The Cloverfield Paradox

Here we are, the epitome of strange film franchises.

Cloverfield was brilliant with its advertising, although it did leave a lot of people pissed off at the final product. 10 Cloverfield Lane came out of nowhere, announced about a month before it was released, and then ended up being pretty stinking good, thanks to great acting performances.

And The Cloverfield Paradox, originally was supposed to come out in April, got pulled from the release schedule. It then got bought by Netflix. And as we all found out on Superbowl Sunday that yes, it had a release right after the game, with only rumors released earlier the same day that it might happen. And of course a 30 second advertisement letting the viewers note that its release date was very soon.

It was brilliant, but again, it was dropped from the calendar and sold to Netflix for a reason. I knew that going in, I knew that I shouldn´t expect much. And I also knew that the fourth film in this franchise is coming out sometime in October, so no matter how bad this one ended up, it wouldn´t kill the franchise.

Scream
No matter how many times these characters scream, no one will hear it in a theater.

Aboard the Cloverfield space station, we have a team of international scientists working together to try and save the Earth. From what? From a global energy crisis. They have a large particle accelerator up in that space station to hopefully figure out how to get some sort of permanent, renewable, energy source that can save the world.

And they do not have a lot of time. Countries are ready to go to war for the limited resources left, and they only have three shots left of fuel to get things right. We have scientists from all over ( ) working to just make this thing work.

But wait! It finally reaches the good levels before shutting itself off! Did they solve the crisis? Maybe. Something still went wrong, and when they look around they notice that the Earth is completely missing. Did they move to a different part of the galaxy? Did the Earth disappear due to their science? Their compass is broken too, so they find themselves lost in space, where strange events start to take place on their space ship. People appearing, items missing, and a lot more paranoia.

Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Brühl, David Oyelowo, John Ortiz, Chris O’Dowd, Aksel Hennie, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki, and Roger Davies holding himself together on Earth.

Arm
You got to hand it to this scene, it really strong arms the point.

I want to say that The Cloverfield Paradox is a film with a good idea and bad execution, but in reality, maybe it was a bad idea as well.

It is very obvious that this film was never intended to be connected to Cloverfield. More so than the previous film. Basically, everything on the space station was a different movie, but we had a character they added on Earth to communicate occasionally with, which connected the film to the previous Cloverfield. That and the last 30 seconds or so. So for the most part, this is just a space ship thriller movie.

But it did not do a good job of really deciding what it wanted. Was it a thriller? A drama? A strange comedy (Which was mostly O´Dowd. And his jokes/puns got annoying quickly, unfortunately)?

It featured a scene very early on of a news report that felt like a flashing neon sign letting you know what the movie was about to do, a very weak plot device. It then had our characters running around, coming up with solutions to problems that are never really fully explained. The viewer can understand the main problem, but most of the problems that happen in the film are just plot devices and never feel natural.

This film spent most of its time trying to set up something and just failing to deliver over and over again.

It was pulled from theaters for a reason, and put on netflix with no warning for a reason. Everyone everywhere has now seen it (Which is why I did not rush the review out) and it is a clunky, lame mess. Not even the several high caliber actors could save it. Instead, this film is more likely to be remembered for its stunt, not for adding anything valuable to what is turning out to be a very stupid franchise idea.

1 out of 4.

Molly’s Game

Aaron Sorkin Sorkin sorkin. If you would have told me he never directed a movie before I would have raised my finger in the air and declared “Oh no! He must have!” Sure he is known for being a writer and a great writer. But I just can’t imagine him never directing anything. Especially given the number of TV shows he has worked on.

But alas. The truth is sometimes hard to swallow, and usually that phrase is for much bigger events than this one.

Despite the fact that this is an original Sorkin directed film and of course, writer, it is unfortunately based on a true story. A true story that was written about in a book with the same name, Molly’s Game. And so even though he wrote the screenplay, he based it off of someone else’s words, and maybe the dialogue would be affected in some regards.

Cleavage
Or even worse, maybe Sorkin will get distracted by other things while having to direct as well.

Molly (Jessica Chastain) was very close to heading to the US Olympics as a downhill skier, doing the moguls. Her father (Kevin Costner) was an intense man, who wanted his kids to be athletes and great at school, constantly pushing them to achieve greatness at all costs. He was a bit of a dick. But Molly didn’t qualify due to a freak unlikely accident, and he life was forever changed.

Instead of the Olympics, Molly found herself putting off law school, living off of her friend’s couch until she found some job and some life experience. It led her to becoming the personal assistant of Dean King (Jeremy Strong), an asshole, a piece of shit, but she got money so whatever. This led her to running a weekly poker game he was hosting, which featured big celebrities, CEOs, high money people. It gave her a lot more in tips, so Molly began to learn the art of poker, about being a host, so that eventually she could do this on her own.

Thanks to the help of a mysterious celebrity (Michael Cera), eventually she got her foot in the door, ran a bigger game, with higher stakes, more tipping, and all legal. And yet, years later, she is arrested despite no games in a long time, with connections to mobsters, and she needs legal help to get her out of the jam (Idris Elba). Basically, a lot of shit is going down, we got flashbacks, we got a slight mystery, and we got sexy card game shenanigans and stories and gossip.

Also starring a ton of people, some playing unnamed celebrities, some CEOs, some attractive people in general. This includes Natalie Krill, Stephanie Herfield, Bill Camp, Madison McKinley, Justin Kirk, J.C. MacKenzie, Graham Greene, Chris O’Dowd, Angela Gots, and Brian d’Arcy James.

eYES
I’d let Idris Elba represent me in court, even if in real life he doesn’t know a damn thing.

Damn it, and now another recent movie has made me want to read the book. First Wonder, then The Disaster Artist, and now Molly’s Game. Although a little bit less interested in this book, as I feel like the movie must have done a great job of explaining the topic of the book. And I have fear that the narration of Molly’s Game, which is assumed to be book quotes, has been made better by Sorkin instead of left alone.

Not to mention I know that reading this book will not secretly identify any actors or celebrities who were parts of these games. These things were combed over by insiders already, and since I know jack shit outside of just movie gossip, I got absolutely nothing. Especially since this happened over a decade ago or whatever.

In terms of acting, Chastain does a really good job. She is powerful, assertive, and confident for the most part, a strong leading lady. Her cleavage plays a large role in this film as well, definitely important to the plot. Cleavage hasn’t been this important to a plot since Erin Brockovich, and this one is definitely more important. It deserves its own tag credit.

Elba is fine as the lawyer, given a lot more of the fun moments early on, and gets at least two great speeches near the end. The ending is where we get a lot more Sorkin level dialogue between the characters, especially between Chastain and Costner (who has done his best work in several years with this role).

Honestly, a fun story, it is gripping at times, it was very popular half a decade ago, yet still not quite big news. The only issues I probably have with it involve the direction. After the intro, which was wonderful, the story felt really weird. We had a lot of strange camera choices, fade overs, switching of timelines. It eventually started to come together, but it didn’t feel very coherent and great until after the poker games were already going.

Sorkin’s next film is called The Politician, also a true story. Huh, stories about the law and politics, this is strange new territory for Sorkin.

3 out of 4.

Mascots

I love me some Mockumentaries. I do, I really do. Yeah, sure, most of the ones I have seen in my life were made by Christopher Guest. This Is Spinal Tap! (Technically Rob Reiner, whatever) and A Mighty Wind are my jams. But thankfully we did get Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping this year to continue the trend a bit further.

So I was excited about Mascots. And no, I didn’t know it was another film directed by Christopher Guest until about twenty minutes in, when the same cast of characters in a lot of his films appeared. It had the same style, same type of humor.

Let’s be clear, this is his first Mockumentary in a decade! Big news, because someone has to make them, damn it.

Doctor
And why not explore Mascots hoping they did not break their funny bone.

Mascots are a big deal. They get the party started, they get people excited about sports and performances, and they can have zany costumes.

And in this documentary, it is showcasing several totally real mascots as they prepare for the World Mascot Association to try and win the Golden Fluffy award for the best mascot. Now a lot of random mascots enter and send in tapes to be chosen to compete, but only the best and maybe the vaguest can really win.

Of course we have a very eccentric and weird cast. There is Zook (Chris O’Dowd), who plays The Fist, a hockey mascot in Canada, known for getting into fights, and yes, he is a giant fist. Owen Golly Jr. (Tom Bennett) comes from a long line of mascots, playing a squirrel I believe. His dad (Jim Paddock) is still coaching him and his wife (Kerry Godliman) just hopes he doesn’t die.

Cindi Babineaux (Parker Posey) is this absurd horse girl thing. Phil Mayhew
(Christopher Moynihan) is a Plumber mascot, and has a big routine with a toilet and a turd. Mike (Zach Woods) and Mindy Murray (Sarah Baker) are a couple act, but also going through a divorce thanks to infidelity, but still hoping to work together for the competition.

And we got more people for a variety of reasons, Jane Lynch, Ed Begley Jr., Susan Yeagley, John Michael Higgins, and Michael Hitchcock.

Amish Worm
And I didn’t even get into the Amish and the Worm pair.

Mascots ends up being very similar to Christopher Guest’s other mockumentaries. The people are weird, but realistic, and the humor comes from relatively normal interactions. And surprisingly outside of a few moments, I found myself rather bored.

I haven’t seen a lot his previous work. I never fully watched Best In Show, but I want to. I didn’t even know he had about two others. So why would I absolutely love A Mighty Wind and not this one?

Well, shit. It might actually be the music factor. I love quirky people and musicals, so it is a perfect storm for me. This one has quirky people without all of the payoff I was hoping for. Some people seemed to exist just for one joke or one long set up and until it happened, I was just waiting.

The mascot performances were all pretty good I guess, but not enough to warrant rewatching in the future. People are weird, situations are zany, but it is all too few and far in between for me.

1 out of 4.

St. Vincent

Day after Christmas, and you know what that means… Boxing Day! The day I don’t pretend to understand but could easily look up. I think it involves even better shopping deals and when people presumably box up their trees for the trash or the attic.

Screw that though, let’s say it is about some secret day to worship some other saint. After all, Christmas is about Saint Nick. There are presumably a whole lot of Christmas days (12? 25?) that people just seem to accept but not question when they are. So now we can say Boxing Day is for St. Vincent.

Sure, some people may say this is one of my more ridiculous openings to a review, where I am clearly just being stupid. And to that, I say, okay.

Dusty
Legally obligated to show this picture whenever talking about this movie on the internet.

Vincent (Bill Murray) is old, and thus, mean and grouchy. He lives in a run down place, all dirt, nothing growing but a tree in his front yard. So when neighbors move in and their moving company somehow manage to ruin his car, fence, and tree, he is a bit displeased. Not the best way for Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son Olvier (Jaeden Lieberher).

Maggie is going through a divorce. So she has to spend a lot of her time at work making extra money, so she needs someone to watch Oliver sometimes. Vincent is nearby and willing, for a price, because Vincent has gambling debts and other costs that are just racking up. He even has a wife in a nursing home who doesn’t remember him, but he still makes sure she can live in luxury while he lives in filth.

See, Vincent is swell. Even with all the drinking and gambling and care free attitude. Oh, and the pregnant prostitute/stripper (Naomi Watts) that is in his life. Another vice, I guess. But when he is isn’t sexing or getting beat up by an old Terrence Howard, he can sometimes teach Oliver to fight. You know, the important skills.

Oh hey. Chris O’Dowd plays a Catholic Priest teacher, a role I feel like he keeps getting shoe horned into.

Hospital
This is the best McCarthy movie since Go from 1999, which is saying a whole lot.

I have a pretty weird relationship with Bill Murray. He once gave me a wedgie and ran away yelling “No one will believe this!” the bastard. But also I don’t have the deep appreciation of all the 80’s/90’s comedies he starred in. I like him more in his cameo roles.

But his drama roles are usually pretty top notch. Even in the pretty disappointing The Monuments Man he had one of the better parts in a shower scene (uhh…). And in this role, it felt like Murray was actually acting and not just playing an old man. He had a different persona/character about him and he did it really well.

McCarthy was also really well in this role. I didn’t hate her character in the slightest which was a nice change. I didn’t even recognize Watts at all.

The only issues I really have with this movie is how predictable the whole thing is. Nothing really deviates from an expected path and everything seems to fall into place.

So, it is a well acted and interesting movie? Just not as amazing I had hoped, but still pretty good and worth a watch or two.

3 out of 4.

Calvary

Brendan Gleeson is one of those actors who took a really long time to get noticed. He had nice dramatic roles and a sweet Irish accent, but lets face it. His looks probably held him back. But now that he has a distinguished old guy look, his talents are more noticed and he is getting leading roles.

A few years ago, he got The Guard, and now he gets the movie Calvary. Both black comedies / dramas in a way too. I guess it is okay to have a genre niche.

Butcher
I am surprised the “Movies With Scenes In A Meat Locker” genre hasn’t taken off more fully, either.

Let’s pretend you are Father James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson). You are an old man, running a small Irish Catholic church in a tiny community. There are only a few other priests in the area, like Father Leary (David Wilmot). That means a lot of soul saving falls on one man.

During mass on a Sunday, in confessional time, a person says that they were abused by a Catholic priest when they were younger and goes into great detail. The priest has since died, but the man is still angry. He wants to get back at the Catholic Church, and to do that, he wants to kill a good priest to send a strong message. He wants to kill Father James Lavelle. In exactly one week he will come back to kill him, in order to get his affairs in order. Then he leaves.

Huh. That is terrifying. There are only a few people in the area, so it can only be a few people. But who?

Here is a vague list of actor names of characters, instead of talking about all of them individually. I even threw in a woman, too. (Chris O’ Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankole, M. Emmet Walsh, Domhnall Gleeson, Marie-Josee Croze).

Oh yeah. Let’s not forget that he also has a daughter, Fiona Lavelle (Kelly Reilly), as part of his marriage before he became a priest.

As the story gets closer and closer to Sunday, more and more sinful activities seem to take place in his town, as if the whole world is going to Hell, and there is nothing the Father can do about it.

Family
In true Irish fashion, his daughter of course is a ginger.

Despite the similar genres, The Guard and Calvary aren’t very similar. This film is much heavier on the drama and symbolism, while The Guard has more comedy, lewd behavior, and shooting of guns.

Gleeson puts on a heck of a show though, and even though I recognize his face in plenty of sinful characters from the past, I feel like it fits the best in a Catholic suit garb. Whatever those robes are called. He fit the character really well, including the few times in the movie where he broke down and did non Priesty things.

The supporting cast was especially up there for me, especially Dowd and Moran. Moran in general was just impressive with his character, and Dowd was impressive being in a more dramatic role which is rare for him. I have only seen Gillen in Game of Thrones, but his character is also pretty great. It is also nice to see Reilly in a controversial role after her last terrible role in Heaven Is For Real.

Overall, this is a really great and powerful movie. It might be pretty easy to get lost in some of the symbolism, or really figuring out where it is all going. I know I didn’t understand the whole thing without some additional research (and some of that research feels bullshit). Definitely a movie you might have to watch more than once to get the full impact of it.

3 out of 4.

Cuban Fury

I really don’t think I can come up with a clever introduction to this review of Cuban Fury. Literally, no amusing anecdotes at all.

Well, maybe one. This movie is about a big guy salsa dancing. Hey. I am a big guy, and I was a big guy when I was on a Salsa Dance Team and a Ballroom Dance Team. I think I’d be able to relate to it very nicely.

I also like two of the three people on the cover. But I won’t tell you who is who.

Early
I think I literally own that exact outfit. Actually, both outfits.

Bruce (Nick Frost) used to be a great salsa dancer. He was arguably the best of the best with his partner, rising through the ranks and proud to be a dancer. Then he quit. He was getting embarassed. People made fun of him and he quit. What a kid.

Now look at Bruce. Middle aged, working for a random company, miserable and fat.

But he is a bit interested in this person at his job, Julia (Rashida Jones). Just she is really pretty and he isn’t. He accidentally stumbles upon her at a Salsa class. SALSA. He can get back into form and do something impressive, she might like him.

Kind of very creepy, actually. But what is creepier is the other work mate, Drew (Chris O’Dowd), your standard dick, also is in to her and sabotaging Bruce and getting to hang out with her. But he is only an okay dancer.

Bruce might have the wrong ideas about why he is doing what he is doing, but with the help of his former coach (Ian McShane) and a very…intense man from a dance class (Kayvan Novak), he is able to relearn the steps he once knew. But more important, he is going to learn self confidence, trust in himself, and realize he shouldn’t be doing this to impress a woman. He should be doing it for himself.

Finale
But hey look, he still gets her in the end. I guess.

Alright alright alright. The plot line is straight out of the 80s / 90s, yes. That is terrible. It is literally about a guy who is fat and ugly (personality wise too) playing the blame game and thinking he can’t do anything right. We should be past all these types of films. So that is why, despite the initial conditions, I was happy to find that it was more about his own personal journey and gaining confidence than winning the girl. Sure, that was a driving factor, but in reality by the end he knew he had to do it for himself and no one else. Yay some sort of moral!

But outside of that, unfortunately the movie didn’t have a ton going for it. It was an okay story and some okay jokes for the most part. There was one scene in particular that caused me to rewind the movie a little bit back, just to rewatch it again because it actually ended up being hilarious and I wanted to make sure I saw it correctly. That was great. If you see it, you will know the scene.

But you know. O’Dowd was a typical jerk, a lot of the plot was a typical underdog sports movie. It just didn’t have a ton unique going for it. Sad to say.

Oh well, time to ignore this one forever.

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

This Is 40

Judd Apatow wants to make a realistic comedy movie about life. How do I know that? Because that is generally what he always does. This time, he is getting older, so he needs a movie about that as well. This Is 40 is the kind of sequel to Knocked Up, featuring the supporting characters from that movie as they both turn 40 in the same week. You know, because 40 is allegedly old age and time to start dying.

Strangely enough, I can’t tell if the mid life crisis mentality is a real life thing, or if it is just a movie creation. Shit, could movies be lying to me about what being older is like?

JUST WHAT IS 40 ANYWAYS!?

Cake yeah
Apparently cake. Cake is 40.

Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are both turning 40 this week, so shit might be hitting the fan. They have two kids, one going through puberty (Maude Apatow) and the other in young annoying phase (Iris Apatow).

But hey, Pete runs a record label kind of. They are poor, sure, and don’t sign any new big people, but they have regular small fan base. Chris O’Dowd and Lena Dunham work for him, but really, it is shit and they are losing lots of money. It doesn’t help that he is also letting his dad (Albert Brooks) borrow a lot of money, as he also has recently had more kids, whaaat.

Debbie isn’t flying high either. She has a small boutique, with two workers (Megan Fox, Charlyne Yi), but she is missing a lot of money from her inventory as well. She is also trying to stay in shape, change her life around, with the help of a life coach (Jason Segel).

Can the two get their life back on track, learn to trust each other again, and you know, not die alone and unhappy like the rest of people in movies?

Starfish
When you Google This Is 40, half of the images will just be Megan Fox in a bra. Why aren’t there more of Rudd with the starfish, damn it?

Hey, do you tend to love Judd Apatow movies and its cast and Paul Rudd? Then go see the movie, simple as that, you will anyways. Rudd does play the same character, but he kind of had to, since its a sort of sequel. There are amusing moments in this movie, there are awkward ones, but there are also scenes that go on pretty long. Pretty sure this movie is over 2 hours, which means more time to make you feel bad or good about your own life.

But I think this film could have been a lot better. Maybe, just maybe, a small cameo with Rogen/Heigl from the first movie? But no, we get none of them. Really big miss there in my eyes.

Other than that, this movie is exactly as you think it would be. Apatow has made enough movies to have a certain style and humor in them, and I would say it definitely falls in line with the rest of them.

2 out of 4.

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel

Honestly, when I just read the title I knew I had to watch it. It is one of those movies.

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel? A British Comedy? Staring my favorite British actor/comedian guy?

Well damn. Don’t have to try so hard, United Kingdom.

Guns
Oh, and this movie involves a gun!

The movie is about three friends at a bar. Ray (Chris O’Dowd) just got fired from his job for making kids cry. His two friends are Toby (Marc Wootton) and Pete (Dean Lennox Kelly), the former a cynical asshole, the latter a fellow nerd who likes to come up with movie ideas and his thoughts on shit (like time travel) in a little notebook.

Well while they are getting drunk and complaining about stuff, Ray goes to the backroom, and when he returns he sees a girl staring at him. Cassie (Anna Faris) is claiming to be a time traveler, and she just came to observe a “Great man” in his past. Can’t tell him why of course, that would fuck up time. But she leaves and Ray just assumes of course that it was a prank. He tells his friends anyways of course until he doesn’t believe him. It isn’t until Mr. Cycnical asshole Toby goes to the bathroom and returns to find the entire bar dead, including himself (with a beard?) that he starts to freak out. He returns to the bathroom and his own time, and the tries to get the group to do everything he did before in the bathroom to try it again.

It doesn’t work. Instead they find themselves in a House in the future. Well fuck.

Obviously things start to get a bit confusing, as they are trying to figure out this time leak going on, with Cassie only ocassionally showing up. They also go into the far future full of destruction, and less far future where they find themselves at a costume party, where everyone is dressed like them from the bar that night. But why? Why are they worshiped? Can they also avoid the people who like to go back in time and kill influential people right after they hit their peak for fun? I’m sure Meredith MacNeill isn’t one of those people.

The gang
Oh the things people must do for science.

I like that the movie is about three “Average guys” or at least nerdy ones. Unless you think nerd is a bad term, in which case “Imagineers”.

This movie is pretty crazy and it is very easy to get confused, especially early on when they don’t even understand what is going on. There aren’t helpful subtitles to say when in time they are, because they don’t know. They are just trying to survive and not break any time travel rules they are aware of. I also thought it was pretty funny, even though most of it was just based on awkward people in extraordinary circumstances.

I heard they originally planned to make a whole series of these low budget comedies, the next one being FAQ About Parallel Universes, staring the same people, and going through these crazy ass adventures. But they had to stop it, which was a shame. The movie is pretty refreshing in terms of topic, how they handled it, and the potential for more. Also, they say fuck you fate/predetermination.

3 out of 4.

Friends With Kids

I instantly wanted to see Friends With Kids as soon as I saw the first trailer. Wait no, that’s not right. I wanted to see it as soon as I saw the cast list.

I was so excited to see all these people I liked in it, and then you know, one person I didn’t know. I also noticed that they didn’t really try to advertise this movie at all, outside the week before it came out. That sucks. Oh well, I am sure it isn’t entire cliche based.

Rest of the cast
Hey! I know these people. And none of them are the main people.

Alright, so we got a group of friends, two couples, and two single people. Adam Scott is a successful business man doing something, and Jennifer Westfeldt is also successful at something. They are just friends though. The couple friends at Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd, who are about to have a kid, and Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm who also are going to have a kid. Well that is weird.

Four years later, their friends are completely different, and also potentially having marital woes. But when you are married you cant just ask for a “break” without it being a big deal. With Jennifer’s biological clock going off and never finding a good guy, Adam thinks they should have a child together! BUt you know, no relationship, just have a baby, raise him separately and maintain their distance and friendship, and thus, no problems! Couldn’t go wrong.

A few years later, they even are seeing people. Well first Adam finds a girl walking a dog in the park, Megan Fox, despite her being way younger than him. This makes Jennifer upset (for some reason?) but she finds an older more experienced guy, Edward Burns, who has interesting stories and knows how to treat a woman and get shit done. As the kid gets older, I don’t expect him to find it weird about his parents situation. Sure their friends do, but come on, this is 2012. Babies probably have their shit together sooner now.

Main people
I was told it was good to acknowledge the main cast in the pictures too. Fineee.

You are probably wondering, “No really who the hell is that main actress? I know everyone else in the movie but her!?”. Well she is the writer and director damn it, and clearly the only woman she knows who can articulate the emotions she wants so she did it her self! That explains it. This is also supposed to be a bit more realistic than your standard RomComs, and I can say that it is. Parents having natural fights and getting through it, and some that don’t. Friends who are honest with each other, and some that drink too much.

But the dialogue between Adam and Jennifer is great and yet not the best part of the movie. Jon Hamm, as he tends to do, steals the show, and you find yourself paying attention to him more so whenever he is on screen, that sly dog.

Despite all this, and a decent plot, it just felt like it was both missing something and too long. The ending comes pretty abruptly, but I like that. Just the build up to it? I don’t like it. It takes a long time to get there (I guess that is a realistic approach?) and there is lots of filler that drags the film way down. More than one montage based scene as well. But it does do a nice job at getting to the point early on at least.

Ehh, its hard to describe. Should have been better than what was on screen.

2 out of 4.

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