Episode 92 : Monkeys, and the liking thereof

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Added on Sun, 08 Jul 2012 06:00:05 -0700.
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Hello, you wonderful, attractive, devilishly appealing people! Welcome back to our film review podcast extravaganza, where we drop our facts on Will Ferrell's Casa Di Me Padre, the large-scale stage adaptation rockumusical Rock of Ages, the Apatow produced rom-com The Five-Year Engagement and the baffling Cronenberg... thing, Cosmopolis.

Casa Di Me Padre sees Will Ferrell busting out his Spanish in this Mexican telenovela spoof, with bad productions values, hammy performances and hackneyed plots played for laughs. For the most part it gets those laughs, and while it probably won't change too many people's minds of the Daft Will Ferrell Comedy sub-genre, we conclude that it's an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours while waiting for Anchorman 2.

Rock of Ages also has hammy performances and hackneyed plots, but unfortunately seems to be expecting you to take it a bit more seriously. There's numerous problems with the film, perhaps because it doesn't fully commit to being the camp piece of fluff that the supporting cast are belting out, returning to a massively anaemic central romance between to characters that have little in the way of characterisation. Also, even given that we're not the biggest fans of this musical style, a lot of the numbers chose suck rather badly. A problem in a musical, we feel.

The Five-Year Engagement may be the least Apatow-y of the Apatow produced films so far, a rom-com that aims to please the men usually dragged along under protest to most entries in the genre along with the more traditionally targeted female audience. Perhaps it falls a bit between the two stools of oddball Apatow extremes and traditional relationship comedy, but overall it works well enough to avoid having crowds of angry punters demanding their cash back. A decent, but ultimately forgettable flick.

Cosmopolis is at least nominally a thriller, although thrills are rather hard to come by. A more honest description of the film would be along the lines of Robert Pattison's Eric Packer, a guy we know little about, sits in a limo and talks to a bunch of people that we know little about. The conversations are densely packed with meanings there's nothing like enough context to understand without serious analysis. Meanwhile, he undertakes a bunch of actions that don't make much sense leading up to a conclusion that, thinking back, wouldn't seem plausible to have been reached given how it started. If this sounds like it may be of limited appeal, I totally understand why. This film demands more indulgence and patience from an audience than it has any right to, and while I'm largely convinced there's something there, underneath all the obfuscation I wouldn't want to swear to it. If you want something completely out of the ordinary, then this may be the one for you, but it probably isn't.

That's enough for you, buddy. We're packing the fact-cannon up again, but we'll be ready to unload some more truth in a couple of weeks. Join us then, bandersnatches!