Everybody has a childhood toy that they loved. Some of you may still have yours at home somewhere, loved so much that fur has worn off, eyes are missing and heads are dangling by a thread like some kind of Anne Boleyn mess. But what if your Teddy was alive, what then? Well, you would probably be sitting around smoking dope with him and chatting about sex. Or so Seth McFarlane would have you believe anyway. Ted is a fuzzy rom-com which starts the right way but is ultimately more fluffy than it is funny.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Deep stuff there from the master of children’s stories, Dr Seuss. Sadly it seems that the makers of the film version did not care at all, because The Lorax is a multicoloured mess. The Lorax shoves anti-capitalism messages in your face faster than a bear can shove marshmallows into its mouth. That probably makes a bit more sense if you have already seen the film. Take it from me though, it is pretty darn fast.
Ice Age 4 hurtles from one boring and entirely unoriginal scenario to another, justifying its glaring historical and chronological inaccuracies, hopeless characters, tedious plot and joyless slapstick by covering them in frozen precipitation. It’s just a rehash of previous Ice Age themes and scenes from other, better films, but told by prehistoric animals that existed millions of years apart. Sure it’s for kids, but a cinema full of children could only muster the occasional half-hearted chuckle and even the sound of Sid regurgitating something into his paw couldn’t mask the sound of artistic integrity quietly dying.
“Come here,” moans one of the female characters. “I have something I could show you”. Take it from me, what she has to show you is worse than what comes out of the Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones. Shield your eyes, Best For Film followers! Before your face melts off your skull! Please can someone pass me something sharp so I can poke my eyes out? I think I saw a flash of flange…
The ubiquitous Noel Clarke is back once again with yet another Brit Flick. This time however he is steering clear of urban gang culture and trying his hand at sci-fi/horror instead. Noel, haven’t you heard? If you can’t do anything good then don’t do anything at all! Here you go everyone, I saw Storage 24 so you don’t have to.
The director and star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall reunite for another offbeat romantic comedy designed to tug on your heartstrings, elbow your tearducts and rabbit-punch your laughter glands in equal measure. The Five-Year Engagement is perfectly watchable, but should rom-coms really be this bloody miserable?
You might think that a thriller featuring big names like Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy – alongside brand-new hot property Elizabeth Olsen – would at the very least be a slickly filmed, if creatively hollow, venture. Sure, Robert De Niro was in New Year’s Eve and thus has obviously lost his marbles. But Cillian Murphy wouldn’t be in a film that didn’t make sense, would he? You’d think that wouldn’t you? But no. Nope. You won’t find anything plausible here; only a collection of dodgy, derivative, poorly-acted strands mashed together like a jigsaw done by a drunk toddler. And not as fun to watch.
Yep, it’s another one of those films where very clean celebrities pretend to have names like “Holly” and “Gary” and there’s just loads of them, loads of them scuttling around like glowing, plastic noise-rats shouting “UH OH! BABIES!” and it’s funny until it’s not and then it is again because sad emotions only last as long as a scene of about four minutes, and then it’s BACK TO CHRIS ROCK DOING HIS JOKES and people in bikinis and Jennifer Lopez realising stuff and then crying so gently. Just call it Middle Class Heteros Have Kids (You Don’t Even Get To See Them Shag), and be done with it.
Muscular, mean, nightmarish and brutal, The Raid delivers an unyielding onslaught of exquisitely choreographed violence, reminding us all that the thick, brawny shoot-em ups we’re used to associating with the action genre wouldn’t last a minute up against Indonesia’s glistening finest. With shades of Oldboy, Ong Bak, Reservoir Dogs and more dripping from every blood-drenched sinew, this is endurance-entertainment that isn’t afraid to push its actors and audience until its final, skull-cracking moments. Best of luck.
Piranha 3D was the surprise hit of 2010, blending knowing references to its glorious B-movie heritage with a truly unfeasible supply of boobs, blood, boobs, fish, boobs, Christopher Lloyd and boobs. Can its long-awaited sequel work the same schlocky magic? …No, no it can’t. Piranha 3DD is exactly as bad as we expected its predecessor to be.