The Only Living Boy in New York

First of all, you are welcome, because I almost started this review with a Rihanna reference, so I saved you from this joke.

Secondly, this movie came out months ago. And after my screening, on August 22, I totally forgot I had seen it. It was a replacement screening that night, I meant to see Good Time but it got moved around. And later that week, we had a hurricane hit my city, which put my site into a flux for awhile, with some reviews taking forever to get published.

As of 2-3 weeks ago, I thought I had finally already caught up with all the missed reviews, but holy crap, I missed this one. So sure, I am writing it over three months after watching it. And I have fallen asleep while setting up this review. What I am getting at is that I definitely did not enjoy this film, and the whole experience behind just getting it on this website has been a trainwreck.

Friend
Kind of like falling in love with a friend for five years. A bad idea that only sometimes works in movies.

Thomas Webb (Callum Turner) is a boy, living in New York, and he is trying to make it on his own as a writer. Well, maybe writing, maybe something else. But he is going to do it on his own, not with the help of his rich parents. His dad (Pierce Brosnan) is a straight up publisher, his mom (Cynthia Nixon) mostly just stay at home depressed at this point.

Webb is secretly in love with his book loving friend (Kiersey Clemons), but she has a boyfriend. He also lives in a tiny crummy apartment, where he gets a new neighbor (Jeff Bridges) who is extremely nosy and a bit of a drunk. Who the hell talks to their neighbors? He reluctantly talks to the stranger, because hey, why not, he has someone new to vent to and talk about his problems with.

A some point, change actually starts to happen in his life. He finds out his dad is having an affair, with a coworker. A younger woman (Kate Beckinsale). Time to get all obsessed and stalkery without having a plan on what to do with this new information, Thomas!

Also starring Tate Donovan and Wallace Shawn.

Hot step mom
Maybe if he pushes her she will realize she is being a total butthole.

It is really hard to put into words just why The Only Living Boy in New York is so bad. Partially, I am sure, thanks to writing a review months after watching the movie.

Let’s start with the actors. The lead we are given is an incredibly whiny and privileged boy, and for him to feel like he is the center of the world (With another character encouraging this thought process) is incredibly unexciting. Your main character doesn’t have to be likable in order for a film to be good, but to watch a rich white 20 something complain so much, despite having everything given to him on a platter is exhausting and a bit painful. Bridges and Brosnan give very little to this film and mostly feel like phoned in performances. Beckinsale is the only main performer who feels like she gives a damn about a good performance, but the plot and story make her character behave completely erratically so it is hard to tell.

Story wise it is also poor. Main character complains, tries to use the friend zone, s someone, and then changes a lot of people’s lives seemingly accidentally. I am not sure how much he learns by the end of it, in terms of actual character growth. The side characters are bland, are not believable, and technically, nor is the lead. It is just like watching rich paint dry.

The Only Living Boy in New York is a film that is not as good as it thinks it is. Sure, it is not as delusional as something like The Room, as there are actually well done locations, camera work, and editing. But this is still an inexcusable mess of a story that no one should have to put up with at this point in time from professionals.

0 out of 4.

No Escape

Owen Wilson. Action Thriller. Owen Wilson. Action Thriller.

No matter how many times I say it, I cannot picture this man seriously in an action thriller. My mind cannot wrap itself around that concept. It just doesn’t make sense.

Owen Wilson and comedy? Sure, that is pretty standard. Owen Wilson and slightly dramatic/romantic roles? He has been making those now, especially with Woody Allen. Owen Wilson and action comedy? Yeah, he did Shanghai Noon!

But I feel like I can’t ever take just his face seriously. I can’t imagine him running from people trying to kill him and it not be an amusing situation. I can’t imagine him trying to protect loved ones in a real life or death situation.

So, honestly, I am expecting No Escape to be a satire of some sort. Or a secret parody of the action thriller genre. That is the only way I can go through my day without breaking down, knowing that this movie is coming out.

Nooo
He never listened, but eventually his face really did freeze in place like that.

Economy is tough, so sometimes even the most qualified of people can find themselves with a family to support but no job. That is why Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) is taking his wife, Annie (Lake Bell), and two daughters (Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare) to Asia. Where in Asia? Eh, South East Asia. Not important.

They meet Hammond (Pierce Brosnan), who is Australian, or British. Basically someone who speaks English from not-America. He offers them a ride to the hotel and is just a fun guy, if not too inappropriate for their family.

Well, things don’t work well in the hotel. TV is out. Phone is out. No cell phone signal. Shit.

Even worse, the next day in the streets, Jack overcomes an apparent riot in the streets. A bunch of people going to war against the police. That is extremely inconvenient. He is supposed to start his job today, but this large group of people with bats, machetes, and guns are running around killing white people.

Gosh, this really isn’t a good move for their family.

Also starring Sahajak Boonthanakit as Kenny Rogers!

Push
“It won’t be scary if you just assume you are getting pushed violently into a pool 80 feet below.”

See, now I know why this movie can make sense. It isn’t an action thriller at all. No, it is also not a strange satire. It is a straight up horror film. First scene, very stylized, shows the political assassination happening. Then there is a nice dull bore of the family flying over and getting settled. But once the riots start, my heart never stops racing. The music, the violence, everything was just so terrifying. Maybe more so because I too am white and I too have a family to protect.

It makes sense for it to have such a strong horror action feel. The director is John Erick Dowdle who has also directed Quarantine, Devil, and As Above, So Below. Say what you will about the quality of those films. They are all definitely horror. It was completely unexpected to find myself that scared throughout the film, but it happened and it was extremely effective.

A weird thing about this film is the awkward lengths it went to avoid saying where the hell they were. Any time they attempted to get close, it was always just vague “Asia” instead of a country name. It was annoying and took me out of the film every time they were purposefully vague. It was filmed in Thailand, but eventually we find out that the country is attached to Vietnam (which Thailand is not). That leaves Cambodia or Laos. They apparently tried to make it a made up country, but then used upside-down Cambodian language on text (which they did not like), so Cambodia it is!

Back to the film. Wilson plays an every man type of role who is just doing whatever he can to protect his family. He is extremely relatable in this film. He is able to appropriately pull off the “constant freaking out, while also trying to calm down his kids” speech down. Yes, it is still full of his unique (bad?) whisper calmness, but it seems right.

Bell doesn’t play just a typical screaming mother role. She takes an active part in their escape, putting herself in danger several times, including a quite graphic scene. And Brosnan wasn’t on screen a lot, but he was smooth as fuck and a strange pseudo-hero.

Honestly, this film has some issues. Some strange character decisions, one scene of very shit CGI, some boredom in the beginning, and the awkward country-evasion part. But when it gets going, it never stops and it did what it set off to do really well.

I expected I would hate No Escape but it really felt like I too was in the middle of a country uprising and on the run. It was refreshing to have the USA/UK kind of be the bad guy, while also not getting too preachy about the subject. And shit. It was scary.

3 out of 4.

The November Man

Whoa, when did the first half of September turn into shit? Not making biases or anything, but there are not a lot of releases for Labor day weekend or the week after it. We don’t see big titles until mid September. What is this? January? Because even January has big titles, they are just usually big shitty titles. This is just…just nothing coming out for a couple weeks.

The November Man is the only real big release coming out for Labor Day Weekend, which makes it like an anti-Memorial Day weekend. There is a horror, but that is a lot more limited and didn’t really have a lot of advertising.

So, like it or not, The November Man, coming out in September, becomes the biggest release. Even if it looks like an awkward shitty spy thriller that might have gone straight to DVD, it gets to be the big draw to the theaters. Boooo. Booooo.

Jump
Full of generic action scene cliches, if we are lucky.

The November Man. Why is Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) called that? Well, according to the trailer, the CIA used to call him that because after he came through, nothing lived. Fuck. That has got to be the worst/cringe inducing reasoning for a nickname that I have ever heard. Seriously. Nicknames are organic things that are kind of on the spot based on a small reference. Does the nickname make sense? Sure. Can a normal person organically come up with that without a lot of thought? Fuck no. Even after describing that to someone, they might not get it right away.

So Devereaux used to be in the CIA and was, I guess, a killing machine. A few years ago, while training a young operative Mason (Luke Bracey), a kid got killed during an operation, and Deveraux decided to call it quits. He just wanted to retire in Switzerland, like any sane person.

But now, present day? His old handler, Hanley (Bill Smitrovich), has called him back in. They have to extract a woman out of Russia. This woman has information on Arkady Federov (Lazar Ristovski) who is primed to be the next president of Russia. This information she has is a game changer. And she asked for Devereaux by name.

Factor in a Belgium social worker (Olga Kurylenko), some other CIA people (Caterina Scorsone, Will Patton), a reporter (Patrick Kennedy) and a Russian assassin (Amila Terzimehic), and you got yourself a political action thriller.

Grimace
“Okay Pierce, can you give us a grimace?”
“Can I?!!?”

I will be the first to admit that I didn’t hate all of the the movie. Despite the beginning of the films best efforts to make it look like a shitty Luc Besson movie, eventually the movie started to make some amount of sense. A little bit. It definitely has its shares of twists and turns, if you are into that sort of thing. And I guess, for the most part, they make sense.

That is a stretch. This film has a lot of plot holes. When there are too many twists, early character actions don’t always make a lot of sense. We can chalk it up to deception, but…people aren’t that smart.

Follow up to that. The main character is not a hero in anyway. He kills a lot of people. A lot of US citizens in the CIA, who aren’t bad guys at all, but don’t know what is going on and are just following orders. He feels no remorse either, just killing everybody on every side. It is terrible. Speaking of killing, the ending series of events was also bad because he could have killed one of the main legit bad guys and didn’t. It would have solved his problems and not put the people he cares about in harms way.

Just a mess of a movie. It had some interesting parts. But a cringey title, bad hero, and bad decisions for smart characters turn me completely off.

1 out of 4.

Remember Me

Remember Me?

What have YOU done lately for me to remember, huh? Okay, one of you I guess was in Lost awhile ago. Went all crazy, had a baby. Then had some small pointless role in Once Upon A Time. So I can only really remember you from TV shows.

The other one? Well, you were just in Cosmopolis, and who knows what happened in that movie. You also gave Water To Elephants and kind of went passive Vampire for five movies.

Seriously. Not much to remember.

Cedric
Oh wait. No. I will always remember you, Cedric Diggory.

The movie begins in 1991. A little girl, and her mom, waiting for a train in NYC. Muggers. Mom gets shot. Daughter is sad. Her dad was on the job, and could not save them.

FLASHFORWARD TEN YEARS LATER.

Ally Craig (Emilie de Ravin) is still living with her dad, Neil (Chris Cooper), who has been a NYC cop this whole time. There is some guilt there, I bet.

Meanwhile, at a different part of town, Tyler (Robert Pattinson) has moved out of his parents home. His parents are divorced. His dad, Charles (Pierce Brosnan), works in some really big building/workplace in NYC, is super rich, but has no time for his family. That is why he and the mom (Ruby Jerins, who really isn’t in this movie much), got divorced. Also, because one of their sons ended up killing themselves. Eek. Now Charles is ignoring his youngest child, a daughter, and it really pisses off Tyler.

Two attractive people in broken homes in 2001. Of course they meet each other. Well, only because Tyler gets arrested by Neil, over a silly dispute. Tyler and his friend hate Neil now, so the friend finds out he has a daughter. So Tyler should totally go out with her, sex her up, and break her heart. That will show that lame cop. Yeah. Yeah.

But love, though. Love.

Couple
See? Love.

I reviewed this movie on purpose today, and I think I left enough hints. So if you missed them, you probably were skim reading and not paying attention to details. Probably not even a scientist! Either way, by now, you might realize something that happens in this film.

In fact, that something is basically the ending. Like a secret twist, that they were hinting at throughout.

Overall? I thought it was kind of lame, the ending. The event happens, they decide to not show any of it, and then we flash forward a year or so, to watch how all of the characters lives have changed in the meantime. It felt almost like a copout to me. I wanted more, damn it.

The rest of the film before hand I didn’t think was that bad. Sure, I didn’t feel too sorry for either characters situation. Neither actor really fit the role they were given, in my mind, so it was hard to believe.

But I did like the acting. Actually, I thought Robert Pattinson did incredible in this movie. Better acting from him than any other movie I have seen him in, and I have now seen NINE of them. Nine fucking movies with Robert Pattinson, holy shit. This is his top one. I think he had top notch emotions and really felt his anger over his father and family, despite not believing his role on its own.

Yeah, I don’t get it either. So unfortunately, despite his great acting, I probably will not remember him for this movie, because his other roles are just too gosh darn famous. But I’d say overall, it is okay on its own, if not a little bit slow. Sorry for ruining the ending. But not really.

2 out of 4.

The World’s End

Not a lot of people know that The World’s End is actually the last movie in a trilogy. Yes, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are the first two films, all three of which are directed by Edgar Wright and star the same two people.

These three films make up the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, which I would explain more, but it is British and thus inherently confusing.

Beer
It’s beer! Hooray beer!

In the town of Newton Haven, there exists a challenge. There are twelve pubs, and those who attempt this “golden mile” must travel to each pub and drink an entire pint before the night is through. That is a lot of alcohol and few have ever made it. Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his four friends attempted it on the last day of high school to celebrate their accomplishment. Unfortunately, he only made it to nine pubs, and has regretted it for the the rest of his life.

Now, twenty some years later, Gary King is exactly the same as he was in high school. Due to his regret, and living apart from his friends, he has decided to get the band back together to try again. Sure, he might have to lie to get them all to come, but at least his heart is in the right place. Kind of. His friends Steven (Paddy Considine), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), and Andy (Nick Frost) are now all adults with families, lives, and responsibilities, so they are reluctant when they see he is still so childish.

Their pub crawl becomes even more difficult when there is so much unspoken drama between the group of friends. Thankfully, alcohol makes speaking your mind a bit easier. The group also find that Newton Haven is not the same quaint town they left decades ago. It has changed, and not just in the metaphorical sense. Most of the residents are some sort of alien robot hybrid now. But that isn’t the important issue. The important issue is getting Gary to stop living in the past and finally move on!

Rosamund Pike plays Oliver’s sister and Pierce Brosnan a former high school teacher and mentor to our heroes.

Rawr
I’ve experienced emotions like this before. Once. Let’s just say, it didn’t end up with blue paint everywhere.

I guess I should start out by saying that I don’t think The World’s End is as good as the previous two films (and thus my rating!). Something seems inherently different. Maybe they were too aware of what they were doing at this point in the trilogy. Not sure, but something just feels missing.

Simon Pegg is playing a character unlike anything I have seen before from him. He was incredible in it. His character was so spastic, impulsive, and such a fast talker. Out of anything, I was most impressed with his acting in this film. Major props to Pegg.

It should go without saying that the chemistry between the group of actors was also high up there. A lot of these men have been working together and real life friends for so long, it is just completely natural.

The film itself was humorous but I don’t think it was “laugh out loud” funny for the most part. You know when a joke happens and you exhale a bit harder because of it to show your appreciation? Yeah, I did that a lot.

The story also seems to run away at times. By the end, I was just waiting for them to get to the last pub, so the film would find some sort of conclusion. I also found myself not caring about the alien/robot threat, which is a main point of the movie. The glowing eyes were kind of neat/scary but by the end they were totally uninteresting.

Fans of the other two films will most likely enjoy this new addition. Someone new to the series is unlikely to get some of the “in jokes” that run rampant throughout, however. Whether this film will be as successful as the other two in a few years is yet to be determined.

 

2 out of 4.

The Ghost Writer

What’s this? The Ghost Writer is actually based off of a book called The Ghost by Robert Harris, some British dude?

What is more surprising is that I actually knew about the book before the movie, and own the book. Me! Reading! Hah!

Only reason I have the book is because the author currently has 2/3 of a fictional trilogy of Cicero going on and it kicked ass. So I bought more of his books. Tried to read a different one and kept getting bored. Whoops. Political stuff and I don’t get along too well.

Books
To books! They are the future.

Ewan McGregor is hired to finish the memoirs of Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) a fake former prime minister of Britain. His character name gets to be The Ghost! Because he is a ghost writer. It is supposed to be an Autobiography but, you know, it will be mostly be someone else writing it from his notes. This is going to be a sure hit, and lots of money.

Especially since Adam Lang might be prosecuted for war crimes, by illegally detaining possible terrorists and giving them to the CIA for torturing. Yikes. A lot of people don’t like that.

It should also be noted that Ewan is the second Ghost writer brought in because the last one who was doing it drowned. Which kind of sucks. This involves getting to stay in their resort house, all gated and protected, with the assistant Kim Cattrall, and Lang’s wife, Olivia Williams, to make sure he doen’t do too much bad stuff. But Ewan begins to find weird clues, including a phone number that calls the man who is bringing charges against Lang! Ewan also checks the GPS of the former writers car, and decide to visit the last place he visited. Huh, its a Pulitzer prize winner who has been dealing with the CIA since the 70s (Tom Wilkinson).

Is it possible that the former prime minister might have been a CIA agent this whole time?

PM
He might be! Depends on how charismatic he is.

From what I can tell, this was a well directed and acted political thriller.

Unfortunately, I are dumb with politics, as I already mentioned. I knew this was also a fictional jab at Tony Blair and his friendliness with the US, and that maybe people are mad at him.

But I don’t know. I don’t know anything about Tony Blair or what the UK did during 9/11 and Iraq/Afghanistan wars. Seriously. So I’d say that if you know about all this stuff, this might be a better movie for you. If you don’t know a damn thing, it might be confusing.

I read a plot outline on wikipedia as I watched to make sure I was not missing thing as it was happening (which I was). Just general things I didn’t understand and made the film more confusing to me. Sometimes a guy just needs things spelled out. Hah.

After reading what I had just watched, turn out it was kind of interesting. But because of just being about things I have no knowledge in, it made the film just a movie.

2 out of 4.

I Don’t Know How She Does It

There is a very specific narrator voice, for trailers, that is very annoying. I want you to read the next part of the review in that voice.

SJP

Sarah Jessica Parker is a hard working mother! She has a job that requires her to spend a lot of her time, on a moments notice, going other places! Why? Presentations! The most adult-like job that exists in the movies! But she also has two children, and her husband, Greg Kinnear, is about to have a big project at well as work. But if she has to go to NYC to get seduced by Pierce Brosnan, how will she be able to manage her motherly duties and her career? Herp a derp, and also a derp a teedle dum.

This zany comedy also stars Christina Hendricks, Seth Meyers, Olivia Munn, and more of your favorite stars! So derp on over and watch and see as her friends raise up their hands and exclaim, “I Don’t Know HOW She Does It?!” Derp!

(Here is an extreme example.)

That is pretty much how I felt watching this movie. I don’t even care to see if it was based on a book or not, but man, was it not good. Skip, skip, skip to your loo right past this movie.

1 out of 4.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Whew! Thats a long title. So from now on, it will be PJOTLT. Just rolls right off the tongue. This movie is I guess based off of some book series as well. Not to mention greek mythology (no way!). When I saw this preview a year and a half ago, I thought it was a joke. What is this crap? Well, after viewing it….I liked it. It was a very interesting movie.

A friend of mine says compared to the source is no where close. Oh well, fuck the source material. I only care if it is super wrong, and I was just told it left parts out. Movies aren’t books.

Book Burning
Picture taken just after some people read the previous lines.

A lot happens in the movie, and its very close to two hours in length. The visuals are pretty, and there is a lot of action. Are there things I’d like to change? Heck yeah. Afterall, I am a damn ancient history major as well as a geologist. I know me some greek mythos (as it is real history).

I don’t like how they like to show the Underworld/Hades as Hell/Satan. That bugged me, in terms just Americanizing greek mythos. Some may say that me not caring that these movies being different from the books, but caring that it doesn’t fit in with greek mythology is hypocritical. I say it is wayyy different. It’d be like calling a person a Christian in a movie, and noting that they plan on going to Las Vegas once they die. Just different stuff.

Seeing Brandon T. Jackson as a Satyr was cool. Pierce Brosnan as a centaur was awesome. Logan Lerman was also in 3:10 to Yuma (the new one, obviously), and carried the movie well as the lead Percy Jackson. A lot of cheesiness was in this movie, but it is to be expected with its rating. Having the story be about the son of Poseidon, and not Zeus, was a refreshing change.

Satyr Grover Brandon T Jackson
I couldn’t find a good picture, but you can kinda see his crazy legs.

All I am saying is I might be watching the next one of these in theaters. If someone had told me it had Brandon T. Jackson as a Satyr, I would have seen this movie immediately. So there you go.

3 out of 4.