Super Troopers 2

Super Troopers came out 17 years ago. 17 years! That is insane.

It was Broken Lizard’s first hit and some people still love it the most to this day. Personally, Beerfest is my favorite (Which also promised a sequel which looks way less fun), but they also had Club Dread and The Slammin’ Salmon (my second favorite). Either way, they have a specific humor and have tackled different subjects, all of which can appeal to different audiences.

The production of this one took a long time though, but internet persistence has pushed on. Hell, they had to make an Indiegogo campaign to get movie funding, and surpassed their goal. They did a neat thing, I believe the first film to do this, offering actually theater tickets when it came out, not just digital copies in the future.

There is an audience for Super Troopers 2, and finally they have delivered it to them, for better or for worse.

Lowe
Looks like this group has sunk to a new all time Lowe.

The sequel is set a few years after the first film. The first film ended with our heroes (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter) not as actual police officers, doing things in Vermont. Well, it turns out that time is done. Due to an incident with Fred Savage. They are off the force and doing /other/ jobs.

But not for long! You see, when Canada and USA had their borders lined out, in turns out there was a mistake near Vermont. The official border stones put in were seemingly ignored, and a small town that has been in the Canada side for hundreds of years should actually have been on US soil. With this new land, through a chaotic transition period, they have the need for a temporary police force to help with the transition.

So they are rehired for a couple of weeks, and sure, if they do good enough, they can be full time and work this new area. It just turns out that these Canadians, finding out they are switching countries are not the happiest tools in the shed. Nice Canadian is a myth. They are basically going into a war zone.

We have Rob Lowe as the mayor, Emmanuelle Chriqui is some sort of town leader as well. We also have Brian Cox returning as the captain, and introducing Will Sasso, Tyler Labine, and Hayes MacArthur as Mounties.

Mountie
Guess they might have to just MOUNT up and take this head on. Hockey puck. Maple Leafs. Sorry.

Honestly, I thought this movie would be a train wreck. Maybe a moose wreck, the Canadian version. Comedy sequel two decades later? They have never really worked, even for a more modern one like this one.

But still, it wasn’t that bad. That is the best praise I am going to say. There were a few scenes that had me laughing really hard. Specifically the scenes involving “sorry” and “reverse French dialogue” were the best. I enjoyed that it did have a lot of Canadian jokes, and not just the standard normal Canadian jokes. Yes, they still had those, but some of them were more obscure, and varied.

The three lads who played the Mounties went really hard for the French-Canadian accent, so most of what they said was amusing on that basic level.

Of course the plot is weak, the acting is weak, and the twists are obvious. They aren’t as important for those who are rushing to see this film though. It has its moments, but it is far away from a great comedy on all levels.

2 out of 4.

Blockers

I was very excited when I saw the trailer for Blockers. Not due to the actors, or the plot, or the humor in the trailer. Just the title alone.

I really hoped that the title of the film was officially a picture of a rooster and the word Blockers. I can’t tell you if any film title has officially just been a picture, or included a picture, but I was excited that this one might be one of the first in a good while.

Unfortunately, no. It is just called Blockers. Sure, rooster imagery abundant on the posters. But it is not the same.

It is just not the same.

Parents
Look at all these cocks right here.

Ah, growing up. The joys of being a parent. Movies and stuff. Mitchell (John Cena), Lisa (Leslie Mann), and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) met each other on their daughters first day of school. They became best friends, so they had to be friends. Their daughters (respectively) are Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan), Julie (Kathryn Newton), and Sam (Gideon Adlon), who are all dealing with their own issues, both in terms of their relationships with their parents and their relationships with boys.

But like all movies, prom is set up to be this big special night, so they are determined to make it special. They make a sex pact. They are all going to lose their virginity that night and it will make them closer together, so what when college happens, they don´t lose their friendship or anything.

The parents find out after they have left and aren´t sure what to do. Just kidding, they are going to find their daughters and put a stop to this madness before their daughters lives are ruined.

Also starring Jimmy Bellinger, Sarayu Blue, Gary Cole, Gina Gershon, Ramona Young, Miles Robbins, Hannibal Buress, and Graham Phillips.

Kids
Fuck that fedora is cool.

The most apparent thing about this movie is that it was directed by a woman. Kay Cannon has worked on some pretty woman based shows you would have heard about, and directed this film to make sure the woman’s voice was key. If this was directed by a dude, the parents would have been more egregious, the daughters would have had no real point of view scenes to speak their minds, and it would have been entirely forgettable.

Surprisingly, there was a wonderful amount of great arguments and feminist ideals presented by the daughters and other adults throughout the film. It was clear that our three leads were being shit heads and not thinking in a way that was beneficial to their daughters. Hell, even one of our leads for some time had great intentions as well. The message hits over and over again, without feeling like a lecture, and wanting to make a point as obvious as possible for those watching at home. Because this is just a comedic work of fiction, but it seems like its goal might be really to reach the audience, to help them learn how to better and more fairly treat their daughters.

Moving on.

Also I laughed a bunch. The acting wasn’t amazing. Cena was probably one of the lower points for me. The daughters and other teenagers really carried the film, and yes, surprisingly, Barinholtz’s character. I can’t say this is a movie I would want to watch over and over again, but it did the trick and was way better than it should have been.

3 out of 4.

Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow is one of those films that seemingly comes out of nowhere and feels like it is part of something bigger. Like, is this an extended universe? It is certainly based off of a book, although I would have guessed a graphic novel.

In fact, from the trailers, one might just assume this is the Black Widow standalone film we have been waiting for. Russian school to train girls to be assassins and to use their bodies as weapons. Secrets. Yeah, this is just Black Widow.

But instead of Scarlett Johansson, we got Jennifer Lawrence, so that Disney doesn’t try and sue anyone’s ass off.

Red Dress
And if they sue anyone’s ass, they would potentially think twice before taking hers.

Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is one of the best ballerina’s in Moscow. She has risen up by her boot straps to train hard and become the best. Her mom is sick and relies on her job for doctors and a place to live. Oh, Dominika is also the niece of Vanya Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts), someone high up in the Russian politics/military ladder, so maybe not entirely by her own bootstraps.

Then one day, an accident occurs, her leg gets broken on the stage, and her dancing career is done. That means her mom’s life is in jeopardy. Thankfully, her uncle knows a program that she can join. If she can find herself helping the Russian government, then the Russian government can find themselves helping her.

This is unfortunately a Sparrow program, to train young men and women officers to seduce anyone to get information needed, along with the ability to kill them should it come up. Oh good, selling his niece’s body to the government, what a swell family.

All of this ties into a separate plot, about American Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), a member of the CIA who was also in Russia, dealing with a mole in their government, who accidentally put a target on his and the mole’s back.

Also starring Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Bill Camp, Jeremy Irons, Sakina Jaffrey, and Ciarán Hinds.

Mirror
See, I could probably withstand one Jennifer Lawrence. But two? One in mirror land?

Red Sparrow is one of those films that is going to appear to be much smarter than a normal movie, and it is unashamed about that. Because after all, the viewer has to be tricked and sold lies as well so the bigger reveals are more exciting.

However, before things could be revealed, I was left annoyed and bored with the movie already. It has layers and layers and layers of plot. Characters coming and going with some importance to the story. And you have to suffer through it all in order to get to the “cool ending.”

But it tries way too hard to be layered. It is so easy to get lost in it, that interest is unfortunately lost. I just didn’t care by the end about any of the characters. I didn’t care who would get quadruple crossed, who the mole was, or how people would get out of their tough situations.

It is over two hours long and full of itself.

It still had some decent moments early on, when I cared about where it was going. Some very different acting from Lawrence, and Schoenaerts does an amazing visual Putin. But this film is now forgettable for me, and not the Black Window solo film we deserved.

2 out of 4.

On Body and Soul

What comes from Hungary? Some lame jokes, some World War I starters, and that is about all I can think of from my America centrist point of view.

So hey, I was excited for them just for having a film nominated for Best Foreign Film. Dozens of countries every year submit a film and only five are ever chosen, and only one wins. If Hungary has a rich film history, I am unfortunately unaware of it. If I have reviewed a Hungarian film before, then I totally forgot about it (just checked, shit, they had Son of Saul and White God. Totally forgot which country. Good job, Hungary!).

And now they have On Body and Soul. And I am thankful for Netflix for buying this film up so that lame uncultured swine like myself can watch it before the Oscars, and not five months after the fact.

Sleep
This is the kinky way Hungarians sleep together.

Taking place in some in Hungary, I have to assume, we have a slaughterhouse. They do good work there. Or at least, they kill cows and sell that meat for money. People have jobs, people are not sad.

Endre (Géza Morcsányi) is the CFO of the place, and is pretty complacent with his life. He is old, he is stagnant, he has a small group of friends. And a new girl starts to work there, much younger. Her name is Mária (Alexandra Borbély) and she is the quality inspector. She checks the cows and makes sure they have the appropriate grade rankings based on, you know, cow stuff.

Endre tries to talk to her, but she is off putting. Mária is very autistic, including a perfect memory and loves precision, so she makes some people upset when she is giving cows a lower grade than normal for technically correct reasons.

After an event occurs at the shop, a psychiatrist (Réka Tenki) is brought in to ask everyone questions to determine who the most likely culprit is. She is the first to find out that Endre and Mária are sharing a dream, where they are deer in a wintry forest. This connection is brought up to them, and it is up to them to figure out what to do with this knowledge, if anything.

Deer
You know, just being a deer, doing deer stuff.

On Body and Soul was a very touching film. Not physically touching, given how much Mária hated physical contact (note: I really enjoyed the mashed potatoes imagery). Just emotionally touching. Two lost souls who are very different, who find each other in an extraordinary way.

Not that I am implying there is a happy ending, just that technically, they find each other.

The Endre character is interesting in that he is supposed to be a normalish guy. A guy who has just been around for a loooong time and now is just drifting peacefully into retirement or death or something. I found at various points in the film that I hated him and found him endearing.

Mária is the real star though, and of course, Borbély. This is not some ¨hey look at the weirdo, being all autistic¨ sort of film, and it does not feel like it is making fun of people on the spectrum. We get to see her with a lot of struggles and a lot of pain. Seriously, a ton of pain. We get to see her grow, or attempt to grow, as she determines if she even can try to love another person.

There are some gross moments, there are some graphic moments (it is a slaughterhouse after all). But in the end, I still really enjoyed it the same.

3 out of 4.

Beach Rats

Beach Rats is not the sequel to Mallrats. No, that was supposed to be called Mallbrats, but got cancelled, because Kevin Smith never does the things we actually want him to do anymore.

Instead of people hanging around the mall, just chilling, doing drugs, talking about pop culture, this film is about people hanging around beaches, mostly chilling, doing some drugs, and talking about, well, drugs and stupid stuff mostly. But hey, they are both set in the same state!

Oh, and this film is not a comedy, it is definitely a regular drama, with some intense moments in there. There is vulgarity as well, but on a whole new level.

Now I just hope someone turns the two films into one cohesive picture somehow.

Shirtless
Don’t worry, you get to see many dudes without pants as well.

Frankie (Harris Dickinson) is a bit of a confused early 20-something boy. He already has the unfortunate circumstances of living poor, on the Jersey shore. He doesn’t have a lot of smarts, but he does understand drugs. His dad (Neal Huff) is dying of the cancer and taking his time doing so, but it allows him to get some pills. His mom (Kate Hodge) doesn’t want him hanging out with his loser friends, who are always up to no good. And Frankie also likes to chat up older dudes on the internet for the two d’s – dicks and drugs.

Oh yeah, Frankie is living a closeted life, ashamed by it, knowing his family, his friends, everyone will shun him. He is already jobless and still at home, he would get thrown out in a heartbeat.

But a local girl, Simone (Madeline Weinstein, not related to the famous ones), is for whatever into his goofy head. And he is able to use family issues and drugs why he has problems getting erect around her. so they begin to date. Everyone needs a good beard.

And most of the film is him hanging out, dealing with his family, dealing with the girl, making poor choices, and experiencing his desires anyway possible.

Featuring a lot of people who won’t matter, including these people: Anton Selyaninov, David Ivanov, Frank Hajak, Harrison Sheehan, and Nicole Flyus.

Beard
Beards can distract others when you’re thinking about penises.

While watching this film, I went and found out who was the director. It was Eliza Hittman. That didn’t surprise me because I knew her, or that I expected a very specific director, I just didn’t expect a her.

For a woman to dive so well into the psyche of a young male, pretending to be tough and dumb, while hiding his sexuality, I mean, I just naturally assumed a gay man was making this film. Maybe something pseudo-biographical. I am not saying it is odd when someone of a different gender directs a movie clearly not in their focus area, because it happens a lot. Usually it is just a male director, trying to do a female centric film, and just being incredibly wrong. Then the film doesn’t sell well, and they say people don’t see women movies. But now I am ranting on a different topic.

What I am really getting at is that Eliza Hittman Hittman might secretly be a gay twenty something Jersey shore boy. An extreme case of living in the closet.

Beach Rats feels very personal, very real. It also had a lot of subtle tension near the end. I was really worried that the worst sorts of disaster would occur. My mind got more carried away with the possibilities, thankfully far more than the film took the scenes. There was a lot of potential for just terrible ending after terrible ending. I mean terrible in that the circumstances were terrible, not that the ending was bad.

Dickinson does a really good first time lead performance. I can only say real and personal so many times, but it fits here too. This could have been a documentary about some young adults in New Jersey and I would have believed it.

Beach Rats was made for a very niche audience. It will have aspects that make a lot of people uncomfortable. But it is good that it fills such a niche, because this niche is hugely underrepresented still ii film.

3 out of 4.

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.

The Assignment

To start things off, I am not sure what this movie is actually called. I am decently sure at the time of this review being written, it was called The Assignment. Which yes, sounds like a sexy college film.

But before it was called Re-Assigment. And it might be changing to Tomboy, it is really hard to tell.

All of the titles make sense once you find out just what this movie is about though, and all of them seem to be various levels of offensive.

Beard
The beard is a lie.

Meet Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez). A famed mercenary killer. Deadly, accurate, sly, and he has a manly beard. He is so manly, we get to see him have sex with a woman Johnnie (Caitlin Gerard)! And she gives him her number for future sexy time, because he is a great lover. Oh we also get to see his penis after he showers. He is not a grower, he is all there always ready. What a dick!

Apparently Frank has made the wrong enemy though. While doing a job for Honest John (Anthony LaPaglia), a gangster, the tables are turn, Frank is captured. And when Frank wakes up, his beard is gone. And his dick. Oh hey, he has breasts and a vagina!

What in darnation!

Turns out Frank killed a guy, and his sister, Dr. Rachel Kay (Sigourney Weaver), a pissed off plastic surgeon, is…well, pissed off. And she does a gender reassignment surgery when Frank gets knocked out. A really great one, can’t see any scars, just perfect female body. And she provides hormones and everything, considering it an experiment.

Well, Frank wants revenge. He just has to deal with his hooters and presumably a now ticking biological clock. Or something. Also featuring Tony Shalhoub, as a psychiatrist, evaluating Kay after the fact.

Tape
Frank has to tape those bad boys down, how else could he function?

Wow. Where to begin. Um.

Well, there is a lot of nudity in his film. I cackled early on because of an unnecessary shower scene, generally reserved for females in a movie, but at this point, Rodriguez is a dude. And to flash us his chest and penis, just to show how much of a man he was. After the transition, we had Rodriguez nude a lot, of course in the early confusion, but in several scenes taping her body down to help prepare for a kill. And no, it isn’t even her naked, but a body double for those scenes.

Genitalia aside, the film is told from two narrators. Are doctor, in a straight jacket, talking to a psychiatrist about the events, and a video diary from Kitchen as a woman. So we know immediately that Kitchen will be successful. This is where the how is supposed to be a mystery, but it isn’t. It isn’t like a giant magic trick. It is just someone going and killing a ton of people, no surprises there. Although, she does use her sexuality in ONE scene, to distract a guard. That definitely happened.

Acting is bad, plot is bad, action is bad.

Now, is this movie offensive? Fuck if I know. I am not qualified to answer that question really. On the surface, it definitely sounds offensive. But at he same time, it does show a male-to-female character kicking ass and being consistently the coolest person in the room. And on the other hand, it was a magical forced transition that makes everything seem like a fairy tale.

Yeah, it is probably offensive. But really, I am just offended by how bad it was.

1 out of 4.

Search Party

With only five reviews a week, it is hard to really get to watch those obscure weird films. Especially around Oscar time. But damn it, I sometimes have to just force a review into the schedule. Even if no one has heard of it. Even if I watch it and write it but take over a month to find a place to publish it

That is probably what is going to happen with Search Party.

Despite semi famous individuals in it, it was secretly brought out this year with hardly a whimper. In fact it was supposed to come out in 2014 but got delayed two years because they didn’t feel like it.

And now that it finally has gotten released? Well there is a television show of the same name, making it that much harder to find. I wonder if that was on purpose…

Kidney
Despite what it looks like, no, this isn’t even a sex comedy.

Nardo (Thomas Middleditch) is totally getting married tomorrow! To Tracy (Shannon Woodward) and he is as happy as ever. Of course, the night before he is getting high in a van with his two friends, Jason (T.J. Miller) and Evan (Adam Pally), but it is okay. He made the mistake of wondering out loud if he was making the wrong choice, but that is normal pre-wedding jitters and no one goes out of there way to care about them.

Except, Jason does go out of his way. He thinks about it long and hard, but he decides no, Nardo doesn’t want to get married, he has to break it up during the ceremony and stop it from happening. And stop it he does, feeling like a hero.

So Tracy is upset and goes on the honeymoon alone, to Mexico, taking both tickets, leaving Nardo with his friends. But damn it, Nardo wanted to get married. So he is upset, everyone goes back to their lives.

And later that night, Jason gets a phone call from Nardo, who is naked and alone in Mexico. Apparently he his car stolen and they took his tuxedo as well, and now he needs help. So Jason picks up Evan sort of against his will (he has a side plot line involving his job, and his boss (Lance Riddick) and coworker (Alison Brie)) and they head to Mexico to find Nardo! Well, search for him. And they plan on partying a little as well. Search Party.

Search Party also features Octavio Gómez Berríos, Maurice Compte, J.B. Smoove, Rosa Salazar, Krysten Ritter, and Jason Mantzoukas.

Wedding
The wedding was doomed to fail because they didn’t go with the cummerbunds.

Search Party seems like a movie that wanted to take a format similar to The Hangover, but zanier and with cheaper stars. Two guys from Silicon Valley and one from Happy Endings, brilliant!

Well, no. It feels like bad joke after bad joke. And the jokes they choose to tell go on so long. We get a kidney stealing joke and it is one of the major points of the film, but it isn’t funny.

Middleditch is actually the worst here. Miller and Pally have to carry most of the story while bad things happen to Middleditch and he does a terrible job of carrying on his own plot. It is just high pitched squeals and constantly freaking out, coupled with poor decisions.

At least Miller and Pally develop some amount of chemistry, no matter how bad or forced it seems. I don’t know if switching the roles around so that Miller/Middleditch got to interact more would be better, because apparently this thing was filmed either right before Silicon Valley or shortly after it started. But they didn’t feel like a group of old friends, but instead people who hated (and reluctantly put up) with each other.

And you know what? If your jokes suck and your friendship doesn’t really work, the movie is just doomed to fail. This film was pushed back because they knew it sucked. But apparently also this year is a similar film called Joshy with some of the same actors. I don’t even.

1 out of 4.

Office Christmas Party

Merry Christmas everybody! Sure, I am publishing this review of Office Christmas Party in January, but I totally saw it before Christmas, so this opening is okay.

I just realized that because I already saw it late, I didn’t have to rush out a review for this film, that most people were already going to ignore. Because yeah, it wasn’t the saving grace of comedy films this year. It was a standard, low effort, comedy movie.

So for whenever this review hits the actual page, let’s just pretend it is Christmas all over again. You know, so we can be disappointed and eat pie.

Work
Bad Sign: Googling the movie name gives more pictures from Christmas Episodes of The Office than this film.

This film is about some lame tech company. In charge of the entire business is Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston), left there by her father after he passed away. However, the Chicago branch is being run by her brother, Clay (T.J. Miller), and he is a big fuck up. So despite it being the Christmas season, he wants them to still get bonuses and have a small gathering to celebrate. But not according to Carol. Carol wants it cancelled, no bonuses, and 40% of their workforce canned in order to meet really high growth rates.

Really shitty. But, the CTO, Josh Parker (Jason Bateman), finally divorced and broke has an idea. If they sign the Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) account by the end of the quarter, they will reach the growth and no one would have to get fired! Yeah! Walter likes them, but will go with a bigger company, because of news of their layoffs, branches closing, and it seems like a negative work place.

So sure. Thanks to Clay and their head tech person, Tracey (Olivia Munn), they decide to throw a giant party at work, against Carol’s wishes. Like, a crazy, old fashioned, people screwing in the copier room type party. They will throw a lot of money into it, show their happy workers, convince Davis they are awesome, and sign him tonight, and no one will have to know!

Sex, drugs, alcohol, gifts, bonuses, and a night people will talk about for ages. Fuck the HR lady (Kate McKinnon)!

Also featuring Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Karan Soni, Jamie Chung, and Abbey Lee.

Party
Look! Santa on a sleigh! How crazy indeed!

I wish I could say I liked this movie. I really do. It has a lot of people I like. Munn seems to mostly make bad film choices after she left Attack of the Show. Miller is usually my favorite supporting character in movies and can usually make a shitty one slightly more bearable, but he did nothing for me in this one. And I love Miller in Silicon Valley.

Aniston still keeps showing up in comedy films while failing to be funny herself. Bateman is playing the exact same role he always does. Mackinnon is forced into an awkward character that is supposed to be an HR exaggeration but every joke is cheap and easy.

It is frustrating because it is a comedy that barely got me to smile, making me laugh maybe twice at a quick joke. It tries to show a crazy and crude party, but doesn’t push the envelope at all. The majority of the party just seems to be Miller rapping over music to very happy employees.

There have been crazy out of control party movies in the past, which is what this one tries to do, but it is surpassed by most of them easily. And the ending where they have to leave he party and deal with pimp problems? It doesn’t help the plot, takes us away from the main focus, and gives us boring action scenes disguised as something interesting.

This is another low effort film, based on a single subject, where the filmmakers really didn’t know where they wanted to take it. Easy jokes, low brow humor, some stereotypes, a penis and some boobs, and I just saved you time explaining what you would see in this film.

Office Christmas Party is not something you’d want to watch with your work friends, as a Christmas tradition, or even as part of a lay party. Easily forgettable, but not easily forgivable for the waste of time it provides.

1 out of 4.

American Honey

I never wanted to see American Honey, that much I will tell you. For one reason, I am tired of movies that are American ________. I think I said that much in my American Pastoral review this year.

But from the images I have seen, to the cast list, it just did not look appealing. I didn’t see a real trailer for it or anything, just these few things and they turned me off.

Then I found out about its length. For films in 2016, surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of extremely long films. A few years ago it felt like half the Best Picture potential films were at 3 hours, everything else over 2.5. This year has been decent. But American Honey is 2:45, the longest major film this year outside of Silence I believe, which is also right around that length.

That is a lot of time to invest in a film that doesn’t interest me. But then it had to go and get nominated for six spirit awards, so here I am…

Group
And here they are!

This film is about a girl named Star (Sasha Lane). We begin the film with her dumpster diving, grabbing not too old chickens and other food. She has two younger kids with her. They live with an older gentleman, who presumably gives them a roof over the head, in exchange for favors from Star. But then Star meets a group of people in a big white van going into a K-Mart. They look fun, they are partying, and one of them, Jake (Shia LaBeouf), offers her a job.

A job?! Just like that? Sure. She just has to meet them at a motel in the morning, and they will drive up to Kansas City. They sell magazines to rich people, live freely and unashamed. And after an uncomfortable time back at her house, she takes the two kids to sneak out of the house to leave them with a friend, hits the road, leaving her old life behind.

Ahh, free spirits. Hanging out in hotels, having sex with friends, and ripping off rich people with lies. And maybe discovering yourself along the way? Fuck if I know.

Featuring a bunch of people you haven’t heard of, like McCaul Lombardi, Arielle Holmes, Crystal Ice, Veronica Ezell, Chad Cox, Garry Howell, Kenneth Kory Tucker, Raymond Coalson, Isaiah Stone, and one more you might have heard before, Riley Keough.

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And this is when LaBeouf discovered he is really an assman.

Sigh. American Honey. One of the longest movies of the year and one of the biggest wastes of time.

Here is what it shows well. Free spirited teenagers being free and uh, carefree, and living life. The conversation seems natural, I am sure a lot of the film was not scripted, hey might have even went into real people’s houses for all I know.

But in terms of enjoyment? There is little. The story is pathetic, the acting is just act natural. And it takes 2 hours and 40 goddamn minutes to tell the little story it has.

It is like an extreme example of an indie movie stereotype. It is in badly need of an editor or something to help move the story along. And of course in that long amount of time, it fails to still really give any sort of ending.

God damn stereotypes. I can’t see why it got nominated for six awards.

1 out of 4.

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