Tag: Natasha Lyonne

Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie

When you build a website on a willingness to watch anything, you have to actually watch a lot of random shit. And it gets harder when you get behind, because then most of your reviews end up being the films that everyone is already going to watch or already know about. Not the real hidden gems or hidden turds out there.

And yet somehow, I found a new Netflix original film that wasn’t very advertised and one they are probably just trying to make and hide. A hidden title, still with their Netflix original sticker on it. Not only that, but the title is Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie. It has Netflix in the fucking title? What’s up with that? That’s weird.

This movie has so little information about it that I couldn’t even find out why they went that route. Is it just a double form of advertising? Does it take place INSIDE the Netflix head quarters? I DON’T KNOW.

But I need to know, and now, I am watching a movie not many people have noticed to exist yet. Hooray!

The fireworks are a metaphor.

Gene Handsome (Jeff Garlin) is a detective, getting old, maybe he will retire, maybe not. But he is lonely. He lives alone on his street, with one of his neighbors (Eddie Pepitone) being a PI with a younger accordion playing wife (Leah Remini) and they are eccentric. But he has new neighbors! And on the way over to introduce them and give them cookies, he finds Heather (Hailee Keanna Lautenbach), the baby sitter instead and she doesn’t trust him. That’s fair.

But then the next day, Heather is found dead and cut up on a famous actor’s lawn. Talbert Bacorn (Steven Weber) has no idea who this lady is or why his lawn, but Handsome and his partner, Fleur Scozzari (Natasha Lyonne) are on the case! With almost nothing to base it off of.

Thankfully, he can now meet his new neighbor (Christine Woods) and her daughter (Ava Acres) under a weird set of circumstances. Maybe it can lead to a less lonely life. Oh sorry, that is creepy, given the circumstances.

Also featuring Timm Sharp, William Stanford Davis, and Joe Kenda.

That bathrobe is also a metaphor.

Handsome is a hard movie to categorize. It isn’t laugh out loud funny, it is more just peculiar. My wife described it as quirky. I would also describe it as overexagerrated while also somehow down to earth.

There isn’t necessarily anything in this film that feels unreasonable. All of the plot details are fine. It is just that everyone is a bit odd, a bit out there, I don’t know if there is a single “straight character” in the movie. All of the characters seem to have their own stories and inspirations and this is just us caught up right in the middle of it.

In fact, this movie sort of feels like a pilot episode. Maybe that is why Netflix is in the title? This was a test run of a television show, or a many episodic movie series that are really easy to make and produce.

And if so, it is going to be something that someone can put on an enjoy and half pay attention to, like a lot of mystery/crime television shows. This is not a movie that you would rush out and recommend to your friends, but there is nothing inherently awful about it. It is just safe. A safe and easy movie.

Good on Garlin, who decided to write, direct, and star in this movie. A passion project for him and one that didn’t crash and burn.

2 out of 4.

Girlfriend’s Day

Girlfriend’s Day is a movie that came out of nowhere and just popped up on Netflix. That isn’t true. I saw at least one note for one pre-screening the day before it was released.

It came out right on Valentine’s Day, because why not talk about a made up holiday on a similar holiday.

Hey, this intro is hard. I will admit the only reason I went and saw it because it had a run time of like, 65 minutes, meaning it was easy to fit in between other films.

And I was able to type this review real quick. No effort even.

Ray Wentworth (Bob Odenkirk) used to be the best. The best at what? Writing greeting card messages. He won some awards a few years in a row. But that was years ago. Now his ideas are misses and he lost his groove.

Yes, he used to be married, so he could write the most beautiful cards all to his wife, and people loved it. But once his marriage ended, his writing became a sham, and now he is fired.

Which is a blessing, and a curse. Because California has decided to introduce a new holiday: Girlfriend’s Day. And to celebrate the event, they are giving away a large cash prize to the person who can create and submit the best Girlfriend’s Day card. People currently employed in the Greeting Card industry are ineligible.

So now Ray can work on his ultimate card. To get him in the game again. To bring him to the top. To get that sweet money. But it turns out this has brought out a lot of crazies and thugs, who all want that money without doing the work, getting Ray in the middle of several stories and threats against his life.

Also starring Stacy Keach, Amber Tamblyn, Alex Karpovsky, Kevin O’Grady, Rich Sommer, Larry Fessenden, Natasha Lyonne, June Diane Raphael, and Andy Richter.

Oh look, a potential girlfriend!

There is only one good thing about Girlfriend’s Day. Its run time.

Being barely over an hour, I didn’t have to waste too much of my life watching it.

The filmmakers tried to do a big elaborate film with side characters all building up to one big event. Like a Cohen brothers flick basically. But it felt rushed, it felt lame, and it definitely did not feel funny.

Yes, another comedy movie without the comedy. A few smirks at most, but Odenkirk is basically supposed to carry this movie on his own charm. But he is nor Saul Goodman in this movie, he is barely charismatic and it just feels like a mistake.

Definitely an easy movie to pass and one that would be enjoyed by very few.

1 out of 4.

Yoga Hosers

Ohhhhhhhh Kevin Smith. A man who has embraced the Cartman Whatever, I Do What I Want mentality that so many kids eventually grow into and hopefully out of.

I like Kevin Smith, I do, but almost every time I see his name in the news I cringe. It is generally a rant about something in pop culture and an article is made about that. Kevin Smith doesn’t know everything about everything, as a fan and a person, I understand that. So I’d rather just see articles about upcoming films and work and casting like a normal director.

His films are getting weirder and more specific. They used to speak for a generation and now, backed up by his own words, they kind of just speak for him. He wants to make films for him and him only, the critics be damned. Except I really liked Tusk. I was very worried about Yoga Hosers, given a trailer I saw, but damn did I like Tusk.

I don’t care what he does with his free time (and I acknowledge his films have gotten weaker since he discovered marijuana). I just eventually want to see Hit Somebody, Clerks 3, and MallBrats, damn it.

I did not ask for Smith dressed up as a German sausage, but I can see where he got confused.

Set a year or so after the events of Tusk, we return to our small town and our clerk employees who are now sort of famous. That’s right, because Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) and Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) helped lead the authorities to finding the missing American turned Walrus, they were in the paper once and their lives are just as uneventful.

Like, you know? They are just sophomores in high school, working a crummy job that Colleen C’s Dad (Tony Hale) got them. And his new girlfriend (Natasha Lyonne) is now their manager, ew yuck. They just care about their instagrams, their yoga (with a private instructor played by Justin Long), their band, and cute guys.

You know like Hunter Calloway (Austin Butler), a senior! And he has invited the Colleen’s to a senior party on a night they are not supposed to work, omg! As long as life doesn’t throw a hockey stick in their plans at least.

The Colleens just want to be normal girls, doing normal things. But un-normal Nazi related things are brewing in their neighborhood and it might just be up to them and their yoga to put a stop to it.

Also starring Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, of course, Adam Brody as a creepy drummer, Harley Morenstein as toilet paper man, Tyler Posey as annoying senior guy, Jason Mewes, Ralph Garman, Haley Joel Osment, and Johnny Depp returning as Guy Lapointe.

They weren’t even supposed to be here today.

When I say critics be damned, I really mean that. Smith refused to screen this film for critics. No pre-screeners for the press, no press copies online or in the mail, nothing. Just people who wanted to give him some money. And there is a reason behind that besides the obvious. At two points in the film, including a major part of the climax, are anti-critic. They go decently hard into and its the reason for the bad events in the film.

And, I dunno, am I supposed to care? This isn’t the first time there have been jokes about something that has represented me in a film. If a film makes fun of men, or white people, or nerds, or teachers, or geologists, I don’t rail against it and call it trash. If it is done in a funny way, I will find it funny, laugh and move on.

They were done in okay ways, but given the director’s actual statements, it makes it just come out as childish.

Related, the film is entirely childish. It doesn’t mean there aren’t amusing parts. Oh no, I laughed at a few. And I laughed at some small bit parts just for a quick joke. But the film is also all over the place. The trailer that turned me off so long ago? It was one part of the movie and that part took a long time to get to. The ending included a cool creation, but its demise wasn’t worth the time invested to get there.

But you know what? Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe is still one of my favorite things ever. I will watch 10 more of these Canadian Smith films just to go on his adventures. Lapointe is Depp’s best work in years and that is why Yoga Hosers is worth a watch. Too bad it is out of all theaters by the time this review comes out.

2 out of 4.

Hello, My Name Is Doris

Hello, My Name Is Doris first premiered at the Austin, TX SXSW festival in 2015. And it took a whole damn year to come out. Literally, the 2016 SXSW is closing as this film is starting to get its nationwide release.

Some film companies really like to take their time I guess.

I didn’t know a whole lot about the movie going into it. I just knew it had Sally Field, who has barely been in anything lately. Outside of a TV show, she had three recent movies, a couple Spider-Man films and Lincoln. Her last movie before that was all the way in 2006. I have to assume she is getting close to retirement, or she doesn’t need the money and only wants to work on things that look interesting to her. Not Spider-Man though, because she apparently only did it for a friend and didn’t for the films that much.

But hey, at least she isn’t going the Robert De Niro route and starring in every shit film known to man.

Love can do strange things to a little girl.

Doris Miller (Sally Field) is in her mid-60’s and she has just lost her mom. She has lived with her mom her whole life in the same house on Staten Island. It is a bit inconvenient, as she has to take a ferry to work because of it. According to her brother (Stephen Root) and his wife (Wendi McLendon-Covey), their mom was a hoarder and it makes Doris a hoarder too. They also want her to move out of the house, the one she has lived at for over 60 years taking care of their sick mother on her own, so that the junk and house can be sold. She can get a cheaper smaller place in the city and not have a huge commute to work! Well fuck that.

Speaking of work, she is an accountant/data processor type person, in a fresh hip magazine company thanks to some mergers and acquisitions. On the stuffed elevator, she meets John (Max Greenfield), a friendly person who happens to be squished up against her, and sure enough he is a new art director in their company! And he is so dreamy. She starts to day dream about him, despite the serious age difference. She wants him.

And after meeting a self help guru (Peter Gallagher), with her best friends Roz (Tyne Daly) and Val (Caroline Aaron), she decides that anything is possible and she should work for it. She deserves love after all this time, and she deserves John.

Smaller roles are played by Natasha Lyonne, Beth Behrs, Isabella Acres, Kumail Nanjiani, Rebecca Wisocky, Don Stark, Rich Sommer, and Elizabeth Reaser.

He is so god damn charming in this movie. The opposite of his New Girl character.

Squeee, what a cute and cringey movie. Doris is the best character Sally Field has played in YEARS, and no just because she has barely had any roles over the last decade. It has been so long that I have forgotten that Field has won Best Actress twice in her life (in the 70’s and 80’s) and just now associate her as a once great actress who shows up every now and again. But she wasn’t just a great actress in the past, she is still a great actress now. Doris is an amazing character and she is brought to life by Field in an almost magical way. Her performance was funny and sad at the same time. Not super realistic for the most part, but the situations she was in and how they were handled were realistic. It would be impossible for a viewer to not join her on the roller coaster of emotions and feel the way she feels.

Hell, the film even did a good job at subtly letting the viewer really see how hoarding takes place. She says at one point that every item has emotional value and a story, but we are allowed to see that play out naturally with just a single broken pencil. One woman’s junk is another woman’s purpose.

The supporting cast was also noteworthy. Greenfield showed that he can play non-douchey roles and can be a multi dimensional character. But even more of a stand out was Daly as Doris’ best friend. She was about as unique as Doris with her own weird quirks, but together they made an incredibly believable performance of two women who have been best friends for over half a century. You could tell they both cared about each other and it was an exciting side arc to see along side the main story.

Field was great in this film. She deserves an acting nomination most definitely, despite coming out so far away from the awards ceremonies. You will laugh, you will almost cry, and you will cringe from all of her mistakes.

4 out of 4.

Sleeping With Other People

It took me so long to watch Sleeping With Other People, because I made a lot of assumptions based on the title.

I assumed it was about two people in a relationship who were going through a tough time. Their sex drives were low but their love was high and that was making them frustrated. So they agreed to let themselves sleep with other people. Just to spice things up.

I didn’t feel like seeing it, because I already saw that movie in The Freebie. And hell, I also saw Hall Pass which was similar enough and shares a main actor.

But I was wrong, and the assumption made us all assholes. Or something like that.

Shit, here they are sleeping with each other. What the fuck movie title?

Let’s start out in 2002 or so. I forget the year. Early new millennium! Lainey (Alison Brie) is banging on a dorm room door, trying to get some sex with some loser. Before she gets kicked out, Jake (Jason Sudeikis) says she is here as his guest, so they hang out and talk about her issues. And they have sex, both of them being virgins after a long night of getting to know each other.

Then you know, they lost touch over time. Now it is modern day. Jake is addicted to sex, full on. He has sex a lot, is known as a player, and has even gotten around to his job. He is trying to sleep with his new boss (Amanda Peet).

Lainey is addicted to…love! She breaks up with her boyfriend whom she has been cheating on with constantly. With Matthew (Adam Scott), a gynecologist, the guy who she tried to sleep with in college so long ago. Except he has a pregnant wife, but she can’t get over him.

Either way, Lainey and Jake eventually meet up and go on a small date. They both open up with their relationship problems and agree that sleeping with each other would be a bad thing. They should remain just friends, avoid sexy talk if possible, and just help each other with their issues.

But you know, this is romance thing. That’s all I will say.

Also starring Anna Margaret Hollyman, Jason Mantzoukas, Natasha Lyonne, and Andrea Savage.

Taking off shirts at a kids birthday party is one way to avoid sexy time.

Sleeping With Other People is one of those strange movies that doesn’t even show some sexy times occurring. I am not clamoring for penetration in film or anything ridiculous, just that the sex they show looks very unnatural, with the characters wearing all their clothes still and usually just collapsing at the end. Yes, this happens all the time now it seems, especially with the PG-13 Rating. But this movie is rated R. Let’s use the old internet sexist phrase, “Tits or GTFO.”

Sorry to be crass. But just an annoyance and a strange step away from realism that has been growing.

There are amusing moments in Sleeping With Other People, but I think the downfall of the film is in its dramatic moments. They tended to feel a bit more nonsensical than the comedic ones, which is normally opposite. I could never fully connect with either character, who both were living lies for months. They needed Mike Tyson to just walk up to them and say “Now Kith” to get it over with.

This analysis is dull, because the movie is just so damn average. It is a mediocre plot, with average acting, an occasional funny moment, and many without. Watch it if you like the actors, ignore it otherwise.

2 out of 4.