Yoga Hosers


Viewed – 18 February 2017  online-rental

Despite my liking of director Kevin Smith as a pop-culture icon and as a director, my expectations of this low budget indie comedy were considerably dialled back following Smith’s own admission of the movie’s less than stellar reception from critics.  However I was still willing to give it a chance and what I’d seen and heard still appealed.

Yoga Hozers

Two convenience store clerks (a Kevin Smith regular theme) both named Colleen (Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith) hate their jobs, wish they were singers in a band (and sort of are with their drummer Adam Brody) and long for something else in life, other than practicing Yoga and staring at their phones.  Then one night the store comes under attack from a race of miniature Nazis and the girls find themselves the only two people who can save the world from a Nazi uprising … in Canada at least.

This isn’t a movie you go and see for the plot, as it’s bizarre and stupid and really just an excuse for Smith to throw in a lot of Canadian satire of Mounties, hockey, beavers and people saying ‘sorry aboot that’ all the time.  It’s mildly-amusing but also a bit of an oddity not helped by mostly poor, cartoonish acting.  Smith’s daughter is watchable but lacking and the same can be said of Johnny Depp’s daughter, and well neither of them can sing but I’m guessing that was intentional.  Also Johnny Depp himself has an extended, near-unrecognisable appearance that’s typically caricature for the actor these days and certainly one of his least memorable.  Much of the entertainment here comes from the Canadian in-jokes so if you’re not familiar with any of that a great deal of this will go over your head.  The combination of Canadian and Nazi imagery certainly proved curiously intriguing and well, the Bratzi’s are so ridiculous they’re actually fun … and the climax involving a big monster is a lot of fun too.  Yet it remains a movie that feels stitched together from ideas that should have either been fleshed out or left alone entirely, because really – who comes up with this material and were they smoking something at the time?  However, this wasn’t as awful as I was lead to believe but certainly wasn’t that great either.  Smith can and has done a lot better.  One for the curious or die-hard Smith fans only.

Verdict:  2.5 /5

Argo


Viewed – 02 March 2013  Pay-per-view

Considering all the attention this has got recently, nabbing the coveted Best Picture award at this year’s Academy Awards, I was thirsty to see if it lived up to the hype.  Ben Affleck stars and directs the true story of a CIA agent charged with the job of bringing home a group of American diplomats from Iran in 1980 following a political uprising.  As it’s near impossible to step foot in the country, Affleck comes up with the idea of posing as a film maker, and smuggling the diplomats out as part of his film crew.

Argo Pic

Co-starring Alan Arkin and John Goodman as a couple of Hollywood effects guys, this unusual concept proved thoroughly gripping, helped immeasurably by a topical backdrop of violence and conflict, which is still relevant today.  The seventies / early eighties setting is done brilliantly, the movie boasting an very authentic look, even down to the grainy photography, and all the costumes, cars, locations etc transported me to the period.  Affleck is very good as the CIA agent who put a very bizarre plan into action, and carries the film probably better than he’s done in years.  It’s also not hard to see why this was right up the awards panel’s street – painting America / Canada and even Hollywood in a favorable light.

Despite some good lines I felt Alan Arkin was disappointing, considering his nomination, although (a very out of shape) Goodman as ever is enjoyable despite a limited role.  This remains Affleck’s movie however and his directing is accomplished, gritty but still palatable despite the subject.  The story is a little simplistic when all is said and done, but didn’t stop the movie being tense and thrilling at times, and with a good pace, I had a very good time.

Verdict:  4 /5