The Nice Guys
Hello again and I hope you all had a nice weekend. Now with all these music fests abuzz and better weather, are you getting oot and aboot? Let me guide you through a few more new flicks released for this new week.
Before last week, I didn’t need any more reason to feel spot on with my less than appealing thoughts on Los Angeles or Russell Crowe, but what came out of watching The Nice Guys (Dos Tipos Buenos) was that I’m right in feeling what I’ve felt for about 20 years…meh! BLAH! Whatevs! I know women swooned like hell watching Crowe hit his heights in 2000’s Gladiator and 2001’s A Beautiful Mind. This film takes place in the smutty L.A. Seventies of yore and revolves around a porn film with a message coverup that involves the head of the US Justice Dept. At least that role is played by Kim Basinger, who must be over 60 by now, and has not aged in 15 years. Let it be said that the women in this film save its merit somewhat, because the deadpan pairing of Crowe and yummy Ryan Gosling simply just falls flat on its face. Although director (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), writer (Lethal Weapon, Last Action Hero) and producer Shane Black has enjoyed huge levels of success in his career so far, he unfortunately falls short in this latest venture. The scenes reflecting the Seventies are a little formulaic, and the jokes are only funny for the plebeian minds of the simple. While the costumes and some scenes and banter might play well, it’s not enough to keep this two-hour film afloat. I must say that the notion of involving conspiracy and the Justice Department, and including it all under the guise of aporn industry that now garners as much moolah as Hollywood, was entertaining. But PLEASE do not make a sequel…the end of the film implies that might happen, and I must absolutely veto it…lest more brain cells be lost by oh so many males who desperately need to hold on to the remnants of brain cells they actually do have. SIGH! ##
Okay, Summer Camp. I went only once…to a Christian one…and my parents were there to mandate and I had to sleep in their log cabin, and I’ll never forget THAT annoyance. Needless to say, neither childhood nor post-high school memories of summer adventures with other kiddos at a camp away from the ‘rents mean much to me. That said, I enjoyed it but I wanted more. This is a story of a group of young American adults who are working in a summer camp in Northern Spain as monitors, camp counsellors and English teachers for kids. The film starts with possible fun as foreshadowed training gives us the intro to the young adults playing the main characters. The film is served to us by ex-REC series producer Alberto Marini as his first directorial attempt, and he certainly gives us impressive frights and jumps. The film is a cheese-fest but well-timed and not very predictable as we see the characters start to rely on and trust each other when some kind of short-term, jumping virus of the zombie-cum-rabies variety starts attacking the camp trainers just before the kids arrive. This film is summed up best as a short, well-timed fright fest that maintains all the basic elements of the genre without too much of the boring, formulaic and repetitive drool. Let’s see what Marini cooks up next! ###
Lastly today, another fright fest, though this one belongs more in the techno/torture-thriller category. The movie Green Room has a premise that stunned critics last year at Cannes and is pegged as one to watch. The protagonists are members of a hardcore-punk group, apparently hyped up and lucky when they’re booked into what turns out to be a white-supremacist skinhead venue, and they open their gig with Dead Kennedys’ ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’. What happens next is typical trite when one of the members forgets his phone, opens a door he shouldn’t open and then sees something he shouldn’t see. Now the skinheads can’t let them go. That foreboding and dim, greenish lighting keeps you leaning forward and squinting, although you dread what you’ll actually see, which is pretty gruesome and frightening while never staying too long on the gore elements. And then Patrick Stewart comes aboard, and the structure of the film changes a bit. With his face hidden behind a beard and glasses, he plays a man named Darcy Banker who seems to be orchestrating the whole affair. ###
Why these last two films were not planned for a better release date nearer Halloween or Carnival is beyond me, but when horror outings seem to fare better than the latest Russell Crowe movie, you know things are far different than they used to be. Have a great week everybody!