Blow Dry (2001) Film Review

Rating 15
Length 1h34
Release 30.3.2001
Director Paddy Breathnach
About Shelley operates a small salon with her partner. When the British Hairdressing Championships are announced, Shelley asks her ex-husband and son to join her.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Trailer:


The Good

  • Alan Rickman. He can do ham, he can do serious, he can do villainy. He could do anything he put his mind to, but the best roles of his are the ones where you can see that he’s having the time of his time. Blow Dry is no exception. I got this film to watch solely on the fact that Rickman was in it and he’s a joy to watch.
  • This film represents. I suppose when its about a hairdressing competition, that’s a bit of an open goal. But, this is a film from 2001 that has a lesbian couple and it’s not the main part of the plot. Okay, so it’s a quirky British film and never made the Box Office of Full Monty or Billy Elliot. However, this is still a mainstream movie and it’s quite progressive.
  • At the heart of this film is the relationships. Whether its newly forged, reconnections or companionship; they’re all there. While I love the scenes with Phil (Rickman) and Sandra (Griffiths), my favourite is that between Natasha Richardson’s Shelley and Rosemary Harris’ Daisy. It’s a bittersweet and unapologetic friendship; it’s one that is very ‘northern’.
  • My absolute favourite part of this movie is the evolution of the Mayor of Keighley, played by the wonderful Warren Clarke. Tony’s growth from Town councillor out of his depth, to joyous host and confident charmer is just a beautiful thing to watch.

The Bad

  • There is a massive plot hole in this film that bugs the fuck out of me. The only reason why its here and not swapped with what I’ve put in ‘ugly’, is that the accents bug more than just me.
    So, final look? Spent 6 months workin’ on it did ya Phil? How’s that possible given that in involves a tattoo over 50% of the lass’s scalp?
  • The rating. There are a few things that make this a 15 rating that, had they been cut would have brought it down to a 12. One scene that is perhaps unnecessary is seeing Heidi Klum’s pink merkin! Yup, not one to sit and watch with your families folks.

The Ugly

  • The accents. There’s a few really dodgy attempts at a Yorkshire twang in this heartwarming film, however Josh Hartnett really needed to spend more time with a dialect coach. Totally understand why they cast him; he was The Name of the noughties, I also know that this film needed to be set ‘up north’ to have that charm. I just wish it wasn’t quite so terrible an attempt.

Final Thoughts

It’s flawed. However, there’s enough charm to distract you from the cracks. It’s also a good film to spot some actors as they’re starting out.

Film Review: Evolution (2001)

Rating PG
Length 1h 41
Release 22.6.2001
Director Ivan Reitman
About Professor Ira and Professor Harry are called in to analyse a meteor that crashes at Arizona. Soon, they learn that the organisms found on the meteor are evolving and reproducing rapidly.


The Good

  • From the get go, it plays much like a Ghostbuster outing. The undervalued underdogs in the professional field saving the day. For me, I can never get enough of the Ghostbusters and, at the time, this was as close as I was going to get.
  • The cast is pretty perfect. David Duchovny plays on his Mulder persona, but gives him much more charm and less morbid back story. Duchovny carries the lead duties really well and I always wonder why he didn’t get more oportunities.
  • Orlando Jones gives us black-meta commentary and sleaze I never quiet caught before and Julianne Moore is trying to give us the anti-Scully. It never quite works, and it has me wishing Anderson was there playing the role, but I can’t deny that Moore does try.
  • The graphics still stand up. as good as early noughties graphics can of course.

The Bad

  • It takes a long while to really get going. Partly because of establishing Scott’s character in the opening. While this does have pay off, it does stall the proceedings somewhat.
  • I’m not sure I like the clumsiness of Moore’s character. It feels like acting clumsy and is too forced.

The Ugly

  • That sleeze of Orlando Jones. Barf! I know its college, but him trying to get it on with students and discussing showering with his all-female basketball team is just gross. I probably thought nothing of it at the time, but watching it in light of so many accusations within the industry, it makes you question the mind-set of the writer. Yeah, call me snowflake all you want, but its the normalisation of off-the-cuff remarks like this that have allowed this behaviour to go on, unchecked, for so long.

Final Thoughts

Had this been an X-Files or Ghostbusters sequel, in which we could do away with the introductions, this would be an amazing film. Tonally different I’m sure, but amazing non the less.
That said, this is a film I will watch again because it’s fun, the good guys win and we have Sean William Scott singing to a pterodactyl-type creature.

Not Another Teen Movie (2001)

Rating: 15
Length: 1h 29
Release: 24.5.2001
Dir: Joel Gallen
About: A jock bets that he can convert a girl in his high school into a prom queen. But his wicked sister and a devious cheerleader endeavour to thwart him.


The Good

  • Both Chyler Leigh and Chris Evans are brilliant in these lead roles; they are able to bring characteristics of the multitude of teen leads referenced throughout and make the characters they play their own.
  • The cameos are dotted throughout and become their own little reference to films the star has been in. Well, except for Mr T, I’m not sure about the connection there. But, hell, its Mr T!
  • The number of films this film sends up in unbelievable and its done in a way that is a nod to the audience, but not totally at the expense of the plot. Nothing feels overly shoe-horned in or out of place. Which is certainly something that cannot be said for others in this ‘franchise’.
  • My absolute favourite part of this movie is the send up of the 10 Things I Hate About You scene where Heath sings “You’re too good to be true”. Essentially the same set up, but Evan’s Jake is told that girls like it when their name is in the song. Her name is Janey…

The Bad

  • I’m not sure how I feel about the commentary of PoC in this movie. While I understand the character of Malik explaining his stereotype within this particular genre, I feel uncomfortable with the fact that its done just for that purpose. Especially when the character is self aware and has that ‘I’m tired of this shit’ attitude, but then goes on to demonstrate the stereotype and shrug as if ‘oh I guess that is me.’
    What I perhaps would have liked to have seen is the character act against the type in much the same way the actor, Deon Richmond, later does in Scream 3. It didn’t need to be massive, but a few nods here or there would have really changed it up for me.

The Ugly

  • Another film that plays on brother/sister incest. Yak! While I’m aware it’s playing on the step-sibling lust from Cruel Intentions and the lines “We’re related!”/ “Only by blood.” is *slightly* funny, it’s just too much of a pet hate of mine to not call it out.
  • The toilet humour is just not my thing. It’s understandable that these types of films go there when considering it’s inspiration filmography.

Final Thoughts

I’ve watched this film way too many times for a film I know I don’t like. What can I say, it’s the film geek in me that likes the film references. It’s also one of the better spoof films that followed this ‘named genre’ send up. Never again though because some of the jabs are way too cheap.

Wooly Boys (2001)

Length: 1Hr 39

Rating: PG

Release: 7.10.2001 (no UK release)

About: Two ranchers (Peter Fonda, Kris Kristofferson) from North Dakota find adventure in Minneapolis after one goes to visit his only daughter.

The Good

  • Kris Kristoffersen and Peter Fonda are names that I’ve always known, however I’m not certain I’ve seen either in anything. They are a brilliant double act from the get go. These are veteran actors doing what they do best and I’m certainly going to be checking out their back catalogues over the coming months. I’m guessing from Kristofferson’s staring role in A Star is Born, he was the Bradley Cooper of the day.
  • It’s hard to make a film in the West and not be a cowboy movie. I’m quite happy that it was able to move beyond the tropes and give a fresh look at modern ranch life.
  • The humour, music and plotting are all sound and give the audience a family film with heart, charm and hope.

The Bad

  • Joe Mazzello’s rare appearance as a teen only appears in the bad because his awesome performance only makes me wish that he’d taken on a few more roles at the time. He’s acting against Fonda and Kristofferson for Christ sake. Lesser actors would have been swallowed whole. Not Mazzello, he not only brings an excellent performance, but is able to create believable and heartfelt relationships with the two men.
  • I’m a bit gutted about the fact that these two Wooly Boys weren’t the original Brokeback. There was a love between them, there’s no denying that, but I’d have love it to have been developed and more overtly romantic rather than platonic. Perhaps even have this as the cause of the rift between father and daughter. Although I can see that perhaps adding a little bitterness to the proceedings. Something it didn’t really need.

The Ugly

  • This film hit me a little too hard in the feels. I know all too well about the man of little words and the rift it can cause. While it’s a sweet film, it weighed a little too heavy for me to be enjoyable.
  • Animal death. It’s the one thing I can’t really deal with in my films and if I was in a position the cry, there’s a scene that would have had me bawling.

Final Thoughts

It’s a well made, expertly acted family drama that feels a little more like a TV movie by today’s standards.