RON’S GONE WRONG
THE power of friendship, from Elliott and ET to Woody and Buzz, has often made kids’ films real tearjerkers.
Now there’s another pair of pals to make your heart melt — Barney and Ron.
The power of friendship, from Elliott and ET to Woody and Buzz, has often made kids’ films a real tearjerker – now we have Barney and Ron[/caption]
Barney (Jack Dylan Grazer) is a quiet and solitary schoolboy who loves rock collecting.
He goes to school on an ancient push-scooter and dines alone on chicken feet that his Eastern European grandma Donka (Olivia Colman) packs for him.
To make Barney stick out even more, the invention of the B*Bot — an oval-shaped robot designed to be a “best friend in a box” for every child — means all his peers own the expensive toy, while his dad (Ed Helms) cannot afford one.
The B*Bot has been invented by global tech company Bubble, with kids merely having to press their palm on the robot for it to instantly know everything about them. They can then digitally connect to other B*Bots with similar interests.
In a desperate bid to help his unpopular son, Barney’s well-meaning dad buys a B*Bot from a back alley. Which is the birth of Ron (Zach Galifianakis) — who quickly becomes the discombobulated best pal Barney has been searching for.
The animation is pure brilliance and co-writer Peter Baynham, who is best known for Borat and Alan Partridge, brings great slapstick humour into this beautiful tale[/caption]
While Ron has many screws loose and constantly calls Barney “Absalom”, as his broken database can’t get past the letter A, the pair become inseparable.
Meanwhile, Barney’s peers are trapped in their own digital hell — something the younger generations know all about. In their desperation for likes and approval on social media, many of them end up being humiliated, publically shamed or feeling very lonely indeed.
The animation is pure brilliance and co-writer Peter Baynham, who is best known for Borat and Alan Partridge, brings great slapstick humour into this beautiful tale, as well as dialogue with true depth.
But nothing touches the energy, imagination and joy of the bromance between boy and machine — and the lesson they teach the world.
Ron has definitely gone right.
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THE LAST DUEL
I KNEW what I was in for at the beginning of Ridley Scott’s new epic – bloody battles, sweeping historical scenery and lots of silly haircuts. And I was right.
This tale is set in medieval France and is based on the book of the same name[/caption]
But, my God, is there so much more to The Last Duel than muddied men decapitating each other in fields.
This tale is set in medieval France and is based on the book of the same name.
It is the true story of the last judicial duel, fought between former close friends, the proud and unpopular Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and the charismatic Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver).
Count Pierre d’Alençon (Ben Affleck) watches on, as does Carrouges’ wife, Marguerite de Thibouville (Jodie Comer).
We later learn the duel was set when Carrouges challenged Le Gris for raping his wife.
Damon, Affleck and Nicole Holofcener’s screenplay is smartly divided into three chapters that are each the truth according to the husband, the rapist and the wife. Scott’s handling of the subject is truly something splendid, transforming this monumental war film into a sleek thriller.
There’s not a duff performance, but Comer outshines her illustrious Hollywood co-stars and is already a contender for an Oscar nomination.
This spectacular film will have your heart both racing and breaking.
VENOM: THERE WILL BE CARNAGE
ANDY SERKIS is on directing duties for this campy sequel to Sony’s 2018 comic book adaptation, which starred Tom Hardy as a journalist playing host to a parasitic alien.
Tom Hardy is a journalist playing host to a parasitic alien[/caption]
Despite a critical panning, the original Venom raked in more than £750million.
That guaranteed a follow-up featuring Woody Harrelson’s Cletus Kasady, otherwise known as Carnage – a villain who was teased in a mid-credit scene.
Here, Kasady, a serial killer awaiting execution on death row, requests an audience with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy).
Now bonded to Venom, the two are trying to keep under the radar and revive Brock’s journalism career. However, when Kasady gets his own alien upgrade, Brock and Venom must put aside their differences and become the lethal protector San Francisco needs to prevent utter . . . well, carnage.
The bromance has its moments and it is amusing to see Hardy get a little weird with his twin-track performance. Harrelson, meanwhile, brings some of the swaggering menace, most notably seen in Natural Born Killers, to proceedings.
But the story, co-written by Hardy with fellow Brit Kelly Marcel, is insubstantial.
There are major holes in the plot while new characters Shriek (Naomie Harris) and Detective Mulligan (Stephen Graham) feel underbaked.
Fun but instantly forgettable.