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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel


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Movies
stainsteelrat
Envy (2004). Directed by Barry Levinson. The story centres around two friends and colleagues (Ben Stiller and Jack Black), working in average jobs with average families. Until one of them comes up with the idea of Vapoorize, a spray that dissolves dog pooh. His invention makes him a multimillionaire, almost overnight, and is oblivious to the extreme envy of his friend. Said envious friend loses his job and ends up at a bar with a stranger (Christopher Walken) who gives him some advice on mixing things up a little with his rich friend. Envy primarily suffers from a weak script, despite the comedic "talent", and rent-a-supporting-actor Walken. The jokes don't really come thick or fast, and aren't particularly funny either, so not a great start for a comedy. Stiller is... well Stiller, but Black doesn't fit well in the role he's attributed. If you're really stuck for something to watch and can cope with jokes about dog pooh then it might be worth a watch, otherwise avoid. 2/5 (Poor)

The Holiday (2006). Written and directed by Nancy Meyers. Two women (Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet) are both in failed relationships, for one reason or another, and meet each other via a house swapping website. Both have a desire to take a break from their lives so they impulsively agree to swap houses for the following day - one of them lives in a big gadget filled house in LA, and the other lives in a sleepy cottage in Surrey. Then they both meet men in their swapped countries, and romance blossoms. Every now and then a romcom surprises me, as despite all my squawking and moaning about having to watch it, I end up enjoying what can often be good writing, performances etc. This wasn't one of those times. The script for The Holiday is average and predictable, with a somewhat spartan middle. The casting seems to be more about big names than appropriateness for the role. Diaz is so-so, not helped by the script, and Winslet seems to overplay a lot of the time (she is better in serious roles). Jude Law and Jack Black play the respective squeezes; Law is his usual charming (boring) self, and Black comes across as semi-bland in an only partly nutty role (miscast, like Winslet). But it will be "chicken soup" for those who like their romcoms. Others should avoid. 2/5 (Poor)
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