In The Loop (2009)

Rating 15

Length 1Hr 46

Release 17.4.2009

Director Armando Iannucci

About During an interview, British Cabinet Minister Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) delivers an off-the-cuff remark that war in the Middle East is “unforeseeable.” Profane political spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) tries to cover up Foster’s faux pas, but the ill-conceived comment is picked up by a warmongering American official. Foster is invited to Washington, D.C., where a war of words brews as politicians maneuver, manipulate and deceive each other before a U.N. vote on military action.

The Good

  • I like that you don’t need to have seen The Thick of It to watch this film. I’m certain there’s value added for fans, but I certainly didn’t feel lost. Well, no more lost than I ended up being with this car crash of a film.
  • There are some amazing lines in this film. Yes, I’m childish, those lines do mostly involve swearing. From losing count of the amount of fuck’s Capaldi uses to his wonderful ‘fuckerty bye’ I was giggling.
  • Tom Hollander steals the show for me. He’s the satirical incompetent stereoptype who seems to have slept walked into office. He’s genius and the film would have been greatly improved had we have had him as our sole focus for the film.

The Bad

  • It’s plot is a mess. A hot fucking mess. We’re here, we’re there. It’s just shit! To quote the film its ‘arse spraying mayhem.’
  • Party of the problem perhaps was the attempt to ‘appeal’ to an American audience. I don’t know what it is about the media industry, but Dr Who should have taught the BBC that ‘making it more American’ is not the way to do it.

The Ugly

  • The biggest problem for me is the nature of it being largely an improvised comedy. It’s humour feels stunted and rather hit and miss. Yes, there’s some amazing lines that do raise a chuckle. However they’re very few and far between.
  • The handheld camera approach just fucks me off. Especially when you consider that this isn’t presented as a documentary. At no point do any of the characters acknowledge the cameras. Which begs the question, why the fuck bother invoking headaches?!

Final Thoughts

It was just a bit of a clusterfuck if I’m honest. I’d love to say the removal of the handheld would have improved things, but I doubt it. All in all, I’d have rather have watched Capaldi saying ‘fuckerty bye’ repeatedly for 2 hours than this.

Star Trek (2009) written for Odeon in 2009

It’s Trek Jim, but thankfully not as we know it. JJ Abrams has taken over the directing helm and brought a long dead franchise back to life; all it needed was a push to the re-start button.

From the first stardate to the echoes of the final frontier there’s subtle nods to keep the hard-core Trekkies happy, enough action and comedy to keep Abrams’ fans at bay and explanations for those who’ve not explored the strange new worlds.

Star Trek’s reboot follows the prickly beginnings of Kirk and Spock’s relationship and their familiar crew on their maiden voyage upon the USS Enterprise having been thrown together fresh from Starfleet Academy to stop villainous time-travelling Romulans hell-bent on revenge.

Chris Pine moves from the Disney teen leagues and plays the rebellious charmer James Kirk down to a T; the Just My Luck star keeps the tone of Kirk while still making the role his own.

Up for filling Spock’s half Vulcan ears is Heroes’ Zachary Quinto. Not only does he wear them well, he brings to the screen a personal battle of identity as the conflicted alien of two world; enabling him to clash delightfully with the ever impulsive Kirk.

Among the remaining crew are Karl Urban, John Cho and newcomer and one to watch Anton Yalchin playing McCoy, Sulu and Checkov respectively each having their own moment to shine. It is however Simon Pegg as Scotty who provides the films gem moments between the lulls of battleship action. The sequence that transpires as a result of a transporter mishap is certainly not one to miss.

The battles and villains have had an upgrade, the clever script acknowledges the Trek universe without leaving the unconverted drowning in a sea of techno-babble and the refreshing comedy will leave all stunned.