BAYWATCH – REVIEW

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra,
Director: Seth Gordon
Running Time: 116mins
Cert: 12A

When it was originally announced that there was going to be a Baywatch movie, it was met with a lot of skepticism. Unfortunately, this was proven to be warranted by the disastrously pointless film that is BAYWATCH.

While i have not taken this film seriously by any means; even in is stupidity it lacks any real humour or comical narrative. For once, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has not blessed a film with his star power and created a hit.

Its quite simply ridiculous and only serves as 116 mins of eye candy. This isnt a problem of course lol, but what could have been very funny, had crap one liners; shit punchlines and a copious amount of swearing that was highly unnecessary.

The story was weak; the editing was abysmal, the acting was lacklustre and the villain was a bore. While her accent was wonderful to listen to; there was no mystery to Priyanka Chopra’s villain.

Of course the original series was far fetched and cheesy; and this definitely pays homage to that, but its not don correctly in the way that 21 Jump Street was for example.

While the cameos from David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson are fun, the film is just weak.

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DEAR WHITE PEOPLE – REVIEW

DWP

Review

 

Starring: Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Dennis Haysbert, Brandon Bell, Teyonah Parris
Director: Justin Simien
Running time: 108mins
Cert: R

Dear White People has had an interesting journey  from across the pond after its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, but, after a long battle between production bodies and the BFI, Dear White People has now been granted distribution in the UK and will be released in a number of cinemas across the country. I attended the UK premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema on Wednesday.

Dear White People  is a satirical comedy-drama that focuses on the intertwining lives of four African-American students at the prestigious and predominantly white, Winchester University.
Here, we meet the protagonist of the film, Sam White (Tessa Thompson); the socially and culturally conscious, rebellious and highly intelligent mixed-race girl who fights against the apparent racism at Winchester. She has a radio show entitled Dear White People where she attempts to highlight all the ways in which they don’t understand the culture of black people and the struggles they go through. She has self published a book entitled Ebony and Ivy which dictates certain levels of blackness, and all while having a secret affair with her white class tutor!

DWP is funny, thought provoking and eye opening to the various stereotypes that are not only given by other races but given to ourselves.

Within the movie we meet the Rebel (Thompson), who is afro-centric and pro black despite being “only half black” and seems to demonstrate the need to over compensate for this. There is the Poster Child (Bell), who’s father pressures him to overachieve so not to fit into stereotypes that whites may give him. The fact that a “black man trying to fit in the white mans world” IS in fact a stereotype, doesnt seem to bother the father. The Token black kid (Williams) who is just around to prove a social group have an ethnic presence and the Diva (Parris); the dark skin girl with the weave and blue contact lenses who only dates white guys to escape her less than respectable upbringing.

All of these characters can ring true in various social settings and i admittedly saw elements of myself in some of them. However, the film does highlight many other truths of black and white culture and what we deem acceptable behind closed doors. Do White people harbor the need to call us niggers at any given moment if they see a group of black people doing something “black”? I would like to think not, but DWP brings new light and humour (so not to be too controversial) to the idea white people inherently look down on black people but then want to relish in all things black, except to actually be it.

The climax of the film, in which a “black face” party begins on campus, though funny to an extent of how other cultures see us; its testament to that same fact. Black culture is ghetto culture and thats how they view us. The question stands however, that if these are the only things we portray or what is put out in the media, how do we expect other cultures to think/look differently at us?

Of course for any race to turn up to a black face party covered in shoe polish or nutella and calling themselves Shaniqua is a derogative in any sense but understand there is a line between disrespecting black culture and being Miley Cyrus. She did not come up with Twerking and shes not even doing it right!

Either way, this review has turned into more of a rant lol but it still stands that Dear White People is provocative and insightful in its title and content and its depiction of racism in America. Of all places in the world, it seems to be most rife in the states but do not attempt to be fooled that as Brits we are not fighting the same battles. Its just perhaps not showcased and exploited as violently and graphically as police brutality and blatant waving of Confederate flags.

Dear White People is out now!

FOCUS – REVIEW

Review

Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie
Director: John Requa & Glen Ficarra
Running Time: 104mins
Cert: 15

Last night, I went to the Cineworld Unlimited screening of Will Smith’s new film Focus.

The film is about a con man named Nicky who falls for a woman named Jess and all the mishaps that this ensues. Other than that, there really isn’t much more to say. This is going to be one of those points that isn’t really worth the web page its written on!

I love Will Smith, but this latest attempt to do something different and step out of his comfort zone as failed to impress. On a very basic level, the film is funny in the now subtle way you can expect from Will but there was still much to be desired. Half way through, I found myself rather bored as the point of the movie had been lost on me and I struggled to pay attention.

Will and Margot themselves are not actually bad as their scenes together are interesting enough and provide a few laughs but the chemistry between them was lacking. Sure, Margot Robbie is ridiculously hot but the sex scenes felt forced on Will’s part which took away from Margot’s performance.

With a few well placed jokes and a this-is-how-the-big-boys-do-cons type explanation sequence that Ocean’s Eleven would not be jealous of; Focus likes precisely that: Focus. Although the plot is basic enough its weird that it still has no point. You know exactly what is going on but don’t particularly care because it has no substance.

The big reveal at the end was both funny but ridiculous at the same time. Not much I can say about that without spoilers so I’ll leave it at that but ultimately, nothing mind-blowing in a way that made any type of sense.

As much as I enjoyed the film for his comedic aspect, I had expected more from Will on this occasion. What was set up as a sophisticated heist film turned out to be a comedy littered with random opportunities to put Will Smith is a beautifully tailored suit.
He looks good in it.
All the time.

It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. If you’re a Smith fan, then by all means add it to the collection but don’t run to the cinema to do so.

Focus is out on general release on February 27th

WHAT TO WATCH!! – MOVIES

What To Watch

 

– Today is Friday so that means its movie release day! A few new films have popped up today so here is a quick list of them and what its about if you were unsure! – 

 

STARRED UP
Cast: Jack O’Connell, Rupert Friend, Ben Mendelsohn
Director: David Mackenzie
Cert: 18

Jack O’Connell is set to give a career shaping performance in this prison drama about violent teen Eric Love who finds himself in the difficult transition from a young offender’s institute to adult prison. Despite help from prison therapist (Rupert Friend), he also helped by an inmate who just happens to be his dad (Ben Mendelsohn).

ABOUT LAST NIGHT
Cast: Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant
Director: Steve Pink
Cert: 15

The second of Kevin Hart’s films to hit UK screens this year and this time he is accompanied by his Think Like A Man co stars Regina Hall and Michael Ealy. A modern version of the classic romantic comedy starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore in 1986, about two people getting into their first committed relationship. Paired up with the more comical relationship of Hart and Hall hopefully brings more laughs in then Ride Along.

A LONG WAY DOWN
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Rosamund Pike, Aaron Paul
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Cert: 15

A once beloved TV personality who is now, shall we say a little bit passed it, is on top of a London skyscraper on New Year’s Ever and ready to jump. However, he’s soon joined by single mother Maureen (Collette), sassy teen Jess (Poots), and musician turned pizza-delivery boy JJ (Paul). They decide, instead of jumping tomake a pact and stay alive and stay together until Valentine’s Day at least…

LABOR DAY
Cast: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith
Dir. Jason Reitman, US, 2013, 111 mins
Certificate: 12A     Distributor: Paramount

Labor Day” centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler is 13 years old and struggling to be the man of the house while caring for his reclusive mother Adele and live a normal teenage life. While on a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother meet Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and  in need of some help, who they agree to take home but later find out is an escaped convict resulting in the longest Labor Day weekend of their lives…