7:00 PM, 2nd November, 2013
You see those words under the title, ‘Directed by Michael Bay’? That should be all you need to know in deciding whether you want to see this film or not. Either you love the testosterone-fuelled, shotgun-edited antics of the man behind the live-action Transformers movies, Armageddon, Bad Boys and Bad Boys II, or you consider his work a blemish upon cinema, worthy only of your deepest contempt.
For those of you who need a bit more than instant gut responses to the director in choosing a movie – a quick plot summary. Danny Lugo (Wahlberg) is an ex-con, working in a Miami gym, servicing a rich and morally ambiguous clientele. Danny's plan to get rich quick, via a little light extortion, quickly spirals out of control into violence, double-crossing and a death or two.
Apparently ‘based on a true story’ (but with a lot of, ahem, improvements to actual events), this is Bay attempting realism, or at least as close as he's going to get. So there's no giant robots, no explosions… but there are musclebound lunkheads indulging in male bonding in pursuit of dubious goals. There is an implicit criticism of the American Dream of conspicuous consumption, but at the same time it's clear Bay really enjoys the crass side of American culture (hell, he embodies it), so the seduction is better sold than the consequences. But for those who enjoy this sort of thing… this is the sort of thing you will enjoy.
9:24 PM, 2nd November, 2013
A budding entrepreneur (Rogen) takes his overbearing mother (Streisand), whom he usually goes out of his way to avoid, along for the ride as he tries to sell his eco-friendly cleaning product to all manner of major retailers. Needless to say, the son has a secret ulterior motive: he wants to try and set his long-single mum up with the ex-love of her life, after whom he was named.
The pair encounter all manner of wacky adventures and unusual folks along their trip. The highlight undoubtedly being Streisand getting stuck into a giant-steak-eating challenge and picking up in the process, which is worth a gawk for the sheer absurdity of it all!
The Guilt Trip is a broad crowd-pleasing road movie that brings together comedy actors from two distinctly different generations, along with enough cameos from their friends to fill a small army. It may not be original or edgy, but the film hits enough of the right notes with the tried-and-tested formula it follows to keep fans of either of the film's leads who might be looking for some easy-going entertainment satisfied.