First Reformed

Now that I have met Ethan Hawke in real life, he is of course my favorite actor. Because the only other real celebrities I have met (at the time of writing this) have been Rob Reiner (director mostly), Justin Long, and Sean Astin. Astin comes close, but what has he done for me lately? Oh yeah, Moms’ Night Out.

Back to Hawke. Sure at some point his directed movie Blaze comes out, but he hasn’t had a very well acted film for a bit. So any thing where he returns to his form is going to be great.

I missed the first screening of First Reformed because it was in the middle of the day, which didn’t feel like a problem. But everyone else mentioned how great this film was, meaning I needed to give it a shot and hope to be wowed.

Purple
Having a purple sky is pretty wow-derful.

The First Reformed church is the oldest still standing religious structure that is still in use. In the year 2017 it is going to celebrate its 250th year of use! A pretty significant number. It is of course a rather small church, one main room, a balcony area for the organ.

It doesn’t have too many members at this point, being in a small community, by Father Toller (Ethan Hawke) still has his weekly session. He keeps the place clean, he gives tours when necessary, and he tries to be an active part of his community. When the community doesn’t need him, he goes on a drive to the local Mega Church to help out over there.

One day, Mary (Amanda Seyfried), a younger member asks to speak with him. It turns out she is pregnant, and her husband, Michael (Philip Ettinger), is having doubts on the baby. He recently was also arrested from being at an environmental protest and has been mopey lately.

Basically, Michael thinks it is completely irresponsible to bring a child into this world, knowing how bad it is and bad it will get without any notable changes over the last decade. Could he be a good person and let that happen? Toller begins to meet with the family and talk to them, giving him a bit more purpose in his life.

And once events begin unraveling that Toller is not well equipped to handle. He is having a crisis of conscious and of faith, while being put in the spotlight for just those things.

Also starring Cedric the Entertainer, Victoria Hill, and Michael Gaston.

Distraught
Really, it is the feng shui that is causing all of these issues.

Strangely enough, this film is not in wide screen. It is presented in a square format. I am sure someone could explain why for good reasons, and I cannot be that eloquent at this point. I will just note that it is notable and it does add something to the film.

Hawke is absolutely amazing in this role, and a lot more subtle about it than most of his other acting performances. It is definitely relatable to his work in the Before Trilogy, but less romantic and more depressing.

The story itself is quite slow, and yet still full of shocks and surprises. Maybe a third to halfway through the film will the viewer realize the potential conclusion of the film, adding a bit of nervousness to the proceedings. The ending is quite a spectacle and definitely controversial. I can hardly believe it, and yet at the same time, it really just makes sense.

First Reformed offers us our first real look at a Best Acting nominee this year which means awards season is definitely upon us.

3 out of 4.

The Clapper

Ed Helms is still getting lead work, despite mixed reviews for his acting in most movies. He is leading big films, and he is leading films you never heard about before.

Films like The Clapper. Have you heard about it? Of course not. It came out some time in 2017, probably straight to DVD, and I found it accidentally on Netflix.

So sure, I like enough of the cast, and I like the concept, it is a good enough movie to review as any.

Date
And it features…clapping I assume.

Getting into acting can be pretty damn hard. But moving to LA is a good first step. And then you might be a waiter or have small time jobs until you get a commercial. Maybe you will be a non speaking role in the background?

Or maybe you will be like Eddie Krumble (Ed Helms), and get a job as an audience member for infomercials. He has gotten to be pretty good. He can laugh on command. He can seem intrigued. He even has had speaking roles. His overall goal is to be very nondescript, so that he doesn’t get noticed across infomercials and their real studio audience feel is seen as a scam.

And of course that is just what happens. A late night talk show host (Russell Peters) is doing a bit on a bad infomercial, and they notice poor Eddie across multiple shows, and turn it into a big deal. He is on there all the time in their clips now, and they begin a campaign to find the mysterious “Clapper.” Eddie wants nothing to do with this, he wants to go into hiding so his livelihood isn’t ruined. If he becomes famous, he can’t be in the audiences, and he will gain 15 minutes of fame and then be forgotten and poor.

He also is in love with Judy (Amanda Seyfried) a gas station attendant, who also won’t be able to handle the cameras and national fame as it disrupts her line of work.

Also starring Adam Levine, James Ransone, Leah Remini, P.J. Byrne, and Tracy Morgan.

React
The mustache helps him blend in of course.

Honestly, this was a very weird Helms to see. A more subtle, shy, strange Helms. He is normally pretty out there, or extremely weird. He is only slightly weird in this movie, and just plays a simple person extremely well. Like, really well. Like I forgot it was Helms, and instead, just assumed it was a regular person. Somehow with make up and acting he just made himself seem incredibly non-famous, and that is the most notable thing about the movie.

Everything else is pretty, well, standard. Or even below average.

This feels like a film with a $10 budget, even the cool late night talk show host felt like an incredibly fake version of a late night talk show. It felt like it could have been made by teenagers.

The plot didn’t really grow in an exciting way, and it ended also at a relatively lame point.

It is incredibly forgettable. And remember, the higher point is just because Helms knocked mediocrity out of the park.

2 out of 4.

Gringo

Gringo had something funny occur with their PR screening ahead of time. Our screening wasn’t until the week of release, like normal, but they actually sent out the real invite for it over a month early. Now, normally, these invites are a week to two max early. If any earlier, we get save the date notes or whatever to let you know it is coming up, but this was just the regular invite to respond to for RSVP purposes.

So of course I accepted, and the only reason it is much later a review is because I was sick that day, couldn’t go, and had to watch it weeks later in the theaters. I wanted to see Gringo, it looked fun, and sure, it had a plug on The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale. Let that be a lesson for you, advertising can work. Why else would I still be using old spice body wash every day?

Gringo has an interesting name, given what I think I know what it means, and that we had a film awhile ago called Get The Gringo, which was also a bit better than anticipated. I had high hopes for Gringo given it setting, its very fun looking cast, and of course, because of Mr. Copley adding his own weird style.

WHich One
Which one is the gringo though, really?

Our story is about Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo), a man who never can catch a break. He has a high job in a pharmaceutical company,but he isn’t rolling in the dough like the people in the higher levels. His wife (Thandie Newton) is an interior decorator, but only has one client and is bleeding their money. His boss (Joel Edgerton), is a hardass, a dickwad, and all of the body parts between those two. But he makes that money, he is good friends with Harold, and he got him the job in the first place.

Harold has to work and travel to Mexico frequently for their job, where they have the pharmaceutical factory set up. They are making a weed pill, so to speak, so that when America starts lifting those bans, they will have the product and infrastructure in place to take advantage of the now open market.

Because we are talking about drugs and Mexico, it should be obvious that the Cartel is also involved. Harold doesn’t know about that of course, he is a good guy, but when dealing with his boss’s mistakes, he is about to see how little he matters in the grand scheme of events.

Also starring Carlos Corona, Alan Ruck, Kenneth Choi, Sharlto Copley, Charlize Theron, Melonie Diaz, Amanda Seyfried, Harry Treadaway, and Yul Vazquez.

GOT HIM
Ooooh, looks like they finally GOT THE GRINGO! Oh, wrong movie. Sorry.

Gringo is an example of a story with a lot of separate plot lines amongst the characters, where no one character is sure of what is actually going on, and all the chaos that occurs from these miscommunications and lies. But also, with death, violence, and comedy. So yeah, going for a Taratino film feel.

Out of all the many cast members, the only one to really shine is our star, Oyelowo, who seems to have perfected that scream freak out look that he gets to do over and over in the film as he continues to get shit upon. Because that is the movie. Bad things happening to his character, despite being a relatively good guy, and him never getting out of his situation.

If you hate crazy plot lines, you still might enjoy it for Oyelowo’s performance, where he seemed to show a different side of him. A more excited side, compared to more of his very serious roles recently.

The movie did feel quite long, given the twists and turns along the way. And hey, I didn’t know where it was going most of the time. So it was a surprising thrill ride that did still have me on the edge of my seat. A lot of bad people in this one, and one guy to root for. A good classic film position to be in.

Give Gringo a shot, at least just once.

3 out of 4.

The Last Word

The Last Word has a relatively pretty poster to look at. It conjures up specific colors, radio, and of course music. But at the same time, it makes me think of the SNL sketch for Schweddy Balls, poking fun of NPR level talk radio.

It also makes me think of The L Word, which is unfortunately a show I don’t have any references to outside of the knowledge is about lesbians. Which hey, maybe The Last Word is about lesbians too. After all, the cover is two women! Maybe they are lesbians!

What I am saying is, I think this movie will be two hours long, about lesbians on NPR talking about balls.

Albums
There is a very high chance I am disappointed with this level of thinking.

Harriett Lauler (Shirley MacLaine) is an old lady who knows what she wants. And she knows how to get what she wants. And she doesn’t trust a lot of people to do things correctly, so she often has to take over and do itself. That includes her own gardeners and cooks.

No one likes her. Her relationship with her daughter (Anne Heche) is nonexistent. Her relationship with her past coworkers is weak as well, despite making them and her very wealthy. But while reading an obituary of one of her old acquaintances, she is amazed at how wonderful that person seemed after death, while still being truthful.

So of course Harriett goes to the newspaper to find the obituary writer, Anne (Amanda Seyfried), to make sure she can write her obituary as well. Just like, early. To make sure it is good enough. Sane people totally do this all the time.

And with this task comes, eventually, a change to Harriett’s life for the better. It is never too late to become a decent human being.

Also starring AnnJewel Lee Dixon, Thomas Sadoski, and Philip Baker Hall.

Walk
No one expects them to rob a bank, that’s the point!

The Last Word gives us Shirley MacLaine playing a huge bitch, which on its own might be worth the price of admission. But if you only want to pay for movies that take you on emotional whirlwind and leave you breathless, then, well, you might want something more.

Because really, this is a safe and simple film. It goes into a deep topic, dealing with your own mortality and legacy at the ends of your life. But it is also a feel good film, watching this woman better her life finally and start to better the lives of those she decided to make close to her. This drags the film into really average territory.

In reality, what she does is probably really hard. But the opposition she is met with is very limited so the struggles don’t feel incredibly real. The point of the movie is to inspire those to change their lives for the better, to realize it is never too late, which is a great moral. However, this film just feels hokey with how it accomplishes those goals.

I will note, Seyfried’s speech did make me a little bit sad near the end. But not weepy, just sad. So it had a lot left to go to make me connect with it at a real emotional level.

2 out of 4.

Pan

Live action remakes are of course all the rage nowadays, but Pan is not necessarily just another film in that trend. The Peter Pan story is older than Disney, so anyone can do anything they want with it. In fact, Disney plans on eventually doing their own live action Peter Pan movie within the next decade already, so you might as get used to it.

But Pan on its own can be something different. After all, we had Hook in the early 90’s, a very diverse film, both in its cast and how people took to it. A modern Peter Pan story, with a grown up Peter Pan! How dare they! I personally loved it and thought the film had a lot of heart.

So we have Pan, which has a similar naming scheme to Hook, going the opposite way and making a Peter Pan prequel. Peter when he was just a regular boy who couldn’t fly. People love Origin stories right?!

Stun
Especially if they have thousands of costumes and beards and make up.

Peter (Levi Miller), like every good Orphan, is left as a wee little baby on the steps of an orphanage by his mother Mary (Amanda Seyfried). And he never sees from her again. Now he is about…I dunno, 11. World War II is of course happening, so London occassionally gets bombed. Peter’s life is spent defying the nun (Kathy Burke) with his friend Nibs (Lewis MacDougall).

Next thing Peter knows, he is on board a flying pirate ship. The ship goes to Neverland of course! And the ship has been stealing Orphan boys around the world for ages. They are to be free and to live their lives as awesome people, as long as they can work for it. Namely, Captain Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) wants them to mine for Pixie Dust for some secret reason.

Yadda yadda, Peter meets James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), with both hands, they find out her can fly, and eventually they escape with one Sam Smiegel (Adeel Akhtar) to get back home. However, Peter thinks his mom might be out here, so he wants to stay and look for her. This gets them to meet the natives. There they meet the Chief and Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and a great warrior Kwahu (Tae-joo Na) and find out that Pan is supposed to be some Chosen One Jesus figure to lead a revolt against the pirates and free Neverland.

Yay fun! Peter just wants to find his mom though, so…

Also featuring Nonso Anozie as Blackbeard’s muscle and Cara Delevingne as a mermaid, apparently.

Map
At some points this does feel like an Indian Jones clone though, so watch out for snakes.

I just remembered. Almost no one likes origin stories. That is the biggest complaint about modern super hero films. Every new person seems to need an origin story. Even if we have already seen it many times before in film. We get shit like Fantastic Four where over half the film they don’t have any powers.

Technically no one knows about the origins of Peter Pan, but that is because no one cares. Peter Pan before he was a pirate fighting flying bad ass, was what, none of those things? So we get a story about a regular boy? I am not saying that regular boy stories are boring, because there is a shit ton out there, but knowing he eventually becomes someone like Peter Pan kind of ruins it a bit.

Pan is a strange film that doesn’t seem to know what it is. It is all over the place in terms of story. Blackbeard as the main villain seems strange, but not as strange as Hook being Peter’s BFF older friend. Sure, you might be thinking a Peter Pan origin story means we get to see a Captain Cook origin as well. We get to see that crocodile bite his hand off, fear of clocks, all of that. That could be fun! Well we get about jack and shit of that. The movie ends with them taking some boys off to Neverland, all happy. They have a few references, but no, we don’t get any of it. They want to save that for some futuristic Pan 2 that now will never exist.

See, that would have been a good story. To see what happened to Hook to make him a bad guy. What ruined their friendship. But we get nothing from this story and it is a lot more wasted potential.

Speaking of none of that, there was a lot of hullabaloo about the song choices in Pan. For some reason, large crowds in Neverland (set in World War II) are singing Smell’s Like Teen Spirit and Blitzkrieg Bop. I didn’t mind how they sounded months ago, but the problem is they have NO CONTEXT at all in the movie. They don’t fit the events around them, the lyrics don’t match anything, they make absolutely no sense. They are terribly added to the film, so they should definitely be mocked endlessly.

Pan. Wasted potential. All spectacle. Not even Jackman was good in this one. I feel a bit bad for Mara. At least has Carol.

1 out of 4.

Ted 2

Seth MacFarlane is not my favorite person. And I didn’t even think his Oscars were that bad. I just think his movies have been pretty sub par as of late. In A Million Ways To Die In The West basically every joke fell flat for me.

And then of course there was Ted. Sure, there was some amusing original material in there. But as I watched it (in theaters), I couldn’t believe how date it had already felt. The humor was almost 100% focused on current pop culture trends. They had a few 80’s pop culture jokes thrown in to balance it out, but it was way too current. I knew most of the things I found amusing I wouldn’t bat an eye at in five or six years anymore.

Needless to say, I was pretty dang worried about Ted 2. Would it just be more of the same of Ted? Yeah probably. I don’t need 90 minutes of shitty pop culture in my life.

Brady Cock
But if it was entirely about stealing Tom Brady‘s semen, then we might have something here.

Ted 2 takes place some time after the original. The main difference is that John (Mark Wahlberg) is divorced, probably because Mila Kunis didn’t want to be in another of these movies. Now he is basically afraid of commitment to anyone. Ted (MacFarlane) is still married to Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), but their relationship is strained. They might even get a divorce. So they decide to do the time honored tradition of having a kid to save their marriage.

Ted has no penis, so sex wouldn’t work. They work on sperm donations, but that fails too. So they decide to adopt. But the problem is, Ted cannot do it because apparently he isn’t classified as a person and doesn’t have person rights. This changes everything for Ted. Now he loses his job, his marriage is now nulled and can’t legally do most things! He is just an object! Oh no!

So, in a nut shell, that is the point of this film. He wants to fight the ruling in court, so he can get his life back. That is why they have a lawyer (Amanda Seyfried) who is chill and likes to smoke pot, hooray! At the same time, Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) is helping Hasbro fight Ted in court. If it is ruled he is an object, they can take him back, find out what makes him magical, and make Ted’s for everyone around the world. Weeeee.

Also! Morgan Freeman, Sam J. Jones, Patrick Warburton, John Slattery, and John Carroll Lynch.

Hang out

The good news is that Ted 2 relied on less pop culture references to get by this time. Outside of quite a few recent Patriots references.

The bad is that the plot is kind of shit and not worth watching. Let me clarify, the plot idea isn’t a bad one. It could make a good court room comedy film. But they only vaguely focus on that. There are barely any scenes in the court room, really only two major ones at the beginning and end. The first court room scene only takes a handful of minutes, but the film would rather Ted and John just sit on a couch and tell jokes.

Ted 2 as a result just doesn’t have a lot to offer as a film. In recollection, I am having a hard time trying to remember any moment I found really funny. I was completely chuckleless. The writer only had a rough idea for the plot and maybe a couple jokes, but I assume the majority of these scenes were thought of independently of having a real place to put them. So in a way, Ted 2 was a lot like a Family Guy episode.

There isn’t a lot to say. Ted 2 just isn’t good. Not as bad as AMWTDITW, but not as good as its mediocre first film.

1 out of 4.

Buy It! – This movie is available now on {Blu-Ray} and {DVD}.

A Million Ways To Die In The West

Hey boys and girls! Did you like Ted? Well, then you might like the next movie, A Million Ways To Die In The West!

That is what advertisements told me at least. But I only thought Ted was okay. Was entirely pop culture based humor, so it was a movie that won’t be as amusing in a few years because nothing will be relevant. Although it had a decent plot and Marky Mark, so that is fun.

But now we are going out west, back in time, and director Seth MacFarlane is actually going to star in it. Hopefully it is more than just a few dude’s hangin’ out.

Hangin' Out
Damn it, this looks like two dudes just hangin’ out!

Set in the 1800’s in Arizona, near Monument Valley (like every other western), lives our hero Albert (MacFarlane), a sheep farmer and a pussy. He doesn’t like to shoot a gun, because he never has, and thus he is bad at it. But somehow he keeps getting himself into shoot outs.

Albert starts to hate himself after his long term girlfriend, Louise (Amanda Seyfried) dumps him. Now he hates life. He also is a cynic, pointing out all the things that can kill him in the west. Thus the movie title. He does all this until Anna (Charlize Theron) walks into his life. Just kidding, he continues his moping ways, but now there is this mysterious woman who can shoot better than any he knows. Maybe she can change his life and stop him from getting into gun fights.

Just kidding. He does some stuff, getting him into fights with Foy (Neil Patrick Harris), the owner of the Mustacherie, and Clinch (Liam Neeson), an outlaw and the fastest hands in the West. Oh Albert, you are so silly.

Also starring Giovanni Ribisi, as his best friend, dating a whore Sarah Silverman.

Showdown
“Huh? Why would Neil Patrick Harris every run a mustache store?” – GorgView Hate Commenter

I think I would rather watch Ted in four years than see A Million Ways To Die In The West.

The humor is very Seth MacFarlane, I will give it that. You can go in expecting that, and if you enjoy that enough, you will maybe have a good time. Maybe.

To me, this comedy had huge stretches of time without a joke. Trying to maintain some western tropes, there were scenes of traveling and just looking at the scenery. But that wasn’t the downtime. Literally just long periods of the movie moving on without very many jokes. It doesn’t help that quite a few of the jokes were in the trailer, most of which giving the entire set up and punchline so none of it was left to surprise. I am most disappointed in even the TV ads giving away one 1980’s related scene, which would have been amazing if kept secret.

Not that surprise is needed for comedies, no. A good comedy can keep you laughing through many viewings. The humor that was present just for the most part wasn’t for me.

There were some okay moments. I really liked the mustache song. Sarah Silverman ended up making me chuckle on more than one occasion. So I guess I thought the small side plot was more amusing than most of the film. That happens some times.

TL;DR, for the most part, A Million Ways To Die In The West just felt like 2 hours of boredom, with an occasional chuckle. Having the main character be a relatively modern man felt a bit half-assed. And I didn’t even get into how much of a unlikable character he was. Mr. Mopey. Ever have a friend who complains about everything, as if the experiences are unique to them? Yeah…

1 out of 4.

Lovelace

Pornography!

Sex!

Clitoris in the neck!

No, I am not just doing all that to increase traffic. I am hear to talk about Lovelace, the true story of Linda Lovelace, who starred in Deep Throat and helped changed the porno world forever. Kind of.

I also just realized that Lovelace is also the name of the Guru penguin in Happy Feet. Huh, I hope there is no connection.

Lovelace Happy Feet
This Lovelace doesn’t share the same talent. He can’t with that plastic around his neck!

Linda (Amanda Seyfried) USED to be such a sweet little girl. She used to to dance and go to school, and obey her parents! Her parents (Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick), mind you, are the type who would scold her just for sunbathing in a bikini in her own fenced in back yard.

While Go-Go dancing with her friend, Patsy (Juno Temple), they meet up with Chuck (Peter Sarsgaard), who will change her life forever. See, Chuck sees something special in her. He sees a beauty that can go far, do great things, and maybe even make a lot of money. Mmm, money.

After helping slowly tear away her inhibitions, he is even able to make her go down on him, despite her initial embarrassment. Wouldn’t you know it, it turns out that she doesn’t have a gag reflex, and has a unique talent in the industry. I don’t even know why I am being subtle.

Well, they need money, and she gets put into the lead role of an X-Rated feature, Deep Throat. It has comedy and it has something people haven’t really seen before, so it becomes a huge hit, making millions world wide, and catapulting Linda into a spotlight she could never before imagine. But a life of fame is always not something you want, especially if it comes at such high costs. Such as being married to Chuck, an abusive husband who takes all of your money, beats you, and gives you emotional scarring for years with no place to turn to.

Ah yes, the Linda Lovelace story, one of porn, and one of abuse.

Hank Azaria, Bobby Cannavale, and Chris Noth play “industry” people, and James Franco has a small cameo as a much younger Hugh Hefner.

Photoshoot
This is all you are getting out of me, you creepy internet people you.

Linda’s story is definitely a sad one. It is a story that should be heard so that women out there no that dangerous things CAN happen, signs to look for, and how to get out of those situations and find the help you need.

Unfortunately, Lovelace seems to almost downplay the amount of abuse she actually receives. I found that portion of the movie to be far too short. It needed to be longer to really experience how a large portion of her life was, before she was finally able to get police intervention. Her story was a powerful enough one to write a book about and have restocking issues due to its popularity.

I think the movie has its heart in the right place, but fails to deliver the right emotions that one should expect from this picture. There are two important parts to this story. Linda’s transformation into a porn icon, and the abuse she took from someone she thought loved her. This definitely seems to care more about the former, and not the latter, which is a shame.

1 out of 4.

Epic

I was very excited when I first saw the trailer for Epic. The music is perfect, not a lot is spoiled, it looks beautiful, and looks like a great new franchise.

You know what I don’t like? The title. You know how hard it is to look up things about Epic? Don’t just search the title, you will get dumb internet images. “Epic Movie” is out, because of a bad movie having that exact same name. I had to resort to searching for “Epic <character/actor name” to get anything close to finding suitable images or posts. Come on people, think about the ease of finding your movie before you name it. Unfortunately, it was also made by Blue Sky Productions, who haven’t really made anything I really loved, their last effort being Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.

Birds
Just look at how sexy those birds are. Mmmmhmm.

This movie begins with death! Death before the film takes place (this is a PG movie). MK (Amanda Seyfried) is en route to her fathers house in the middle of the woods. She is almost 18, but her mother just died, and so she has to go live with her dad, who is basically a stranger to her. You see, Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) believes there is a hidden ecosystem in these woods, hidden from human eyes. They react on a faster plane, like flies, so humans can’t really see them because they are always moving so…fast. Yeah, he went crazy and his wife left him. Happens all the time.

But holy tiny men, Bomba is right! In fact, it is a special day, the Summer Solstice on the same night as the Full Moon! Time for the Queen (Beyonce Knowles) to pick a new heir for the next 100 years. After all, only the queen can restore life to the forest if the evil Mandrake (Christoph Waltz) of the Boggarts (swamp/decay creatures) come to mess things up.

The leaf men won’t let that happen! Ronin (Colin Farrell) has sworn to protect her, but young Nod (Josh Hutcherson) is making things difficult by quitting. After some bad things happen, MK finds herself in the woods and magically gets shrunk down to their size. Now she is in the middle of a forest civil war, with the threat of 100 years of swamps on the horizon.

Of course, this could all be some sort of PTSD after her mom’s death for all we know. Chris O’Dowd and Aziz Ansari play a snail and slug, respectfully, Pitbull a frog, and Steven Tyler a glowworm.

Slug
“No shell over here baby, I’m a slug” – Aziz. Possibly my new favorite line ever, and I don’t know why.

Epic is loosely based on the children’s book (that no one has heard of), The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. Basically, it took the character ideas, and made an original story. The plot itself isn’t the most exciting or original, and was filled with certain plot holes that made me shutter.

But it’s pretty, though.

One of my biggest complaints is inconsistencies in a movie. In this case, what is the real difference between a tiny human, a plant/animal human hybrid, and an actual plant or animal.

It’d be simple if all animals and plants could talk and be human-like in this movie, but we have frogs and snails that can talk perfectly, living out their lives and jobs, right next to birds who are just 100% animal, no voice. We have flowers that are just flowers, right next to some flowers that run around, gossip, and have arms and legs. Where is the balance? How does this work?

With the leaf men, they aren’t leaves at all. They are basically tiny humans, with just leaf armor as clothing. Nothing else in the forest outside of the queen appears to be a tiny human, so I found it all confusing.

But it’s pretty, though.

Epic ended up being just an average film, not living up to its (poor) title. If you ignore how confusing the world ends up being, it is a cute tale that is outrageously incredible to look at.

“Hey, it’s a kids movie, stop thinking so deeply about the world!”. No, that is a bad excuse, and leads to movies like Cars 2.

2 out of 4

The Big Wedding

The Big Wedding. Oh goodness me.

The trailer tells the story pretty clear.

The filmmakers are a bunch of racists.

What? How did I get that out of the trailer? Well, the plot is about a family who adopted a kid, who is finally about to get married. His mom is coming to visit, but his adopted family is divorced, and she wouldn’t be able to understand that because she is super Catholic. So they just have to pretend to be married!

The trailer then shows off the giant cast and tells us who everyone is, except for said guy getting married. WHAT? So here’s to you, Ben Barnes. You get a spot up top, and the first picture.

Who is that
But you have to share it with Amanda Seyfried, because these are my rules, damn it.

Ah shit, I just explained the plot in like, two sentences. Whoops. Well the good news is, the divorce wasn’t bad. Sure, Don (Robert De Niro) might have cheated on Elle (Diane Keaton), but they agreed it was for the best, still raised wonderful kids, and still loved each other. Sure, it was Elle’s best friend who did it too, Bebe (Susan Sarandon), and that they have been together for over a decade, but it isn’t weird.

But hey, Alejandro (Ben Barnes) isn’t the only child causing problems. They have two actual children of their own, Lyla (Katherine Heigl) and Jared (Topher Grace). The former, a lawyer in Chicago, going through a tough time with her long term boyfriend, hates her dad for cheating, and can’t have kids. Jared, a baby doctor, who is still a virgin to save himself from marriage, but totally willing to lose it should the right woman arrive.

Yeah, basically a giant shit storm. That isn’t the half of it. I just don’t want to spoil it all. Robin Williams plays the priest, because why not, and Ana Ayora gets naked. These are important things to note, because you know, it is rated R.

Nero

Rated R you say? Yeah, Robert does R rated films a lot! So that isn’t surprising. This isn’t your daddy’s wedding movie. Unless you are 2-3 years old, then it is likely that your dad is the target audience. Also, get off this website, there is fucking language and talk of naked ladies.

Here comes the shock of the century week. I enjoyed this movie. Like, a decent amount. I laughed, I loved the twists, it didn’t feel forced, and the chemistry between this giant group of actors was great. Shit, everyone seemed to be having such a great time with the movie, and weren’t disappointed to be stuck with some lame new movie about marriage. Obviously, yes, it looks like shit, but I think it has a lot of heart.

This isn’t the kind of movie I could watch again and again, but I am pleased with how it all turned out and think worth a gander. Well, depends on what a gander is. I think some sort of bird.

3 out of 4.

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