Film – A Love Story

Film – A Love Story

When we first started this blog I never intended on it being just film reviews. I wanted it to be a written tribute to an artistic medium that I love. Now along the way I got lazy. I started to just write reviews. Then even before that they were lazy, Buzzfeed style lists. I don’t believe all of these are badly written and sometime they can be entertaining. There is just something about lists that shouts “I need to get something down and don’t know what.” Which makes zero sense. This isn’t my job, I don’t get paid for it and I don’t have a vast following I’d be disappointing. If I don’t have something good to say why say it? So tonight I decided to go back to that. Reviews will still come from both of us whenever we see a new film. Hopefully when Sam is less busy he’ll pick Netpicks back up as well.

However I will be trying to write something a little different more often, under the category, Storytelling. No more top five lists. I will actually try and say something interesting and original.So to start with I thought I’d write about something only I can. My long standing love affair with cinema. Most people who love film can attribute that fact to one film. Kevin Smith has talked often about how Jaws changed his life. Critic Mark Kermode has stated his was Krakatoa East of Java. Our own Sam has told me about watching Lord of the Rings changed him from film watcher to film lover. When discussing this, for sake of keeping it short I always say American Beauty. Which to an extent is true, it opened my eyes to a different quality of cinema.

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However I believe my love affair began much earlier than that. I have a few very early memories from my childhood. Moments on holidays, times in primary school. A lot of them though revolve around sharing a small room with my older brother. We had bunk beds and in the corner of the room we had a television we got from Santa. When we heard my mum and dad go to bed we’d switch it on very quiet and watch WCW and WWF. We’d sit for hours playing Altered Beast on the Sega Megadrive. What sticks out more than anything though is watching Wizard of Oz. My memory tells me it was very early hours of the morning and the world was still. In reality common sense says it was probably just about past evening.

I remember barely paying attention to the film, just thrilled to be sat up late. Until Dorothy opened the door and everything changed. Colour washed over the screen, contrasting the start of the film very dramatically. As a kid, even though I’d seen colour films and TV, it felt magic. Like I was witnessing something that was very special. Turns out little me was right and I was watching a classic piece of cinema. After that I loved watching films. Not at the point of loving them, but I definitely started to feel the magic. I watched all the early Disney films, I watched total crap like Baby Geniuses and Mars Attacks that both really stuck with me. I watch the start of Robo-Cop until we got too scared and switched it off.

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My film watching experience however stayed in the home. Blockbuster and TNT is how I watched movies. Often rubbish ones, but I didn’t mind, I just liked watching them. Until I was seven. Now be prepared to lose a lot of respect for me. I went to the local cinema, The Roxy. Sadly it doesn’t exist any more, but everyone over eighteen from Oldham has memories of the place. My Grandad took me and my brother to see Star Wars Episode I. Yes my first experience of the Star Wars world was The Phantom Menace. I loved it. Not the film, I was seven, I didn’t get the film. But the gigantic screen, the loud noises, the bright lights, the action. All of them clichés amazed me. I had climbed an extra rung up the ladder.

I then read my first “grown up” book. The same year my Grandma has bought me Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone. So when the film came out two years later she took me and my siblings to the opening day. Back when Warner Bros. still had cinemas. We went to the one in Bury and got McDonalds on the way home. There couldn’t be a more perfect day for a nine year old. So Harry Potter then stuck with me and I became obsessed with my first film series. I guess this was my “Lord of The Rings” moment. Then when I got a little older I watched American Beauty at an age where I shouldn’t have been watching American Beauty and it opened me up to a new world.

In the next few months after that I watched every Tarantino, Goodfellas, Casino, Fight Club. All the cool films. That led me to go a bit weirder, Fear and Loathing, American Psycho. Then indie films, Clerks in particular grabbed me. I realised at that point I didn’t just like watching films. I loved everything about them. Every genre, every style, every nationality. If it was a moving picture I loved it. I dreamt of one day making my own. I even have some of a poorly written Screenplay saved away. I guess a small part of me is still convinced I will. Until then however I will carry on watching them and writing about them with the same amazement I did as a kid, when the colour came in and the world never looked the same again.

The Nice Guys – Review

The Nice Guys – Review

There is an interesting thing about stories. We never want to experience them without knowing what they are about. When was the last time you sat down to watch a film you knew absolutely nothing about? Or bought a book that you didn’t read the blurb? I’m guessing the answer to both wouldn’t be far off never. If you’re going to invest time in to something you want to know what its all about. So how do you do that without ruining the film? You look up the director, the actors, the genre and the plot. You’ll watch the trailer. Then you sit down ready for everything this film throws at you. Sometimes however films are made that even though you know all this information, they take you by surprise on every level. So let’s approach this review in a different way to what I usually do.

The Director – Shane Black is a writer first and foremost. His talent for writing is up for debate, seeing as he wrote Lethal Weapon and Iron Man 3. One an absolute classic that will stick in the pop culture pshycé forever. The other was the worst Marvel Studios film by a long way. Directing wise he doesn’t wow. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was a lot of fun, but incredibly disjointed and Iron Man 3 was the worst Marvel Studios film by a long way. The Nice Guys however is fantastic in both screenplay and direction. It’s incredibly fast pace, the way he has positioned the characters with each other and how he has crafted this little bit of the 80’s just all worked. Writing wise there are some very funny jokes, very funny situations and actually for such a silly film, so heart. Surprise number one.

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The Actors – The funniest thing Russell Crowe had done before this was convince the casting director of Les Mis he could sing. Thus I expected him to be one hundred percent straight in this film, however he was refreshingly funny and proved that he has some comedic chops this late in to his career. Angourie Rice who plays the daughter of Holland March is fantastic. I’ve never seen her in anything or heard of her, mainly because she is only a child, but her comedic timing is fantastic, she stole the show. Surprise number two. The one thing not surprising was Ryan Gosling, who I already knew was incredibly talented and funny and he backs that up again.

The Genre – This film screams Buddy Cop movie and in some ways I guess it is. However it is also a very clever satire on 70’s action films, it avoids most of the common tropes involved with buddy cop movies and also becomes a bit of mystery part way through. Overall though it’s just a really good comedy that focuses primarily on making you laugh which took me by surprise. With the casting etc. I figured it’d be like a Lethal Weapon. Of course it’s funny in points, but there’s a lot of serious crime fighting action. This film however makes the action funny, which has to be drawing inspiration from Edgar Wright. Its subverts and exceeds the genre implications and thus becomes surprises number three.

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The Plot – This was the biggest surprise. The plot tells you nothing about this film. The plot is secondary to this film. The plot is two private investigators who, almost accidentally, end up researching strange murders surrounding a porno. That makes this plot seem a little bit too crazy and over the top. When it’s tied in with government corruption and conspiracy theories about birds not being able to breathe, the plot could run away from itself and it does. However each individual scene is so well written and crafted and the laughs come so often that it doesn’t matter at all. The plot is just there for the jokes to fit in which I just didn’t expect before sitting down.

The film was funny and refreshing. It was clever and dumb. It was the biggest surprise of the year and one of the best films I’ve seen thus far. I argued with a friend a bit back about actors. He said there’s no one like the old guard coming through. I said we are on the brink of a lot of actors about to shine, actors like Ryan Gosling and I’m glad he once again proved me right. It was also nice to see that the future of movie acting is in good hands as well, when a little girl outshines Russell Crowe then you know there’s a lot to look forward too. Also the machines weren’t working for our Limitless cards so we got free drinks and ice cream which just made the whole thing better. (Yet another win for Odeon’s customer service this year)

9.5/10

Money Monster – Review

Money Monster – Review

There has been a couple of defining moments since the turn of the century. Moments that have changed the way we think, the way we live and our future plans. First there was the World Trade Centres coming down. Then there was the economic collapse. Since the collapse the world plunged in to a global recession. This of course leads to a lot of people losing their jobs, their houses and just generally suffering. It left a bitter taste in a lot of people’s mouths and they looked for someone to blame. In an era of the internet everyone has a voice and that collective voice has been boiling over with rage for some time. So of course in comes Hollywood to profit from that anger.

Money Monster is directed by Jodie Foster and stars George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell. George Clooney is Lee Gates, a financial advisor on the television who is taken hostage live on air by Kyle Budwell (O’ Connell) whilst director Patty Fenn (Roberts) keeps the show going and attempts to control the situation. When a company named IBIS lost $80 million over night it cost Kyle his savings. He was angry and he wanted to know who to blame and why. With a gun and a bomb vest he takes control of the station and demands they keep on air until he has said his peace. Between the three of them they attempt to discover why IBIS lost so much money so quickly all whilst Lee and Patty try to stay alive.

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This felt like a film without an identity. It didn’t know whether it wanted to be a suspense thriller or a political thinkpiece. Thus it doesn’t do very well at either. You left The Big Short ready to riot against the banks. This however made up a fake scenario and pinned it on one person and thus you felt satisfied that the wrongs were made right. The commentary it made about media and how it capitalises on disaster is nothing Nightcrawler didn’t do better. Not to mention the fact that this film is a piece of media capitalising on disaster. You could argue that it is the duty of art to shine a spotlight on these issues and thus it isn’t exploitation, but the way it is blended with a thrilling tale of David vs Goliath almost trivialises it. Foster should have decided if she really wanted to say something about corruption on Wall Street and the nature of media or just to tell an interesting story.

Having said that she does tell an interesting and entertaining story. Although she falls over a bit on the suspense part, as a thriller goes it works. You really want to know what has happened as it sews the seeds of doubt in the audiences mind. You want to know more about the lives of Lee, Kyle and Patty. It keeps you hooked in that sense. It has some amusing moments and lines that keep it from being too depressing, because at points it is truly sad. I thought back to the film Phone Booth whilst watching. The way it flips from the microcosm of the studio to how the world is reacting to the scenario as well as the obvious police presence. In style and also in ability these films feel very similar for some reason. Well made entertaining films that don’t blow anyone away, but I doubt offend anyone to the point of walking out.

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Now I do want to talk about the performances. They are what elevated this film from an average run of the mill film in to something actually quite good. Clooney is at the best I’ve seen him for a long time. In Hail Caesar recently I felt he lacked the acting ability he once had. He proved me wrong in this however, playing the role of an aging lonely rich man very well (although that was him a few years back, drawing from experience must have been easy). You actually did empathise with a character that at first felt ridiculous and deplorable. Roberts was given the weaker screen time and lines, but did well with that she had. She was positioned between the action and the audience. She had a bit of control over the situation and you could sense that’s what kept her character from losing it in a trying time. Her relationship with Clooney’s character was an interesting dynamic that thankfully didn’t end in romance (small spoiler, but really doesn’t matter at all.)

The real star of the show however was O’Connell. This is an actor who I’ve followed for a long time. His first major role coming in the TV show Skins. His two seasons came out at the same time as me joining college so I was an avid watcher confused as to why my life wasn’t full of massive raves full of sex and drugs. Since then he has impressed massively in the films Starred Up and ’71. He is without a doubt one of the most exciting British talents on the rise right now. He plays the broken, working class Kyle very well. You are on his side the entire time despite the fact that he is really a terrorist. He is playing the every man who is at the end of his tether. Everyone has something inside them that wishes they could do something massive. Maybe not in this vein, but we don’t for a second question his motives.

Not a film I will be talking about for the next few years, but Money Monster is a very enjoyable watch. If it had either stuck to what it was inevitably good at, or swung the other way and gone all in as a political commentary, then maybe it could be elevated to something higher. I should have walked out wanting to destroy Wall Street the way I did about the banks after The Big Short. Instead I walked out entertained, but wholly underwhelmed and lacking much emotion at all about the film. I do however look forward to seeing more and more from O’Connell. I’m thankful this film isn’t bad enough to kill his career.

6/10

 

Netflix Original – Team Foxcatcher – Review

Netflix Original – Team Foxcatcher – Review

Two years ago a film called Foxcatcher was released. It was based on a true story involving an overly eccentric rich man named John DuPont and the team of wrestlers he created on his estate. It largely focussed on his relationship with wrestler Mark Shultz and the shooting of Mark’s brother Dave Shultz. Rarely have I left a film angrier. Sam was the same, we truly felt robbed of our money and over two hours of our lives. Despite the mass of Oscar nominations it received, the film was awful. The story however intrigued me. So when Team Foxcatcher, a documentary made for Netflix, was released this year I waited for the right mood and time to watch it. This is the true story of how John DuPont went from eccentric millionaire to murderer.

The documentary is done in a fairly common fashion. It is made up of amateur footage and interviews, provided by the people surrounding the events. This may not be the most inventive way to shoot a documentary, but it is a proven method of telling a story in a concise and effective manner. We are told about Dave Shultz’s career and how well respected he was in the wrestling community. Despite his talent Team USA struggled against countries like Russia.This is mainly due to wrestlers not having the funding to wrestle as they get older. Enter John DuPont who opens Foxcatcher Farms, a community of wrestlers who live and train together on the same facility.

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After that it focuses on the time frame between 1989 (after Mark left the farm) up to the shooting of Dave and the aftermath in 1996. In this time we see how close the entire community was. We learn about John DuPont’s relationship with the local police as well as his desire to be part of the comradery between the wrestlers. The film does a fantastic job of building up an uneasiness around John, making you wary of his actions despite them appearing generous. It touches on his life prior to this time, however I would have liked a bit more context in to what made him like he is. I understand the desire to keep it focussed to the time of the event, but I think it would have been fascinating to understand the man more.

The storytelling was great in this film, covering several different opinions and angles, not appearing to have an agenda anyway. That’s pretty amazing for a film about a murderer as it’s pretty easy to be biased against a murderer. The director however knows that the audience will think like that anyway so instead just delivers us with facts. What is more fascinating however are the interviews with people who knew Dave and John. The admiration and love they had for Dave as well as the respect and gratefulness they had for John create an interesting dynamic. The documentary is always at its best points when talking to Dave’s wife and kids. Although we can’t hear what the director is asking, it’s clear he has put them at ease enough to properly explore their emotions surrounding the shooting.

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One moment in particular with Dave’s son will make you extremely angry, closely followed by a moment with his daughter that will leave a lump in your throat. This documentary is a fascinating story, but it is also an amazing example of human nature. From the forgiving nature  of his daughter, to the betrayal of his closest friend as well as the paranoid millionaire who finally loses it. We witness people on a level that only a great tragedy can show us. When a man who has touched so many peoples lives in such a positive way is taken from you, how do you react? What is the correct way to react? And do we have any right to judge? These are some questions I was left asking myself afterwards.

With John however it’s clear cut and dry. He was a deprived, insecure and paranoid man who finally snapped. The aftermath in which he hides in his manor house, unaware of the gravity of what he has done shows that sometimes that kind of money, without the right kind of guidance can be a curse.  I knew I was going to watch a film about an interesting story, I didn’t expect such an interesting insight in to the human condition. That surprise alone gave the story more depth and elevated this documentary from just good to actually being great. Once again Netflix delivers. It has some fantastic dramas and comedies, but between Making a Murderer and this, Netflix has shown that they can churn out quality of any kind.

7.5/10

Jungle Book – Review

Jungle Book – Review

Live actions remakes are the ticket at the moment. After the success of Maleficent they have really taken off. Emma Watson is playing Belle in the upcoming Beauty and Beast remake, the fella from True Blood is Tarzan and Emma Stone is playing Cruella. In fact this wont be the only Jungle Book we’ll see. My friend Pie who only likes one film, The Lion King, is petrified of them announcing a remake of that. As I’ve said before however I give remakes a chance. The people involved in the production are doing it as a labour of love even if the studio does it for easy cash. I however never really got in to the Jungle Book as a kid and thus wasn’t too excited about this film.

Of course we all know the story. Mowgli is a child living in the jungle, joined by his friends Bagheera and Baloo who are a panther and a bear respectively. As Bagheera tries to convince him to leave the jungle, due to a threat  on his life from the tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli gets up to all kinds of trouble, meeting many interesting animals and characters along the way. With an all star cast of Christopher Walken, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson and Bill “Fuckin'” Murray taking a foray in to voice acting, the film follows the same basic plot of the original Jungle Book with one or two differences, most notably the end.

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This film is beautiful. An odd way to describe a film I know, but the visuals are spectacular. Looking at the way the animals look and move it’s clear that the cruel practice of having real animals in films should become a thing of the past. The scenery is stunning as well it really plummets you in to Mowgli’s world. Jon Favreau is someone I’ve always considered a lucky man, because he’s made a ton of money on films that need very little direction. I can’t imagine he had to tell Robert Downey Jr. how to be Iron Man since he actually is Iron Man. However taking on the challenge of a world that is 90% visual effects and getting a stunning performance from the young Neel Sethi is no small feat so respect where it is due.

The voice acting is all done very well, however personally the huge names using their own voices rather took me out of the film. For a kid this won’t be an issue as I’m sure they don’t know who Stringer Bell is, but for me I couldn’t help but see the actor rather than the animal. With the exception however of Scarlett Johansson who previously captivated audiences with just her voice in Her.If I was a child I would be petrified when she is voicing the snake Kaa. One of the best bits of casting I’ve seen in a long time. Christopher Walken on the other hand gave us what sounded like a spoken word version of I Wanna Be Like You and for the rest of the time didn’t seem to be trying. I hate to criticise Walken, the guy is a legend, but he appeared to put very little effort in.

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The message seemed to change from the original Jungle Book. The original seemed to be a story of how we should stick with our own kind and Mowgli’s differences are a negative thing. Kipling was obviously notoriously racist against the people in India, despite living there. Rightly so this film took that message and flipped it. Mowgli being different ended up saving his life, the life of a baby elephant and gaining him mass acceptance in the Jungle. Rather than being enticed by a little girls back to the man village he stays with the only family he has ever known. Instead of acting like them however he acts more like himself which is a great message to be sending to children.

The film contains a lot of heart, a lot of laughs and some seriously cute wolf cubs that even I couldn’t help releasing a little “aww” over. Disney have time and time again proved they are here to stay as one of the best creators of content on the planet. My biggest regret is not being able to watch this film as a child myself. There was a kind behind me in the cinema who was rather audible in their reactions and they seemed genuinely amazed, terrified and moved. I think as I was sat there I witnessed the birth of a brand new film fanatic and that alone means this film for me is one of the biggest shocks of the year thus far. Rather than a weak remake with no inspiration it is a vast improvement  on a classic and that is something that doesn’t happen often. Maybe Pie should be preying for a Lion King reboot after all.

9/10

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

More superheroes blessed our screen last week, in that odd combination of a Marvel film that isn’t made by Marvel. With Fox continuing to retain the rights to X-Men it could be some time, if ever, that we see Wolverine join The Avengers or Deadpool riff with Spider-Man. The X-Men films are known for being very hit or miss thus far, with First Class being a fantastic example of how to reboot a series to X-Men Origins: Wolverine which was an awful example of how to make a film in general. Personally I grew up on X-Men and Spider-Man, so even the weaker films containing these characters I enjoy despite knowing all of the shortcomings. For example I didn’t mind Amazing Spider-Man 2. Still I was thrilled when Marvel got the rights back to Parker and loved the introduction of Wanda Maximoff in to the MCU, because I know the quality of movies over at Disney is higher.

X-Men: Apocalypse instantly tells you about the main antagonist of this film. En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse is considered the first ever mutant, to the point were people believed he must be god. Having discovered the route to immortality, he is awoken from what can only be described as a centuries long coma to witness a world in which humans rule and mutants run scared. With his four horseman; Psylocke, Storm, Archangel and of course Magneto he plans to destroy the world and rebuild it. Interestingly he doesn’t want mutant rule and humans to perish, his goal is for the weak to die and the strong to be by his side.

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After the relative puzzle that Days Of Future Past was plot wise this is much more straight forward. Big bad appears, the righteous good must prevail or the world is over. After films like Ant-Man, Civil War and Deadpool this has gone a completely different way. This is a genuine world ending event that our heroes are trying to stop. A lot of critics have a problem with this, but I don’t. Like I said we’ve had lots of smaller cost films lately. We are talking about high powered mutants here with all sorts of ridiculous abilities. It makes sense that now and again one of these powerful fuckers will want to destroy the earth. However a bit of originality may have been good, it felt very paint by numbers in every sense.

Oscar Isaac is one of the best actors in Hollywood purely due to his range and I very much enjoyed him playing someone with a massive god complex. He is epic and angry, but still you understand his charm. He helps you believe that these four people would get on board with him, including Magneto who you’d never consider a follower usually. However I think once again Fassbender stole the show. I wont give away too many details, but his story gets much more depressing in this instalment (Yep, more anguish on top of his Nazi based past) and he does an amazing job of portraying the inner conflict within him. I left on his side more than anyone else. Honourable mention goes to Tye Sheridan as Cyclops. I hated Scott Summers in the first three. Whiny and self serving which wasn’t the Cyclops I grew up with. This much funnier, charming and much more layered character is a lot better.

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Action scenes are fairly uninspired and unoriginal. Quicksilver’s running through the mansion scene that we was waiting for was very entertaining. However it was just the same as his one in the kitchen previously, but on a larger scale. The final battle was just your usual final battle, you know the whole heroes do well, then it looks bleak, then it all comes together, because good always beats evil. Then there was a cheesy Age of Ultronesque ending with the revealing of The X-Men line up which I enjoyed as a fan, but really added nothing to the film. The Wolverine cameo revealed in the trailer is awesome though. First time we’ve really seen him fully unleash and it makes perfect sense with the characters story as well. Easily my favourite part of the film that entire sequence.

Overall this film was unoriginal and uninspired, definitely lacking behind the quality of Civil War. However it is fun to watch, has some funny moments and some touching moments and introduces some characters that I think will leave the franchise in good hands. It’s definitely paint by numbers, but the picture at the end is worth looking at and executed very well. You’ve seen it all done before, but maybe not this well.

 

7/10

Screen Unseen – Everybody Wants Some Review

Screen Unseen – Everybody Wants Some Review

 

I’m sure you have all met Film Studies students before. As a general rule we are a pretentious bunch of people. This is the case with most people doing a BA course, but there is a special kind of pompousness around Film Students. An average movie goer watches 2001: A Space Odyssey or Citizen Kane and finds it quite boring. We will tell you how amazing the visuals are and how perfect the cinematography is. I would say that sometimes we even claim to enjoy films, because they fit a certain mould and we respect their craft. There is a massive difference in those two things however, enjoyment and respect don’t go hand in hand.

I like to believe that I break the mould a bit however. I love trashy badly made movies. I’d argue that someone can’t be a massive film snob and love Kevin Smith like I do. However I do like to indulge in to the pretension that my 27 grand piece of paper has afforded me. This is where Richard Linklater comes in. Not only is his plotless style of film making ooze of pretentiousness. His characters themselves are generally pseudo-intellectual losers who think that, because they’ve heard The Beatles once they are geniuses. Easy enough then for a Film graduate to relate to. Heavy on the dialogue, top quality soundtracks and a moment in time. That’s how you know it’s a Linklater.

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Everybody Wants Some is the cousin of Dazed and Confused. It follows young baseball player Jacob, his new college team mates and their exploits on the three days leading up to class. Sixteen young, attractive and talented men living in two houses next door to each other. This film addresses themes of masculinity, competition, sex, music and since it’s Linklater, pure infatuation. First and foremost this film is a comedy. It’s not a laugh a minute comedy peppered with jokes however. It’s more of a reflection of real life. A natural form of humour that you witness in your day to day life, not a single trope in sight. It is however still very funny, especially I suspect for men who can see a bit of their friendship circle, in the characters.

A lot of the humour derives from the sheer competitiveness of the team mates. Temper tantrums, stupid bets and moments of real tension. This kind of friendship is hard to depict and that’s a testament to the actors performances. To make the audience believe that despite all of the abuse they give each other they can still be friends is hard. You have those friendships in real life however they’ve taken years to formulate. The actors, particularly Blake Jenner and Juston Street, do a fantastic job of faking that. Comically however Wyatt Russell stole the show, with some of the best scenes of the film coming from him alone.

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Linklater does fantastic at showing a bunch of young men get drunk, sleep with women and play pranks yet somehow have some meaning in between. We have a man who can’t let go of the past and will go to ridiculous measures to cling on to it. We have real and powerful insecurities that young men will definitely go through. Then there’s Jake who is obviously conflicted, feeling like he is betraying himself in enjoying all these crazy college antics. It’s not a silly comedy like Animal House despite what the trailer depicts. These characters are real and that comes across well. This film is vintage Linklater and is up there with some of his best bits of work. If you’re a serious fan like me you will adore this film, if not I still think you’ll like it.

There are a few problems with the film however. It’s depiction of women is actually more typical of Animal House than it is of a Linklater. Ninety percent of them are shown as drunken stupid girls with no substance. In fact looking at the cast list, other than the main love interest, played by Zoey Deutch, I can’t seriously remember when each girl features. At the same time however the love story seems forced. We meet Deutch’s character early on and an attraction is made with her and Jake. However he then goes on to actively seek out one night stands. To then try and make him the character that transcends the typical college life then becomes less believable. Still, these are minor things that don’t ruin the overall enjoyment of a film made by one of the best living film-makers around.

8/10