Two Night Stand

I’ll start of by saying I enjoyed this movie and only saw it on the recommendations of a friend. I say this because one or two others have not been too kind to the work. Directed by Max Nichols, this is directorial debut, and a good one at that. The premise is quite simple. Out of work and out of love Megan (Analeigh Tipton, Warm Bodies, 2013) is cajoled by her flat mate in to going out to a party, only to find she has no ID and cannot attend so back home. At home she decides to take the advice offered by everybody; get on line and find a guy.

After some time dithering about, she eventually cobbles together an on-line profile and enters the fray. Following a few minutes of the usual jokes she comes across “Alec” (Miles Teller, whiplash, 2014) who seems like a genuine guy; he does live on the other side of the city though, however she goes for it and heads over to Alec’s. after what is presumed to be a satisfying night Megan decides to slip out.

There are two issues with slipping out, firstly the front door is alarmed and causes here to jump back to bed before the siren sounds. This gets fixed only to have the morning after discussion with Alec rr as she mistakenly calls him; Alex. Many of the jokes/scenarios here are not new, but they are not hammed either. Indeed is their very recognisable nature which contributes to the scene, as we inevitably identify with various parts of the discussions. Finally leaving the apartment Megan has one last major obstacle to overcome; the New York snow, unfortunately the snow won as she is trapped inside , with no further option Megan returns with Alec to the apartment. What follows is the traditional awkward silence following the discussion they had earlier when they thought they would never see each other again. This is of course an ages-old gag; people insult each other only to be forced in to a situation together. What makes this work is the ability of both cast members to work well together and have a snappy script supplied to them by the screen writer (Mark Hammer, Skins episode 2011).

Having checked the weather , it looks like they are trapped together for at least another night, remember this is early morning. Eventually they settle done to a delicate “truce”, a truce which is put in jeopardy by Megan when she is in the bathroom and reads an article on the type of women who use dating sites for one night stands, she identifies as #2 – Damaged. Clearly still hurting she rips out the page and flushes it down the toilet. The only problem is the flood that follows. From here the disaster mounts. Alex has no plunger, but his neighbours have. The neighbours are away and Alex does not have a key, so the two of them gear-up and via the fire-escape go round to their neighbours’ apartment. The windows are frozen solid, normally a problem with the building’s windows would have meant they were open. Megan does what she needs to do and they get in, much to Alec’s shock and amazement.

Once the piece is recovered from the toilet, they have a discussion and the issue quickly passes, or does it? Following a smoke of a certain herb, they relax and after making a “blanket tent” relax for the evening. While talking they decide that their situation might allow for some Science – namely feedback on where they went wrong the night before. Queue night two. In the best traditions of love’s labours being lost, Megan leaves for home the next day, but under a cloud.

While Megan has been open about her relationships, Alec has been less so. What seemed like a budding friendship might just have failed at its second hurdle. Back at her apartment Megan’s flat mate, Faiza (10 Cent Pistol, 2014) and her boyfriend, Cedric (Scott Mescudi, Need For Speed, 2014) have news for her – she has 4 days to find a new place. Alex now has a similar predicament owing to items left in his apartment (see for yourself). So nothing else to do, it is time for the New Year’s eve party, which needless to say, is a bit of a damp squib for her, or at least it is until the police come looking for her. The consequences of her entry to Alec’ neighbour flat come back to haunt her. It seems as if this is Alec’s doing, she is in a holding cell and he’s trying to bail her out, unsuccessfully. The last few minutes of the movie you can check out for yourself.

This could very easy have been a painful saccharine affair (no pun) but with snappy script and delivery it turned the movie in to something well worth watching regardless of whether or not you are trapped behind a wall of snow.

A very solid ***

Premium Rush

This is a movie that knows what it is – entertainment.  I saw the posters and wasn’t overly sold on the idea of a courier being chased around New York; then I looked and saw the cast list and decided it was worth a try, any movie with Joseph Gordon-Gordon-Levitt (The Lookout, 2007) usually is, it got me thinking there might be an angle to this movie.

This is an original slightly quirky but entertaining movie. Directed by David Koepp (Stir of Echoes, 1999) and also co-written by him with John Kamps (Ghost Town, 2008). Essentially the story evolves around a group of New York cycle couriers. Our Hero, Wilee (all through the movie I thought his name was “Reilly”) is hired to take a package across the city by 7pm. The thing is he was hired by his girlfriend’s former room-mate, Nima (Jamie Chung, The Hangover Part II, 2011) who asked for him specifically. It turns out he is the only person she trusts to deliver the envelope. Why the trust because it is worth about $50,000 and is essentially a promissory note to a Chinese gang leader in payment for Nima’s son to come over from China – watch the movie for the details.

Ordinarilly this would all be fine except at around the same time, there is a police detective with a gambling problem who owes a considerable amount of money and decides to go further in, in the hope of getting out of his predicament. As a result of killing a Chinese street kid that he took his anger out on, he’s now a liability and  also must get the ticket to pay his debts. Detective Monday (Michael Shannon Machine Gun Preacher, 2011 is a man who just went over the edge and is fighting (and failing) to hold on to what  little sanity he has as he chases down Wilee and the ticket.

As if Wilee hasn’t enough to do he has to try make-it-up to his girlfriend Vanessa (Entourage, 2010) while at the same time ensuring his love rival Manny (Wolé Parks, As The World Turns 2007). All this might be enough to ruin an normal day, but the rivalry with Manny results in them getting the attention of NYPD cycle cop played by Christopher Place (CSI NY, 2006), although usually employed as a stunt man, he works well as part  of the comic side.

The fact that they use Place, a stunt man, will give you an indication that not all is safe and well of the streets. The chases are fast and more than nerve wracking. This is parkour on bikes.  An interesting slant is the “time-outs” Wilee takes during the chases to look at his options and try go for the least fatal. This is similar to the device used in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes (See Below) when our eponymous hero plans out his fight moves.

Through twists turns and falls the movie moves to a satisfying climax which works well, in line with the overall flow of the movie. The soundtrack also works well, with one final exception – the closing track Baba O’Reilly from Pete Townsend & The Who. There is nothing wrong with this track except as soon as I heard it I immendiately jumped to to thinking of a certain New York based police procedural show mentioned above. IT ofcourse did not help my “Reilly” mistake.  A fine piece of music but one which I heard a few times lately when I should not have.

That said the script is sparse, the vocal and visual jokes work and the supporting cast of familiar faces bring the movie home.  Uncomplicated fun



Top Cat

Okay, so this might not be the first movie you’d think I would write about, but it is a movie. On a rather wet afternoon it was all that was on that was suitable for the age groups involved. So the serious bit.

It would seem that this particular offering was aimed purely at the younger aged market with very little in the way of humour designed for adults that should fly over the heads of the kids.

Over all the cartoon stayed essentially local to the original format and character line up. Officer Dibble’s accent is more American that it was remembered…less New York Irish. TC and the gang were more or less the same but TC himself seemed less self assured and cocky that remembered, less Of the punchlines. To the movie’s credit, it very quickly established the characters and their personalities. T’s hapless sidekick Benny is his same old self.

On the technical side some of the animation seemed less that expected. It was clear this was not the output of one of the big studios. It seems to have been a Mexican studio.  This blog is from the phone. When I get back to the lap top I’ll expend on the technical side.

Rating 6/10 at least one of the three of us was entertained. One of us watched some of it and nearly fell asleep at other parts while the third of our trio seemed more interested in anything that moved in the movie theatre itself…not bad, but you might be better off getting  Disney DVD.