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Think Like a Man: Fun, Cliché-Ridden Rom-Com
Candace (Hall) is a single mum who doesn’t want an endless string of men parading through her son’s life yet can never seem to get a man to stick around. Her best friend Lauren (Henson) is a high powered executive who has trouble finding men who live up to her standards and who aren’t intimidated by her success. Mya (Good) is incapable of finding a man who’s interested in a long term relationship. All the ones she does find only want to bed her then dash. Kristen (Union) has been with her guy Jeremy (Ferrara) for nine years. He’s an overgrown man-child who refuses to get a proper job.
Fed up with their romantic options, the women all read Steve Harvey’s terribly titled Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man and opt to take its advice. Candace tries to get Jeremy to grow up while the other women, who are all incidentally dating Jeremy’s friends, test out the book on their new men – each of whom is a very specific brand of un-dateable. Jeremy and his friends - Cedric (Hart) who is going through a divorce; Dominic (Ealy), a talented chef stuck at the bottom of the food chain; Michael (Jenkins), a mama’s boy; and Zeke (Malco), a player - discover that the women have all been following the book’s advice and decide to read it for themselves to beat the women at their own game.
True to the title, the film relies on ridiculously overplayed, sexist stereotypes. Men are slobs who are only after sex while women dream of their Prince Charming, women’s standards are too high except when they’re too low, women have the power in relationships because they have vaginas, men won’t get married unless the women force them into it, and so on. These clichés are so tired, they’re not even worth getting worked up over but it is really sad watching every single woman in the film hanging on to the book’s every word and referring to the author on a first name basis, as if he were their best friend. On top of this, the film has two inexcusable faults: the first is that it plays domestic violence for laughs. Not cool, even when it’s the guy getting beaten. The second is giving Chris Brown a job.
His cameo only increases his already sky-high arsehole profile. Of course, his character is actually supposed to be detestable so it was technically a great piece of casting - minimal acting required! Other than him, the film was pretty well cast, though not brilliantly acted. At the very least though, they’re all gorgeous and very likeable so that balances things out a bit and makes the film more watchable. Even so, each romance in the film is a cliché making it difficult to empathize with any of the characters. Having said that, while Ealy and Good aren’t a couple, they’re the film’s highlights though Jenkins and Hall, who are one, come a close second.
Think Like A Man doesn’t work particularly well as either a romance or a comedy, in fact, it couldn’t even be an ad. After this and What To Expect When You’re Expecting, let’s just hope the next step doesn’t involve adapting a diet book.
Star Trek Into Darkness marks the twelfth instalment in the Star Trek franchise – which dates all the way back to 1966 – and plays as the direct follow-up to the 2009's successful reboot, Star Trek.
The film launches into action with a thrilling opening sequence which finds Capt. James T. Kirk (Pine) in deep trouble. In an attempt to save Spock (Quinto) and the natives of Planet Nibiru from a catastrophic volcano eruption, Kirk puts the entire Starfleet in danger by revealing the U.S.S Enterprise's hideout and by interfering with Nibiru’s primitive civilisation – prime directives which should never be broken.
Even though his intentions were moral, Kirk knows that he's crossed the line. Facing demotion as an executive officer and with Spock reassigned to another ship, Kirk’s lofty ambitions look more and more unlikely. Soon, all is forgotten, however, when an act of terrorism shakes London. The man behind the attack – as the Starfleet soon learns – is John Harrison (Cumberbatch); an ex Starfleet agent gone rogue, who has now escaped to the Planet of Klingons.
With Kirk and Spock reassigned to the U.S.S Enterprise once again, the crew – which includes ship Helmsman Hikaru Sulu (Cho), Chief Medical Officer Leonard 'Bones' McCoy (Urban), Chief Engineer Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott (Pegg) and Communication Officer Nyota Uhura (Saldana) – are sent on a dangerous mission to capture and eliminate the terrorist.
However, their mission – as Captain Kirk and his team soon learn – is not at all what it seems and disturbing secrets soon bubble their way to the surface.
Director J.J. Abrams - along with the team of returning writers, Roberto Orci, Alex Krutzman and Damon Lindelof – continues to breathe life into the beloved science-fiction series and his newest addition makes the four year wait for a sequel worth it. It’s nothing short of an edge-of-the-seat extravaganza with plenty of excitement to keep everyone – including the non-Trekkies – amused. Aside from the expected action-packed scenes, the writers also manage to find time for more character-oriented threads, which allow the audience to connect just a little bit more to these iconic characters.
As far as the die-hard Trekkies are concerned, don't despair; there are plenty of nods to the past and trips down the memory line with references to former characters, locations and weird alien species.
Pine seems to be settling into the role of the infamous Captain Kirk pretty well; emotional and driven, Pine possesses the charisma to anchor such an epic. Meanwhile, the terribly talented Quinto is magnetic; his restrained and cold exterior provides plenty of laughs and, at the same time, plenty of stirring moments as we witness significant character growth. Pegg and Urban offer much of the comic-relief, while Saldana unfortunately fades into the background. Most significantly, however, Cumberbatch shows plenty of depth as what is slowly revealed to be a complex antagonist.
All in all, Star Trek Into Darkness offers guaranteesd entertainment. As an exhilarating and often moving addition to the franchise, JJ Abrams has proved that remakes, reboots and sequels can still be done well. Good job.
Scary Movie 5 – aka Scary MoVie – marks the latest and slightly belated entry to one of the laziest spoof series in the history of cinema. The franchise, which continues down a shameless road of riff-raff, turns its attention to recent box office hits such as Mama, Black Swan, Sinister, The Cabin in the Woods, Evil Dead and of course, Paranormal Activity.
The premise hasn't changed one bit, but the outlandish formula that may have once incited a few laughs – or at least some guilty chuckles – has finally reached a point of no return: rock bottom.
Scary Movie 5's so-called plot focuses on Jody (Tisdale) and Dan (Rex); a young married couple who have come to care for three young girls who, after the tragic disappearance of their father – Dan's older brother – spend most of their time living in 'the cabin in the woods'. They are feral and wild, and continue to creep everyone out with constant references to someone called 'Mama'.
Keen to rid the house of any unwanted demons, Jody and Dan wire up their house with multiple cameras – à la Paranormal Activity. Meanwhile, the couple struggle to tend to their careers; Dan keeps himself busy researching apes at a scientific facility run by scary boss, Martin (Crews), while Jody tries to resurrect her career as a ballerina – à la, yes you've guess it, Black Swan – and auditions for the lead in a production of 'Swan Lake', working opposite pole-dancing ballerina, Kendra (Ash).
This is the first film in the series that has not been moulded by the hands of original creators, the Wayans Brothers, who declined the invitation to return, and the franchise's charmingly nutty lead, Anna Faris, who is currently pregnant. Needless to say, the film suffers from both omissions and doesn't have the foolish charm that made the franchise so popular, showing little-to-no intelligence in its humour.
The plot is incredibly inconsistent and plays out as a series of unconnected set-pieces, each telling their own story, just for the sake of it. Seriously, how many more Paranormal Activity spoofs do we have to sit through?
Tisdale, who has some pretty big shoes to fill after Farris' departure, is appalling and she still hasn't shaken off her Disney roots. Rex is just as horrendous and although the film has several talented actors at its disposable – Morgan Freeman narrates – none of them are given the right material to work with. Even cameos by Snoop Dogg, Mike Tyson, Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan all feel like missed opportunities.
Sitting in the wrong side of ridiculous, Scary Movie 5 is unfunny and too on-the-nose – wasting anymore column inches writing about it is infuriating.