Daily Archives: 15/04/2013

Desperado

DesperadoDesperado (1995) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve seen the first of these films (“El Mancia” or something similar), but whilst I confess to at times finding the plot of this film confusing, in the end of the day it’s good, wholesome, gory violence with a magnificant bad guy who is a little bit nuts and with a hero in Banderos who drives the film along well up until a suitable ending. Maybe it won’t win awards, and it might not be my favourite film by a long stretch of the imagination, but I can certainly see why people enjoy it.

Full marks for effort.

American Pie: The Wedding

AmericanPie3American Pie: The Wedding (2003) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

Well here we are, the final part of the American Pie trilogy and it rounds off the story with style.

In this third & final chapter of the lives of the highschool friends, Jim Levinstein (Jason Biggs) pops the question to his love Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan) and the film develops as the group develops in preparation for the wedding. In a similar pattern as regular, the film moves along this route in a sickening pattern with hilarious consequences (the first moment being the proposal itself which must go down as the strangest proposal in film history).

During the course of the film, Jim & Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) both get themselves into tricky situations, one after another, until eventually the ending when surprise surprise, the predictable happens and we get an ending which satisfies everyone.

After talking about how good this film is, it might be worth mentioning some flaws. The one key problem with this film, if you see it as a problem, is the extreme focus on Stifler. Even by usual standards, Stifler seems to take control of the film, meaning as a result that Jim’s other friends Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) get pushed to the background mostly of the film and the actors don’t really get to show their talents fully. This however, is only a fault if you enjoy the characters of Kevin and Finch, whilst if you prefer Stifler, it might be a good thing.

Other than the flaw of certain characters getting small parts, the only other negative aspect of this film in my personal view is that certain characters are completely absent. It’s understandable that Mena Suvari and Chris Klein would command fees and be absent, however the film doesn’t explain at all why they are absent and simply ignores the existence of Oz alltogether. This is a mistake, however I feel this is probably to avoid confusing people who might have not seen the first two (whoever that person might be in the world).

This film may not win awards for originality and for it’s scripting, acting or anything else, but at times it is hilarious, at times it makes you feel close to sickness and at times you genuinely care for the characters.

American Pie was the best of all this teen comedy type of film (although I do like Road Trip, it isn’t in the same league), American Pie 2 was just as good, if not better, and now with American Wedding, the creators of this trilogy have chosen an amazing conclusion.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll almost vomit, but most of all, you’ll love this movie.

Stand by Me

StandByMeStand by Me (1986) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

When someone watches a film, if that film is any good, it’ll inspire an emotion in the person and it’ll get them to associate, at least in some small way, if the plot can be related to them. “Stand By Me” does this in immense ammounts.

In this film, four young 12 year old boys (played majestically by Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell ….. how come the only one of those to not seem to have done anything since is Feldman? Maybe I’m mistaken, but I’ve seen nothing else with him in), travel on a journey to see a dead body. Throughout our lives, we seem to be obsessed and inquisitive about death and these boys are no different. They travel, experiencing all sorts of adventures (including trains and leaches) and bond with each other in that special way that a lot of us seem to do when we’re younger. The adventure is told by Wheaton’s now grown up self (played by Richard Dreyfuss) and provides heart ache, a little humour and adventure in one huge bundle.

In “Stand By Me” the script is brilliantly written, the young boys are excellent as themselves (especially the late River Phoenix, who I confess to never fully appreciating until this moment) and the film itself has a soundtrack to die for.

To summarise, “Stand By Me” is a heartwarming tale which warms the heart and stirs the emotions. This film is a must see!

Instinct

InstinctInstinct (1999) – Originally written August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

Sometimes it’s a curiousity that just won’t go away. Why is it that the vast majority of films which are mainly based in a mental institution are quality. “One Flew Overs The Cuckoo’s Nest”, the mental institution section of “12 Monkeys” and this film, are all movie memories to treasure.

Society has always believed that if someone is mentally different to the rest of us, then that person requires to be physically confined. This might be true in the occasional case, but as John Stuart Mill once considered, what makes Society flavoured is it’s variety in viewpoints. Mill pondered that rather than locking away someone with a different viewpoint to our own, we should cherish this persons opinion. In a way, this film continues along this idea.

In “Instinct”, Cuba Gooding Jnr, an actor who I confess to not being a big fan of, although who displayed excellent skill in the final ten minutes of this film, convinces his boss, the God like Donald Sutherland, to allow him to investigate the case of an “ape-man” (Hopkins). Cuba spends the majority of this film either talking to Sir Hopkins and learning the truth about society and freedom or talking about Anthony’s situation with Hopkin’s daughter, Maura Tierney. All three actors put in acceptable performances, with the occasional moment of excellence, and the plot of this film is, whilst not too obvious when watching but definate afterwards, apparently heading to a blatant climax at the end of it.

The thing with this film which I love, despite the almost forced opinion of loving animals and hating humans, is the idea towards the end of freedom. Are we free beings? If you ever ask a person on the street if they consider themselves to be free, it’s logical to assume that they’d say something like “of course I’m free, I have choice and the freedom to do what I want”. The problem, as this film points out is that ultimately, we don’t. The restraints upon us, normally by an authority figure in this society, hinder this attempt to be ultimately free and our desires to gain this authority by playing “The Game” only drag us further and further from ever being in reality free. Ultimately, aside from the cute Gorilla’s and a mental institute full of scarily likeable “madmen”, this notion of freedom is the most important part.

If you choose this film, I suggest you watch it because your willing to think. If you desire to watch Gorilla’s in their living enviroment, watch a nature programme with David Attenborough or someone similar. This film requires an open mind, and the ability to accept, that perhaps, no matter how hard we try, freedom is something the majority of us will never have.

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