Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Marmaduke

Having returned from France on Saturday (a great trip at that), I only think it appropriate that I resume my position as host, moderator and sole contributor to this blog. Also, my time in France has given me some musings, such as having turned a whole year older, so, with my blog now being "officially" uncut, I guess it's appropriate that I return for a new start. Finally, at least with regards to the appropriates (the resonate better in three's), it's also appropriate that I start my new "uncut" blog with a review for the film Marmaduke. Now, one of my good friends told me about this film at his house, condemning it on the basis of its advertisement. I had no knowledge of this, until about half-an-hour later, the fine promotional machine behind this film rolled out another airing of that same ad for the film. To be honest, even just from the advertisement, it looked ghastly. Going into this film, I had incredibly low expectations. I mean, talking dog movies with poo jokes and what-have-you are generally one of the lowest common denominators in film. However, it must be said that as much as I like to be proved right, deep down I was hoping that I was wrong, because although it is good to review a bad movie and flexes the vocabulary, for however long the bad film is during its duration it is a thoroughly unpleasant experience not for the weak of heart. So, did I enjoy this film or not? Will Marmaduke defy all expectations and actually be of all things, a good film? Is anyone taking bets that I will use another group of three before the end of the review? You tell me. I know all the answers and you don't. I'm just adding a degree of mystique and tension to keep you reading my review. Sorry if I sound both manipulative and self-indulgent. Anyway, the story follows Marmaduke, a huge Great Dane voiced by Owen Wilson in his adventures as he travels with his owners from their home in Kansas to California after Phil, played by Lee Pace, takes a job offer from Don Twombly, played by William H. Macy as a new marketing executive for his pet-food company. Right, obligatory plot filler over and done with. Fine, done and dusted, let’s get down to the crux of the review, if there is indeed a crux to be found in the case of Marmaduke. If, and only if. I haven't given anything away yet by any means. To start with the good about the film. Well, I suppose the dialogue in the interplay between Marmaduke and Carlos, voiced by George Lopez, are vaguely amusing. Also, if it's any consolation to anyone who actually might not enjoy this, it’s a short movie so your experience will not be wrought out any longer than ninety minutes. Saying that, and I am lifting the veil, ninety minutes of Marmaduke is about eighty-nine minutes too long for my liking, because Marmaduke... is... a... bad... film. End of story. For starters, each of the voice actors delivers mostly highly uninspired performances, their vocal presence being felt to be fair as much as their physical presence in the film: none whatsoever. If you think that's bad, you should see the human performances. What William H. Macy is doing in this film I can't quite figure out because he knows a good script when he sees one generally and is a fine actor. However, we also are honoured and privileged to bear witness to the mighty performance of Lee Pace as Phil. Pace seems to be attempting to deliver perhaps the most woefully boring and dull performance of all time. As marketing executive Phil (I know, marketing is not a good start in my books), it would be easy to say that he exudes an aura of sheer boring, plain and simple, but realistically, I can no longer tell if he has a presence, or if this terrible work is some piece of post-modern ironic satire which is beaming subliminal message via invisible pink lights into our brain. Jean Beaudrillard was so right, because thanks to folks such as Phil here, we can no longer tell the different between reality and simulation, blah, blah, blah. I'm thinking of all of the typical review traits and criteria by which to judge a film, but to be fair, it's hard to do anything objective and constructive whenever thinking of Marmaduke. Director Tom Dey may as well just be directing traffic, because he is just going through the proceedings of getting the film in the can. It's once again a classic case of lazy film-making at the utmost. The score and soundtrack to the film are also incredibly annoying, both managing to do so for completely different reasons. Starting with the latter, the soundtrack is exactly the type of typical cliché radio hits (even if some are good songs) that you would expect from a movie which is attempting to be appealing. Arnold Schwarzenegger must be happy with the extra publicity that this film has given California. With California Love by 2Pac and California from Phantom Planet, we by no means have a thoroughly realistic portrayal of California. This is the kind of glossy portrayal of California that, you guessed it, a marketing executive for a travel company would have come up with. The Shield this certainly isn’t, we're talking upmarket, undiluted American Dream California that most people never get to see. Also, the score is the type that fires out all the clichés in the book, with there clearly being no effort made to use sound to enhance the movie which needs it most. Instead, we have the typical "bouncy, bouncy, bouncy" music whenever we have the funny bits in the film, and of course we have the orchestra playing on the heartstrings telling us when we are meant to cry. As those who follow this blog know, I detest any score like this that is intrusive and belittles the audience by telling them subliminal what emotions they should be feeling. I can't stand any music in films which is as I call it "feel music", for I think it is so patronising and demeaning to an audiences intuition. And finally, we must deal with this, there comes the script. So often there comes a film which is good but unfortunately brought down by the script and the poor writing. In this case, it should meld into the background, because the entire film reeks of faeces anyway, but whenever you actually put thought into, the script is so much more in the upper echelons of rubbish than the rest of the film. The story takes the typical three-act structure and does nothing but obey that structure rigidly to the point that it's as though the writers Vince Di Meglio and Tim Rasmussen, who by the way, in case you didn't know, have done a terrible job here, are reading a really basic screenwriter's manual, because they certainly haven't been reading any Syd Field I tell you that. Dialogue wise, it is littered with completely unfunny puns and exchanges, in both the case of "funny" dialogue and basil-exposition stuff. And of course, things must be said about the films set-pieces. I would personally love clobber with a ring-binded copy of the script whichever one of the screenwriters (or both) wrote these awful, awful set-pieces. To give two examples, in the first case, Marmaduke proves to be a wiz on one of those arcade dance machines, and they dedicate a minute or two at least in this set piece (there's more later) to showing him dancing. Now I could watch an effect dance, alright, except the effect dancing is not funny whatsoever. Marmaduke jerks and wobbles all over the place, jumps up and down on the spot and does a spinaroony in a rabble-rousing finale before the smashing the machine to smithereens. Next set piece, through the most ridiculously contrived plot device (involving of course Phil, the Mighty Marketing Man), there is a dog-surfing competition which is won by (INSERT NAME HERE). You see what I mean. To follow along the same lines of the film, I will be self-referential and break the fourth wall, but I hope I have managed to raise at least one laugh, because I didn't laugh once in this film. The greatest reactions that this film could conjure from me were the occasional smirks that were interspersed in between the more than occasional deflating sighs from yours truly. You see, I've learnt something today: no I haven't, do we ever learn anything, but of course Marmaduke does, proclaiming so in a rabble-rousing speech to all the dogs. In summation of my review, I pose both a question and enforce a statement that I would love to see on the DVD sleeve when it comes out. The question: What is it with Owen Wilson and bad-dog movies? With jokes rife throughout regarding poo and dogs urinating in peoples drinks, but Marmaduke is not the filmic equivalent someone weeing in your drink, but hey, it's its own judge, jury and executioner, providing me this statement: Marmaduke is the filmic equivalent of finding a turd in your drink. FIN.

The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 1.3/10

The Thin White Dude's Self-Diagnosis - Terminal

Footnote: Really to be truthful, my words try to make sense of the carnage. To be honest, a film is like The Matrix: no one tells you what it is, you have to see it for yourself. But for your own safety, please don't, because I don't what box office to give the executives an excuse for a sequel.

Footnote Deux: Recent film budgets

The Lives Of Others: $2 million

Let The Right One In: $4 million

The Wrestler: $6 million

The Hurt Locker: $15 million

No Country For Old Men: $25 million

Total: $52 million

Marmaduke: $50 million


Footnote The Third: Marmadook!
Quote: "The moment I saw Marmaduke's big drooling lips moving, I knew I was in trouble." - Roger Ebert.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Thin White Dude Is On Holiday Again

Once again my trump card of an excuse, that of being on holiday has stopped me from being able to review movies on a more regular basis. However, I will do my best to see some movies, and if not, you can bet your backsides that, as ever, I will be back with a vengeance. Enjoying Vence, France very much, but will see you soon. Peace out, toodles!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Thin White Dude: Regarding The Auld Blog

Just aquick final correspondence for the day regarding the current state of my blog. As anyone who has bothered too the read the blogs I do my best to not use "foul" language in them, not because it might offend people, but because I wish to disassociate myself from the significant portion of blogging bozos who vocabulary consists of using "fuck" every five words. Do what you will, but I like to display a wide range of words with which to inject my readers with, hopefully enlightening them in some way or another. However, I have found of late that my avoidance of "swearing" in my blogs has been annoying, and I have been forcing myself to keep my brain on a leash. Call it lazy, but I am just saying outright here that as of finishing this blog, I will no longer keep myself from swearing in my blogs. By no means will I overdo it, I know of all people how annoying it is to read every "fuck, shit, piss" blog and social networking dimwit being unable to express themselves adequately. I'm just saying now that I may on the odd occasion be inclined to swear in the blogs in order to express myself more freely and in a way which would be more representative of me and the nature of my critical mind. Peace out!

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Remember Me

Aloha strangers, today we have the film Remember Me on the motician's table for Dr Dude's thorough dissection. By all means, the subject before me on the outside is a rather sickening prospect. For starters, it is a film from the origin of my least favourite film genre, that of romance films. As much as I try to be the most neutral and objective critic I possibly can be, sometimes one cannot help but let their personal viewpoints cloud their judgement of a film. Romance films are for the most part the most lame and base of films, predictable beyond belief and positively tacky. Well, at least this comes from the romantic-drama sub-genre and not my personal bane of rom-coms, whose gags are often so forced it's as though the actors are being threatened with sodomy if they do not comply. Also, marketing on this film is completely on the basis of the presence of Robert Pattinson as the films lead. Showing R-Patz (I really have to stop calling him this, he must absolutely hate it) in all his pride and glory as the films hook line and sinker is destined for gold with the marketing boys. To be fair though, if I thought in terms of The Almighty Dollar, I'd probably cast Pattinson as the lead in every film I had in production, because right now he is box-office gold. He could star in an incredibly dark and detailed biopic of Jeffrey Dahmer and still manage to get people into the cinemas (particularly teenage girls). However, despite the smiles on the posters here, it is obvious from the context of the film's plot and his character (and his portrayal of the character) that Pattinson is attempting to branch out his acting palette. In Remember Me, Pattinson plays Tyler Hawkins, a moody Holden Caulfield type, who is auditing classes at NYU, whose relationship with his father, played by Pierce Brosnan is strained but shares a strong bond with his younger sister Caroline, played by Ruby Jerins. After a night out with his roommate Aidan, played by Tate Ellington, he is arrested by Neil, played by Chris Cooper. The two then find out that Neil's daughter Ally is in Tyler's class at NYU and Tyler is persuaded by Aidan to date her on the basis of sleeping with her and dumping her. However, as ever in these films, love blossoms in light of all this, and really for the most part, you can guess the ongoing plot and tensions from this. To start with the good about the film, a number of the performances are pretty good. Pattinson delivers what I feel to be the best performance of his career thus far, creating a believable and sympathetic character out of Tyler who would otherwise be thought of by me as a dislikeable berk who is a big sulk. However, Pattinson does add a depth to this character, who becomes interesting to the audience, and we do wish to find out more about him. Also, Emilie de Ravin delivers a good performance as Ally. She is very endearing and charming in the part, and greatly complements Pattinson, both of whom together create a believable romance for the audience despite numerous aspects of the film going against it. Chris Cooper too is good in the film, although unfortunately he does not have much to do in the film, or time to fully create a three-dimensional character. However, Pierce Brosnan plays Charles, Tyler's businessman father, really well. Delivering a really fabulous supporting performance, Brosnan shines as a great example of what acting is meant to be on camera. Despite having not having a major amount of screen time, the screen time he does spend creates a presence that lingers on throughout the film. Whenever his character is onscreen, you can cut the tension between him and Tyler with a knife. Here is a man who is completely blind to the needs of his children emotionally in his attempts to provide financially for them. Brosnan portrays all of these aspects of the character really well, and delivers a fine performance which is on my shortlist for supporting roles come year end awards. Also, the film's score/soundtrack by Marcelo Zarvos is great, doing a fine job of heightening the emotion of the film. Furthermore, what makes the score so much better, is that despite the fact it uses orchestral stuff and piano parts that often disconnect me from the emotion of the film, it seems to fit and work really well in the context of this film. His work really does so much for a film which is truly in need of emotional heightening. Also, Jonathan Freeman's cinematography is crisp and dazzling, knowing exactly when are where to light a scene. It has a distinct look to without overdoing things and feeling too "film" in it's mood, managing to maintain a certain degree of realism appropriate for the drama. What I do have to ask regarding the film though, and this question is pivotal to the understanding of the film, is how the heck you can have such a good second half of a film and such a really poor first half. It's easy to perhaps blame the script, which is by all means nuts-and-bolts and does not really do anything special, but in the second act, despite these obvious predictabilities and the plot merely going through the motions, it seems so much better than it is. Now, I know that the first half involves set up for the actions to occur later in the plot, but just because it is set up doesn't neccessarily make it any less riveting or entertaining. However, the first half of the film is really boring and yeah, I was only up about half-an-hour and eating breakfast, but I generally seem to get something if it's working, regardless of my relatively recent waking from slumber. Instead, I was completely bored and to be fair felt the sleepy eyes coming on. It was positively devoid of much to keep me wanting to watch the film, and I found myself looking at the time elasped in the film on muliple occasions. You can almost measure a great film on the basis of how early you first look at time elapsed. With The Seventh Seal, granted, one of the greatest films ever made, I went nearly an hour, and that is a less than hour-and-a-half film, so I had nearly went two whole acts without looking at the time. With Remember Me, I made it about six, and was for the first half of the movie, essentially looking at time elapsed virtually every six minutes after. However, it seemed to change into a completely different film in terms of overally quality out of nowhere. Yes, plot points were coming in thick and fast, but really a film should be well-balance and have a degree of consistency. There is no excuse to call your movie a really great movie if the final half, the one we end on, on which I ended on a good note, is significantly better than the first. Just to have a couple of final words, the film has generated some attention due to its twist. Some have called it, as consensus says on Rotten Tomatoes "borderline offensive." Personally, I didn't see what was so offensive regarding the twist, and to be fair, I'd be more incline to agree with Roger Ebert that it does succeed "only in upstaging itself so overwhelmingly that its charactersbecome irrelevant." Even still, I don't completely agree with this, for I still was hit by the power of it, even it was completely left-of-field. In conclusion, while Remember Me is certainly an hour of a really good film, it is also half of a really bad film, and as such, despite its stronger points, must be judged on this basis.

The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 5.6/10

The Thin White Dude's Self-Diagnosis - Inbetweenies

Friday, 6 August 2010

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Repo Men

To be honest, regarding this film, it had completely passed under my radar whenever it came out. I only managed to find out about from my ever reliable film critic (as ever, you know who you are) and his trusty collection of Region 1 DVDs. Many times I have had the pleasure of watching some great movies thanks to his collection, and I hope he could say likewise, but I suppose I have seen some terrible movies as well, Prom Night being my case in point. It was such an unbelievably terrible film. Anyway, here I have Repo Men, a sci-fi action thriller revolving around Remy, played by Jude Law, and his partner Jake, played by Forest Whitaker, two repo men who reposess organs from those who have not been able to make their payments to The Union, a large consumer organisation, for their boss Frank, played by Liev Schrieber. After failing his last job, Remy finds that he himself has had a heart transplant, and following his wife Carol, played by Carice Van Houten, throwing his out of his house, he slows down at his work and finds himself on the wrong end of the repo men when he doesn't meet his payments. Remy ends up going on the run with Beth, played by Alice Braga, a singer who has missed multiple organ payments herself. The film has been met with a certain degree of controversy because its plot resembles that of a film released a couple of years ago called Repo! The Genetic Opera. Repo! was a very little seen movie, but really is one of the finest little seen movies of the past ten years and is destined for cult status. It is true according to that films writer Terrance Zdunich that the film was originally proposed to Universal, who produced this film. They were confirmed as liking the premise, but not the fact that it was to be a musical film. Director Darren Lynn Bousman has also spoken out against the similarities between Repo! and Repo Men. Really, I would recommend to anyone that they should seek out Repo! The Genetic Opera because it's a really fine film and has a great score/original soundtrack. However, to give Repo Men it's due, whatever similarities there may be and accusations of plagarism regarding Repo!, it's not a bad film. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are good as the two leads Remy and Jake and establish a believeable relationship and history between the two, creating an emotional core whenever they both go seperate ways and Jake ends up having to hunt Remy. It speaks very highly of Whitaker, who is quite simply a wonderful actor, that he takes on projects such as Repo Men, for after doing The Last King Of Scotland and winning the Oscar he could be demanding for more "acting" performance roles for which he might be considered more award worthy. Whitaker comes across as very down to earth thanks to this, and really displays his range as Jake, for he is essentially playing second fiddle to Law here and comes across in many ways as a big child. Also, despite having a nothing role and by no means significant screen time, Schrieber manages to be so good at what he does as ever that he manages to make cardboard cutouts seem three-dimensional. Seeing Liev Schrieber in any role is a pleasure, no matter how well developled in the script it is, because he is just good in anything, and I'm not being biased but he is just that good. To be fair, whether the central premise was plagarised or not, it is a good premise for a film and does provide for some interesting scenes. The moral dilemma of Jude Law's character is written well, particularly whenever he is confronted with the harsh reality of the implications that his despicable job has those lives whom it effects. Indiviudal scenes in the film really shine and provide for some really interesting moments in which the film seems a lot better than it really is. Also, Enrique Chediak's cinematography is really good, capturing the action in the film very well, knowing not to overuse or employ "shaky-cam syndrome" as many action cinematographers do these days. Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that he clearly knows how to light a scene, for even whenever we reach the dregs and grungy dirt of certain scenes in the film we know what is going on. Finally, it is nice to see in a Hollywood movie every now and again fight scenes, which are really these days not seen much in film any more, and the choreography is for the most part really good. However, despite these strong examples of what the film could have been, Repo Men is a really flawed film. For starters, I think that it's only right that if you are going to get good actors, you at least write them a good part, even if screen time is minimal. Alice Braga's character is poorly written and very two-dimensional, and if anything her performance comes off completely this way. Also, Carice Van Houten, a very fine actress, is given a completely vacant and dull role. No effort is made to explore the character of Carol, who is more a presence to just fill plot holes than anything else. As such, these two female performances are completely uninteresting and vacuous. The script, for all intents and purposes, while having a number of good ideas and individual scenes, does not fit together as a whole whatsoever. A number of scenes in the film could well have appeared and seemed fitting in other films, but here they just don't fit in. The mood of the piece bounces all over the place. At times, we aren't sure if we are watching a "serious" sci-fi thriller or something satirical a la Robocop or perhaps even a buddy comedy. After having went through these potential genres to settle into, it ends up going off the richter scale and going for the balls-to-the wall action movie. By this point though, it seems the film-makers do not care and are indifferent, not realising the absolute ridiculousness of what is on display. They go completely over-the-top on the gore stakes, and whenever they try to emphasise how despicable this lifestyle is, having self-indulgent and very violent action sequences take away from the seriousness that the movie is trying to establish. Don't get me wrong, I'm not on some moral thing about violence in movies, for a number of my favourite movies are violent, Robocop for one, but it just veers into ludicrousness, and despite wanting to make a serious film, the film-makers clearly just don't care. Also, it must be said, for all the accusations of the film-makers and Universal plagarising Repo! The Genetic Opera, there is a fight scene which uncannily resembles the four minute one-shot fight scene in Oldboy to similarly for it to be coincidence. I did enjoy the film for a good part, but by the time third act got rolling, I just didn't care. At 111 minutes long, it is at the very least 30 mins too long, and finally, I am sick of these plot devices (this is NOT a spoiler, so no accusations please) that render entire sections of the plot or the entire plot superfluous or irrelevant. This is the third time I have seen this used this year as an excuse for lazy film-making and it must stop. Ultimately, for all the good casting and enjoyable sections of the film, highlighting by some really good cinematography, Repo Men is condemned by a horrible script and some really indifferent film-making.

The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 4.2/10

The Thin White Dude's Self-Diagnosis - Relatively cross

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Thin White Dude: Regarding The A-Team

With the release of the new A-Team film, in cinemas now, starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Sharlto Copley as Hannibal Smith, Face, B.A Baracas and Murdock respectively, we have a new gang playing the roles. To be fair to the film, although it is not a good film by any means, it must be admired for no pussyfooting or beating around the bush regarding it's intentions. Also, it is not without a touch of irony regarding its ridiculousness, something the show had in heaps. However, saying that, it only has enough of a storyline to sustain about an hour's worth of screen time which poses to me a question: why didn't they just remake the TV show as a TV show instead of turning it into a feature length film. I am willing to place bets that it will not turn into the profitable franchise that marketing monsters are thinking of, for if The Almighty Dollar has anything to say about, which it usually does, it won't. Box-office has been lower than expected, and it will have to make at least $300 million before the bigwigs pay any attention. With the $110 million granted to the film-makers, surely they could have commissioned at least one, 13-episode series with Liam Neeson and co. Also, there could have been original stories every week. I would be willing to bet, even in accountancy terms of The Almighty Dollar, that it would better. God, I sound so horrible speaking in these terms, but from my history of what works box-office wise in film, I could be one of these executives who worship the religion of The Almighty Dollar. But I won't, because The Almighty Dollar is a false God, and to be fair, I don't believe you!

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - The A-Team

Hey, hey everyone, back again. I haven't been on a break by any means, but I've got a good few new movies to review on the way, and I’ve brought out the Klaus Schulze albums to get me through the task of these reviews, so let's hope we'll get through this together. Alright, first servings here is The A-Team, not related to the 1980's TV show. No really, of course it's related to the 1980's TV show or else it wouldn't have been remade. To get this review into context and also to act as filler so my review is not too short, I have never been a fan of the TV show. I don't dislike it by any means, but my viewing of the show has only been on the odd occasion, and I won't lie, it brought me the enjoyment of a sort of guilty pleasure. Also, The A-Team as a piece of pop culture is one of those things that I see in a way that it could only work once. Don't get me wrong, it is enjoyable, but it is enjoyable rubbish at that, and to remake it for me would be a step too far. So, if you get the idea, I wasn't really enthused going into the film. I just saw this as a grand marketing attempt to make money. However, let's not come to conclusions. I'll give the movie a chance and see how it goes. After an extended credit sequence introducing The A-Team, comprising of Colonel Hannibal Smith, Templeton "Face" Peck, Bosco "B.A" Baracas and H.M Murdock, played by Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Sharlto Copley respectively, we follow our band of brothers as they are accused of a crime they didn't commit, escape from jail and attempt to clear their name by finding those who really committed the crime. Right, nuff said, there's your plot, it's pretty self-explanatory, fill in your blanks. To start with the good, The A-Team themselves are enjoyable bunch to spend two hours with for the most part. Liam Neeson, although not stretching himself by any means, lends a suitable presence as the leadership figure of Hannibal. Also, Sharlto Copley, who brilliantly Wikus Van Der Merwe last year in District 9, is suitably mad and funny as Murdock. Furthermore, a thank you to "Rampage" Jackson for not just doing a Mr. T impersonation in his portrayal of "B.A" Baracas. Jackson plays Baracas really well, and to be fair gives the best acting performance of the central cast, although Sharlto Copley's performance comes a close second. Also, the larger action sequences, the ones with a strong sense of scope and scale, are executed with suitable weight and gravitas, even whenever they go on the line of borderline excess and ridiculous, which they do unashamedly go over at times. This brings me to my next point. The A-Team was always a very tongue in-cheek show, and this transplants really well to the movie. In a day and age in which big, excessive and over-indulgent blockbusters have their heads so far up "you know where", it is refreshing to see a film that understands and is aware of it's own ridiculousness. Furthermore, it does not go over the limit and end up in the realm of self-parody. This version of The A-Team is so unashamedly over-the-top that I cannot help but admire it, and it did bring a smile to my face and some laughs on a few occasions. Numerous lines of dialogue and a strong sense of irony help elevate The A-Team from the dregs of blockbuster self-importance such the Transformers series. However, that said, The A-Team is by no means a great film. Don't get me wrong, The A-Team isn't even really a good film, but you can the film-makers and actors probably had a blast making it. The script is no piece of chopped liver. It is the most base and predictable plot and structure to a script all year. Throughout the film, we can, ironically on the basis of Hannibal's own prophetic advice, "think three steps ahead" of the film. No attempts are made to make the film in any unpredictable, new, or overly exciting. It really is the kind of brain juice that marketing executives are wanting feed us: "we'll give them something enjoyable, but nothing they haven't already seen before or will make them want to think for themselves." Also, as mentioned, The A-Team are far the most part enjoyable to watch. Once again, Bradley Cooper who plays Face in this movie sullies the screen with his completely boring and lazy screen presence. I would like to see this guy give a good performance, because clearly he's the type marketing love to headline films, so no doubt we'll be seeing plenty of him over the next few years. Delivering exactly the same lazy and boring performance he did in The Hangover, Cooper fails to ignite the screen and is clearly the weak link in the central cast. Despite being his swaggering around the women, we are meant to Face endearing. However, we find him to be increasingly annoying, to the point where I wonder if Hannibal really is loyal to his men or if he has a crush on Cooper, who lobotomised women will of course fall in love with because he takes his top off and is buff and because well, you know, like Mista Bill Hicks says "Chicks Dig Jerks." Furthermore, there is an attempt to establish a sub-plot going on between Face and Sosa, played by Jessica Biel, that is completely out of place in the context of the film. I speak of the irony and tongue-in-cheek awareness of the film, but then as soon as there scenes involving the two or suggestions of their romance, that stupid Hollywood piano music of "feel the emotion" comes in. Not only do they have to make me feel jealous (no shame!) regarding Jessica Biel falling for Face/Jerk, they patronise me with that stupid music. Also, for a film with actors who can act like Liam Neeson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson, they certainly don't do much to let them stretch themselves. I won't lie though; Wilson does give a good enough performance for my liking, and probably the best overall performance in the film. Don't get me wrong, like I said, The A-Team is by no a great or good movie, but really it's enjoyable enough for what it is, and thankfully does not take itself too seriously. One really does have to admire that the film-makers have essentially done the unashamed filmic equivalent of walking around with your dick hanging out without saying "you know what, it ain't all about balls."

The Thin White Dude’s Prognosis – 5.9/10

The Thin White Dude’s Self-Diagnosis – Pretty amused