Tour De Pharmacy

A couple years ago, I saw an ad for 7 Days in Hell while using HBO and I was instantly drawn in. I had to watch that movie RIGHT AWAY and review it ASAP. It looked magicial, and really, it was.

I didn’t know it was so short, only 40 minutes. I didn’t know it was to poke fun at the ESPN documentary series. But I went in, it was short, but I still called it a film and had an okay review.

And now years later, I saw an ad for Tour De Pharmacy. This time I was older, a bit wiser, a bit smarter, and a bit less repetitive. I knew what I was getting in to, and thus I was excited. Why can’t lightning hit twice?

Bikes
And look, we have more athletes now than a single tennis match!

Tour De Pharmacy tells the story of the 1982 Tour De France, and all of the bizarre happenings that occurred during the race. Including the first time that someone died on the race!

Due to plot reasons, a lot of bicyclists in the race ended up getting eliminated really early on, as it turned out they paid bribes in order to avoid being drug tested. Like, a lot, a lot. As in, only five bikers remained.

We had Slim Robinson (Daveed Diggs / Danny Glover), nephew of Jackie Robinson, who wanted to be the first black athlete in some sport, so he was the first black athlete to compete in the Tour De France! There was Adriana Baton (Freddie Highmore / Julia Ormond), the first woman to compete in the race, but no one knew it at the time, as she pretended to be a man in order to qualify. There is also Marty Hass (Andy Samberg / Jeff Goldbloom), who is actually the first African to compete in the race. Yes he is white, and was an aristocrat, and it pisses off a lot of people that he has taken that first away.

The other two members of the pack were Juju Pepe (Orlando Bloom), a native Frenchman and actual famous bike rider, and Gustav Ditters (John Cena / Dolph Lundgren), a giant muscle man who didn’t fit the normal physiques that one would expect from a bicyclist. Along for the ride is Rex Honeycut (James Marsden), a journalist who will bike alongside the pack, in order to give in person interviews as the race happens!

This also features a slew of other actors, some playing themselves, to tell the story of the 1982 Tour De France: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kevin Bacon, Lance Armstrong, Maya Rudolph, Mike Tyson, Will Forte, and narrated by Jon Hamm.

Cena
The more arm muscles have, the faster you go on a bike. It’s fucking science!

If you liked 7 Days in Hell, you will like this movie! If you didn’t, you won’t. Pretty simple. Of course, a whole mess of you might not have seen the first one, so I still have to talk.

Honestly, this is just an absurd parody movie, I love it. It is short, so some of their jokes and moments don’t ever get to go into depth, and that is probably where it excels. After all, there is only so much stupid stuff they can throw in it before a viewer might get tired of it all. I think it was just the right length and zany to amuse the shit out of me, possible amuse the shit out of me over multiple viewings.

Now, despite that? Yeah, there are still some dull parts as well. The film even comments on it, as there were long boring stretches in the actual race that caused viewership to drop tremendously, in the fictional recounting. Making it meta and commenting on the progressiveness however, still didn’t do it for me.

Also, well fucking done Lance Armstrong. His role as hidden informant was a joke that just kept on giving, it surprisingly never got stale. All of the cameos were pretty funny.

Tour De Pharmacy is a relatively smart and quick laugh thrill ride, with only a few moments of slowed traffic to catch your breath.

3 out of 4.

Mascots

I love me some Mockumentaries. I do, I really do. Yeah, sure, most of the ones I have seen in my life were made by Christopher Guest. This Is Spinal Tap! (Technically Rob Reiner, whatever) and A Mighty Wind are my jams. But thankfully we did get Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping this year to continue the trend a bit further.

So I was excited about Mascots. And no, I didn’t know it was another film directed by Christopher Guest until about twenty minutes in, when the same cast of characters in a lot of his films appeared. It had the same style, same type of humor.

Let’s be clear, this is his first Mockumentary in a decade! Big news, because someone has to make them, damn it.

Doctor
And why not explore Mascots hoping they did not break their funny bone.

Mascots are a big deal. They get the party started, they get people excited about sports and performances, and they can have zany costumes.

And in this documentary, it is showcasing several totally real mascots as they prepare for the World Mascot Association to try and win the Golden Fluffy award for the best mascot. Now a lot of random mascots enter and send in tapes to be chosen to compete, but only the best and maybe the vaguest can really win.

Of course we have a very eccentric and weird cast. There is Zook (Chris O’Dowd), who plays The Fist, a hockey mascot in Canada, known for getting into fights, and yes, he is a giant fist. Owen Golly Jr. (Tom Bennett) comes from a long line of mascots, playing a squirrel I believe. His dad (Jim Paddock) is still coaching him and his wife (Kerry Godliman) just hopes he doesn’t die.

Cindi Babineaux (Parker Posey) is this absurd horse girl thing. Phil Mayhew
(Christopher Moynihan) is a Plumber mascot, and has a big routine with a toilet and a turd. Mike (Zach Woods) and Mindy Murray (Sarah Baker) are a couple act, but also going through a divorce thanks to infidelity, but still hoping to work together for the competition.

And we got more people for a variety of reasons, Jane Lynch, Ed Begley Jr., Susan Yeagley, John Michael Higgins, and Michael Hitchcock.

Amish Worm
And I didn’t even get into the Amish and the Worm pair.

Mascots ends up being very similar to Christopher Guest’s other mockumentaries. The people are weird, but realistic, and the humor comes from relatively normal interactions. And surprisingly outside of a few moments, I found myself rather bored.

I haven’t seen a lot his previous work. I never fully watched Best In Show, but I want to. I didn’t even know he had about two others. So why would I absolutely love A Mighty Wind and not this one?

Well, shit. It might actually be the music factor. I love quirky people and musicals, so it is a perfect storm for me. This one has quirky people without all of the payoff I was hoping for. Some people seemed to exist just for one joke or one long set up and until it happened, I was just waiting.

The mascot performances were all pretty good I guess, but not enough to warrant rewatching in the future. People are weird, situations are zany, but it is all too few and far in between for me.

1 out of 4.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

When the first poster was released for Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, I felt like my life had changed.

It looked amazing. I wanted to see the film right then and there. The tagline was just four words and felt like the most brilliant thing ever.

But the poster came out in February with the movie not coming out until early June! What a torturous few months it has been. I’ve had to watch three superhero films before I could see a potentially life changing film. But I guess that the date ended up being a good one. It is the real start of the Summer films (because counting May is stupid), and hopefully the film would have enough party in it to last me through the months of excessive blockbusters and explosion heavy films.

This doesn’t mean that I will go in praising it no matter what of course. Just look at X-Men: Apocalypse, my most anticipated comic film of the year, and it left a disappointing taste in my mouth. Going in excited means it is very easy for it to crash, that is all I am saying.

Hologram
How they were able to get an Adam Levine hologram for this movie I will never know.

Ever since Conner4Real (Andy Samberg) was born, he was dope. He could play the drums at 1, he could make the mad rhymes, and he had the best two friends ever: Lawrence (Akiva Schaffer) and Owen (Jorma Taccone).

They made the group The Style Boyz and their hip hop music was everywhere. It inspired tons of modern groups. Lawrence made the lyrics, Conner was the front man, and Owen made the fat beats. Then Conner gets to real, too big, gets his own verse on a song with another artist and does his own solo album that sells a shit ton. And this documentary is about the release of his second album, his world wide tour, and his relationship with his girlfriend, Ashley Wednesday (Imogen Poots).

It is also about the rise and fall of being a popstar and how it can be hard to fall when you were up so damn high.

Tim Meadows plays the manager, Sarah Silverman the publicist, and James Buckley/Edgar Blackman the yes men groupies. Chris Redd is Hunter the Hungry, an upcoming rap superstar, and Joan Cusack is Conner’s mom. Also a shit ton of cameos, of artists playing themselves mostly.

Posse
I hope my future groupies will make sure I never leave the house looking like that.

Going into Popstar, I actually didn’t even know it was going to be a Mockumentary. And I love Mockumentaries, one of the rarest genres out there, so it was definitely a nice surprise. And since I have gone out of my way to watch quite a few recent pop tour documentary films (Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber 2, One Direction, Justin Bieber 3) I was very familiar with the current summer concert line up types of film. Early on in the film, it is was quite clear they were sort of parodying Justine Bieber: Never Say Never film (and the title is similar too, obviously), going to extremes with his backstory and even including Usher!

Add in the fact that we got original The Lonely Island music, with a shit ton of cameos and outrageous humor, you are left with a pretty dang funny feature film. So many quotable lines, plenty of vulgar language and we get an actual human penis in this film. Not a prosthetic dick and not even for a quick flash. They earned their graphic nudity rating.

My favorite scenes actually are where they parody that strange TMZ show where they just badly gossip in their office. They parody it only a few times, but man, I practically laughed nonstop.

If I had complaints, I would say it started to drag a bit near the end. That is kind of disappointing, given the film is under 90 minutes, The film isn’t surprising with the direction it takes, we practically know how it will end, so getting to that point just takes its time.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is start to finish over the top comedy and a great release in this season of blockbusters, sequels, and cinematic universes.

Cmz

3 out of 4.

7 Days In Hell

Something must be in the water, because this is my second “made for TV” movie in a few weeks. Not to spoil the surprise, but I have a third one next week as well.

To give 7 Days In Hell some credit, it is at least an HBO movie, so it won’t be restricted by what stay at home moms want to call the network to complain about if it gets too violent, sexy, grotesque, or angry. They can do what they want!

The release of the film of course is due to Wimbledon about to finish, so why not have a quick mockumentary about a game that never happened. This film is of course inspired by the Isner-Mahut Wimbledon match up in 2010, that went for over 11 hours over 3 days, and was the real game that would never end. It is not based on the Wimbledon romantic comedy from 2004, which (screw you haters!) is actually one of my favorites of the year.

promo
Paul Bettany just needed better hair, like these folks.

This historic match took place in the early 2000s, but before one can find out why they battled hard enough to play tennis for 7 days straight, one has to see where the men involved came from.

Aaron Williams (Andy Samberg) had a reverse Blind Side situation, where he was a white kid on the streets and he got adopted into a black family. Note the last name, yes, he was the adopted brother of the Williams sisters. So it is no wonder he too became great at tennis. Never great enough unfortunately. Because after a huge accident one serve away from winning Wimbledon in the 90’s, Aaron has never been the same. His game was off, he had to turn to other careers and eventually wound up in prison. His hot head personality is missed on the court for many years until he gets out of jail.

On the other side, we have Charles Poole (Kit Harington), a child prodigy, starting to play tennis at the age of three. Some say his maybe abusive mom (Mary Steenburgen) forced him to be the star he is, but it worked and he became the youngest pro ever. He is also the best chance of a British person actually winning Wimbledon in a long time, coming into the tournament at the 2nd overall seed. He is also close to retarded, having no real schooling outside of tennis and graduating from a truck driving school.

Needless to say, due to (plot), these two gentlemen find themselves playing each other in the first round, Aaron to get back to the top, and Charles for his country and to be the very best.

But then rain delays were just the beginning of the issue, in this back and forth match where a player could rarely hold an upper hand, until, you know, it finally ends and stuff.

Any documentary of course has people to tell the story, so we got a few of those! Including a few tennis historians (Will Forte, Fred Armisen), a Jordache Executive (Lena Dunham), the girlfriend of Charles’ at the time (Karen Gillan), and a creepy TV interview host (Michael Sheen). But that isn’t it, the story is also told by David Copperfield, John McEnroe, and Serena Williams!

press
This is bullshit, they should be playing overnight as well. Who gave them breaks?

I tend to try and have some sort of time criteria for a review. If a movie isn’t an hour long, is it really a movie? Or is it a strange television episode? This in particular has made documentary watching harder, because there are a lot of made for TV documentaries that include commercials leaving the viewer with 40-45 minutes of material. Most notably in this group would be the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries, which this mockumentary is actually styled after. So it makes sense for the movie to only be about 43 minutes in length, and hey, I will let it pass, because the teaser for it made me giggle. Damn it.

I was surprised at how many jokes it could cram into one tiny documentary. A lot goes on with their lives and with the game, and it feels good not really spoiling any of it. In particular, after Samberg, Forte and Armisen provide the most laughs as the historians.

This is a tiny project and it definitely works for what it is. If anything, Harington is actually the most disappointing aspect. I don’t think it is him, but they gave him a lame character to play. Either way, I hope they do more movies in this style in the future, as they can provide easy entertainment probably relatively cheaply for the channel.

3 out of 4.

What We Do In The Shadows

I don’t think you want to know what I do in the shadows. Usually it involves lurking, dodging sunlight, or cooling off.

Now that I think about that, two of those three descriptions are very vampire-like. Hey, what a perfect title. What We Do In The Shadows is, after all, about a few dudes sharing a flat in New Zealand.

And they are vampires.

And this is a true story. You know, because this story was definitely made, truly.

Band
And they started the hippest band in New Zealand too!

Vampires! They sometimes need roommates. We have Viago (Taika Waititi) who set up this documentary, I guess. They all had to sign waivers to not eat the camera crew, but it should work out. He is only 317 years, so a bit of a late middle ages vampire. They have Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), 183 years old, a baby, and the most brash of these vampires and more of a pseudo ladies man. Let’s not forget Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), aged 862. He used to be a much bigger deal, but his age is getting to him and he is losing a lot more of his powers. He doesn’t impale people people as much.

And don’t forget about Petyr (Ben Fransham). He is about 8,000 years old. He has basically lost it, looks super un-human, very savage. He freaks everyone out but he has basically earned it.

And this is their life! They still drink human blood, they have some human groupies who help them do certain tasks, but they are incredibly behind times in terms of technology.

We learn of past loves, why they prefer virgins, their interactions with other supernaturals (zombies, werewolves, witches).

Also featuring Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, and Rhys Darby, because of course Rhys Darby.

Nosferatu
“Oh. My. GODDDD! I LOOVVVEEEEE Rhys Darby!”

New Zealand and Flight of the Conchords. Although it looks like Bret McKenzie had nothing to do with this movie, it is easier to describe as vampires meet FotC. Because that type of awkward uncomfortable humor is very prevalent throughout the whole movie. This movie had a ridiculously low budget, I am sure most of the guys being friends working for next to nothing and splitting the profits. It is a great business model for them too, as with kickstarter and word of mouth, it has spread slowly throughout America for people to see.

Blah blah blah. You don’t care. Is it funny? Heck yes it is funny. I personally would have liked a lot more of Petyr, thought he was underused, but I guess you can’t tell an 8,000 year old vampire what to do.

I am also glad that with the different types of Vampires that Twilight didn’t make the cut. At first I thought I wanted it, but realized how quickly it would have just fallen into a a one trick pony to be referenced occasionally, and not had any real characterization or goals behind it.

Also, this movie has a lot of great quotes associated with it. I don’t remember a lot of them, but I do remember laughing.

Either way, if this movie comes to your area, give it a chance. You will probably have an enjoyable uncomfortable night.

3 out of 4.

Sisters & Brothers

Man, I hate this movie, so it is going to be a short review.

Why did I watch Sisters & Brothers? Well, one obvious reason. Cory Monteith was on the cover, the former male lead of Glee who died ODing on Heroin. I never did anything to acknowledge his death, having only seen him in one other movie (Monte Carlo), and then I reviewed Sharknado, which was a bit of a joke at his expense too.

But you know, Paul Walker got a review like right away, and eventually I will have to fit another Philip Seymour Hoffman movie in there too. So figured it was time to see something with Cory in it.

This mockumentary focuses on four groups of people, who all have a sibling, and their relationships with each other. We see them giving interviews with the camera, and living their lives. That is about it.

Cover
I literally can’t find any real picture from this movie, but I blame that on the TV show, Brothers & Sisters.

I definitely was a bit confused at the beginning, not knowing it was in that format. It starts with Cory and others being interviewed about their siblings, and I couldn’t tell if they were talking truthfully at first or playing a character. Cory himself plays a famous person who has tons of fans. I know, he was reaching for this one.

The movie also includes Gabrielle Miller, Amanda Crew, Kacey Rohl, Dustin Milligan, Benjamin Ratner, Camille Sullivan, and some other people.

I am having a hard time believing the cover, because it says it is a comedy, but I don’t remember any jokes. At all. Maybe a “Ah, that’s curious” type of reaction once. I mostly remember siblings arguing and people mad at each other. No, it gets the Drama rating and that is all it gets.

Without being too mean, this movie is a waste of space. Not a lot happens, there isn’t really great acting, the format for the movie is dumb, and the time did not flow by at all while it was on.

0 out of 4.

The Devil Inside

Because of a freak blizzard, I wasn’t able to see Ride Along and Devil’s Due until the actual day they came out. What!? Madness.

For that reason, I had to find some other devil based horror movie to watch. That also involved shaky cam. That also sucked.

Hey, thank’s a lot The Devil Inside!

Cunnilinguis
That’s a creepy way to tell someone you’d go down on them.

In this totally true story, it is going for a “documentary” format, not just awkward shaky cam. This woman, Maria Rossi (Suzan Crowley) supposedly killed three people, including two priest in the 1980s, and it was a big mystery as to why. She was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Rome, and basically forgot about. Except not forgot about by Isabella Rosi (Fernanda Andrade), who is totally her daughter. Couldn’t you tell from the last names?!

So she hires a camera man Michael Schaefer (Ionut Grama) to get to the bottom of it.

Eventually, they go to Rome, and somehow get into a class on exorcisms with a whole bunch of Vatican cardinals and shit? That seems odd, but I guess it works.

There, some people argue about exorcism versus just other psychological disorders. Apparently the Catholic Church doesn’t do many official exorcisms anymore since the mid-90s, because they have to be 100% certain before trying now. So they won’t fix her mom, trapped in a Catholic looney bin. But no fear, she somehow meets two priests who are totally willing to let her know they do exorcisms on the side and will help. Father Ben Rowlings (Simon Quarterman) and Father David Keane (Evan Helmuth).

Then some stuff happens, people die, and a shitty “documentary” was made.

Nun
Wait, this bitch was actually in the movie? Pretty sure I missed her.

All the shitty horrors. When did this movie come out? Sometime in the last year and a half? I remember it coming out and I had no desire to see it, but obviously I realized that isn’t the point of my website. Watch everything I can, try to get the underdog or weird movies.

Fuck, I just looked up the stats. It has a reported budget around $1 million, because it is just another shitty exorcism movie. The box office money is apparently $101 million. That is $100 million in profit. Stop it. Stop it right now everyone.

I found no redeeming qualities in this movie. It wasn’t even long enough to get good. Less than 90 minutes, boring story, bad scares, fake messages, dumb ending.

Just. What? And the fact that all the advertising is that nun lady, who I don’t remember actually seeing. It must have a been a quick bullshit scene though.

I will say again, this movie had no redeeming qualities at all for me. It should be burned. Devil’s Due was miles beyond this one.

0 out of 4.

Paper Heart

Is this the real life? Or is this just fantasy?

That is the question that you have to wonder sometimes with Documentaries. One of the reasons why I distrust them. How much was naturally caught on camera and how much was set up? I have a hard time believing that Bully was actual bullying, for that reason.

Paper Heart intends to be a bit gray, though.

We are told that this documentary is an idea made by Charlene Yi, who claims that she has never been in love and doubt she ever will be. So she wants to go around, asking people their opinion on love, from her friends (Seth Rogen, Demetri Martin, Martin Starr, and more) to people who have good stories around America. She also goes and talks to the quick wedding people in Las Vegas, tries on a Bridal gown, and more!

Oh, and she also falls in love during this documentary.

Love?
Love. Or something like that.

Good timing huh? She meets Michael Cera, yes, that Michael Cera. He is awkward, but he likes her and tries to get her to go out on a date and eventually succeeds. Jake Johnson, who goes by Nick in this documentary helps out of course because Cera is his bud. Once their relationship starts to progress, Nick decides it needs to be a part of the documentary too, because it fits the theme.

But is this a real romance, or is this whole thing just a super awkward and realistic mockumentary?

I would say while watching it, it is pretty hard to say. I of course looked it up afterward to figure out if it was all true, all fake, or somewhere in between. I won’t tell you what, because you can look it up yourself yo.

What I can say is that everything about this at least felt real. The stories that couples told about their love were very cute, despite the awkward puppet show during them. Everything felt genuine, and it made me feel kind of sappy.

When I bought this movie, I didn’t even know it was a documentary until I saw a trailer for like, a year later. But I like what I saw in this film, even if I have a hard time explaining just what it is.

3 out of 4.

Bad Grandpa

Bad Grandpa, Bad Grandpa, Bad Grandpa…

Well, it is presented by Jackass, and I can say I have never seen one of those movies in full, or the TV show, just random skits before that people have gone out of their way to show me. And this music video by Andrew W.K.

I literally have no desire to see people hurt them selves and do stupid things for amusement. Like, none. I am not high brow at all, not in the slightest, it just doesn’t seem appealing to me.

But this movie is different. So much different.

kid
Like, this kid, who was the best part of Fun Size.

The “plot” of the movie is that Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) is old, his wife just died, and he is stoked. Too bad his only daughter is going to prison, and her son, Billy (Jackson Nicholl), needs someone to watch him and take him to visit his daddy in Raleigh, NC.

But Irving lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. That is far away. Fuck all that noise.

Well he does it anyways, and that is the backbone for this roadtrip film, which has the main goal of just doing ridiculous things and providing shock value to real people and our enjoyment.

And some stunts too.

Money
Or fabricated little girl pageants in Raleigh just to confuse and bewilder people.

In case you can’t wait for the ending, I am giving this a 2 out of 4 for a few reasons.

Yes, it is at times entertaining. Some of the stunts/interactions are really creative. Nice moments. But a lot of the time they feel too far in between, or the joke takes too long to set up (so instead we are just given a lot of diatribe between Johnny Knoxville pretending to be a mean old man.

Speaking of that, this may be the only time I say this in a review but…

This movie has too much plot.

To be more entertaining, we need more skits, more hilarious interactions between real people and the actors. We have a lot of scenes just between Knoxville and Nicoll who in the car talking. And it is all bullshit, all stuff we would expect to see in a real movie, that feels just completely unnecessary in this film.

Similarly, because a lot of these scenes are so detailed, like the pageant, and that machine that crashes through a store window. That wasn’t just random, other people had to be in on it. So some of those other people are in the shots too, doing reactions as if its real, but you know they know its about to happen.

So to recap, this movie would have been a lot more entertaining overall if they just made more of it be real skits and less plot, and reduced the number of people who knew what was going to happen. Here is one thing I learned from the movie: The Guardians of the Children, a bikers gang, is incredibly fucking awesome, and they really believe in their cause.

2 out of 4.

Catfish

Catfish is a “documentary” on, well, the internet.

Ready for my vaguest plot summary ever?

Catfish megan
This is Megan!

This is a “documentary” about Abby. Abby is an 8 year old girl who paints pictures, and mails them off to a guy named ‘Nev‘ in New York City, because she saw him in the paper and thought he was cute. Nev lives with two filmmakers, and because of his relationship with this wunderkind artist, they want to make a film! Begins with them getting more artwork, and it kicking ass. He even befriends Abby’s family!

First her mom, Angela, and then her older sister, Megan about 19. Facebook is great. Turns out Megan is great too. Has a lot in common with Nev, writers he own music, has her own social life. They don’t start dating, but they are interested in each other. He also gets to know her friends, her moms friends, whatever.

But one day he finds out that a song she sent him as a cover, sounds identical to a different cover found on the internet.

The gang is all here
Roadtrip!

Yes, that is all of the plot outline you will get out of me. A lot of the point about the movie is the discovery, and journey, so even letting you know more already ruins it. Obviously I used quotation marks around documentary a lot.

Is this a real story? Maybe. Probably not. It at least has real people in it. They aren’t saying its fake. Technically the events that occurred all seem to have happened, but maybe parts were exaggerated or recreated for the purpose of a movie.

Finally, it is kind of a different movie genre. It seems to be a bit experimental, and I think it pays off. There could be a theme of fakeness in this movie, given the topic at hand, and the questionability in the film itself. If so, well done. Layers and shit.

But yeah, I liked it, even though it slowed at points near the end. If it is real, I like the level of respectability that went into it. If not well, its a pretty good fake documentary.

3 out of 4.

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