The Spirit: Comic adaptation about a masked crime-fighter who fights crime with a mask on. Visually, it’s quite the treat although being brought to us by Frank Miller, one look at any shot from the movie indicates that this ‘borrows’ plenty visuals from Sin City – nothing new there. The Spirit is also lays it on heavily with Noir style, although it constantly regresses from cool to plain corny. The story is so one-dimensional and unimaginative that you’ll probably find yourself slipping into a coma in parts. Pretty much everyone was un-acting for the duration, besides Macht, who at least attempts to do something decent with his fairly lame character; that spends just as much time chasing tail as he does fighting crime. There’s plenty eye candy, from curvy Eva Mendes to the stunning Paz Vega, however they all feel a bit gratuitous, with no real point. Milo and Edgar from 24 also put in some face time. It all just seems very flat, with no real story or focus; random Japanese and Nazi sections anyone? There are some memorable and striking imagery & shots but overall it just feels like a low-rent Sin City.
Summer Heights High: set over the course of a school term this eight episode mockumentary follows three characters; a camp drama teacher, private-school girl on exchange and disruptive Polynesian kid. Not for the P.C crowd, the series constantly throws up jokes about disabilities, gingers, suicide, molestation, drugs, rape… basically, nothing is taboo. There’s some great running gags through the episodes and the characters are all solid, well-resreached / acted & genuinely humorous. Not without is faults the series does start to drag around he 5th/6th episode, some dialogue gets lost in scenes with several people talking or arguing (particularly with the girls) and the majority of the laugh-out-loud parts are crude, relying more on shock. Between the believable way that it’s shot and the harsh content it wouldn’t be too obvious that it was a comedy if you found this channel surfing. The breakdancing ‘Polly’ character (Jonah) and Mr G’s play at the end were my highlights of the show. What ‘Neighbours’ should be like!
Slackers: 3 guys cheat their way through college, one falls for a girl and jeopardises their masterplan. There’s some slapstick, gross outs, weirdness and a few solid running gags to keep you entertained throughout. All actors do as good a job as you’d expect from a teen comedy but Schwartzman tops the class by making “Cool Ethan” seem genuinely aberrant and spooky – probably what Max Fisher would be like when he grows up! Quite a few big names in this; Jason Segel before he became Mr generic comedy, Devon Sawa while he was on form and a some blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em cameos from the likes of Gina Gershon (!!) and Cameron Diaz. Despite a low budget it has a certain charm, unique style and the songs throughout are genuinely funny. You get the feeling that it was trying to ride the wave of success from then-recent college flicks like Road Trip and American Pie and although it’s falls short, any teen comedy will find it hard to match those heavyweights. One of my personal favourites, mostly for the gags. Totally watchable comedy / stoner flick.