Very few films have screamed out more “Gal Pal*” than Hustlers. Yet I decided to go to this on my own on a Monday after work because, well an allegedly good film is an allegedly good film. There certainly were moments where the target demographic would’ve screamed “YES QUEEN**” Amongst this was the seeds of a promising story that just didn’t quite deliver.
Based on a true story, Dorothy (Constance Wu) has moved to New York and is struggling to get by as a stripper. She meets Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) who teaches her how to get better at her job. At this point they become best friends, work together and make a lot of money from the sleazy wall street men and life is good. However, the next year, the financial crisis happens and this affects Dorothy’s income. With a baby on the way, desperate times call for desperate measures. Therefore, Ramona and Dorothy start to meet these men in bars, get them drunk, drug them with Ketamine and MDMA , get them to the club and max out their credit cards. Obviously, cracks begin to show in their business plan and the film goes in predictable directions.
This film review starts spoiler free. Spoilers further down are hidden
When a cinema offers £3 film tickets, you say “Yes, I’ll take that!” with little regard for the film. As far as I was aware Rebel Without A Cause was an old film and that was pretty much it, so I wrestled my way out of work through a “God Save The Queen” singing Brexit protest and the latest wave of Extinction Rebellion [Insert Rebel Without A Cause Joke here] and arrived to the film 7 minutes late, took my seat and tried to catch up*.
See Me Say One Thing Then Another Then Go Back To Where We Started
“Based on an actual lie” are the first words you see when The Farewell begins. The lie in question is rather large. Chinese grandmother Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) has been for a scan as she has been coughing a bit to much. Her sister goes to get the news and tells Nai Nai that there are benign shadows that will sort themselves out soon. The truth however, is that Nai Nai is terminally ill. Nai Nai’s family all learn the secret and decide to set up a fake wedding. All of them are supportive of the lie apart from her granddaughter Billi (Awkwafina). As somebody who was raised in America, the idea of lying to her beloved Grandmother seems terrible. Yet, she still goes to the family fake wedding, which is an oppotunity for everybody to really get together and say their goodbyes to Nai Nai.
Hear The Last Words
And then there were nine. With only one more film to come from Quentin Tarantino, the scarcity of these seems to only add to the sacrilege that his films provide. Number nine provides a homage to seventies Hollywood, a lost world of Western films.
Rick Dalton (Leonardo Di Caprio) is a has been actor. On the last whim of his career, Dalton is only getting through bit parts drinking his life away thinking back to pastures old. Meanwhile, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) is Rick’s stunt double and is also struggling to find work, but is mainly doing odd jobs for his closest friend.
Become A Has Been
When I watch a film, the one thing I look for more than anything else is some form of passion, a level of care from within that says I will tell this story and you will listen. Such a thing is difficult to describe and can come in many forms, but whatever this enigmatic quality is, Shola Amoo’s The Last Tree has it in buckets.
Continue reading “Review: The Last Tree”
This is a posting of an old, unpolished review which hasn’t been fully checked over. Please forgive any grammatical errors.
There has been a trend over the last couple of years of first time directors dabbling with coming of age films. Greta Gerwig knocked it out of the park with Ladybird, Bo Burnham had a strong effort with eighth grade and Jonah Hill gave it a go with Mid90s. Now Olivia Wildehas become the latest on the bandwagon with Booksmart.
This was a film I was looking to avoid. The trailer looked
crass and there was nothing there that made me want to watch it. However,
listening to Mark Kermode on Radio 5 Live and all the viewers, he said “The
trailer doesn’t do the film justice, go and watch it”, so as I had time at half
eight on a cold, wet evening, I decided to take the plunge and let me tell you…
It truly is the traditionalist motif of Bait which dreamily returns us to a simpler quiet world, one without modern technology or large scale screaming drama with big explosions. This place of a different era is Cornwall.
In our small Cornish village, Martin (Edward Rowe) is trying to get by as a fisherman. However, he can’t afford a boat, so can only catch what comes in with the tide. He is saving some money in his tin, but not much. He and his brother recently sold their parents’ home to Sandra and Tim Leigh (Mary Woodvine and Simon Sheperd). The Leighs have bought up the whole street for tourism and Martin feels he and his lifestyle are being pushed aside. This sentiment grows as his van is clamped and his brother uses his boat for cruise tours of the harbour. The traditionalist feels a great sense of shame for his town and clashes with the Leighs.