#BigRonFilmReviews

An Expansion of the famous #BigRonFilmReviews twitter hashtag - because 140 characters is seldom enough.
My Hyperbole is my own, later to be contradicted and refuted.

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What If (2014)

Decent. Review here.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)
More Dick Tracy meets Barb Wire and kinda LA Confidential.
Like the first one, not really a movie more a series of violent vignettes with husky narration. Same comic book meets film noir black-and-white-flash-of-colour, pouring rain, in the shadows, smoky film noir style.
It’s beautiful, every shot could be a still you frame and put on a wall. People don’t really have conversations they speak in conceited soundbites and several have short term memory issues. Marv is pretty cool, Eva Green runs around naked quite a lot (which is nice). Big stars rock up kill or get killed and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt bit seemed completely irrelevant - like he was only in the movie because he asked to be.
I’m not surprised I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t really get the first one, I didn’t really get this one but I’m sure others will be fairly happy with it.
Not my thing really.
"I’m ambidextrous"
“How did I get here? What have I done?”
“That right there is a dame to kill for…”
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The Raid 2: Berendal (2014)
Despite wiping out the bad guys in the first Raid movie Rama’s work is not complete. Cleverly they fake his death and imbed him deep in the Jakarta underworld to catch bigger fish in this bigger, bolder more explosive, more violent, more spectacular sequel. The tendency to go bigger in sequels often falls flat but not here, quite the opposite, this is FANTASTIC.
Rama is working with a renegade unit, he has to get himself imprisoned in a jail that can only be described as hell on earth to befriend the son of a bad man and bring down a crime syndicate.
The visual tricks are superb and choreography strangely beautiful for a movie this violent, and boy is it violent - people get beat up, people get beat down, anything and everything is a weapon and even a wall takes a hell of a pasting.
Poses the old, breaking law for the greater good question, with ambiguous heroes and villains and mainly kicks some serious bum. Very hard for me to say whether I preferred one or two more.
"I want you in my team to go undercover"
"Just fuck that guys asshole you stupid bitch!"
"It would be wise to pick a side. Loners don’t tend to last too long in here".
"Well that nobody took out fifteen of my guys!"
"Its not that I don’t trust you. It’s just that I don’t trust anybody".
"You wanna fuck or sing? Which is it? Make a decision!".
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#BigRonFilmReviews film of the Month for August 2014
Other FIlms of the Month here 
Night Moves (2014)
Kelly Reichardt is a well thought of Director…. why?
I managed to get through Wendy & Lucy but it was tough going. Meek’s Cutoff I could not finish. Those movies were big on slow single shots, pregnant pauses, shots of nature and wildlife and lingering silences. Unfortunately this one is exactly the same.
Jessie Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning are uncharismatic and kind of a drag, Peter Sarsgaard more fun, he is irresponsible and a of bit loose canon. The three of them are Eco-terrorists and want to blow up a dam. I guess it’s like Damnbusters only much more boring, tedious and dull.
The script for this movie was written on one piece of A4, they didn’t even have to use both sides. The gaps in conversation can be measured in minutes not seconds. One of the longest scenes with dialogue is about buying fertilizer.
I like dialogue, I like witty banter and interplay, I like characters, IO do like visuals and atmosphere too but this needs more substance. There are good actors here given nothing to do or say, even the fucking explosion was understated!!!!
Is this meant to be cerebral? Am I missing the point? Is it too clever for me??? Possibly, I look forward to a real critics thoughts.
I absolutely do not get Reichardt’s films. She and say Michael Bay are at opposite ends of the scale, Bay’s movies are mindless, over the top and brash. Reichardts are sparse and dull - if they made a film together it would probably be a masterpiece.
I watched Let’s be Cops the other night, it was essentially mindless shit but it was much more enjoyable than this snorefest.
I usually put quotes I liked or that represent how good or bad the movie might be but with this I’ll leave it blank for aforementioned reasons.
Gah!
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Prince Avalanche (2013)
David Gordon Green really is an interesting and varied Director. The same guy that gave us vulgar, gross out (yet enjoyable) stuff like Pineapple Express and The Sitter has now given us this quirky, somewhat ploddy, sparse and minimal number that is far closer to a comedy version of his recent offering Joe.
Alvin and Lance (Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch channelling Jack Black) are Highway maintenance guys. They’re out on their own repairing the roads in the aftermath of the 1987 Texan Forest fires. It’s a character piece, two superbly named guys bickering and shooting the shit. They cover off life, sex, morality etc and some of the dialogue and conversations they have are just fantastic. Understated humour at it’s best.
I like Rudd and Hirsch generally and they’re on their respective games + they’re wearing some sweet dungarees and as you would hope there is an awesome Dave from Alvin & the Chipmunks reference.
Enjoyable in an understated way.
“No, I mean you shouldn’t smoke. You look stupid.”
"So not even a little bit of fingering?"
"Lets just enjoy the silence"
"Sometimes I wonder if he is learning disabled"
"I get so horny out here in nature, don’t you?"
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Let’s Be Cops (2014)
Imagine a buddy Cop movie where the buddies aren’t Cops. Well here it is. This movie is a one trick pony that occasionally makes you groan and sigh, very occasionally makes you belly laugh but mainly leaves you feeling nonplussed.
Jake Johnson and one of the Wayans’ are basically losers with unfulfilled potential. Life is giving them lemons and they ain’t doing Tequila. When they dress up as Cops for a Masquerade Ball (see - Losers!) they bizarrely get attention from girls (??) and get a taste for power and a better life. However with Police comes criminals so they get more than they bargained for soon end up out of their depth with the Russian Mob.
Some of the basic buddy comedy stuff is ok, Jake Johnson is pretty good. I throughly enjoyed the Mexican/Cuban/Yardie guy and the Slutty Woman but wasn’t so hot on the the fighting sorority women and bringing down a naked Sumo man stuff..
I’m not sure what this movie thinks it is, does it want to be gross out? Does it want to be subversive?i Does it want to be an Action movie? Not sure. At it’s worst this is Ride Along, at it’s best it’s The Heat.
This lost me at times but just about pulled me back in. It is what it is, I think it’ll fin an audience.
"I’d quite like to take of your dress and put my Penis inside of you!"
"I look like somebody hit me in the face with Lil Wayne"
“That’s what you get!”
"People actually think we’re Cops!"
"Daaaaaam!"
"I will slap that little Afro off your head!"
"What is your name? Not your gang name or your stripper name!"
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Episode #79 of The Flicksation Podcast is up!

flicksation:

Eric, Ian, and Robert review and discuss the films THE ZERO THEOREM, COHERENCE, and BOYHOOD. We reflect on Robin Williams in the news, and we load up on hallucinogenics and isolate ourselves for a Film School discussion of Ken Russell’s ALTERED STATES.

Recent film and entertainment…

Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Gru, the kids and most importantly the minions are back for more fun and frolics.
Having moved from Villain to Dad in the last movie Gru now makes the natural step to Spy-Hero when recruited by the AVL (Anti-Villain League).
More of the same really (which is not a bad thing!). The filmmakers have picked up on the comedy value the Minions provide and double/treble/quadrupled it, even making the bad guys genetically mutated purple versions.
Colourful comedy with fart guns and giant magnets with little riffs of everyday life thrown in: Online Dating, Kids Parties and Daughters getting boyfriends.
Lots of madcap fun, really enjoyable.
"Lipstick Tamer!!!"
"Bottom!"
"Are you single?"
"Ha! Booby!"
“Hey, that pollo es loco”
“The highest honor awarded to Dr. Nefario for your years of service, the 21-fart gun salute!”
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Despicable Me (2010)
Alright, alright, so whats the big deal with these movies and these minion things?
Set in a world of Super Villains, sinister plots and evil gadgetry, the Steve Carell voiced Gru is being out-evil-ed by a newcomer. Not to be undone he hatches a plan to steal the moon…
Gru is actually a hapless anti-villain rather than an anti-hero, in theory he’s a badguy but his heart is good and when he adopts so children to implement his plan he very quickly becomes a reluctant Father - to much amusement.
Good voice performances especially from Russell Brand.
Absolute nonsense of course but pretty good in a Wallace and Gromit meets multiple Bond Villains kind of a way. Good zany fun, the devices and antics are indeed enjoyable and the minions are rather brilliant.
“Assemble the minions!”
"You will not cry, or whine, or laugh, or giggle, or sneeze or barf or fart!”
"Get the shrikray, then we’ll talk".
"Argh. I hate that guy!"
"Cookie Robots!"
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What If (2014)

One of several decent little scenes. Review here

Robot & Frank (2012)
Frank Langella is a retired Cat Burglar and part time shoplifter. When Son James Marsden gets him a Robot Butler he sees not help for his with senile dementia but an opportunity to go back to work.
It’s great. Think Short Circuit meets like Grumpy old Men. Langella is superb as the wily old crim, stealing not for financial gain but perhaps to cling on to his youth and vitality. He’s a lonely guy and the bond that builds with the Robot is actually rather sweet. Peter Sarsgaard does some good voice work as the Robot’s voice and his moral corruption by Langella can only be admired.
Visually this is pretty low-fi, and I imagine it’s fairly low budget but the characters and writing are fabulous. I mean the Robot is a bloke in a suit but that adds to it’s quirky value and I found it to be a perfect balance of the bittersweet, sentimental, hilarious and charming - when he called the Robot his friend I almost cried (I didn’t though cos i’m a Geezer, obviously!)
Highly recommended.
"There’s nothing wrong with my memory!"
"If you let go of me i’ll do the dishes"
"What am I doing? I’m talking to an appliance".
"Fuck this shit!"
"Warning! Do not molest me".
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Brick Mansions (2014)
This all looks familiar…
I’m sure i’ve seen this but it’s new out…
Hang on even the French bloke looks a bit familiar…..
Oh it’s a remake of the Parkour film District B13!!!
In the near future an area of Detroit has become so crime ridden and Unpoliceable they’ve built massive walls around it. Super cop Paul Walker is given the task of going into said walled-area to retrieve a Neutron bomb with just the Parkour dude from the original French movie for help.
It’s kind of like The Raid but nowhere near as good. The fighting and some of the stunts are cool and impressive but they’ve Hollwooded everything. It’s bigger, bolder and louder…. which of course makes it inferior. From memory the stunts in the French version were so good because the guy was clearly doing the action… In this I don’t think it was always the case.
Poor dialogue and crap villains detract from the good chemistry Paul Walker and David Belle build up but action fans will probably find things to enjoy. It’s not horrible but it’s a shame Paul Walker’s final movie isn’t a little bit better. RIP.
“Sometimes you don’t gotta be a rocket scientist. You just gotta have a rocket!”
“I handle what needs handling.”
“Revenge and justice are not the same thing. They never are.”
“This is going to be a lot of fun.”
“There’s a situation that demands the best of the best.”
“Brick Mansions gangsters! We buy or we die!”
“Different method, same results”
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RIP Lord Richard Attenborough 29/8/1923 - 24/8/2014
RIP
For many of us the creator of Jurassic Park or the Director of Ghandi but my favourite is his 1960 movie The Angry Silence. Well worth a view if you get the chance (and often find older movies inaccessible).
Afternoon Delight (2013)
Kathryn Hahn has a very good life, she’s wealthy with a good husband yet she finds it stale and mundane. Her sex life is nonexistent and she longs for something to change. To spice things up she heads to a strip where she befriends Juno Temple and invites her to live in her house.
Yeah that will end well. Actually it might have had not become a self fulfilling prophecy - treat a whore like a whore and she’ll behave like one…. I guess.
This is a Mother Daughter/Sister/Friendship fish out of water voyage of discovery with an edge. It’s quite rude, there is plenty of sex and lots of naughty talk plus this is the movie you watch if you want to see Temple give Hahn a lap dance.
I found this amusing and occasionally quite sad. The growth journey is a strange one, i’m not sure I really got it and the Juno Temple character doesn’t seem to get a victory of any kind. 
I picked up on this solely because of Kathryn Hahn, comedic actors have a history of working well in a drama and I think this is the case here. Hahn has a hell of a meltdown that I loved but the whole thing could have done with a better plot.
"Still no sex"
"Name one goof thing that came from blogging?"
"How did the stripper get in the maids room?"
"I might even suck it right off"
"Oh my God! you just snorted!"
"I wanna here about everyone’s abortions"
"Do I look familiar to you? You gave me a lap dance last weekend"
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Tusk (2014)

I’m a Kevin Smith guy so this looks interesting, like Misery crossed with The Skin I live in or (I assume as I haven’t seen it) The Human Centipede.