Tag Archives: Mark Hamill

Child’s Play – Review

Just over twenty years ago, the horror scene as plagued by an orange haired plastic doll possessed with the murderous spirit of a convicted killer. The series as progressed getting campier and more ridiculous with each film. And they are brilliant, perverse, and entertaining schlock.

It’s surprising/not surprising that in spite of the original series still technically going, the Child’s Play franchise would reboot itself. But does the 2019 movie do justice to the film?

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Child’s Play revolves around the Buddi doll. An updated must have toy, the film acts as a smartphone home device that can move, sing, dance, and also tap into your home system and all that modern jazz. Naturally, this all goes pair-shaped when young Andy finds out his doll (who affectionately names himself Chucky) is defective. And not you’re usually gift fuck-up, this doll wants to kill anyone who tries to stop him and Andy becomes the best friends ever.

Starring Brian Tyree Henry, Aubrey Plaza, and the voice of Mark Hamill, the film is a garish and gory movie that slices into red stuff.  It’s funny and entertaining, good for a few laughs and a few jumpy moments that make you squirm in your seat. Hamill and the animation of Chucky are certainly pleasing, digging into that natural creepiness of life-like, maniacal dolls.

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However, there is a sloppy assembly here. Right from the beginning, the plot seems nonsensical. The child’s possessed toy is no longer that – it’s a defunct one that becomes sentient following the removal of safety protocols from a disgruntled employee (who promptly kills himself.) Chucky then starts to learn the behaviours from television or the kids but it doesn’t really make a lick of sense. Whilst the filmmakers are clearly trying to make allusions to artificial inteliigence, smart-phones, on-screen violence are children watch, and possibly how robots could take over the world – having the doll possessed by a serial killer makes alarmingly more sense than one malfunctioning AI system. Why? Because why would anyone program that capability in the first place? Why not just make the toy with inherent safety measures that don’t have to be removed because you haven’t programmed in the ability to murder?

Like a clock – I don’t have to remove the safety measures because there aren’t any because it hasn’t been programmed in to straight up kill me in my sleep.

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Child’s Play feels like a lazy adaptation that you can still have a lot of fun with. There are creative deaths and a kid that you can have. Just sadly, it’s more of a cold and shiny reboot that you struggle to warm too. The characters are loose, the acting is average, and the action is somewhat sloppy. If you’re going to attempt a bloodbath, then go for hell. Instead, apart from a few creative moments, it feels like they are holding back somewhat. The score is great though. But then again, when has a score by Bear McCreary ever been bad?

For a movie, Child’s Play works best with mates and beers and not that many brain cells…

Child’s Play is out 21st June 

Brigsby Bear – Review

There are movies out there that take you entirely by surprise. Whether you researched them or not, you go in with one view on how it’s all going to turn out and come out completely shocked. It could be that the film is worse or better than expected, but most of the time it has touched you in some ways. This often happens with independent films that choose to alter a perceptions like, most recently, Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (because, like it or not, it was different.) Anyway, regardless, going into Brigsby Bear, I had an open-mind, and expected pure insanity.

What transpired was an emotional yet funny 97 minutes that resulted in tears streaming down my face.

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Directed by Dave McCory, Brigsby Bear revolves around James, a man kept in a bunker by his parents and forced to watch countless of episodes of Brigsby Bear – a fictional, crime fighting hero who also teaches particular lessons about love, life, maths, and, weirdly, masturbation. James has zero contact with the outside world but that comes crumbling down when the compound is stormed by police. As it transpires, James was kidnapped as a baby by Ted and April, who have been masquerading as his adults and keeping him locked away. Reunited with his real family, James has to adjust to a world he hasn’t known…when all he wants to do is watch Brigsby. That may prove most difficult seeing as Brigsby wasn’t a real show but one created by Ted solely for James…

Brigsby Bear is a sweet and enduring film of adaptation and friendship. Yes, the premise in which it resides is a silly sketch-type show  one and yet it never feels flimsy. In fact, within this nugget of story is a film about survival and charm.

This mainly comes from Kyle Mooney as our lead James. Coming from SNL and bit parts in comedies such as Zoolander 2 and Bad Neighbours 2, Mooney effectively transfers to lead here. Encompassing every second of the screen time, he becomes this maladjusted yet still naive character who doesn’t understand the normal world yet longs for himself and Brigsby to be part of it. His ignorance to modern society is played for a few laughs but none too patronising or overtly comical. Around him in support are Mark Hamill as Ted who brings his gravitas to his kidnapper role (and he certainly needs to be in more dramas such as this,) and Greg Kinnear as the friendly police officer who becomes immersed in James’ life.  The characters around James are really special, bringing him much needed kinship in a world he perceives as bizarre. The young high-school students including his sister Aubrey and her friend Spender (Ryan Simpkins and Jorge Jackson Jr respectively.)

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There are twee elements to the story but it is immersed in dramatic elements. In fact, Brigsby Bear is more a like an SNL version of Room in which the lead has to adjust after being held prisoner for so long, from such a young age . McCory’s work includes this more visceral moments, no matter how tragic. There are bleak moments against the humour which work entirely well. Most of all, Brigsby Bear has heart: As much as the animatronic cuddle on-screen bear has.

Meaningful, mournful, and magical, Brigsby Bear has a tenderness within the hilarity to make it a must-see event.

Brigsby Bear is out 8th December!