Tag: Comedy

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

The last time I had an actual positive review for a movie where Will Ferrell had a leading role was in 2010 for Everything Must Go. That is basically a whole decade of meh or worst.

“What about The Lego Movie? You can count The Lego Movie!” I did count that! I gave it a 2/4 and stand by that still.

So I will be clear that I fully intended to just ignore Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Even the name hurts me a bit.

And then I got stupid one night and just put it on (I lasted like, a day). And the good news is, it could have been a lot worse!


Everyone cheer for something to make us happy…please?
ABBA changed the world forever with their performance on Eurovision. I don’t know if that is true, but that is what I gather as an American who has never seen Eurovision. It is the main band I have heard come out of it and be really world vision, so I guess so?

It certainly changed the world for Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell), who seeing that performance as a kid claimed he would one day win Eurovision as well. And he would take Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) on this decades long journey, the girl who never talked but found out she can sing!

Decades later, they are Fire Saga, with hits and electric pianos. No one really cares about them in their small village, but they get gigs as the only band to play covers and silly songs. Lars’ dad (Pierce Brosnan) is a typical disappointed dad based on his son’s dreams.

But of course, somehow they make it to Eurovision! Thanks to plot. And that is where things get slightly more difficult. Highly rated to win Alexander Lemtov (Dan Stevens) out of Russia takes a liking to Sigrit and might put the duo in jeopardy before they can even perform!

Also starring Melissanthi Mahut (who is also Kassandra in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey), Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Demi Lovato, Graham Norton, Jamie Demetriou, Alfrun Rose, Elina Alminas, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, and Mikael Persbrandt.


Parts of this still look like the men are painted with the background.
From the various plots and subplots, some of them stuck the landing and some of them floundered. The Icelandic villain is obvious throughout the film, but over so quickly and so unnecessary that it just takes away from the rest of the movie. If all of that was cut, they would just need to have a new explanation for one aspect of the film and it would still work fine.

What does work on the “villain” scale is Stevens the Russian singer. Because he isn’t really a villain. He isn’t even a bad guy. He is just not with Ferrell’s character, but he seems genuine in wanting his own success for himself and for McAdams’ character. He says things that are correct, and I have no hate for him as a character.

The only main character one would dislike is, (unfortunately? of course?), Ferrell’s lead. He has one goal and one goal only, but for whatever reason, that means he can be a dick to those who love him. His reactions make no sense. The viewer are supposed to hate him and find him annoying, but I’m not sure why because it makes me never want to rewatch the regular parts of the movie again. His only great reoccurring joke is the hatred towards the Americans.

Ferrell’s character is so bad, it makes us sad that McAdams’ is with him at all throughout the film. McAdams carries this movie for me, her character is so innocent and fun and wholesome you just want her to succeed and hug her. We can get it by the end, and sure, missed 20-30 years of growth between them before that. But still, come on, step up your game lady.

The music is the real reason why the movie can get a higher rating overall. It is so fun and interesting. Having past winners as cameos is nice, and the “Song-a-long” scene made me feel so Euphoric (while also annoyed at how auto-tuned it was, and how badly cut it was). Our final song of the competition was wonderful and I cannot get Ja Ja Ding Dong out of my head.

I offer some disappointment that a lot of the main characters aren’t the real voices uses. Of course Ferrell’s is his, its unmistakable. McAdams’ is apparently her voice and another’s mixed together, so it is “slightly” there. Stevens’, despite being a singer, is entirely dubbed by a more operatic dude instead of mixed based on Stevens’ own wishes. Even our Greek character is someone else singing! All of the Eurovision stars and actual musicians likely really sing, but they also are autotuned, so nothing gets to feel natural.

Overall, ESC:TSOFI is a cute story, an overall loving story, a story with some comedy and a lot more heart, and fun music numbers to keep you entertained along the way. It might be the pandemic talking, but it is something that feels necessary right now.

3 out of 4.

My Spy

Against all odds, My Spy is finally out today, in the US, legally, August 26, 2020. It is available on Amazon Prime.

So how did it get here? Well, it was supposed to come out in August of 2019 (and likely would have been the best result in retrospect) but got moved back a month before that. It was pushed to a January release of 2020, then pushed again to a mid march release in 2020. You know what happened then. So about a week before coming out, it got pushed back to mid-April, to see what was going on in the world then.

And of course, before that happened, they cut their losses, sold it to Amazon and no theatrical release anymore. Well, it did come out in theaters in the UK in March. And in Australia in January, but hey, whatever, not like pirates exist.

My Spy annoys me because it is the last screening I saw in theaters before everything went down. The last actual movie I saw in theaters was Birds of Prey, the next morning, but that was already out for a month so no one cares about that.

And with it out today, finally, I can tell you why it sucks.

lie
Here is a frame. It combined with all the rest made a poor film.
JJ (Dave Bautista) is a big strong man, who used to be in special forces, and is now in the CIA. He likes to punch things and blow things up and isn’t used to being subtle. And because of that he is being punished. Yuck. He is being sent to Chicago (ew), with a tech support spy (Kristen Schaal) with the only purpose of spying on a family.

Why? Well, silly plot reasons. It involves nuclear weapons surprisingly. But a bad guy stole some weapon blueprints, brother of bad guy stole them from him to be a hero and not let them get out, brother dies. No one knows where the plans are, but maybe they are with the brother of the bad guy’s wife (Parisa Fitz-Henley) and daughter (Chloe Coleman), who have moved from France to Chicago after the death. Very sad times.

Unfortunately for JJ, because everyone is a noob, they almost immediately get found out in their safe house by the daughter character, who thinks she has found spies (accurate) but not sure why. Thanks to hilarious blackmail and set up, she uses JJ as a way to find acceptance in life. She gets “spy” training, and a friend in her lonely world, while JJ gets forced into her life as a neighbor, and starts to fall in love with a widow.

Typical spy stuff. Things go wrong. Bad guys. Ahhh-xplosions.

Also starring Greg Bryk, Ken Jeong, Devere Rogers, Noah Dalton Danby, and Nicola Correia-Damude.

sparkle
Ah yes, tropes. 

My Spy picked a bad year to finally come out. Because of how many movies aren’t coming out this year, it is almost certainly going to make a lot of worst of the year lists. It might have made them last year too, but it probably would have been decent box office numbers, given its probably lower budget.

There is nothing excitingly new about this movie. It is your typical big strong man must become more loving or family man. Like almost wrestling turned actor film. I thought we wouldn’t get one of these any time soon since we were stuck with Playing With Fire last year. But this isn’t the genre’s fault, it is the wrestler turned actor fault.

Since we currently have John Cena and Dave Bautista doing that, they are both likely to have have one of these, and they happened to be very close to each other. It is our burden to bare.

This film offers nothing new, isn’t funny, and is rather stupid. It should have come out in January or August, because it would fit perfectly there in the movies people want to ignore. Now I suggest we all ignore it on Amazon Prime, like most of you planned on doing that anyways.

0 out of 4.

One Cut of the Dead

One Cut of the Dead is a Japanese independent film from the last year or years, it is hard to say. It has had a weird road to distribution.

Made with mostly unknown actors and for a ridiculously cheap budget, it made back over 1,000 times its investment, which is a pretty goddamn unheard of percent for movies. I know it was hitting festivals and getting a lot of good buzz, and then at one point it was…put on Amazon!

But, it wasn’t supposed to be put on Amazon. Someone had an older unfinished copy, and just put it on Amazon prime for free. Did you know you can just do that? It is apparently really easy. And one it was on Amazon, many people rushed out to see it, and tell other’s to see it because it was a critical darling. The same day, news came out that the people who own it didn’t upload it, it was unfinished copy, and to please not watch it while it was worked out.

Well shit. That kind of screwed over a lot of things.

Anyways, at this point it is on amazon again, but for money, and the right version. So you can watch it and feel confident someone involved is getting money for it.

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Like this guy who is holding the camera!

One man had a vision. Director Higurashi (Takayuki Hamatsu) had the idea for a zombie film, an idea that would be so scary and amazing. But his shitty actors were not giving him enough emotion.

We are talking take, after take, after take, and it just is not good enough for the director.

So while he went to go cool down, and the actors relaxed and got to know each other, normal stuff between takes. But something odd happened. Some sounds from the outside. Some…limbs from outside. Oh shit, real zombies! in the middle of their zombie film!

Now the director can get some real emotions out of his cast.

Also starring Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Hiroshi Ichihara, and Mao.

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Those zombies aren’t going to double kill themselves!
One Cut of The Dead is a unique film, there is no one who can deny that. In fact, it is so unique, it is also equally hard to even talk about it because it is a film that should be discovered, not spoiled.

And yes, the idea of spoiling can be kicked around enough, but trust us, the critics, me, when we say, just gotta go in some times to see the journey.

I couldn’t believe what the film managed to do and convey. It is extremely impressive, given the lack of budget or names involved, even from a Foreign film perspective. It required a lot of work. It required planning. And it required people who were creative as fuck. People who really had a vision and executed it perfectly.

One Cut of the Dead is a comedy more than a horror, and it will be hard to find something more unique than it before or after for awhile. Not even an American remake will likely be as unique. [As of writing, no plans for American remake, but sorry for jinxing it should it change in the future].

It is definitely an experience, and I watched it directly after Train to Busan! A very different foreign zombie film that is top notch in very differeny ways. And yet, this one still was able to stand out on its own.

4 out of 4.

Scoob!

Oh hey, remember how everyone wanted a new Scooby Doo movie? Nah.

Okay, that is fair, we don’t have to ask for a movie to come out to get one. Sometimes the studios know what is up. For example, I bet people did ask for a live action Scooby-Doo movie in the late 90’s early 2000’s, and what it gave was a really cheesy strange story, with adult jokes, some obvious some not. And honestly, it sort of filled a really good niche back then. Go figure.

So even though this animated version is going full CGI, and is dealing apparently with the childhood beginnings of the gang (ehhh), as long as we got mysteries to solve and people in masks, it shouldn’t be too hard to make it work. Unless they decide to go for the “monsters are real” gag, which basically every Scooby Doo entity has been doing for the last 20 years, so it is kind of getting annoying. Please, give us weird people in masks.

Remember, if a movie has an exclamation point, it should be a musical. Scoob! should be a musical. 

kids
Ah yes, origin stories, like a superhero movie.

Alright, here we go! Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) meet on the beach when they were younger. Shaggy needed friends. Scooby-Doo needed a home.

Later on, at Halloween, some bullies mess with the duo, and some other kids help the two out! Their names are Fred (Zac Efron), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried), and Velma (Gina Rodriguez). Also right after that, they end up solving a mystery of a lot of stolen goods that no one even knew was a thing! They just had to meddle.

Alright, years later, many mysteries, they want to expand their operations. Their Mystery Machine needs work, so they want bigger clients, and higher paying jobs to become a success. And then they bring in Simon Cowell for some reason, who barely insults Shaggy and Scooby who leave as a result.

The other friends don’t go and stop them, so eventually, Shaggy and Scooby get attacked by robots. And then abducted by aliens? Nah, it is actually Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg), Dynomutt (Ken Jeong), and their assistant, Dee Dee Skyes (Kiersey Clemons). They know that Scooby-Doo is important for something. Because Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs) is looking for him and some ancient skulls, to maybe summon dog Cerebus from the underworld. Ah yes, real mythical monsters.

Also starring Christina Hendricks and Tracy Morgan.

chair
What nice chairs. And I feel like a hater not showing Daphne/Velma/Fred.

It is really early on in the film when you realize this is not going to be something you want to see again, and for a lot of people, that is when Simon Cowell appears. But before that, I will acknowledge they did a version of the original intro. It was okay in the singing department, really basic, but they did recreate parts of the intro and use it as a montage of solving some mysteries. That was nice.

That was also where most of the Scooby-Doo action remained. The kid mystery was very awkward, because when a ghost appeared in the house they already had their goal completed. They could have just…left, like any normal person. Having this long run through the place and eventual capture of the ghost to find it was a masked person didn’t even make sense. 

But let’s get back to Cowell. This movie came out in 2020, why the hell is Cowell in this movie. This is not 2004. Kids for the most part won’t understand that at all.

In terms of how Scooby-Doo this movie is, it is Scooby-Not. Most of the time the gang is split up (which happens a lot sure, but not to this scale). This is a superhero movie. It is about Blue Falcon, and Scooby-Doo wanting to feel more special. It has a real monster and issue to deal with, and…it is just a mess.

A lot of the voice acting felt off. I especially did not like Jeong as Dynomutt, because it just sounded like Ken Jeong, not a robot dog. 

It was a boring film for the most part, with some other Hanna Barbera properties thrown in for fun. It is really easy to see where the movie is going, where the conflicts will appear, and what will happen at the end. It is such a waste of a nice property. It felt like something they would try as a third or fourth film of a reboot, not right away. This was barely Scooby-Doo. Focus on the basics first.

And obviously it wasn’t a musical, but it did have a lot of modern music because that is easier to get the kids to love it. 

1 out of 4.

Trolls: World Tour

And now we can talk about the biggest release since the theaters went under! Not the first new release of a movie that was supposed to go to the theaters, but the biggest at least.

Trolls: World Tour was moved around a few times on the calendar, and it turns out that they probably should have kept that date in February for making that money.

At first saying they would go straight to digital instead was almost an inspiration. But then as more and more movies got pushed back, including to future years even, and all left but Trolls. That is a bit weird right? Some other theater films changed to VOD and a lot of them were movies that were expected to bomb.

Did they not actually think Trolls: World Tour would do well, or are they sacrificing profits to bring some happiness to those stuck inside? Hard to say. The first Trolls was okay, and in general, this plot of the sequel made me super weary, but that doesn’t mean I wanted it to fail either.

onward
Ooooh, they better not say Onward, that’d help the competition.
Ah, life is wonderful again. Until it isn’t.

Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is in charge of her people, every day has singing, dancing, and hugs because the Bergens are cool now and doing their own thing.  Branch (Justin Timberlake) probably wants to make Troll babies with her.

But Poppy gets an invite from a Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) to come to her World Tour. This is where we get to have the secret backstory of Trolls that never came up in the first film. You know. There are different troll kingdoms out there each with a magical string each that gives them the music to get by in life. One of Pop (our trolls). Of Funk, Classical, Country Techno, and of course, Hard Rock, where Queen Barb comes from.

So Poppy thinks that Queen Barb wants to unite all of the strings together to unite all the music genres and unite the trolls. But really, Queen Barb just wants to take all the strings to make them rock and make rock music the only music for everyone.

Oh no!

Also starring a whole lot of other voices, some new, some old: James Corden, Ron Funches, Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak, Sam Rockwell, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, Kenan Thompson, Kunal Nayyar, Flula Borg, Ester Dean, Jamie Dornan, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Ozzy Osbourne.

rock
Rock is evil. Satan is rock.
Lame new Trolls backstory aside, it turns out there is a little bit of good backstory in there as well, but it is a mid movie reveal. It turns out that the former bad guys aren’t necessarily who we thought, and I thought that would be a big turning point for the film.

I can’t wait to see where it goes from there, and from my point of view, basically nowhere. Poppy wanted to unite the Trolls together to let them experience all music. Barb wanted to unit the Trolls together to make them all listen to rock music. And despite revelations made, the ending is exactly as one would expect going into the film. Exactly.

And thus I am left disappointed.

The music is okay for the most part, we do get more genres, but I didn’t feel like were stiffed in the first one due to how diverse pop itself actually is. There is no original song like Get Back Up Again, and that is the real shame. I believe the only original song is at the end, and that is supposed to be our new Can’t Stop The Feeling. Which sure, is an original song, but no where close as exciting as Get Back Up Again. I am not counting songs where it is meant to a famous one with some changed lyrics as original, like Trolls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Overall, it is likely this movie would have done just fine in the theaters. It is better than the animated show, but relatively clunky and beyond simplistic with the plot, despite rays of deeper hope in the middle. I will call the original better despite the same grade, because this one did not make me cry.

2 out of 4.

The Hunt

Before all of the hubbub, I just naturally assumed that The Hunt was a remake of the Danish movie, also called The Hunt. Because it was famous, got nominated for awards, and so of course it will be remade by America at some point.

And that film was about maybe a pedophile, but maybe not, teaching at a school. Apparently this movie is about hunting people as a game, a very unoriginal story!

And apparently, due to its violence, it was taken off the schedule until further notice. And further notice means March 13th, because we haven’t had a big gun disaster in awhile, so it is okay to have a movie with violence.

I mean, minus the fact that people died, it has a pretty good PR campaign to get people talking about the movie. I will assume that was not their goal this whole time.

2 guns
Ah fuck yeah, two guns!
Everyone knows about Manorgate. You know, the conspiracy? The one that says the rich liberal elite once a year steal “deplorables” from the society, to round up and kill them like they are animals. Deplorables can just be anyone they don’t agree with.

You know. Card carrying republicans, gun nuts, conspiracy podcasters, anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti-abortion people. Any of those types. They just want to round them up in a small group and easily pick them off with traps and weapons, and slowly, this will be the rich’s way of getting rid of the poor and shifting our country blue.

Everyone. Knows. About. This. It has to be true!

That’s why when our cast of characters wake up, gagged, and find guns, they immediately know what is up when they start getting picked off. Can they survive? Can they put an end to this program once and for all?

A big cast of characters, on both sides of this hunt, including in no particular order: Ike Barinholtz, Wayne Duvall, Ethan Suplee, Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Christopher Berry, Sturgill Simpson, Kate Nowlin, Amy Madigan, Reed Birney, Glenn Howerton, Steve Coulter, Dean J. West, Vince Pisani, Teri Wyble, and Steve Mokate.

0 guns
Shit, the military is involved as well? Better just add them to the Republicans side! 
For a film about rounding up people and killing them (allegedly), they really knew how to drag things out and make it really boring. This is the sort of film that promises a lot of deaths, on both sides, and this is wasted on fast group kills that don’t leave a lot left for the viewer.

This works in favor of the film early on, when people are dying when you might not expect it. Big names, with barely any lines, it is hard to know just who the main character is going to be. A lot of traps and explosions and more.

And then when we have only a handful left, it stalls really hard. Later on, a large percentage of the “bad guys” go out right around the same time, once again, why so fast? They needed to much better pace out the killing and keep it diverse.

In the second half of the film, I was left with a lot of slower conversations, like they really needed to pad the running time of this movie to make it last 90 minutes. I shouldn’t be falling asleep as they get to the point.

And yet here I am. The Hunt is all hype and not enough substance. It doesn’t go far enough on the killing, nor really anywhere with its message. This is a film that would only work as a short. Could have told the same sort of story in about 20 minutes and saved all of us time with a much better experience overall.

1 out of 4.

Greed

Greed is probably my 2nd favorite game show of all time. I think it had a good balance of trivia, team work, back stabbery, and good money prizes. I am annoyed it didn’t take off more. My favorite would be Survivor, if that counts as a game show.

However, this doesn’t have anything to do with the game show, outside of the concept of needing…uhh, money. And Greed.

I couldn’t tell what I was really getting into when I accepted the invite. It had an orange dude on the cover, so I didn’t know if it was going for Trump parody, a different person, a mockumentary or what. I did know it was going to be British, which means strange humor.

greece
This doesn’t look like British humor! These are clearly Brazilian outfits!

Sir Richard McCreadie (Steve Coogan), or Greedy McCreadie from his non-fans, is a dick. An older, relatively wealthy, dick. He grabbed himself by his bootstraps, had already a large sum of money, and turned himself into a fashion icon.

Sure, most of his companies failed. Most of them went bankrupt and somehow the assets went to his family. His wife (Isla Fisher) was able to profit off of them the most, and a lot of it went into Tax Free havens. He borrowed money from the banks to pay for companies, that then went into the companies debt, not his own. He knew the system and knew how to make it work for him and his own, no one else.

>Well McCreadie is about to turn 60. He is annoyed about the bad press, the investigations, and the negativity. He is going to throw a giant bash for himself, regardless of what conditions his workers face. He is going to have the best party, in Greece, with all the stops pulled out. He also has a writer (David Mitchell) doing his life story. He has a lot of random workers like Amanda (Dinita Gohil) whose mom works in his factory, and a son (Asa Butterfield) who can’t stand him.

Yep, this party is going to be the best or the worst.

Also starring Sarah

Solemani, Tim Key, Asim Chaudhry, Ollie Locke, Kareem Alkabbani, Pearl Mackie, Jamie Blackley, Shanina Shaik, Jonny Sweet, Sophie Cookson, and Shirley Henderson.

trial
He’s not Trump. He is more competent.

Greed was weird. It had good moments, and lame moments. I want to be positive and focus mostly on the good.

I enjoyed the strangeness of Mitchell’s character, the writer, who was above it all and awkwardly placed at the same time. Name dropping literary references, not being sure how to handle the lavish dicks all around. He is our character going through the same emotions the audience go through, except he has a bit more say in what happens by the end.

Other actors of note include Gohil, Key, and Chaudhry, who all give us realistic feeling characters. And sure. Coogan as our asshole rich man, with his slick and creative slurs. The rest of the cast isn’t given a lot to work with, outside of being unbearable rich people for the most part, doing dick things and living fake lives. It is more of a script issue than anything, but none of them stand out in a positive way to elevate the film.

The film gets really weird with the end. Often, real stories give us text updates at the end to let us know about the real characters after the events of the film. This one did that as well, except it is about fake people. Instead it talked about real issues, with a lot more weight and passion that didn’t seem to match the scrutiny during the actual film.

Sure, it had rich people doing bad things, and they noted it as bad. It still didn’t seem like such a big deal in the context of ridiculous characters. So it felt like a harder attack at the end. They should have done a better job at being more explicit with the message they were really going for overall.

On its own, its is an okay movie, with some interesting elements. In retrospect, especially how it was filmed, it might have been even better as an actual mockumentary, as it already had a lot of good elements there.

2 out of 4.

Emma.

Okay, so. Listen up. Emma is a book made by Jane Austen. It is likely not one of her most famous books, because it doesn’t feature alliteration in the title and is only one word.

Emma. with a period is a movie version of that book, of which we have already had movie versions, just not in a while.

One of the last times this was done as a movie was, of course, the movie Clueless! Oh you didn’t know it was based on Emma? Most people didn’t. I technically did not. I knew it was based on something but I kept forgetting what book that was. I read that fact several times, and you know what? In one ear and out the other.

But hey, now I saw a movie called Emma. so I can finally remember the Clueless fact.

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Bold move to get an Ed Sheeran looking guy for the lead.
Emma (Anna Taylor-Joy) is a woman with a lot of time on her hands. Tons. She has no schooling to keep her busy, she has not siblings in her home. She lives in it alone with her older father (Bill Nighy) who doesn’t really want her to leave. He views the marriage of his eldest daughter as a mistake, and their house is empty without her now, so he is fine with Emma just staying around, not looking for a husband.

Emma doesn’t have time for a man right now. She is rich, so she has very few people who could really help her station in life, so she makes her own fun. For example, she really likes to play match maker with people in the village. She really feels like she knows these villagers, poor and rich, and can find those star crossed lovers who would never have met without her help.

Her current plan? To match her friend, Harriet (Mia Goth) with the big eared but sort of cute priest (Josh O’Connor) in town. Her neighbor, a George Knightley (Johnny Flynn) thinks that Harriet should marry a local and honest farmer instead, so they both attempt to lure her in various directions, regardless of her own thoughts on the matter.

As for Emma? She might find love some day. Maybe Frank Churchill (Callum Turner) someone who is actually more wealthy and mysterious, who continuously does not visit their town because he is often “busy.” Yes, she should focus on him and no one else. That is the best bet.

Also starring Myra McFadyen, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson, Miranda Hart, Tanya Reynolds, Isis Hainsworth, Vanessa M. Owen, and Suzy Bloom.

love
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Drama food.
If you don’t think you would like this movie, just go ahead and ask yourself if you like’d Clueless. If you did, you might enjoy watching this movie just to compare it to Clueless to see how Clueless handled this old book. That is fun by itself.

Another pro for this movie is the colors and costumes. It is draped in decadence for the time period. The costumes pop, the outfits are awesome, and it makes me want to go to a Victorian era ball again in my life.

Music was also a strange highlight that I didn’t expect. They use very time appropriate music as the backdrop, much like a modern film might. As a scene transition. And yet it feels so strange, just having it going on in the back like it is a pop song that helps with a scene transition. It fascinated me, and I thought for sure, eventually, they’d show that church choir or whatever belting out these tunes, and they never appeared. It was a weird feeling, but a weird feeling I enjoyed.

The story itself doesn’t feel like it has the biggest amount of structure beneath it. It is obviously not a new story, given its old source, so that is one big reason why it will feel outdated. However, even taking that into context, the love story isn’t the strongest love story and a story that is a bit of a downer. I didn’t believe their love enough. Needed more time to grow it.

Hope they don’t get divorced a year after marriage. Anyways, now I am going to rewatch Clueless.

3 out of 4.

Downhill

A lot of people love Force Majeure. Haven’t heard about it? Well, in the magical year of 2014, before all of this mess we are in, it was released in France. It won some awards, received a lot of praise, but did it win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film? Nope. Hell it wasn’t even nominated. And unless a foreign film can win both the Oscar for Foreign Film and Best Picture, should we really care about it?

Now most films aren’t Parasite, which means most films are going to get remade at some point.

Downhill is a remake of Force Majeure, with out the subtitles and who knows what else is different. Will it be more of a slapstick? Will there be a ridiculous scream with the avalanche? Will we get to see man butt?

Force Majeure was a really good movie, and I am hoping before seeing it that Downhill is as well.

chhers
If anything we can get some sweet mountain shots out of it.

Pete (Will Ferrell) and Billie (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) are a married couple with a couple of kids (Julian Grey, Ammon Jacob Ford) and the romance is on the lower end. Hopefully this very expensive and nice trip to Europe to go skiiing for a week will kick things off with each other. Bring their sexy back. Also, Pete is grieving about his dad dying earlier in the year, so there is that too.

Things start off fine. Their boys complain and argue, but whatever. They got a lot of fun stuff planned. However, when sitting outside to eat lunch at a restaurant, a controlled explosion happens bringing down some snow. An avalanche! And it is a bit scary to watch it coming towards them. Is it dangerous? Or will it be fine?

Well, when others begin freaking out they make their choices. Pete grabs his phone and runs away. Billie is left at the table with her kids and brings them down thinking her husband left them there to die.

And this sort of event unless dealt with right away will probably just build up over time. Like snow on a mountain. And eventually these feelings will avalanche down.

Also starring Kristofer Hivju, Miranda Otto, Zoe Chao, and Zach Woods.

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“The cowardice is palatable.” – Billie, probably. 
Having to compare a movie to what it is based on can be hard. But int his case it is pretty easy.

Force Majeure is a good movie, Downhill is a bad movie, and it is sad to admit that.

In terms of what worked really, really well, we had Louis-Dreyfuss giving a great performance here. Her facial expressions, her outbursts, her confusion about her shitty husband. Her freak out before the helicopter was a good one and warranted.

In this film, they made Pete/Ferrell way more unbearable and the bad guy. I felt like we had some gray area in the first one. He was still clearly wrong, but they balanced it out eventually, sort of, and he wasn’t a complete dick. Pete was someone I wish would have ran from the avalanche and literally just never came back. That would have made this a good remake, deal with that awkwardness.

This remake is shorter, rushes through some of the emotional turmoil, but still includes a bit of the awkward for some discomfort in your seats.

1 out of 4.

The Gentlemen

Let’s start this review with a little bit of a confession. Later this year we are getting a Kingsman prequel movie called The King’s Man. That makes a lot of sense to be the title of a Kingsmen prequel film. No one should get that confused.

Enter me. Movie reviewer. Reviewer who tries to not watch trailers or too many other notes about films before seeing it. I remember that the Kingsman prequel had a really obvious name for the series, but didn’t remember exactly what.

So, when I saw I had a screening upcoming for The Gentlemen? My mind went only one place. Ah yes, the Kingsman prequel.

And let’s just say, this movie had me pretty confused for about 20 minutes about how the heck this was at all related to those other films. When they started making a lot more modern references and talk about cell phones, I knew I must have just been a dumb fuck at that point. Anyways, that movie comes out in September. This one is an original and it comes out now.

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But wait, there’s more!

Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) is a weed dealer on a grand scale in Great Britain, and he isn’t even a citizen. Damn Americans. He has so much weed, making so much money, no one knows how he does it. Where does he hide his crops?

Well, he wants out of the game. He is getting older, less likely to go killing people and defending his territory. If he can sell out his whole operation to someone else, he will have enough money to retire the rest of his life with his comfy and rich friends.

But a simple idea dealing with illegal things will never be that easy. We have a very good and nosy reporter (Hugh Grant), the owner and operator of a gym for formerly bad people to make them better (Colin Farrell), Pearson’s number 2 man (Charlie Hunnam), and an ambitious Chinese gangster looking to make a break in the business (Henry Golding) that are all going to make things more complicated.

People will turn on everyone if it means survival in the end.

Also starring Jeremy Strong, Michelle Dockerty, Eddie Marsan, and Tom Wu.

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Success is always measured in dollars, nothing else.

The Gentlemen is definitely a return to form for Guy Ritchie, and is definitely not a prequel to that one franchise I will stop talking about.

This film felt like his previous great works that people think about when they say Guy Ritchie. Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and sure, RocknRolla, This is not like most of his trash from the last decade.

We get twists and turns, hard to understand accents, shocking moments, extra action when necessary, and surprises. A lot of what I said could be considered the same thing, and I don’t care about that.

It was very entertaining, if not hard to follow at the beginning [Editor’s note: That could be because this viewer was a dumbass, see the beginning of the review.] of the film. I did get annoyed at the seemingly excessive racist Asian language that happened at multiple times, although I accept that as bad people going against other bad people, it makes sense for the characters to be…racist. That was hard to type. Still can be frustrating as a viewer.

I give the most praise to Hugh Grant. He went really out of his normal style for this role (except for his general flair for the dramatics that he always carries) and killed it. I also quite enjoyed Farrel and Golding, Golding in particular is on the rise out of seemingly nowhere.

The Gentlemen is just going to be a fun time, with a little bit of death and mayhem.

3 out of 4.