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#82: Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006) August 13, 2007

Posted by badblokebob in : Music, Comedy, Musical, 2000s, 3 stars, 2007 , add a comment

2006 | Liam Lynch | 90 mins | DVD | 15 / R

JB and KG, aka Tenacious D, go in search of the Pick of Destiny, an ancient guitar pick that will make them rock gods, in their first movie.

The humour is a mixture of schoolboy toilet gags, general silliness/quirkiness, and rock/culture references — undoubtedly, therefore, your mental age will dictate which bits (if any) you laugh at. Some jokes hit, others don’t, and whole sections seem to be there merely to ensure the movie gets to a decent running time.

If you’re already a Tenacious D fan it’s worth checking out, but if you don’t like them you’ll never like this. Personally, I think the music’s the best bit — and that’s all on the soundtrack CD.

3 out of 5

#57: It’s All Gone Pete Tong (2004) June 11, 2007

Posted by badblokebob in : Music, Comedy, Drama, 2000s, 3 stars, British films, 2007 , add a comment

2004 | Michael Dowse | 86 mins | DVD | 15 / R

If you’re into dance music/clubbing/Ibiza/etc, then this film is definitely aimed at you. As for the rest of us normal folk… well, to be honest, it’s actually a fair bit better than I was expecting!

The main reason I wanted to see it was because I’d heard it had interesting sound design; other than that, I thought a clubbing-based ‘comedy’ really wasn’t for me. Turns out it’s not as much of a ‘comedy’ as I expected, though there are some funny bits (and some mere attempts at funny bits).

By the end, there’s an odd feeling of having seen something a great deal better than expected, but still with a certain oddness that holds it back.

3 out of 5

#50: Ray (2004) May 21, 2007

Posted by badblokebob in : Music, Drama, 2000s, 4 stars, true stories, 2007, Biography , add a comment

2004 | Taylor Hackford | 152 mins | TV | 15 / PG-13

It’s easy to see why Walk the Line has been described as “Ray with white people”; but Ray has also been described as being an outstanding performance in an average film, and I’d pretty much agree with that too.

Jamie Foxx is indeed an amazingly accurate Ray Charles (based on the little I know of the man, anyway) and deserving of his Oscar. It would be unfair to say such a performance is wasted in this film, but it is true that no other element is quite up to the same level.

While Ray is good, I personally thought Walk the Line was a better film.

4 out of 5

#39: Three Colours Blue (1993) April 9, 2007

Posted by badblokebob in : Music, Drama, 4 stars, 1990s, world cinema, 2007 , add a comment

aka Trois couleurs: Bleu

1993 | Krzysztof Kieslowski | 96 mins | DVD | 15 / R

The first in Kieslowski’s thematic trilogy based around the French flag and the values it represents.

Here it’s liberté/freedom, in this case brought about by the death of Julie’s husband and daughter in a car accident. In the lead role Juliette Binoche is the film and she carries it admirably, taking her character through a range of phases and emotions.

It takes a little time to get going but is worth it in the end (speaking of the end, it appears to have been an inspiration to films such as Donnie Darko and Magnolia).

4 out of 5

#33: American Dreamz (2006) April 2, 2007

Posted by badblokebob in : Music, Comedy, 2000s, 3 stars, 2007 , add a comment

2006 | Paul Weitz | 103 mins | DVD | 12 / PG-13

This loosely satirical comedy from the director of such diverse fare as American Pie and About a Boy sees Dennis Quaid’s Bush-growing-a-brain President agree to be a guest judge on Hugh Grant’s Simon-Cowell-with-looks TV talent show that features Mandy Moore’s moral-less wannabe and Sam Golzari’s Iraqi potential-suicide-bomber as contestants.

It’s pretty much as loopy as that sounds, though not as clever as it thinks it is. It starts well, the quality dips as it takes too long to get to the actual contest, but the ending manages to redeem things.

3 out of 5

#15: This is Spinal Tap (1984) February 28, 2007

Posted by badblokebob in : Documentary, Music, Comedy, 4 stars, 1980s, 2007 , add a comment

1984 | Rob Reiner | 86 mins | DVD | 15 / R

I think my viewing of Spinal Tap may have suffered from years of hype. In some ways it was exactly what I’d expected; in others, not. There are plenty of funny moments, and the odd hilarious one (Stonehenge), but there were times when I felt a little underwhelmed by it.

Maybe you had to be there; maybe it is indeed a victim of hype.

4 out of 5
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