Tag: Ike Barinholtz

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.

Blockers

I was very excited when I saw the trailer for Blockers. Not due to the actors, or the plot, or the humor in the trailer. Just the title alone.

I really hoped that the title of the film was officially a picture of a rooster and the word Blockers. I can’t tell you if any film title has officially just been a picture, or included a picture, but I was excited that this one might be one of the first in a good while.

Unfortunately, no. It is just called Blockers. Sure, rooster imagery abundant on the posters. But it is not the same.

It is just not the same.

Parents
Look at all these cocks right here.

Ah, growing up. The joys of being a parent. Movies and stuff. Mitchell (John Cena), Lisa (Leslie Mann), and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) met each other on their daughters first day of school. They became best friends, so they had to be friends. Their daughters (respectively) are Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan), Julie (Kathryn Newton), and Sam (Gideon Adlon), who are all dealing with their own issues, both in terms of their relationships with their parents and their relationships with boys.

But like all movies, prom is set up to be this big special night, so they are determined to make it special. They make a sex pact. They are all going to lose their virginity that night and it will make them closer together, so what when college happens, they don´t lose their friendship or anything.

The parents find out after they have left and aren´t sure what to do. Just kidding, they are going to find their daughters and put a stop to this madness before their daughters lives are ruined.

Also starring Jimmy Bellinger, Sarayu Blue, Gary Cole, Gina Gershon, Ramona Young, Miles Robbins, Hannibal Buress, and Graham Phillips.

Kids
Fuck that fedora is cool.

The most apparent thing about this movie is that it was directed by a woman. Kay Cannon has worked on some pretty woman based shows you would have heard about, and directed this film to make sure the woman’s voice was key. If this was directed by a dude, the parents would have been more egregious, the daughters would have had no real point of view scenes to speak their minds, and it would have been entirely forgettable.

Surprisingly, there was a wonderful amount of great arguments and feminist ideals presented by the daughters and other adults throughout the film. It was clear that our three leads were being shit heads and not thinking in a way that was beneficial to their daughters. Hell, even one of our leads for some time had great intentions as well. The message hits over and over again, without feeling like a lecture, and wanting to make a point as obvious as possible for those watching at home. Because this is just a comedic work of fiction, but it seems like its goal might be really to reach the audience, to help them learn how to better and more fairly treat their daughters.

Moving on.

Also I laughed a bunch. The acting wasn’t amazing. Cena was probably one of the lower points for me. The daughters and other teenagers really carried the film, and yes, surprisingly, Barinholtz’s character. I can’t say this is a movie I would want to watch over and over again, but it did the trick and was way better than it should have been.

3 out of 4.

The Angry Birds Movie

When they first announced The Angry Birds Movie, you couldn’t have paid me to see the prescreening of it. That is because I was steadily employed when it was first announced. Now, when the actually prescreening occurred, I would have gladly accepted money to go to it. Alas, if I went I would have had to go for free and that still wasn’t good enough.

Now I played Angry Birds before. Yeah, like, in 2010, really early after it came out. I had an Android phone and it was 100% free, with a lot of components to it, so yeah, I played the shit out of it. Then I eventually stopped caring. I hated the space game, hated the star wars one, and well, just stopped caring, and never looked back.

At the same time I was annoyed by all the clothing and merchandising that was suddenly existing. It was just a small phone game, why would someone want a backpack with them on it? Oh well, I ignored it and then hey, six years after the game, a movie appeared.

Needless to say, waiting for it on DVD was always a safe bet for me.

Red anger grrr
Oh yeah, they really captured his anger there.

Red (Jason Sudeikis), is a bird, and he is angry. Everyone else on this island is happy, but not him. He is pissed off. All the minor things really piss him off. And after a series of incidents, he has found himself face first in an egg, so now the chick thinks he is its daddy. So the family goes to court over the incident and the judge (Keegan-Michael Key) sentences him to Anger Management class, the harshest sentence!

At the class, it is run by a white bird named Matilda (Maya Rudolph). He also meets a yellow bird who is incredibly fast, Chuck (Josh Gad), a big black bird who explodes sometimes, Bomb (Danny McBride), and a very, very large red bird who doesn’t talk a whole lot, Terence (Sean Penn).

But wait! A ship appears over the ocean. On it, a large pig named Leonard (Bill Hader), bringing gifts and technology to their small area. Everyone loves them, except for Red, because his house gets damaged in their arrival and he doesn’t let it go. All of the other birds get annoyed at Red’s anger and basically make him leave. Red decides that something must be up, as more and more pigs are arriving every day. He decides to bring Chuck and Bomb with him on a quest to find the Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), famed super bird who can FLY to help save the day.

And if that doesn’t work, well, then maybe they will have to fix things on their own before everything goes sour.

Also featuring voice work from Kate McKinnon, Tituss Burgess, Hannibal Buress, Tony Hale, and Ike Barinholtz.

Pig
Oh, that pig is a king too. Royalty. King Leonard, the majestically hammy.

If you couldn’t tell, I went into this movie expecting to hate it. A franchise that has become both forgettable and annoying, about a game with not a lot of plot. It seemed like a cash grab (and regardless of quality, it is still that). Judging from the animation style, I expected it to be just as annoying as most of the Minions movies have been.

And then I laughed. I laughed quite a few times. I was surprised at how much humor they actually smushed into the film. It has a pretty standard 90 minute-ish run time, but there are so many things going on, almost at all times. It was made for the ADHD crowd. Background jokes, frontground jokes, puns, double meanings, and more. And of course globs of reference humor. The last time I saw this many jokes in an animated film was Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2.

Despite how quick everything went, it still also took its time, surprisingly. It took almost a whole hour into the film before the pigs finally went bad and did the bad stuff, leaving just the last act to chase them down and tear down their city in retaliation, aka, the angry birds game part. Normally that would be an issue but time surprisingly flew by.

Heh, like the birds when you sling them.

The Angry Birds Movie has a shitty title and a shitty franchise, but damn it, it was a pretty funny film and a decent experience. It won’t change the animated world, but it will make you giggle.

3 out of 4.

Suicide Squad

I wasn’t always scowling at Suicide Squad. When they first announced it, well, I guess I had to google it just to find out what it was. Villains having to save the day. Sure, alright, cool.

What really made me excited is that Tom Hardy was signed on to play a role in the film! It was stoked. Then he left. Oh, okay. But then they got Jake Gyllenhaal to replace him! Oh shit, yeah! Good going! And then he turned it down as well. Fuck. What in the. Okay okay, then they got Joel Kinnaman, which does nothing for me. But I didn’t get annoyed at the film yet.

No, what really killed me is that during filming there were almost daily “leaks” from the set, or quick glimpses from a random persons twitter, or whatever. Too much hype can really bring down a ship, and I hate a constant bombardment of advertisements. Not only that, but of course we have Jared Leto as his edgy Joker, maybe as the villain, maybe on the team, I have no clue. I just know that he was “method acting” and kept giving all of his cast mates shit, playing pranks and what not, to get into character. Honestly, he sounded like he was being an asshole.

That is what made me frown and choose to ignore the pre-screening. That is why I didn’t want to wait hours just to see it. I knew it would wait. I don’t care how good the trailers for it were, because Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman both had amazing trailers and yet they were disappointments. So that is where I am coming from for this film.

Katana
So here is a non asshole character and a non asshole actress, giving someone a new asshole.

The US Government is starting to get scared. What if another Superman shows up, but this time, he isn’t friendly? They need to have a task force to bring them down, preferably some of their own strong people who are under their control. Well, they don’t have any, or at least they don’t have any that they can force to work for them. So Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), vague government official, decides that their team will be made up of criminal metahumans, who they have leverage over and who they can kill without too much of a worry.

So she gathers her team. Like Deadshot (Will Smith), who never misses. Like Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), who…looks like a human crocodile for some reason. There is El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a former gang member who can control and make fire, but has since atoned for his crimes. Someone named Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) who can…throw a boomerang really good and piss people off? And Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), who has actually no powers at all and really shouldn’t fit this metahuman role they are crafting.

But that is just one prison. She has the mystical heart of the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), an ancient being trapped in an archaeologist’s body who has to obey her commands. Her main field officer, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) is in love with her as well. And there is Slipknot (Adam Beach), who can apparently climb anything, where his climbing is metahuman levels or something. Finally, there is Katana (Karen Fukuhara), who wields a sword that captures the soul of those it kills. She isn’t even a baddie, she is just helping out while occasionally avenging her husband’s death.

Either way. Shit quickly goes down right after forming the team, good timing. And they are forced to help out of course to clean up a mess that is basically started thanks to the team forming in the first place. Hooray!

And yeah, Ike Barinholtz plays a dick guard, David Harbour a random government official, and some Jared Leto Joker nonsense.

Captain Boomerang
And drinking on the job, I guess that is Boomerang’s other power.

Suicide Squad ended up being a mess of a movie, from beginning to end. The characters, the plot, the pacing, all come together beautifully to make this disaster of a film.

They explain that the Suicide Squad is set up to stop a Superman like being from dominating the world and battling him with other superhumans. Sure, fine. Now explain why Harley Quinn, described entirely as a wild card, on the team? Why is Captain Boomerang? The only ones that seem to have any amount of actual power and ability are the Enchantress, whom yes, is the main villain, and El Diablo, who barely uses his powers. Deadshot and Katana have some sort of powers or gadgets that make them above average, and Killer Croc is basically a mutant, but they are all just really good fighters. And what in the fuck, Slipknot? Can climb anything? Not even power based, but using gadgets? A complete waste of a character and has no purpose in this film (and the filmmakers must have known that).

Harley Quinn is actually in this film just so we can have a Joker connection. When I say “for whatever reason,” the reason ends up being so the writers can move the plot forward without thinking things through. She is there just to be chaos and her character has no point. Sure she is a scene stealer, because they give her the camera time and the personality. And she magically has a cell phone so that the Joker can intervene as well, how helpful.

Katana is an interesting character. The Enchantress should have been an interesting character. El Diablo was an interesting as fuck character. Captain Boomerang was very amusing and should have been able to do something in this movie to not feel so pointless. But these characters are not expanded upon enough, because it is not actually an ensemble film. It is all Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Amanda Waller.

El Diablo
I picked these three as my pictures as the more interesting characters who didn’t have a lot of time to be important.

So the pacing is also whack. Bad things start happening in Midway City (certainly not New York City). Big portals, scary stuff, mass death. And we find out before they get to the big baddie that it has been three days since it has started. Three days! So little fucks given from anyone in the world, including The Flash and Batman, which are established characters in this film and movie universe.

When they show up and finally confront our villain, oh hey, their spell had just finished and now the world can be destroyed. Your timing is terrible, unless they decided to just wait to finish it until their loved ones were all dead first.

There could have been a good movie in Suicide Squad. It needed to not have earth ending events though, given the people we know who could have saved the day. It needed small scale disasters that actually made sense for the team to accomplish. It needed to not have such a messy plot and so many unnecessary flash backs. And it certainly didn’t need repeat what BvS ended up doing. Killing off a character and ending it with a just kidding. Two films in a row in the same universe? That is far worse than Marvel.

1 out of 4.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Comedy sequels have gotten a bad rep lately. Like Zoolander 2 and Dumb and Dumber To. Okay, those had many years between sequels, but like…The Hangover Part III and Horrible Bosses 2.

So I went into Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising with a skeptical face. I enjoyed Neighbors and rewatched it the morning of the screening, still holds up decently.

But the problem with comedy sequels is the direction you take it. Do you give them more of the same? If so, then it isn’t original any more. If you give them something completely unrelated, then why even make it a sequel and not an original movie?

Neighbors 2 might just be Neighbors with more women.

Ughhh
But you know, regular, chill, want to kill you women.

After Neighbors, Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) returned quiet to their neighborhood. But now, Kelly is pregnant again, so they want to move to a new house with more rooms and with less neighbors. They put an offer on a house and they were accepted! However, their current home isn’t sold yet. It is on escrow. So the buying couple has 30 days to check it out and do tests and can back out at any time.

And at that moment is of course when some new people move in. Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons), and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) want to start their own sorority, that can party and smoke weed and promote their own feminist values of sisterhood. They just have issues getting enough money to rent the place for their dreams to come true.

That is where Teddy (Zac Efron) comes in. He is feeling pretty pathetic, everyone in his life is becoming successful except for him. And Pete (Dave Franco) is now totally gay and about to get married to Darren (John Early), which means Teddy needs a place to stay. He decides to become a sort of sorority consultant to the girls in order to find value, and maybe screw over the people who gave him a criminal record and all.

Woo, prank wars!

Some smaller roles are played by Selena Gomez, Clara Mamet, and someone called Awkwafina. Also returning, albeit briefly include Hannibal Buress, Chistopher Mintz-Plasse, Jerrod Carmichael and the best friends Ike Barinholtz and Carla Gallo.

Hween
This is how I dress up when I want to look young.

Neighbors 2 actually does a good balance of keeping things original with appropriate call backs. The picture used right above ended up being one of the funniest scenes in the film and was entirely new and fresh material. My second and third favorite moments were both call backs to airbags. There are several great humorous scenes that really carry the film and overall make this film a good time while watching it.

But when comparing it to its predecessor, it doesn’t hold up as well. My main faults lie with the chemistry between Moretz, Clemons, and Feldstein, the leaders of the new sorority. It is practically non-existence. Yes, before the events of the film, they didn’t know each other, but most of their comedic scenes together never really feel too funny. Their logic and reasoning for wanting to create their own sorority is actually a good one. The film delivers a real message about sorority culture and the need for change. They just failed to make it funny.

Most of our humor is reserved for our old people roles and Efron, while the sorority side remains mostly serious in their own goals. It is a strange dichotomy in this movie.

And honestly, the ending tried to tie everything in a nice bow, but the solutions that were found don’t make a lot of sense when you examine it for just a few seconds.

Again, some great funny scenes in this movie, and strangely enough, some character growth, but they are unable to deliver their message while maintaining the funny throughout.

2 out of 4.

Neighbors

Finally, a movie that can relate to almost anyone. Neighbors. Hey, I have had neighbors most of my life! Some people live on farms in the middle of no where with no real neighbors. Those people aren’t the target audience for this movie though. I doubt they are anyone’s target audience really.

Also it is the first big comedy of the summer. Last year we got This Is The End as our first big movie (because I am just making shit up now and ignoring other films, like The Hangover 3. Let me make up this imaginary point, jeez), and that one set a bar too high for most other comedies to follow.

Can Neighbors do the same?

Cool Guys
Not with these squares trying to act cool. Nope nope nope.

Mac (Seth Rogen) and, Kelly (Rose Byrne) are adults! They have finally done it! They created a human from their love and they have a house!

But then they got…grr…neighbors! They thought it would be a lovely gay couple. No, it was a frat house. How’d they get a house in the middle of a residential neighborhood? Who knows. But they are stoked, because it is time to party. Their president, THE Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) and a VP of Pete (Dave Franco).

Mac and Kelly try and be cool about it all. Sure they have a baby, but as long as they are cool, the frat will probably try to keep it down. The frat is willing to be friendly with them, as long as they don’t call the cops ever, just them first.

Well, they call the cops eventually after a party that won’t end and won’t get quiet. That makes the frat angry. They decide to rage war on their neighbors, as they have messed with the wrong frat. Then shenanigans happen. Shenanigans!

We also get Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jerrod Carmichael as frat guys. And Ike Barinholtz and Carla Gallo as friends of Mac and Kelly. And Hannibal Buress as a cop! But his role is limited.

De Niros
When there are multiple De Niros, you will never know who is talking to who.

I have long talked about how great Zac Efron is in past reviews, and it is still true here, so I won’t talk about it more here. Seth Rogen is very much like his normal self, so I won’t talk about that more here.

Instead, I will talk about Rose Byrne, who was absolutely hilarious in the movie along with the rest of the cast. I realize I rarely praise the female in a comedy, but she really held her own against some of these other professionals of comedy. She doesn’t do comedy much, outside of Bridesmaids I really can’t remember anything, so it really came as a big surprise to me.

The film definitely has its moments. The one De Niro scene had me in stitches, and reminded me a bit of the seagulls in Finding Nemo.

It was a good show from an all-star-ish cast with hardly any downtime in between laughs.

3 out of 4.