Showing posts with label Comedy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comedy. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Kick-Ass 2 Review: Does it Kick-Ass?

Kick-Ass 2 Logo

Director: Jeff Wadlow
UK Release Date: 14th August 2013
Running Time: 103 minutes
Starring: Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

So I am sure this question is on your lips 'Does "Kick-Ass 2", kick ass? It is a difficult question to answer and there is a lot more baggage to this film compared to most. The original "Kick-Ass" (2010) was directed by Matthew Vaughn but for the second instalment, Jeff Wadlow was the director.  With Nicholas Cage's character, Big Daddy, having died in the first film, in came movie star Jim Carrey - which I am sure the guys behind the film would hope boost interest and tickets sales for the film.

Kick-Ass and The Motherfucker
Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and  Christopher Mintz-Plasse reprise there roles as Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass, Mindy MaCredy/Hit-Girl and Chris D'Amico/The Motherfucker respectively.  Jim Carrey also features as Colonel Stars and Stripes. The cast makes the film enjoyable to watch.  They seem to git their characters well and generally the characters were good for the story.  Personally, we are not too sue what Carrey adds to the film.  His role was not major and he did not feature that heavily - we think it could have been done without him. That being said, it was still good to see him - although the accent he used for the role is something else totally.

Unfortunately for the film and all those involved, Carrey withdrew his support for the film before it was released. He withdrew his support after news broke about the Sandy Hook massacre. It is understandable from the actor who is an advocate for gun control measures and violence but does make us wonder why he was involved in the first place, an opinion shared by the writer of the comic book, Mark Millar.  As you know from the original "Kick-Ass" - they are slightly different from the usual comic book turned film.  It features a lot more death, blood and swearing which in the first film worked very well, however we feel it did not have the same effect second time round.
Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes
There were a few instances where we found the film to be overly 'offensive.' Now we do not mean that we were offended - just that there were times that we felt things were done or said that did not add anything and did not need to be there.  Having said that we still enjoyed the film and there is lots of action, fighting and a good few laughs along the way as well.  We do not think it was as good as the first but would like to see a third instalment some point in the future.
M+F Rating: 7/10
Kick-Ass 2 Movie Trailer:

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Marley & Me Review: A Hard Hitting Reality

Director: David Frankel
UK Release Date: 11th March 2009
Running Time: 115 minutes
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Eric Dane

Here at M+F Reviews, considering our love for film, Marley & Me was not our particular perfect choice of film to watch. We did not go and view it at the cinema, nor did we buy it on DVD. However, once it came on to our TV screens one Christmas we sat down and watched what turned out to be a roller coaster of emotions; a really hard hitting movie that is difficult to watch without welling up (even for the most macho people). 

The film stars Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, who play a real life couple called  John and Jenny Grogan. The film is a representation of John Grogan's memoir, 'Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog'. The film hit UK cinemas in 2009 and turned out to be quite a success. It follows the Grogan's life as they first come into contact with the now famous dog, Marley. It is a collection of stories about Marley and the family as they go through the family building part of their lives. 

Luckily, the stories of Marley, which are intended to be funny, do not lose any of their charm or comedy value when they are adapted to the big screen. In part this has to be down to Wilson and Aniston who are a good fit for the characters they play. The film features many funny stories which was a pleasant surprise. 

Marley & Me is however not a film to be watched without a box of tissues, which was a shock. Before we watched it we had no idea as to how sad this film is. So yes, this is a warning! The film does not only show the funny parts of Marley's life but also his inevitable end. Whether it is because we feel connected to the relationship of Marley, John and Jenny or whether we can all relate to having loved something and having it taken away, Marley & Me provides the hard hitting truth; all living things eventually die. These are harsh words, but this is what happens in life and in the film. 

We were shocked to see the film with this conclusion but it was a suitable way for the film to end. The message that the film portrays is to love and be loved, like the relationship between Marley and the Gorgan's. You will finish watching this film upset and if not at least a little bit touched - in one way or another we can all relate to it and that's what films are meant to do. They provoke emotions, thoughts and produce reactions that surprise the audience. Marley & Me certainly achieved that when we watched it and we encourage you to do the same. 

M+F Rating: 7/10 

Reviewed by M+F Reviews

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Review: Comedy Legends or Playing it Safe?

Director: Adam McKay

UK Release Date: 18th December 2013

Run Time: 119 minutes

Starring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues sees Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate reprise their roles as San Diego's favourite news team. The news team is again headed up by Ferrell's character Ron Burgandy - as they aim to take New York's  first ever 24 hour news channel to the top.  With a run time just shy of two hours this fan favourite comedy produces many laughing moments on what is unfortunately a weak storyline.

Burgundy finds and brings back together his news team of Brick Tamland (Carrell), Brian Fantana (Rudd) and Champ Kind (Koechner), to take on 24 hour news reporting.  Along the way the film provides great comedy moments from scenes that can only be described as being utterly silly to others where what is produced it quite simply comedy gold. 

That being said the storyline is somewhat of a let down. Yes it produces many moments that have the audience laughing aloud to themselves but overall the story is weak and quite frankly a disappointment.  It follows the usual and predictable route that many comedies take with the usual high followed by a setback and is concluded with a happy ending. This can be seen to be very frustrating as it would be interesting to see the great line up of comedic actors in the Anchorman project to attempt something a bit more challenging while still producing great comedy moments. 

Even with this small gripe it is very difficult to not love this film.  The link up between Ferrell, Carrell, Rudd and Koechner is perfect and the comedy flows from scene to scene.  Special mention goes to Carrell's character Brick who could have a whole film about himself.  The character provides many of the better laughs that the film provides and his popularity is only going to increase after being a favourite in the first Anchorman film, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004).

The film has to be complemented on its cameo appearances as well.  Like its predecessor, there is a big scene with even bigger names making brief but hilarious appearances.  Names include Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Kanye West, Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Liam Neeson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Drake, John C. Reilly, Harrison Ford, Kirsten Dunst and Tina Fey.

With a heavy advertising and marketing campaign established for the launch of this film at the end of 2013, interest and expectation was at a high and viewers will not be disappointed.  Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a good comedy that will have the majority of people laughing throughout.

M+F Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Silver Linings Playbook Review: Heart Warming Fun

Director: David O. Russell

UK Release Date: 21/11/2012

Run Time: 122 minutes

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jackie Weaver


David O. Russell directs a brilliant romantic comedy drama that can simply be enjoyed by all that watch.  Based on the bestselling novel ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’ by Matthew Quick, the film draws in the audience from the start and leaves those watching satisfied, with a predictable but happy ending. The film utilises light hearted emotions throughout to maintain the attraction with fun loving characters.

The main characters, Pat Solatano and Tiffany Maxwell are played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence respectively.  It has to be said that both portray their roles superbly and convincingly throughout the film.  With both characters having suffered major setbacks in their lives, both Cooper and Lawrence are able to represent this in a believable fashion.  The film certainly deserves the applause it has generated since its release back in 2012.

Cooper’s character Pat, suffers from bipolar disorder while Tiffany’s life has recently been turned upside down with the loss of her husband causing her to spiral out of control. However, great care has been taken in portraying the sensitive storyline and a respective balance is met with the seriousness of the content and the way it is shown to the audience.  This sets the film up to be a great success that is enjoyable but still touches on subject matters that many films ignore.

Lawrence won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role as well as a Golden Globe for Best Actress, confirming how impressive her performance is in this film.  Director, David O. Russell also picked up a BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay showing the versatility of the film picking up multiple awards.  It certainly is different to some of his earlier works such at The Fighter (2010), a biographical sports drama.

The rest of the cast is headed up by the likes of Robert De Niro, Jackie Weaver and Chris Tucker who add to the depth of the film.  Niro and Weaver play Pat’s parents and the emotional connection between these three characters can be felt throughout the film as they go about their lives.  Tucker, who plays Pat’s friend, Danny also adds a touch of comedy popping up where he should not on a regular basis. 

The culmination of  the director, actors and script turn this popular novel into a great film for all of the family to see.  Fun and energetic with great highs and good one–liners, Silver Linings Playbook is definitely at the higher end and if not the top of its cinematic genre. 

M+F Rating: 7/10

 Reviewed by M+F Reviews

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street Movie Review

Director: Martin Scorsese

UK Release Date: 17/01/2014

Running Time: 180 minutes

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie

The latest collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio results in a powerful and exhilarating story based on the life of former stockbroker Jordan Belfort.  A story in which DiCaprio has been sitting on for years to take to the big screen.  With his long term mentor and friend Scorsese in the directing seat, this film sees the paramount of the two combined into a three hour film that is definitely worth a watch.  

DiCaprio combines with a great cast to bring the crazy and hectic ’high’ (and low) life of Belfort to the public eye. It certainly earns its 18 age rating with an abundance of drug taking, sex and some violence which at one point had the audience shocked.  However, the film produced laughs and great entertainment to all who were watching throughout.   

DiCaprio has again showed his artillery of acting skills to play a character that as an audience we have not seen him play before and is very deserving of the nominations he has received for the role.  This also goes for Jonah Hill - who again, like in Moneyball (2011), has proved that he is more than just a comedy actor and can hold a serious role, delivering a top class performance worthy of the nominations for Best Supporting Actor that he has received.  The rest of the cast also pull their weight with Margot Robbie showing she is no pushover in her first film of this magnitude in the lead female role. 

Concern has been highlighted in the press that the film glamorizes the taboo subject of drug use.  This has been defended by Scorsese and DiCaprio who argue that it makes the film more authentic.  It is true that excessive drug use is shown in the film but to say it glamorizes or condones it, is a different matter and challenges the concept of the film.  DiCaprio set out to create a representation of Belfort's memoirs and this is how himself, Scorsese and the production team have interpreted the text and adapted it for film.   

It is without doubt a film that warrants the three hour run time and even after that you will be left pining for more.  The films offers powerful performances, quick and witty laughs along with sincere emotion that makes it an all-round hit.  The Wolf of Wall Street looks likely to be one of the best collaborations between Scorsese and DiCaprio and is certainly a film not to be missed viewing this year. 

M+F Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews