Hot Fuzz (2007) Halloween Advent

Rating 18
Length 2h01
Release 14.2.2007
Director Edgar Wright
About Police officer Nicholas Angel is known to be the best across London. His seniors, who are jealous of his achievements, transfer him to a remote village where he encounters various challenges.
Moon: Full moon at the group showdown
Where to Watch: Netflix
Trailer:

Trick

  • It’s a tad too long for me. Even shaving 20 minutes off the total running time would really help it feel like a well paced film. As it stands, I often find myself flagging in the last third; there’s almost too much after the big reveal and it does the film a disservice.

Treat

  • For me, the best thing about this movie is the editing and how it is able to show things that other police shows and films omit in an interesting and artistic way.
  • Casting, as with any Edgar Wright film, is spot on. The best casting choice of course is the one and only Edward Woodwood, who is the biggest bit of foreshadowing I’ve ever noticed in a film.
  • Nicholas Angel is one of the best characters. His story arc and how he interacts with everyone he comes into contact with provides so much entertainment and quotable content.
  • The homage is just as good, if not better, in this when you compare it to Shaun of the Dead.
  • So many subtle things, that have massive payoffs later in the film. In fact, its a film that I’ll watch and notice something new each time.

Final Thoughts

The best of the trilogy, both in terms of casting and genre. For me, its more akin to Wicker Man, than the action movies lampooned, but that’s actually the beauty of this film.

Yes Day (2021)

Rating PG
Length 1h 26
Release 12.3.2021
Director Miguel Arteta
About Always feeling like they have to say “no” to their kids, Allison and Carlos decide to give their three kids a “Yes Day,” during which the kids have 24 hours to make the rules.


The Good

  • This is the sort of family movie I feel has been missing for the last few years; one that can be put on for everyone. While Jennifer Garner is the ‘name’, its an ensemble effort. It requires no grey matter and will charm everyone.
  • It is fun. Once it lays the groundwork and sets up the family dynamic, the film just allows everyone to have so much fun. It also gives a lighthearted lesson to everyone.
  • Its short, its a simple plot and perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The Bad

  • The father, Edgar Ramirez, has a beautiful set up for a story arc. Not only at home, which does have some form of resolution, but work too. Unfortunately, that aspect of the story is left at the misway point. Its a shame because it wouldn’t have taken much in that final act.
  • I’m still not sure how I feel about the parent teacher meeting. I know it was there to be the catalyst that prompts the ‘yes day’, but what point was the teachers trying to make? Did they really think that the mother was endangering her children? It felt totaly forced.

The Ugly

  • I don’t know why family films still use the trope of a weird, bording on creepy, charater that becomes an almost running gag. That’s what happened to Nat Faxon’s Mr Deacon in Yes Day. School Councillor meets PE teacher, due to ‘budget cuts’. I’ll be honest, the last place I’d want to find this oddball is in a school changing room.

Final Thoughts

Its not a film I’ll rush to watch again, but I suspect those of you out there with children out there might just want to keep this as on of your go to movies.

Moxie (2021): Review and a Rant

Rating 12
Length 1h 51
Release 3.3.2021
Director Amy Poehler
About Inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and a confident new friend, a shy teenager publishes an anonymous zine calling out sexism at her school.


First Things First

I’m pissed. Not at the fillm, the film is an excellent adaptation. I watched it and I did what I never do; I checked the reviews. The first one on the list had the headline “Moxie, review: the only joke here is Amy Poehler’s idea of ‘inclusivity’”
I knew before clicking the link, this was going to be some white-assed dude taking issue with a film that wasn’t meant for him. Damn, I hate being right. Mr Robbie Collin, Film Critic, writing for the white middle-to-upper-class ‘The Telegraph’.
I actually took to twitter to admonish him; high on Moxie confidence. This is not a comedy. To boil it, and Amy Poehler, down to comedic elements and then slate it for its lack… it made my blood boil. Even worse, his response was to screenshot and circle the genre listings.
I’m a woman, I’ve read the book and I’ve spent the last ten years teaching the film’s demographic. Oh, and I have a film degree. Seeing it on a list, currated by white men, does not make it true. He watched the god damn film; events are triggered when a jock spits in a black girl’s coke and culminates with another classmate admitting she was raped.
How has this dude not paused, thought ‘it doesn’t really fit into comedy, so I’m not going to review it as if was misold as a comedy and failed to hit the mark.’ The irony, of course, is that Mr Robbie Collin completely missed the point of the story and, as a result, became the exact thing Moxie was fighting against.

As for Seth (Nico Hiraga), Vivian’s hunky male classmate, here is a figure with a valuable lesson for any teenage boys watching at home: if you’re an “ally”, girls will want to sleep with you, even if fealty to the cause comes at zero personal cost.

Robbie Collin. The Independant

Over the course of his 650 word review, 245 of those were simply retelling the plot (and the only place you’ll find any positive words), 325 were given to his lambasting of a film based upon its diversity, apparent stereotyping and expressing one of the most dangerous misinterpretations of a character i’ve ever seen.
Those last hundred and odd? Oh, he bitches about how Poehler and Tina Fey drew hearts and stars on their hands, as if political statements on the Red Carpet haven’t been a thing for years. From Emma Stone and Dakota Fanning wearing planned Parenthood pins to the Times Up movement that was commonplace at any carpet walk in 2018 and beyond.
Yes, to Collin, it seems a little less important and more fickle. However, as someone who watched it become a ‘thing’ in the school I taught at when the book was publish; its not a gimmick or publicity. There is sincerity when you get off your high horse.


The Good

  • The casting was incredible. Hadley Robinson had a hard job of being able to show this complex development of character; the introvert being pushed out of her comfort zone. It’s all there; a young woman frustrated at the sexism around her, the strength that comes from anonymity and the fallout from growing beyond what was there before.
  • Anjelika Washington has most recently been seen in DC show Star Girl. It was most excellent to see her in another role and, hopefully, an insight of things to come with her character in the show.
  • The film does well to cover all the bases from the book. the viewer will get an empowering narrative if they’re the demographic for the film. If you’re not a 14 year old girl, its not that this film isn’t for you. It’s more that its a lesson for you; should you be open minded enough.
  • The music and punk rock asthetic is such a wonderful sight. Yes, the book does have that element, but film is where it was always going to have its biggest impact.

The Bad

  • I want more. The one thing the aforementioned review got right? Outside of Vivian, there isn’t much development of the other characters. That’s not, for me anyway, a slight on the film. It’s the nature of the medium. Some things have to go for storytelling purposes. This probably would have worked much better, in terms of characters, as a tv series; limited or otherwise (but not tell this story in one season and make shit up for another 3 like 13 Reasons Why did). However, in terms of the story and the message, it did well for its 1h 50 runtime.

The Ugly

  • Be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions. Frustration at the Principle, sadness at the environment young women are still faced with, heartbreak for so many reasons. I think any woman will identify with a lot of what happens during the course of the movie and if you’re a parent I think it will have an even deeper meaning to you.

Final Thoughts

I want more Punk! Please tell me this will lead to more punkish films!
Its a film I will most defintely watch again. It’ll be something I’d show my children (if I ever have them); male or female as I think there is a lesson for all in here.

Stop or my Mom Will Shoot (1992)

Rating PG
Length 1h 22
Release 17.4.1992
Director Roger Spottiswoode
About When cop Joe calls-off his relationship with his girlfriend, his mom pays him a visit. She starts to interfere in everything that he does and soon gets involved in one of his important projects.


The Good

  • Estelle Getty is what makes this film as enjoyable as it is. Firstly, she’s the best Golden Girl (which I would imagine says a lot about me) and she has that dry Yankee humour. There’s no one else you could put in that role.
    Secondly, some of the characteristics of Tutti remind me so much of my own mum. For example, Tutti finding the gun and ‘cleaning’ it to actually break it. Yeah, that was my mum. Clothes, PCs, food… you name it, she’d mean well but it would always go wrong. It’s a little bittersweet, but so god damn funny.
  • The plot is rather poor, but its not the plot you’re watching this for. It’s the dynamic between Getty and Stallone. It bloody works. On some level a lot of us recognise the relationship these two people have (see above) so we not only relate, but we can laugh as it happens to someone else.

The Bad

  • I love JoBeth Williams, but the character of Lt Gwen Harper is so shit. It’s like the film gave with one hand by making her the boss, but took it away with the other by making her relationship with Joe so public and unprofessional. What’s so bad about it, is that it makes me question how she got her position in the first place.
  • Stallone does not want to be in this movie. You can feel that from his performance. Some of it can be explained away as the character’s relationship with the mother, but it’s more than that. It’s a shame, because it looks like it could have been a real laugh being on that set.

The Ugly

  • Some of the dialogue is very dated and cringe. In fact it plays like a mid 80s film, rather than one from 1992. From the stewardess purring “You looked real sexy in those diapers” to “I like wearing my underwear more than once before changing them.” Just makes me very, very grateful the 80s and 90s are far behind me.
  • The film’s score is painfully repetitive. Maybe its that I’ve been spoiled by incredible soundtracks of recent years, but this was cheap and distracting.

Final Thoughts

It’s dated, the plot is a little hit and miss, but I laughed at good few times and at 1h 23 I certainly don’t think I’ve wasted my night.

Film Review: Daylight (1996)

Rating: PG
Length: 1hr 54
Release: 26.12.1996
Dir: Rob Cohen
About: When a car hits a truck full of explosives, it causes an explosion in an underground tunnel between Manhattan and New Jersey. Kit attempts to save the people stuck in there before the air runs out.

Currently Available on Netflix

First Thoughts

I don’t actually remember the first time I watched this, but I do remember it being a film we recorded on VHS yet still watched whenever it was on TV. The most prominent memory of this film is actually of a time when it was pulled from the schedule. It was due to be the BBC Saturday Night movie, but due to a tunnel collapse occurring that day it obviously got removed. Movie Night was a big thing for our family back then. On a Saturday, me and dad would go around to the shops, pop the lotto on and pick up a quarter of cinder toffee that we’d have with whatever film we’d watch that night.

Please be aware there may be small spoilers within.

The Good

  • This is peak Stallone for me. There’s a reason why he said this was going to be his last action movie. I also really love how he’s introduced with everyone else in that opening sequence and not really given any sort of special treatment. In fact, out of the people who end up stranded, it is Amy “Casper’s Mum” Brenneman’s Madelyne who is given the most detailed introduction.
  • Speaking of Brenneman, she is brilliant as the lead female. It appears almost as if the makers of this film were trying to recreate the chemistry of Bullock and Reeves in Speed. It by no means can be compared to the cop and the Wildcat, however I think what Stallone and Brenneman achieve is something much more realistic for a pressurised situation.
  • The scene that I truly love is the escape from the prison van. It’s not a long scene, but it tells us so much about the characters immediately involved, its high intensity heart-in-your-mouth action and it has the added benefit of bringing the 12 or so survivors together.
  • I do love that while there are some moments of mob mentality, angry and shouting where even the dog seems pissed at Kit, there is no moment in this film when anyone singles someone out for not being worthy of survival. In a scenario like this it could have been easy to have someone say that those in orange didn’t deserve help, however the film pulled down those barriers for the benefit of the bigger picture.

The Bad

  • It’s a little niggle, but with Kit (Stallone) being so close to the tunnel when it blew, I really am not fond of how the film gets him in with the rest. It feels really cheap when the reason is to fit him with a tool belt of C4. It also feels a bit like Galaxy Quest when Madison and Nesbeth are in search of the Omega drive. “Well fuck that.” As Tawny says.
  • I’m not sure how I feel about Viggo Mortensen’s character. He gets to the bottom of the shaft, almost poses while looking above him before the metal comes crashing down. I get a sense that its meant to look like he’s accepting his fate, however it hasn’t aged well and looks a bit like an attempt for humour.

The Ugly

  • There are comparisons to the original The Poseidon Adventure (1972). I don’t think that could be avoided, however even the characters who expire do so in very similar manners to the original. In fact, the only thing it didn’t do was kill the lead like they did in 1972. It is just slightly too similar to a near perfect original to not have this film loose point for copying.
  • The opening scene with the men at the compound, while interesting, really doesn’t have any value when it’s not followed up on. The cause of the collapse is never questioned and so it feels a little forced. I wonder if there was a better plan than having the Shakespearean conversation to get the movie going?

Final Thoughts

For its flaws, it’s still an excellent movie that I will watch any time its on. Post-Movie head cannon; sweet Mikey is adopted by old man Trilling. However, for those who have seen this, but haven’t given a chance on a film made before 1980, give The Poseidon Adventure a go.