Tag: 2 out of 4

Victoria & Abdul

OH yeah, I definitely heard about Victoria & Abdul.

I heard about it, and knew I definitely didn´t want to see it, ever.

What a generic sounding, feel good, Hallmark looking film. Actor names meant nothing, it looked so low effort.

But whoever is pulling the strings behind these things campaigned their dicks off. And it got nominated for Two Oscars. Will it win them? Doubtful. But it is nominated, and I am here to review it.

Boat
Yep, there is Victoria & Abdul!

In the late 1800´s, Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) was off, being the Queen of England, doing Queen things. Namely getting awards from sovereign nations, eating lots of food, and taking naps. She was old. Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) was just a clerk in a prison in India. A regular, who gives a shit job. But Abdul was tall. And they needed tall people.

Why? Because the Queen was to receive a mohur, a special gold coin from India, which they totally owned and were kind of dicks about. And they needed real Indians to go, they wanted tall ones, and he fit the bill. Him and Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar) were sent to not look her in the eye, bow, walk backwards. Make a huge bit of fuss over a tiny coin and then head back to India with no change in their lives.

But Abdul looked her in the eyes. She might have thought he was cute. She made them stay, to present more things as servants. Then eventually her private footmen. And then, eventually, he became her teacher on all things Indian culture. A strange, unprecedented turn of events, one that surely was going to piss off a lot of old, rich, white people.

Also starring some white people: Eddie Izzard, Tim Pigott-Smith, Michael Gambon, Paul Higgins, Fenella Woolgar, and Olivia Williams.

Servants
Oh, what is this? Victoria & Abdul & Some Other Guy!

As expected, Victoria & Abdul is a very okay movie. Maybe even one of the okayiest films out there.

Dench does perfectly fine as an old queen, bored with her life, looking for something to fill her hole. Fazal, however, is a fresh change. He has a nice smile, a good laugh and just a really spunky look about him. Without him in this role, giving me something to smile about, it would have easily have been a 1 movie.

This whole thing could be a made up story and it would not change anything. Just because it is real does not mean it is worthy of being a film. The story is about a small part of two people´s lives, and one of them is super royal. A strange pairing, a cute history factoid, and that is about it.

This film will leave our collective conscious in a few years, and that is not really a shame. Just a forgettable, okay film.

2 out of 4.

Mudbound

Mudbound is a Netflix original film that came out, heard good things, then I still didn’t watch it for over a month.

But I did see it before it was nominated for a few Oscars, even if you don’t believe me due to when the review came out. In fact, Mudbound has a bit of Oscar history going behind it.

You see, Mary J. Blige was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for this movie. She is also nominated for Best Song for this same movie. First time a single person has been nominated for an acting and song category.

But that is not all! Rachel Morrison has an even bigger first. She is the cinematographer, and is the first ever female cinematographer to be nominated for this award. Ever. In 90 years. Insane!

Kitchen
Not as insane as those green items.

Mudbound tells the story of two families, living in the south and struggling to survive. Yes, one is white and one is black.

So let’s talk about the Jackson family first. Hap (Rob Morgan) and his wife Florence (Mary J. Blige) are raising their family in a small building as tenant farmers on land. They have dreams of really owning land in the future. Ronsel (Jason Mitchell), their oldest, joins the army during World War II and becomes a tank commander, which is a sexy title on a business card.

The McAllan family moved down to Marietta to buy a farm, featuring Henry (Jason Clarke) and his pregnant wife Laura (Carey Mulligan). They also bring Henry’s dad (Jonathan Banks), who is old, and therefore really racist. They don’t have the best of a time down there, as some plans fell through, but they make it work and develop a working relationship with the Jackson family. Also Henry has a brother, Jamie (Garrett Hedlund), who also went to the war, but to fly a plane, pew pew pew.

Either way, the majority of the movie is about these two families, their connections, and their built tensions. Also featuring Kerry Cahill.

Beginend
Sure that’s a large wad of cash, but also, he is white and probably evil.

Mudbound ends up being a relatively beautiful movie, set in a really ugly time. I wasn’t a fan of the old timey filters, I never am. Too many browns, greys, washed out feeling on certain scenes. But the camera was still set up excellent, giving some powerful imagery in normally non powerful scenes, so I find the nomination completely warranted.

The biggest issues with Mudbound come from the script. It takes for ever to really feel like what you are watching matters. We have generally two separate family stories that are obviously interacting, along with the two son stories over in the war. But for everyone to get done, for the stories to finally reach the point it was trying to make, it takes too long. The payoff doesn’t just feel good enough for feeling pointless for that much time.

The only characters that really felt enjoyable were the Jackson family. Laura was set up to be a main character, but she just did absolutely nothing for me. I still enjoyed where certain characters ended up at the end, happy for them, despite their struggles. I just wish that it had a bit more that mattered early on to keep my attention the whole film.

2 out of 4.

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children will probably be the last animated film I see from 2017. That is, unless some anime film I missed comes out in April or Summer, all late in the United States.

This too was a foreign animated film, based on a graphic novel. It was originally released in Spain (and Spanish), but the version I watched was dubbed.

I knew nothing about the film going in, except that it might be weird. And unfortunately, that too was an understatement.

Others
Yay animals! Time for a cute film!

This film takes place on an Island, far away from other lands. It had a peaceful animal community, that could talk, sure. Things were good, until factories joined their island. Eventually, the factories have an accident and a big blast rips through their island, killing hundreds, destroying the buildings in that area, creating rubble. No good at all.

This leads the land changed. It makes it sad. It makes it just feel, dead.

The families are now bitter. Kids are being non conformists, animals are fighting, animals are killing. And everyone is just rude.

Poor Birdboy, lost his dad, and can´t even get back to his lighthouse home. There are demons in there, and he hasn´t yet mastered how to fly.

He has friends, namely Dinky, a female mouse, are the only ones who care about him. She cares about him a lot. With the help of a fox and a rabbit, the gang plan to escape off of the island in a boat, to get away from this place of dissidence and sadness. But the island does not want them to leave. Its citizens are too bitter to allow a thing such as hope help anyone.

The four are going to struggle and face their fears, which is unfortunate, because in this case their fears are very real and dangerous parts of society.

Featuring the voices of Barbara Goodson, Jon Avner, Sofia Bryant, Dean Flanagan, Marc Diraison, Wayne Grayson, Yuri Lowenthal, Jake Paque, and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld.

Fly
Learning to fly is also, unfortunately, a dangerous and very consequence heavy fear.

Yeah, Birdboy was weird. It was also terrifying. It was gruesome. It was nothing like I expected.

The only thing I know to compare it to is Heavy Metal, but that is based on my incredibly limited knowledge on this sort of animated film. And Heavy Metal was more sexy. We also had Nerdland recently, that was graphic in its own ways. This one is graphic in that it involves kid animals, in a disgusting world, dealing with entities trying to kill them and kill each other. We have bulging eyes, red veins, abuse, drugs, everything that would negatively affect a society, rolled into one tiny island.

It is definitely not for the light of heart.

It is a sad movie, with not really a happy ending either. Sure, maybe some hope is derived from it, but it is just a movie that will tear at your heart. Not like a romance, but like a horror, tearing at your heart.

And also, it is very, very confusing. I assumed the graphic novel tells the story a bit better. But there are sequences in this movie out of order, not a lot of exposition, and when I left I just felt confused. I did Wikipedia the plot outline, which is thankfully very detailed. I recognized some events and some scenes and could imagine them all working together, but it is not very easy to do that on your first viewing.

I appreciate that Birdboy is incredibly dark. I appreciate that the artistic style really draws you in and spits you out. I also appreciate that it tried to do something new. But in the end, it was not a very coherent plot, hard to follow, and left me feeling more empty than anything at the end.

2 out of 4.

Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread does not have any stories about magically cutting out an actor and replacing him a month before release. It is not relying on controversy with its casting decisions or pay decisions at all. Hell, it barely has any actors.

It only has one bit of PR buzz going for it. Daniel Day-Lewis, famed character actor has announced it will be his last film. He already mostly keeps to himself, coming out every few years to give an incredible performance before presumably hibernating for another two years. What would a man like this do with his retirement?

Get into metal music? Get into painting? Start murdering hobos on the streets of Chicago?

Who knows! I just know that DDL is capable of doing anything he puts his mind to, so we should all watch out for him in the future.

Stare
My money is on murdering hobos. Secretly of course.

Reynolds Woodcock (DDL) is a dress maker and pretty good at his job. He makes the best dresses, is super rich, and everyone in London loves him. Not his exes, because apparently he can be a dick. But everyone else.

His sister (Lesley Manville) runs the day to day operations of his business. But he still feels alone and often distant.

Well, one day he meets Alma (Vicky Krieps). A country waitress. He takes an interest in her, invites her to a date, and sure enough they hit it off. Once she moves in with him, she finds out that she is going to be treated like all the other ladies he brings home. She will be abused emotionally while he uses her as a muse, demanding of her more and more.

Well Alma is not the type of girl to just roll over and take it.

Dress
He basically invented the trope about making a women feel bad to fit her into a dress.
Wait is that a thing?

I will be honest from the forefront. Phantom Thread put me to sleep.

Paul Thomas Anderson I can readily admit is a fantastic director. He has his visions, he writes his films, and he puts it on camera. He can usually get wonderful acting performances out of it too, hopefully telling a story others will care about.

But it was really hard for me to care about Phantom Thread. His last movie, Inherent Vice, really turned me off, being hard to follow along with not capturing my interest. But hey, I was fine with The Master. I was fine with There Will Be Blood. But his last two pictures were hard for me to care at all.

The acting performances on the main two fronts were really strong of course. DDL always delivers, and it was good to see Krieps, who I have not seen before, match his level. That is the saving grace of this movie. Acting wise, sure, it should be considered great.

This might be one of those films that takes multiple views to really appreciate. But I just know I probably will not ever go out of my way to try to watch it again. I know the twists, I know the oddities, and now I reluctantly say the only thing I got out of it is a few notches on my “watch all the things nominated for Oscars!” list.

2 out of 4.

Last Men in Aleppo

There is a lot going wrong in Syria, and shit, it definitely sucks. It sucks a lot and is still being ignored by regular media. Well, in America it isn’t ignored, but its focus is wrong. It is on ISIS and the the other large forces fighting in Syria, including Russia and America. It is on refugees, but rarely in a positive light. And it is almost always never on the regular Syrian citizens, brought into this war against their wills and fighting for their lives just to exist in the home they have known all their lives.

That must be why there are so many documentaries about it. Hell, we had City of Ghosts come out in 2017 as well, I reviewed it halfway through the year. It was the true story about the Syrians who became journalists to reveal the problems with ISIS to the world, the torture and brutality of their regime.

It was amazing.

And two years ago we had The White Helmets, which was nominated for and won Best Documentary Short. It was about the civilian group of volunteers, The White Helmets, who run to blast sites to check for injuries, look for survivors, and help those who were hurt. They are heroes!

And this movie, Last Men In Aleppo is about…um, The White Helmets again.

Aleppo
Yep, white helmets alright.

For real. This documentary ends up following along members of The White Helmets, as they hang out with their family, as they save other families, and as they put their lives on the line and die to help others.

It is a life of messes and chaos and sadness. And yet, unfortunately, I have already seen it all before.

Thanks to the docuemntary short, this group is already known. They won a goddamn award for it. And this documentary just told more of their story. It didn’t give me really new information, just new people doing the same things.

And maybe that is a bad way to grade this. Doesn’t matter though. I want to see documentaries to learn things, and this one didn’t really let me learn anything.

2 out of 4.

Faces Places

The year of 2017 wasn’t great for me and watching documentaries. I didn’t do it as often as I used to (as I used to force one a week for review). I decided I needed them to come more naturally, to see what I wanted, what looked interesting, and sure, some that didn’t look interesting.

But still, I didn’t see too many. So I had been keeping track of the movies on the Shortlist for Oscars Best Documentary. I saw titles that seemed interesting and plots that I couldn’t wait to see. I was trying to guess what might be the top five picked.

And then Faces Places was picked. It was one of the ones on the shortlist that I just did not expect overall. The documentary just felt like something that could be a one season show on The Travel Channel, and not something that might change the world, like some of the titles on the list.

Doc
Yep, I see many faces and…wait, what’s that in the background?
Oh yeah, that’s a place.

Agnès Varda is a really old woman, but a famed director in her country of origin. She has directed many films and has had a wonderful, personal career. JR is a photographer, much younger, and a bit eccentric. The two met and decided to work together on this documentary project.

Basically, they were going to travel the French countryside, small villages and towns, meet people, hear their stories, and enhance their community through their faces. They drove around in a vehicle with a large camera on the side. You could go in, get your picture, and a large picture would print out that you could put somewhere.

They decorated the sides of homes, monuments, to honor individuals and make unique artwork for the folks who lived there.

And it was cute, it had some interesting moments, and overall, it just felt…pointless. I am not saying there is no point to bring niceness to the world. It is just that there are so many documentaries that bringing up untold stories, important political and social events, that this one just feels off in its own little happy world.

I wish the world didn’t have so much fucked up shit in it. And really, the rating comes from these two individuals who just wanted to make people happy and increase their own happiness. The relevance and importance of the documentary is just less than others.

Faces Places will probably be on Netflix, eventually. And it isn’t even one you can sort of put on and half ignore to just see moments of happy, given the subtitles.

I can’t imagine this one winning anything. I hope I still get around to watching Kedi.

2 out of 4.

All The Money In The World

I am mostly certain I wouldn’t have seen All The Money in The World as soon as I did, if it wasn’t for the controversy.

At this point, telling me that Ridley Scott was the director doesn’t’ do anything for me. He has put out a lot of shit. Like The Counselor.

But Kevin Spacey was in the movie. His role was important, it was in trailers and on posters. He was basically the central villain. When it came out he was a central villain to people in real life though, his stock dropped significantly, and Scott decided to kick him out of the film. A month before it was being released. Without moving back the release date.

Instead, Christopher Plummer was brought in for the role. Everything was re-shot within a week, editing occurred, and we got the same release date. It also gained controversy over pay disparity from these reshoots, which is even more free PR.

Remember, there is no such thing as bad PR. Because the movie got award nominations – and we will never know if it is for the film itself, or the speed and craft of getting so much of the film done in just a week. Or maybe to give Spacey the finger.

Replica
I’m not fully convinced that he isn’t CGI’d into some of these scenes.

The story is a little bit about John Paul Getty (Plummer), who at the time was the richest person in the world. He was very meticulous with his money. He didn’t spend more than he had to, he always looked for deals, he got his fortune from oil in the middle east, and he was shrewd.

Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) was his daughter-in-law. She married her son and had a few kids, but the son became a drunk and a bad husband so they divorced. She divorced out of the family, taking none of the money, just full custody, wanting to distance themselves. But her son, John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) was still growing up with the richness of the world around him. He had access to money, he got to travel the world, and one day, in France, he was kidnapped.

The kidnappers knew who they had, they were basically celebrities! So they knew they could ask for a lot of money to get Getty to have his grandson back. But Getty was careful with his money. He said no, and that was it.

All The Money in The World tells the story of Harris, trying to get her son back, trying to convince her father in law to help, while her son’s life was seemingly on the line.

Also starring Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Timothy Hutton, Andrew Buchan, Marco Leonardi, and Giuseppe Bonifati.

Press
Oh. And the Paparazzi. They are all over this movie like…paparazzi.

Is this real story worth a film? Yeah, sure. It has drama, it has suspense, it has real dicks and real buttholes.

But this movie never really captivated me or drew me in to care about the characters involved. It never really felt real, but instead felt like a fast paced movie without a lot of thought behind it.

The movie starts off, time jumping back and forth across decades. We get some history of Getty, of the marriage, of the kids being younger kids. The time jumping goes too quickly and doesn’t really feel as helpful as they probably imagined. And of course, it was awkward that Plummer looked identical across 30 or so years. That’s an issue with the movie, and one you can’t just ignore by saying they did it in a week. Yeah. It shows at times.

Once the plot finally gets going, it relies heavily on Williams, Plummer, and sure, Wahlberg, to carry the story. I really enjoyed Williams as the mother. She was a strong character, constantly seeming like she was on her last wits end, but somehow keeping it all together. Wahlberg felt like a generic number two “Get it done” man, while Plummer just felt like a cranky old dude who gave no fucks. I don’t know if it is realistic, it is just true that his character didn’t have a lot going for him across the dimensions.

I knew close to nothing about the story, but it was quite clear what parts must have been embellished and what actually occurred. I don’t go to movies to see 100% factual events, but I do usually get annoyed when the truth is far more interesting than the film parts. I was notably annoyed at the end, when the rescue attempts were almost done. They kept switching back to Getty, and I had to role my eyes knowing that the timing of those events was just so stupid. And yeah, they existed just to make the movie seem more frantic.

This is a good story, with at least one great performance, that just feels rushed and overly dramatized. We can handle drama without the forced thriller parts. Just make sure everyone on board is giving it their all. I don’t know how much I dislike that can be blamed on the change of cast, but I do know I wouldn’t have given it any awards.

2 out of 4.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle

¨It only took twenty years, but we finally have a Jumanji sequel…” said no one ever about this movie, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.

Especially since everyone of course remembers that Zathura: A Space Adventure totally exists!

But also because when this movie was announced, a lot of people got pretty angry. Saying things like it would tarnish Robin Williams´ legacy, that it was changing too many things, that it didn´t feel like Jumanji, and everything else. People seem to think that movie studios were sitting on this idea for years, just waiting for Williams to fall over so they could move on. Williams did not own the rights to Jumanji.

When I saw the trailer initially I was actually a little bit excited. Getting sucked into a video game is not a new prompt. It has been done many times as one-off TV show episodes, entire shows have been based on them, and movies as well, but it feels like when it happens it is usually shit. And since I like a lot of these actors, I had a bit more hope for this one.

Group
A diverse cast of characters in a jungle, WHAT YEAR IS IT?!

Don’t worry purists, this film takes place in the same universe as the first Jumanji film! As it starts in the mid 90’s, boardgame found on a beach. However, board games are lame, so the kid doesn’ play it and goes back to his video games. So what’s an evil sentient-esque game supposed to do but morph into a playing system? That is how they will get the kids hooked.

Flash forward to modern times, and we have four kids, very distinct histories and likes, who end up getting detention at the same time. Spencer (Alex Wolff) is our nerd/video game lover, we have The Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) who is good at sports, Bethany (Madison Iseman) a popular cute girl addicted to her phone, and Martha (Morgan Turner) who also is nerdy but more reclusive. They have a task of removing staplers from hundreds of magazines in a basement, hooray child labor! They of course instead find this old video game, all agree to play, because fuck work, and lo and behold, they get sucked into a video game!

Now, they are all the avatars they chose as their characters. Spencer is now Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), good at everything, while The Fridge is Mouse Finbar (Kevin Hart), the backpack guy sidekick, Martha is now Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) a fighter good at fighting, and Bethany has become Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black), an overweight cartologist.

They must work together to balance their strengths and weaknesses in their new bodies to save the jungles of Jumanji, and also, get themselves back home.

Also starring Bobby Cannavale, Rhys Darby, Nick Jonas, Marc Evan Jackson, and Colin Hanks.

Shock
The Rock showing emotion, WHAT YEAR IS IT?

As previously mentioned, most “jump into video game movies” are poorly made. Just look at the third Spy Kids movie. The problem with all of these films or tv shows is they just never seem to “get” video games. They make them awkward puzzle based challenges, but mostly a lot of…non gaming things. The closest we have to a movie understanding video games has been Edge of Tomorrow.

If there is anything you can say about Jumanji 2, it is that it at least understands video games. Our characters have multiple lives, sharing lives, strengths and weaknesses, there are obvious levels, there are boundaries, there are goals, NPCs, weird interactions. It feels like people interacting with a video game world for the most part, that is wonderful.

It is wonderful, until they contradict themselves. For example, one of my biggest issues with this movie is Dr. Smolder Bravestone. He has no weaknesses, and his strengths include Fighting, Strength, Endurance, Speed, and being Fearless. Yeah, he has a bunch. And all the characters in avatar form obviously have strengths or weaknesses that are not normal. But hey, Ruby can actually fight despite being weak in real life. And Smolder can run fast, jump high, and all that.

Except for apparently his Fearless trait. Because a recurring plot point is watching Johnson scream at the slightest and smallest of animals, running in terror, over and over again. It causes one of his deaths. It is such a ridiculous oversight, it really bugs me because everything else was on point and this one felt glaring.

Overall, the movie is just okay still. The video game aspects are fine, the plot is really week. It doesn’t have an overall sense of awe or wonder like its predecessors. Everything is of course just extremely CGI’d and action scenes, with too many of the scenes focusing on human bad guys instead of swell animal problems. We don’t even get natural disasters, despite the several plant or weather based issues that Jumanji gave us.

A fine film, it just still could have been a lot better.

2 out of 4.

Human Flow

Initial thoughts about the documentary Human Flow is that it sounds a bit sexual. Don’t laugh, you thought so too.

I quickly realized (because I read a plot description) that is only sort of had to do with sex. You see, sex leads to pregnancies, and pregnancies usually lead to babies, and babies usually lead to adults. And sometimes there are too many adults. Sometimes these adults are mean, rude, or ruthless. Sometimes adults force other adults (and babies!) to leave their homes due to force, threats, or just general hysteria. These adults (that were made by sex) now find themselves homeless and on the move, looking for a place to call home as their previous home was torn apart by terrorists, warlords, and drones.

These adults, and tiny adults, and babies, are now refugees, and fleeing the world. However, with the amount of angry adults there are, the refugee amounts are growing at extreme levels. These refugees need places to go, and the places to go are filling up quickly. This is leading to stricter border control measures, more fences, and now refugees are finding themselves between countries. Sure, there may be countries available for these refugees to go to, but if they have no way to get there due to the other country walls, then it is as if they don’t exist at all.

So yes. In a way, Human Flow is a justified, sexual, title.

DOc
What would be sexier if a city planner got in on one of these tent cities.

The director, Ai Weiwei, goes to great pains to make sure this isn’t some exploitation documentary, where he would gain acclaim, fame, money, off of the suffering of hundreds of thousands of individuals. He seems to be a man who truly cares about their plight and is using this documentary to help get the world to understand what is going on in their lives.

In fact, we get to see Weiwei on camera, interacting with the refugees, getting some personal stories, exchanging passports even. That passport scene was absolutely heart wrenching for me, and it must have been terrible for the director and crew to be there. We have all of these people who want homes for their families, doctors for their new babies for vaccinations, things like soap, and in comes a crew of people making money and able to leave whenever they want. Of course they would latch onto that group, because hey, if there is a wall in their way, they will do whatever they can to protect their families.

Unfortunately, outside of a few select scenes of interest, the documentary felt incredibly boring. It was hard to get through, and still hard to be empathetic to their flight, maybe due to the sheer number of people and how numbed I am through the news. But it felt like a chore to get through, with an over 2 hour run time. It just dragged.

Basically, if it wants to get people involved with this thing, it has to get the common man more excited and riled up during it. They needed to make it sexier, at least the introduction or something. I spent a lot of time talking about how technically, this is a sexy topic. But when watching it, it feels entirely unsexy, and that is something they need to work on in the future.

2 out of 4.

Ingrid Goes West

Way back a long time ago, when I saw the movie Colossal, I had just learned about Neon Films, a distribution company run by Alamo Drafthouse. Colossal was amazing and everyone should see it. I believe Colossal was their first big release.

They had trailers for two other films specifically from them as well, Buster’s Mal Heart, and Ingrid Goes West. Both trailers were really well done, and I knew I wanted to see both of this films. I thought Neon was starting off really strong.

Well, Buster’s Mal Heart was indeed weird, but not something I could get behind. And Ingrid Goes West I decided to wait until it could be rented, because my wife was also really interested in it, especially since we were watching Parks and Rec at the time. Again, another delay, but that is okay, still hit it in 2017.

BFF
Did they both just conquer some natievs? Whats with the victory signs?

Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) just loves her friends, like, a lot. I mean, mostly she stays in her room, eating junk food, but thanks to social media she can keep up with their posts and going ons. She is one like away from joining in on the fun. But fun time is over, because Charlotte (Meredith Hagner) had the gall to get married, not invite Ingrid, and also imply all of her friends were with her on that special night. That bitch. So Ingrid heads over to the wedding to crash it and give her a piece of her name, putting her in a mental institution for awhile and giving her a restraining order.

Once Ingrid gets better, she heads home to an empty home, her mom now dead and gone. With Charlotte’s Instagram now set to private, Ingrid has to find a new BFF. And that is how she found Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). A social media pseudo celebrity, the type with a ton of followers so she can make money by posting images of products. She lived a perfect life, one that Ingrid would like to become.

And since she has all this inheritance money, she upends her life, flies to California and hopes to find Taylor to become real life BFFs with her, not just internet pals. She can become popular and awesome too. She rents a small apartment owned by the neighbor, Dan Pinto (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and sets off to be friends with Taylor at any cost. At. Any. Cost.

Also featuring Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen, and Pom Klementieff.

bf
Ice Cube’s son gets real warm with Aubrey Plaza.

Films that are about mental illnesses have a lot of weight to them. For example, a few years ago I watched the movie Young Adult, when my reviews were still poorly written but frequent. I used words like crazy to describe her and eventually realized that what I was doing was not okay to do. I didn’t get that movie.

Now, old (and as an intellectual~~), I understand more the right way and wrong way to speak about certain things, and other times I still don’t fucking care (hooray swearing in reviews). I just also know that if you are going to make a film about someone with a mental illness and their illness shouldn’t be the brunt of the jokes. Jokes can happen, but if you are just making fun of illnesses, that is bad. And honestly, at this point, I really can’t tell if it goes too far in Ingrid Goes West.

Ingrid is a tragic character, who gets obsessed with what she feels is perfection, until things go to ruin. We get to see her in an institution, and who knows why she is like that, or when her mom died and if it is related. Characters getting pissed off at Ingrid over her actions? Totally justifiable in the movie. But the movie makers made a choice and chose to not make their movie in a way that seems to understand that they can’t just call a character mentally unstable and run with it. There needs to be justification, a reason, some sort of closure, and not just a gag.

And again, since it seems like it is hard to tell if they really treated it with the appropriate gloves, it probably means they didn’t. I can see elements there, just not enough.

The film on its own wasn’t really that funny though. It took awhile to really get going, maybe they were going for realism. Jackson Jr. was hilarious though, every time he was on screen I ended up laughing, which is maybe the only reason this made it to a 2.

2 out of 4.