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Vidiot: June 2016

Wednesday 01st, June 2016 / 12:26
By Shane Sellar

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

If zombies had existed in Victorian times, the wealthy would’ve just thought them ugly peasants.

Mind you, the affluent in this horror movie are fully aware of their flesh-eating epidemic.

In the wake of a zombie outbreak, 19th century England’s most opulent families are required to send their offspring away to be trained in marital arts. This was the case with Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) and her sisters (Bella Heathcote, Suki Waterhouse, Ellie Bamber, Millie Brady).

The undead, however, are not Elizabeth’s only adversary, as she has found an infuriating rival in zombie hunter Colonel Darcy (Sam Riley).

Not as over-the-top as one would expect a pairing of Jane Austin and the living dead to be, P+P+Z is also not as insipid either. Oddly enough, it’s the public domain portion of this parody that’s more pleasurable than the zombie killing parts.

Furthermore, zombies aren’t that scary when they’re wearing powdered wigs.

How to Be Single

The easiest way for a person to stay single is to stop bathing.

However, the singles in this rom-com are more concerned with attracting than repelling.

To gain worldliness, Alice (Dakota Johnson) dumps her boyfriend, moves to NYC, lives with her sister (Leslie Mann), and works at a law firm where her co-worker (Rebel Wilson) introduces her into the singles scene. Elsewhere, Lucy (Alison Brie) is knee-deep in online-dating horror stories.

But over time, each finds a potential partner (Damon Wayans Jr., Anders Holm, Jake Lacy, Jason Mantzoukas) and must choose their ultimate path.

The painfully familiar story of four single females navigating singledom in the city, HTBS is neither insightful nor plausible. The women are weepy, the men are unrealistic, and the script is disjointed and laden with unladylike language and behaviour.

Besides, if being single is so much fun then why can’t we torch all of the wedding gowns?

The Finest Hours

The worst thing about being in the Coast Guard is that the only bribes you ever receive are in the form of crustaceans.

Thankfully, all of the navel officers in this drama seem on the up and up.

On the day he’s to ask his commanding officer (Eric Bana) permission to marry his fiancée (Holliday Grainger), First Mate Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) and a skeleton crew (Ben Foster, Kyle Gallner, John Magaro) are dispatched to a grounded oil tanker off Cape Cod.

But Bernie’s tiny vessel, and the relentless nor’easter, could keep him from saving all 32 crewmembers (Casey Affleck, John Ortiz, Graham McTavish).

While it is a satisfying seafaring saga inspired by actual events from the 1950s, this Disney derring-do is never as harrowing as it should be, or as romantic as it tries to be.

Moreover, doesn’t maritime law decree that Coast Guard officers can only marry mer-people?

Triple 9

The worst thing about working for a Russian boss is their zero-tolerance policy towards bathroom breaks.

But as the thieves in this thriller have learned, working alongside them is even worse.

The wife of a convicted Russian crime boss (Kate Winslet) hires a coalition of career criminals (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, Aaron Paul) and crooked cops (Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins, Jr.) to obtain a safe-deposit box from a bank for her.

But before she hands over payment, she now wants them to infiltrate a government building to steal more evidence to help overturn her husband’s sentence.

Meanwhile, two straight cops (Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson) work the case from different angels.

Action-packed with some intriguing relationships and colourful characters, Triple 9 defies its numerous crime story clichés to formulate a forceful but ultimately forgettable heist picture.

Furthermore, cops and robs only work well together when it comes to fixing their marriage.

The Witch

The key to surviving in a Puritan society was accusing as many people of witchcraft as you could.

Unfortunately, any accusation of necromancy in this horror movie would fall directly on relatives.

Excommunicated from their New England colony, William (Ralph Ineson), his wife (Kate Dickie), their eldest Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) and her siblings relocate to an isolated homestead adjacent to a forest.

When the newborn and the eldest son disappear and the family’s goat starts speaking to the children, rumours of sorcery start circulating with Thomasin as the prime suspect.

An unnerving but authentic look at family life in 17th century, this multi-layered slow-burner embodies the dialect, dress and superstitions of the pious of those paranoid times.

Meanwhile, the subversive script is supplemented by haunting imagery, restrained direction and notable performances.

Mind you, any demon ordering you to dance naked in the woods is probably recording it from the bushes.

Dirty Grandpa

Spring break is convenient for senior citizens because they already all live in Florida.

And while the vulgar elder in this comedy isn’t there yet… he’s on his way.

Straight-laced lawyer Jason (Zac Efron) rekindles his relationship with his grandfather, Dick (Robert De Niro), at his grandmother’s funeral. During their interaction, he agrees to drive the widower to Boca Raton.

Much to the chagrin of his fiancée (Julianne Hough), Jason and Dick hit the road, where Jason learns his grandpa’s personality matches his phallic name.

From drugs and alcohol to felonies and coeds (Zoey Deutch, Aubrey Plaza), Dick’s determined to enrich his grandson’s stuffy lifestyle.

The timeworn tale of an eccentric mentor edifying an uptight pupil but drenched in geriatric semen jokes and soulless performances, this raunchy road trip is both equally pointless and repugnant.

Moreover, when you have unprotected sex with an old person you’re liable to contract liver spots.

Zoolander 2

Fashion isn’t filled with self-absorbed skinny people any more; it’s filled with narcissistic fat people.

Fortunately for the returning Adonis in this comedy, the plus size trend hasn’t affected the male modelling side.

After inadvertently killing his wife, former male-model Zoolander (Ben Stiller) returns from self-imposed exile to partner with a Fashion Interpol agent (Penélope Cruz) and a former rival (Owen Wilson) to save his estranged son (Cyrus Arnold) from a mad designer (Will Ferrell) who believes his blood is the key to eternal youth.

The extremely overdue sequel to the 15-year-old cult classic, this commercially-driven continuation of the conceited character is more concerned with gratuitous cameos than it is with fresh material.

In fact, writer-director Ben Stiller milks past favourites like Billy Zane and Will Ferrell to death, while the overall story just lacks vigour.

Incidentally, the only infirmity that still keeps people from being a supermodel is their height.

The Boy

The best thing about babysitting British kids is they’ll believe your skulking boyfriend is actually a magical chimney sweep.

Unfortunately, that fib wouldn’t fly with the inanimate child in this horror movie.

After a breakup stateside, Great (Lauren Cohan) gets a nanny gig at an English manor where she’ll be looking after the Heelshires’ (Jim Norton, Diana Hardcastle) son, Brahms.

When she arrives, she’s shocked to learn Brahms is really a doll the homeowners believe to be their deceased son. While they’re away, Greata must adhere to Brahms’ strict schedule, or face his cruel wraith.

Relying on the played out premise of a possessed doll to deliver its hackneyed scares, this horrible haunter has no redeeming qualities to speak of, including the toy’s design or it’s failed attempt at an eerie ambiance.

Besides, the only way to rid yourself of a haunted doll is to give it to your dog.

Deadpool

When the random shooter jobs are all taken, mercenary work is the next best option for ex-military.

However, the garrulous gunman in this action-comedy proves you can do both.

Mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) undergoes cancer treatment for his girlfriend (Morena Baccarin). But instead of a cure, the formula activates his mutant healing ability and leaves him disfigured.

With help from some X-Men (Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić) he adopts a mask, a moniker and a light-hearted outlook on his off kilter quest for revenge on the perpetrator (Ed Skrein).

From Reynolds’ on-point portrayal, to the cartoony violence and the fourth-wall narrative, this reappearance of Marvel’s merc with a mouth after his ill-fated debut in an earlier X-film is a ribald and refreshing reboot that is as faithful to the self-aware smart-ass as can be.

Furthermore, it shows burn victims a jazzy costume is all they need to reacclimatize to society.

The Choice

The hardest part of having a loved one in a coma is knowing when to pull the plug…on their cable subscription.

However, the hopeful husband in this romance hasn’t called DirecTV just yet.

Adversaries from the get-go, Gabby (Teresa Palmer) deplores her new neighbor Travis (Benjamin Walker). But with her boyfriend (Tom Welling) overseas, she begins to see Travis in a new light after learning he’s the town’s vet, alongside his father (Tom Wilkinson).

When Gabby and Travis marry, an accident leaves her in a vegetative state, and him with the choice of terminating her life support.

With its laughable dialogue, elongated exposition and ham-fisted leads, this latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation is one of the worst. In fact, the religious undertones of the ending are nothing but an idealistic cop-out to this complex issue.

As for the best way to rouse your comatose wife: bring your mistress ‘round the hospital.

Joy

The Home Shopping Network works exactly like online shopping, except quantities are limited and time is running out.

Two things the aspiring inventor in this dramedy knows all too well.

Determined to bring her removable mop-head to market, single mother Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) convinces a QVC bigwig (Bradley Cooper) to allow her the rare opportunity to host her own segment, which eventually brings in sales.

But a shifty manufacturer recommended by her deadbeat dad’s (Robert De Niro) girlfriend (Isabella Rossellini) could put an end to all of her success, her supply and her patent.

Based on the semi-motivational true story, Joy’s ensemble cast and offbeat direction offers the only entertainment in this breezy biography. Whereas the plodding script only services those highpoints as it lurches towards its inspiring yet manipulated ending.

Maybe next time they could focus on a real QVC superstar, like, the inventor of porcelain clown figurines.

He’s a Soldier of Fortune Cookies. He’s the
Vidiot

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