Episode 110 : (Unexpected) Pictures at an Exhibition

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Added on Sun, 14 Jul 2013 17:12:07 -0700.
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How remarkably fine to be able to talk to you again. Apologies for the delay in bringing more movie-based truth to you, but for a while none of us had actually seen anything, which understandably made talking about films tricky, and we're not the kind of unprofessional outfit that will review something while clearly not having seen it. (We remain, however, proudly unprofessional in a whole host of other ways). Let's crack on, then, and give you our thoughts on This is the End, World War Z, Hummingbird and Man of Steel.

Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen's This is the End sees Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, James Franco and seemingly more or less everyone they've worked with in the last decade play themselves as they attend a huge party at Franco's house. The party is brought to an abrupt end, as are the lives of most of the guests, when the biblical apocalypse strikes, leaving only a handful of people to see out the last days and fend off demons, dogs, cannibals, Lucifer and inconsiderate house guests. Astonishingly puerile, filled to the brim with knob jokes, drug references and the lambasting of the character of all involved, it's easy to see that people could dismiss this as a self-indulgent mess. For us, though, this was one of the most consistently funny things we've seen in ages and we'd heartily recommend it, though with the caveat that it's probably best enjoyed in a group.

Based on Max Brooks' novel of the same name (though sharing little else in common), World War Z sees the world struck by a mysterious virus (yes, again) that turns the planet's population into blood-thirsty zombies (the speedy 28 Days Later flavour, rather than the traditional shuffling Romero fellas). Largely eschewing the post-Zombie War socio-political changes covered by the book, the film is basically a chase movie in which it's up to Brad Pitt to track down the first infected person in the hope of finding a vaccine. This he does by flying to different regions of the world in order to be chased by zombies in different locations. There's little here to recommend, with both post-apocalyptic and zombie genres being well (and better) served by countless other films. News of a potential sequel isn't particularly exciting because the makers didn't manage to find enough of interest to fill one film, let alone a follow-up.

Next up is Hummingbird, which stars Jason Statham as a homeless ex-soldier who assumes another man's identity and becomes an instrument of vengeance in London's seedy underworld. With a distinctive, if oddly disjointed, style (which unexpectedly conjures up images of disparate 1980s TV programmes), it's an interesting film, if one that's ultimately less than the sum of its parts. Seemingly-obligatory fight scene aside, Hummingbird (or Redemption outside of these shores) is, we hope, a change of direction for Jason Statham, one which will see him get the chance to flex his acting muscles more than his biceps. This is a missed opportunity, but it holds promise for the future.

And finally we come to Man of Steel, Zack Snyder's reboot of the Superman franchise. Another origin story, Man of Steel spends longer on Krypton than we've seen before, and creates a more compelling villain than any Superman film has hitherto managed. It also presents an interesting take on the pre-Superman Clark Kent's struggles with his power and identity, but undermines so much of its promise in a final act that goes on far too long but does so little. It's worth seeing, particularly in light of the upcoming Justice League movie, but it's a film crying out for more dialogue, more Kevin Costner and far less time watching two irresistible forces knocking seven bells out of each other.

And there we go. We've already seen some more stuff, so there won't be as long a delay before our next episode. As always, if you've any comments you'd like to make, please do so either by emailing podcast@theoneliner.com or hollering @theoneliner on Twitter. And as always we'd appreciate you taking a few moments to rate and review us on iTunes, or wherever better podcasts are served.

Well, uh, hope you folks enjoyed yourselves. Catch ya further on down the trail.