Sorry To Bother You

Sorry to Bother You is one of those films that sort of snuck up on me with a roar. I heard idle mentions of it earlier in the year, but didn’t go out of my way to do further research.

I knew the star. I guessed the theme. And yet none of that would prepare me for the trailer.

The trailer felt very fresh and told me that this. Would be a movie with a lot going on. A sort of extreme satire, maybe very political, but whatever it is it has a message and will be both subliminal and superliminal with that message.

I was excited and ready for this screening, without really knowing what it might give me.

Japan
I am getting a Japan / sumo wrestler headband vibe here.

Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) is your regular, down on his luck, poor, brother. He is living in a garage in the house of his uncle (Terry Crews), with his long term girlfriend artist (Tessa Thompson), and they aren’t having a lot of luck making money.

But Cassius is able to get a job working as a telemarketer, working for commission. It is better than nothing. And he has the promise that if he does good, he can go to the top floors of the company. He can ride in the special elevator. He can be a “power caller,” and make the big bucks. No one really knows what they sell up there, but it ain’t magazines and book sets.

Cassius is told to just stick to the script, don’t get out of line, and make money. Once he makes money, he can make more money and more and be a success for once. Especially if he taps into his white person voice.

Starring David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Lily James, Forest Whitaker, and Rosario Dawson! Or at least their voices. Also starring Jermaine Fowler, Steven Yeun, Omari Hardwick, Armie Hammer, Robert Longstreet, Danny Glover, Kate Berlant. and Michael X. Sommers, that would be their voices and their bodies.

Drinks
This is how white people drink champagne.

Strangely enough, the trailer for Sorry To Bother You only gave you a slice of the whole story, so I tried to do the same with my plot. There is a whole lot more that goes into this story. Topics of slavery (multiple levels) , class warfare, poverty, selling out, and American indifference to clear wrongs in the world. This movie coming out now is extremely well timed given the border problems that keep getting swept away by other media distractions.

It is not a film to use subtle clues to drive the point home. No, these clues are obvious, with a hammer. Fuck, one of the most uncomfortable scenes was the precursor to a “rap” where the chants, the disparity of the cast, made everything all too real and uncomfortable.

Stanfield is amazing in this film as our lead. His senses will probably always align with the audience on the scale of what is right and wrong and when to finally draw the line. Oh yes, you will know when that line is drawn. It was good seeing Yeun in a role very different than his previous work. Thompson was great. Hardwick was as well, despite more limited time, and Hammer was a blast going full crazy CEO for this film.

Unfortunately, areas do feel a bit clunky and jarring. Especially in the end, time seems to go by strangely and not everything seems to have the same attention to detail as earlier on in the film.

Sorry To Bother You will be looked back as an important work, with extreme topics in order to get the point heard loudly.

3 out of 4.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

The first question you have to ask yourself, does anyone care about Ant-Man? Does anyone care about the Wasp? Does anyone care about Ant-Man and The Wasp?

So soon does this film come out, when just two months ago we had Avengers: Infinity War, a film that made some people cry. Now these titular characters were missing from Avengers of course. Does this happen before IW? After? During? That has to be the majority reason why anyone is watching this film. To see how, if at all, it connects to Avengers. People care about the larger story, not these minor characters.

And this is coming from someone who really enjoyed Ant-Man. I thought the villain was great, and it had the best superhero teaser for a film, that they sadly didn’t recreate for this film.

Either way, if this film ends up being completely stand alone, then a lot of people will be disappointed.

Amatw
Hey look! The titular characters! Together!

This film takes place pre-Avengers: Infinity War, so don’t expect it to start with chaos. Scott (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest for two years following the events in Captain America: Civil War, before he has probation. All of this is explained neatly by the FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) early on, don’t worry. It is boring, he has no contact with Hope (Evangeline Lilly) or Dr. Pym (Michael Douglas), but his daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson) still visits frequently and his ex wife and her husband (Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale).

But hey, he lives with his ex convict buddies still (Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, T.I.), and they started a security business themselves.

AND THEN THANOS ATTACKS. Wait, no not yet. Things start to change however, when Scott has a vision of himself inside the Quantum Realm again, including a vision of Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), the lost Wasp. This sucks him back into the technology rich, very steal heavy world of Ant-Man, despite only having days left on his house arrest.

Now they are in a race against time to finish developing a safer way into the Quantum Realm to find their wife, mom, and lady they don’t actually know, depending on what character you ask. We also have a skeevy business man who wants in on the potential profis (Walton Goggins), a girl phasing in and out of the physical realm (Hannah John-Kamen), and an old S.H.I.E.L.D. research buddy (Laurence Fishburne) also going in and out of their plans.

Ghost
Hey look! Ghost is joining their dance party!

I almost gave this film a 1 out of 4.

Figure that is a good starting place for this review. Sure, it is entertaining. It is funny. The cast has good chemistry. A specific Rudd scene where he has to act like an entirely different person is nailed perfectly and doesn’t feel wrong. The crew has less screen time, T.I. almost feels nonexistant, but they still have their moments. And Ghost fights were relatively cool to watch, as was the Wasp kitchen fight scene.

And yet I almost gave it a 1 out of 4. Technically, the reason I gave it the 2 instead is because of Peña’s character. I was worried they wouldn’t continue a joke from the first film and declared it to be an okay movie if they continued it on. Eventually? They continued it on, and sure, an average review.

Because lets face it, you aren’t getting your Avengers tie in until the credit scenes. This movie overall feels like a filler film. We don’t have any real villains, we just have things that consistently make the plot longer. There isn’t a lot of fighting, it is more just car chases and shrinking and growing. It isn’t a film that can feel smart, because all of the science behind it is fake anyways, so when scientific breakthroughs happen, it happens because the characters say it work, not that the audience could figure it out on our own.

Overall, it sets up a little bit in the universe. But it feels too clunk with no real established threat besides time itself. Ghost isn’t even a villain, just another damaged person, which they make sure we understand very early on.

If the MCU was Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead, this movie would fit in the middle of season one, instead of how most other films are clearly in the 2-7 territory.

2 out of 4.

The Misandrists

I admit, I was really intrigued when I heard about the film The Misandrists.

Of course the title drew me in, it is a type of film that could go a lot of ways. What story does it want to tell? It is a heavily propagandized documentary? Is it full of lies?

Well, I immediately read the plot description and found myself now more confused than ever. It really made me read it a few times just to make sure I was understanding it correctly. It was clearly going to be some sort of satire film, and how good or bad that goes really depends on who is in charge of it.

Well, The Misandrists is directed (and written) by someone named Bruce La Bruce, a man (a bad sign), but a notably gay man. Could still be a bad sign. His film work, that I also have never seen, apparently have lots of frequent gay male sex in them, partly for shock, and partly for the story. And he is potentially exploitative when it comes to these tales.

Oh okay, fine. Based on the description, and his history, maybe this is the perfect man for a movie like this?

Woman
“Perfect man? No such thing!” – These misandrists, probably.

Set in Germany, at some time period before cell phones I assume, sits a small secluded large building. This building is not a school, but a training ground for the Female Liberation Army. This group made entirely of women want to grow strong, powerful, and weaponized and eventually band together to take down the patriarchy in Germany.

It is run by a few “sisters” (you know, like nuns), and Big Mother (Susanne Sachße). The younger girls there are taking classes like a normal school, on Herstory and physical education and math, while also exploring themselves sexually to be free radical women. Most of them came from troubled backgrounds or abuse, and had to leave home at early ages for one reason or another.

While out with her girlfriend, Isolde (Kita Updike) finds a man who is hurt and on the run from authority. She wants to bring him back to their home, to hide in the basement and get better. She doesn’t like men, but can appreciate someone who is anti-authority, which he clearly is. Despite pleading, they do bring him back to hide and heal while still going about their normal duties.

This is a pretty big secret to hide, especially with some of the type of ladies that are in the home. But it turns out that is just the start of the secrets between this small group of ladies.

Also starring Viva Ruiz, Kembra Pfahler, Caprice Crawford, Grete Gehrke, Victoire Laly, Olivia Kundisch, Lina Bembe, and Til Schindler.

Man
The guy looks like he starred in War Horse.

Wow.

I really can’t get into too much detail down here, (partially because I do not want to), but also because there is just so much to talk about that I would just ramble and sound incoherent.

I definitely left this film not enjoying it in the slightest. It does feel like a vehicle to just create some softcore pornography. There is plenty of sex scenes in it, and maybe the longest pillow fight I have seen in a movie. Once the secrets start unraveling, it goes from dull to just really bad. The ending is extremely strange and jarring, without a lot of sensical resolution.

And yes. There is a nice fun scene of a penis being cut open. I assume it was surgery to turn the genitals into a vagina, it really wasn’t specifically clear, but it definitely was REAL. The camera change to a surgical video, and it was gross and so god damn unnecessary.

My stomach hurts just typing this out and remembering it.

The plot is bad, the graphic-ness is disturbing, and this film will only appeal to extremely small niche group of folks. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to scrub this movie out of my memory anytime soon, as it will likely appear in my worst of the year list.

0 out of 4.

Paddington 2

Paddington 2 was probably one of my most looking forward to films for awhile. No, not some big superhero film, or a drama with all of my favorite actors. Paddington. Two.

The first one was just a delight. It was cute, funny, and it felt like the perfect family film. It didn’t help that Europe got it so much earlier than other parts of the world, so I heard about its praise, and I just wanted more.

Who would have thought that a little bear could bring the world together so much? Well, the makers of the first Paddington, I guess.

Family
A successful family film always needs a big family so everyone can relate to someone.

Things are changing in the Brown household. The kids (Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin) are changing their appearances and hobbies, the mother (Sally Hawkins) wants to go on adventures and is training to swim to France, and the father (Hugh Bonneville) is going through a big midlife crisis because he feels old and is missing promotions at work.

But Paddington (Ben Whishaw) is just chill. He is helping his neighbors, making the world a brighter place, and really just finding a place to exist. He does want to get a gift for his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) though, which leads him to a sweet pop up book of London! It is very detailed and it will let her experience London like she always wanted to. But the book is rare, so Paddington will have to get a few jobs in order to pay for it.

What Paddington doesn’t know, is there are others out there that will go to great lengths to get that book, even if it means Paddington ends up in Prison as a result.

Also starring Hugh Grant, Michael Gambon, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, and Brendan Gleeson.

Prison
Jails are just a red herring of course. Or a pink herring.

At the time of writing this review, Paddington 2 has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. And that isn’t based on only 20 or so reviews, it is based on ONE HUNDRED NINETY-SIX reviews! That is almost 200 people who agreed that it didn’t suck. Of course it doesn’t mean it is a perfect film, just everyone found it overall good and gave a positive impression. And that is frankly unheard of in this day in age.

Of course while watching it, I found myself chuckling a few times. Just the generic slapstick portions as Paddington flails about trying to do human things are worth it. The story goes really well together and ends with a lot of the pieces coming together quite nicely.

Most importantly, it is a film with a simple story and that works in its favor. It is slow enough moving that even those younger kids will be able to follow along and enjoy it, while not being too slow or boring for adults. The family was funny enough. And Grant was very good in his role, and at a very good age and time in his career to play something like he did.

It doesn’t resort to violence, it resorts to smarts, and maybe some bonking, but not an all out brawl.

Hooray!

3 out of 4.

Naked

I do love a good stuck in time movie. It is just a shame that most of them are not good movies.

We recently had a few famous ones, like Edge of Tomorrow and Happy Death Day. The former was great, the latter not so much.

But what about Naked? This time it is a full on comedy, with this time focusing not on a whole day, just a single hour. And it involves a lot more man butts.

This came out over a year ago on Netflix. I wanted to see it right away, forgot and forgot, until I scoured my saves to find something new. No excuses, except hey, its still there if you want to see it!

Airport
Fun fact, I did NOT look up pictures for this movie at work.

Rob Anderson (Marlon Wayans) is a regular guy. He is a substitute teacher, but he doesn´t have big career aspirations. He is getting married to the love of his life, Megan (Regina Hall), and that is good enough to him.

His wedding needs to be perfect. Because her father (Dennis Haysbert), a self made millionaire, certainly doesn´t approve of him. And her ex (Scott Foley), he is super successful and keeps shoving his success in their faith. But he loves her and she loves him, it should be enough.

Unfortunately, the day of the wedding, Rob wakes up on the floor of an elevator. He is naked, he is confused, and he doesn´t remember the night before. He frantically tries to get to his wedding and understand what is going on, but he gets arrested for obvious reasons. At noon, an hour after he woke up, he found himself getting sucked through time and waking up once again in that elevator floor.

He not only has to figure out why he is being sucked back in time, but also what happened to him and how to fix all the issues his absences have caused.

Also starring J.T. Jackson, Eliza Coupe, Loretta Devine, and Brian McKnight as himself.

Naked
“Here are our selection of retro pants for maximum movie lols!”

I am not saying I am expert on “stuck in a time loop until everything is perfect!” films, but I do know most of the popular ones, and I think this is the first one to have the person literally sucked from their spot in time to get back to the previous point. Like flying through the air. As for originality, it is also the only one I can think of that repeats just a single hour, instead of a full day.

Unfortunately, the hour seems really off in this movie. It seems by the end too many things are happening from his reset point to realistically take the hour. I didn’t notice it was an hour until the first few times. The first time when he ended up in prison, it felt like a whole day event for him. They did a poor job of making that hour believable by the end, which is a real shame.

Another poor thing? Making it super funny. It was amusing, but I expected a lot actually laughing out loud and less smirks.

You know what? I really do respect the shit out of Marlon Wayans. He is in a lot of movies and he knows that people do not really respect him. They don’t like his acting, they don’t like his jokes, but I approve. Why? Because he really puts all of his energy into these movies. Every part of his body is acting in this movie, not just his head and hands. He seems to be the type to give 110% in anything he does. If he meets fans, he will sign everything and greet every kid.

He just loves what he does and you can see his passion in his work. So while not the best movie, it does try some new things, and obviously he puts it all out there for the viewers to pick apart.

2 out of 4.

The Seagull

There has been a long history of movies being named after animal. I don’t want to give a lot of examples, so I will instead just pick a recent one, The Lobster.

The Lobster was surreal and weird. Is The Seagull going to be just as surreal and weird? Will it explore different concepts? Will it be about birds at all?

Or, as I realized later on, will it just be a remake of a very famous Anton Chekhov play from over a 100 years ago? Yeah, it is that one. And this is my only time to point out that the play has had many adaptations, modern versions, some movie, some references in TV shows. But most importantly a few years ago was a modern play version called Stupid Fucking Bird.

I want to watch Stupid Fucking Bird the movie.

Face
Instead I am stuck with this arguably not stupid fucking face.

Set mostly in the early 1900’s, close to Moscow, on a small lake estate, The Seagull is about a wealthy-ish family and their issues. I say wealthy-ish, because they have servants, but also apparently they are too poor to leave the area or better there lives in other ways.

The main patron of the estate is Sorin (Brian Dennehy), whom is getting ill and would rather live in the city. His sister, Irina (Annette Bening), is an aging actress who is living in Moscow mostly but she returns to the estate in the summer. Irina’s son, Konstantin (Billy Howle), is a modernist, who fancies himself a poet and a playwright, hoping to the way plays are told and to become famous himself. Konstantin is madly in love with a local farm girl and his muse, Nina (Saoirse Ronan), who dreams of being a famous actress. And finally we have Boris Trigorin (Corey Stoll), a relatively young author who is very famous in Moscow, whom Irina has been seeing for some time as a celebrity couple.

Also Elisabeth Moss is hanging around during this time, but I couldn’t possibly tell you what her actual job or purpose is. Maybe beloved neighbor.

Most of the story takes place a few weeks over the summer. A lot of the main characters are jealous or infatuated with other ones, even if they are in other relationships. Some of these relationships are out of prestige, out of love, out of settling.

A lot of sex starved people, who might have parent issues, who can orgasm seemingly after a couple of forbidden kisses.

Also starring Glenn Fleshler, Brian Dennehy, Mare Winningham, Jon Tenney, and Michael Zegen.

Boat
Only bad things can happen on a boat.

The Seagull is about a small group of people who all want to fuck a different person. Not everyone will leave disappointed either! Some will succeed, some will be left to pick up the scraps, and that is life.

The ideas behind this story in 2018 don´t feel original at all, but if it was originally scripted in the late 1800s it was probably original as hell at the time of release. It may have inspired most of the similar stories for the last 100 years.

And yet, it doesn´t matter, as I am here just to judge a film.

The film does has really fine acting of course. Bening is a star, and Stoll does a lot more than I expected from him based on most of his previous roles. Moss provides some good comedic relief, and Ronan is fine as usual. I did find Howle a little bit strange though. It really felt like he was meant to be played by Eddie Redmayne, but he canceled or was too expensive so they settled.

The story though is just okay. It has some chuckles. It has a pointless intro flashforward. And really, I do not know why the cast wasn´t speaking with Russian accents or anything. It was just lot of clearly American people talking occasionally about Moscow and it kept throwing me off.

2 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.

Deadpool 2

Before any of you take my words too seriously, let it be known that I gave the original Deadpool a 2 out of 4. Why? Some people were quite angry with me back then! They called it a fresh sight for sore superhero eyes.

And I called it sort of boring. We start with a good intro, but then when we get the flashback, it takes forever to get to the point where we get Deadpool power again. A seriously long time, that is humerous, but less funny, and just….slow. The other main issue was the weak villains. It was a very ground film, but I watch superhero films so that superheroes can fight challenges, not just generic strong people.

Either way, with the sequel, I was more excited. It was going to have a wider cast of characters, it clearly didn’t have to get bogged down in backstory for our main character. It also was going to give us Cable for the first time in modern cinema, so Deadpool 2 had something unique going on for it. And honestly, just, it needed a second try for me. This time I was already given two amazing superhero films in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, so it had a bit of a hill to climb to get to their levels.

Ass
More ass is a nice touch though, I guess.

Deadpool 2 takes place after the events of Deadpool. I know that might sound shocking, but time is usually linear.

Unless a movie has a time travel device. Oh hey there is a time travel plot? Fuck. This movie has Cable (Josh Brolin) in it! Oh no! He is from the future, and he has a kid (Julian Dennison) to kill. If he kills the kid, his future is better for him at least. So why not?

Well, there are a lot of reasons why not. And Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) might have to protect them, although it doesn’t sound very Deadpool-y. Speaking of Deadpool-y, this plot outline is really vague, isn’t it? Yeah, because honestly, the less you know, the better.

Also starring Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Bill Skarsgård, T.J. Miller, Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Eddie Marsan, Jack Kesy, Shioli Kutsuna, Leslie Uggams, Stefan Kapicic, and Karan Soni.

And Rob Delaney as Peter.

Peter
And Peter guys, come on.

If you only had to read one statement about the film to confirm your beastly desires, then let it be this one: I think Deadpool 2 is better than Deadpool. So if you loved Deadpool, this might an even more crazy experience.

There is more action, there is more gore, there are a lot, lot more surprises, and an infinite amount more Celine Dion. It will shock you early on, throughout, and through the end. Both in terms of just how far it goes and the themes it will explore. It has probably one of the best credit scenes of all time.

And yet, it actually put me to sleep early on. Getting plot heavy isn’t a problem, but when the plot is sort of going all over the place, and it is just filled with streams of meta or lame jokes, it is easy to lose disinterest. Sure, it picks up in the second half. And yet as a full film it is just lacking again.

I do find myself more willing to re-watch this one than the first film. And future films too, given that they probably won’t have any T.J. Miller after the incidents.

Also, Peter!

2 out of 4.

Tully

Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody are an interesting pair. Together they have created great work, like Juno and Young Adult. On their own, well, Reitman gave us Thank You For Smoking and Up In The Air, both great amazing movies. And uhh, Cody gave us Jennifer’s Body.

So it seems like Cody needs Reitman more than Reitman needs Cody, but generally their work together has been a guaranteed hit. Reitman does have some duds as well, but Cody seems to just be not my taste without him.

Despite all of that, I was excited about Tully. This is their first film together since Young Adult, and it also has the same lead. Really, what I probably should do is rewatch Young Adult again, now that I am older with different mindsets. It might blow me away.

Although I can relate to Tully in some different ways for the same reason.

Body
Everyone knows that you lose any sense of shame after number two.

Motherhood can be hard. You can take my word for it, because I am a father, and I inherently understand all aspects of motherhood. All of it.

Marlo (Charlize Theron) has been a mother for awhile. She has two kids, both elementary, the younger one in Kindergarten and some sort of Autistic. It has been some rough years after he was born. But guess what! She is pregnant again, and older. Surprise! Definitely not planned.

Her husband (Ron Livingston) travels a lot for his job, and is constantly swamped. When he gets home late at night he often just plays video games until he passes out. It is up to Marlo to carry most of the load and she is doing…well, not well. Her brother (Mark Duplass) is actually decently rich though, due to whatever reason. He and his wife (Elaine Tan) want to get her a better gift than normal for her baby shower. They want to give her a night nanny.

A night nanny only shows up at the night, like a ninja. She takes care of the home while the parents sleep, and all of the baby needs that come up. Not the breastfeeding, Marlo would get woken up from that. She is reluctant, but after a particularly bad day, she makes the call, and invites a stranger into her house to do parenting. Oh no.

And then Tully (Mackenzie Davis) appears. An eccentric, strange young lady who promises to make everything better. Not just the baby. Everything in her life.

Pyscho
She devours the essence from old people to stay chipper.

Tully was amusing, and really heart felt. Obviously parents will relate to a lot of what happens, but it isn’t like some parental mystery that non-parents won’t get.It is all obvious humor, just things more relatable for parents.

Theron gives a great performance, and it is something unlike recent roles. She has been all over the place, more so on the badass scale, but now she is on a much more different spectrum. She is an everyday woman, who put on a lot of weight for this role, and nails it.

This might have been the role Davis was born to play. She has always been a bit weird in her films, which isn’t a large body of work at this point, but her weirdness is on fire for this one. She hits all of the right notes. She does have to play this basically magic, Mary Poppins-esque figure, but in a much more modern context, and of course, focusing on the mom and less the bratty kids.

Overall, this is a very weird movie. I actually started to hate it when the final act started. It got better, and it got even weirder than I expected. Definitely shocking, in that regard. But it still finished on a high note.

Great acting performances, a simple story, and some good old fashioned postpartum depression.

3 out of 4.

Trouble Makers (Xiongdi, bie nao!)

This is one of the many reviews that have come out of WorldFest in Houston. Check the WorldFest tag to see them all!

I am happy to say that I chose Trouble Makers (Xiongdi, bie nao!) at the festival. I was debating between it and another movie, and looking for anything to tell me why I should pick one or the other. The description of a sentence look looked humorous, and the fact that it involved twins that didn´t look like twins just made it seem like a comedy. But my book listed it as a modern drama.

So it was between a Chinese Modern Drama, and a Turkish War Drama, which definitely wasn´t funny.

And I am glad I chose this one, because like I imagined, it was actually a comedy and the genre was just wrong. I just wanted to laugh, damn it.

Bros
Especially laugh at others misfortunes.

Zheng Hao (Xiaopan Gao) is a bit of a bad ass. He is a criminal, he is a thief, he has been to jail, and he doesn´t give a fuck. He only gives one fuck, actually. And that is about his brother, Zheng Zhong (Xianchao You). His twin brother, although they don´t look too similar. Some issues with child birth. Zhong is a bit slower, but he is protective of his smaller brother, the brains of the operation.

Either way, Hao finds himself in hot shit after leaving prison when he immediately causes a lot of destruction and has to pay it back.

The good news is that a local station has an idea for a new reality show! It is about bad guys wanting to become good. If they can turn their lives around, get forgiveness, right their wrongs, and do good things (please!) then they will win a big cash prize. Enough to pay off his new debts, and hey, money yo.

So sure, they will put in the effort to do good things, at least originally just for the money. But then Hao starts to fall for the very pretty worker who is putting on the show, Xia Tian Fan (Shasha Yu). It helps. But being good is hard, and they are going to have to change a lot to get better.

Also starring Sam Lee, Samuel Pang, Sky Li, Xi Chen, Ziming He, and Yu Tian as the Steve Perry looking director.

Bald
I mean he looks like Steve Perry when he has his wig completely on. Bald Steve Perry without it.

Trouble Makers was full of laughs, and they came on hard and strong. Sure, it ended on a serious note. Including an excessively long fight scene, but ended up right in the feels and morally strong.

The director is also the star of this movie, and he has officially directed and been in only one movie, this one. It is an extremely impressive feat for a first timer, and honestly, I feel like a liar just typing that out. It is truly hard to believe.

This is a slap stick movie, with subtle gags, non subtle gags, and sure, just pure misfortune going to our characters. It did have some other interesting aspects, like a scene where four clearly Chinese individuals were in brown make up to act like Indians. And you know what, I am not an expert on Chinese/Indian relationships, but I am sure that is totally fine, although it wouldn´t fly at all in America.

This film has a lot of energy and surprises, tackling its own satire on the reality television fads going across the world strong for some decades now.

3 out of 4.

1 2 3 73