I’m going to say right off the bat that See No Evil, Hear No Evil is not the best work of either Gene Wilder‘s or Richard Pryor‘s careers. It’s good. Sometimes it’s very good, other times it’s not so good. But I think this is the best way I can pay tribute to the recently deceased Gene Wilder and also to the not-so-recently deceased Richard Pryor because of my relationship to the film. You see my dad was, and still is, super big into comedy films and when I was a child there were several different films that if they came on the TV we would pretty much abandon all other plans to watch them. Things like The Pink Panther series with Peter Sellers, The Naked Gun with Leslie Nielsen, The Blues Brothers with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd and, as it happens, See No Evil, Hear No Evil. These films basically laid the foundation for my interest in film comedy so I hope this review can serve as both a thank you and a goodbye to one of the great film comedians. So without further ado, let’s get on with the review.
So I hadn’t seen E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in about 17 or 18 years before I sat down to watch it for this review, so I can be forgiven for forgetting just how good it is. Yes I know it was directed by Steven Spielberg who with whimsy in one hand and a John Williams score in the other crafted most of our childhoods. I should have known it was going to great, especially given that this movie has one of cinema’s most iconic lines and most iconic scenes. Well this article isn’t about the iconic scenes that everyone remembers. It’s about how the background details that created the mood which enabled those iconic moments. I’m going to put a spoiler warning for this movie in place, so if you that haven’t seen E.T. then I would suggest that you look at yourself in the mirror and reflect on lost wonders. Or just watch the movie. Which ever suits. We’re also going to skip the story section this week because seriously it’s fucking E.T..
I’ve given modern comedy a hard time recently. It’s only because I love comedy so much that I get so offended when I think a film maker is being lazy. And to my mind, that is what a lot of modern comedy films are. They’re lazy, not using utilising the scope of what film can achieve when crafting their jokes. This is why I love Edgar Wright’s 2007 film Hot Fuzz. Rather than discussing Hot Fuzz with a specific aspect of the film in mind, I want to use it as an example of how to do basically everything right. Spoiler warning for the film: If you haven’t seen it, do so and come back to me. Spoiler warning for the review: I am going to be preposterously snide throughout. You have been warned.
I’m going to put three warnings into this introduction. 1) If you haven’t seen the 2012 Danish film The Hunt (AKA Jagten), then I warn you that this is a textual analysis of the film and it will contain spoilers. 2) If you are a childcare professional, please be aware the film discusses a very sensitive subject. Both this article and the film may be quite disconcerting for you to view. I should know as when I first saw the film I was working in a primary school, mostly with the younger classes. 3) This will delve more into social structures than the art of film, but I would point out that these Special Interest Reviews are for examining a film through a very specific lens. What I want to discuss in this article is how movies can tackle complex social issues in a thoughtful, respectful manner. I would also like to thank Niche Film Reviews for reminding me about this film. I will post a link to their article at the bottom of the page which I recommend people read if they want to get a sense of the film without spoilers. Last chance to turn back. Still here? Okay.
So Edge of Tomorrow, directed by Doug Liman, is basically Groundhog Day with Mech vs Alien warfare. If that doesn’t excite you then you don’t have a soul and I would ask you to leave. But while the premise is solid what really separates Edge of Tomorrow from the competition is the link between its mechanics and its theme.
Matthew Vaughan and Mark Millar love playing with genre in a very specific way. They simply change the main characters to be the last type of person you would expect it to be. They did it in Kickass in 2009 when they made a comics nerd a superhero and they’ve done it again with Kingsman: The Secret Service, turning a working class street kid into James Bond. Kingsman isn’t a perfect film but a film doesn’t have to be perfect to be important or interesting and that’s what this article is for. Kingsman offers us great insight into the spy movie genre. And also a Swedish Princess’s asshole. Mostly spy movies though.
As you may have picked up from the title, we’re going to be talking about Pokémon the Movie 3 today. I had other plans for this article that I had to put on hold because of my nerd rage. You see, I saw a top ten best Pokémon movies video, made by Watch Mojo, and before it even started I was furious. It was because I knew that Pokémon the Movie 3 would not be recognised as the best Pokémon movie and sure enough, it barely made it on to the list at number 10. Bastards! Don’t they see that Pokémon the Movie 3 has a depth of character and theme on an entirely different level to any other Pokémon film? Do they not understand that this is probably the only pokémon film you don’t have to be a fan to enjoy but at the same time smoothly incorporates fan service (not the booby kind)? I’ll teach them not to have their own opinions, the only way I know how. By writing what in essence amounts to a spiteful YouTube comment. That’ll show ’em!
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