Tag: Bruce McGill


“You know what we need? More movies about cheer leading.” – No one.

After Bring It On, our movies about cheer leading have been pretty sparse. Not of Bring It On films, we had five more of those that no one cared about. Since then, we had Sugar & Spice, which was more about crime, and Fired Up! which was…interesting.

So now we have Poms! Let’s do cheer leading, but make the cheers not exciting, and have old people do it. Go for that demographic wedge that is underrepresented.

Box office success guaranteed!

Martha (Diane Keaton) is going to die. Well, we are all going to die. But she is going to die sooner rather than later.

She has the cancer, it is a heavy level, and chemo isn’t a high guarantee of success at this point. So she says bump that, I’m just gonna die peacefully, and take care of my things so my family won’t have to. She sells her items, and goes to a retirement community to die.

Well, the head of the retirement community, Vicki (Celia Weston) says they have a reputation to uphold, so she needs to join one of their many clubs in order to remain active. And eventually, Martha gives in to her neighbors friendliness and gains Sheryl (Jacki Weaver) as a comrade. And due to reasons, they make a cheerleading club, because it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Unless people are going to be haters for no damn reason.

Also starring Alisha Boe, Charlie Tahan, Rhea Perlman, Phyllis Somerville, Pam Grier, Patricia French, Ginny MacColl, Carol Sutton, and Bruce McGill.

Face down, back up, that’s the way I like to —

Without a doubt, the only feeling I got from Poms is the same feeling you get when you have a pile of chores you don’t want to do. I didn’t want to finish the movie, I assumed it would never get better, and it never did.

Let’s be clear, the main conflict of this movie is some ladies want to do some basic cheerleader routines, and the head bitch of the retirement community is jealous of that fact and doesn’t want them to continue. That is it. They have various sports clubs, and dance clubs, and exercise and fitness clubs, but cheerleading is somehow drawing a line too far.

A lot of the conflict comes from that. We also have an upset son who doesn’t want his future money being wasted at all. He is a lame secondary conflict. And that is about it.

Some women want to cheerlead, and some other people say no. They end up cheerleading. And all aspects of viralness the movie try to add in are completely ridiculous. A very much waste of everyone’s time.

0 out of 4.

The Best of Enemies

True stories are sometimes fun. Sometimes they are true…ish and give us a topic like Green Book, which is barely about the actual Green Book and pretty damn disappointing.

Other times we get true stories that are like The Favourite, which are probably extremely fictionalized but based on real events and well acted so we let it pass.

And then we get something like The Best of Enemies. Another true story that seems to actually be based on real people and events, without making things offensive or skirting the issues that are important to the subject. Wait, this shows a Klansman in a favorable light? Alright, maybe not completely inoffensive.

And I got the tweets all ready to prove it.

Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson) is a single mother and an activist living in Durham, NC. She runs Operation Breakthrough, which is to help poor black folks not get completely fucked over by the white man. And it is always a battle. Fighting for good homes to live in, fighting for decency, fighting for better schools. It is a full time job and one she will proudly take until it is fixed.

And then we have C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell), a poor white man who also happens to be the leader of the Durham chapter of the KKK. I should probably mention that this takes place in 1971, after the Civil Rights Act was passed and desegregation occurred. It had not occurred everywhere. For example, Durham! They still had white schools and black schools. And shockingly to no one, the black schools were older, overcrowded, with old supplies and not enough money compared to the white schools.

Well, one of the main elementary schools gets damaged in a fire, with most of it being unusable except a few classes. Clearly now they need to segregate, it is only fair. Nope. Council says to use those 8 classes and make them go to schools in shifts instead of disrupt another school.

The cowards that be in charge above that, when a lawsuit from the NAACP appears, decide to organize a “charette”. A term made by Bill Riddick (Babou Ceesay), where he comes in to organize the community to discuss the issues for a few weeks and have a senate vote on resolutions. Anything they overall decide to do, Durham will do. Even if that means segregation. And Riddick wants to make sure this is real and worthwhile, so he decides that Ann and C.P. should be the co-chairs of this event, overhear everything and give each side equal ground. Surely, this will lead to peace and harmony.

Also starring Wes Bentley, Gilbert Glenn Brown, Anne Heche, Bruce McGill, John Gallagher Jr., and Nicholas Logan.

This could get nominated for costume given the body suit Henson had to put on for this look.

Ack. Where to begin.

Well, Rockwell is being typecasted as a racist turned racist we can not hate fully at this point. From Three Billboards, to this, to…Vice (Kanye West says so). That’s not something he should continue.

I was worried about this film because from the title and looks of it, it almost made it seem like it is going to imply that people of these people are important and should be heard. And uhh, one of them is a racist KKK leader. The other is fighting for survival. That is the sort of story that puts a bad taste in your mouth before it gets started, so it is a hard thing for people to just accept and want to see. But yes, by the end, [SPOILERS] the guy saw the light in real life and did the right thing and helped schools segregate, turning his back on the KKK. He should be celebrated for that, but most of the film is putting him in a slightly positive light before the moment, as the change occurs and again, it feel uncomfortable.

Technically, this movie has a white savior problem. And that is hard to avoid when given the real story, a white guy did save the situation. It is a hard thing to balance, when it has to fully embrace the white savior as part of the real narrative.

Honestly, trying to accept this film as a story is hard, and only works and can be acceptable because it is real. If this was fiction, it would be a complete shitshow of a plot. This makes it hard to talk about as a reviewer, from purely a movie standpoint.

So let’s just finish by comparing it to Green Book. The acting in Green Book is better. The camera work in Green Book is crisper. But the plot is so far from reality and insulting, it does not get a pass for its story and its actual true bits are not worthy of praise. While The Best of Enemies is rougher around the edges, it at least sticks to the facts and is pretty informative of a story on this topic. It is one that likely would have been better done as a documentary though, to really get the feel for these people and not put us in the middle of this awkward narrative.

2 out of 4.

Ride Along 2

Two years ago, I was facing another hoard of January movies and afraid of what might come out. But I had seen a trailer for Ride Along months before and was a bit excited about it. Kevin Hart can amuse me and the concept seemed funny enough. It was going to be the movie to save January for me. I was so ready for it.

And then it was average. It being average made me feel even more disappointed since I had such high hopes for it. That Awkward Moment ended up being my good January movie.

That’s right, with fucking Zac Efron.

And now two Januaries later, we have Ride Along 2. Kevin Hart also had The Wedding Ringer last January, making it three years in a row he has had a film come out that month. That is never a good sign for an actor. I hope he is getting some other roles out there somehow.

This time with new hilarious side characters who are from the finest of films before this one!

The sequel takes place only a few months later, I think. Ben Barber (Hart) is now a police officer, but he is in the mentoring stage and not a full time cop just yet. So he gets to shadow other cops, lieutenants and detectives, like James (Ice Cube)!

After a drug bust gone bad, James finds a mysterious USB drive with a crazy hard to beat encryption. Thankfully the hacker who did it left a calling sign and they are able to track it to A.J. (Ken Jeong) out of Miami. James only agrees to take Ben along with him as part of his training as a wedding present to his sister (Tika Sumpter). Oh yeah, the wedding is in a week, so hopefully they get back in time.

Oh no! It turns out A.J. is involved in a murder plot. And maybe someone out to murder him as well. This turns their quick Miami trip into working with Detective Maya (Olivia Munn) to solve the whole thing before they get dead. And not a spoiler, as it is the first scene, it is clearly the nice rich ship dude, Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt) behind everything. They just have to figure that out using their smarts first.

Also featuring Michael Rose, Sherri Shepherd, Carlos Gómez, Bruce McGill, and even smaller roles by Arturo del Puerto, Tyrese Gibson, and Glen Powell.

As I said and I shall repeat again, the finest of films I tell you!

Ride Along 2 was worse than the first film. It is an Action Comedy that has barely any laughs and non exciting action. It is a bore, which is definitely not an emotion you ever expect from either of those genres. You can totally expect that from Dramas.

In terms of humor, I did find one part near the plot finale did make me laugh. I laughed out loud and a lot, it was a nice shake up. But one great joke doesn’t save the film. Maybe I am getting immune to Kevin Hart’s ranting. Ice Cube had to play a serious guy, but 98% of his jokes fell completely flat. As for the action, it seemed almost like a parody without it being a parody. It had so many action cliches it was like watching something that came out of the 90’s but it never was aware of that fact. Explosions for every minor thing (which can be funny if intentional, like in 21 Jump Street), terrible shoot outs, and never any real fear or worry behind it.

There was one car chase scene where, in order to explain why Ben was a great driver during it, the film became to morph into a pretty bad looking video game. It was supposed to be similar to Grand Theft Auto, but the constant shifting of the game in his mind and in reality was only a major annoyance and took away from what could have been one of the more exciting parts of the film. In that sense, it is another example of what some movie in the 90’s might have done, but nowadays only a straight to DVD film would think that is a good idea.

On a final note, do you know the last time a movie decided to place its sequel in Miami? Do you? It was fucking 2 Fast 2 Furious, a travesty of a movie, and it is a surprise the franchise didn’t die on the spot. I don’t see this franchise lasting 7 movies, because at least The Fast and the Furious was decent. This is two weak films in a row.

1 out of 4.

Ride Along

Way back in July, I had to write a synopsis of the upcoming year of movies, from August to April. 2014 at that time barely had anything listed still, so it was mostly a crapshoot. Of the little that January had, I remember thinking that Ride Along had the most potential. Two actors who I tend to enjoy, a buddy cop (ish?) movie and it’s an action comedy. Buddy cop-ish, because only one of them is actually a cop in the film.

As January grew closer in closer, it was still one of the potential bright spots, because January itself is where they just tend to dump a lot of bad movies. So I hope Ride Along ends up being brilliant, or else I am just stuck relying on Zac Efron to save the month.

Ride Along
Relying on Zac Efron is a pretty common theme in my life.

In Ride Along, Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) is a short nobody. He is a security guard at a high school, but he really wants to be a cop someday and is trying really hard to get into the police academy. He thinks he needs to become a cop in order to finally marry his long term girlfriend, Angela (Tika Sumpter).

But really, all she wants is for him to stop being in a war with her brother, James (Ice Cube), who he might have accidentally set on fire. But hey, now that Ben has gotten accepted into the police academy, maybe James will like him and give him his blessing for marriage. Hah.

Turns out James still hates him, but he does agree to give Ben one day to try and change his mind. He will invite him on a ride along, see if he can make it on the streets, while making his life a living hell.

John Leguizamo and Bryan Callen play other cops on the street, and Bruce McGill as their Lieutenant. Oh, and Laurence Fishburne is in this movie. Yeah, Laurence Fishburne!

I decided to include no pictures of anyone actually riding along.

You know what I like most about this movie? Ice Cube said that today was a good day. I get that reference. Well done Ice Cube.

I also laughed a couple times at Kevin Hart. More so later on near the end of the movie.

But not a lot, unfortunately.

For an Action/Comedy, the action was sub par, and the comedy felt extremely sparse. It is a huge shame that I found this movie so disappointing because I really tend to at least find their work enjoyable. Maybe Ice Cube was just too much of a hard ass, trying to pretend he was a BAMF, but really being a bit meh.

The acting wasn’t too great, and unfortunately all of the twists and turns you could see coming a mile away.

If About Last Night in February doesn’t end up being impressive for Kevin Hart, I might have to rethink actually liking him. Good at stand up, bad at movies.

1 out of 4.

Me Again

Not much information existed about the film Me Again before I watched it.

Here is that IMDB synopsis:

Things don’t go as expected when a disenchanted pastor wishes for a different life.

Well, alright. Could be interesting. And what’s that? Ali Lartner is in that? Hells yeah I will watch it!

Me Again
I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

Wait a minute. Ali Landry? Fuck, I was wrong already.

So we got this pastor, David A.R. White, who is down on the slumps. Something isn’t going right with his life, he is seeming miserably and giving bad speeches. Oh whats that, he is separated with his wife, Ali Landry, and three children? She wants a divorce? Something about him never finishing anything, and his mind being absent. He is all lame. But somehow, after prayer, and a bunch of other weird stuff involving this Big Earl commercial on tv (Bruce McGill), he wakes up and finds himself in a different room.

In a different body! Somehow or another, for a week, he finds himself changing bodies with people he knows and some he doesn’t. From wealthy business owner, to starving model (Logan White), to goldfish, to baby of a couple, to boyfriend of his daughter, to his own wife! He can’t explain it, and can’t stop. The only person he is able to contact during this is his best friend, Tommy Blaze, who eventually believes him, mostly when a model actually decides to talk to him. He can’t explain it either.

And then you know, happy endings, morals learned, marriages saved, other people become better.

Clone of Eckhart
Also the main guy looks like a weird clone of Aaron Eckhart. So there is that.

So uh, definitely didn’t go the way I was expecting. Body changing and all. During this whole time, his actual body is doing stuff, and existing, but being the same amount of lame he used to be. It isnt explained what happens to the people when he takes over their body at all, and does its best to ignore it.

The comedy is bad, and alll of the dialogue is bad. All of it. It was cringe worthy! It was almost horrifying.

Morals are all wrapped up nicely at the end, as he fixes up his life and at least 3 of the lives he visited. But it was a pretty lame movie overall.

1 out of 4.