50/50: a healthy 27-year-old is diagnosed with a rare spinal cancer, and we follow him through the ordeal. This is a difficult film to fairly review because it was pitched through the trailers / posters as a Rogen-esque comedy; however, it’s actually pretty intense, and the serious stuff far, far outweighs the lolz. I guess there’s a zaror to walk between giving cancer enough gravitas and trivialising it, but at least sell it as a drama – like Adam. With this in mind the film puts you through half a dozen or so ridiculously emotional beatings through the various stages of the illness. The cast are very strong; J.G.L. is a powerhouse – arguably his best performance, Rogen reels in his comedy schtick; BDH puts in a respectable short shift as the girlfriend, and although Kendrick can’t quite keep up, my mind was full of dirty thoughts when she was on screen anyway. 50/50 is serious, it’s dramatic, it’s touching, and it’s nothing short of an emotional smackdown. It also has a little bit of funny, but had I known what I was in for I’d have waited for DVD (and cried like a bitch in private).
Paul: two ultra nerds go on a US road trip end up assisting an alien fugitive, comical misadventures ensue! Despite a wealth of fantastic SFX and a fairly predictable plot, the overall feel, tone and dialogue remain quite indie. Paul/Rogen is surprisingly human in this, which is a massive relief as he could have easily been another Jar Jar – he also looks amazing, and you believe he’s in the picture for the most part. There’s a total shitload of mainstream and obscure sci–fi references throughout – from dialogue and sound effects to imagery and entire quotes – all lifted from other genre pieces, making this 100% a film by nerds, for nerds. Most surprisingly, Paul is actually really funny, although I’ll admit that most of the appeal for me was the juvenile moments – ridiculously creative swearing, ass jokes, smutty talk etc. Although the trailer makes it look like a low-rent comedy Paul really is easily one of the funniest films that’s been out in a long time, mostly down to the great ensemble cast.
Kung Fu Panda / Bee Movie: Only watched these films because Sky are having an animation season at the moment and the visuals are usually nothing short of stunning. Despite being from the same studio, and only a year apart Kung Fu Panda is a far superior film in every sense: story, characters, voice acting, gags, audio mix, and entertainment factor. KungFu Panda also looks a thousand times better, you just get the feeling that the team paid more attention to detail; definitely the best-looking animation I’ve seen with vibrant colours and rich textures. Don’t get me wrong, Bee Movie’s not the worst film in the world, but it’s definitely aimed more at the kids than the whole family.
Kung Fu Panda: 8/10
Bee Movie: 5/10