Category Archives: On The Big Screen

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The Boy – Review

When you attend a movie, you have to pick the right people to go with. You have those closest to you who are regular cinema goers and you couldn’t fault them if you tried. You have certain folks you trot out for special occasions: The I’m With Geek crew are a must when it comes to superhero blockbusters or Star Wars and I also watch horror movies with my sister as I cower in the mess in my trousers. My point is that you chose who you go with the cinema and, in turn, you get a particular experience. Sure, there is something so superb about the solitude of cinema, but damn, sometimes, you just have to go with a bunch of friends.

I’m saying this now because if I had seen The Boy by myself, grumping furrowing my brow out of displeasure, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it so much. But at a private midnight screening with myself and some mates, all making quips about the ridiculousness on display, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

The Boy is part of the latest trend of cheesy horror movies with nothing scary at the centre of it. The film revolves around a young American girl named Greta who travels all the way to England to escape her abusive partner. In her extensive job hunt, she finds the only one going is a Nanny position in an isolated mansion in the middle of the country. Though clearly not reading the job specs on, Greta finds that she isn’t actually babysitting a child, she is looking after a doll named Brahms.

Yes. Brahms.

Anyway, the real Brahms is supposedly dead and the grieving parents have been tending to this porcelain prince ever since. Greta laughs it off as a joke but when she is left alone with the doll, strange things start to occur….

Why is it Bad?

For film that professes frights and ghoulie antics, The Boy is suffering from a lack thereof. There’s perhaps one jumpy moment and it turns out to be a dream. The film becomes ridiculous. You never seen the doll move or grimace or do anything out of the ordinary and yet the filmmakers will focus squarely on his expressionless face, expecting you to be chilled to the bone. Hint: You’re not. In fact, it will provoke the biggest ripples of laughter throughout as Lauren Cohen, bless her, grimaces at a doll that steals her clothes.

That’s it, by the way, that’s the biggest thing this doll does – steals her clothes. Oh, and makes her a PB & J sandwich. That’s the terrifying spooky doll climax…He can’t even kill her shitty ex-boyfriend right… It’s awful and sloppy, especially as it relies too heavily on horror tropes such as fantastical dreaming that is the only time frights are conjured up. It is also highly illogical too with studied character flows that sink the narrative like one rock in a coat as you wade out to sea.

Why is it Good?

Cohen is good as is Rupert “You Deserve A Better Film Career” Evans. While there is something unnerving about a bright young woman being suckered into really care for the boy and the twist was a little unexpected, the reason The Boy was so good was because of the company I kept watching it. Without them pointing out flaws and logic in a most of the film in such a comedic manner, The Boy would’ve flailed, failed, and gone up in flames like the original Brahms.

So this is why audience and cinema matters, in a way, and why quote-along screenings and singalongs are so valid because they can alter your performance in a better way. Why I am not sat here commanding you all speak to one another during a film (because it is 90% unacceptable), I guess I’m celebrating the folks who made The Boy an interesting and enjoyable experience. When it comes to bad movies, you have to watch them with folk able to throw a few moments of hilarity into the moment.

The Accountant – Review

There are a lot of controversies surrounding the portrayal of autism and its sufferers. Savants, Asperger’s, and more mental illnesses are often stereotyped and portrayed with a Hollywood glow. They are often portrayed as genius who simply cannot talk to people or freak out whenever a routine is mishandled.

It’s an on-going issue, one that is gradually changing the further people highlight the issues. Yet , stubborn studios and writers seem to promote the same glaringly oblivious image of autism. This continues in the scarily dull The Accountant that imagines Ben Affleck as, not just an autistic accountant, but an assassin too.

The boring and utterly blank movie by Gavin O’Connor revolves around a math savant who has more affinity for numbers than people (aka, every smart person role ever created.) On the outside, he simple works for a small town CPA office. But behind closed doors, Christian runs every account for the criminal underbelly and soon the police are on his trail. Trying to throw the police off his scent, Christian decides to do bog-standard accounting for a prosthetic firm when a young woman, Dana, discovers a problem with the books. Unwillingly, the pair are thrown into the midst of a criminal warfare where someone will kill not to let his secrets come out…

Within the first fifteen minutes of The Accountant, I was checking my watch. Now, you may think it’s because I didn’t give the movie a chance – I really did. But those first fifteen minutes of watching the film made me feel that I had been there for an hour. The garish and incompetent film does nothing to develop characters, narrative, or even portray autism in a greater light. In fact, it’s pretty manipulative of the mental illness, using it as a plot device.

I can only imagine that the screenwriters, director, and producers were gathered around a big table trying to sell their ordinary assassin/mafia movie. After going through the whole list of “character traits” that have been used before, someone pipes up and says “How about we make him autistic?” Then the movie goes through a bunch of screen-writing to sell this device which mainly works as populating the screen with stereotypical autistic moments.

Image result for the accountant poster
Moving on from this painful depiction, the film has the worst script writing of the year. After the hundredth flash-back trying to explain the characters, you’ll be wishing you could flashback to your former self and tell them “don’t watch this film.” The movie is a waste of talent because it tacks on these awful histories to a predictable plot that never propels the intrigue further. Completely underwhelming, you can guess the narrative journey within minutes of the story, and that makes the movie slower. Much, much slower.

Ben Affleck has had a battered film career. He bounces through great to bad to awful to amazing. Behind the camera, he is consistently superb. The Accountant is another point to the bad side. With a complete banal script, all performances are wasted here.

The Accountant is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!