Movie Review #6356 : JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN.
Third in Rowan Atkinson’s Johnny English franchise and by far the funniest, in a funny sorta way. The first was fresh and new, the second more controlled and this one certainly ups the frequency and amusement factor of the gags.
Unlike many of this ilk, there are more good bits than we see in the trailer as English gets up to his usual antics as British Intelligence superklutz. Back is sidekick Bough who was disappointingly missing from #2 and it’s his and Atkinson’s playing off against each other that really hits the spot.
Bad dude is wanting to rule the world and exposes all of MI7’s operatives leaving our man Johnny as the last and only hope. Of course there is the pretty girl, the fast car, the crazy gadgets and English’s perennial propensity to not only cock things up but also come out the other side smelling of roses.
Has parallels with #1 but avoids most of that movie’s silliness and instead puts Johnny as a more than capable agent who still screws up from time to time, well quite often really. I believe there is to be a #4 so will be interesting to see whether Atkinson follows the same gradual role reversal between himself and Bough as he did with Blackadder and Baldrick in the Blackadder series.
Movie Review #8257 CHRISTOPHER ROBIN.
Obi Wan Kenobi is the title character in this cutesy tale of CR all growed up & seemingly having forgotten about all his pals back at Hundred Acre woods.
Pooh decides to go looking & finds him embroiled in the corporate world of post-war London, having acquired wife & daughter along the way. Events turn though and Obi Wan is soon back with Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore, with his family not too far behind.
Should have been great but gets confused as to whether it’s a kids movie with something for the adults or vice versa.
First half is a little tedious but definitely improves especially after daughter takes central stage. CGI for the animals is great though with Tigger bouncing off everything and the Eeyore voicing exactly how I imagined as a kid. I was never a huge CR fan but did find the books amusing when read to me at school.
Ewan MacGregor though is better in StarWars type outings and the rest of the cast seem fairly routine.
Movie Review #9254 LADIES IN BLACK.
Set in 1959 Sydney, delightful coming of age story told around the experiences of young, bright high school graduate Lisa, who lands a temporary job in the women’s department of a large department store.
She’s pretty naïve but soon learns the ropes from the store’s seasoned campaigners and some of their stories too are interwoven nicely into the proceedings. Its light-hearted as the characters are explored and their pasts and future expectations examined with slight commentaries of prejudice, sex, immigration and relationships dealt with in a compassionate manner without resorting to self-pity or activism.
Also a fabulous portrayal of that era Sydney complete with trams, old cars, fashions, music and the general sense of conservatism being disrupted by some pretty forward continentals. I’m sure the cast is well known in Australian film circles but none of them registered with me, all however were more than adequate with Julia Ormond doing a nice turn as a European matchmaking matriarch who takes Lisa under wing and teaches her the rules.
So yes, it’s another chick flick but this bloke thoroughly enjoyed it, despite its anti-thriller disposition.
Movie Review #936 THE PREDATOR.
Latest in the chain mail of Predator movies has the ugly b*ggers back for more, this time going up against a cast of unknowns led by an army sniper who witnesses the crash landing of a predator spacecraft. He then inadvertently involves is his young son, setting the scene for another perpetual monster chase that doesn’t really lift any games.
Acquiring a ragtag bunch of misfits along the way + a school science teacher, the merry troop proceed to try to figure out why these rotten things have come back while staying one step ahead of them and the supposedly official army unit assigned to track down both the aliens and the rogues. Lots of blood and guts as the aliens get pissed at us pathetic humans, lots of things blowing up, lots of wasted bullets and other ammo and an alien pooch that sort of turns turncoat.
The original Predator movie from the late 80s was yet another vehicle for a muscle-bound Arnold Schwarzenegger to jump around the jungle in somewhat cornball fashion but at least at the time it was scary, well sort of. This one is more of a thriller than a scarefest and while it is a sequel rather than a remake, it just doesn’t have the charm of the original. CGI effects as usual are great but the story is lightweight and disjointed and the cast very much just adequate to make it just entertaining.
Movie Review #2865 MILE 22.
Latest offering from the Mark Wahlberg school of action adventure takes takes place in an unnamed Southeast Asian country and the man is smuggling an informer across town, 22 miles across town to be exact.
Trouble is the bad dudes want him too, obviously, and so begins a couple hours of nonstop gratuitous violence, blood and guts, explosions, car crashes and all manner of chases all the while not a hair being swept out of place on the man’s head.
Nothing original here, all been done before and the chop socky fight sequences become very tedious after the first few, especially as we already know the outcome (most of the story is told in flashbacks). A slight double twist at the end answers the questions about the beginning and we’re left hanging by a final inference but it’s all too predictable despite being somewhat entertaining.
John Malkovich is the one stand out but he has such a small part that it’s inconsequential.
Overall not the worst action flick I’ve seen but certainly not there with the best either, 6/10.
Movie Review #9358 THE BOOK CLUB.
Not really my fare however Jenny was keen so off we went on a Mon afternoon.
Starring four bastions of female thespianism in Candace Bergen, Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen and Diane Keaton it centres on four lifelong friends who in their more mature years, taking time out to read and share thoughts on various books, until they come to Fifty Shades of Grey.
Each then appears to take an interesting turn on the romantic scene with Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfus and Andy Garcia showing up as love interests with Craig T Nelson as the husband in the one surviving marriage.
Essentially a movie of four romances and very much a chick flick, it’s all pretty predictable although Candace Bergen does a great job of the wronged wife who’s hubby shows up with someone half her age.
Along with themes of over protective daughters, excess female success, disconnected relationships and old flames, it makes for a Woman’s Day fest which I’m sure that audience will lap up and enjoy to the max.
6/10 from me.
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since being mesmerized by the giant screen, the darkness that went on forever & the infernally uncomfortable seats + having to stand for God Save the Queen, I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism. My favourite movie of all time is Schindler's List, one of only two movies I've ever cried in (the other was Bambi when I was 6!) & I'm a sucker for a damn good comedy; Dumb & Dumber, The Hangover & Death at a Funeral stand out. I'm also a musician and work in IT. I have 4 grandchildren who also seem to enjoy their movie excursions with grandad. I can be reached at email@example.com.