Tag: Dark Comedy

Suburbicon

Hooray the Coen brothers! Their last picture was Hail, Cesar! Which I have a 4 out of 4 to, but in retrospect it was a weak 4. It was just so bizarre and atypical for films that I couldn’t hate it.

So I had pretty high hopes with Suburbicon. It is set in the past, it has quirky characters and a murder plot so fowl. It is probably going to be similar to Fargo just with worse accents.

I really wanted to see it but I was surprised at the lack of, well, anything about the movie. Advertising was basically nonexistent for this film, like it was meant to be buried before it even premiered. And damn it, George Clooney is the director, his name used to mean something.

Falling Down
Maybe some elements will also bring us back to Falling Down.

Welcome to Suburbicon! A community set in the 1960’s or early 70’s. Life is perfect here. There are jobs, there are families with husbands and wives, there are kids who play baseball in the lots. There are no big fences between their houses, there is no crime, and everyone is happy, happy, happy.

And then a new family moves in, the Mayers (Leith M. Burke, Karimah Westbrook, Tony Espinosa). They are black. This sort of thing really shakes up their community, as apparently most of the families left their homes to move here just because of how white it is. They think this family will ruin their community and will go out of there way to make their stay miserable until they decide to leave.

But that is only one small part of the movie. The other part deals with the Lodge family. Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) is running his own business, living with his wife Rose (Julianne Moore), who is in a wheelchair, and son Nicky (Noah Jupe). Sometimes her twin, Margaret (Moore), also stays with them. After Nicky ends up playing baseball with the new neighbor’s son, the Lodge family are woken up by two goons (Glenn Fleshler, Alex Hassell) who are threatening and mean.

This leads to a death in the family, which is only the first of a series of weird things to occur after their new neighbors arrive. It turns out that this area might not have been as happy as everyone had imagined.

Also featuring Oscar Isaac as an insurance man.

Oscar
I’d let him give me an insurance adjustment anytime.

There is something odd about Suburbicon, in its core, that makes it really hard to get into for a really long time. With wonderful dark comedy writers at the helm, you would think it would be a surefire hit, or at lease a cult classic. But this will not be either of these things and it will be promptly forgotten in the annals of cinema.

Is it like Fargo? Yeah, a bit, but Fargo had charming characters that you could invest in on both sides. This movie basically has a little kid and a neighbor family that is a distracting subplot.

And maybe that is a bigger problem with the film. As the intro goes, it is clear that the ideal utopia place to live is super white. It is clear that there will probably be a black family to move into the neighborhood and force some issues. And these things do happen, but only to provide a rather large and awkward distraction of the main plot.

I’m an America as racially divided and tense as it is right now, how could they decide to treat a real issue facing people now as some sort of fluff piece? It shows real anger and scary situations, but every time it heads back to the main family with their insane plot it reminds the viewer that “no, they are not important. This white family is really the important one.”

The reason for all the chaos makes sense. By having it in the background, we are able to give a reason why all of the film’s plot can take place without too much notice. But even if it makes sense, it is still an incredibly insensitive and poor choice for the creators to make.

The acting is fine. Some of the twists are fine. Oscar Isaac was great in his two scenes. Top notch. It slightly saved it from a 0.

1 out of 4.

The Bad Batch

I wouldn’t say I am the best cook. Nor am I the best individual to make sure everything in my fridge stays fresh until it is used. We have thrown out plenty of leftovers, and vegetables, who never had a chance to shine. (Because vegetables suck!)

What I am trying to get at is I understand when food gets bad, and it does right before I want to use it.

As for people, I don’t know when people get bad, but Breaking Bad tried to examine that. The Bad Batch is both about bad people, and about bad food. I think you can understand what I am talking about with that.

Ass
Stop staring at her winking ass, I am talking about eating people NOT…the other thing.

In the future, The United States sucks a bit more than normal, and there is a section of Texas they have decided to just cut out from the rest of the country. Texas. It makes sense. Beyond those gates is a desert wasteland, claimed by no country, so the people who inhabit it have no rights or laws. This is a prison. People from the US are sent here and called The Bad Batch. They are the freaks and unwanted members of society, or those who cannot fit in. And they are sent to the wasteland to die or thrive, they don’t care, they just need them gone.

And when Arlen (Suki Waterhouse), Bad Batch #5040, is dropped off, she finds herself lost, confused, and immediately captured by a group of cannibals. Now don’t worry, she is able to escape this muscle clad community back into the desert, but not before losing her right hand and right foot.

Thankfully a lone wanderer finds her and dumps her off at a community called Comfort, where she is able to get back on her feet, well, foot, to try and make ends meat of this new society she has been thrust into. And what she wants is revenge.

She apparently goes into the wasteland with a gun, searching for crows for food, and hoping to find someone from that community to kill. But this time she finds a little girl (Jayda Fink), born in the wasteland, forced to live as a cannibal. And now Arlen’s life will really begin to change.

Starring Jason Mamoa as the Miami Man, Keanu Reeves as The Dream, Giovanni Ribisi as The Screamer, Yolonda Ross, Diego Luna, and Jim Carrey as a Hermit.

Jim
Don’t worry, it is hard to tell even without the glasses that this is Jim Fucking Carrey. I didn’t know until the credits.

When The Bad Batch exceeds at a mark, it exceeds at a very high level. In terms of world building, it created a post apocalyptic society without having to make an actual apocalypse occur, which is pretty awesome. It goes fully into creating a believable enough atmosphere for the characters to live, thrive, and interact with. It only had a few communities in the film, so it isn’t as expansive as something like Fallout, but it gets the job done for a feature film.

The other thing this film excels at is its cinematography. Barren wastelands hardly are sexy to look at, and it is still true with this movie. But the camera work gives an addition to the characters isolation and thirst, by forcing it on the audience. The colors in Comfort are also vibrant at night to explain their drug fueled, care free attitude towards life. It is a visual spectacle.

The Bad Batch does have some issues with pacing. Despite a rough plot being given, it was really hard to figure out at times just where the movie was headed. It was unpredictable with character actions, so it wasn’t obvious just what the hell was the point. It also dragged heavily in the middle.

A lot of people are likely to be upset at the ending as well, including me. Based on the plot, I couldn’t tell where it was heading of course, but still found myself left down based on where it ended up.

If anything The Bad Batch is a visual spectacle (and not in the CGI infused version of that word), with an amazing world and some weird shit going down. But it is easy to get a little bit bored and have your mind wander off at points.

3 out of 4.

Shimmer Lake

Studies have shown that reviews that feature “Lake” in the title end up being better than expected when writing said review.

Of course, my only review before this was the movie Flakes, which was, I admit, better than I imagined it would be. It was quirky, off beat.

Shimmer Lake, it has plenty of quirky actors in it, but I am not sure how off beat it will end up being. I did go in with low expectations, despite the Lake theory, and as you can see, hey, it was better than I imagined.

Interviews
There was less sexual tension in this movie than I imagined as well. Look at that gap between police officers!

Shimmer Lake is also a story told in reverse. Similar to Memento, sure, but it is on a day by day basis. We start our story on Friday, and we see how the entirety of Friday plays out, then we see Thursday, all the way to Tuesday.

Because you see, on Tuesday, there was a bank robbery. And this is a small town, Shimmer Lake, so everybody knows everybody, and heck, a lot of them are related. Like or Sheriff Zeke (Benjamin Walker), whose brother, Andy (Rainn Wilson), a lawyer, just helped rob a bank on Tuesday. Andy worked with two other locals (Wyatt Russell, Mark Rendall) robbed a bank when it had a well known surplus, and Zeke was shot in the theft.

And now they are still about the town, Zeke is sure of it.

We just have to figure out how all the players are involved, which of course is revealed slowly while telling us backwards. We also have a judge (John Michael Higgins), a couple of FBI helpers (Rob Corddry, Ron Livingston), the deputy (Adam Pally), and the wife of a robber (Stephanie Sigman), and somehow one or more of them are involved.

And don’t worry, the lake is not the answer to the mystery.

Table
Blueprints and alcohol are the best items to help with a bank robbery.

About three fourths of the way into this movie, I wondered why it was being told in reverse. It didn’t seem to be adding really anything extra to the story. It seemed to be Memento-ing because people liked Memento.

But of course by the end it all became a bit more clear. And yes, Shimmer Lake is a film that will be better the second go around. I don’t know if I will ever really watch it a second time, but I would like to see what clues give it all away and make this story tick.

It was a bit hard to label this movie, because there are a lot of actors who are mostly in comedy films filling out the roster, and I think that adds a strange aesthetic to the whole film. I am calling it a Dark Comedy in that regard, because it is normally comic actors acting serious, in events that are larger than life.

Shimmer Lake isn’t a film that is reinventing the wheel or adding something entirely new to the industry. But it does try to stand out and, as I implied earlier, ends up being a better ride than expected.

3 out of 4.

I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore

Hey! A new movie, on Netflix! That means this bad boy didn’t go to theaters, it just appeared in our lives, and in some film festivals. Because I had quite a few critic friends talking about it, and I had no idea why.

When I heard the words I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, I groaned. Last thing I need to see is a bunch of twenty-somethings bitching about the tiniest inconveniences and quoting Futurama. I then assumed it was some indie movie opening in five theaters across the USA, and only decided to watch it when I got on Netflix and the film slapped its dick in my face.

And even then I had reluctance. It was that little boy from those ring movies that made me want to watch it.

Spy
Actual footage of man me and girl me glaring at the movie from afar. In my car.

Ruth (Melanie Lynskey, indie movie princess) is pissed off at the world. She is a nursing assistant, but that doesn’t matter right now. She lives alone, has some friends, and people piss her off. People cut in front of her at the supermarket, dogs shit on her lawn, people spoil the book series she is reading, and someone broke into her house, fucked it all up, and stole some of her things.

Oh yeah, that is a pretty big one. She is shaken up about the whole thing, even more upset that the police (Gary Anthony Williams) seems to not give a shit about it, taking her statement and not giving her hope for restitution.

So she sets out to finding the culprit on her own, footprints and all. And after a brief tiff, she enlists the help of a neighbor, Tony (Elijah Wood), who is upset over theft in the neighborhood. They have hacking skills, ninja stars, and they are pissed off at the world. They will find out who took her stuff and there will be some sort of payback. Maybe a stern talking to.

Also starring Christine Woods, David Yow, Devon Graye, Robert Longstreet, and Jane Levy.

Food
Nothing like book spoilers to spoil ones appetite as well.

Despite my rantings about indie films, I really didn’t know what to expect. Elijah Wood has been doing a lot of this darker, trippy stuff in his post Hobbit career. There was Sin City, there was Wilfred, Cooties, and now this. And of course Tobey Maguire was in The Details, which is kind of the same thing since they are similar. I didn’t expect this film to be a dark comedy, but once it started, it delivered hand over feet.

It has a few shocking events, sudden escalations, death, violence, and a bit of realism. If there is a fight, both sides are getting hurt and in unexpected ways, as they realize they are NOT superheroes. There is real danger for the characters involved and a lot of morally gray areas as well. And morally very very black areas, but we get through those as well.

This has got to be Lynskey’s best work to date. I am not going to call myself a super fan of hers or anything, and I have only seen a handful of roles, but most of them are side characters, reserved, and forgettable. In this film, it is HER movie, she grows as a character, she starts to take charge, and it is a good change.

If this film had problems, it would mostly just involve the ending. How everything ends up resolved might not match the tone from the rest of the film. It also took me awhile to really get into it, the build up being necessary, but still unexciting.

3 out of 4.

Manchester By The Sea

Movie titles can get pretty descriptive. The ones that can really sell you on a setting with just a title do a lot of work and can help draw people in.

Something like The Assassination Of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford? That is a descriptive and specific title, you know the main people involved and the event in question!

That is an extreme example. For Manchester By The Sea, it just really wants you to know which Manchester the film is set in. “Is it the Manchester by the forest? Is it the Manchester in the mountains? Is it the Manchester in Iowa?” No damn it. It is the Manchester by the sea!

Casey
And this is presumably a Casey by the sea!

Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is a seemingly miserable prick. He lives alone, works a basic janitorial job for a complex and deals with shitty tenants, and sometimes he is shitty in return. He just wants to drink and forget his worries. And this is how he was before his brother (Kyle Chandler) died.

Lee has to head up to his hometown of Manchester to help deal with the aftermath. Funeral arrangements, will stuff, and checking on the kid, Lee’s nephew, Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Lee has a problem in Manchester, something that happened in his past that the locals talk about and spread rumors. And nope, you aren’t getting that spoiler in this review.

Needless to say, Lee wants this whole thing to get finished as soon as possible so he can get back to his new life and out of this town. And then he finds out his brother left him as the guardian of Patrick, not their uncle like they talked about. This will also shake up Lee’s life, forcing him to either dump the kid off with a friend or worse, Patrick’s mom (Gretchen Mol) who was a trainwreck throughout his youth.

Or, strange as it may seem, maybe just movie back to his old town and be this guy’s guardian?

Also starring Michelle Williams as Lee’s ex-wife, Tom Kemp, Anna Baryshnikov, Kara Hayward, C.J. Wilson, and Matthew Broderick.

Selling A Boat
If you look close you can see them in a boat. A boat ON the sea.

All I wanted to do was see some realistic acting and maybe cry a little bit. Instead, I got fantastic and realistic acting, and bawling my eyes out.

Thankfully the film reveals what happened in Lee’s past about halfway through the film, and the moment and scene really got to me in the theater. I felt horrible and I was forced to imagine how it would affect my own life. Even after the flashbacks were over, I then had to consider every scene of the film from that point forward in relation to Lee’s past. Normally regular dramatic scenes became sadder from this knowledge and the cries came intermittently.

In the final conversation between Affleck and Williams you would be hard pressed to find a viewer who doesn’t become emotional as a result. They bring so much into their characters. Affleck of course, being the main character, and it is expected, but I was surprised at how much pain I felt with Williams who had significantly less screen time.

The film wasn’t just sad, but it was awkward. There were awkward situations/reunions, uncomfortable conversations about death, and it was a funny film. That’s right, laughter, I laughed about as much as I had cried. I officially classified this as a drama/dark comedy, but honestly it could still be considered just a regular comedy. The balance between the two was extremely precise in this film that it really fits both molds.

Other notes: The setting was gorgeous, the cameras were well placed, the actors and people involved all felt like they belonged. This was a snapshot on a community as much as it was on a single person. Affleck will most likely be nominated for an award for the film, and hopefully Williams for Supporting Actress. I still haven’t seen all the potential contenders to know if anyone will actually win though. Affleck just continues to impress with every film he is in.

Also, there are accents. Accents!

4 out of 4.

The Lobster

The Lobster is weird. That is the only thing I knew about this film going into it. I only know that because that is what everyone says about the movie. And if everyone says something is weird, then it must be weird, and that excites me.

The Lobster also came out in Europe and everywhere else in the world like, last summer/fall. Seriously, everyone has seen this movie but US. It was already released on their DVDs I believe before it came over here to theaters.

That made it really tempting to just watch it online, but I am happy to say I held out and wanted to see this movie in theaters, knowing only it was weird and slightly foreign. Let’s do this!

Run
“Only foreign people run through fields like this,” he said, maybe racist-ly.

The Lobster takes place in a near future setting, somewhere in the United Kingdom, and the world is different now. Or at least this unnamed city is different.

Basically, if you aren’t with your family as a child or currently in a relationship, then you are wasting space. The world doesn’t need loaners. It isn’t as safe with them. They aren’t being productive members of society. David (Colin Farrell) is now single after his wife left him for another man.

This means that David has to go to The Hotel. He has to leave all of his possessions behind, except for his dog. The Hotel stay is only temporary though. If he doesn’t find someone to love and marry in 45 days, someone who shares a trait with him and can live with him for a few weeks without major issues, then he can move back into the city.

Oh yeah, what happens if your time is up and you don’t find someone to love? You get turned into an animal of your choosing for a second chance of life. Yay!

Also featuring the Short Sighted Woman (Rachel Weisz), the Limping Man (Ben Whishaw), the Lisping Man (John C. Reilly), the Biscuit Woman (Ashley Jensen), a Heartless Woman (Angeliki Papoulia), the Nosebleed Woman (Jessica Barden) and her best friend (EmmaEdel O’Shea).

As for people not named after physical traits, we have a maid (Ariane Labed), hotel manager (Olivia Colman), her husband (Garry Mountaine), and the Loaner Leader (Léa Seydoux).

Defining Characteristics
Bet you can’t figure out what David would want to become.

Hey! Did you read my intro? If not, The Lobster is a weird movie!

I haven’t seen any of the other films by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, but everyone is telling me I basically have to see Dogtooth if I liked the absurdness of this film. It is clearly done by a director who knew what he wanted for absolutely every moment of the film and put a lot of effort into the message.

The acting is a strange thing to talk about, because everyone on purpose tends to be emotionless and straight faced, as if they are walking talking dating profile pages. It took awhile to get comfortable with, but it produced some of the hardest laughs in the film. Sometimes I laughed due to pure jokes, sometimes due to the awkward moments, and sometimes to keep myself from crying at the darker parts of the movie.

The Lobster does seem to drag a bit though. Most notably when David leaves the Hotel. In the forest we meet interesting characters, but it just feels repetitive and, honestly, I don’t fully understand the reasoning behind all of the rules. The two hour film feels a half hour longer. The final scenes are interesting at least and say a lot about the world they are living in.

If you can make it through the forest, you can make it to the end of a pretty good and unique movie.

3 out of 4.

The Voices

The Voices is a movie that came out in early February that I really wanted to see as soon as I heard the plot. But I am not talking about the plot right now, I am talking about Ryan Reynolds.

He had a relatively quiet year in 2014, but that is because he was working so hard to make 2015 a full year for himself. First with this movie, we have at least three other movies where he is the star or a main star coming out this year, across all genres. Family drama, dark comedy, action, sci-fi-drama. How diverse, Ryan! You really want to get away from the stoner comedies! And let’s not forget that next year he gets to be a Superhero and an animated voice again. Jeez.

Maybe it is just that he got himself a better agent. Or maybe ScarJo was holding him back and Blake Lively is actually good at something?

…Yeah, you’re right. Probably the agent.

Dance
All he really wanted was to dance more in his movies. The Sam Rockwell clause, if you will.

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is just you average loner guy. He doesn’t have a lot of skills, working as a worker in a factory that makes toilets. Like, lifting and boxing. Very minimal skills. He lives alone with his two pets, a cat, Mr. Whiskers (Ryan Reynolds) and a dog, Bosco (Ryan Reynolds). No, don’t worry, he isn’t dressed up as his pets. He is just their voices, because they totally can talk!

Well, only to him. No one else can hear them. Did I mention Jerry had an abusive child hood, where some seriously fucked up shit went down? Yeah. He is taking pills for his head voices, from his therapist Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver). But the pills make the world a much sadder place and make everyone seem mean. No, he is happier without the pills.

After all, there is a cutie at work Fiona (Gemma Arterton) who gave him notice and danced with him at the holiday party! So he likes her back. But maybe she didn’t like him too much and she was just friendly. Oh well, either way, they should date.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have many people to ask advice too, because he doesn’t have any real friends. Guess his pets will have to do. And his cat his a straight up dick. Also featuring Anna Kendrick and Ella Smith as the rest of the accounting department at his work!

Pets
In retrospect, maybe he should have played has the animals in costumes as well. It worked for Wilfred!

Yeah, we get to see Ryan Reynolds play a serial killer and make some pet voices too. Hooray! The first thing I noticed while watching this movie is that it was carefully crafted visually. Someone knew exactly what they wanted to show and how to show it. And the visuals again, were great. The use of color, the difference between his life on and off pills, how other people perceive him, all great. The next thing I really enjoyed was…Ryan Reynolds!

Hey, that is pretty good, because he is the star/main character of this movie. But he actually acts. He isn’t the douche bag role, or a simpleton nice guy. He is a full character and it was kind of impressive. Not sure if because I don’t expect that much from Ryan or what, but I really enjoyed it. Sure, his voices were fun too.

If I had any issues with it, I would just say I didn’t like the ending as much. Things started to unravel, everything went crazy, Jerry was losing it, which all makes sense. But the actual ending just felt a bit of a let down. I was expecting something more, and it just didn’t keep up the momentum that was building. Now the credits were great though. Hell yes to those credits.

Overall, still, a very interesting an enjoyable film. After all, it is pretty weird, and I fucking love weird.

3 out of 4.

The Skeleton Twins

The Skeleton Twins is a dreary sounding title, if any. The last thing a lot of people want to think about is decayed bodies, and knowing that the decayed body has a copy out there is creepy.

But what do I know. For all I know, the movie is titled that because the leads are relatively skinny/thinny people. Bare boned individuals. You know. The non fatties.

Either way, this film stars two very recent SNL Alums who some show made the show great the last few years, and I know it is not a straight up comedy. When comedians do serious roles, usually the results can be pretty incredible.

Thin Twig Guys
I am willing to take the leap that these two are even related for this chance of greatness.

Suicide normally affects a lot of people. But for Milo (Bill Hader), his failed attempt only affected a handful. Namely, it directly affected his twin, Maggie (Kristen Wiig), who got the phone call about the news right before swallowing a bunch of pills herself. How selfish of him.

They haven’t talked in like, a decade really, so this reality is kind of awkward. Maggie invites him to move from LA temporary to NYC, to live with her and her husband (Luke Wilson). She is a lot different than he remembers. I mean. Married, yeah. But they are also trying to have a kid? And she is taking scuba diving classes? What in the effin what.

Milo being back home has his own problems. Like interacting with a high school teacher he had a relationship with when he was 15. And both now have to deal with their general dislike of their “Free spirited” mother (Joanna Gleason).

Either way, a lot of serious shit is going down, and these twins have to adult up handle it all. Or not. Also with Boyd Holbrook and Ty Burrell.

Make Up
This is how I would handle being an adult, too.

If you are expecting a lot of laughs, prepare your disappointment goggles. There are definitely laughs though, because in real life, there are humorous moments. But the drama for the most part takes the reigns early on and never lets go. And it works out really well.

It isn’t a standard dark comedy type of film either, but one that is able to tackle the serious issues with an occasional smile.

The best part about all is that because Wiig and Hader have worked so long together on SNL, they had fantastic chemistry together as brother and sister. It worked, it really did, despite the clear differences in looks. I feel like they spent a child hood together and I am glad it showed so nicely in movie. It also showcased a good side to their acting that I haven’t seen in awhile.

My words fail me, but The Skeleton Twins pretty good movie. It’s about being an adult, and suicide, in case you missed those points.

3 out of 4.

Stretch

I am not going to get into the same old tirade of how I randomly picked this movie on a whim on Netflix. Mostly because I just gave you all that information in one sentence. Boom. Roasted.

No. Instead I want to talk about how surprising it is that I never heard about this movie Stretch, given its mostly big list of famous actors. This shouldn’t be some straight to DVD shitflick you find in the nonexistent $3 Wal-Mart DVD bins.

Well, Stretch was supposed to come out in March of this year, full on theatrical release, trailers, everything. But Universal Pictures decided to fuck that release date and kind of not want to do it anymore. So the director was able to look for other people to release it and nothing happened. So it wen’t back to Universal who decided to release it in “creative ways”. So early October it hit iTunes and Amazon, mid October it hit VOD services, and then onto Netflix, where of course, I first stumbled upon it, in order to give you this review.

GUN
I am not putting a gun to your head to see it, I just wanted to review it, jeez.

Let’s talk about Stretch (Patrick Wilson). He is a limo driver and yes that is his official name. Stretch wants to be an actor, why else would he live in LA? But life is going bad, and he blames it all on Candace (Brooklyn Decker) for breaking his heart after a year of dating. They met on a car crash, sure, he was still a limo driver then. Apparently she wanted more. He just wanted to gamble and do cocaine. But he is better now. He is going to turn his life around. Or else!

Because he also still owes gambling debts, and the piper is calling. He needs $6,000 by tonight, but life doesn’t just ever really hand him opportunities. He can’t even get acting gigs, after all.

Maybe if he just does his job really really really well, like Karl (Ed Helms) did. The best limo driver ever. Maybe he can get some high powered actors who will tip like crazy?

Well, luck is about to be on his side. An eccentric rich person! He just has to comply with all his demands, while his entire life is crumbling around him. Joy.

But who plays the eccentric rich person? Who?! Well, maybe it is one of these people: James Badge Dale, David Hasselhoff, Randy Couture, Chris Pine, Jason Mantzoukas, Norman Reedus, or Ray Liotta. Or maybe it is a woman, like Jessica Alba. Women can be eccentric to you know!

(Yes, all of those people are in this movie).

Cocks
We will never be able to see a COCK like this on the big screen.

Holy poop in a limo (not a spoiler). Stretch was far more entertaining and interesting than I gave it credit for. I mean, straight to Netflix movie? Who gives a crap! Stretch is full of intense scenes, funny moments, darkly funny moments, and kind of action heavy. A lot went into this movie and I found it really hard to look away.

And the best part is, because it is so widely available right off the bat, I can recommend it to people. Stretch might finally be my next Flypaper. Flypaper was a completely unknown movie, with some people I recognized in it, that I figured would suck. And hey, I liked it a lot. It is my favorite reason for watching probably bad movies. It is all about finding those that rise above their cover and actually present something worthwhile to watch, hopefully multiple times.

Maybe it is a bit disconcerting that I can now only think of two titles that really fit the build, but eh, fuck you for thinking about numbers that I brought up.

Stretch was highly entertaining and way more unique despite what may seem from its premise. Patrick Wilson carried the movie through his narration and humorous acting. Sure, parts of the ending you can see come from miles away, and that leads to some weaker moments. But I think this limo ride is totally worth it.

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.