue of the week has to go to The Sucking, aka Sewage Baby. First released in 1990, Francis Teri's body horror sees an unwanted pregnancy taking revenge on an abortion clinic, when the flushed away foetus mutates into a dangerous slaughterer, enveloping the clinic in its placenta and torturing the inhabitants with its umbilical cord. I can't help but be reminded of the scene in the South Park: Stick of Truth game, where you have to fight a giant Nazi foetus, but The Suckling itself look like pure B-Movie mayhem.

Remember when Richee had a rant about the upcoming release of Kindergarten Cop 2? Well, its finally out to own now, for all the fans of the original Arnold Schwarzenegger starring movie, first released in 1990, who desperately wanted a sequel. Looking as dumb as it sounds, Dolph Lundgren stars in the same kind of role, as a FBI agent going undercover, but this time there is added political correctness! Maybe a film for the morbidly curious.

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