Never Goin’ Back

I chose Never Goin’ Back over Dog Days, and at least at the time of writing this I really feel like I made the best choice.

Sure, I have never seen Dog Days and probably won’t until December at least. But it can’t be good, right?

Sorry, this isn’t a bullshit review of a movie I haven’t even seen.

Never Goin’ Back is set in Texas and that’s why I needed to review it right away. That is the reason it won the screener lottery.

Store
At least it has the Texas feeling of walking into a grocery store right.

Life in Texas can be hard, especially if you have to live near Dallas, which everyone agrees is the worst part of Texas (Houston pride). Angela (Maia Mitchell) and Jessie (Camila Morrone) are roommates in a poor house. Sure, they are just 16 and 17. But they are under guardianship from Angela’s older brother (Joel Allen), who is sharing this home with them and another roommate (Kyle Mooney).

This house is not a nice place to live really. There is a lot of drug doing and lesbian stuff (oh no!!), all from our girls. However, the brother does like to frequent in drug dealing occasionally, which is way worse.

Jessie wanted to do something nice for Angela’s 17th birthday, because they have had bad birthdays in the past. So she spent money on a weekend cabin on the beach! I mean, it is just Galveston, but they have always wanted to do this. It just happens to be their rent money due in about a week.

Oh well, they will just work a shit ton at their waitress job, double shifts every day, to earn it back. Then they can have the best weekend ever.

Unless everything starts to go wrong. Then yeah, that can be an issue.

Also starring Marcus M. Mauldin, Kendal Smith, and Matthew Holcomb.

Work
Get tips, get high, get beach.

Never Goin’ Back is a simple story about girls wanting to leave their hum drum life, if only for a moment, to experience what they feel like is bliss. You know, Galveston’s beach. Galveston’s beach is known for being quite lame, but acceptable for being one of the only fully commercialized beaches in the area. Even other characters mock them when they hear that they are only going to Galveston.

Either way, I laughed quite a few times overall. The situations were relatively unbelievable/over the top, but the girls had a lot of chemistry together, especially Mitchell (Who was one of the stars of Teen Beach Movie and Teen Beach 2!), who was a firecracker with her lines and ideas. Morrone was more of a follower in this film.

And technically the events of this film stem from an issue that isn’t their fault, it is really hard to feel bad for them. The protagonists are main characters who continually make bad decisions, just like those around them make bad decisions. And the fact that it ends in a very gross way doesn’t feel funny, just, well, gross. And of course, the lessons learned at the end of the movie are…um…exist and do bad things and everything will work out at the end?

Either way, Never Goin’ Back does provide some laughs and plenty of shenanigans, but still has a lot to be desired in terms of great story.

2 out of 4.

Brigsby Bear

Brigsby Bear is one of those movies that came out earlier in the year at a weird time, then everyone forgot about it. An indie film, not a blockbuster, and a weird one at that, it was easy for people to ignore.

I know I wanted to see it, but hurricanes, day screenings and more made me have to wait for closer to the DVD release unfortunately.

I mean. Movie about dudes in bear costumes, or something like that. What is not to love!

MOon
Based entirely on screenshots, it could be one of the trippiest films of the year too.

James (Kyle Mooney) thought he was a normal kid adult dude, living with his parents (Mark Hamill, Jane Adams), in their underground bunker. James couldn’t leave without the gas mask, so he just lived in his room for the most part. The good news is that even though the end of the world was bleak and lonely, he still was able to get his weekly episode of Brigsby Bear, going on many many years. James learned a lot from Brigsby Bear, its lessons always seemed to really be appropriate to his life, and he chatted on the internet about various Bear theories.

But then the cops came. They arrested his parents and took him away, and they didn’t even need gas masks. It turns out they were not his real parents, he was abducted at a very young age by the couple and lied to for decades. His real parents (Matt Walsh, Michaela Watkins) had been worried forever, but are glad to have their son back. Turns out that he now has a younger sister (Ryan Simpkins) and a lot to learn about the real world.

The biggest shocker is that no one knows about Brigsby Bear, his one obsession since he can remember anything. It was a show developed by his “parents” as a distraction and no one else knows what the hell he is talking about. Shit. Well, maybe if he can get some of the tapes from evidence, he can show the world. Or maybe he can just continue the story on his own, so that everyone can find out about the wonders of Brigsby Bear and why he is the best hero known to mankind. And bear kind.

Also featuring Greg Kinnear, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., and Alexa Demie.

FIeld
And this field was juuuuust right.

I didn’t know what to expect with Brigsby Bear, but I certainly didn’t expect that. Our lead was introduced and freed from the bunker all within the first 15 or so minutes. Most of the film is him adapting poorly to the real world, while those who want to care about him find it quite difficult to interact with him.

And of course, the bear. I frankly wanted to have a lot more of the bear videos in the movie. If it was just doubled, I would have been ecstatic. We want to see the mythos he grew up with and not just vague explanations about the characters. Show us, don’t tell us.

That would be basically my only complaint. We have a lot of real feeling characters, and a bear, that is going to change so many of their lives. It is one of the strangest ways to look at a child kidnapping story, but it is great that the filmmakers are keeping things fresh. I love a bit of a bizarre film to keep me realizing what bad films are also coming out.

Brigsby Bear will end up being a bit of a bore for a lot of people watching it. The good news is that those people are wrong, and probably wish I was reviewing Transformers: The Last Knight now instead.

3 out of 4.

Zoolander 2

Zoolander Zoolander Zoolander!

Fifteen years ish ago, I remember being a young impressionable teenager watching it for the first time. I laughed so much, so long. I quoted it so far for the rest of my life. It is probably one of my favorite comedies of all time and I am always in the mood for it. Hell, I remember putting in the DVD just to watch the Special Features Menu, because it was also hilarious. THE MENU!

The idea of a sequel has been kicked around for a long, long time. And yes, it has been delayed. But in this case, I am glad. If they forced a sequel, it would probably be shit. I expect they waited for a good script. I hope they waited for a good script.

Because it is clear that Dumb and Dumber To wasn’t waiting for the right script. They just got the idea, ran with it, and gave us a pile of shit. Please Zoolander 2, don’t be a pile of shit. Pleaaaase.

All
Bamblesport Cunnilingus was in it, so it can’t be completely shit!

Fifteen years ago, Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) saved the Prime Minister of Malaysia with his Magnum look and changed the world of fashion forever. Mugatu (Will Ferrell), Katinka Ingabogovinanana (Milla Jovovich), and Evil DJ (Justin Theroux) went to jail! But bad stuff started to happen almost immediately.

Without spoilers, Zoolander soon found himself without his wife (Christine Taylor) and son (Cyrus Arnold), with Hansel (Owen Wilson) refusing to speak to him, and a laughing stock again in the world. So he left to become a Hermit, living alone in a cabin on a mountain.

Now, in 2016, he receives an invitation to Rome, by Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig), the new big fashion person. Derek, along with Hansal, are to star in a new campaign and revitalize their careers. Derek wants to do it to get his family back. Hansal wants to do it to run away from his problems, from being part of a family.

Also, a whole bunch of celebrities are being killed. Including Justin Bieber! When they die, they seem to have Zoolander’s classic look on their face. This investigation is being led by Interpol’s Fashion Police division, Valentina (Penelope Cruz).

And featuring Kyle Mooney as a fashion designer, Sting, Kiefer Sutherland and Susan Sarandon as themselves, Fred Armisen as an 11 year old boy, and the return of Billy Zane and Nathan Lee Graham as Todd.

Boobs
Zoolander’s hands are being played by Jerry Stiller.

Sure enough, Zoolander 2 is not as good as the first film, but in reality that was impossible. Humor was a different beast in the last 90’s and early 2000’s. If they went for a film with the exact same tone, it would most likely feel just dated.

But damn it, this sequel gave me Zoolander and Hansel back, and they are acting like they never went away. These felt like the characters, the movie was true to them, and they didn’t become warped caricatures. Well, maybe a little warped. But not terrible. I believed everything they did and said.

The film had a few unique laugh moments that had me in stitches. They rehash a lot of the old jokes, but it thankfully isn’t a majority of the film like how it felt for Anchorman 2. They come and go, sometimes they stick, some time they don’t. For instance, the Hansel being so hot joke? It was poorly placed and made it completely shit.

I would probably have given this a higher grade, for enjoyability and nostalgia, but the plot is almost incomprehensible. Looking back on it, trying to figure out character actions, none of it seems to make sense. I can’t even tell if Billy Zane is supposed to be a bad guy. It has a large conspiracy element like the first film, but this one is so badly done I can’t imagine how they thought it was a good idea.

And for the most part, the cameos were disappointing. The only two that had a large presence were Bieber and Sutherland. Everyone else was one joke and done, quite a shame.

Overall, you should definitely watch the film if you want more Zoolander. But you might not have to see it in theater.

2 out of 4.