Archive for the ‘Paul Feig’ Category

London at its worst

Last Christmas

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Emilia Clarke, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Boris Isakovic, Rob Delaney, Patti LuPone

After watching director Gurinder Chadha’s cleverly written British film, Blinded by the Light inspired by the music of Bruce Springsteen, Spy and Bridesmaids director Paul Feig’s romantic musical Last Christmas was such a disappointment.

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke (Me Before You) plays a Yugoslavian emigrant Kate who works in a year round Christmas shop in London run by a woman called Santa played by Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians, Tomorrow Never Dies, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) while she falls in love with the mysterious guy called Tom played by Malaysian star Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians). Kate is desperately trying to avoid going back to stay with her parents especially her over-bearing mother Petra played with a Slavic accent by Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Howard’s End). 

What was the exceptionally talented Emma Thompson doing starring and co-writing in such a contrived piece of cinematic rubbish as this film?

Surely she has better judgement than this.

Last Christmas was just terrible, sickly sweet, historically inaccurate and absolutely shocking saved only by some gorgeous nocturnal shots of the British capital.

I sat through most of this film thinking what nonsense this film was and when the final reveal came it didn’t even touch me emotionally. Last Christmas is a terrible holiday film and both Emilia Clarke and Emma Thompson’s talents were wasted on a film in which its basic premise revolved around the music by the late George Michael and the 1980’s pop group Wham.

After seeing such a deluge of brilliant cinema in the last couple of months including Knives Out, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman and Joker, Last Christmas is terrible.

Last Christmas was badly cast, badly acted and its storyline was utter nonsense, displaying only the worst aspects of London without even showing a capital city that normally shines in its historical elegance. Emma Thompson definitely should have known better.

Recommended only for viewers that love sickly sweet romantic musicals without any substance, Last Christmas gets a film rating of 5.5 out of 10.

Feminizing Espionage

Spy

spy_ver7

Director: Paul Feig

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Alison Janney, Miranda Hart, Morena Baccarin

There is a confession to be made. I am not a huge Melissa McCarthy fan having missed most of her films which have made her famous including Bridesmaids, The Heat and Tammy. So it was with a mixture of trepidation and curiosity that I went to see director Paul Feig’s comedy thriller Spy mainly because I am a huge Jude Law fan. So I thought it would be interesting to see whether such a diverse cast such as Melissa McCarthy, Oscar Nominee Jude Law (The Talented Mr Ripley, Sherlock Holmes), action star Jason Statham (The Expendibles 3, Transporter Trilogy), Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine, Danny Collins) and Rose Byrne (Annie, Marie Antoinette) could elevate such a film as Spy.

Despite its exotic locations from Varna in Bulgaria, to Paris, Rome and Budapest, Spy is a second rate thriller which attempts with some hilarious if not crude consequences attempts to feminize the espionage genre, and more specifically rip off the ultimate Spy films, The James Bond Franchise.

The 007 franchise have nothing to worry about as Spy is so second rate and middle of the road, even the predictable narrative could not have threatened the Bond films as a serious competitor.

spy

Let’s face it. Spy is really a comedy especially with the likes of Melissa McCarthy, British comedian Miranda Hart and Bridesmaids co-star Rose Byrne thrown in. But Jude Law? Seriously after making appearances in such exceptional films as The Talented Mr Ripley, Hugo, Sherlock Holmes and Anna Karenina, I wondered what he was doing in such a ridiculous film.

Spy is a fun filled and crass comedy which should appeal to all Melissa McCarthy fans however I would have thought that writer and director Paul Feig could have been more inventive when ripping off the James Bond franchise. The storyline is predictable, vaguely funny and even the villains Sergio de Luca and Rayna Boyanov played by Cannavale and Byrne are not seriously menacing but come off as clichés of the more heinous megalomaniacs

Even Alison Janney (The Way Way Back, The Hours) as CIA director Elaine Crocker does not save this film. Although Jason Statham is suitably funny as the rogue spy Rick Ford who is constantly threatened by females in his line of duty. Audiences should watch Spy on a Saturday afternoon as it’s certainly not the most taxing film to watch but enjoyable in its own lazy and crude style. Look out for a cameo by Curtis Jackson also known as 50c

Film Directors & Festivals
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September 2020
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