Ready Steady Cut EP55 – Reviews Round-Up – Atomic Blonde

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This is Episode 55 of the Ready, Steady, Cut! Podcast. On this episode, we do our reviews round-up and discuss movie releases we have watched from the 1st half of August. The headline review for this round-up is Atomic Blonde. All films that we review in this episode are spoiler-free. All the movies that we review are listed below.

Episode Breakdown:

00:00 – Intro and Round-Up Summary
Movie Reviews
03:07 – Kidnap 
10:59 – Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
23:16 – Icarus
34:20 – The Emoji Movie
44:20 – Naked
52:02 – Burning Sands
1:00:03 – Girls Trip
1:09:25 – Message from the King
Headline Reviews
1:15:55 – Atomic Blonde
1:25:37 – Final Comments

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Review – Burning Sands 

What’s this?

Burning Sands originally appeared at the Sundance Film Festival on January 2017. Netflix snapped it up. They are slowly becoming the platform that exploits the festival market for their own advantage despite leading figures in the industry having reservations about streaming. Burning Sands is a drama story about an African-American fraternity.

What’s it about?

Five young black men pledge Lambda Lambda Phi fraternity at Frederick Douglas University. The men have to endure a week of big brother hazing at the campus and in the fraternity house. Leading the pledge is Zurich, who himself has to balance his education, family and personal life. This is the premise for a majority of the movie. You have to patiently stay with it in order to appreciate the movie’s conclusion.

Why?

In order for somebody to enjoy the characters, they would have to relate to them at some level. During my travels in the USA, I worked in a relatively rich area for a hotel/restaurant. At all the house parties I attended there were ‘brothers’ from other fraternities from different universities. Due to their status, they often grouped together at social events because of what they had in common. Let me put it this way; the weird events that I saw amongst these fraternity men were weird. Simple as that. As the British guy, I did not achieve common ground at all. It was obviously impossible. I did not get it. It is hard to contemplate and I appreciate the fact you have to be in it to feel it.

By the way, I am not saying all sorority and fraternity groups act like this. I appreciate that they all come in different shapes and sizes. Some require finances and reputation and others are just, well, normal. I hope.

The fraternity groups I came across indulged themselves in proud masculinity.

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Ready Steady Cut EP54 – Pulp Fiction

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This is Episode 54 of the Ready, Steady, Cut! Podcast. On this episode, with the upcoming release of The Hitman’s Bodyguard starring Samuel L. Jackson, we discuss what is regarded to be Tarantino’s best work – Pulp Fiction

There is no Trailer Talk this week but as always, we answer questions raised by our listeners and play another game of You Can’t Beat Me! This week it is Tom Hanks Characters.

Episode Summary:

00:00 – Introduction and Episode Summary
08:14 – Pulp Fiction
1:07:45 – Questions from Listeners
1:23:54 – You Can’t Beat Me! – Tom Hanks Characters
1:48:22 – Final Comments

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Review – Naked

What’s this?

Naked is a remake of the 2000 Swedish film Naken. It is a Netflix Original romantic comedy about a guy who is pretty much naked for most of the movie. It also stars Regina Hall. The Girls Trip star seems to be appearing on Netflix alot recently. Or so my partner tells me.

What’s it about?

Confident, eccentric guy Rob Anderson is about to marry Megan, the girl of his dreams. Leading up to the big day everything seems okay, that is until the fateful night before the wedding when he decides to go out for ‘a drink’ with his best friend. He wakes up an hour before the wedding, naked in a broken elevator. With no clue of how to solve this predicament, Rob is forced to relive this agonising hour over and over again until he gets it right for his wedding day. Each time he gets it wrong, he wakes up again on the elevator floor. It is a time loop movie and it does this loop numerous times.

Is it good?

I honestly, hand on heart, believed Netflix was past regurgitating this generic rubbish but apparently not. I understand that this is based on a written story but surely this is not the product? Will Marlon Wayans ever be apart of something better than White Chicks? From a critical point of view, it is easy to discuss this in the three acts.

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Recap – Suits S7E5: “Brooklyn Housing” 

What the hell is happening?

I made a valid statement in the recap for “Divide and Conquer” that the shackles are off. I am not entirely sure what for. Rachel made a resounding point to put curtains on this episode; is it really worth Mike going behind Harvey’s back to help the clinic? I mean, let’s face it, Oliver is only clinging on to Mike because he cannot strongly represent anyone to make a good lawyer. Oliver has thrown the book at Mike since the start of the season, but he appears unphased by the illegal conflict of interest. What an insufferable hypocritical character the writers have thrown in.

Sorry. I am a little grumpy. I guess after seeing Harvey illegally hire Mike, defend him ruthlessly against all odds and smartly construct a legal scenario to release him from prison, I am flagrantly fed up. If anyone has risked their career for Mike it is Harvey. The storyline does not fit well with me. It appears they allow Mike’s personality to go off on tangents. Look, I get he has some moral high ground more than the other lawyers, but he was a fraud. Surely a principle he should hold onto is staying loyal to family. Returning to deal with prisoners against his old foe represents the abnormality of this character. Maybe he is destined to always be on the wrong side of the law.

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Review – Message From The King

What’s this?

Message from the King is a neo-noir action thriller. A Netflix Original. Wait, what? Yes, you read correctly. It appears the media giant is trying to distribute through every genre possible. It also stars Chadwick Boseman. Before he completely disappears into the Marvel Universe, we get to see him showcase his talents in this dark narrative. Intrigued? So was I.

What’s it about?

I am not going to lie. When I hovered over the thumbnail and read the description I rolled my eyes. I deliberated whether to press play. The Xbox Netflix app has this persistent feature where it either plays a snippet from the movie or starts the episode and, to my annoyance, it meant I had to press back a few times. Here is the basic premise: a South African man named Jacob King lands in Los Angeles to avenge his young sister’s death. It sounds like a typical action narrative that is good for the tired brain that cannot be bothered to concentrate. Here is how the premise really sets itself up: Jacob lands in LA, investigates the daily life of his sister in order to find her, ends up at a morgue as per advice from a local, identifies his bloodied and mutilated sister and gets extremely angry. Jacob is quite clearly a character that has more to him, yet reveals only grains of his personality. Who killed his sister is not clear, and who is important remains to be solved. The first twenty minutes of Message from the King gives you a convincing impression that we may have an absorbing thriller on our hands. I was surprised.

Did it deliver?

Yes, though with a few gripes which I will discuss later. The opening of the movie is immediate and straightforward. It does not begin showing his life in South Africa. It rolls from an L.A. airport where two unknowing border control men ask the suspicious questions and consider the shady answers. From there, it moves to Jacob investigating the whereabouts of his sister. Less is more because of the setting, the atmosphere between characters, and the slow revelations. It keeps you engaged. There is a moment in particular where Jacob passes his motel neighbour and she throws him the enquiring glance. He returns the favour so you know that she will be important at some point. By the time he finds his murdered sister you are ready. His pain and anger can be felt. Whether or not the slow build-up to the key moment was intentional, it works because when he first participates in an action scene you are exhilarated by his violent side. Message from the King wants you to know that this is not action reliant. There is a real character on display.

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Review – Girls Trip

What’s this?

About a year ago, a friend of mine pointed me towards a YouTube video in which a woman who calls herself Angel demonstrated how to use a grapefruit to enhance a blowjob. Angel’s technique – which my girlfriend wholeheartedly believed was a prank I’d somehow engineered for my own benefit – is perhaps the most terrifying thing I’ve ever witnessed, and I am a man who has seen a video of a hostage being beheaded by a terrorist, and a woman in Ibiza fire a rugby ball from her vagina with such velocity that it hit a patron twenty feet away.

Girls Trip is essentially a feature-length version of Angel’s grapefruit video. It even includes a scene which specifically imitates it, and I think it’s telling that this is somehow less ridiculous than the original footage.

I should clarify that none of this is a criticism.

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