Monday, June 29, 2015

Netflix double feature picture show: The Purge, GBF

So last night I ended up having a film night on my own, watching two films I'd never get my partner to agree to slumber in front of: The Purge and GBF (Gay Best Friend).

I was in the mood for a bit of suspense and thrill, and The Purge fitted that bill without reaching Saw-like levels of twistedness (which I can't hack at all ;-). In the 2020s, America is a happy place where crime is low, mainly because for 12 hours every 21 March (7pm-7am), pretty much all crimes are allowed. The reason is that, this way, people get out their anger and the weak are weeded out. Great premise, right? Sadly the writer kept it tight (to one family). Too tight really - I think so much more could have been wrought out of the idea of anything being allowed. On that night, who can you trust? who might shaft you? what have you done during the year to avoid pissing people off and becoming a potential victim? you dont want to take part in it but why do you still condone it? what could you do to make it stop? Also it wasn't completely consistent: if you have the money for a fancy security system, why wouldn't you just go on holidays out of the country? Also there is only so many times you can pull the rope of the hero about to be killed but s/he gets rescued at the last minute by someone else hidden in a corner.

GBF is a high school comedy with your typical set of characters ending with an eventful prom. It's pretty witty, but I found it hard to go past the cheap production values - the lighting in particular sometimes made it look like a South American soap opera. Funny highlights were Jojo presiding an LGBT society without an actual LGBT person in it (until our hero is outed), a very sharp black girl (maybe a bit of cliche but she was sassy...) and Megan Mullally playing an embarrassing mum (after finding out her son is gay, she plans a gay movie night-in: they watch Brokeback Mountain. Her live commentary of the tent scene is priceless).

Both get 3 stars.