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Jon Meakin won November's Find-DVD review competition - next time it could be you!

16 December 2011

Congratulations to Jon Meakin who has won November's Find-DVD review competition for his enjoyable, very easy to read review of Horrible Bosses – Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy). Jon has already received his prize – a £100 Amazon voucher which he will be able to spend on anything he wants. Being this close to Christmas it will come in very handy for spending on Christmas presents!

 
November's competition attracted a nice set of reviews and here are excerpts from some of our favourites which only just missed out on winning the prize;
 
Ginette K. for X-Men; First Class (DVD + Digital Copy) – "a true must for any X-Men fan or even for those who like a look of action"
 
Kashif Ahmed for Green Lantern (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) – "Good movie, could have been better, worth watching once"
 
Chris Mapeley for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Blu-ray 3D + 2D Blu-ray) – "As with all Disney Blu Rays the picture quality is impressive, the colours are vibrant with the black's dark and deep"
 
Oki Boy for Back to the Future – "a delightful, fun, entertaining film even still after twenty-six years"
 
Robert Lucas for 127 Hours (Double Play Blu-ray + DVD) – "This is the most powerful movie that I've seen in a long time and if we let it, it will change the world. The perfect movie."
 
Dave Wallace for X-Men: First Class - Triple Play (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) – "X-Men: First Class is that rare thing: a superhero movie that manages to satisfy intellectually and emotionally as well as viscerally"
 
Ross Miller for Horrible Bosses – "a fun film with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and a cast that works well together" "A solid watch that might be best with a group of friends"
 
And Christopher for A Taste of Honey – "It is a wonderful film, worthy of being held among the many other wonderful British New Wave films of its time and ilk"
 
Thank you to everyone who sent in a review during November. We always read every one extremely carefully and really enjoy doing so as the standard is often very high. All of your reviews are put onto our pages to assist others in choosing their DVDs (subject to our rules which most importantly include no swearing and that the review doesn't appear elsewhere).
 
December's competition has been open for some time now but it is still not too late to submit your entry. Any reviews received before 31st December will automatically be entered into the competition and will put you in with a very good chance of winning a £100 Amazon voucher.
 
Have a look at reviews written by our past winners and at the reviews already submitted for this month's competition to get an idea of what we are looking for and what you are up against this December then why not send one in yourself. The competition couldn't be any easier to enter. Just imagine what you could buy with your prize! Good Luck.
 
Here is Jon Meakin's prizewinning review of Horrible Bosses
 
 
Often there is no point reviewing a comedy film because what's funny can be so subjective. It doesn't matter when the actors are rubbish or the plot makes no sense if it makes you laugh. But I'm making the effort for Horrible Bosses, because it is a good film, with a great cast and it is hilarious.

For a start, the premise is funny, onto which a fiendish plot is built. I don't mean to sound surprised or flippant! But when was the last time you saw a comedy movie that had an actual plot driven story? Just look at The Hangover II; funny as hell, but the story was so dumb and repetitive, it was almost depressing. But the first Hangover was successful because the characters were realistic and as well as a good plot, Horrible Bosses has the same sort of people. The bosses themselves are absurd, but the employees are largely normal, caught up in a silly situation.

While Anchorman was genuinely hilarious, like all Will Ferrell and/or Ben Stiller films of recent years, it relied on ridiculous characters. That's getting old and audiences needed a change. Meanwhile Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) seems to have lost momentum to Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) who has nevertheless failed to capture the same balance of sentimental crudeness Smith was so good at. At least Will Gluck's Easy A recaptured the teen comedy last year in superb style, and now Seth Gordon is doing the same thing for grown-ups with Horrible Bosses.

The story is that three working guys are fed up of their respective bosses. Jason Bateman is getting manipulated by Kevin Spacey, who is brilliantly nasty (quieter and more devious than his boss from hell role in Swimming With Sharks). Jason Sudeikis loves his job and his boss (Donald Sutherland), who suddenly dies, leaving his drug addict crazy son (Colin Farrell) in charge ("fire all the fat people!"). Finally Charlie Day is suffering Jennifer Aniston's attention, which the other two find hard to sympathise with and Aniston is looking so fantastic you may struggle to understand as well! The three guys try to hire a hitman (Jamie Foxx, with a character name I can't begin to tell you) to kill off their bosses. He instead advises them to do it Strangers On A Train style and kill each other's boss. "Criss-Cross-Criss", perhaps.

Horrible Bosses is similar to Throw Momma From The Train and not just because they share the same inspiration of Hitchcock's film. It's narrative driven and loves the movies in general, with several great references to spot. A movie savvy script is always fun for film nerds! It reminds me of other workplace comedies like 9 To 5 or Office Space, if a bit racier. That said, despite the story including attempted murder, drugs and extreme sexual harassment, it's an oddly optimistic and good natured film that delivers gags with harmless confidence.

All three Boss actors are having a riot. Spacey gets to do what he's best at and he is a perfect villain, while a near unrecognisable Colin Farrell is fantastic fun (look out for his awesome take on the Enter The Dragon poster!). Jennifer Aniston in possibly her best role really gets to cut loose as the filthy dentist, which has caused some controversy with the film being accused of all sorts of crimes against sexual politics. I personally think that's ridiculous and unfounded, because it's good fun and demonstrates the optimism of the story (Dale isn't taken in by her, because he's in a great relationship already and wants to be left alone). If it really had an agenda and wanted to cause trouble -like Very Bad Things perhaps- it would simply have made her character male. That would have been outrageous and offensive. Horrible Bosses doesn't need to be so obvious or cheap and instead, creates a smart villain who happens to wear suspenders or less, but still this plot point has managed to offend people!

The three disgruntled employees work together well. They each have their quirks, without spoiling the character. Charlie Day could easily have been a silly sidekick, but it doesn't quite happen which is all for the better. In fact, he gets a doozy of a final scene. Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx (I still can't tell you his character's name!) steals the show with a cracking role. The gag about how he got his name is one of the best.

There are several great sequences, particularly dropping a box of cocaine in Farrell's house, or trying to entrap Spacey, but they largely avoid outright slapstick and rely on good banter, which helps make this a refreshing and satisfying comedy. It doesn't repeat gags and there are no speeches about finding what's important in life or some such guff. Even during the overly convenient ending, it refuses to pull punches and it will leave you grinning for hours after. Don't miss the outtakes during the credits, by the way. They're great fun.
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