Spling reviews Shotgun Wedding, The Territory and Rassie: The Official Film as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Listen to podcast.
Good morning – welcome to Talking Movies, I’m Spling…
This week, we’re talking about a romance action comedy, an environmental documentary and a biographical sports documentary.
Starting off with a movie now on Amazon Prime…
A couple’s extravagant destination wedding is hijacked by criminals.
Director: Jason Moore
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel and Lenny Kravitz
Shotgun Wedding has an intriguing premise, which essentially transforms a romantic comedy into a modest yet fun action comedy. Having reignited the Romancing the Stone energy with The Lost City, Shotgun Wedding isn’t far off the trail, turning an island paradise into the stomping ground for marauding pirates. An entertaining jaunt, the wedding party of delightful goofballs descends on a picturesque venue as if the sole purpose of the movie is to amuse through a series of awkward “meet the parents” and “who am I marrying?” moments. Keeping things offbeat with some funny character dynamics around the in-laws and ex-boyfriend, wedding jitters quickly turn into a hostage scenario. Moving from saving the date to saving the day, the bride and groom become the island’s best hope as violence and comedy escalate. Starring Lopez and Duhamel, the two enjoy surprisingly good chemistry, as they’re forced to rejig their perfect wedding plan. Going from glitzy to gritty, the Die Hard meets Mr and Mrs Smith scenario has its charms but doesn’t hold back when it comes to action. Retaining its twinkle-in-the-eye sense of fun, it powers home thanks to its simple yet curious concept, circus of characters and self-assured co-leads. Shotgun Wedding isn’t as good or bad as you’d imagine, taking enough risks to remain exotic, yet stagnating within the limitations of its fun-spirited, yet superficial and comical handling.
It did just enough to score…
A satisfactory 6 on the splingometer!
Moving on to a documentary now on Disney+…
An indigenous community unites under threat of a network of Brazilian farmers who seize a protected area of the Amazon rainforest.
Director: Alex Pritz
The Territory focuses on the land issue from the perspective of some 200 endangered inhabitants and entitled invaders, who are more concerned with cultivation than preservation. Struggling to defend their demarcated zone without the full support of the government or police, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau are forced to regroup and patrol in a bid to circumvent deforestation and land invasions. The Territory has an all-access pass to both sides of this slow-burning political dispute as environmental concerns and preservation of ancient ways are threatened by farmers and settlers. Offering an insider’s perspective, the well-balanced documentary carries the views of the vulnerable people, a fearless activist, a farmer’s association and rogue invaders. The film has a western vibration, capturing a state of lawlessness where authorities lack the resources or legislation to act around matters of injustice. While infiltrated by modern customs and technology, the ancient culture’s harmonious relationship with nature continues, only taking what they need with a view to regeneration. Vivid cinematography immerses one in this idyllic setting, contrasting the symbiotic relationship with the devastation of the Amazon’s steady inclining deforestation. An eye-opening environmental awareness documentary with universal echoes and far-reaching implications around food security and climate change, the film’s restraint perfectly captures the situation, ending on an unresolved and haunting ellipsis.
An excellent 8 on the splingometer!
And finally a documentary now on Showmax…
A chronicle of Rassie Erasmus’s life and rugby career.
Director: Colwyn Thomas
The docuseries ‘Chasing the Sun’ beautifully captured the Springboks on the road to a third Rugby World Cup trophy in Japan in 2019. As a spin-off, it seemed rather fitting to chronicle one of the story’s most influential figures from his earliest days dreaming of playing for Despatch to becoming a globally-recognised sports icon. An honest man who has dedicated his entire life to the pursuit of innovation, progress and strategy around the game, Erasmus has seen the highs and lows from the perspective of rugby fan, player, coach and director. Divided into chapters, covering his various roles in a chronological order, touching on each affiliation with an overview of achievements and learnings, Rassie is a compelling and comprehensive sports biopic. Having turned down Springbok captaincy in the Nick Mallett era, Erasmus has worked his way through the ranks as a young coach and encountered every leadership role with numerous mentors, learning what to do and what not to do in the process. Interviewing an array of players, coaches, journalists and media personalities, this documentary offers a window into the proud South African’s life story and hard-earned fairytale. A work in progress, Erasmus summoned all of his expertise to help address issues relating to self-belief, transformation and meritocracy to deliver a more representative Springbok team.
A solid 7 on the splingometer!
So just to wrap up…
SHOTGUN WEDDING… fun co-lead chemistry powers this refreshing yet violent and rather lightweight romance action comedy… A satisfactory 6!
THE TERRITORY… a timely, vivid and well-balanced account of an unmediated environmental dispute over indigenous land and deforestation… An excellent 8!
RASSIE: THE OFFICIAL FILM… a compelling, comprehensive and spirited documentary chronicle of an unconventional sports icon… A solid 7!
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And remember, Don’t WING it, SPL!NG it!