Friday, 18 July 2014

What I've Been Watching In: July

We're The Millers (2013)
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Anniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter
When I saw this was on TV I made a point of watching it as I had heard a lot of good things about We're The Millers. I'm quite the fan of Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses is definitely one of my favourite comedies of recent years) and it was also great to see Nick Offerman (aka. Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation) as well as Kathryn Hahn (aka. Jen Barkley on Parks & Recreation.) Can you tell I'm pretty obsessed with Parks & Rec? Hehe.
The concept is a pretty good one as Jason Sudeikis' character is forced to smuggle drugs across the border from Mexico but as a lone male driving an RV filled with drugs across the border would look somewhat suspicious, he hires a a pretend family to pose as 'The Millers.' This faux family consists of Jennifer Anniston's character, a stripper, who poses as his wife and Emma Roberts and Will Poulter, a runaway and his neighbour respectively, who act as his children.
This had the potential to be a really funny movie and I did laugh more than a few times whilst watching this but it just didn't fully live up to the expectations that I had of it. It's still the kind of movie that you can stick on when you're looking for something that doesn't require too much thinking. I hope that makes sense. I basically mean it's the kind of movie that you can put on in the background and still follow.

Orange Is the New Black (2013-)
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Jason Biggs, Taryn Manning
After finishing Breaking Bad (review here) I felt like I needed to start a new show straight away to fill the void in my evenings. Coincidentally just as I finished Breaking Bad, season two of Orange Is the New Black started streaming on Neftlix. Can you tell I spend an unhealthy amount of time watching Netflix? 
After seeing so many people raving about it on every social media platform that I use, I thought I would give it a try. I wasn't instantly blown away by it but once you get a few episodes in and more of the characters' back stories start to be revealed, you quickly feel pretty invested in this show. Despite Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) being the character that drives the narrative, I actually find the array of secondary characters much more interesting. Taystee (Danielle Brooks), Red (Kate Mulgrew), Joe Caputo (Nick Sandow) and Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba) are all brilliant and Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) is incredible as the meth head turned devout Christian.
I also shouldn't have googled Pablo Schreiber as soon as I saw the opening credits. I only did so to see if he was in any way related to Liev Schreiber, which he is but now I'm kinda in love with the detestable Pornstache. All I can say is google Pablo Schreiber and you'll get what I mean.
I just finished season two the other night and I'm already counting down the days until season three premieres.

You're Next (2011)
Starring: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, Wendy Glenn, A.J. Bowen
Now to say I've watched a lot of sub-par horror movies would be a definite understatement. If you take a look back through some of the previous What I've Been Watching posts (link here) it becomes pretty apparent that this is the case. However, as soon as You're Next started I had a feeling I was about to put an end to my run of bad horror movie picks.
This is genuinely one of the best horror movies I have ever seen! Right from the very beginning I was hooked. To give you a feel for what kind of horror movie You're Next is, the movie centres around a family reunion which is quickly disrupted as masked assassins start picking off the family members one by one. It starts with some incredibly creepy moments (even as I think about them now I'm getting a little freaked out) and the next thing you know you're rooting for the characters, especially the lead female Erin (Sharni Vinson). It's definitely not your typical horror movie in any sense and all I can say is I definitely need to sign myself up for some survival classes after watching this. Are they even a thing over here? Hehe.
You're Next is just such a smart horror movie, especially when you compare it to some of the others that have been released recently. Add in some great dark humour, Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies (review here) director) playing my favourite character in this and a great use of music and you've got yourself a horror movie that you certainly won't regret watching!

The Heat (2013)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans, Taran Killam
This was another one of those movies, much like We're The Millers, that I'd heard a lot of hype around but never actively sought out when it was in the cinema or when it had been released on DVD. I saw it was the Friday movie on Sky Premiere and since there was absolutely nothing on TV one night (how rubbish has the TV been recently?) I thought to myself, why not give it a try?
This is essentially a buddy cop movie except this time the cops are women. A lot of it reminded me of 21 Jump Street for one reason or another. Maybe that's because they were trying to solve a drug related caper and it was a buddy cop movie but it was nowhere near as funny as 21 Jump Street, which has to one of my favourite comedies of recent years. I did get a few laughs watching this, I thought the tracheatomy scene was incredibly funny, if not a little unnecessary but I didn't think it was anywhere near as good as everyone had made out. Again like We're The MillersI would say if you're looking for a comedy to stick on in the background then you could do a lot worse than The Heat but you could also do a lot better.

All Good Things (2010)
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella
This was a case of oh, Ryan Gosling's in this, well I just need to watch it! Does anyone else do that when it comes to some of their favourite actors or for me, actors that you've got quite the crush on?
I hadn't heard much about this movie before watching it, which I was definitely quite surprised by. Normally as soon as I profess my love for Ryan Gosling to friends or colleagues they, if they share my Gosling obsession, give me recommendations of their favourite new movies he's be in. Not one had mentioned this movie so that did make me a little apprehensive as to why I had never heard of it. Now I completely understand why no one at all had mentioned this movie. It wasn't exactly great. It's actually one of the strangest movies that I've seen in a very long time and I certainly wouldn't watch it again, put it that way. It was just so peculiar that I actually considered switching it off several times but I persevered foolishly, once again. Not really my kind of film at all! Even Gosling couldn't make this movie watchable movie for me!

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Spike Jonze
As a big fan of the Jackass TV show and movies (I think I watch at least one Jackass movie a month) as soon as the trailer for Bad Grandpa was released, I knew it would be a movie that I would need to see. Jackass humour isn't for everyone at the best of times but this just wasn't what I was expecting from the Jackass team at all. Even though Johnny Knoxville was the only one from the Jackass guys to appear in this movie, basically the entire crew (Jeff Tremaine as director, Spike Jonze as producer and even Lance Bangs and Dimitry Elyashkevich as cinematographers) was the same and yet it just didn't hit the mark for me at all.
Truthfully the Irving Zisman (the Bad Grandpa) skits weren't my favourite from the Jackass movies by quite a long shot. So the gags that I didn't necessarily find funny or like half as much as the others in the movies and the TV show seemed to make their way into Bad Grandpa on more than a few occasions. A lot of the scenes and gags felt recycled. In some cases it felt like many of the scenes in this were exactly shot for shot the same as some of the Irving Zisman scenes from the other movies.
Out of the entire movie I think I maybe laughed about four times and three of those laughs were at scenes that I had already seen in the trailer. I really couldn't believe how disappointing this movie was, especially as a big Jackass fan.

What have you been watching this month? Do you have any recommendations? Have you seen any of these? If so, what did you think of them? 


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