Table 19

Ah, Anna Kendrick. She had six movies come out in 2016, and I was disappointed in the five I saw. I am sad to say The Hollars, which looks great, I still haven’t gotten around to.

I used to love Anna Kendrick, since I saw her in Rocket Science and Up In The Air. But her choices that don’t involve singing in the movies have been bad choices, and that really just sucks.

So on that note, I wasn’t rushing to see Table 19. For a lot of reasons, but even the Anna Kendrick appeal was losing its lure on me. At this point it just feels like I should just wait until Pitch Perfect 3 before trying to trust her again.

Camera
And then Kendrick might have more than one person following her around for paparazzi.

Ah the joys of a wedding. What a splendid time where people come together to laugh, sing, dance, be merry, all in celebration of the love of a couple!

Except for those who feel like they had a pity invite or shouldn’t be there. Or maybe people there for alternative reasons. Or maybe you are just Eloise (Anna Kendrick). A month ago you were the bridesmaid, but you bailed out of the wedding due to an awkward situation. You are great friends with the bride (Rya Meyers), but you were also dating her brother, Teddy (Wyatt Russell), the best man. And a month before the wedding, he broke up with you over text. Oh yeah, lot of confusion now over what you should do. ‘

But Eloise still shows up! She decides to come anyways, for her friend, and maybe for rekindling love, but it is awkward. And she is now put at Table 19, with the random people who they couldn’t put anywhere else. The people who came but really, why?

Like Jerry (Craig Robinson) and Bina Kepp (Lisa Kudrow), who own a diner, have a lose connection to a family member of the bride, and sort of hate each other. There is Renzo (Tony Revolori), a high school student looking to just get lucky, who is young and unaware of how to be social. We have Walter (Stephen Merchant), a cousin who is awkward and a criminal. And we have Jo (June Squibb), the bride’s first nanny who they love so dearly, maybe.

Eloise now has to exist in misery with this group of strangers who have issues, while hoping she doesn’t also accidentally ruin the entire wedding.

Also starring Andrew Daly, Amandra Crew, Charles Green, Jay Klaitz, Margo Martindale, Richard Haylor, and Thomas Cocquerel.

Freaks
Oh my god look at these freaks and weirdos.

Table 19 is a shocking film. Not in the extreme graphic language, violence, or nudity way. Not in the amount of laughs that it provides. But how different it was from its advertising, which most people would assume is a comedy with a bunch of weirdos, doing weird stuff. But it was hardly ever funny. There were some amusing bits, but it was extremely lacking on the actual humor.

Yep, we have a drama comedy that is more drama, with a bit of romance. It just drives the film into the average territory as it goes for several genres without excelling at any of them. If you have read certain films this year that I have reviewed, like Get Out or Colossal, I praised them for their genre bending. But the difference between them and Table 19 is that when the genres change, each the movie is awesome on each level. Table 19 is just middling, where the shifting doesn’t help it but hinder it.

Sure, it is realistic. But a lot of the story lines feel like missed opportunities. Kudrow/Robinson story felt like it didn’t help anything, Merchant’s story didn’t feel finished, and Revolori’s plot was just disappointing. The only other character to have a decent story was Squibb, who really brought the whole film together.

Table 19 has some cute moments and the occasional laugh. But the selling points of the film are how Kendrick and Squibb carry themselves throughout the movie, the realism they bring to the whole thing, to give the film a little bit of heart.

2 out of 4.

The Age of Adaline

I am coming into The Age of Adaline a few months after it hit theaters. This really means that I cannot in good conscious make any jokes about a crossover movie of Avengers: Age of Ultron and this one, which came out roughly around the same time. That would be silly.

So instead I will talk about how little I know about this film. I am literally going in knowing nothing about it, not even who is in the movie. I figured out it was based on a book, probably a popular modern romance.

And hey, not all popular modern romance novels are bad. Sure you got your Twilights, but there is also The Fault In Our Stars! Shit, this is all teenage stuff. I am not as familiar with older adult romance novels.

Given the genre, I hope (like always) I can get a good cry out of it.

Elevator
My emotions are like this elevator: They look really pretty but they get ignored by the rich all day.

Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has had an interesting life. Born on New Year’s Day, 1908, she has always had a party for every birthday. And right now she has had 108 birthdays.

But no, she isn’t old. She is young, attractive, and looks like she is around 29. In fact, her body is 29, despite the years around the sun. Due to a freak accident, involving drowning, body chemicals and lightning, somehow she no longer ages. Science, magic, fantasy shit.

So now she has to move every 10 years, or else people get weirdly suspicious. Or if she ever gets too close to someone romantically. That is a huge issue for her, never getting to love again.

Now it is modern day, and of course, someone likes her a lot. Ellis (Michiel Huisman) is rich and is impressed by her intelligence and poise. They like each other a lot. She even gets to meet his family! He has a Momma (Kathy Baker), a sister (Amanda Crew), and a dad (Harrison Ford). The dad of course being someone Adaline had a relationship with over 40 years prior.

Also starring Ellen Burstyn as Adaline’s much older looking daughter and featuring Hugh Ross as the narrator.

Family
“Dad, remember the girl who broke your heart before you met mom?”

I loved the concept of The Age of Adaline, once the movie told me what was going on. Shit, I might have tried to watch it in theaters if I actually knew what it was about.

This is by far the best acting I have seen from Blake Lively. Savages and Green Lantern weren’t great for her, and of course Gossip Girl isn’t known for its great acting. But she is fantastic in this film. So is Harrison Ford, who also has had quite a few stinkers/unforgettable roles lately. Let’s not forget he did Paranoia. In this film he reminded us he was a great actor, which is good news for those dying to see Star Wars VII.

The story was a good one, the acting was good, but the major downfall with this film was its ability to drag. Which is this romance in a nut shell. It is like the rich and prestige, going to fancy dinner parties where people do a lot of small talk, having the same conversations with their friends. That is just the general feeling of the first half of the movie when it is set in modern times. Adaline is worried about being caught, her daughter just wants her to finally live her life, and discovering Ellis. I don’t think it gets truly interesting until she finally meets the dad, and the awkwardness really begins. The awkwardness allows for the best acting in the film and is where Ford starts to shine.

An okay romance, with a decent plot, and some fine acting. But it did not make me cry.

2 out of 4.

The Identical

The Identical actually came to theaters first week of September, and, from what I can remember, it was the only thing to come out that whole week. Yet I didn’t see it til its DVD Release.

Why? Well. It didn’t have any pre-screenings at all, around the country. Popular movies have pre-screenings. Movies that end up sucking have pre-screenings. But the only thing coming out that week didn’t even think it warranted them? That is a big warning sign if anything. Not letting anyone see the movie before it releases. That means they are afraid of the critics voice or popular opinion fucking up their sales.

That’s really all I knew going into The Identical, outside of its story involving a musician.

Elvis
And clones. Clearly this involves clones, right?

Back in the 1930s there was something going on called The Dust Bowl. Big storms, droughts, fucked up a lot of farms. Was after the Great Depression too, so that wasn’t a good thing for our economy. As for two unlucky folks (Amanda Crew, Brian Geraghty), they found themselves poor and struggling to get by. And with twins!

So after a long discussion, they decided to instead give away one of the kids to a traveling preacher (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) as they were unable to have kids on their own.

Flash foward some years, Ryan Wade (Blake Rayne) wants to sing and play music, while his dad wants him to be a Preacher, obviously. He then basically invents rock ‘n roll somehow, with a friend of his on drums (Seth Green). But he doesn’t get famous from it. His dad sends him to the army, and then preacher school before he finally sets off on his own to do what he wants to do: automobile mechanics. Nope. He can’t be a star, too hard for him.

But not too hard for Drexel Hemsley, his twin, who became super famous and invented rock ‘n roll, or something. Everyone says they look alike. But that can’t be. Oh well, Ryan looks up to him and hopes he can meet him some day. Also with Joe Pantoliano as a mechanic shop owner and Erin Cottrell as the girlfriend/narrator.

Liotta
This is the first time in his life Liotta did not play a gangster.

I am so happy that I did not shell out money for a movie ticket for this garbage. It had so many ugh moments, on almost every level, that made this movie bad.

Starting with my already made joke, Ray Liotta as a preacher? What? Every scene set in the 1930s was done in black and white. That way you knew it was the past, versus the “present” of the 1940s and 1950s. Tacky and terrible.

It is such an awkward story (/book), because it is clearly just trying to make a strange fan fiction Elvis movie. The main actor isn’t an actor at all, but someone who won an Elvis lookalike contest in the 1990s and has made a career out of it. So yeah, that guy is the guy they have to play these two people who are notElvisbutElvis.

Not only is the plot itself terrible, but every one of the characters is two-dimensional and lame for no good reason. SPOILERS, but he doesn’t find out he is a twin until his “dad” is about to die. Great. His real mom and twin are already dead now too, so all he has left is a father who got rid of him. Yay?

It was so slowly moving, it became infuriating at times at how dense and pointless the whole film felt.

0 out of 4.

Sisters & Brothers

Man, I hate this movie, so it is going to be a short review.

Why did I watch Sisters & Brothers? Well, one obvious reason. Cory Monteith was on the cover, the former male lead of Glee who died ODing on Heroin. I never did anything to acknowledge his death, having only seen him in one other movie (Monte Carlo), and then I reviewed Sharknado, which was a bit of a joke at his expense too.

But you know, Paul Walker got a review like right away, and eventually I will have to fit another Philip Seymour Hoffman movie in there too. So figured it was time to see something with Cory in it.

This mockumentary focuses on four groups of people, who all have a sibling, and their relationships with each other. We see them giving interviews with the camera, and living their lives. That is about it.

Cover
I literally can’t find any real picture from this movie, but I blame that on the TV show, Brothers & Sisters.

I definitely was a bit confused at the beginning, not knowing it was in that format. It starts with Cory and others being interviewed about their siblings, and I couldn’t tell if they were talking truthfully at first or playing a character. Cory himself plays a famous person who has tons of fans. I know, he was reaching for this one.

The movie also includes Gabrielle Miller, Amanda Crew, Kacey Rohl, Dustin Milligan, Benjamin Ratner, Camille Sullivan, and some other people.

I am having a hard time believing the cover, because it says it is a comedy, but I don’t remember any jokes. At all. Maybe a “Ah, that’s curious” type of reaction once. I mostly remember siblings arguing and people mad at each other. No, it gets the Drama rating and that is all it gets.

Without being too mean, this movie is a waste of space. Not a lot happens, there isn’t really great acting, the format for the movie is dumb, and the time did not flow by at all while it was on.

0 out of 4.

Charlie St. Cloud

Back by popular demand, we have more Zac Efron! I am also right now confused, because I thought he was supposed to star in the new Footloose. Now I realize why the cool kids didn’t laugh at my jokes. Shiiiiiiit.

\Efron
After three High School Musicals and one Hairspray, he didn’t want to be type-casted. Huh. Too late for that?

Efron plays the title character in the movie, Charlie St. Cloud, and near the beginning his younger brother (Charlie Tahan) is killed in car accident with him behind the wheel. Well shit! Charlie is at least brought back to life thanks to an Ambulance doctor, Ray Liotta, but not his brother.

FIVE YEARS LATER.

Turns out Efron is still in the same town. Never left, despite a scholarship to Yale for sailing, or something like that. He now works at the graveyard, super angsty. Oh yeah, he sees dead people now, kind of. Plays catch with his brother every day at sunset, to get him prepped for baseball. Yeah. Sometimes he sees other people too, but that isn’t importantly. Clearly he is fucked up.

Enter Amanda Crew, someone he knew from high school, who also likes sailing. She is going to sail across the world in a race! Her dad is trying to help prep her (Donal Logue), and is worried that Efron kid will ruin it all up. Since he is creepy now anyways.

Bacon
This could have been Efron, damn it.

So yeah. Stuff happens. Efron kind of gets interested in sailing again. But what if he joins her on the race? Will he lose his brother officially forever if he isn’t there to play baseball? There is also a secondary very important plot but telling you about it is just major spoilers so I wont. Was an interesting surprise, needless to say.

The movie was a lot sadder than I had guessed. I mean, the sadder moments happened at the beginning right? You’d think wrong. The camera work was surprisingly good too, for what I expected to be some cheesy teen movie or something. I liked the story, but it might have been too slow. Also, Liotta was way too creepy for his like, three scenes. Religious zealot much?

2 out of 4.

Sex Drive

Yeahhhhhhhhh Sexytime!

Sexy Time!
Pink Robe? Check. Redneck? Check. Mexican Donut? Double Check!

Sex Drive was a teen road trip comedy coming of age story movie, that when it came out, I think I saw about one advertisement for. Like every movie, I was about to watch the unrated version of the movie, but it began quite differently.

The unrated version begins with a poorly edited (on purpose) message to viewers, that the unrated is significantly different. It has more boobs and dicks, more jokes, and is way too long. Since it said it was only for already fans, I switched to regular, and holy crap, the unrated has about 20 more minutes of time added to it. That is serious.

The movie is kind of like The Sure Thing. Kind of. Josh Zuckerman is chatting up a girl on the internet, and lying, because that is expected. For some reason, her lies make her want to do him, so he decided to drive from Chicago to Knoxville to hit that. So he steals his brother’s car (James Marsden), and along with his best friend who thinks he should be a dick to chicks (Clark Duke), and accidentally with his best friend whom he likes (Amanda Crew), he drives off!

CRAZY ADVENTURES COMMENCE!

But does it end with Zuckerman and Crew falling in love? Of course. Fuck you if you thought differently.

Also in this movie are Katrina Bowden, from 30 Rock, as internet girl, and Seth Green, playing the role of “master of Sarcasm Amish dude”. His role was fantastic. Also, James Marsden as “entirely way too offensive older brother” had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

So if you want a comedy full of sex jokes, and obvious plot paths, Sex Drive is your movie. Not sure if I will ever watch the unrated version, but I am sure it is way different.

Seth Green
Such shifty eyes, Seth.

2 out of 4.