Cinema Reviews – Loser men, naked men and amazing spider men

Three films this week, The Five-Year Engagement, Magic Mike and The Amazing Spider-Man. Sadly all as average as average gets.


The Five-Year Engagement

Tom (Jason Segal) and Violet (Emily Blunt) get engaged at the start of this film and as they begin to plan their wedding day Violet gets her dream job which forces the couple to move to Michigan, away from Tom’s promising chef career and puts their marriage on hold.

I think I timed this film badly. I wish I had seen this before watching the excellent Friends with Kids as the comedy bar had been set very high only a week earlier and this film paled in comparison.

The biggest problem for me was it just didn’t know what kind of comedy it wanted to be. At times it took itself quiet seriously and dealt with the moments of comedy in an intelligent and respectable manner but then this would be quickly followed up by moments of slapstick unrealism that just didn’t fit and pulled me out of the story.

It wasn’t all bad though as there was some moments of genuine comedy and Rhys Ifans was fantastic in the role of Violet’s boss.

Verdict

I had better hopes for this after seeing the trailer but moments of slapstick humour just derail and otherwise middle of the road comedy.

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Magic Mike

Mike is an entrepreneur. He works construction, details cars and designs custom furniture. Oh, and in the evenings he is the most talented male stripper in Florida. Into his life comes The Kid who he takes under his wing to become a stripper, along the way falling for The Kid’s sister.

So far it sounds like the kind of movie I would avoid except for three key features that made this a very interesting prospect: director Steven Soderbergh, Channing Tatum used to do this for a living and Matthew McConaughey in an Oscar baiting performance.

It was these three aspects that made this film what it was. Soderbergh’s keen eye for direction added a level of skill that showed throughout the cinematography, Tatum was superb and clearly knew what he was doing throughout and McConaughey was amazing, totally stealing ever scene he was in.

However, underneath it all there is very little plot to speak of and when you strip away what all the ladies are going to see there is not much meat to sink your teeth into. This is where a film like The Full Monty shows its class by containing a plot that works without the stripping.

Verdict

Lot’s of eye candy for the ladies masks a run of the mill film with nothing to lift it to the next level. McConaughey is fantastic though!

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Spider-Man, wounded, is covered in a spider web with New York City in the background and as a reflection in his mask. Text at the bottom of the reveals the title, release date, official site of the film, rating and production credits.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: There’s a teenager called Peter Parker who gets bitten by a spider and starts to develop super human powers that mimic the spider.

After the death of his uncle that his is partly responsible for he begins a vigilante quest again criminals in the city wearing a spider outfit that is way beyond the ability of a teenager to construct on his own.

Into the mix another human being adopts super-human powers (good timing that) and the two being a super power battle that is likely to have tragic consequences.

I knew that rebooting the Spider-Man films only 10 years since Sam Raimi started his fine trilogy was an odd choice but I didn’t expect this film to be so similar to the originals. The tone is the same, the underlying plot is almost identical and the leads about as good as the original.

The only different thing was the villain as they had to pick someone new and The Lizard was a fine choice. However there was nothing stopping them making a Spider-Man 4 rather than rebooting.

Verdict

Nothing new enough here to deserve the series being rebooted. An ok superhero movie but should have continued in the universe of Sam Raimi rather than starting again. Odd

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