Say what you like about the state of British film at the moment, there’s one thing that us plucky Brits do that makes the envy of the world, and that’s our TV comedy. From Monty Python to The Office, our self-deprecating humour has been shipped out, remade, lauded and appropriated everywhere from the Americas to the Antipodes. And one of the standout comedies of the last few years, courtesy of those marvellous chaps at E4, was Damon Beesley and Iain Morris’s sixth form anguish-a-thon The Inbetweeners.
There was once a time when Sandra Bullock reigned supreme over the romantic comedy, but that time, as this film demonstrates, is well and truly over. This new ridiculous outing sees Bullock’s pushy book editor force her put-upon assistant to marry her to avoid deportation, and naturally (yet inexplicably) romance ensues. Even if you can put aside the formulaic stupidity, the chemistry between Reynolds and Bullock is about as poor as it gets. One to avoid unless you’re desperate.
So it’s two years since the evil Megatron’s death, and Optimus Prime, the other Autobots and the significantly less exciting humans have been going about their business as usual. What could disturb this harmonious bliss? Why, the discovery of a Transformer so bloomin’ evil he makes Megatron look like a Bosch iron. The Fallen – the lost brother of the Transformers – is preparing for battle on Earth And believe us, his battle is extremely explodey.
It’s been left up to Disney to challenge our hackneyed beliefs by presenting us with a bunch of spies that take the form of… wait for it, you’ll love it… Guinea pigs! Yeah, those infanticidal, hooting, air-sniffing pigs. As spies. It’s a one-note joke that’s taken to the extreme – Pixar would’ve made an idea like that into a witty ten minute short. Here, it’s 90 minutes long, and generally one ninth as entertaining, too.
Originally broadcast as a TV special on NBC in the states, Merry Madagascar is about as shameless as it gets in the long line of trying to cash in on Christmas. It seems clear that some exec, sitting in an artfully underfurnished office somewhere in Los Angeles, simply looked at a balance sheet and saw that Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa had done quite well.
It’s 2018: Battle-weary members of the human resistance are rising up against killer machines, desperate to claw back the arid, devestated nuclear wasteland that used to be (fanfare!) the U.S. of goddamn A. Why on earth they’re actually that bothered about fighting for some half-yard of radioactive cinder is anyone’s guess. Everyone’ll be living on Jupiter in 2018.
You know us, at BestForfilm, right? Well, we’re hard, we are. Proper nails, us lot. Steely determination, nerves like copper wire, and a mind like a steel trap. Takes a lot for us to sit up and take note of a horror film, let alone have us squealing like jessies and jumping out of our seats. Will Paranormal Activity, the much hyped-shocker in the “found footage” genre, really be something new, or is it all bumf in the night?