Shane Black’s The Nice Guys is an amiable mix of comedy and mystery. There is enough of a hook to reel viewers in, even if the film isn’t always as funny as it thinks it is.
Private Investigator Holland March is hired to investigate the apparent suicide of a porn star. He crosses paths with enforcer Jackson Healy, who is out to protect his client. Healy and March reluctantly team up to find a missing girl…
Set in late 1970s Los Angeles, The Nice Guys is a buddy detective movie. Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi’s screenplay has a distinct neo noir style. The film combines this crime narrative with a broad humour. The narrative works well to engage viewers; there is sufficient mystery surrounding the case the pair are investigating. The detective story offers a number of twists and turns. Although this is not wholly original, there is some pleasant harking back to noir hallmarks.
The set up of the story works suitably well in The Nice Guys. Director Shane Black’s film has similarities to Inherent Vice in terms of setting and theme, but it lacks the genuine outlandishness of Paul Thomas Anderson’s film. Where The Nice Guys excels is in the addition of Holland’s daughter Holly. Having a young girl tag along gives a different dimension to the buddy cop dynamic. Jokes in the film do not always hit the mark, but when they do, they are very funny.
The film’s period setting is wonderfully exhibited by the costuming and sets. The soundtrack also works very well. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling work well as the unlikely duo. Angourie Rice shines as Holly, whilst Kim Basinger appears a little stiff in a minor role.
The Nice Guys is a decent popcorn flick, with enough action, laughs and mystery to sustain its audience.
Lots in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including a X-Men: Apocalypse clip, Our Kind of Traitor, The Nice Guys and more…
X-Men: Apocalypse Clip
Here is the latest X-Men: Apocalypse clip. Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique watches Ben Hardy’s Angel take on Kodi Smitt-McPhee’s Nightcrawler in a cage fight. It is unclear where this fits in with the plot, but the 1980s setting looks fun. X-Men: Apocalypse is out in UK cinemas on 18th May 2016.
Our Kind of Traitor Featurette
The cast of Our Kind of Traitor discuss their roles in the film in this short featurette. Directed by Susanna White, the film is based on John Le Carré’s novel of the same name. Starring Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård, Naomie Harris, and Damian Lewis, Our Kind of Traitor is released on UK screens on 13th May 2016.
The Nice Guys Poster
Here is one of the new poster’s for Shane Black’s The Nice Guys. The film is set in the 1970s and revolves around a hired enforcer (Russell Crowe) and a private investigator (Ryan Gosling) teaming up to solve a case. Also starring Kim Basinger, The Nice Guys hits the big screen on 3rd June 2016.
The Neon Demon Trailer
The Neon Demon has a UK release date. Nicholas Winding Refn’s latest film will hit cinemas on 8th July 2016. The Neon Demon stars Elle Fanning as an aspiring model who moves to LA. Her youth is noted by a group beauty-obsessed women, desperate for what she has. The Neon Demon also stars Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves and Christina Hendricks.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Trailer
Here is the latest trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Out of the Shadows. A sequel to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this new film features some familiar faces from the popular cartoon series. Starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is out in UK cinemas on 30th May 2016.
The Shallows Trailer
Here is the trailer for upcoming thriller The Shallows. The film stars Blake Lively as a young woman who takes a surfing trip to a deserted beach. Only metres from shore, she is obstructed by a great white shark. The Shallows is scheduled for release in cinema in August 2016.
An abundance of film trailers this week, including The Legend of Tarzan trailer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and more…
The Legend of Tarzan Trailer
The Legend of Tarzan trailer is here. Boasting a cast that includes Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robie, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz, the film focuses on Tarzan later in life when he asked to be a trade emissary and travel to the Congo. The Legend of Tarzan bombards its way to cinema screens on 18th July 2016.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Trailer
For where is Krang? That’s what everyone wants to know. The trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is here, and features more of the characters from the much-loved cartoon series of the 1980s-1990s. The follow-up to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is released on 3rd June 2016.
Jane Got A Gun Trailer
Here is the trailer for Western Jane Got a Gun. The film stars Natalie Portman as a mother living on a ranch in New Mexico when her family is threatened by a gang of outlaws. Also starring Joel Edgerton and Ewan McGregor, Jane Got A Gun is set for release in Spring 2016.
The BFG Trailer
The BFG was never my favourite Roald Dahl book (after all, it didn’t revolve round a chocolate factory), but this new film adaptation looks to be a spectacle. Steven Spielberg directs the live-action film, with a cast that includes Mark Rylance, Rebecca Hall and Bill Hader. The BFG stomps its way onto screens on 22nd July 2016.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer
The full-length trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reveals quite a bit about the upcoming superhero movie. We get to see Clark Kent meeting Bruce Wayne, even if it may take some time getting used to seeing Ben Affleck in this role. There is also more of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and an appearance from another of the Justice League. Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is released in cinemas in March 2016.
The Nice Guys Trailer
The Nice Guys sees the unlikely pairing of muscle for hire Russell Crowe and private eye Ryan Gosling team up to track down a missing girl. The film’s 1970s setting is instantly recognisable, from the costumes to the soundtrack. Also starring Kim Basinger and Matt Bomer, The Nice Guys will hit the big screen on 3rd June 2016.
Paul Haggis’ ensemble drama Third Person displays shades of 2004’s Crash. The film is mostly engaging viewers, if not wholly satisfying.
Michael is holed up in a Paris hotel trying to finish his latest book when his lover comes to visit. American businessman Scott wanders into a bar in Italy where he meets a beautiful but stressed young woman. Meanwhile in New York, a former soap actress hopes to win back custody of her young child…
Third Person follows the blueprint of Crash with its seemingly separate narrative strands. Writer-director Paul Haggis’ latest film shows more poetic licence with entwining them, however. Initially, there is enough in these individual strands to capture the viewer’s attention. Little is revealed about the main characters to begin with, allowing their stories to gently unfold.
Some of what occurs in Third Person is predictable. However, this is not the film’s main problem. Third Person seems to play with themes, but does not have a lot of coherency in terms of narrative. Whilst there is a particular theme that connects the stories, this is rather loose. What is presented is shells of narrative strands, without a satisfying group of stories. The later connection of these strands appears ill-thought out. If Haggis wish to play with elements in a less rigid context, these themes or husks of story needed to be captivating. As it stands, they hold some merit, although not enough to justify the run time.
Some of the cinematography in Third Person is beautiful in a polished way. The score is a good accompaniment. Performances from the ensemble cast are good overall. Olivia Wilde stands out in particular, whilst Mila Kunis, Liam Neeson, and Kim Basinger in a small role, are decent.
Despite a stellar cast, Third Person ultimately disappoints due to a lack of strong direction in narrative terms.
Like the protagonists in the film, Grudge Match is a bit out of shape. However it does entertain, and offers a surprising candour.
Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp and Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen had an intense rivalry as professional boxers. Thirty years later, a boxing promoter attempts to coax them out of retirement for one final bout…
Grudge Match is set up as Rocky versus Raging Bull in all but name, as the footage at the beginning of the film will attest to. The start of Grudge Match is a bit shaky, but the film settles into a more comfortable flow.
Peter Segal’s film plays the ageing fighter premise for laughs. These can be hit and miss; many of the jokes are based around the fact that the protagonists are old, but only some of these hit the mark.
Grudge Match has a more serious slant as well. The rift between the two boxers revolves around a woman; Sally. This and the tangent with her son BJ, gives the central characters depth and motivation. The narrative is somewhat predicable, with some inevitable turns.
Where Grudge Match excels is in its build up to the fight. There is a surprising realism in how the attitude toward the event changes. There is no doubt that a match between two long-retired competitors would lack mass appeal. It is the viral videos and subsequent appearances that gradually build the fight into something of an event. Similarly, it seems believable that ‘The Kid’ would use his showboating to turn a profit.
Sylvester Stallone plays ‘Razor’ in a subdued fashion, the antithesis to Robert De Niro’s larger-than-life showman. Kim Basinger is well cast as Sally, whilst Kevin Hart is suited to the wisecracking facilitator role. It is Alan Arkin who shines whoever as the elderly boxing coach.
Grudge Match is by no means a classic, but it is certainly a watchable film.