Category Archives: Reviews

The latest and the greatest in films!

God’s Not Dead 2 – Review

Faith. We all have it in different forms. Whether you are an atheist or a devote Christian, it’s OK to believe in something (or not) bigger than the human species and the world we know. Dig deep into the most ancient of religions, you’ll find that what beats all of them is hope and love – the kind of sense that all the bad stuff happens for a reason and there is a life beyond death has kept us warm in many ways.

It’s OK to explore your faith in films and art. What it is not ok to do is to use a film to shove your own thesis down the throats of everyone who’ll listen.

Following on from the wildly awful God’s Not Dead (which saw a Christian and an Athiest science man fight it out until Christianity won,) God’s Not Dead 2 revolves around Grace (because that’s the most obvious name she can be called beyond Faith), a schoolteacher who quotes biblical verses during an innocuous class. The big bad men on the schoolboard tell her that it is against the law to do so but Grace refuses to apologise, taking this all the way to court where a big bad lawyer tries to tell her she’s in the wrong. It’s up to Melissa Joan Hart’s quivering chin and pout to save the day!

The film’s premise could’ve opened up a deep theological debate about the separation of church and state. It could’ve kindly put forward the idea that despite different faiths, denominations, and religions, the core message is of love and acceptance. It could’ve used the Christian Faith as it should’ve be: To open up dialogue about generosity, care, and that having faith is actually OK, if you use it for the benefit of the world and humanity. You know. The kind of Christianity that isn’t based off Trump’s electoral speeches.

Instead, this insipid drama that really belongs on a Lifetime Channel for bible-bashers shoves the idea that Christians in the US of A are the most persecuted people on this planet. By demonising the lawyer and the school board who try to abide by the law “state and religion should be separate,” God’s Not Dead 2 feels like a sucker-punch of overzealous religious propaganda to your face rather than an inspiration message of love and kindness. It is much more detrimental to Christianity than anything and makes Melissa Joan Hart’s Grace an even more insufferable Kim Davies, fighting for the right to say and do all kinds of shit. They are people every day, dying for no good reasons but apparently, this stuff is good enough for Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Jesse Metcalfe to take to court.

The fact of the matter that God’s Not Dead 2 doesn’t get is that the separation of church and state makes a lot of sense and challenging that because a teacher hammers her Christianity to her students is a big bag of Jesus dicks in the face of science and forward thinking progress as well as people from other religious backgrounds. No one is saying that you cannot spout your beliefs but when you are in a position of influence and change historical figures to support your religion (for example, Gandhi was Hindu against Britain’s colonisation of India) then you are being a bit of a douche and not exerting your rights as a Christian…


Meet the Patels – Review

Balancing love and family is ridiculous hard for most people. Between families constantly asking about your love life, interfering in-laws who severely dislike your other half, or your great-nanna questioning why you are still single, it seems impossible to balance your family and your soulmate. It is something that is constantly a pain in the massive backside and, more often than not, is explored in cinema and comedies.

The recent departure into these sentiments is Ravi Patel’s amiable flick Meet the Patels.

Meet the Patels is a semi-documentary feature film revolves around comedian Ravi Patel who, nearly 30, enters into a love triangle between the woman of his dreams and his parents. Having to hide his recent break-up from his family and freaking out that he is nearly 30 years old and single, Ravi and his family all go on vacation to India where he is set on a tailspin of emotions. Trying to seek out a new love, Ravi is pulled into further confusion as a family tradition dictates that Patels marry other (non-related) Patels. Inspired by happy marriages of his family, Ravi sets off on a journey to find other Patel in America.

People will recognise Ravi Patel from a recent (and brilliant) episode of Master of None and stand-up tours around America. The performer has cultivated a career that has wowed thousands of fans. Transferring that high-wit skill to the big screen is trick yet mastered wonderfully and originally by merging a story with his real life family making this a semi documentary a wholly original treat to enjoy. Patel and his family have a fantastic and colourful chemistry that adds a layers of naturalistic comedy to the film. Showcasing a bond driven by a stunning dynamic of the family, Meet the Patels is filled with high energy and sweetness that is impossible to not be drawn too.

There are many films here that are explored that many can relate too such as arranged marriages, romantic conflict, and family duty. Patel is sure to add a level of emotions and sensitivity that paddles the film into a greater depth than just the enormous characters of his family. Marrying his Indian heritage and his American childhood, Ravi enthuses the film with a look at culture and that adds to the overall watch filled with funny moments, sincerity, and bucket loads of love (on any level.) Charming and charismatic, the Patels are able to criticise, poke fun at each other, and yet still wholly love and respect one another.

This engaging documentary may be set up with reality TV amateur aesthetics but truly masters reaching its audience with humour and emotion. A comedic triumph for documentary lovers, Meet the Patels is a striking feather in Patel’s cap that could hopefully lift the comedian into an iconic status. Regardless of the outcome of the film, the movie is certainly a crowd-pleasing romp with a spirituous element and a loveable bond between the family members. Certainly, if anything, the movie will lift your day.


Previously on I’m With Geek

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.

Infinitely Polar Bear (2014) – Review

Mental illness in film is a really hard thing to depict because every single experience is different, there is still large stigma around it, and it is hard to equate someone’s suffering when you haven’t suffered something similar. Many of the more successful movies intricately weave their own backstory in order to provide an insight to people plighted by a mental disease and how they move forward with their struggles. Maya Forbes, in her directorial debut, enthuses her own past with this saccrine yet sensitive film – Infinitely Polar Bear.

Infinitely Polar Bear revolves around a family of four whose father Cam is suffering from bipolar disorder. After a manic episode, mother Maggie decides it’s best for them to separate and takes their daughters Amelia and Faith whilst Cam gets rehab. Unfortunately, finances are slim and Maggie decides to enter a business school for eighteen months in order to get qualifications and a better job. Cam is left in charge of Amelia and Maggie in this sweet portrait of living with mental illness whilst trying to raise a family.

There isn’t a review of this film that doesn’t start, or at least mention, Mark Ruffalo as one of the greatest actors on the planet. That’s because it’s true. It’s so true that sometimes just looking at his face makes you quake with anger at how bloody brilliant he is (my breast constantly quiver with jealousy.) As Dan, Ruffalo is this treasure of a performer whose kinetic energy drives this near pitch-perfect depiction of bipolar. Able to handle the mania with the depression, the normalised states and the extremes, Ruffalo’s nuanced performance is breathtakingly real, poignant, and human. Forbe’s real lie daughter Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide as daughters Faith and Amelia are treasures despite having no prior acting experience. They are charming, funny, and ferocious, adding innocence and chemistry alongside Ruffalo’s performance. Don’t forget Zoe Salanda who is steadfast as mother Maggie, trying to accumulate stability for her family.

Forbes delicate script and story-telling is remarkable, drawing on her own experience with her father to tell the tale. Perhaps using her own history as the backbone for this film elevates it into one of the greatest because it never relies on clichés nor skim over the facts to be an Oscar-bait movie on mental illness. Instead, Forbes takes you into this world where these daughters and this father try to get along despite their differences. The biggest dramatic point is each other’s lack of understanding – the daughters who can’t understand their fathers “eccentricity” and a father who can’t get why things keep falling apart and his daughters hate him. The art of getting it right is depicting both the character’s growth is never assigning blame. Dan is not a heinous father, whittling away their innocence because of his bipolar nor are the children bratty for getting frustrated at their situation. Similarly, Maggie isn’t abhorrent for choosing to educate herself to provide for all of them in the future. Whilst there are tensions and extremities here, Forbes intellectually makes Infinitely Polar Bear a charming exploration of this different family but never scrutinises anyone involved.

A tender, sophisticated movie that has a big heart, Forbes has done wonders by introspectively weaving the emotion of her past and enhancing it gloriously for the screen. The aspect of a chaotic family still brimming with unconditional love gifts this movie a poetic weight that is life-affirming, warming, and humorous too. The warmth radiated from this explicitly good family unit, if albeit dysfunctional, allows Infinitely Polar Bear to work without exploiting mental illness. With some impressive, realistic performances, led by Mark Ruffalo, the film is a high-note for Forbes in a glorious directorial debut. Make sure you catch this impressive feature.

Guilty Pleasures: Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000)

There have been a tonne of movies out there that see British comedy television characters lift off to the big screen adventures. Ali G, The Inbetweeners, and Ms Brown’s Boys are all hilarious and successful on the small screen but have had a tepid responses on the big one. Perhaps the pressure to fill the cinemas creates and imbalance: the writers and performers feel they have to go a larger distance to appease cinema goers and their own fans. The result, with all these examples, is complete and utter trash with so much toilet humour that’ll make your body convulse in revolting manners.

Harry Enfields’ classic and acclaimed character Kevin assaulted out eyeballs by conceiving this tragic onscreen debacle.

Kevin & Perry Go Large revolves around the titular characters – Kevin and his haphazard friend Perry (played by Kathy Burke) – and their misadventures through adolescence. In particular, losing their virginity. Now the laughing stock at school, Kevin and Perry decide to convince the former’s parents to go on holiday to Spain. The parents and the teens have two different ideas of what the holiday should be: Kevin and his dim-witted friends want to attend to coolest clubs and music scene whilst the parents want to do a traditional tourist holiday. And therefore, hijinks ensure.

Why is it Bad?

Well, it’s just gross – in every form of the word. There’s shit, vomit, pubic hair, sex, and puss that populate the screen in such a putrid manner. The movie is unkind to your site and churns offensively in your stomach, whirring around as good taste and common sense slowly drain from your body. The film has moments of pure disgust including swallowing someone else’s poopadoop and a long sequence of spot popping (because ha-ha-ha teenagers have all body spots.) Your toes will curl, your blood will leave, and the soul of maturity will sickeningly quiver out of you, leaving you forever.

Why is it Good?

When I was twelve, when this movie came out on home entertainment, I thought it was one of the most hilarious things I had ever witnessed and after talking about my idea to cover this, my friend and I couldn’t stop guffawing. The absurdity of the premise: two adults pretending to be moody teens and gallivanting over Ibiza trying to be superstar DJs is so over the top and ridiculous that you can’t help but love it a little. There are some great funny moments too include an unwarranted sex tape, two suitcases having sex, and Rhys Ifans drinking vodka through his eye. Yeah, they may not sound like comedy events of all time, but they’ll tickle you. There’s also the catchiest song of all time… All I Want To Do Is Do It. It’s so flippin catchy….

On top of that, there is an underdog element and a romantic element nestled in between the bosoms of the  here that you can’t help but warm too, like warm vomit cascading down your face (oops, spoiler alert.) With an alarming 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and a complete disdain for toilet humour, I’m not completely sure as to why I am suggesting it to you. Perhaps to appease the 12 year old girl in me that tittered away at an eyeball floating in vodka or a shit floating in the sea… Nostalgia can do strange things.