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The Heat Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Demián Bichir, Marlon Wayans, Michael Rapaport, Jane Curtin, Dan Bakkedahl, Taran Killam, Michael McDonald, Spoken Reasons, Tom Wilson, Tony Hale

The Heat: a talented but unlikable by-the-book FBI agent is paired with an unorthodox-but-gets-results detective. It’s one film where FBI could mean ‘Female Body Inspector’ like those awesome t-shirts you see guys wearing on holiday (aside: they’re not awesome). Bullock is clearly going through an “I work hard on this body, so will show it off as much as possible” phase… no complaints over here. Joke-wise, it’s got a few good laughs, but unlike Bridesmaids original script the funnies here are much lazier; with Boston stereotypes, racism, vulgarity, and albinos doing all the work. The elongated drunken montage / gratuitous dance scene underlines that this is definitely more humor than humour. At two hours the film outstays its welcome a little; every scene (and joke) feels stretched out to the max, and it feels like there was a lot of ad-libbing that nobody was allowed to cut out. Other than the central pairing being two wimin’, there’s not much here that we haven’t all seen before. The Heat started off quite strongly, but soon went down the well-worn ‘mismatched buddy cop’ path: but you expected something different – or better – given the caliber involved.

Score: 4/10

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Berberian Sound Studio Tonia Sotiropoulou, Toby Jones, Susanna Cappellaro, Cosimo Fusco, Suzy Kendall,Berberian Sound Studio: A mild-mannered sound designer / foley artist is hired to work on an Italian Giallo (B-move slasher) film – and goes a bit mad in the process. The director is clearly fixated on the mechanics of period cinema: there’s a lot of shots of spinning reels, needles, gauges, readings, dials, etc. This is interesting for about 2 minutes. Then there’s the foley work where you see how everyday objects make unlikely sounds. This is interesting for about 10 minutes (tops!). If only the director had been so fascinated by things like plot, dialogue, editing, and entertainment – all of which are categorically absent from this. It feels like a 10 minute short stuffed to breaking point with so much pointless filler. It keeps cutting to a ‘Silence!’ sign – for no reason. There are lingering close ups of rotten vegetables – for no reason. There’s a tantalisingly sexy Italian receptionist – for no reason. Finally, for a movie about movie sound, the sound mix is laughable – quiet LOUD quiet LOUD and some generically eerie scratching / screetching for dramatic effect. This 100% feels more like an art/pet project than a legitimate movie. Schmerschmerian Schmoud Schmudio. Bleurgh.

Score: 1/10


The Adjustment Bureau: an aspiring politician accidentally sees behind the curtain of ‘fate’, and how he’s not fully in control of his own destiny, so he tries to re-write the books. This is the first romantic, heavily religious sci-fi thriller I’ve seen in a while… and juggling all those things hurts the film – but that’s only one of the minor problems. The ‘adjustors’ – who are never fully explained – are cringe-inducing. They wear old style clothing (ok), and their special powers are hats that allow them to walk through doors (ookaaaayyyy…..), and their Achilles heel is water (oh.)… Seriously – semi omniscient beings whose kryptonite is the most abundant compound on the planet! As for the other characters, there’s almost no attempt to develop anyone. It also feels like it’s been put together by the NYC tourist board, with no fewer than 10 photogenic locations. As the film went on some of the reveals and explanations were so stupid I was chuckling for minutes at a time. Emily Blunt’s totally watchable, but did I really just see Matt Damon in a big-budget b-movie?? Seriously, what’s he doing here? The final product is a totally ludicrous and non-sensical film; but you get the feeling that everyone involved knew that. It’s ultimately harmless, but totally stupid.

Score: 3/10

Haggard: Bam Margera and his Jackass / CKY pals make a feature length – sounds stupid? It is, but it’s actually a pretty good effort. Above the stupidity, there’s actually lots of good laughs, gross-outs and funny set-pieces. There’s also a load of skate-superstar cameos throughout the film.  The 5.1 mix is unusually heavy on the rear speakers, so all dialogue – loud and soft – is crystal clear, but feels unbalanced. Loads of lame pseudo-music/skate videos to flesh out the running time, which is unnecessary because the film loses it’s way in the last 20 mins. It’s also more watchable than the original CKY videos. It may not go down as a comedy great, but don’t dismiss it on the grounds of it being attached to Jackass because it’s surprisingly good.

Score: 7/10