Valentine’s Day: make-ups and break-ups are on the menu as a lot of famous people try to get lots of your bums on lots of seats. Genuinely, Ashton “Dude, where’s my talent?” Kutcher is so flat it’s like watching an inanimate object: a chair, a table, a wall – take your pick, they’d out-act him. It’s one of those lazy comedies that plays racial stereotypes for cheap comedy – including the classic ‘big black woman with an attitude’; obviously! For me, Queen Latifa is fast becoming my trusty hallmark for a shit film. The script must have been written by the Green Giant, it’s sooo corny (tedious, contrived and unrealistic dialogue) and the jokes are all poorly judged & timed. The only tolerable bits (limited to guys + lesbians) are Anne Hathaway in her scants, then talking on a phone-sex line!!! But it’s a PG sex-line though <SadFace>. Worse still, all of the best names – like Foxx – get the least time on screen, because they cost the most.
The Mrs and I braved an entire hour before we lost all faith in Hollywood, actors, integrity, humanity, the universe etc. Valentines day is cynical, insulting, money-grabbing and void of any entertainment. Whatever you do, do not watch this if you intend on some ‘adult sleeping’ afterwards, it will absolutely destroy your notions of love, and valentines day.
Alternative Plan: Early bed time.
44 Inch Chest [Blu Ray]: a man is left shattered when his wife walks out on him, so he and some unsavory friends kidnap Casanova and figure out how to best resolve the situation. Instantly obvious is the unimaginable level of crass language and nasty homophobic terms oozing from your speakers for the duration… it’s almost too much, yet it provides a strangely soothing and lyrical/rhythmic effect when intertwined with the cockney rhyming slang script. It also somehow feels genuine and integral to the situation and characters. With a strong play-like feel (long scenes, one main setting, and dips in and out of pretentiousness) it’s very much an ‘actor’s film’, and each cast member gets your undivided attention to shine at some point. The breakdown of the main character means you’re never really sure what’s real and what’s not, which is also a bit surreal. I’ve never really rated Ray Winstone as more than a typecast, but this absolutely ripped my heart out – his eyes and the speech about love being a hard graft are as good as it gets. McShane easily has the best character, best flashback and most room for fun; which he clearly laps up. There’s some lovely black comedy, and great usage of cinematic tropes – particularly music to manipulate. The BD picture and sound are average, although the content’s not really HD worthy. More than anything else, 44 Inch Chest the tale of a broken hard man being challenged by several stereotypes of stock British gangster characters – which keeps it interesting for the duration. Because of the off kilter tone and excessive offensive language you can’t safely recommend this, although it could well be one of the best sleeper hits you’ll ever see… I guess time will tell.
Nathalie…: A woman suspects her husband is having an affair so she pays a prostitute to seduce him and tell her everything… yes, that’s how the French do it! You’ve probably noticed the biggest flaw already; why would you persevere so hard with a serial-cheater husband? At times it starts to feel like an audio-descriptive porno, and when it’s not being racy there’s plenty trivial footage of the characters with no real character development. Fade to blacks are inexplicably overused. There was one good joke, but I doubt it was intentional: Fanny Ardant plays a gynecologist. It’s been re-made by Hollywood as “Chloe” with some big names behind it – Reitman, Neeson and Julianne Moore – although why anyone wanted to re-make it is beyond me. It’s pretty boring, banal and hard to get your head around. Married people: do they all do stuff like that?
Run Lola Run: a stunning red head must find 100,000 Marks within 20 minutes to save her boyfriend. Despite this movie being almost all action you really get to know the two mains, thanks to them nailing their characters in what little screen time they have. The biggest feature for me was the music; pounding German dance tracks that emphasise the urgency and get you totally pumped up, especially through the first 15 minutes. Paying attention to every detail shows how neat and well-planned the film is, but doesn’t necessarily to add enjoyment – just a nice touch. It also has a themes of fate, coincidence and the butterfly effect, but again, they’re just there, and you don’t have to analyse them. It’s a very original idea, executed brilliantly and remains stylish throughout – all the scenes with Lola / Manni are striking in one way or another. With the dominant music, stunning visuals and a simple story it’s like a long music video, yet it never wears thin or peters out. A great example of film-making and essential viewing.