Few filmmakers understand how to make “style over substance”, not in any way a negative, the way Guy Ritchie (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, RockNRolla) can. His films are shallow, but since they’re only concerned with making you smile you almost don’t mind how empty they are. In the case of The Man from UNCLE, Guy Ritchie’s creates a laid back and frisky take on a forgotten ’60s spy series is pure empty fluff…and yet so undeniably stylish and fun. This movie is light on its feet, utterly inconsequential, but it is so charming, witty and stylish that the unpretentious sights & sounds make for a truly sublime pleasure to look at and listen to. Less concerned with the prestige of the Daniel Craig-era James Bond films or the stunt showcase of the Mission Impossible movies or the satirical bite of Kingsman, this movie coasts on showcasing the untapped charms of new-blood actors Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki. This movie is a fetish piece for anyone who loves the pop side of the ’60s, and I couldn’t help but enjoy it thoroughly.
It’s been a few weeks but now the fact has time to really settle: Robin Williams is dead. Joan Rivers is dead. These two were icons of comedy and general pop culture for decades. They were the kind of figures that were a part of the pop culture for pretty much every living generation. They were active long before many of us were born and most of us kind of expected they’d be around in some way shape or form for later generations.
Nicholas Stoller, the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, has mastered the art of blending absurd and over-the-top comedy rooted in very relatable human characters and situations. His latest film, Neighbors, has the same widespread appeal of his previous films. What made Forgetting Sarah Marshall so memorable was that it was a romantic comedy/break-up movie that both men and women can appreciate, likewise, Neighbors is a gross-out “BRO”/party film that both men and women including those who’ve outgrown the party scene will enjoy. The casting certainly helps with the film but the main source of its success is due to screenwriters Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, whose script is layered with equal attention to hilarity and humanity.