The Town [Blu Ray]: while befriending a ‘kidnapee’ (why not?) from his last heist, a bank robber juggles escaping his lifestyle, one last big job and the FBI chasing his tail. I really wish that people wouldn’t do another Irish-American / Boston film as it’s genuinely the worst possible combo for accent suicide – I swear Affleck settled in Jewsh Grandparent territory. To top off the ear-grinding vocals, the dialogue itself is beyond cornball: the script is laden with cheesy and clichéd lines. Fortunately, the story is very good and the action is executed as any of the Hollywood masters would – intense and impressive – particularly the penultimate heist car chase and final shootout. Cast-wise, Glen Childs (Welliver) and Don Draper (Hamm, who I didn’t rate until this) both turned decent performances. Unfortunately, Ben is terrible, wooden and has clearly written himself in as the super-uber dude who can evade the law, mastermind heists, juggle girls and be as cool as possible – quite the little vanity project, and it ruins the central character for me because you just can’t empathise with such a massive, boring douche. The Blu Ray picture and sound are solid – fantastic sweeping shots of Boston and action that challenges the speakers; don’t be tempted by the extended cut though – it’s beyond overlong and filled with boring/ridiculous back-story (not necessary when characters are all this flat-pack). Despite having a decent cast and all the makings & style of a true heist classic the final product is disappointingly average; and I really wanted to like it more.
Bridesmaids: even the best of friends can buckle under the stress of a wedding! Calling this ‘The Hangover with chicks’ does a disservice to the film – even if the marketing did want to push it in that direction (£££). Where it stands out is that it’s consistently funny, with a great humour range – Kirsten Wiig in particular is immense. Story-wise it’s a paint-by-numbers friendship rollercoaster, that loses its footing a bit towards the end and has a few spells where it’s all about the story and not the jokes. It could have used the other funny girls a bit better; especially Rita. Hamm plays a great weirdo, and what’s an Irish TV star doing in Hollywood?!?! (He does a good job though!). In the least condescending way possible, it’s great to see women on the big screen being this funny! Strong comedy that doesn’t rely on (just) dick jokes.
Mad Men (Season 1): Follows Don Draper, an advertising manager in New York circa 1960s. This is critically acclaimed beyond belief, universally loved, and is currently in its fifth season… To me however, this is less of a TV Drama and more of a banal, prolonged observation on the changes in attitudes, taboo, what was acceptable, and foolish ‘it will never take off’ hindsight comments: including but not limited to –
- Male chauvinism / alpha male
- Debunking psychology and technology
- Smoking 100 cigarettes a day, wherever you want
- The crazy mind of women – lol!!!
- Drinking at work
- Rampant adultery
- Drink driving
- Smoking / drinking while pregnant
- Smacking (other people’s) kids – and general bad parenting
The main character is Don Draper; a distant man who seems to be living the American nightmare in picturesque suburbia, which he makes up for by putting his tongue and dick in anything he can. He’s an asshole of a colleague, as sexist as they come and appears to have suicidal thoughts. I also seem to be the only person in the world that thinks Hamm can’t act… For being 13 episodes long nothing really happened; I could find more drama in walking to the shops and back than there was in 585 minutes of season 1. Every time something interesting or remotely dramatic occurred it was diffused and mellowed out within 2 minutes. It didn’t help that there was zero non-diegetic / atmospheric music. It’s technically proficient, a good insight into marketing, and the heavy focus on values is interesting to a point. Maybe married people can sympathise with Draper’s situation more? Maybe it’s got the nostalgia factor for those that grew up in the 60s/70s? But for whatever reason, I can genuinely say that Mad Men was one of the worst TV show’s I’ve watched.