Tag Archives: Olivia Munn

Office Christmas Party

“I once filed a sexual harassment complaint. Against myself.”

As if Bad Santa 2 wasn’t bad enough, leaving the spirit of Christmas in a back alley with its underwear around its ankles, bleeding from the anus, along comes another parasite of a movie hoping to get its jollies off at the unconscious victim its predecessor left behind.

Drunk, drugged and unlubricated, Office Christmas Party is here to have a bash at the sloppy seconds Billy Bob Thornton left behind. And wouldn’t you know, this party is a veritable ensemble gangbang that’s about to make a mess and spread its diseases all over the poor, crumpled up, whimpering Christmas spirit.

When the CEO of fictional tech firm Zenotek Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Anniston) visits her moronic, waste of space brother Clay (TJ Miller) and tries to close down his branch of the company that he’s ruining financially, him and his Chief Technical Officer, Josh (Jason Bateman), hatch a plan to throw the greatest Christmas Party ever, convince big fish IT Buyer Walter (Courtney B. Vance) to bring his business to them and save everyone’s job.

Honestly, don’t think about it too much. To give it more than a second or two’s thought is to waste valuable brain time and triple the amount of effort the “writers” put into this vile monstrosity.

I so desperately wanted this film to be good. I so desperately wanted to come out of this film having pissed myself laughing at it, struggling to breath as rapid fire gag hit rapid fire gag. But sadly, the only piss here was to be found on the trousers of the slightly tipsy guy that fell asleep three rows ahead of me who wet himself during the trailer for Star Wars.

As it was, this almost two-hour “comedy” was simply painful to watch. I saw so many people – all of whom individually I love to watch on screen and so many of whom are genuinely funny – in this shipwreck of awfulness, sinking to the bottom of the ocean of shit that is the ritual of the Christmas comedy.

I mean seriously, look at this damn poster! Look at the names on it!

office-christmas-party-poster

These people are in this shit show. Like last year’s awful Crimbo flick and every one before it, I’m positive these simple-minded fools are being tricked into appearing in these films. Because no way do I believe any of these imbeciles looked at a script that included someone 3D printing their own dick and proclaimed “I must be in this film!”. I just don’t believe it.

Honestly, at somewhere around the fifteen minute mark, as a pair of ball fondlers are hilariously knocking over a Christmas tree in a department store, I was desperately looking for a sharp candy cane around somewhere so I could light it on fire, push it through my eye and swirl it about in my brain for a bit just to make the ghastly cunt show end.

Out of 105 minutes, there was a three minute segment not set in an office full of turd chomping oxygen thieves, where Jennifer Anniston got the best lines in the film and the one and only laugh I got from the entire run time. She gets a scene all of her very own and throws a tirade of beautiful abuse at some little shit in an airport. Not amazing, but worth a chuckle.

What makes this worse – because it does get worse – before this diseased fanny of a film even started, we were subjected to a trailer for a third Christmas comedy for 2016. A THIRD FUCKING FILM. Hasn’t 2016 been bad enough already? We are getting three dreadful, hateful Christmas comedies in a year? I need that like I need a staff infection in my left testicle.

Please god, let this year pass without anymore films that leave me violated, because like the tattered body of my Christmas spirit, this dumpster fire of a movie has left me feeling like someone has banged a sandpaper wrapped traffic cone up my arse – and then asked me to fucking pay for it!

If I never see another ensemble comedy, filled with desperately overpaid donkey fondlers paying back the favours they were done over the year, pretending to celebrate this most meaningless of commercial celebrations again, it’ll be far too soon.

Do yourselves a favour: To get the same experience I got for half the mental anguish, give microwaving your own shit a go.

Or drunkenly shaving your nuts with a rusty razor.

Or perhaps try tattooing your own taint with a hot biro.

Anything to stop these fucking atrocious vaginal-secretions making money every bloody holiday season!

X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse

“From the ashes of their world, we’ll build a better one.”

It’s been sixteen years since Bryan Singer brought the world the X-Men. It was a silly bit of fun that was pretty enjoyable. It gave us a perfect personification of fan favourite Wolverine and introduced a generation to the awesome abilities of Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart (if you were two years old when it came out, you’re old enough now to go watch Green Room – get to it).

Somehow, miraculously, even after a bloody awful second sequel, this franchise is the only one left from the super-cheesy noughties comic book films that plagued filmgoers for years. Now we find ourselves, if you count the Wolverine solo outings, with the ninth film in the series and some of us wondering what they can possibly do next.

Buried underneath the ruins of a destroyed pyramid, En Sabar Nuh – the world’s first mutant – has been imprisoned under the ancient rubble for thousands of years. Resurrected by a cult believing him to be an all-powerful God, the man we will come to know as Apocalypse (played by the suddenly everywhere Oscar Isaac) sets about recruiting his own personal Four Horsemen and putting plans in place to kick-start the end of the world.

Sinking his teeth into the strongest, most disillusioned mutants he can find, Apocalypse soon has an entourage that includes a young, impressionable Storm (Straight Outta Compton‘s Alexandra Shipp) ; the beaten down Angel (former Eastenders regular Ben Hardy); the power hungry, vicious Psylocke (Olivia Munn); and the world-weary, disenchanted Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Tapping into the anger and negativity in their lives, convincing these powerful mutants to work for him makes the wannabe-god a force to be reckoned with and together they waste no time in bringing about, well, the apocalypse.

Meanwhile, James McAvoy’s Professor Xavier is dealing with his own band of misfits in his now world famous school. But, when Apocalypse kidnaps the X-Men’s leader for his own ends, it’s down to Mystique (the returning Jennifer Lawrence) to rally the troops and fight the impending doom. Returning good guys Hank “Beast” McCoy (Nicholas Holt), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) and Alex “Havok” Summers are joined by a cavalcade of newcomers. Fresh to the First Class arc, if not necessary the franchise, the younger incarnations of Scott Summers, Nightcrawler and Jean Grey all join the fray and team up to take on the biggest, most powerful mutant that the world has ever seen.

Director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg have returned to the X-Men franchise to round off this particular story arc and, believe it or not, they’ve done an okay job of it. Now, I know this is going against the grain a little for this film, so maybe I should clarify that a little.

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of First Class or Days of Future Past. I don’t think they’re bad films, not at all, but I honestly believe that X-Men, as a franchise, has been treading water since the year 2000. Singer and 20th Century Fox found a winning formula when the first film was a hit all those years ago and as Fox have tried and failed over and over again to bring a decent comic book film to profit, they have refused to take any risks and change up the recipe with these films.

The biggest issue there is that when you’re averaging a film every two years and you’re not changing things up, the audience, no matter how die hard they are, will eventually stop going to see your films as a way to tell you that they’ve had enough of your shit. What made this trilogy – yes, I’m calling it a trilogy – worth a second look was the genius casting of Michael Fassbender in the recently vacated Ian McKellan role of Magneto. I’m still convinced that First Class is actually the quietly disappeared Origins: Magneto movie we were supposed to get; and as such, the story of Erik Lehnsherr and his change to the maniacal Magneto across the first two films is nothing short of riveting.

But after the reboot/timeline shift/whatever you want to call it, I was ready to write this film off as the worn out end of another trilogy, soon for the glue factory. But once again, while Apocalypse may not be the best film you watch this year, and it’s got some pretty glaring problems, but it’s a film I wouldn’t tell you to avoid. It’s almost worth the *phew* two and a half hours you’ll spend watching it.

As far as flaws, I’ve got to start with the most obvious one. Apocalypse himself. For what is supposed to be a terrifying, world ending bad guy, I genuinely couldn’t care less about him or his motives. The problem with these super-strong bad guys, the ones that are supposed to be unbeatable, is that by the time you get to the end of the movie you know full well that he’s gonna get his arse handed to him. Usually through the power of teamwork, or love, or a mutual fondness for hardcore pornography, or something. Either way, and this is another problem with this refusal to change the formula, you know you’re in for a happy ending when the forces of good triumph! And to be honest, Apocalypse is just a bit crap.

And man, this film is so very long. I mean it’s nearly two and a half hours. It’s an X-Men movie for shit’s sake, there’s just no need for it. So much is put on that screen with so little actually happening that I really, truly wondered on more than one occasion if I’d missed something, a plot point or bit of story somewhere. I wondered if maybe I’d slipped into a mini coma at one point and missed a chunk of exposition at around the half way mark. And if someone could explain Olivia Munn’s terrible, terrible costume, I’d really appreciate it. She looks awesome and bad ass when you first meet her, and she transforms into some weird vinyl clad monstrosity that isn’t half as titillating as the 12 year old boys in the costume department thinks it is.

But things aren’t all bad. In fact, the film has a few positives that elevate its standings quite a bit for me. Newcomer to the series and Game of Thrones alum Sophie Turner has a decent turn as the young Jean Grey. Much like Jennifer Lawrence before her, I was a fan of the actress originally in the role and Turner has managed to convince me that, yet again, I was wrong to doubt the younger replacement. Although, she has taken on the annoying trait McAvoy had in previous films of touching her face to indicate she’s doing a psychic thing; but it doesn’t detract from her performance and she’s rather good. It’s always good to see homegrown talent on the big screen, especially when she’s from your surrogate home of Northampton.  Quicksilver’s return isn’t half bad either; he’s not overplayed and his super-speed shtick isn’t overused, but when it is used, it’s a wonderful, fun little bit of film.

As with the previous films though, the big hitter here is Michael Fassbender. I’ve really enjoyed watching Eric’s gradual change to Magneto over the years. Fassbender has always been convincing as the guy who’s trying, sincerely, to do good and is screwed with at every turn. Back at the turn of the century, McKellan’s role as the already jaded and evil Magneto was stupendous, but Fassbender makes you genuinely feel some sympathy for the mutant who is proven to over and over again that he won’t be accepted, even when he’s being the good guy. Long after these films are gone, the German-Irish actor’s role in them will be remembered as the defining part of this trilogy.

I went in to X-Men: Apocalypse with pretty low – okay, very low – expectations; but overall, I have to admit that it wasn’t as rubbish as I anticipated it to be. It doesn’t break any new ground, but it doesn’t quite hit the awful levels of X-Men: The Last Stand where it throws all the shit at the wall hoping something will stick. A rubbish bad guy and a severely bloated run time hinder a film that was actually pretty enjoyable. If I had to score it, I’d give it a solid 6/10.

Mortdecai

It stinks.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

mortdecaiDo you remember when Johnny Depp was one of our most interesting and relatively exciting actors?  At home as a leading man but the kind of leading man who took chances and tried different roles, who was all about finding the characters beneath the eccentricities, and who knew exactly how far was too far and scaled back accordingly?  There will be an entire generation of moviegoers who only know of Johnny Depp as “That Guy Who Plays Weirdos” and that’s genuinely saddening, to me.  I still think he is a very talented actor when he shows up to work or when he’s given an actual character, and he deserves better than this stigma he’s gotten attached to.

That is how I felt before I saw MortdecaiMortdecai has managed to accomplish what Transcendence, what The Lone Ranger, what even Alice In Wonderland was unable to do: it has gotten me over Johnny Depp.  I am done with him.  As I left Mortdecai, I was filled with a burning desire to never see Johnny Depp again.  He needs to go away, for a long while.  Mortdecai marks the point where his hammy, character-less mugging has sailed way over the line of tolerability for me and now has made me wish for him to disappear for a good while.  He needs to just stop, take a year or so out, find better scripts, and then come back looking to impress instead of irritate.

Yes, surprising quite possibly nobody, Mortdecai is a bad film and Johnny Depp ends up being emblematic of everything wrong with it.  It’s a film that really wants to be a throwback to 60s British farcical capers – where every line of dialogue is a sexual innuendo of some kind, everybody is pompously self-involved, the actual plot itself is light on the ground, and most of the comedy involves slapstick – but one that lacks any of the wit, intelligence, charm or fun required to make that happen.  In an attempt to make up for that fact, everybody spends their time hamming the living daylights out of every line of dialogue – practically shouting in exaggeratedly exaggerated accents of whichever nationality their characters are supposed to be – keeping the register at that heightened level for what turns out to be a near-unbearably long 106 minute runtime.

It comes back to the script, written by Eric Aronson – whose only other credit is a 2001 Lance Bass and Joey Fatone (yes, of N*SYNC) vehicle titled On The Line – instead of director (and accomplished screenwriter in his own right) David Koepp.  See, the script lacks any particularly funny or original quirks, instead resorting to jokes about how women are just insatiable and/or disposable sexual conquests, how foreigners are funny, how Charlie Mortdecai (Depp) is very much whipped by his wife Johanna (Gwyneth Paltrow) despite his best efforts, how Charlie is totally not gay not that he has any problems with gay people, you understand…  When it does try and come up with its own thing, it’s an endless rambling obsession with moustaches that feels forced and cynical, instead of natural and honest, like it’s trying to force the moustache thing into popular and meme culture.  Needless to say, it’s embarrassing.

Even more problematic is that nobody in the film is particularly likeable or entertaining to watch.  Charlie is a pompous self-centred asshat whose characterisation is rarely consistent save for the “irritating” part – especially since the film can’t decide just how much of a total nitwit the guy is – Johanna should be a fun foil to Charlie but she and Depp have the sexual chemistry of a rat and a bucket of rat poison, Inspector Martland (Ewan McGregor, oh god why) ends up being a humourless squib on the film instead of an entertainingly humourless squib – and whose relentless pursuit of Johanna never really comes off as convincingly sweet or believable – and the less said about Olivia Munn’s nymphomaniac Georgina Krampf – three guesses as to what the sole joke surrounding her character is and which side she ends up on, first two don’t count – the better.

I’m not saying that the problem is that the cast is unlikeable, a tonne of great comedies are filled from head to toe with awful characters, in the good sense.  The problem is that they are all really dull to watch.  Koepp normally has a speed, dynamism and fun that he brings to his features – Premium Rush was a very stupid film but damn it all if it wasn’t also a tonne of fun – but Mortdecai very, very rarely displays that kind of manic, passionate energy or anarchic sense of fun.  Where Koepp would normally seem engaged and entertained, he instead feels disinterested and bored, gliding through this incredibly cheap-looking $60 million film with a sense of obligation overriding everything else.  Consequently, what seemed entertaining on some level from the trailers grates over 106 minutes because he never varies that tempo or mood.

Mortdecai, therefore, is a film that seems genuinely irritated by its own existence.  A film that knows the script it’s working from is garbage, hates the fact that it’s garbage, but at no point shows any interest in bettering itself, almost out of spite, instead dragging itself, its cast, its crew, and the audience it holds with nothing but contempt through the mud for nearly two seemingly endless hours.  What very few good gags it has are drowned out in an endless sea of allegedly inherently funny accents and repeated usages of the phrase, “Open your balls.”  It has no heart, no entertaining characters, and no energy or desire to try and be some kind of fun.

And so we return to Johnny Depp, mugging his way through the entire film, indulging in all of his worst impulses, refusing to find a character underneath the eccentricities like he’s flipping off his growing critics.  “I’ll show them what ‘He doesn’t play characters anymore and hasn’t been bearable for nearly a decade’ looks like!  Wait, I don’t actually know who that is supposed to be making fun of.”  The film Mortdecai ends up being powered by Depp’s Mortdecai and that sheer concentrated Depp-overload ends up making the film even more of a slog than it might otherwise have been.  I was sick of him by the 15 minute mark, and 106 minutes with him officially got me over Depp completely.  Mortdecai managed to do what Alice In Wonderland could not, and this is saying something.

Jeff Goldblum pops up in this randomly for about 5 minutes – maybe he owed Koepp, who co-wrote Jurassic Park, or something – and his presence ignited a desire within me to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel again, a genuinely good farcical caper.  In fact, that’s what you should do: you should just watch The Grand Budapest Hotel and stay far away from Mortdecai.  Please.  Please do that.  I’m worried they’ll try and turn this into a series, otherwise.

Callum Petch is fantasising all the time, “move your body next to mine.”  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!