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The Vidiot: June 2018

Monday 11th, June 2018 / 22:38

Game Night 

The best thing about game night at a friend’s house is rooting through their medicine cabinet. Unfortunately, the players in this comedy are too involved to sample meds.  

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie’s (Rachel McAdams) weekly game night with their friends is upended when Max’s older brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) shows up and involves them all in a game of kidnapping.

Determined to finally show up his sibling, the competitive couple go to extremes to locate the missing person only to find out that they are all part of a deadlier game that Brook’s is caught up in involving black market art. Consistently funny, this breezy R-rated romp has the confident vibe of a long-running sit-com thanks to its scene-stealing neighbour, talented cast and amusing subplots that feed into the more violent extortion narrative. 

Moreover, game nights are a great way of warming your friends up to having an orgy. 

 

 

Early Man 

The upside to being around at the beginning of time was enjoying that new Earth smell. Mind you, the bipeds in this stop-motion comedy are to busy inventing sports to enjoy it. 

At the dawn of civilization, a dimwitted caveman (Eddie Redmayne) and his daft tribe of rabbit hunters dream of one day taking down a mammoth, but instead they have the chance to dethrone a vile despot (Tom Hiddleston) in a game of soccer. If they win they get their hunting grounds in the valley back. But if they lose they will all be become slaves working in the mines. 

The latest from the English Claymation studio behind Wallace and Gromit, Aardman Animations really drops the football with this sports themed offering. The jokes are lackluster, the characters forgettable and the football fervor may be lost on western audiences.    

Incidentally, cavemen football players would be terrified of the jumbotron.  

 

 

Annihilation 

The best use of animal hybridization is a dung-beetle/dog that rolls its own poop to the garbage. Unfortunately, the soldiers in this sci-fi film face much fiercer fauna fusions.  

When her missing husband (Oscar Isaac) inexplicably returns from a failed mission in the swamps a year ago, Lena (Natalie Portman) is solicited by a military doctor (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to join her new team (Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez) as they return to the event to study the strange animals there and search for more survivors. Inside the affected area, the group becomes susceptible to the Shimmer and turn against each other.

While the hybrids are horrifying and the biologically based plot is food for thought with eye-popping visuals to facilitate the more complex ideas, the overall story is confused between genres while the body-snatcher angle is just lazy. 

Besides, most mutations in the bayou are not extraterrestrial but married siblings.  

 

 

Black Panther 

The worst part of being a black superhero is when you turn supervillains over to authorities you get arrested. Thankfully, the African-American protector in this action movie runs his own country. 

Sworn to defend the clandestine nation of Wakanda, the mantle of Black Panther has been passed down through the ages where it – as well as the title of king – has now been bestowed on T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). But not everyone supports that royal appointment, namely the outsider Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and his arms dealing ally (Andy Serkis) who is after Wakandan resources. 

With a culturally rich narrative that transcends race and sex, Marvel’s most complex Avenger takes center stage. Backed by a stellar supporting cast as multifaceted as him, Black Panther’s first solo outing is not only a milestone for the genre but the industry.       

Now, let’s work towards a day when T’Challa can simply be called: Panther.  

 

Red Sparrow 

The only difference between female spy and prostitute is one gets to garrote their client afterwards. For more on the sexual exploits of espionage look no further than this thriller. 

Dominika’s (Jennifer Lawrence) uncle recruits her to join Russian Intelligence after she injures herself at ballet and is unable to support her ailing mother. In spy school, she and other students are taught the art of seduction in its most brutal forms. Obstinate through the entire process, Dom eventually graduates to Sparrow status and is assigned to the US to beguile a CIA agent (Joel Edgerton) for Intel.  

Slow, convoluted and graphically violent, both physically and sexually, this tepid adaptation of the bestseller also lacks chemistry between leads and spends an inordinate amount of time on rape and potential rape situations. Meanwhile the action is limited and unsettling. 

Incidentally, suave male spies also have to sleep with fat, old politicians.  

​  

The 15:17 to Paris 

The first thing the US Army teaches you is which end of the gun to point away from yourself. Luckily, the recruits in this drama are already familiar with firearms. 

Obsessed with military combat, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos enlist right out of high school. Leaving their moms (Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer) behind the pair meet up with their civilian friend Anthony Sadler for a European vacation.  But when the trio board the 15:17 train to Paris out of Amsterdam they inadvertently walk into a terrorist plot. Although unarmed, the Yanks take the armed extremists head-on. 

While the heroic actions of the September 2016 event are certainly laudable, having the actual participants portray themselves in this biography is disastrous. Moreover, having director Clint Eastwood explore their childhood only makes the heroes seem like dimwitted warmongering, religious nuts. 

Besides, Americans are perpetually poised to attack anyone who looks like a terrorist.  

 

 

Fifty Shades Freed 

A hidden benefit to BDSM relationships is the spanking prepares both participants for parenthood. This romantic drama, however, occurs subsequent to the embargo on corporal punishment. 

After he ties the matrimonial knot, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) ties his new bride  Anastasia Steele-Grey (Dakota Johnson) to their wedding bed and dominates her. But the newlywed’s hedonistic honeymoon is cut short when Ana’s old boss turned crazed stalker (Eric Johnson) escapes from custody and kidnaps Christian’s adopted sister (Rita Ora). While the taciturn tycoon is willing to accept the kidnapper’s terms, he is hesitant to acknowledge the child growing inside of Ana.  

Comprised predominantly of montages of clips from the previous two films, this final installment in the erotic journey limps towards the finish line with an undeveloped plot and insipid performances barely holding it together. 

Incidentally, the best wedding gift to get a brooding billionaire in to bondage is a bat suit.    

 

Winchester 

The upside to being a rich senior citizen is the ability to afford the best abusive retirement home. Fortunately, the dowager in this horror movie also has the means to stay in her home. 

Following her husband’s death in 1906 the Winchester Rifle Company dispatches Dr. Price (Jason Clarke) to evaluate the mental state of their new owner, Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), who is proposing they manufacture toys instead of weapons. Inside the Winchester mansion, Price learns of Sarah’s obsession with building new rooms onto the manor to appease the spirits of those killed by her family’s firearm. 

While the Winchester Mystery House, its eccentric owner and her occult leanings are all based on fact, what transpires in this haunted house however is an absolute insult to the more fascinating biography laying dormant underneath this jump-scare schlock-fest. 

Besides, nowadays every company is haunted by the specter of bad online reviews.  

 

Peter Rabbit 

The best way to keep rabbits from raiding your garden is to only grow genetically modified food. Mind you, the rascal in this animated-comedy might still enjoy flavourless veggies. 

Impish coney Peter Rabbit (James Corden) and his colony (Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki) spend their days terrorizing Farmer McGregor (Sam Neill) with pranks before pilfering his prized vegetable patch. But when McGregor’s hardnosed nephew Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) visits, he declares war on the warren, specifically Peter.   Stuck in the middle of the melee is Peter’s only human friend Bea (Rose Byrne), who Thomas has now taken an interest in.  

Padded with alternative musical montages to compensate for its laugh less script and unlikable lead, this live-action retelling of Beatrix Potter’s rebellious bunny is blended with computerized forest creatures, which works visually but not so much narratively. 

Besides, any animal testing facility can easily take care of unruly rabbit populations.  

 

 

Paddington 2 

Bears make great house pets until they wake from hibernation bloodthirsty. Fortunately, the Ursa Minor in this animated-comedy can be easily overpowered. 

Entrenched in the fabric of the Brown family (Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins), domesticated bear Paddington (Ben Whishaw) hopes to show his appreciation to his human hosts by buying his adoptive aunt (Imelda Staunton) an antique pop-up book for her birthday. But when the tome turns up missing from Mr. Gruber’s (Jim Broadbent) shop, Paddington is sent to prison, while the real culprit uses the manuscript to locate lost treasure. 

Charming as ever, this delightful sequel to the pleasantly surprising original adaptation of the kid-lit favourite is as brilliant as the first. While the computer rendering of the titular character remains hyper-realistic, the family friendly storyline is even more thoughtful while the supporting human cast is hilarious. 

Moreover, incarcerating bears is a surefire way to solve prison overpopulation.   

 

Hostiles 

Without the aid of horses, cowboys would literally have to ride around on cows.Thankfully, no one in this Western has to milk his or her mount every morning. 

Indian Wars veteran Capt. Blocker (Christian Bale) is tasked with one last mission: escort ailing Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) to his tribal burial grounds up north. En route to Montana, Blocker’s regiment (Jesse Plemons, Timothée Chalamet) encounters a distraught colonist (Rosamund Pike) whose family was slaughtered by Comanche, as well as a disgraced soldier (Ben Foster) on his way to the gallows. 

While it does veer in to the stereotypical territory found in old frontier films, this oater at least has strong First Nations actors involved who honour the dialect. Nevertheless, none of that authenticity helps the splintered and ambling script filled with more clichés. 

Incidentally, when white people jokingly wore brown face paint in the old west, they got shot.  

 

 

He’s a Wild Dogma. He’s the… 

 

Vidiot

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