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Rating History

I Want Candy
I Want Candy (2007)
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I Want Candy
2007, 86mins, 15
Director: Stephen Surjik
Cast includes: Carmen Electra, Tom Riley, Tom Burke, MacKenzie Crook, Phillip Jackson, Jimmy Carr

Released between [i]300[/i] and [i]Mr.Bean's Holiday[/i], this British production never really had a chance at the Box-Office despite a clever plot, amusing trailer and presence of sex siren Carmen Electra. The film didn't score to well with critics eiether, comments such as [i]"It's a dire sex comedy"[/i] and "a crude, leering poorly timed farce" where pretty much commen place. Still is the film bad enough to warrant a battering on all fronts (no pun intended)? The answer is no.
The plot is a clever enough little idea, two geeky film students in attempting to sell a film pitch end up agreeing to make a porn flick for the wrong people. They are offered the service of Candy Fiveways (Carmen Electra) the worlds most famous adult film star, but even with this supposed blessing, they still have to defeat the obstacles that include suspicious parents, a lack of cash and their general inexperience behind the camera.
[i]I want Candy[/i] is still waiting on a US release and so marks one of few films we get first. The film is heavily flawed but theres a charm that carry's this picture and despite being a movie with more sex toys, lesbian love scenes and innuendos than you can count it's really quite good natured. The young cast are pretty solid and whilst I don't expect to see eiether Tom Burke or Tom Riley become the next Hugh Grant, both might just manage in this buisness. Both convey a sense of excitement and dread concerning their problem, but overall the balance really feels quite nice and realistic. More often than not we are encouraged to laugh at the pratfalls Tom and err...Tom find themselves drawn into. That grows harder as the picture goes on, indeed the audience felt alot of sympathey for the two lads on more than one occasion, and that can get in the way of belly laughter.
Electra doesn't really have any acting chops to stretch but the former [i]Baywatch[/i] babe is a likeable candy, a women who despite her career and physical attributes is intelligent and something of a film buff. In many ways Electra grounds the picture and offers as many good jokes as anybody else, probably around half a dozen or so. [i]Pirates Of The Caribbean [/i]star MacKenzie Crook offers up a few decent chuckles as the boys teacher, and Jimmy Carr manages a neat cameo as a dodgy video store clerk.
The script is a bit hit and miss particularly during the middle section of the movie, I found myself laughing more at the beggining and end. That's not so say the script isn't inspired in sections, I really was caught off guard by several of the gags but to many jokes where predictable and a fair bit of the material feels recycled. Director Stephen Surjik who directed the second and vastly weaker [i]Wayne's Worlds[/i] should be pleased enough with the final outcome, it matches anything else on his CV in terms of quality.
The production looks pretty cheap and I expect the explanation for this is also the simplest. The film can't have been made on a mega budget, indeed with US release still uncertain it's fair to say the amount of money pumped in could well be miniscule. The cinematography is weak and the film looks made for T.V, which will always distract no matter how sharp a script the film boasts.
The film is bound to have alot of people recoiling in their seats as the cringe inducing scenarios pile up. Having to listen to your mum and dad having sex whilst your locked in their en suite may be bad, but thats only a fraction of the embarrasment the boys have to suffer. Last year I watched a movie called [i]The Moguls[/i] which starred Jeff Bridges and had a similar plot to this project. [i]I Want Candy [/i]emerges as far the better flick, and so anybody who got a kick out the first film will almost certainly enjoy this one.

Magicians (2007)
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

2007, 95mins, 15
Director: Andrew O'Conner
Cast includes: Robert Webb, David Mitchell, Tim Plester, Jessica Stevenson, Robert Smith

Anyone living in the British Islands must now be familair with the frequently hysterical double act of David Mitchell and Robert Webb a duo who have made a mark on radio, in literature and of course on TV with their fantastic sitcom [i]Peep Show. [/i]Last May when [i]Magicians [/i]was announced for release in the UK and marked the big screen debut of the pair I was fairly psyched, when also considering that they would be taking alot of their creative team with them to. Sadly when release happened the film was rightly overlooked and flopped quite hard, but when a comedy picture is made this lazily and in such a pedestrian sense, what do you expect?
Lifelong friends Harry and Karl (David Mitchell and Robert Webb) are the greatest magic double act in the country. But after a guillotine illusion goes horribly and spectacularly wrong, in the aftermath of an adultry accusation their friendship and their careers are finished.
Now, down on his luck and out of cash, Harry sets his sights on the prize money of the prestigious 'International Magic Shield' tournament. But to win he will have to compete against the world's oddest magicians - including his deadly rival Karl, performing under the guise of ridiculous psychic 'The Mindmonger'.
Can new tricks and a new assistant (Jessica Stevensen) help Harry to triumph over his underhanded opponents and his disastrous past?
Mitchell and Webb are sadly pretty poor in [i]Magicians [/i], niether looks particularly bothered about being funny and their is an inexcusable laziness about the whole thing. Support is made up of British comedy stalwarts some carried over from [i]Peep Show, [/i]others like Stevenson just doing a job and getting in and out. The pedigree in this department is definitly better than whats delivered, but that little piece of annoyance is overshadowed by how lame the lead duo are. Really the pair have proven themselves top comic minds on several other occasions, but hear they just sort of stink.
The script and direction are dull, with the former of that pair coming good occasionally but the latter remaing as uinventive and banal from start to finish. [i]Magicians [/i]manages one or two okay gags, the problem is there are so many stale and rubbish ones thrown in aswell. Exactly who the picture was trying to appeal to is beyond me, the jokes are to broad and formuliac for more general or family audience to apprciate it. That probably goes a long fans of the TV work, but there are still to many crude and dark patches for a way to explaing why the movie performed so unexceptionally at the British Box-Office, a loaction where the pair have quite a great following.
Everything about the film just doesn't entertain and when so many ingrediants dissapoint and distract you know the finished product is going to be one to skip. The screenplay is basic and largely fails on all fronts and the work of the usually more than reliable leads is astoundingly inept. All in all there was absolutly no chemistry apparent on thsi picture, let alone magic.

W. (2008)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes


2008, 129mins, PG-13
Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Stanley Weiser
Cast includes: Josh Brolin, Richard Dreyfuss, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Thandie Newton, Colin Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, Toby Jones
Release Date: 17th October 2008

Within Oliver Stone?s directorial resume there have been substantially more cutting and important films than W., his take on George W. Bush and his reign as President. Stone seems to have lost a lot of the mettle that cut him out as a cinematic maverick over 20 years ago, maybe upon entering his twilight years he?s softened and W. would be the film to prove it. An at times bizarrely sympathetic look at a ?patchy? presidential figure there are some points of interest in W. and it?s altogether modestly enjoyable, but one had hoped for a feature a little more controversial and sharp than this placid viewpoint.
The film examines Bush?s tenure as President and the path that led him to such a high profile destiny, Stone using cutback storytelling to forge the story and add as much flesh to the central figure as possible. The movie doesn?t miss many of the defining moments from the Bush administration but it largely fails to concoct them into a fresh or indeed intrepid whole, instead recycling the idea that whilst he made many a bad decision he was not in fact a bad man. It?s not that I want to see Stone make Bush out to be a demon or a political super villain, but a less understanding and harsh approach toward the consequences of those ?bad decisions? would have been nice. Iraq et all are mentioned but never unearthed in a fully satisfying or detailed manner, the film frustratingly more focused on the man himself than his unfortunate legacy.
The film never operates well enough as a biopic to have drawn awards contention, but it?s quite shocking that the performances didn?t. W. is a film strewn with great actors doing great work, particularly Josh Brolin as the man himself. Brolin captures the different stages of the man?s mentality rather wonderfully and moulds himself into a believable portrait of such a modern day icon. As an actor he seems to approach the role with the same openness for consideration as Stanley Weiser?s patchy script but from an acting viewpoint it works far better. After all, it?s not as if Bush believed himself to be a political antichrist. Other standouts include Richard Dreyfuss as the infamous Dick Cheney, the lovely Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush and James Cromwell as Bush snr. Thandie Newton has her big ?acting hat? on for the part of Condoleezza Rice, but other than her excessive attempts at character immersion it?s a great effort from the actors.
The movie is in effect a prolonged failure, though an interesting and intensely watchable one at that. It might strike you as odd that I have given the film a mild recommendation and yet criticize its story and weak grasp so vigorously. That?s because whilst the picture never really sinks its teeth into one of the worlds most scrutinized figures it does remain oddly intriguing throughout. The way in which Stone builds the character into one of redemptive yearning is admittedly clever and the performances are super, despite the indecisive and messy way in which the picture attempts to analyze such a messy presidency. W. is as a political commentary a failure, but as an acting master class and filmmaking curio it might have some genuine worth after all.

The Foot Fist Way
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes


[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]The Foot Fist Way[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]2006, 82mins, R[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]Director: Jody Hill[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]Writer (s): Danny McBride, Jody Hill, Ben Best[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]Cast includes: Danny McBride, Ben Best, Mary Jane Bostic, Tyler Baum, Spencer Moreno[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]Release Date: 30th May 2008 (Limited)[/color][/size][/font]

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[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]?The Foot Fist Way? is an exercise in the comedic overdose, a concept that might have worked well as a series of skits or a short film but drawn out to feature length it gets old really fast. It marked the first big opportunity for the now fairly popular Danny McBride and the opening directorial gig for Jody Hill (who is helming this week?s ?Observe and Report?) yet it?s hard to understand why either man has been handed such astonishing career opportunities. The film hints at serious comedy talent but never consistently delivers it and was seen theatrically by next to no one. Apparently it was picked up by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell which probably goes someway to explaining how both men have garnered such big breaks, because their film ultimately isn?t up to scratch.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]The story follows Fred Simmons, a delusional Tae Kwon Do instructor who is obsessed with his martial arts studio, his student?s progress and movie star Chuck ?The Truck? Wallace. As a result of his martial art filled lifestyle his wife cheats on him and thus leaves Fred in a state of mental disrepair, becoming even more embroiled and obsessive concerning Taw Kwon Do than before. As his world tumbles around him Fred decides only one person can make it right, and so along with a creepy friends and a two students he goes on a road trip to convince his idol ?The Truck? to put in an appearance at his end of year testing?s.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]I wished I had laughed more at ?The Foot Fist Way? because when the movie gets it right it genuinely delivers. I?ve liked McBride in virtually everything I?ve seen him in, particularly last year?s ?Pineapple Express? and this film is no exception. Without McBride ?The Foot Fist Way? would be a considerably dumpier comedy, this represents one of those occasions that without the leading man the film would probably have been reduced to worthless tatters. McBride has an acerbic wit and sarcastic tongue that would be preferable on any comedian, and in this movies better moments they are nearly always on display. One has to remember that this was McBride?s first genuine attempt at comedic success and ultimately despite the patchy finished article that goal was achieved. With the like of ?Pineapple Express? and ?Tropic Thunder? now on his CV there seems no reason why McBride should have to stoop back to the unimpressive regions occupied by ?The Foot Fist Way?. [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]Jody Hill stages the film in a mockumentary style fashion, probably more for economic reasons rather than artistic. Shot on such a shoestring budget it would be cruel to criticize the picture for a lack of visual flair or audacity, but there really is no excusing the unimaginative screenplay. A few good situation gags and acid tongued one liners aside the movie is never really that funny, and the story is just flat out lazy. It took three screenwriters including the leading man to come up with the insipid and hastily staged story of comedic redemption, and despite what I hope [i]does not[/i] represent their best efforts I wasn?t buying it for a second.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]I would have liked to recommend ?The Foot Fist Way? but that fact of the matter is I can?t, it?s too ineffective and uninspired to warrant anything more than a shrug of the shoulders and unenthusiastic expression. I?m glad some of the guys working on it have now climbed higher mountains because they?re obviously talented, and frankly because it should allow them to never have to wallow in this level of comedic mediocrity again. [/color][/size][/font]

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High School Musical 3: Senior Year
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes


[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]High School Musical 3[/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]2008, 112mins, U[/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]Director: Kenny Ortega[/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]Writer: Peter Barsocchini[/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]Cast includes: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleau[/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]UK Release Date: 22nd October 2008[/color][/font]

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[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]High School musical has literally ravaged the pop culture landscape since 2006, the story of how one little made for TV Disney movie rose up and became a worldwide phenomenon is nearly as fanciful and idealistic as anything featured in the notoriously fantasy fuelled plotlines that inhabit the films. Making stars of its fresh faced and modestly talented cast the franchise received its first theatrical release last year, and it tore up the Box-office just as expected. High School Musical 3 completes the trilogy and delivers a pretty fun opening 40 minutes before descending into the irritating schmuck storytelling that has made the story so appealing to little girls. It?s disappointing that after a promising start the film should fall into the realms of mediocrity it does, after all it?s never worse than average thus compromising the chance to write the really scathing review I?d hoped to scribble.[/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]Now in the their last year at East High and once again victors at the Basketball championships, the students of America?s most morally solid school have to start thinking about life at college. For Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) that means the prestigious halls of Stanford, for basketball wiz Chad (Corbin Bleau) it?s a sports scholarship whilst Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) and Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) battle it out for a place in the Julliard School of drama. The person struggling with his decision is Troy (Zac Efron) torn between his love of basketball, theatrics and long time partner Gabriella. Troy has to decide what path he wants to lead but with every sacrifice he risks disappointing someone he loves. As per usual with the franchise the story plays out as the students work on the year?s High School Musical, in this case their last at East High.[/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]The films have become all about the music and in that respect HSM 3 delivers a pretty solid roster of feel good beats. Some songs are bogged down in generic instrumentals and saccharine lyrics (the limp finale is an unfortunate example of this) but for the most part what is offered here is impressive. The standout has got to be ?I Want it All? performed by Tisdale and Grabeel about a third of the way in, the song is catchy and director Kenny Ortega offers up a visually lavish setting for the thesps to deliver the rousing number. In many ways this is as much an advantage as a disadvantage, after about 30 minutes there is little left for viewers to see, the picture climaxing far too early. Still as individual listens more than a handful of the songs work and thus the makers should once again have no trouble selling vast amounts of soundtrack and CD related memorabilia.[/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]The actors reprise the roles pretty easily, one thing the series really got right was the casting, with each individual having brought a fair degree of charm and charisma to each of their cereal box smile characters once again. The standout is Ashley Tisdale as the selfish and fame grabbing Sharpay, less of a viable personality than a series of quirks and catch phrases that combine for a proficient comedic foil. She also belts out a show tune like the very best of them. The franchise has always revolved around Efron and Hudgens pity then that for my money they are amongst the least interesting screen entities. Efron can surely sing and has a naturally effective screen presence but his conflicted jock character is uninteresting and distractingly linear. Still he?s turned the one dimensional character into something of an advertiser?s wet dream and Hudgens has had much the same effect as his unnaturally attractive bookworm of a girlfriend. She is the least impressive vocalist of the key characters but saying that is like selecting the least healthy fruit from an all natural salad. Corbin Bleau and Lucas Grabeel also take up their mantles pretty effortlessly; both have sufficient energy and singing ability to make their supporting characters work.[/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]The story takes a back seat for the opening half of the movie in favor of innocent comedy and rousing vocal numbers, both instantly preferable to the generic and predictable conclusion. I have no problem with a feel good finish in a pleasant article like this but the route with director Ortega takes us is never particularly interesting. The destination was always a given but one had hoped the creative team might have made the journey more memorable and less borderline boring. All the required love arcs and relationship issues are also present, useful and fascinating to only those with the most primary experience in such issues. [/color][/font]

[font='Times New Roman','serif'][color=orange]The film looks quite good and certainly is bubblegum bright, further fulfilling its requirements to the 8 year olds who covet this stuff like the holy grail. It?s upbeat, features a few nice number and features hunky old Efron, in truth the only three things that the target demographic are likely to care about. Adults should approach with caution but I have no doubt that kids will find HSM3 a total blast.[/color][/font]

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