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Devon Malcolm

DVDs and Films You Have Watched Recently 3 - The Final Insult

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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

(Some spoilers ahead...)

Way too much effort was put into making Zac Efron's Ted Bundy a likable, kind- hearted, anti-authoritative, rockstar babyface. This would've been fine had they put more effort into showing he was actually a despicable, heartless, twisted, extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile person. But the film doesn't do that; it pushes the 'Ted is innocent' narrative right until the final two minutes.

The film is 95% "That Ted's a good lad, isn't he?" and 5% "Christ, he's a mass murdering psychopath!" and even then that 5% isn't emphasized enough, and most of the reveal comes AFTER the end credits.

The film actively wants you to root for Ted, and the courtroom dramatics has all the cards stacked against him like he's a valiant underdog. He's trying to break out jail, he's on the run, he's a dedicated family man, he's a sex God, he's a smart and witty dude. He's Zac Efron, for fucks sake.

I get that a 'reveal' like this ("Oh my God, he is the murderer!") takes some time to get to, in order to lull the viewer into a false sense of security, but it's like watching Titanic and knowing that at some point the boat will crash and most of the folk perish. 

This could've worked if more time was given to the supporting cast and the effects/after-effects of Ted's actions. It could've worked if more time was spent undoing the positive image of Ted that the film had portrayed. The reveal, while pretty good in all fairness, isn't as effective as it needs to be. 

As a matter of fact, if the film wasn't about Ted but rather about some fictional bloke who is being done for murders that he swears he didn't commit, it would be a really enjoyable piece of work. The film sticks to it's "Ted is innocent!" narrative right the way through. But because you all ready know the outcome, the film's success relies heavily on the journey rather than the destination, and it just isn't good or strong enough to hang it's hat on. 

I guess sensitizing IRL serial killers isn't my bag.

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Realised this weekend that my kids haven't seen Lord Of The Rings yet so watched Fellowship and Two Towers and started Return Of The King yesterday.

Me, my Mrs, 6 year old son and ten year old son got some snacks in, got comfy, shut the curtains and settled down to watch the first film and all of us bar the youngest fell asleep around the 45 minute mark. Woke up about an hour in just as they're about to go in to the mines to my youngest son practically bouncing off the walls and speaking so excitedly the words were blending in to one as he was desperately trying to tell us what we'd missed. "MUMDAD! THEYWENTOVERTHESNOWYMOUNTAINS AND THEN THEYVE JUSTGOTTOTHIS DOOR! THEYHADTOSAY FRIEND AND THEYVE GONE INSIDEANDTHERESHOULDHAVEBEENDWARVESBUT ITS A TOMB! I THINK GOBLINSARECOMING". It was an absolute joy to behold. Also, I've had him singing this all weekend.
 

 

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The Wailing

This has to be one of the oddest films I've seen, I've never seen something so equally hilarious, creepy and downright gorgeous to look at. I don't want to spoil a thing so just watch it on Netflix if you can.

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On 5/6/2019 at 11:15 AM, Accident Prone said:

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

(Some spoilers ahead...)

Way too much effort was put into making Zac Efron's Ted Bundy a likable, kind- hearted, anti-authoritative, rockstar babyface. This would've been fine had they put more effort into showing he was actually a despicable, heartless, twisted, extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile person. But the film doesn't do that; it pushes the 'Ted is innocent' narrative right until the final two minutes.

 

 

I won't quote the whole thing but was reading an interview with the director yesterday and at one point in the development process the reveal you were watching a film rooting for Bundy was supposed to be a massive swerve.  You watch this witty and charming guy go through hell and then find out at the end that you were cheering for a real life notorious serial killer. The interview said they changed that when news of the casting of Efron came out. I've not got round to seeing it yet, but from your post it looks like the script may not have changed too much from that original plan.

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That's such a bizarre thing to do. How do you swerve an audience with a biopic? The entire reason anyone ever made a film about Bundy is the fact he was a serial killer. And, in case you for some inexplicable reason didn't know and were relying on the title to tell you he was a bad man, it's in the title too.

I understand wanting to try something different to make it stand out from other serial killer bios, but that's just stupid.

Edited by Carbomb

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25 minutes ago, lanky316 said:

You watch this witty and charming guy go through hell and then find out at the end that you were cheering for a real life notorious serial killer. The interview said they changed that when news of the casting of Efron came out. I've not got round to seeing it yet, but from your post it looks like the script may not have changed too much from that original plan.

That sounds like it. Maybe Efron thought he had the chops to pull it off or maybe the team were a bit out of their depth. Maybe the producers demanded the script stay the same or maybe Efron's contract/representatives sanitized the whole shebang. Whatever the case, it movie failed on most fronts.

20 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

That's such a bizarre thing to do. How do you swerve an audience with a biopic? The entire reason anyone ever made a film about Bundy is the fact he was a serial killer. And, in case you for some inexplicable reason didn't know and were relying on the title to tell you he was a bad man, it's in the title too.

I understand wanting to try something different to make it stand out from other serial killer bios, but that's just stupid.

Exactly. I wouldn't be surprised if the film was meant to be about a fictional character that then had the Ted Bundy biopic attached (like how 'The God Particle' was originally a stand-alone sci-fi script before it was forced into a weird sequal/prequel to Cloverfield).

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Friends With Benefits

Load of shit. Justin Timberlake is an AWFUL actor. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in anything else, but I can’t imagine him being any good in anything.

The Last Summer 

A Netflix Original about a group of kids enjoying life before college. It’s a bit confused and doesn’t know what it wants to be, and is a bit too serious for a film like this, but is enhanced by Maia Mitchell (who was in a hidden gem a year or so back called No Going Back)

Not one to go out of your way for 

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The Hustle was a bit funnier than I expected but perhaps only because I wasn't expecting to laugh at all. It's a terrible film with a few laughs scattered around and Anne Hathaway being truly wonderful.

Long Shot was also better and funnier than expected. Seth Rogen can fuck off again with his drug shit but it was good and I fucking love O'Shea Jackson. What a family.

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Detective Pikachu was a bit of a letdown, I wasn't expecting it to be good in any way but it's not as batshit crazy as I thought it would be.

Even with a billion CGI Pokemon it didn't feel very Pokemon either.

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I thought it was good. It was smart enough to know what bits to take the piss out of but to be affectionate towards it all. It was about as good as I expected.

Justice Smith is a charisma vacuum though, fuck.

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Fighting with my Family

Not too bad. Some pretty funny bits in. Florence Pugh was great but Nick Frost stole the show for me. Wasn't too keen on The Rock shoe horning himself into it so much when there was no need for it. Could have given him that one cameo near the start and used the rest of his appearance fee that they saved on some better looking wigs for Lena Headey.

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16 minutes ago, wordsfromlee said:

Fighting with my Family

Not too bad. Some pretty funny bits in. Florence Pugh was great but Nick Frost stole the show for me. Wasn't too keen on The Rock shoe horning himself into it so much when there was no need for it. Could have given him that one cameo near the start and used the rest of his appearance fee that they saved on some better looking wigs for Lena Headey.

The Rock’s scenes were likely a condition of the film being financed - to people putting money in, having a wrestling film that The Rock’s producing but him not being in it must seem like a stupid as fuck idea. Without him playing the role he did, there’d have been far less money to spend on wigs.

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Wine Country

This was very, VERY middle of the road. Not a lot happens, and it’s not particularly funny, but it’s solid fare from Poehler, Fey and Maya Rudolph.

Jason Schwartzmann was under utilised in his role, but it gains points by having Bel Biv Devoe-Poison in it, one of the greatest R&B songs of all time.

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It gets funny in its second half but honestly nothing happens in the first 45 minutes. Amy Poehler plays a less funny Leslie Knope too.

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Detective Pikachu was a let down. Didn’t expect a masterpiece but it was too dark for younger kids (several kids cried during my screening), the plot was predictable and just dull. 

Before the whinny “but it’s a kids film” mob roll in, plenty of kids films have decent stories.

also Justice Smith is the fucking worst. He’s 2 for 2 in recent shit roles

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