This is 40 (2012)

this-is-40-1Roze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

Judd Apatow brings back Pete and Debbie from 2007 comedy hit Knocked Up to explore their lives a few years down the line. Their kids are older, busines isnt flowing and the rest of their family are being uncooperative, the recipe for a destructive marriage. As their problems become more evident as well as their increasing age, they realise that there isn’t much time to fix their relationship before their lives become a waste.

I think most people would agree that this film is slightly too long with a 133 minute running time, although it is filled with quite a bit of substance. I think it was a pretty good idea to revisit these characters since they were a memorable part of Knocked Up. Creating new characters from scratch would definitely not have been as appealing. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann ooze this wacky, cheesy, genuine chemistry that not a lot of actors can produce. Their similar sense of humour is a joy to watch, largely driven by improv which Paul Rudd seems to execute with pure hilarity. There really isn’t much wrong with the acting although I think the older child (Maude Apatow) may have been a bit too intense and loud at times, but in reality I guess kids can go apeshit like that. The cameo’s were definitely the main highlights of the film, which is probably not the best thing for a movie, but they did offer a lot of the laughs. Huge props to Melissa McCarthy who has convincingly cemented herself as one of the best comedy actresses.

The storyline is pretty relatable which is why it’s generally an entertaining watch. I think any big fan of Paul Rudd will like this film a lot because his brand of humour is present throughout and its hard not to like this guy. It may not be the most original film but it still does the job in keeping us laughing and entertained. I think the problem with a film like this is that the subject is too serious to make an absolutely hilarious film, because there’s too many breaks of serious scenes before the laughs come in. Either way it’s definitely worth a watch if your a fan of Judd Apatow films and you want something down to earth with some comedy.

Safe (2012)

safe__spanRoze-Rating: 4 / 5

Luke Wright is an ex cop, living life as a cage fighter making his money from fixing matches so that his “employers” can make money off bets. One day during a rigged fight, he accidentally knocks out his opponent causing his Russian Mafia employers to make an example of his mistake by killing his family. They let him know that he will never live a free life again, being watched during the rest of his life. Luke drifts around New York with no path and considering giving everything up until he see’s a young Chinese girl being harassed by the same men that killed his family. He takes action and attempts to save the girl which saved him.

I’m glad Jason Statham has had a good run of good films, because I was starting to get worried he was picking films for the sake of being in them. 13 and The Mechanic to name a couple. But his judgement is slowly looking up with the successes of The Expendables 2 and this film Safe. It was really refreshing seeing Statham pick a script with a bit more substance. He plays a character with more of a complex, he has a past which he isn’t proud of, and has tried to get away from it by becoming a part of the Russian Mafia’s dishonest path for income. Of course once he makes an honest mistake, the Russian Mafia punish him in the most extreme way, sending him into a suicidal state. Definitely one his most interesting characters, and he pulls it off with ease showing his true acting abilities. I think people praise him too much for his ability to add action to a film with full affect, and forget that he’s a pretty good actor as well

The plot is a bit complicated and maybe seems quite implausible but it doesn’t reach the level of stupidity which makes it instantly bad. It’s an interesting premise and the chaos around it makes it even more entertaining. Obviously it wouldn’t be a Jason Statham without the action, and there’s no need to comment on it because he never fails to deliver in that aspect of films. One of the more surprising films of the year, and a perfect film if your looking for brutal action with a decent story to go along with it

The Expendables 2 (2012)

2012-The-Expendables-2_1920x1200Roze-Rating: 4.5 / 5

The Expendables come back for a second go at a full on action flick. This time they have new members Billy (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) who help take on money hungry savage Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) who has no conscience about the destruction he causes along the way to fortune. His actions prompt Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his men to track him, find him then kill him.

I really wasn’t a fan of the first one, I enjoyed the action but everything else was just pure… fail. The acting was terrible, dialogue cliched and the plot was just stupid. Thankfully Mr. Stallone has recognized a few of the problems and fixed them quite successfully, but of course he forgot a few.

The cast has some how gotten awesomer from the first film with introductions of Liam Hemsworth and Chuck Norris and more screen time from Bruce Willis and “The Terminator” Arnold Schwarzenegger. Action junkies will be pumped just by seeing all these action stars together, and that alone is satisfying, as it was for me. Although not all of them put in their best performances, and well there’s a reason that I’ve had a blind eye towards it. It’s unusual because you can really separate the real actors from the action stars. That being said, a lot of them did improve since Expendables 1, and Jean-Claude Van Damme makes a brutal villain, and he plays it to perfection; one of the only good performances.

The action is relentless as it should be and plays tribute to all of the past action classics. It’s loud, violent and unnecessary which is what makes it a lot of fun. It even improved in that aspect of the film. This is what I think was done a lot better than the first, it had clear intentions, which was to pay tribute to these action stars past films and parody them. This will become apparent when you see Arnold Schwarzenegger tell the crew “I’m back!” and when he replies to Bruce Willis with a “Oh yippee-kai-yay”. This film doesn’t takes itself seriously which is where the first film really faulted. This made me look past the below par acting and stale dialogue, because the film isn’t meant to be “excellent”, its meant to be mindless, gratuitous, blood stained fun. It finds the right balance between fun and seriousness.

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

The Bourne Legacy Jeremy RennerRoze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

I was pretty excited to watch this film, just the fact that Jason Bourne wasn’t involved, and how that was going to work. I had a lot of faith in this film since one of my favourite actors was cast as the main man. Jeremy Renner coming off four major films, The Hurt Locker, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Town and The Avengers, all of which are amazing films, seemed like the perfect person to play Aaron Cross, and he was, but the film itself was quite a let down.

It was always going to be hard to incorporate Aaron Cross into the Bourne series, and the story alone is smart and convincing enough for Jeremy Renner to enter the world of Jason Bourne, but the film told the story in an inefficient and dis-jointed manner, it needed more flow for audiences to get a grasp of what was happening. After the first 45 minutes, which were very tedious due to its slow pace, the film really kicked to life and gave Aaron Cross a purpose. The action sequences were engaging and exciting, but overall lacked the intensity and tension that the previous films provided. The ending didn’t really conclude on anything which made it seem a little bit pointless, but maybe that was the intention to illustrate some unfinished business. Another thought walking away from the film was that it felt like a very thin plot, compared to the previous films which were very complex and interesting, it felt too much like an origin story without the aftermath. For this film to be as satisfying as its predecessors, it needed a compressed beginning and an extra hour of Aaron Cross bringing hell to Blackbire, alternative government programs and the pharmaceutical industry.

This film really needed to be longer to include more action, but more evidently it needed the previous director of the Bourne series to give it the TRUE atmosphere and intensity it needed, which could have been the difference between another classic and this. But as a Bourne fan, I am hoping that Jeremy Renner can have another go with a more vengeful and determined Aaron Cross joining the war against the corrupt government programs.

What did you think of the new Bourne actor Jeremy Renner? Would you guys be up for a sequel with both Aaron Cross and Jason Bourne? And what did you think of the introduction of Aaron Cross, do you think they should have finished at The Bourne Ultimatum?