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.

Speed Racer

Hooray! Another fifty reviews later, I am ready to introduce my next Milstone Review: number 1150 for my website!

Holy crap. If I thought 1050 was a shitty milestone, 1150 has to be way worse. But hey, fun reviews are fun.

Today I decided to look at Speed Racer, which I didn’t see when it came out six years ago due to all the hate I heard about it. I didn’t have the means or willpower to watch every movie six years ago, so I let the internet decide for me.

I also never really watched the Speed Racer cartoon growing up. I knew of the references, and by golly, I knew how to make fun of the anime style when it came up in conversations, but that is all I had going for me. So in a way, this is probably good, as I won’t have anything to compare it to.

I really only know one thing about the movie: COLOR!

Speed 1
This is the level of celebration I demand for hitting milestone 1150.

America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed.

So it is pretty obvious that Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) would grow up wanting to race. Also because of his name. Also because of the family business. The dad Pops (John Goodman) runs a small auto shop to make race cars, and his older brother, Rex Racer (Scott Porter) is a professional racer!

He also has a mom (Susan Sarandon) and a younger brother Spritle (Paulie Litt) and the Chim Chim the monkey.

speed2
This is a clear example where nurture trumps nature.

The unfortunate thing is that Rex decided to leave home and join another company and not support his family anymore. And soon after, despite being one of the best, he started being a really dirty player, causing other players to get pushed off the tracks and maybe even…cheating! But then he died in a crash before charges could be pushed on him, bringing dishonor to the racer family.

Well, speed? Speed wants to win that honor. And boy howdy, can he fly. He almost beats his brother’s record on a local track, but holds off at the end to honor his brother. He knows he wasn’t a cheater. Now he is getting job offers, but he knows he wants to stay with his family and race on his own terms.

speed3
Where will you be when the Speed [Racer] kicks in?

Enter Mr. Royalton (Roger Allam)! Owner of a super large mega corporation, he has more money than there exists more or less, and he also likes to sponsor racers. His ideas are simple. Keep what works working, team chemistry, pit crews, whatever. He just wants to help out, help train and give lots of money.

Well, it turns out that Speed, after thinking about it, would rather stay with his family. He doesn’t want to hurt them like they were hurt before. He wants to do it the right way. On his own, with his Pops.

Mr. Royalton doesn’t like being turned down. Not by some punk asshat with the last name of Racer. The racing leagues in this world have been controlled by corporate interests for many decades now. Every race is fixed. Every race. Even that one. And that one. Speed doesn’t believe it, won’t believe it. Royalton tells Speed he will have his car crashed on the next race, and family sued for infringement. False claims, but bad news travels fast, so his families business will be in ruins.

Speed4
They might have to eat the fatty with the monkey to get by.

Well shit, what is a Speed to do? Try to take down the mega-corporations? Sure!

Inspector Detector (Benno Furmann), head of the corporate crimes division. Racer Taejo Togokahn (Rain) has evidence to bring down Royalton, but needs help racing in a team event soon. He has enlisted the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox) also unassigned, and they need a third. If they can help them win, they can get out of Royalton’s hold and he’d help put a stop to the shenanigans.

Speed decides to not tell his family about it either. Just his girlfriend, Trixie (Christina Ricci), so she can be the entire pit crew and help them out with helicopter support.

Speed5
Yeah. That’s the reason to bring her. Sure.

The multi nation race takes several days, so of course his family finds out and shows up for support. Which is great, because people are now getting sent to literally just kill him off the tracks, in his hotel room, elsewhere, they just want him dead. But now Speed has people to protect him! Hell, even Sparky (Kick Gurry) is there, the main pit crew guy who works for his dad, and the guy that has taken me this long to find a place to casually fit his mention in this review.

Needless to say, the good guys don’t get stabbed or shot, and the three win the race! Now they can take down the Royalton Corp!

Hah, just fucking kidding you there too. Taejo was just playing them too. Now that his corp won this big race, their stock is super high, and that is all they cared about. They didn’t have illegal information on Royalton. Suck it, Speed and X!

This of course pisses Speed off and he even takes it out on X who he thinks is his brother in disguise. Nope, just that guy from Lost. Shit.

Speed 6
“We’ve got to go back!…to the finish line! Because that’s how races work!”

Thankfully not everyone in the Togokahn family/corporation is a complete dick. Taejo’s sister Horuko (Nan Yu) steals the invitation to the Grand Prix from her brother and gives it to Speed. With it, can still enter the best of the best races. If he takes first, he will ruin Royalton financially and prove that they can beat the system where racing is supposedly fixed. It would be sweet if they could also some how prove that Royalton cheats. But let’s not get too crazy.

Somehow his family is able to make a new car from scratch in about 32 hours before the race, and Speed is then able to go and drive! Yay!

Well, lot of people come at him, he avoids a lot of them. Royalton cheats, he is able to break free from the cheat and also expose the cheat to the public at the same time.

Speed wins the race, and everyone goes home happy or to jail sad. Wooo, EAT IT CORPORATIONS!

Speed 7
But between all that plot was about five minutes straight of color and color on color.

Did Speed Racer GoGoGo? Maybe, in a way.

The CGI style was very hectic and it everything was constantly changing or talking. Characters flying across the screen, many transistions, and many many colors.

I am glad I watched it in Blu-Ray, but I wish there was a good 3D component as well to go with it. I feel like everything would have popped. It would have been like 135 minutes on LCD, I have been told.

A bit surprised by the complicatedness of the plot and the time they dedicate to setting up events in this film, given its PG nature. It seems like it would be very hard for kids to follow. Mostly because it was hard for myself to follow.

In terms of entertainment purposes, the biggest problem might be the large and complicated plot. It seems like the movie is trying to be two things, a big entertaining race spectacle that is colorful and full of wonder, and a corporate serious drama film. What I am left with is a long movie that goes to lengths to include both sides and I get a bit of a confusing mess. It isn’t that it is hard to keep up with, but in its already unique and eye popping style, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

Also better acting could have helped.

I don’t know if this is the movie Speed Racer fans deserved, but it is probably the film they needed right now. It is overall okay, but one I would rather watch 90 minutes of instead of 135 minutes.

Speed 8
But they did announce that Speed Racer would appear in Fast & Furious 7, so that should be fun shenanigan wise.

2 out of 4.

Tammy

There was not a lot of build up to Tammy compared to other recent McCarthy based films such as The Heat and Identity Thief. Those films got their trailers played over and over again, to increasingly annoying levels. Tammy? Nah. It had a strange teaser trailer a few months ago, decently funny, and then a regular trailer like, a month ago and that was it.

Good. It really sucks hating a movie before it comes out due to bad trailers or overplaying those trailers.

In fact, the teaser trailer of Tammy robbing the store? Pretty amusing. So there were definite hopes for this film. Especially when I found out that Melissa McCarthy co-wrote the movie with her husband / director Ben Falcone. So presumably they will flesh stuff out and not just give us the same roles she has now been type casted to.

Table
See? She looks calm in this picture. She is never calm in any other movie.

This is a movie about a lady named Tammy (McCarthy). Tammy just lost her job for being late constantly, even if she had a good reason this time. Her car breaks down while going back home. Because she still gets back home early, she is able to see her husband (Nat Faxon) and neighbor (Toni Collette) having a fancy dinner and surprised to see her. Wooo.

So Tammy decides to leave. She wants to run away but her car is dead. Her mom (Allison Janney) says no, but her grandmother (Susan Sarandon) says yes! Pearl has over $6,000 in cash and a car, just needs someone to drive her, so why not run away with her grand daughter for awhile?

Which is also I guess your basic plot. They go on a mini adventure, where things go badly and problems occur. They get to see Pearl’s cousin, Lenore (Kathy Bates), the founder of a big pet store chain and her lesbian lover (Sandra Oh). They also meet a gentlemen interested in Pearl (Gary Cole) and his son (Mark Duplass) who Tammy awkwardly flirts with.

Outside of mentioning that her dad is played by Dan Aykroyd, I don’t think I could describe the movie anymore than I already have.

Dance
Talking about this scene is unnecessary thanks to the trailer!

When I said that was the basic plot, I guess I tried to sound sarcastic, but that is really hard to do through words on a screen. It is hard to really say how much of a plot this movie had outside of a girl and her grandmother having problems and driving. Those tiny plot points could be turned into a good film, sure, but this film might not have been in the best hands.

For the most part, McCarthy does play the exact same role. She has some nicer character moments that a lot of her other roles lack, which is nice. But as the main lead, her character doesn’t have enough for me to care. Was I supposed to feel sorry about her getting fired? No way. Even if this time it was okay, it still implied she was late a lot and probably deserved it. Same with most of the other things that happened to her.

Let’s go back to the awesome teaser trailer. You know how I didn’t bring it up? That is because that scene doesn’t happen until about two thirds of the way in the movie. Seriously. And not much is different about it from the teaser. All the lines are the same, barely any longer. A funny part so much later ruined for that reason. Looking at the trailers, this scene seems to be something early on which would make it okay. Hey, the problems start because she robs a store. Cool. Nah. That late in the movie, I kind of wonder what the point was.

Overall, the movie did have some amusing scenes, but they were few and far between for me. Pretty forgettable soon after watching it.

1 out of 4.

The Company You Keep

Robert Redford is starring in a movie!

That should be the first thing out of your mouth, seeing The Company You Keep. The other thing you will notice is it has quite a hefty list of famous actors thrown into the mix. Robert Redford doesn’t act much anymore, but when he does, he calls out all the stops.

Robert Redford
See? This is him literally calling out all the stops.
From watching movies, I have learned that the 1960’s were a terrible time. But hey, terrible times lead to great movies about how terrible it all was. War, protests, the whole shabang. Some protesters couldn’t stand being peaceful though, like the Weather Underground movement. These group of youngsters thought they saw their government committing terrible crimes, so they wanted to get their attention back at home by blowing stuff up, and maybe even murder.

They also were never caught in the act and prosticuted. Until now.

Sharon (Susan Sarandon) has just been picked up by the cops, wanted in the murder of a cop from the ’60s. They have everything on her and all of her phone logs. Thanks to some reporter with gusto, (Shia LaBeouf), an article was published linking lawyer Jim Grant (Robert Redford) to the crimes and a nationwide manhunt for his arrest. Hooray! Take that violent political activist from the ’60s!

But did he really do the crimes he is being accused of? If he is innocent, why would he run? After all, the FBI (Terrence Howard) and newspaper editors (Stanley Tucci) all seem to think he’s guilty. Yet for some reason, he is being erratic, and looking really hard for one Mimi Lurie (Julie Christie). Hmm, I wonder what she has to do with all of this mess.

There are far too many famous (and famous-ish) actors to just throw their name casually in the plot, so I will just list them all here: Richard JenkinsAnna KendrickBrendan GleesonBrit MarlingSam ElliottStephen RootNick Nolte and Chris Cooper.

Laboofie
Stephen Root is standing next to lettuce. Yep, nothing to see here.
The first thing I noticed is that Robert Redford no longer looks identical to Brad Pitt. But hey, now we know what Brad Pitt will look like in about 20 years.

Looking at Redford’s work schedule, he hasn’t been in a movie since 2007, but he has at least two more on the pipeline. The more notable one is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Even better, the reason he is in the Marvel Sequel is just because he hasn’t ever played a role like it and thought it would be fun. I love it when actors tell the truth.

As for The Company You Keep, it has an interesting story behind it, but in the end it is just okay. It takes a little bit to get going, and kind of fuddled up in the middle, but it all makes a lot of sense by the end. Not that I actually liked the ending, as I thought there were multiple cop outs from various characters in the film. Acting was fine, just like Lawless, I didn’t hate Shia by the end of it, but he wasn’t exceptional in it either. Seeing him with facial hair (well, the small amount he could pull off) was an interesting change at least!

In other news, watch it only if you are missing Robert Redford in your normal life and like slow moving political-ish thrillers.

2 out of 4.

The Big Wedding

The Big Wedding. Oh goodness me.

The trailer tells the story pretty clear.

The filmmakers are a bunch of racists.

What? How did I get that out of the trailer? Well, the plot is about a family who adopted a kid, who is finally about to get married. His mom is coming to visit, but his adopted family is divorced, and she wouldn’t be able to understand that because she is super Catholic. So they just have to pretend to be married!

The trailer then shows off the giant cast and tells us who everyone is, except for said guy getting married. WHAT? So here’s to you, Ben Barnes. You get a spot up top, and the first picture.

Who is that
But you have to share it with Amanda Seyfried, because these are my rules, damn it.

Ah shit, I just explained the plot in like, two sentences. Whoops. Well the good news is, the divorce wasn’t bad. Sure, Don (Robert De Niro) might have cheated on Elle (Diane Keaton), but they agreed it was for the best, still raised wonderful kids, and still loved each other. Sure, it was Elle’s best friend who did it too, Bebe (Susan Sarandon), and that they have been together for over a decade, but it isn’t weird.

But hey, Alejandro (Ben Barnes) isn’t the only child causing problems. They have two actual children of their own, Lyla (Katherine Heigl) and Jared (Topher Grace). The former, a lawyer in Chicago, going through a tough time with her long term boyfriend, hates her dad for cheating, and can’t have kids. Jared, a baby doctor, who is still a virgin to save himself from marriage, but totally willing to lose it should the right woman arrive.

Yeah, basically a giant shit storm. That isn’t the half of it. I just don’t want to spoil it all. Robin Williams plays the priest, because why not, and Ana Ayora gets naked. These are important things to note, because you know, it is rated R.

Nero

Rated R you say? Yeah, Robert does R rated films a lot! So that isn’t surprising. This isn’t your daddy’s wedding movie. Unless you are 2-3 years old, then it is likely that your dad is the target audience. Also, get off this website, there is fucking language and talk of naked ladies.

Here comes the shock of the century week. I enjoyed this movie. Like, a decent amount. I laughed, I loved the twists, it didn’t feel forced, and the chemistry between this giant group of actors was great. Shit, everyone seemed to be having such a great time with the movie, and weren’t disappointed to be stuck with some lame new movie about marriage. Obviously, yes, it looks like shit, but I think it has a lot of heart.

This isn’t the kind of movie I could watch again and again, but I am pleased with how it all turned out and think worth a gander. Well, depends on what a gander is. I think some sort of bird.

3 out of 4.

Snitch

Dwayne Johnson has a movie a month for the next few months. Seriously. Look it up. February, Snitch. March, GI Joe 2. April, Pain & Gain. May, Fast and the Furious 6.

Holy crap, that is a lot of rocks!

But what makes Snitch different? Well, in the ads for Snitch, I only saw that “Dwayne Johnson” was starring in it. That means it was not “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson” like you see most of the time. Pretty crazy right? Has he finally made the switch (minus those other three movies?) Probably not. But I will respect that and not defile him with the nickname in this review.

Rawk
Because The Rock would kick my ass if I defiled him.

John Matthews (Mr. Johnson) runs a construction company, built it himself, hells yeah. But he is divorced, because this is what drives plot. His ex Sylvie (Melina Kanakaredes) was able to keep the son Jason (Rafi Gavron) in the divorce, because John drove around a lot as a truck driver for his job. Damn, sucks. He has a new family though, a wife (Nadine Velazquez, solid solid upgrade) and a daughter there as well, but still wants to be in his sons life. He is about to go to college!

But his son does a dumb thing. He agrees to let his friend ship him a package of high quality drugs to his place, so he can pick it up later. Little did he know, that his friend got caught, and just snitched on Jason to reduce his own sentence. Jason didn’t want to help sell them, but agreed to help his friend, and now it looks like it was his idea! Sucks to suck. With federal minimum sentencing laws, he is looking up to 10 years in jail, despite the first time offense and no solid evidence. Unless he can snitch out someone else. The problem is, he doesn’t know any other drug dealers, and he is not willing to set up a friend.

Good morals, bad situation.

John wants to do anything to help his son. He is able to get the district attorney (or some equivalent title thing…Susan Sarandon) to reduce his son’s sentence if he helps set up an arrest himself. He just needs the help of one of his workers who used to be in on the drug game (Jon Bernthal) to get him started. Also featuring Barry Pepper as head of the local DEA thing and Michael Kenneth Williams as a big drug dealer guy.

Beard
By now you realize that if I see weird facial hair, I am going to post the weird facial hair.

First off, fuck this based on a true story nonsense. This time it is based on the fact that federal minimum sentencing is real, and it causes people to rat out other people maybe not actually involved. That is it. Go die, true story message. Die hard.

Snitch tries to go in two different directions, an action movie, and a drama where the father wants to do anything to help his son (like John Q, I guess. But more action). Part of the problem is that the action really isn’t there. The ads show lots of action, but that is mostly one and a half scenes of the movie, so I would definitely call action a stretch.

So that means we have a drama, folks.

A drama that isn’t that bad, but ehh, not to great either. Mr. Johnson actually great. Most of the supporting characters are so-so. The fact that this movie is just a strange way of saying that mandatory minimum sentences are bad, is kind of silly. They could have done it a lot better making it a more realistic picture, instead of the small action sideplot near the end.

Mr. Johnson did do great, as I said, but it would have been a better role for a frail guy. That is all. We are so ingrained in seeing Mr. Johnson as an action star, I can’t imagine him getting beaten up in this movie, or overcoming any difficulties by the end. Because he is Dwayne ‘The Friggan Dwayne Johnson’ Johnson.

2 out of 4.

Arbitrage

Miraculously, Arbitrage is a movie that came to the theaters that I had the pleasure of never hearing about before.

Seriously. It was just a giant surprise. “What the fuck is Arbitrage?” I thought to myself, and probably what you are thinking as well. Needless to say, I was stoked. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a movie I didn’t hear about before or see a preview for. Like I used to. Damn movie theaters, always spoiling shit.

Thank you cheap theater. Thank you for giving me another one of these.

Money
Can he play anything but a rich guy now? He looks like he has money falling out of his eyes.

Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is your standard big money man on wallstreet. He is old, white, and Republican. I assume the last part. Either way, he runs an investment company, because that just is money on money. But for some reason he wants to sell. His daughter, Brooke (Brit Marling) is a high up person as well, and she doesn’t know why he wants to sell. They are so successful!

Or are they? If they were lying about their profit margins, and actually losing money, selling would probably be a good idea. Get paid, run off, fuck the new guy. Why not?

Speaking of fucking, of course Robert is seeing someone on the side. I mean, his wife (Susan Sarandon) is old. She isn’t Julie (Laetitia Casta), a 20 something model artist.

Bow chicka. So much bow chicka, that they even go on a midnight ride in the country. Fuck responsibilities, time to live it up! Unless you get tired, and crash the car, and kill your girlfriend in the process.

Err, uhh. Well. Whoops. Time to call the only black person you know (Nate Parker), get a ride, and hide it all from the cops (Tim Roth). You know, who know you have hired her as an artist and probably having an affair.

Trying to sell your company under illegal pretenses while being investigated for a murder probably won’t lead to happy times.

Oh hey roth
Oh hey there Tim. Long time no see. Just been hanging out? Keeping to yourself mostly? Wait. You’re not still upset about Lie To Me, are you Tim? Oh come on, you know it went on too long and peaked with season 1. Damn it Tim, come back here. Act in more things! Tim! Tim stop walking away!

Murder! Money! Lies! Sex!

Sounds very HBO show like. This movie, obviously rated R (for language, mostly) gives you all that and more. Eventually. But at the start, it moves pretty darn slow.

Not only that, but it moves in the slow, obviously hiding stuff now hurry and get to the point, way.

Some of the acting was decent, and I liked the few twists that happened, but the final one seemed a bit ridiculous. Kind of ruined the ending for me.

Arbitrage (which I will now pronounce Arbit-RAGEEE) gave me a lot of things I might not have seen before, but overall, it was just another okay movie.

2 out of 4.

Cloud Atlas

And then there is Cloud Atlas.

What? Don’t like that I kind of just started this review mid thought? Well get used to it, if you want to watch Cloud Atlas. Featuring an all star cast, this movie takes place over time and space, to tell a simple message.

And by simple message, I mean you might have to see this movie multiple times.

Faces
Just like they might have to give actors multiple roles. For symbolism!

You might be wondering, “Hey, Gorgon Reviews. What the fuck is going on in this movie? It looks confusing! Do I have to think during my movie time? Is it really 3 hours if you include previews? Fuck that noise.”

Well first off, I don’t know what that last part means.

But hey, I can explain the structure. There are six different settings that the story takes place in. South Pacific, 1869, a lawyer goes to settle a transaction (slavery!), but finds himself extremely sick on the way back home. He befriends a stowaway slave, and must fight the poison.

England, 1936, a young gay musician travels to work for an old and dying composer, becoming an apprentice and making his own work entitled Cloud Atlas.

San Francisco, 1973, a crime story involving a young reporter getting a big scoop that things may not be on the up and up at a new nuclear power plant.

London, 2012, no Olympics. The story of an older publisher who gets into some crime trouble, then forced to live in a retirement home where there is no escape. Yes, this is the more comedic storyline.

Neo Seoul, 2144, a story of a clone who escaped her job and learned to develop feelings, knowledge, and become a god.

Hawaii, 106 years after “The Fall”, a goat herder, haunted by his past, has to work with a technologically superior human to figure out where they all came from.

Get all that? Those are rough descriptions of the eras, that have their stories interweaved throughout the movie, sometime simultaneously. If for some reason you didn’t know yet, all of the characters play multiple roles, some of the bigger ones being Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Jim Stugess, Ben Whishaw, and Doona Bae.

Hell, just to confuse you more, some actors play the same character, just in different times of their life. I’m looking at you James D’Arcy. There are other big names as well, with lesser roles, such as Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Xun Zhou, and Hugh Grant. I was personally confused by Mr. Grant, as I only noticed one of his roles when I first saw it, and had my brain convince me that Hugo Weaving was doing a REALLY GOOD Hugh Grant impersonation.

SPACE
Dude. Bro. The Future Bro. Dude.

Like all crazy movies, this one is not without controversy. Namely the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, because yes, some of the white actors were asian characters in Seoul. They complained of eye make up, and that they should have just found some nice asian actors for the role. You know, making one part of the movie completely different from the others because of people playing one role. But because they didn’t care about Doona Bae wearing white ginger make up, or Halle Berry as a white woman, I am calling their complaints racist and turning the table on them. Get out of her guys.

I actually did make a flow chart on my board, mostly as a joke. I’d suggest only looking at it, here, if you have seen it to avoid any spoilers.

The best way to describe this movie is Intense. There is so much going on, so much kind of connected, and so much feeling. When you are done with it, you are left only with feelings. Unfortunately the plot isn’t perfect, there were things I am still confused on today. I could read the book, but ehhh. There are a lot of themes, most of them relatable, but mostly I think it is about the emotions.

Cloud Atlas is going to be a movie that requires multiple viewings to get the full effect out of it, and I am glad The Wachowski Siblings made it, if only for the large mammal sized balls they must possess.

3 out of 4.

Peacock

I love it. This is another example of one of those “Hey look, I know some actors in this. Let’s watch it”.

I mean, Peacock? That is vague, so who knows. But this movie went places. Scary and odd places.

But not bird places. Just the film takes place in (fictional?) Peacock, Nebraska.

Nothing creepy
Definitely nothing sketch going on with this group of characters.

John Skillpa (Cillian Murphy) is just your average bank worker. Goes to his job, rides a bike, goes home. Has his breakfast prepared for by Emma, who also does all the chores and the shopping. Very mysterious family, more or less.

Mostly because John is Emma. He has multiple personality disorder, and potentially came about through some childhood trauma (from an abusive mom), and can’t actually “control” his Emma side. But she only does those three things, so not that bad. But while coming back from a shopping trip, a train caboose derails and comes crashing into their backyard and almost hits Emma who faints. What in the what, train!? She kind of faints and wakes up to a big crowd. Not what she needs and rushes in side and goes John.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. All these people! In his yard! This is bad. He knows about Emma, and he can’t have them knowing his secret. This is a small town in the south, damn it! Turns out it takes a while to get a train piece that crashed into the ground to go away. Especially when they want to make a political spectacle of it.

Susan Sarandon is the mayor’s wife, who also runs a women’s shelter; Ellen Page is a single young mother, who knows some information about John’s past; Josh Lucas is a local cop and friend of John; and Bill Pullman plays the bank boss. Will all this unwanted attention utterly destroy John? Or will his Emma ever leave?

CM
Who would have thought they were the same person? They look…okay they look alike.

Needless to say, this film was very different from the start. There was always an eerie overtone thoughout, and although it was about a disorder, you knew there was a lot more up that the movie was choosing to not tell you right away. And it was creepy. Not that people who dress up in drag are creepy, but doing so against their will, from their own mind? Makes it a bit unsettling.

The film had a decent plot, but I felt it moved a bit too slowly at points. Also, Cillian when he was John after the first five minutes I didn’t like. This was post train scene, so he was shaking a lot, and scared of the attention, but it all felt like too much. His character barely was able to speak at times, and it was just weird. Him as Emma? Down right creepy, based off how little she talked in general.

Some of the plot points came off a bit confusing too, but they weren’t that big of a deal. Just enjoy the creepiness, and then never again.

2 out of 4.

Jeff, Who Lives At Home

I had no idea what to expect from a movie entitled Jeff, Who Lives At Home. I don’t think I ever saw a preview for it, maybe a TV ad once or twice, just that was it. But based on the actors, I assumed some sort of Apatow level comedy. Probably about an older guy who refuses to move out of his parents house. Sounds like the easiest theory? Might have some social disorder.

I DON’T KNOW, FUCK, JUST START THE MOVIE. AHHH!

jeff is curious
Jeff is in a store, searching for a mysterious entity.

Jeff (Jason Segel) lives at home. Boom. Movie over.

Usually he spends most of his time in the basement, where he smokes pot and watches movies. His mom (Susan Sarandon) works in a cubicle and it is her birthday today! She left a note, telling Jeff to go outside, go to the store and get wood clue. What bus to take and everything. But someone else calls the house. They want to talk to Kevin. But who is Kevin? This isn’t where Kevin lives. It must be fate. Kevin must be important.

At the same time, his brother Pat (Ed Helms) is living with his wife Linda (Judy Greer) and they are saving up for a real home. But he bought an awesome Porsche anyways. He thinks it is important to spice up their relationship. She doesn’t like it. Oh well, she will come around.

On the way to the store, Jeff sees a guy in a basketball jersey with the name Kevin? Can this be the man he is meant to find?! He gets off the bus to follow this “Kevin”. Also the mother at work is getting anonymous messages from someone else in her work place. Looks like she has a secret admirer. At her age as well!

Jeff, believing in signs in the universe and that fate is leading him somewhere. It takes him throughout town and through his families lives, mostly his brothers. Who is an asshole. Because after drinking some for lunch, they do see his wife with another man (Steve Zissis) and he assumes she is cheating and flips a shit. Also a workplace friend of the mom Carol (Rae Dawn Chong) tries to help her determine the identity of the crush.

Is Jeff blindly following bullshit clues to absolute nothing? Or will it lead him to his DESTINY?

hootahs
You see that? Dude is parked in a handicap space. Told you he was an ass.

I friggan loved this movie. And yet it is super simple. Counting credits, it is only 83 minutes long, but who counts credits? So in 80 minutes, we have a story of a day in these characters lives, where marriage, love, and potentially lives are on the line!

I actually watched this movie twice yesterday, the second time when I was busy doing some other tasks, but still wanted to re watch just to check to see if I missed out on anything. The beginning is actually Jeff talking about the movie Signs, how he loves all the subtle hints (or signs!) throughout the movie by the end, and why he loves the little girl character.

While it is marketed as a comedy, and it has its moments, it is definitely a pretty serious film. But both halves work together nicely in my book.

But honestly, if a movie that I watched twice in the same day isn’t a 4 out of 4 rating for me, then I don’t know what is.

4 out of 4.

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