Tag: Alison Brie

The Disaster Artist

When you claim to watch bad movies so others don’t have to, you often get asked if you have seen certain bad movies. I would say the film I have been asked about the most by a landslide would be Cube. Because I like shit like that, and math. Didn’t see that coming did you? Well I’ve seen Cube now and the first sequel.

The movie most requested after that would easily be The Room, something I didn’t rush out to see. I saw the “best scenes” compilation on YouTube and just put that in a “one day” bucket. Then The Disaster Artist has to go and not only come out but receive awards nominations. shit. That meant I HAD to watch The Room finally. I couldn’t go in blind. What’s the point?

So I saw it still slightly reluctantly. Powered through. I get the appeal but I still won’t see it again. And hey now I can watch others talk about it!

Just not in the goddamn theater, that’d be rude.

Sometime in the late 1990’s, Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) was a struggling young adult. He thought about being a famous actor one day, and he was even taking acting lessons. He just wasn’t any good. At all. At. All. Nothing helped, he didn’t display any emotion, it was a lost cause. But in those same classes, he found a dark and mysterious man named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). Now this is a man who knew how to channel his emotions and really bring that raw talent to the stage.

So Greg wanted to work with Tommy, and Tommy agreed. He was a bit weird, but he really brought it out of Greg and Greg started to feel confident. After years of friendship, they moved to LA, with Tommy financing everything, to become real actors. After it didn’t work out well, especially not for Tommy, Tommy started to write and figure out his own movie. This piece became The Room, a film that is iconic today, and the rest of this movie is how it was made, the trials they faced, and the hurdles that were overcome. Also how Greg began to move on by getting a girlfriend (Alison Brie) and trying to separate from the Tommy umbrella.

And only some talk about being a vampire.

Given the people who made this, it is no surprise how many famous actors are in this film: Seth Rogen, Paul Scheer, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, Charlyne Yi, Bob Odenkirk, Hannibal Buress, Joe Mande, Nathan Fielder, Andrew Santino, Jason Mantzoukas, Megan Mullally, June Diane Raphael, Jackie Weaver and Ari Graynor. I could have also swore a minor character was Margot Robbie, but the credits won’t let me confirm that.

As we learned in The Room there is never a bad time for football.

I wonder how much your perceptions of this film changes based on your opinions of The Room. If you have seen The Room many times since it came out, were totally in that cult movie aspect, I think you will enjoy The Disaster Artist a whole lot more than someone new to the topic. Obviously this is a film where you sort of need to see The Room before seeing it to really get it at all, but there is a huge difference between me watching it a week before The Disaster Artist and years prior.

Because hey, The Disaster Artist is a pretty funny film. The Francos do a good job of setting the stage, building up the Wiseau mythos and so on. And sure, I can agree that James acted well, only because we obviously have a real person/character to compare him to. But if this was just a movie about a bad production, this is the type of thing that would be panned for unnecessarily ridiculous director guy.

So it is a very hard thing to judge. Was it actually well acted only because he acted like Wiseau accurately? Or does well acted need to be something more than accuracy to a subject? It is a hard subject to answer, and not one that I will go into real detail here. But it is something on my mind and something that certainly would tell me that it certainly shouldn’t be winning awards for its acting.

The Disaster Artist was a film that made me laugh and remind me of a shitty film at the same time. It is a very strange genre of movie, very meta, and it will gain its own cult status I am sure. Double features for the next 20 years! However, in reality, I really just want to read the book to get the full story and won’t bother too much with the film version many times in the future.

3 out of 4.

The Post

It is very hard for me to feel unbiased when watching a movie about sexy journalism. Especially if that is a story about real life sexy journalism, not made up who gives a shit journalism (Fake News?). Spotlight was something that felt like a slow burn, but ended so strong, with the good guys (the journalists, always), winning and doing the right thing. All The President´s Men felt very real and told the story about how Watergate was discovered and put into the papers. Another fantastic story.

And now out of nowhere we have The Post. This is a film that didn´t receive hype all year before coming out. It felt like sort of a secret movie, and that is bizarre given that it was directed by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg loves his period pieces, three of his last four films were Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, and War Horse, all of which I have varying opinions on.

Needless to say, given how little I knew about this film (and despite my journalism love), I had very low expectations for this movie. Low yes, despite the people involved. In my eyes, they haven´t necessarily produced the best work over the last few years, and this could be a very mediocre movie overall. (Much like my thoughts of Bridge of Spies).

Actual future footage of the cast waiting around to hear Oscar news.

Back in the 1960´s, the US was in a really shitty war in Vietnam. People were dying by alarming numbers, we were not winning the war, it was dreary, miserable, jungles, and what not. It made a lot of people sad and angry, including a point when people began to protest almost constantly the idea of that war.

One man, Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys), was sent over to record and write and determined that a lot of what was going on was lied about to the American public. Not just current administration, but for decades politicians said one thing and did another. He had access to a private report on the war, of which he slowly made copies of over time. And years later, he was starting to strike.

That is when the New York Times, with several months to comb over the report, began giving details from the report, about how the people were lied to, in their paper, causing quite a ruckus in the US. This in 1971, with Nixon still as president. It caused such a ruckus that Nixon decided to get the Attorney General to put a hold on their articles about these leaked documents, until legal matters could be settled, the first time in American history that the executive branch tried to control a press so overtly.

And that is a big deal.

Enter in the team from The Washington Post. Led by their owner/publisher, Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) who has lived her life in her father´s shadow, and husband´s shadow (who took over after her dad), who is never really sure if she is competent to lead a paper. Their main editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) wants to turn their paper into a national paper, to be a leader not a follower of the times, and wants to use this legal battle to fuel their own paper and report on the same report despite what the president says. It is time to stop toeing the line and to start asking the hard questions. The American people deserve that. Can´t stop that first amendment!

Also starring this grand bunch of actors: Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Zach Woods, David Cross, Jesse Plemons, and Pat Healy.

Action SHOT
Don´t worry, we still get sexy shots of people lounging in offices.

On one hand, given my status as a self proclaimed movie buff, I start to assume I k ow directors personally. Since this movie honestly felt like a secret, I assumed it would be a quick piece by Spielberg that doesn’t have a lot of heart around it. But I was pretty wrong.

Now sure, the beginning was a little bit slow, with some necessary Vietnam backstory and death. Spielberg loves his wars. And then we have to introduce the many players at the Post and their conditions at the time. I know I certainly didn’t know they were not a major player in the 1960’s. It is important but it isn’t sexy.

It gdfs sexy eventually, as we see them sort of luck into these documents with a few individuals with some gusto. But really the second half of the film is where the gold was at. As soon as they get the documents, most of the film takes place over the one day as they look for stories, deal with lawyers, have to convince the board and so on. It was incredibly thrilling! Edge of my seat despite knowing the outcome. The heart and soul were there.

On another note, I was originally really angry at Spielberg for having so many passive lame women characters in this movie. Paulson felt wasted! Afterwards, it was still a bit awkward, but it is clear it was done intentionally as a mini theme. In order for Streep’s personal fears to make more sense, Spielberg constructed these roles to really drive home what was still expected of women at this point in history. It is annoying, but on purpose.

Overall, The Post is a very solid film and less obvious piece of history. I cannot wait for them to start adding on to the Investigative Journalism Extended Universe.

3 out of 4.

The Little Hours

Finally the talk of the summer is here. People have had 7/7/17 circled on their calendar, just waiting for the movie that everyone everywhere has wanted.

No not goddamn Spider-man. I’m talking about The Little Hours?

Oh you haven’t heard about The Little Hours? My bad! Surprisingly very little advertising, but it was directed by Jeff Baena who gave us Life After Beth. Which was decent, and also had very little advertising. Guess that is his indie theme.

Either way, the number of people you would recognize in this film is actually quite staggering, so that alone one would have warranted an advertising budget, but what do I know.

Oh, and I know every single girl in this picture too.

Picture this! A nice quaint nunnery, the medieval ages, pious and chaste women just doing their thing, trying to love Jesus.

This nunnery is run by Father Tommasso (John C. Reilly) and the head nun is Sister Marea (Molly Shannon). At this point, this nunnery might seem a bit more odd already.

Our main nuns that we are looking at are all relatively young and unsure about their lives. Sister Alessandra (Alison Brie) is just there temporarily, waiting for her father to set her up with a husband, and she does cross stitch to help make some cash for the convent. Sister Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza) is quick to temper and often misses events looking for animals that keep breaking out. Sister Genevra (Kate Micucci) wants to be a good nun, but is getting caught up in other nun-anigans and also questioning her sexuality.

And they are all mean to this one poor gardener. So eventually, he is fed up and leaves, putting the convent in a pickle. But no worries, a young chap Massetto (Dave Franco) is on the run from his kingdom, for being a little shithead, and he can take the place. He just has to pretend to be deaf and mute so he doesn’t get on the nerves of the nuns.

But he is young and cute and that causes even more issues.

Also starring Lauren Weedman, Nick Offerman, Jemima Kirke, Fred Armisen, and Adam Pally.

Yelling “Hey Fuckface!” at deaf people is the only way to know if they are really deaf.

I had no idea what to expect of this movie going into it. I wondered if it would be a serious film, with comedic actors, just to be weird. But as soon as Plaza started laying down the f-bombs, it became obvious that this was just going to be a very odd period piece film. I quickly then switched my mind to Your Highness, which was mostly improv and also quite strange.

And then something else happened. It got sexy. Not sexy like Natalie Portman in a medieval thong, but sexy erotic. Because those girls are young and curious, Franco is young and desperate, and there is a lot of sexual activity in the movie. Like, a whole lot. And the scenes aren’t super quick jokes, they kind of go on for a bit, and include sexy music.

What I am saying is, this movie sort of turns into a softcore porno. Or at least a skinamax-esque picture. And it came out of nowhere and kept happening. Add on the very naked ending bit, with lots of floppy bits, this is just a surprise from start to finish.

And most of the points come from being a surprise. I laughed a few times, but it was never a film that really captured my interest. It was also intentionally slow (and brooding?), but at least it is original. And for some people out there, this might be the type of film they have been waiting for, for a long time.

2 out of 4.

Search Party

With only five reviews a week, it is hard to really get to watch those obscure weird films. Especially around Oscar time. But damn it, I sometimes have to just force a review into the schedule. Even if no one has heard of it. Even if I watch it and write it but take over a month to find a place to publish it

That is probably what is going to happen with Search Party.

Despite semi famous individuals in it, it was secretly brought out this year with hardly a whimper. In fact it was supposed to come out in 2014 but got delayed two years because they didn’t feel like it.

And now that it finally has gotten released? Well there is a television show of the same name, making it that much harder to find. I wonder if that was on purpose…

Despite what it looks like, no, this isn’t even a sex comedy.

Nardo (Thomas Middleditch) is totally getting married tomorrow! To Tracy (Shannon Woodward) and he is as happy as ever. Of course, the night before he is getting high in a van with his two friends, Jason (T.J. Miller) and Evan (Adam Pally), but it is okay. He made the mistake of wondering out loud if he was making the wrong choice, but that is normal pre-wedding jitters and no one goes out of there way to care about them.

Except, Jason does go out of his way. He thinks about it long and hard, but he decides no, Nardo doesn’t want to get married, he has to break it up during the ceremony and stop it from happening. And stop it he does, feeling like a hero.

So Tracy is upset and goes on the honeymoon alone, to Mexico, taking both tickets, leaving Nardo with his friends. But damn it, Nardo wanted to get married. So he is upset, everyone goes back to their lives.

And later that night, Jason gets a phone call from Nardo, who is naked and alone in Mexico. Apparently he his car stolen and they took his tuxedo as well, and now he needs help. So Jason picks up Evan sort of against his will (he has a side plot line involving his job, and his boss (Lance Riddick) and coworker (Alison Brie)) and they head to Mexico to find Nardo! Well, search for him. And they plan on partying a little as well. Search Party.

Search Party also features Octavio Gómez Berríos, Maurice Compte, J.B. Smoove, Rosa Salazar, Krysten Ritter, and Jason Mantzoukas.

The wedding was doomed to fail because they didn’t go with the cummerbunds.

Search Party seems like a movie that wanted to take a format similar to The Hangover, but zanier and with cheaper stars. Two guys from Silicon Valley and one from Happy Endings, brilliant!

Well, no. It feels like bad joke after bad joke. And the jokes they choose to tell go on so long. We get a kidney stealing joke and it is one of the major points of the film, but it isn’t funny.

Middleditch is actually the worst here. Miller and Pally have to carry most of the story while bad things happen to Middleditch and he does a terrible job of carrying on his own plot. It is just high pitched squeals and constantly freaking out, coupled with poor decisions.

At least Miller and Pally develop some amount of chemistry, no matter how bad or forced it seems. I don’t know if switching the roles around so that Miller/Middleditch got to interact more would be better, because apparently this thing was filmed either right before Silicon Valley or shortly after it started. But they didn’t feel like a group of old friends, but instead people who hated (and reluctantly put up) with each other.

And you know what? If your jokes suck and your friendship doesn’t really work, the movie is just doomed to fail. This film was pushed back because they knew it sucked. But apparently also this year is a similar film called Joshy with some of the same actors. I don’t even.

1 out of 4.

Get A Job

Anna Kendrick movie tracker #3? Yeah, this is number 3 for the year. Unless I post it before Mr. Right like a jackass. This is the second of the three that is also straight to DVD, what fun!

However, Ms. Kendrick isn’t the focus of the film. She is technically just a side character, in a handful of scenes, and not super relevant to the plot. She is all over the cover of Get A Job though.

Oh yeah, this is supposed to be me talking about the movie. I have no idea what Get A Job is about going into it, but damn it, I surely had some pretty dang obvious guesses.

The over/under for hearing the term Millennials is 15.

This movie is actually about Will Davis (Miles Davis), well known slacker and pothead. Well, only the occasional bong stuff. He is about to get hired at a shitty internet clickbait journalism site, so he is celebrating with his dad (Bryan Cranston) and girlfriend (Anna Kendrick). His dad gives him some money, finally ready for his son to be a man and need no more handouts.

But of course, day one into the job he is fired. Right as he walks into the door, they couldn’t hire like they thought they could. He lives with a group of guys, not his girlfriend. Charlie (Nicholas Braun), a slacker who is getting a job as a chemistry teacher somehow. Ethan (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a slacker who is making an app to help stalk people. And Luke (Brandon T. Jackson), a slightly harder working slacker who is getting a job as a stock broker!

Yay jobs for everyone. Except for Will. And for Will’s dad, who also loses his job despite being with the company forever. Shit, being unemployed is hard, especially in today’s world. Thankfully, Will gets a job that eventually matches his passions, making videos for some corporate company. His boss (Marcia Gay Harden) hates him, the bosses boss (Bruce Davison) likes him, and the other kind of boss (Alison Brie) wants his body, but hey, money is money. And I guess, really, this movie is just about getting jobs in this day and age and the struggles they bring.

Also featuring in smaller roles, Greg Germann, John C. McGinley, Jorge Garcia, and John Cho.

Corporate jobs means ties. Ties get in the way of food. Corporate jobs hate food.

I expected Get A Job to be a completely shit movie. And honestly, on some levels, it is still that film. It is mostly an incredibly pointless story. It is simple, basic, and more synonyms. The only thing that can possibly make this a worthwhile film experience is if the comedy is on point.

And you know what? It barely reached a good enough level at that. Davis’ character isn’t very funny, being our lead. Cranston is giving a few amusing moments, but he also basically plays a straight man this time around. All of the humor that actually interested me in this movie came from Braun and Jackson. For whatever reason, I found the chemistry/coaching plot from Braun to be almost hysterical. I didn’t giggle out of my seats, but I definitely tittered. Jackson’s scenes, especially with McGinley were a nice change of pace. Higher energy and a bit stressful.

Everything else you can practically ignore. The main plot line is meh. Kendrick is barely in the film. Mintz-Plasse’s plot is pretty shitty.

No one will ever watch this movie and change their life from it. No one will probably really watch this movie over ten times in their life. But for whatever reason, two side character plots just really clicked with me and put this film into mediocre territory.

2 out of 4.

Sleeping With Other People

It took me so long to watch Sleeping With Other People, because I made a lot of assumptions based on the title.

I assumed it was about two people in a relationship who were going through a tough time. Their sex drives were low but their love was high and that was making them frustrated. So they agreed to let themselves sleep with other people. Just to spice things up.

I didn’t feel like seeing it, because I already saw that movie in The Freebie. And hell, I also saw Hall Pass which was similar enough and shares a main actor.

But I was wrong, and the assumption made us all assholes. Or something like that.

Shit, here they are sleeping with each other. What the fuck movie title?

Let’s start out in 2002 or so. I forget the year. Early new millennium! Lainey (Alison Brie) is banging on a dorm room door, trying to get some sex with some loser. Before she gets kicked out, Jake (Jason Sudeikis) says she is here as his guest, so they hang out and talk about her issues. And they have sex, both of them being virgins after a long night of getting to know each other.

Then you know, they lost touch over time. Now it is modern day. Jake is addicted to sex, full on. He has sex a lot, is known as a player, and has even gotten around to his job. He is trying to sleep with his new boss (Amanda Peet).

Lainey is addicted to…love! She breaks up with her boyfriend whom she has been cheating on with constantly. With Matthew (Adam Scott), a gynecologist, the guy who she tried to sleep with in college so long ago. Except he has a pregnant wife, but she can’t get over him.

Either way, Lainey and Jake eventually meet up and go on a small date. They both open up with their relationship problems and agree that sleeping with each other would be a bad thing. They should remain just friends, avoid sexy talk if possible, and just help each other with their issues.

But you know, this is romance thing. That’s all I will say.

Also starring Anna Margaret Hollyman, Jason Mantzoukas, Natasha Lyonne, and Andrea Savage.

Taking off shirts at a kids birthday party is one way to avoid sexy time.

Sleeping With Other People is one of those strange movies that doesn’t even show some sexy times occurring. I am not clamoring for penetration in film or anything ridiculous, just that the sex they show looks very unnatural, with the characters wearing all their clothes still and usually just collapsing at the end. Yes, this happens all the time now it seems, especially with the PG-13 Rating. But this movie is rated R. Let’s use the old internet sexist phrase, “Tits or GTFO.”

Sorry to be crass. But just an annoyance and a strange step away from realism that has been growing.

There are amusing moments in Sleeping With Other People, but I think the downfall of the film is in its dramatic moments. They tended to feel a bit more nonsensical than the comedic ones, which is normally opposite. I could never fully connect with either character, who both were living lies for months. They needed Mike Tyson to just walk up to them and say “Now Kith” to get it over with.

This analysis is dull, because the movie is just so damn average. It is a mediocre plot, with average acting, an occasional funny moment, and many without. Watch it if you like the actors, ignore it otherwise.

2 out of 4.

Get Hard

Get Hard has an immediate issue with its title. No, I am not saying that I have an issue with what it references. That is fine. But because it makes people think about erections, dick jokes become very easy to make with it. And that isn’t creative. That isn’t clever. That is boring.

If I want to make dick jokes, I’d rather craft them with something unexpected, like Paddington or Shame. Get Hard falls into the same category now as Good Dick.

I personally will do my best to not go for the lowest common denominator jokes here. No dick jokes whatsoever. I just hope I don’t get shafted with any accidental puns.

Exercising with a little prick? Clearly in training for prison.

James (Will Ferrell) is a little bitch. He has risen to success by being white and in the right place at the right time now. He is a stock broker, which means stuff a lot of us don’t understand, but also that he is filthy rich. Which is why he is now engaged to his hot wife Alissa (Alison Brie), who is totally in love with his money.

Speaking of money, James is great at making money. So great that his boss, Martin (Craig T. Nelson) is going to promote him to a partner level player in his company! That is crazy sweet. Also, Martin is Alissa’s dad, so now he can be his dad too! I guess!

Things come crashing down when James is in a scandal. Apparently he was a dirty broker, stole lots of people’s money for bad deals and was getting away with it. James loses everything in the trial. His fiance, his money, his dignity, all while maintaining his innocence. He has 30 days to get his affairs together before 10 years in a “pound me in the ass” prison. His only recourse now is to go to the one black man he knows to help prepare him for jail.

Which is why we have Darnell (Kevin Hart), a family man with wife (Edwina Findley Dickerson) and daughter, living in a rough part of the city but hoping to eventually get her in a good school. He has never been to prison, but for $30,000, of course he will attempt to train Darnell for prison. Twenty some days of lying, won’t be too bad, especially since James is scum anyways.

Also featuring Erick Chavarria, T.I., Paul Ben-Victor, and John Mayer (as John Mayer!).

The main reason anyone watched this movie was to see Brie in skimpy outfits.

Will Ferrel for the last few years has gotten really disappointing. I blame his hair. It is ugly. I am judging him right now for ugly hair. He had sweet hair in A Night At The Roxbury, but it has been all downhill after that, with the occasional bump ups with Anchorman movies. Could also be thanks to no John C. Reilly. Either way, his humor has lessened.

Kevin Hart, on the other hand, has been pretty stagnant with his films. They range from bad to mediocre, with occasionally some excellent moments popping out. And honestly, some of those moments are what saved the movie for me. These moments that you can’t help but smile because of the ridiculous going on and the banter between our leads, with Hart doing most of the work.

Everything else about the film is a drag. The plot is incredibly simple and easy to figure out where it is going. So instead of making that better, they mostly just ignore it until the end of the film. Yes, James was indeed framed and yes, you can figure out what happened reading a one paragraph description of the movie.

But again, instead of making it at all compelling, they just push it to the side. And that is boring.

Instead of being a great comedy, this movie unfortunately landed in the average comedy category. Those comedies tend to quickly be forgotten about, neither to be hated nor to be loved. Just sitting there, collecting dust, right next to the other Hart movie this year, The Wedding Ringer.

2 out of 4.

The Lego Movie

When I first heard of The Lego Movie, sometime mid 2013, I will admit I thought it was stupid. I know Lego has been revamping itself pretty intensely for the last decade, being more than just a child’s toy. With so many themes, and now video games based on movies, it is no surprise they are making a movie based on a game.

When I first saw the trailer? I was immediately hooked. This became one of my most looking forward to movies in the first half of 2014. Shit, it was even done by the guys who did Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and Clone High. Those guys know comedy and they also know their pop culture references. Combined with an idea that has stuck its fingers in most pop culture references over the last few decades, and you have the potential for a storm of success.

Go Team
See! One of these guys is excited about the storm of success!

In this story, our hero is one Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt), who lives in the city and does the same thing each and every day. He follows the instructions on the box, lives his happy life, and builds things. There is absolutely nothing unique or special about him. That is, until he meets Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), who is about to turn his reality upside down and change his life forever!

She introduces him to the Master Builders, other Lego people who can see from the world around them and build creations quickly and without instructions. Like Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). He also learns that President/Lord Business (Will Ferrell) is going to unleash some power called “The KRAGLE” on the population in a few days, destroying everyone’s way of life forever!

From a series of accidental circumstances, Emmet is being labeled the “Special” and all of their hopes to saving the day are coming down to him. He will also have the help of other Master Builders like…Batman! (Will Arnett), Benny the 1980s space guy (Charlie Day), Metal Beard a strange huge pirate (Nick Offerman), and Unikitty (Alison Brie). Also, a Good Cop / Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) is working for Lord Business to capture the builders on the war front.

Shit, there is a ton of cameos too, which I won’t tag on the bottom, but might as well mention here. They also have Channing Tatum as Superman and Jonah Hill as Green Lantern (because, 21 Jump Street), Cobie Smulders as Wonder Woman, Shaq as Shaq, Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels reprising their roles as Lando Calrissian and C3P0, and Will Forte as Abraham Lincoln again. His first time as Abe was of course, Clone High.

But you don’t care about them. You all just care about Batman. Don’t you?

Wow. Just wow.

Easily, the first thing that should be talked about is the animation style. They went full out wild with this, wanting to insure that everything always A) looked like Legos, and B) looked like how Legos moved. [Editor’s note: Some contention as to whether or not LEGO is supposed to be pluralized by an S, given it’s company name. They might prefer ‘LEGO Bricks’ if you do multiple ones. Well, I say fuck that, we call them Legos in America]. So yes, the movie could be considered a bit choppy to get all the movements right, but that gave it charm and personality and made me giddy the entire time. Watching waves or an explosion, but noticing they are all still lego pieces is incredibly exciting.

It was also pretty hilarious. I love pop culture as much as the next guy, but I do think their humor relied far too heavily on the fact that they were using major properties, such as Batman. Batman was in this movie way longer than I would have imagined (longer than any other already existing property). Although he was funny too, they were all specifically Batman jokes, and rarely just joke jokes. Most of the main team had their quirks, but none were as trademarked as Batman.

I also feel like parts of the ending were a bit…forced. Shit went real different at the end, kind of ruining the pace for me. All of the sudden, bam, we got a lesson to learn from this movie. I think it went far too long and took away from the film a bit.

I still really like this movie though, just the slowed down ending and over reliance on specific characters is what disappointed me. It was hilarious, creative, and shit, the animation itself is almost worthy of 4 out of 4. Honestly, I have a hard time believing there might be an overall better animated film the rest of the year. But it still had some faults for me. Even if Everything Was Awesome.

3 out of 4.

The Kings Of Summer

I’d argue that there are two really “big” coming of age indie movies competing for top dog status this summer. The bigger of the two is The Way, Way Back, as it was written by the same guys who brought us The Descendants a couple years ago. The lesser known movie is The Kings of Summer, written by Chris Galletta, who is writing his first movie.

If you are surprised that we have a first time movie writer, stop it. They are called indie films for a reason.

Indie films tend to include forest dance scenes and drum solos, right?
Being in high school can suck. Why? Well, your life is changing, you feel like an adult, but you still live with your parents. You just might lash out against your parents. Like Joe (Nick Robinson). His mom died a long time ago, and his dad (Nick Offerman) is now dating. He is also a bastard and has become very strict in his single parent raising. His sister (Alison Brie) has already moved on, but he is stuck with him for at least three years more.

Patrick (Gabriel Brasso, from The Big C) has a different problem. His parents (Marc Evan JacksonMegan Mullally) are over bearing. Not in any mean way, just nice. Way too nice. Really fucking nice. Also they are ridiculous, it is just hard to feel alive under their care.

Eventually, Joe has the idea to build a house in the woods. Not just some lame tree house either. A real house, with two stories, multiple rooms, and they can live there, by their own rules, live like MEN. You know, hunt their own food, boil their own water, the whole nine yards. Biaggio (Moises Arias) is there too, neither of them really know him, but they are afraid to tell him to leave.

We have a few kids, building a house in the woods, and attempting to live on their own. They of course will also discover a bit about themselves, their family, and maybe what it means to be a man. Potentially with the help of Kelly (Erin Moriarty), a fellow high school buddy. We also have Mary Lynn Rajskub (most well known as Heartfire from season 4 of Arrested Development) and Thomas Middleditch as the head cops on the missing kids case.

The race to grow the best pedo-stashe is on.
Coming of age films tend to be hit or miss with me. They are popular for both indie and mainstream movies, so to have a great one nowadays, you really have to offer up something new. Not just another misunderstood kid with big dreams.

The Kings of Summer takes the running away story, and well, runs away with it. For the first time movie writer, his dialogue was pretty top notch. Full of memorable quotes, I found myself looking for a piece of paper in the theater just to write some of the absurdly funny things I heard.

Witty comedy doesn’t make a complete film however, so the plot has to also stand on its own. I was afraid I would be dealing with a lot of teens who thought they were god’s gift to suburbia, the standard definition of first world problems. Thankfully, I found myself agreeing with Patrick and Joe, at least a little bit, and thought leaving home made sense for both characters.

It wasn’t perfect though. No, I would have changed the ending a lot. It was a bit too cliche at that point, which made it feel off from the rest of the movie. I am also pissed off by the romance element in the film, although it is more at the naivety of youth, and not for being actually bad. In other words, it hurt me square in the feels.

But despite that, The Kings Of Summer is wickedly funny and unique. For sure, it is worthy of at least one viewing, if not two in your summer line up.

3 out of 4.

Save The Date

When I saw the trailer (I never saw this trailer) for Save The Date, I assumed that the stars were also the writers! It looked like an indie romance comedy that these comedy stars keep doing on a small budget (I based this on the poster only).

Lots of assumptions, but seriously, they are all very similar. Trust me.

But some other person wrote it! So uhh, maybe it will just be different and realistic?

We all know the real reason I watched this movie. Sup Alli?
Sarah (Lizzy Caplan) is moving out of her apartment! Why? She is moving in with her long term boyfriend, Kevin (Geoffrey Arend). Yay relationships!

She never wants to get married, but hey, living together is fine. He is the lead singer in a small band. Sarah’s sister, Beth (Alison Brie) is a lot more secure in her life, and she is currently planning her wedding to Andrew (Martin Starr), the drummer of that same band! What a convenient way for everyone to be introduced quickly!

Despite everyone telling him not too, Kevin decides the best course of action is to propose to Sarah at the end of their last concert before going on a big tour, in front of all their friends and family! This doesn’t go the way he had planned it.

This causes a lot of strife in the group, obviously. But hey, Sarah warned him. She is also totally interested in this Jonathan (Mark Webber) guy at her work. He will do, he hates marriage too.

This leads to fighting amongst all people, sex, cheating, and maybe even a pregnancy. Yep, pretty realistic I’d say.

To be fair, this does look super realistic. Dat frizzle.
When you watch a movie like this, you hope the acting is awesome, and it probably has really great dialogue. Well, the latter is generally true. The conversations felt real, the reactions felt real, no one was a silly stereotype. But the acting? Definitely not high on the Ben Affleck scale.

I actually enjoyed the plot and (I will say it again) realisticness of the whole movie, but the ending ruined it a bit for me. I don’t want to stereotype it and say the ending felt “artsy” and thus bad, but…other words really escape me. It’s a bullshit way to end a movie, and they should feel bad. I demand a complete story, not snapshots of random lives.

Someone who was working on this must have just got out of art school.

2 out of 4.