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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel


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Film Reviews: Pain & Gain (2013) and Cherry 2000 (1987)
Movies
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Pain & Gain (2013). Loosely based on a true story and directed by Michael Bay. Set in 1995 Miami, the story starts with Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) doing sit ups on the roof of the gym where he works. He hears sirens, and a number of police and SWAT vehicles pull up outside the gym. Lugo runs across the roofs of neighbouring buildings trying to escape. Pain & Gain very much tries to paint itself as a true story, but a quick read of the Wiki article about the film clarifies that certainly some of it has been made up or altered to make a better film. Towards the end of the film we're even reminded that Pain & Gain is a true story, during a segment which was mostly made up. Anyway, getting past my pet peeve of films that portray themselves as true but aren't, is the mix of fact and fiction any good? Yes, it's a bizarre but interesting film, portraying the story of a small group of body builders that try to convince themselves that awful crimes are justified by the financial outcome, sort of based on motivational speakers. If you like a bit of black comedy action, emphasis on the black, then it's worth a watch. 3/5 (Average)

Cherry 2000 (1987). Based on the story by Lloyd Fonvielle and directed by Steven De Jarnatt. Set in a post-apocalyptic 2017 USA, businessman Sam Treadwell (David Andrews) returns home from work to his wife, Cherry. They exchange pleasantries and she has cooked him his favourite dinner, yet she doesn't seem to be eating. Cherry takes Sam's dinner before he's even made much of a start on it with a view to making dessert, and then starts the washing up. The two fall to the kitchen floor in a passionate embrace, while the sink overflows covering the floor in water. Cherry suddenly starts to malfunction and eventually fails, highlighting she's a robot. Cherry 2000 is a film I've heard about before but as far as I can remember I've never seen. I recently saw it on a "top cult films" list, and as it was the only film on the list I hadn't seen yet fancied seeing I made the effort. I suppose a cult film is simply that, a film that develops a cult audience. In my experience though a cult film is normally one that is actually pretty good, and that those features were just missed by a mainstream audience. I don't think this is the case with Cherry 2000, particularly when you consider this was made 5 years after Blade Runner. The film contains average acting, utterly awful sets, costumes, and effects. The bad guys seem to be dressed up like a mix between the village people and holidaymakers in Hawaii. The core plot isn't actually that bad, and reads a little like something from a Fallout game, but the execution of it is terrible. Ultimately this is one of these is it so bad it's good type of films, and that's going to be a personal judgement. I can see that it might be for some who are still misty eyed about films they watched in the 80s, but not for me. 1/5 (Awful)
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