A Week In Film #117: A trio of trapped

Porridge
Big screen version of Clement & Le Frenais’ prison-set vehicle for Ronnie Barker, which works rather well (and considerably better than many other 70s sitcom-based movies, perhaps only dramatically equaled by the first Steptoe And Son film). Fletch and Godber get dragged unwillingly into an escape plan; Christopher Godwin plays uptight new screw Beale.

Employee Of The Month (2006)
One of those fratpack-type comedies that proliferate these days, this time a vehicle for stand-up comic Dane Cook as a slacker working in a discount superstore who pulls his socks up to impress hot new co-worker Jessica Simpson. Hilarious sexist/racist high-jinks ensue.

Much less funny than it thinks it is, though Dax Shepard is great. Dodgeball covered similar thematic and stylistic ground, but avoided being too bad by having a little charm and warmth. Plenty of Owen Wilson flicks manage the same, by virtue of Owen Wilson seeming like a really nice sort of chap; whereas Dane Cook, on screen and in real life, comes across as an arsehole with a sense of entitlement (plus he’s a joke thief).

Falling Down
Obviously, this being a Joel Schumacher film, what could be a quite interesting look at the pressures of modern life soon collapses into a blancmange of pointless set-pieces, bad dialogue, a rich white male Hollywood player’s anti-working class and racist prejudices dressed up as satire, and poor artistic choices.

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