We Are Your Friends – Review

If all American youngsters are exactly as 'We Are Your Friends' portrays them, then the United States is truly doomed.
Peter Jackson's cast – actors we've spent so much time with over the past decade – rises remarkably to the occasion.

On the strength - or to be more accurate, the weakness of The Big Wedding, it's clear that Hollywood no longer deserves actors of the calibre of Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton and Susan Sarandon. Heck, it doesn't even deserve actors like Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried and Topher Grace. Billed as an uproarious ensemble comedy about a family wedding going very badly wrong, this is predictable, painful and hardly funny at all.

The titular wedding is that of Alejandro (Barnes) and his lovely bride Missy (Seyfried), to which the entire extended family is invited. This means Alejandro's adoptive brother Jared (Grace) and sister Lyla (Heigl), his divorced dad Don (De Niro) and mom Ellie (Keaton), and his dad's girlfriend of ten years Bebe (Sarandon). But it also includes Alejandro's biological mother Madonna (Patricia Rae), whose conservative Catholic beliefs threaten to turn the entire weekend upside down. To avoid upsetting Madonna, Alejandro convinces Don and Ellie to play at still being married - at least until after the wedding.

 

It's a thin and rather contrived premise, but better rom-coms have succeeded with worse plotlines. The problem with The Big Wedding is that its screenplay - by director Zackham - is terrible. Riddled with sexual innuendoes (a character named 'Muffin' played by Broadway veteran Christine Ebersole) and 'jokes' that aren't particularly funny (De Niro getting repeatedly punched in the face), the script lurches from scene to scene with little regard for emotional engagement or character development.

Pretty much all of the characters in the film are poorly-written caricatures, to the point that even its inexplicably accomplished cast can't salvage them. Don, for instance, comes across as a perpetually randy, offensive brute of a man, and it's hard to understand why former best friends Ellie and Bebe have both fallen for him. Actually, it's hard to like any of the characters - which is no surprise since their director doesn't seem to like them very much either.

 

In recent years, it's become increasingly clear that Hollywood no longer has any idea what to do with distinguished actors from the seventies who aren't Meryl Streep. These days, they all seem to be biding their time in mediocre but inoffensive comedies, waiting for another chance to prove why they're legends of the silver screen. Unfortunately for everyone involved with The Big Wedding, this manages to be so grievously mediocre that it actually becomes offensive in its own way. Even fans of the rom-com genre, whose standards have already been revised downwards for movies of this sort, won't find much in the way of romance or comedy here.

Summary: Don't bother RSVP-ing for this one.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Shawne Wang

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GF*BF – Review

We'll be frank: we went into GF*BF expecting some sub-par Taiwanese rom-com fare, due to the decidedly confusing title. (GF*BF? Why not GF/BF or GF!!!BF!!! What's the asterisk got to do with anything?) Semantic bias aside, we were in for a pleasant surprise. GF*BF is an emotional, well-crafted film that evokes bittersweet nostalgia, and has an interesting point to make about the 'live fast, die young' ethos. In other words: generally good stuff, folks!
The animation in 'The Peanuts Movie' hits the sweet spot and the film as a whole earnestly echoes a simpler, bygone era...
A seemingly lost art in most crime thrillers nowadays, “Wind River” is satisfying and convincing in that the audience is never ahead of the characters as the plot slowly unravels.

Fury – Review

Perhaps we’re wrong – perhaps we should be glad that a World War II film pulls no punches and isn’t naïvely jingoistic.

Timeless Love

Timeless Love revolves around the idea that sometimes despite one's heart being in the right place things just don't work out as planned. Unfortunately, the same could be said about the movie itself, which features a whole slew of newcomers to the local film scene, and never gels quite enough to make the movie worthwhile.
'Vengeance of an Assassin' is impossible to take seriously but if you grew up on the low-budget 80s action movies of Cannon Films and similar studios, it is possible to enjoy.
An unfunny and mean-spirited film with an extremely flimsy plot.

TRANSCENDENCE

Summary: It’s not quite mind-blowing, but TRANSCENDENCE is still a well-made, clever and entertaining post-cyber-punk thriller (and the least annoying Johnny Depp has been in a while). Jack in and boot up!

Manhunt (追捕) (2017)

"Manhunt" marks John Woo’s comeback to the Asian-cop cinema but is cheap entertainment and flashy parody at best or clichéd and senseless subplots connected by sloppy writing at worst.

Bad Boys For Life (2020) – Review

The Low-Down: Miami detectives Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) burst onto...

Richard Jewell (2019) – Review

The Low-Down: From director Clint Eastwood and writer Billy Ray comes a biopic about Richard...

1917 (2019) – Review

The Low-Down: Hollywood has made many World War II epics, but not quite as many...

Jojo Rabbit (2019) – Review

The Low-Down: While he’s had a long career in his native New Zealand, Taika Waititi...

Ashfall (백두산) (2019) – Review

The Low-Down: Armed with a US$17 million budget and a co-director, comedy cult film Castaway...