LIFE OF CRIME
Some bumbling baddies kidnap somebody's wife, but they are actually doing him a favour because not only does the guy not want to pay $1 million to get her back, but he could also be saving a lot of money in alimony.
Since this is based on an Elmore Leonard story, it's the sort of black comedy about people behaving strangely. Tim Robbins (hubby), Jennifer Aniston (wife), Isla Fisher (girlfriend), John Hawkes (kidnapper) and Will Forte (annoying jerk) cavort in a darkly comic merry-go-round that could be called Quirky Indie Film. Funny thing is, I think I saw this movie before in 1986's Ruthless People, also an inspiration to folks who wish to terminate their spouses.
Three things strike me: One, I might just consider paying the ransom to get back the beautifully ageing Aniston because I still adore her as Rachel from Friends. Two, how come Fisher always looks so familiar that she reminds me of every other Hollywood cutie except Fisher? Three, Robbins actually looks younger and chirpier these days post-separation from Susan Sarandon. "Slow down, what am I, a stenographer?" he complains when the kidnappers speak too fast. See? You just become much funnier when the missus is missing.
KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE
I'm so tickled by this trailer because it looks like a bunch of Savile Row tailors have taken over the James Bond thriller. Chief among these immaculate suits is Colin Firth (above), looking like a younger Michael Caine as a bespectacled, supremely tidy spy recruiter. Caine himself pops up here as a senior spook in this best collection of Brits who never got to play 007. Along with Mark Strong, they induct a young delinquent (Taron Egerton) into their secret gentlemen's spy club to train him in the world of global subterfuge.
"We are an independent international intelligence agency operating at the highest level of discretion," delivers Firth with all the crisp, precise enunciation of an Oxford don.
At first, I thought this clip is about a comedy, until I realised here is a director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, 2010; X-Men: First Class, 2011) who would gladly trade laughs for explosions.
It's very funny watching these stuffy Brit gents discuss the finer points of espionage. Then out goes the stiff upper lip and in comes the stiff upper clip of ammo.
This article was first published on May 28, 2014.
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