Alright boys and girls! It’s Double D here. Let’s talk about a few more movies! Yay! You guys better appreciate this, because I have to take perfectly wasted time and spend it writing these blogs instead. What a shame! Anyways, this week I’ve got two relatively new movies for you. One is the latest DC Comics adaptation that you probably didn’t know was a comic adaptation and that’s RED, starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker and Score: A Hockey Musical, starring no one you’ve ever heard of except for Olivia Newton-John evil replicated clone and Nelly Furtado, who’s in the movie for all of 5 minutes. If anything it gives me a chance to talk about Canadian cinema a little bit and why it will never succeed.
Anyways, let’s start with a little anecdote. When I went to see RED, there was a bunch of 13 year old kids sitting behind me. They literally kept talking throughout the entire movie. It was so frustrating and I guess the combination between their annoyingness and the adrenaline rush I got from this film caused me to yell at them after the movie was over and say something about personally finding their houses to kick their asses if they do that again. I was definitely channelling Bruce Willis.
I guess the point of that anecdote was to let you know that first off, you shouldn’t talk during movies or I seriously will hurt you and secondly, what I could hear of RED was very exciting and did manage to get my adrenaline going, which I’m guessing was the director’s intent. RED was actually a surprisingly funny, exciting and captivating little gem; definitely a blast that’s worthy of being seen in theatres. Sure, it’s not the best action movie ever, but if you’re looking for something new and fun, this will more than get the job done.
Frank Moses is a retired FBI agent with a bit of a crush on the woman who sends him his pension cheques, a lonely customer service clerk named Sarah Ross, played by Mary-Louise Parker. When his house is attacked by hit-men who were tipped off by recording Frank’s calls with Sarah, he decides to find out exactly who’s after him and why. The only problem is that whoever wants him dead, wants Sarah dead as well and so the two become an unlikely team who trek across the country, picking up help along the way from Frank’s old work-mates, Joe, played by Morgan Freeman, Marvin, played by John Malkovich and finally Victoria, played by Helen Mirren. During their mission Frank and his pals are chased by FBI Agent William Cooper, played by Karl Urban, who really has his hands full with the rag tag group of golden oldies. We also get appearances from Brian Cox, as Victoria’s old flame, Ivan, Richard Dreyfuss, as the villainous Alexander Dunning, who appears to be behind the whole plot and a wonderful little cameo from Ernest Borgnine, as the Records Keeper, an old man who stays in a locked room all day and collects information for the FBI, a role he was born to play. I love Ernest Borgnine, so it was great to see him again and damn, I must say he’s looking spry for his age. Wow.
Anyway, so that’s basically all you need to know about RED, Retired Extremely Dangerous. Like I said before, this film does a pretty good job of delivering in most respects. I absolutely loved everyone on the cast first of all and they do a pretty good job of using them all to the best of their comedic abilities, especially Mr. Malkovich, who has never been funnier. Everyone gets a chance to shine here. I don’t even want to single any more people out, because really I loved everyone in this movie, even Karl Urban does a good job. That being said, you’re going to have to take RED in stride. A movie where grenades can be batted like baseballs and a single bullet can blow up an RPG, you have to suspend your disbelief a little, but unlike in films like Prince of Persia where the ridiculous moments made the film almost unbearable, RED was so much fun that I never much cared how loony it got. I still had a blast. Even those stupid 8th graders couldn’t ruin it for me! Oh, and if you guys are reading this, I’m watching you, always. Mu ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
So, anyways, to wrap things up, RED is a fun, wacky, exciting little theatre-worthy film that you should probably go see if you get the chance. Take your significant other, your father, your mother, your dog, your second cousin Dan, whoever, just grab someone you like and go see this movie. You’ll have a good time, I swear and if you don’t then clearly you have no soul.
I give RED a 4/5.
Next up we’ve got what is easily the most Canadian film since Strange Brew, Score: A Hockey Musical. If that title makes you instantly burst with laughter than you are not alone. I almost peed my pants when I first saw the trailer for this film in front of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World a few months ago. I’m not going to lie; reviewing a film like this isn’t going to be easy. After I watched it I described it to a friend as being completely stupid, yet somewhat sincere, like a special ed kid making art with uncooked macaroni noodles. I guess that’s the only way I can describe this movie. It’s stupid, it’s ridiculous and it will insult your intelligence and yet in some ways I couldn’t help enjoying myself. I mean, it’s a hockey musical for Pete’s sake! You’ve got to lighten up and enjoy yourself a little bit.
Basically the plot revolves around 17-year-old homeschooler Farley Gordon, played by Noah Reid, who loves to play Hockey with his friends at the local rink. He’s never played a professional game in his life when he’s spotted by the owner of the local OHL Team and drafted to play on his team. The coach is unsure at first until Farley takes to the ice and plays so well that within weeks he’s on the cover of cereal boxes and promoting underwear on billboards. The conflict comes when it’s discovered that Farley is a pacifist and refuses to fight other players in a sport notorious for its fighting. To make matters worse, Farley is starting to uncover feelings for his childhood friend who’s name I can’t remember and for some reason isn’t listed on IMDb, but anyways, he runs into a snag when the girl who shall remain nameless’s heart is attempted to be stolen by her cello instructor, Marco. Don’t worry though, in the end everything works out in an ending that I’m sure will piss off hockey fans for years to come. Like I said earlier, we also get some notable cameos from Olivia Newton-John as Farley’s Mom and Nelly Furtado as a random spectator who’s barely in the movie, as well as a welcome appearance from Walter Gretzky.
I guess the big issue that I’m avoiding her though isn’t even the plot, because honestly who cares? It’s the music, which honestly, was slightly disappointing. The problem is that there’s so many songs that only a few of them actually stick out. The other problem is that the film never quite decided whether to go totally for broke in the camp department or to be totally sincere. It sort of just sits on the fence and most of the music suffers from it. What I would have liked is a film with maybe 5-8 songs where every song just bleeds so much camp that you can’t help but have fun. There are maybe only one or two songs that actually accomplish this, which is a shame, because in a film filled with mediocre acting and a predictable story, the music was what really should have carried this film, but it just isn’t quite up to snuff.
That isn’t to say that I completely disliked Score: A Hockey Musical. This film is going to be a cult classic 20 years from now. Why? Because it’s ridiculous and off-the-wall and actually kind of fun, to the point where it actually is kind of memorable in its own way. I mean, whoever heard of a hockey musical? No one and I guess that makes this movie a little special no matter how good or bad it was.
Score isn’t a bad movie, but it just isn’t really accomplishing the level of camp that it needed to to really make an impact, which is too bad, because I almost feel sorry for this movie. In a lot of ways, I wanted it to be better. It just wasn’t, which is too bad.
I give Score: A Hockey Musical a 2/5.
Well, that’s it for this week’s reviews, coming to you a few days late, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Keep it locked for more reviews, as well as the Double D Does the Movies Official Podcast, coming soon! Be afraid, be very afraid.
Eve! Her name was Eve, not like you cared, but still.