2012 has been full of half funny rom-coms trying to ride on the coat-tails of Bridesmaids success. Friends With Kids is another example of this. Don't let the film trick you with its cast of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm and Megan Fox because these actors are barely in the film. The storyline is fairly dull and completely contrived. In fact, the story is so boring that most of my attention was distracted by Jennifer Westfeldt's hideously noticeable facial plastic surgery. It's not an unbearable film, just easily forgettable. The people involved can all do better.
God Bless America is what happens when you give a grumpy man a budget and the tools to make a film. Essentially, the two main characters go around killing people who they find annoying, i.e. reality stars. However, it's pretty clear that these characters are soapboxes for director Bobcat Goldthwait to moan about his everyday gripes with life. The film starts off funny but there's only so much social criticism and inane ranting one can listen to. It's a well-shot film that I'd encourage people to see if you they ever get the chance. I just couldn't help but feel disappointed.
Rock of Ages is a film that doesn't take itself seriously and it's all the better for it. If you're not aware, it's a musical so if you don't enjoy happiness, you'll hate it. If, however, you don't mind smiley people and impromptu dance routines, it'll put a smile on your face. For me, I could've done with FAR more Tom Cruise and a lot less of the teenage, side characters. As an Axl Rose-esque rock god, Cruise is clearly having a great time and his performance is infectious. It's worth the one time watch just to witness Mr Scientology in latex trousers and a fur coat.
Steve Carrell, in my opinion, is at his best when playing quietly depressed, slightly awkward characters. Seeking A Friend for the End of the World, which by the way is an awful title and I resent typing it, is another dramatic turn for Mr Carrell. I was expecting a rather silly film but Seeking is charming and quite emotional. It was also a pleasant surprise to find Keira Knightley play a contemporary character as opposed to some stuck-up duchess in Victorian garb. Give this a chance, you might just be surprised.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about Jiro Ono; the world's most respected sushi chef. Jiro has been perfecting his sushi skills for over 70-years. The documentary focuses upon his remarkable story and his legacy - his two sons who are also sushi masters. I have never eaten sushi and the smell/sight really doesn't appeal to me, yet this documentary made it look so delicious. Jiro's level of skill and discipline is admirable and makes for a fascinating film. More serious issues like the increasing cost of tuna and the bad state of the fishing industry in general are also briefly touched upon but for the most part it's a character study of a truly wonderful artist.
Man, oh man I wish I'd seen this in the cinema. If you enjoyed the previous two installments of the Men In Black saga, you'll have a blast with this one. Flight of the Conchords funny-man Jemaine Clement is the creature causing the secret alien agency problems this time round. Clement's brilliant performance is only matched by Josh Brolin's impersonation of a young Tommy Lee Jones. Will Smith isn't bad either, he just gets a tad overshadowed by his co-stars. Men In Black 3 is an exhilarating experience which delivered so much more than I was expecting. It's in my top 10 of the year, that's how much I'd recommend it!