Love And Mercy

Well I never thought that I would do this, another movie review. I had really loved the first Ted movie so my hopes were high for Ted 2, Seth Mac Farlane go to the back of the class. Your movie was found wanting.

Having seen this particular movie also this week, I have come to realise this was the movie I should have reviewed.

Many dismiss the music of the Beach Boys as frivolous American music this is to do them a severe disservice. They deserve to be included in the same sentence as The Beatles, they are that important to music.

For a movie about a music star to be successful they have to be troubled in their lives outside music, it seems that it feeds their creativity in some way. Why not have a musical double bill and check out AMY also.

This movie is from the perspective of Brian Wilson and set in two decade the 60’s around the time of the seminal album Pet Sounds and then moves to the 80’s.

Paul Dano plays Brian in the 60’s and John Cusack plays him in the 1980’s. Paul Dano is spookily embodies Brian Wilson. John Cusack on the other hand has just tacked on Brian Wilson characteristics to himself and this is one the movie week points. But not enough that this movie is not worthy of checking out.

Well to say that Brian Wilson is a troubled soul is not overstating it, what ever period the movie examines.

In the 60’s he is either under the thumb of his overbearing father and a band who just want a more simple sound to their next album. Brian on the otherhand seeks to create a masterpiece.

In the 80’s he is again under the thumb of a scarily manipulative man, his therapist Dr Eugene Landy who in essence controls every single step that Brian Wilson tries to make in his ongoing battle of recovery. His therapist is played so well by Paul Giamatii and is someone you would not like to cross and creates some of the movies best scenes.

In this period appears an unlikely saviour in the guise of formal model,Meredith ( Elizabeth Banks ) a Cadillac saleswoman who just happens to be selling him a car, without first even not knowing who he is.Throughout this part of the story she rescues him from Dr Eugene despite his best efforts to thwart her.

Whether you are a fan of the Beach Boys and their music or not is incidental, it is just a story that needed to be told. If you are a fan you will particularly enjoy the studio sessions that are recreated in the 60’s

Not going to spoil the ending but just to say that unlike a lot of movies that feature troubled musicians it does end positively.

# MOVIES V REAL LIFE

This is mentioned in passing in the movie and a strange fact as much of the music of the Beach Boys is so often associated with the surfer culture of California.

None of the band could actually surf and most of the Californian surfers were not fans of their music.

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Terminator Genisys & Ted 2

Well due to a happy family event I am a little late on one of my reviews this week, sorry movie lovers. But I am spoiling you with two reviews.So here goes with the first one in case you have yet to see to it.

TERMINATOR GENISYS

Terminator Genisys or should that be Arnie Goes Back To The Future Or The Past. In essence this is the story of how Skynet tries to reset the past in it’s favour.

We meet John Connor ( Jason Clarke ) and his band of resistance fighters and they have reached the heart of Skynet and are in touching distance of finally overcoming Skynet. Enter a cameo of Matt Smith ( BBC’s Doctor Who but one ) he grabs John Connor and a transformation happens, but into what ?

Kyle Reese ( Jai Courtney ) is sent back to 1984 by John Connor to make sure that Skynet does not even come to pass and to protect Sarah Connor ( Emilia Clarke ). However it appears when he arrives that instead of a timid waitress that was her character in the original movie that she is in no need of protecting having hooked up with ” Pops ” her petname for Terminator ( Arnold Schwarzenegger ) and despite his best efforts to become human he still stands out like the proverbial big thumb. Many gibes are made of the original Terminator and his age and these give us the best scenes throughtout the movie.

As well as the transformed John Connor, the band of three are also persued throughout the movie by a liquid Terminator played by Lee-Byung-Hun who both seek to thwart the best laid plans for the downfall of Skynet. More comedy is also in the form of a great cameo by J.K Simmons who plays the character of police detective who struggles to convince his law enforcement colleagues that the apocalypse that happens in Terminator 2 is just around the corner.

This storyline owes more to the first and second movies timeline rather than the two most recent sequels. It also turns out in Hollywood that rights to the Terminator franchise reside with more than one studio,so a bit like this story multiple timelines can happily sit beside each other.

Due to it’s lower age cert this is not the gritty Termintor that we were treated to in the first movie, is this a bad thing. Well it turns out not really. It turns out that because we have grown up with Terminator we can forgive the fact that he has become softer and more cuddly. A good storyline rather a great one but none the less enjoyable.

Will he back , well if this movie is anything to go by he will return or will he ? No matter what studio decides to bring him back.

TED 2

Just a word of warning, if you are easily offended then maybe go and see the Beach Boys biopic this week.

This movie pretty much picks up where TED left us. John Bennett ( Mark Wahlberg ) however is no longer married and is like a rudderless ship and in search of a new mate. Ted however voiced by Seth Mac Farlane is so happy and getting married to Jessica Barth who we saw at the end of the first movie. Some time passes and all is not rosy in the garden of married life. Ted has a brainwave on how to fix their problem – have a baby, great. Well not really as it turns out as this puts Ted straight up against officialdom. Many roadblocks are put in the way of Ted and his bride. No IVF, No Adoption, Why ? Well Ted is considered in the eyes of the law as property rather than human.

Ted decides that he must go to court to make sure that he can become a dad and they are taken as clients by a young lawyer called Sam.L.Jackson played by Anna Seyfried. They lose the court case and are on the radar of the baddie from the first movie played Giovanni Ribisi, who loves Ted a little too much and convinces a money hungry toy executive that lots of money can be made if only we can make more Ted that every child can love.

Whether you like this movie or not will be down to whether the world of Seth Mac Farlane’s humour appeals to you. For every scene that works, is so current and will have you snorting with laughter or wincing, there are just as many that fall flatter than a pancake.

A few scenes that work are the Liam Neeson cameo in the supermarket, the scene from the comedy club and an homage to a scene from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, sad to say however these do not sustain the whole movie and more than once I found myself looking at my watch. That is never a good sign in a movie whose running time only runs to 90 minutes. It has also lost some of that magic that made us all love the first movie. Go if you wish but I would say save your money and rent it out in a few months.

It seems that some of the stuffing has been taken out of Ted, poor Ted !!

# MOVIES V REAL LIFE

This week well it is pretty easy to compare the two . ” Time Travel is not possible ” as Mr Spock once said. A great idea but science has not yet caught up to our dreams. Many a movie has used it and it makes for more than one great movie. Sorry Marty Mc Fly !!

Minions

When we all heard that there was a movie coming out with those lovable prat-falling minions from the successful Despicable Me movies, I am sure like me you probably wondered could they carry a movie themselves. After all they don’t even really speak – you might catch a word of English,French or Spanish every so often but that was the extent of their linguistic skills.

This in essence is the story of how the minions came to be. It seems that these minions exist to follow whatever the biggest baddie or world conquering despot happens to be throughout history – whether it’s a T-Rex, an Egyptian pharoah or Napoleon. It happens that the minions get lost during one of Napoleon’s battles and decide to hunker down in a cave. The poor minions with now no purpose to their being become out sorts and depressed. It falls upon Kevin one of their number to venture out of the cave to see what’s out there after many years. The only two other minions that either volunteer or just want to come along are Bob and Stuart.

This is there quest to find the next baddie to follow. They find themselves at a baddie convention in Florida and the star of the show is Scarlet Overkill voiced by Sandra Bullock. They like the cut of her jib so to speak and attach themselves to her as she has a plan to overthrow the queen of England and take the crown for herself.

For an animated movie to succeed these days, it is not enough to appeal to the target audience of children you have to appeal to the adults as well. The film makers have been very clever in this regard in placing the story in England of the 1960’s which has lots of culture and history that can be mined. The nods are far too numerous to mention but are certain to illicit a smirk or two from the older audience. These references will probably go straight over the kids heads as they just like them for what they are cute, yellow but inept creatures who have an extreme fondness for a certain yellow fruit.

This is a perfect movie no matter your age and I have noticed that, and I am sure you have to, that an animation movie audience is no longer just composed of parents and their children.

So go along bring the kids if you want, but even you don’t a perfect Summer movie, p.s great use of music as well. I Love ” Banana ” !!

#MOVIES V REAL LIFE

The great thing about animation is that anything is possible. Things that would cause one serious harm or otherwise just seem commonplace in any animated movie. The limit is only restricted by the animators imagination, after all without animation there would be no Disney or Universal theme parks, No Star Wars, No King Kong and after all the modern phenomenon of CGI would be nothing without the animation that came before it.

Mr Holmes

Which is your favourite Sherlock Holmes ? Is it the Robert Downey Jr / Guy Ritchie steampunk version. Or is it the two current TV incarnations – the US New York inspired – Elementary or BBC’s take on the detective – Sherlock. It seems that the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories have been amended on screen to suit the audience that watched them when they were made. This even goes back as far as the era of silent movies. Even that catchphrase ” Elementary, My Dear Watson ” or his trademark hooked pipe and deerstalker are all actually either from stage versions or those on TV and film, they never actually appeared in any of the original books that inspired the many versions that have been made.

So we now have yet another version of the fictional detective – this version is also inspired by a book not by Arthur Conan Doyle but by Mitch Cullen written in 2005 called ” A Slight Trick Of The Mind “. Ian McKellen now steps into the shoes of Sherlock Holmes. It is many years since Sherlock has occupied 221b or did he? which is explained in the movie, there is no Mrs Hudson and Dr Watson has long since parted ways with Sherlock. We now find Sherlock in 1940’s Britain having long since retired and tending to his bees at his seaside home tended to by a widowed housekeeper played by Laura Linney and her young son. She has lost her husband to the recent war and just sees this as a temporary placement, born more out a sense of convienence than of any sense of devotion.

Sherlock’s mind is not quite as sharp as before but he can still  occasionally size someone up with a look. But why has he retired ? It seems that the last case he worked on has not resolved itself fully and like a piece of meat stuck in one’s teeth,it seems it just can’t be dislodged from his inquiring mind. I won’t destroy the narrative of this story but suffice it to say that this unsolved case owes more to Sherlock’s passing years rather that the case not being properly solved.

Ian McKellen is ideal casting for this part and does an admirable job in the role. Whether you enjoy this movie or not will have a lot to do with whether you are a fan of being transported to the world of period drama. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey or any series set within this time period then you are sure to come out satisfied.

Who know what the next incarnation of the fictional detective might be ? That’s a mystery that even Sherlock might find too difficult to solve.

#Movies V Real Life

Even though Sherlock Holmes was a fictional character, when Arthur Conan Doyle killed him off there was such a clamour of despair, that many people felt like they had actually lost him for real. Eventually Arthur Conan Doyle had to bring him back to life ,such was the reaction to his fictitious death. Seems like you just can’t keep a good man down !!

Jurassic World

This movie has a lot to live up after the dinosaur shaped behemoth that was Jurassic Park. Well I don’t know about you but the two sequels that followed – The Lost World and Jurassic Park III, while good did not have the same cultural impact that Jurassic Park did. Even watching today once that John Williams score starts up, you are a little wide-eyed child again.

Well time has moved on both in real life and in the story. The park that John Hammond always wanted has now become a reality on the island of Isla Nublar. It has however become a combination of Sea World meets a Disneyfied, corporate sponsored park replete with the Starbucks outlets and Samsung sponsored attractions. A bit like us who have it all before in Jurassic Park, the park’s visitors are no longer impressed by your average run-of-the-mill dinosaur and it seem that even the T-rex does not seems to cut it any more in terms of scares.

Well the boffins in the lab cook up something altogether a lot more vicious and altogether more intelligent Indominus Rex, well what could ever go wrong there !!

As before we are introduced to two young children played by actors Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson who have been shipped off to the park by their parents who are considering divorce and to reconnect with their Aunt Beth ( Bryce Dallas Howard ) who has become what estranged from the rest of the family. Beth of course being the workaholic that she is palms her two young charges off on her assistant played by Irish actress Katie McGrath who you might remember from the BBC series Merlin. Well she will not win employee of the month and she pays for her in- attention later on in the movie. The two boys go on their own tour of the park that does not stick to the park schedule and they find themselves in a very sticky situation, when the Indominus Rex who has not been socialised with other dinosaurs and does not like being confined decides to go walkabout around the park / theme park  and also enjoys killing both dinosaurs and people just because it can.

Chris Pratt who plays the character of Owen in the movie and is like a cross between a dinosaur wrangler meets Indiana Jones goes on a park wide scavenger hunt with Beth and the park’s S.W.A.T team to try and save the two boys from the claws of the I-Rex.

The question you are now going to ask me is how does this one measure up to the original Jurassic Park, there I feel that the comparisons are unfair as Jurassic Park will always win out as that sense of wonder that that movie gave us no matter what age we were has passed, we have seen it before. Jurassic World is the telling of a different story due to the passage of time in the real world and the story. Better to look at this movie afresh and you won’t be disappointed with ride that it brings you on.

This is only Colin Trevorrow’s second movie after the small-time indie sci-fi hit that was Safety Not Guaranteed a movie that is worth checking out. Steven Spielberg is only producer on this movie but this movie pays quite a few nods to the movie that spawned the franchise – see how many you can spot dotted around this movie. Does this movie suffer from the fact that the actor B.D.Wong is the only returning character from the first movie, well no as their replacements do a good job of filling the shoes of the characters that came before them.

You can certainly say that the park is back open for business !!

#MOVIES V REAL LIFE

Did you know that the R.M.S Titanic cost £1.5 million pounds to construct between the laying of it’s keel, to it’s launch at the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast  between 1910 to 1912 . That works out to about $7.5 million in U.S dollars at the time and about $120 to $150 million in 1997, that was the year that the movie directed by James Cameron came out.

The cost of the movie Titanic- $200 million dollars !!

Safety Not Guaranteed – Did This Movie Pass You By ?

Well I suppose it was bound to happen eventually there are some movies out this week but none that particularly appeal to me. So what does one do, leave you hanging with no movie review this week. No I would never do that ,so let me welcome you to a new feature ” Did This Movie Pass You By ? ” . There can sometimes be so many movies released that a few can slip through the cracks or it might have got a limited release through arthouse cinemas only. This is what happened with a movie called Safety Not Guaranteed released back in 2012.

Why bring this movie to your notice, well it is actually a great movie despite it’s budget being small. Another reason is that it’s director Colin Treverrow has directed the movie up for review next week Jurassic World which cost $ 175 million to make, this movie however was made for a much smaller  budget of $ 750,000 US dollars.

Let me set up the premise of the movie. A cynical journalist played by Aubrey Plaza spots a newspaper ad placed by a man who is played by Mark Duplass. In essense, the ad requests someone to go back in time with him, but states that safety can’t be guaranteed hence the title of the movie. More than once she questions his sanity but decides to play along to see where it leads. They go on a chase for machine parts to finish said time machine and the movie follows their path to complete the machine. I won’t give away the ending just to say that it is poignant and you will want to revisit this movie.

It shows that no matter what size of a budget you have to work with, a well written story will trump all the CGI fireworks in the world. A lesson there for many a filmmaker.

So if you happen to live either in Ireland or England, you can see it on Film4 – Channel 4’s free-to-air movie channel from Tuesday 9th June at 10.45pm till 12.25am, maybe set your recorder if you have work in the morning. Otherwise you can find it on DVD or you may also find it on one of the online movie streaming services. So check it out, a bit of a hidden gem.

If there is a quiet movie week again I will review another movie that may have passed you by, so keep your eyes peeled for the next little surprise.

#MOVIES V REAL LIFE

Well Jaws is 40 this year – It started the phenomenon of the Summer blockbuster, tying products specifically to a movie’s release. In a time before CGI, more often than not the mechanical shark would not play ball and kept breaking down. Did you know that it does not appear till two-thirds of the way through the movie. Despite the fact that the shark was not even real, I bet there are still a few people who have not even darkened the door of their local swimming pool since seeing the movie. It also gave us the immortal line ” I think we need a bigger boat !! ” ad-libbed apparently by Roy Schneider’s character, as that silly shark had broken down again !! Sharks don’t seem quite so frightening, now do they ?

Man Up

As I sat there waiting for this movie to start, a trailer for another ” The Notebook ” clone came into the trailer reel. I have no plan to go and see this movie, so whenever this movie gets released no review will be forthcoming, sorry to those who might have expected one. This is weirdly because, despite the shortness of the trailer I feel that it actually it told me the whole story in under 3 minutes. Why do I mention this, well the movie for review this week is Man Up which only lasts 88 minutes. I am naturally very wary of movies that run under 90 minutes, as if my many years of movie going has taught me anything if it does not fit into the category of animation, student film or documentary it tends to end with me saying ” Well there goes that time out of my life ” there are of course exceptions, but as a rule I have found this to be so.

Anyway now to the review for this week. Enter the character of Nancy ( Lake Bell ) who finds herself on a train next to a woman Jessica ( Ophelia Lovibond ) who is reading a self help book of love, the two of them strike up a conversation, long story short Jessica passes her book to Nancy who she feels is in more in need of the advice in the book. Anyway they part at the train station. Now as it happens Jack ( Simon Pegg ) is waiting for said Jessica at the station with the self same book so they can recognize each other. Jessica as it happens has gone to buy another copy from the station bookshop, she does appear later in the movie but I digress.

Jack naturally thinks Nancy is Jessica, but unlike you or me who might say ” I think you have the wrong person “, Nancy does not correct Jack’s misunderstanding and things are going well for both of them on the date. Still with me here, are you ?

It is not till they decide to throw a trip to the bowling alley into their mix of their date night that the wheels come of the wagon, thanks to a rather creepy ex classmate of Nancy’s who has always had a soft spot for said Nancy. He tries to put more than one spanner in the works and is played expertly by Rory Kinnear. Well, he exposes Nancy’s subterfuge and Jack is none to pleased by this sudden turnaround in his romantic prospects.

Jack of course after a diversionary date with Jessica, realises nearly too late that it is Nancy not Jessica who is the person who really wants and he tries to track Nancy down to Nancy’s parent’s house where they are celebrating the parents 40th wedding anniversary which is where Nancy was heading to at the start of the movie. Rory Kinnear of course tries to divert Jack on his romantic love chase to find Nancy. Anyway I am sure you will realise how this movie ends up tying everything into a nice little rom – com pink bow. So I am not really giving away the ending.

In essence this movie is in the mould of Bridget Jones et al , so if you liked that movie there is a good chance that this movie will appeal to you also. Kudos should go in particular to Lake Bell for her flawless English accent, P.s If you get a chance track her down in a movie called ” In a World ” a little gem of a movie and worth checking out .

I really enjoyed this movie and I left the movie theatre with a warm fuzzy feeling,so if that is what you are in search of check this one out.

#MOVIES V REAL LIFE

While it may look great in a romantic comedy scene.Well, is it just me or if you saw two people running headlong towards each in real life arms open wide, would you be able to stop yourself from shouting out ” Watch Out ” !!  Also there would be no romantic soundtrack to accompany the lovers embrace, such is real life.