It’s almost time for the end of the year awards show (before the beginning of next year) so the reviews are going to come fast and furious now. Here’s four more for your reading pleasure.
Made in Daganham
You can’t blame the Full Monty for creating such an easily copied formula (bunch of working class English people who’ve never had much responsibility suddenly forced to take on drastic measures to save themselves, their town, their gender etc) but you can openly wonder if anything new can really be wrung from the concept. With Made in Daganham, which tells the true story of a group of female auto workers in working class england who fight for equal pay for woman, you get a film that, while well-meaning, is totally unnecessary. I do understand the concept of the formula, but with this film it feels more like someone arriving late to a party and telling a joke you heard three hours ago. No matter how well they tell it, you know where it’s heading.
How do you know?
A friend of mine asked me to tell him what this film was about. And in the telling I realized the films problem. Yes, it’s loaded with good actors and yes, it’s got some very funny scenes, but this romantic comedy from the maker of Terms of Endearment isn’t really about much. You’ve got a girl who can’t choose between a douche bag baseball player and a really nice guy who happens to be under legal investigation for some undisclosed form of insider trading. The title doesn’t really have much to do with the movie and seems to have been randomly plucked from one of its scenes. None of the romances seem to be all that convincing, even the one your supposed to believe in. Yes some of the dialogue is very crisp (Jack Nicholson play’s Paul Rudd’s father and their exchanges are golden) but nothing in this film amounts to anything. I admire the effort but whatever they were trying, they failed.
I wen’t into this film with a bit of a bias. I know at least three people who worked on this movie and all of them hated it with every fiber of their being. Not because it was hard but because the director seemingly had no clue what he was doing. One key P.A. I know even went so far as to leave brochures for Vancouver film School on the directors chair, just to give him a hint. But this can be a good thing. After all, when I went into this movie I had very low expectations.
And it didn’t even meet those.
I could go off on what the original meant to me as a child of the eighties and how this failed to capture even a smidgen of that spirit but, instead, I will point to one scene which I feel illustrates the problems with the film.
Our hero (the son of the hero from the original film) is involved in one of those cool cycle races a la the first Tron. A girl rescues him in some sort of all terrain vehicle. She takes him off of the grid and on a road that goes to our hero’s father, the creator of the whole system. When he asks why it is that the bad guys aren’t following them she explains “they don’t have any vehicles that can operate on this terrain.” What she’s referring to is the fact that they are driving on a dirt road.
Now let me make this clear, the hero’s father holds the key to destroying humanity. The villain (a dark mirror image of him) has been looking for him for ages as he wants to break out of the computer world and destroy earth. So what has stopped him from searching?
A dirt Road.
I would like to take this time to point out that the villain has flying machines.
And no, it’s not because his power doesn’t extend past the grid. Later on the villain finds his Nemesis’s house and trashes it.
It’s lazy writing like this that turns great visuals into crap story telling. Would it have been so hard to have them outsmart the villains while they were driving away? Or create some bullshit cloaking device? I would have been fine with that. But nope, they wrote themselves into a corner, then didn’t even worry about how bad it would look if they half assed their way out. The result is a lazy, phoned in, and totally forgettable movie that isn’t even inspiring enough to hate.
Furry Vengeance, Marmaduke, Cats and Dogs: the revenge of Kitty Galore, and now Yogi Bear. The four worst films of the year. Period.
Next up is Little Fockers followed by True Grit, plus an E.T.A. on when The Seffies will be up.