A Wrinkle In Time

A Wrinkle In Time is a very famous Science Fiction book, written in the 1960’s. It was a historic achievement when it comes to the genre, because it was written by a woman, and it was even about a girl.

Not many books in the genre, especially at that time, catered to women at any level. It would take decades for them to get any sort of real success in that area.

Now, so many decades later, it is being haled as a film celebrating those beginnings by trying to do the same thing for the genre. Avu DuVernay, famed director of Selma (who many feel should have been nominated for Best Director for that film) and 13th, is getting her hands on a big budget fantasy/sci-fi romp. And she is going to make sure it has people in it that will speak to people of all ages, of all colors and creeds. She is getting diversity across all the levels, and it is honestly a great move on her part.

No matter how good or bad the film is, the movie is an experiment gone right when it comes to casting. She wants to make sure girls out there have more diverse people to look up to, because everyone has the right to see themselves in the media they consume.

And look! A character for those gingers out there as well.

Meg (Storm Reid) was a happy go lucky girl, good at math and science, lover of life. Her dad (Chris Pine) worked for Nasa and mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) also was a scientist. They were smart, and happy, and about to adopt another child, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe). Things were great.

And then her dad disappeared, without a trace. The parents had pretty strong scientific opinions on space travel and time travel, but most people did not take them seriously. Either way, with her dad gone, Meg has gone on hating her life, becoming a shell of her former self.

But things are about to change. Life is about to get a bit weirder, thanks to her younger brother. He is very trusting and wise beyond his years. And he starts to introduce Meg to the “Misses”, including Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). They are denizens of the universe, much like Meg, but more in tune with its frequencies and have heard a cry of help from her father.

So these ladies are going to take Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin (Levi Miller), a nice friend of Meg, on a journey across space and time, to see just where her father went.

Also starring Zach Galifianakis, Michael Peña, André Holland, Rowan Blanchard, and the voice of David Oyelowo.

Ah, here he was, the last place I would expect. A very orange room. Yuck!

A Wrinkle In Time is supposed to be a fantastic book, part of a pretty good series, and tells a story across space and time. And based on who I have talked to, that is believable. This movie is unfortunately not the book.

This movie is surprisingly under two hours, but it has a lot of hardcore concepts it wants to talk about and use in the movie. Instead of explaining them in a nice wrapped box, the movie just runs with these ideas, you either understand or you don’t, and blasts off into its plot. It is so fast and high energy early on that it is hard to keep up and understand where it is going.

The only part of the film that takes its time is the ending, which is a bad move for a few reasons. At this point, a regular member of the audience who didn’t read the book is so lost and confused that having a more explained ending won’t fix that. A lot of people watching will have already lost interest, and then get annoyed when the pace finally slows the fuck down.

We have some scary stuff by the end too. Stuff that should have large impacts on the audience based on who is involved and how drastic the changes feel. But without the proper build up, it feels very wasted.

At the end of the movie, I cried. There are still emotional points. I get the final purpose of the film, what it says about growing up and the pains associated with it. But I felt like I was just along for a ride that didn’t care if I needed to stop to pee or eat along the way.

There are so many concepts that you are just forced to accept. Hell, we have a character who is brought along they say for diplomacy reasons, and then fail to include any sort of diplomacy scene. A Wrinkle In Time is probably a good film if you include what was cut out in the editing room. But this is the type of movie that might only be understood if you have read the material before hand, which is unacceptable, especially with a budget and scope of this size.

It is a shame, because this film won’t do great, and the execs might blame it on diversity reasons, instead of the more obvious confusing as heck plot lines. It is still a very pretty movie, with some fun characters. I am just left struggling to really explain what the heck I watched.

1 out of 4.

The LEGO Batman Movie

If you are new here, I have rallied against animated films so far this year. We just had a summer with Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3, both incredibly bad to super bad films. And these are our tent pole films for the year more or less!

There is very little hope of animated films saving it by the end of the year, but I openly acknowledge that I had not yet seen The LEGO Batman Movie. I know a lot of people enjoyed it, our first LEGO movie since The LEGO Movie.

But I am one of the people who only gave The LEGO Movie a 3 out of 4, it was no where close to being my favorite animated movie of the year, but it was quality and hilarious, I give you that. Despite that, I was never looking forward to this movie. I was disappointed to hear it as a sequel.

I want some new original LEGO content, not relying specifically (mostly?) on pop culture content from a single established franchise. I also acknowledge that the previous LEGO film was FULL of pop culture content, but it wasn’t entirely. This just feels…well, unoriginal.

Now that brightly colored chap, he seems like a great way to take any brooding franchise.

Ah yes, Gotham, city of villains and crime and 1 super rich dude and some vigilantism. Batman (Will Arnett) is the best and everyone loves him! But he lives a life alone, mostly hanging out in his house, sometimes interacting with Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). But you know, just being a lone with all his money, cool gadgets, and lobsters.

He is still really good at fighting crime though, and even when the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) gets a shit ton of villains to work together to blow up the city, Batman still stops them. Even worse, Batman refuses to acknowledge the Joker as his greatest villain, his foil, his reason for Batmanning. So now the Joker feels bad. Batman just shuts the door on everyone!

However, with a new commissioner in Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), they are going to focus less on Batman and more on actually catching these bad guys who still terrorize the streets. And you know, maybe focus on getting them fixed instead of just imprisoned. And shit, it starts to work, so Batman has even less to do and no one to hang out with in his increased downtime. Except for Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), whom he accidentally adopted.

Of course eventually some stuff happens and things get really bad, but Batman has to learn to work with others if he is going to defeat this new threat!

Featuring an incredible slew of famous people doing extremely minor voices, because YOLO. Seriously, most of these people have like, 1-2 lines, or grunts, or one scene.Again most, there are like two people thrown in here who have slightly more lines. Totally pointless for the most part still, so, whatever. We got Adam DeVine, Billy Dee Williams, Channing Tatum, Conan O’Brien, Doug Benson, Eddie Izzard, Ellie Kemper, Hector Elizondo, Jason Mantzoukas, Jemaine Clement, Jenny Slate, Jonah Hill, Kate Micucci, Mariah Carey, Riki Lindhome, Seth Green, and Zoe Kravitz.

And just think, that wall of text is just the famous people you know who did voices.

Right away in the film, we get introduced to the Joker and his plans to take over Gotham once and for all, with a giant team of villains on his side, which are all presumably real Batman villains. Action, fighting extreme. I was shocked it happened so early, but since this film mostly deals with Batman’s loneliness, we needed to just get him doing Batman stuff, so we could see him existing waiting to do more Batman stuff.

And that part was just…okay. It didn’t connect with me on an emotional level or anything, because this is a film focused on comedy, so it went for quick jokes instead. And to contrast the opening, the ending is long and even more action packed. Even more villains, many more than you’d expect in a Batman movie, and explosions, and action and…

Being overwhelmed. That is what this movie felt like. It went to the extremes early on, then it went to the extremes in the end. In the middle, it is mostly lowkey, plot stuff. My body didn’t enjoy the “rollercoaster”. It failed to find a middle ground, and frankly, basically all of the action felt so excessive that it was not enjoyable from my point of view.

The best parts of the film were just Batman interacting with Robin and Barbara, regular dialogue for regular jokes. But the majority of the plot was off, along with my earlier complaint. It was an okay film when it comes to entertainment, but not one I am rushing off to buy and talk about over and over, like The LEGO Movie.

And now, also this year, we have The LEGO Ninjago Movie? This is based on their own IP, so hopefully they stick to their own stories to give a good film and don’t rely so heavily on other franchises pop culture references.

2 out of 4.

Keeping Up With The Joneses

In attempting to catch up to some of the bigger movies of the fall that I missed, I will note that I completely forgot about Keeping Up With The Joneses. It came and it went. It had advertising, I am mostly certain. Definitely.

Not many people went to see it either. It was a bomb on a relatively low budget, and now I am talking about it months later mostly because it has a short enough run time for me to fit it into my schedule last week.

Also, because I liked the actors involved.

Look at them all together. Short. Tall. Hairy.

Jeff (Zach Galifianakis) and Karen Gaffney (Isla Fisher) live a quiet suburban life with their two kids. Jeff works as an HR rep at some tech company (and lives near a lot of his coworkers), Karen designs bathrooms, sometimes. Their kids are off to summer camp, so they have the house to themselves! That means sex very quickly and then mindlessly hanging out the rest of the night.

But then, they get some new neighbors. The Joneses. Tim (Jon Hamm) and Natalie (Gal Gadot). They are perfect, they are tall, they live amazing lives, and now they apparently want to settle down.

Karen, however, doesn’t trust them. Something seems off about them. They are a bit too friendly. She thinks they are spying on them!

And yeah, she ends up being right. They aren’t really friends. But what do they want? What do they need? Are they good spies or bad spies?

Also featuring Patton Oswalt, Ming Zhao, Matt Walsh, and Maribeth Monroe.

Spies get to wear fancy clothes and show off their assets.

To be fair to this film, which I don’t really want to type a lot, the idea for a comedy action film isn’t completely bad. It just didn’t have a lot extra going for it. I barely laughed at any thing. I would note in my head that a scene was potentially amusing, but it just never really pushed the funny bone like I had hoped.

Hamm is a wonderful comedic actor, given how serious his bigger roles have been. But he felt wasted. Gadot was given the entirely serious role plus sex appeal, so she wasn’t given any potentially funny moments, which is just poor writing. Fisher’s character was mostly one dimensional. They wrote her as a bored housewife, so she played a bored housewife. And Galifianakis at least had some sort of development, but again, he only had a few recurring joke stereotypes.

The ending was of course a mess, when they had to bring in the more action/spy elements. It weakens an already weak comedy film.

Two genres is hard, you have to be willing to go hard into both, not just a little bit into both. Because then you are just left with a dud, a master of none, and a film people will forget about in a few months time.

1 out of 4.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

I really wanted to do some clever parody of Spoonman to start this review, but those lyrics kind of suck. Didn’t give me a lot to work with, outside of obviously changing Spoonman to Birdman.

But let’s talk about this great title. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) is the full title and so we should say it every time in public as such. Such a provocative title on its own right, and given that some of the people in here play strange fake versions of themselves, it gets even crazier.

And the movie itself is very pseudo-meta. In the quickest description, it is about a man going through a midlife crisis, who used to play a very famous super hero, but stopped and hasn’t had great work since then. That person is looking for a comeback into the public fame and risking it all to succeed. Michael Keaton of course used to play Batman, and after Multiplicity, well, who cares? And now he is in a very similar situation. Awesome. I am stoked.

And Norton plays a great actor who others can’t stand and is hard to work with. Hey!

To reiterate, Riggan (Keaton) used to be a hot commodity. He played BIRDMAN, the best super hero, people loved him. But then he stopped. He didn’t want to do it anymore.

Now look at him, middle aged, divorced, and putting on a play. A play?? Yes. On Broadway, an adaption of a a short story that he is writing, directing, and starring in. Why? Hard to say, could be the crisis, could be because he likes the author, could be anything. But it is happening and soon. But at the same time, his life is falling apart. His relationship with his daughter (Emma Stone) is strained. He is putting all of his wealth into this production. His lead performers are either bad or egotistical. He might have gotten someone pregnant. He has to deal with critics with a vendetta. And bad things just seem to keep happening!

Did I mention mid-life crisis? Because Riggan is also having trouble, when he is alone, perceiving his own reality. He almost sees reality in a different light than everyone else. They just couldn’t understand.

Also featuring Zach Galifianakis as his lawyer, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough, and Edward Norton as his actors, and Amy Ryan as his ex-wife.

Also starring that guy, played by some Harvey or something like that.

One of the coolest things a director can do is have a few “really long shots” in their film, where the camera never leaves the scene, where there are not cuts, just a lot of dialogue and a lot of acting. The Master had an intense one of those, Before Midnight had a few, Tarantino does it a lot. It is awesome and shows a lot of great acting during these sorts of scenes.

I don’t know a lot about the director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, except that I have reviewed only one of his films, Biutiful, but I am convinced that this man is a genius. The ENTIRE FILM is made up of incredibly long scenes. I’d say the camera must have only cut away under ten times the whole film, which is about two hours long. That is incredible.

And just so we are clear, this is not a movie with only a handful of locations where the camera is just watching a few people talking for 10-15 minutes at a time. No. People walk and people move from room to room of this tiny Broadway theater, from main stage to dressing room, to balcony, to the streets below. So the entire film is so meticulously planned that the whole thing is like a Rube Goldberg machine. Actors have to come into rooms at the right time, also props, sight gags, everything has to fit in correctly. Given that this is a comedy, timing is key for half of the laughs, so it was an incredible feat. It is almost as if they tried to convey this movie as if it was a play, where real acting had to occur.

Speaking of real acting, there were so much incredible talent in this film, but Keaton and Stone knock it out of the park. Obviously Keaton will get most of the fame, and rightfully so, most likely earning a Best Acting nomination nod for his work here. But I want to make sure that people know that Stone was also fantastic and had a monologue or two to convey intense emotions through.

The film had a great plot, it kept me guessing, and shit, even the soundtrack of “mostly just drums” worked really fucking well. Go see Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) and then maybe go see it again.

4 out of 4.

The Hangover Part III

The Hangover series is a bit of an enigma. Here is why!

The original is about four men on a bachelor party in Las Vegas, where they all black out, one goes missing, and they have to retrace their steps through the wildest night of their lives before the wedding. So what’d the sequel do? The Hangover Part II gave us another wedding, another night of blacked our memories and regrets, but in Thailand. Like most sequels, in contained the same theme and a similar plot. After all, it is called The Hangover and is about being hungover, and it is not called “Some Guys Get Into Shenanigans!” I don’t know if people complained about the similarities between Die Hard and Die Hard 2.

But for whatever reason, audiences hated it and voiced their displeasure. Which is why we now have The Hangover Part III! (Trailer) Learning from their mistakes, we now have a movie about a few guys getting into shenanigans and no hangovers.

Classic elevator scenes are classic. Those sheets are suggestive as fuck.

A few years after Part II, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is still a madman. He is off his medication and causing accidents, overly stressing his father (Jeffrey Tambor) and giving him a fatal heart attack.

Which is why his friends decide to give him an intervention. Doug (Justin Bartha), Stu (Ed Helms), and Phil (Bradley Cooper) convince him to drive down to the rehab center to get his life back on track! But along the way, they are hijacked by Marshall (John Goodman), a drug dealer and international criminal, who claims Chow (Ken Jeong) stole $21 Million in gold bars from him.

Of course the only person to be in contact with Chow since Thailand is Alan. So he kidnaps Doug, and they have three days to find Chow and his money, or Doug dies. Swell!

This film also brings back Mike Epps as “Black Doug”, Heather Graham as Jade, and introduces Melissa McCarthy as a pawn shop owner.

Allen Vs Chow
Yep, the whole gang is represented in this poster. Wait…

I think I am going to put this blame on the writers. In terms of plot, this Hangover actually tells a decent story. There is betrayal, redemption, and a group of guys that can’t fix their larger than life problems. But instead of focusing on the entire group, it is almost a if Stu and Phil get pushed out of the way for the Alan and Chow show.

Alan is an annoying character, which Zach G. tends to to play a lot (With mixed results). He is the type of character that is good for a comedy, but shouldn’t be the main focus. Chow was also a secondary character, but  it feels like he has more lines than even Stu, who in turn is just a punching bag for Alan this movie.

The writers intended this to be a redemption movie for Alan, and thus  gave him the leading role. After all, everyone else has settled down besides his character, so this is just his turn to settle to end the series. But it feels very forced. The film on the whole has less humor than the previous two, focusing more on the intense plot lines. In fact, the scaffolding scene from the trailer made me jump from my feet in fright. Not that the seriousness was a bad thing, but it is framed as a comedy and not an adventure/action film.

I know it is a strange thing to blame the writers yet talk highly of the plot.I wish they were able to have the same overall storyline, without cramming two (Arguably) secondary characters down our throat. It shouldn’t be hard to give Bradley Cooper or Ed Helms bigger roles in the film. They felt like replaceable cast members, which is unacceptable.

That being said, Part III wasn’t horrible, it just wasn’t amazing either.

2 out of 4.

Into The Wild

Recently I asked my two labs what their favorite movies were. I asked everyone, about 37 students in all, and I was happy to say I had seen every single one of them already.

Except for one.

Into The Wild. I had heard of it mentioned before, but never seen it. Well, I couldn’t let my record stay at only one away, so I set off to see it immediately. Didn’t hurt that it fell in my 2007+ range of reviewable movies!

Hey uhh, that’s some nice geology you, uhh, got going on there.

Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) is not like normal boys. No, he is a free spirit, a guy who just hates the grind towards success in life, and he only just graduated college. Well, after he is finally living alone, he says fuck it. I don’t want to do this shit. I want to go out and live on the land, enjoy life for what it is and become one with nature. Damn it.

And that begins his two year journey, with the goal of moving up to the Alaskan wilderness to live on his own. But that isn’t his only goal. He also kayaks down the Colorado River all the way to Mexico, works a few odd jobs, and gets in trouble with the law. His parents (Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt) are distraught, as their boy seemingly fell off the face of the earth. He has no intention of being found either. His sister (Jena Malone) seems to understand why he did it all, but doesn’t mean she is fine with it either.

Oh, but he isn’t alone on this journey. He meets many people along the way, with different stories, theories and stations in life, and many free spirits. (These people include Brian H. Dierker, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Hal Holbrook, Kristen Stewart, and Zach Galifianakis).

No. You will ONLY get artsy looking pictures in this review, damn it.

Oh here is another fun fact. This movie was directed by Sean Penn. That fact wasn’t fun for you? My bad. But maybe mildly interesting.

This is the only movie I have seen directed by Mr. Penn, and let me a tell ya. It was pretty intense. I am kind of disappointed no one told me to watch this movie earlier, because it is such a great (and true-ish) story!

I am not the kind of guy who will ever give up things to go and discover myself. I like things, I like that they are a part of myself. Hooray capitalism and what not. If I didn’t like things, I wouldn’t have so many movies. But even I felt attached to Chris during his story. Full of ups and downs he discovered the truth about his life and did what he loved most in the world.

The movie is over 2 hours long and I didn’t notice it at all. I don’t think I have seen Emile Hirsch in any other movies, but I think his acting was just so tremendous in this movie, I am going to have to see more. The next will probably be Speed Racer, where he is the titular role, that way I can have a lesser opinion of him. Or something.

Into the Wild is definitely an overlooked movie from about 5-6 years ago, and should be a must watch for some time to come.

4 out of 4.

The Campaign

Happy November 6th, 2012! It is Election Day in America, so I went the obvious route and picked The Campaign to review. I don’t even have a clever intro to say before I talk about the movie, so fuck it, lets just go into it.

Tongue lashing
Just gotta warm my tongue muscles first.

In the 14th District of North Carolina, life is simple. Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is running for his fifth term as congressman for the Democratic party and is unopposed. I guess people really like him. Sure he is a filthy man, and doesn’t do much, but who cares. Unfortunately, his popularity takes a drastic turn down when he leaves a very explicit sexual message for a woman he is cheating on his wife (Katherine LaNasa) with. His campaign manager (Jason Sudeikis) tries to put a positive spin on it all, but nothing really seems to work.

This spells for trouble in Capitol Hill, namely with the Motch brothers (John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd) who are working on a new plan with China and need all the support they can get. Seems like now is the best time to replace Brady with someone new, that the public will love. Unfortunately their only available contact in the area is Marty Huggins (Zach Galifiankis), the son no one talks about. Wanting to make his dad proud, he is happy to run and make his area of North Carolina better.

He just didn’t know it involved changing everything about himself, his wife (Sarah Baker) and kids, from the mysterious campaign manager Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott).

But more importantly, once both men are in the race, how low will they go to discredit the other, just for a chance to help start Project: Insourcing?

Ring rosey bitch
Will they be able to stop all this family shit and man up?

Having lived in North Carolina, I was happy to notice a lot more subtle jokes than one would have expected. Like the 14th District of North Carolina, that doesn’t even exist! NC had 13 districts, not sure if they did that for legal reasons, or for the joke, but I will so go for the joke.

Cutting right to the chase, this movie did make me laugh. I giggled quite often. But I think the movie went the easy route with most of the jokes, and could have made a stronger movie overall, tackling bigger issues, while also keeping a lot of the jokes. The DVD for this movie came out about a week ago, all of the timing makes since. They wanted this movie because of the presidential election. Yet they didn’t really say anything important about it.

Sure, the basic message of money buying elections is probably true. Minor jokes on the Romney/Obama campaigns, and other parallels like John Edwards. But overall it just seemed to be missing a lot more.

I would suggest seeing the movie once, it will probably make you laugh. I just don’t think it will pack as big of a punch in multiple viewings.

2 out of 4.

The Muppets

I can’t say I know much about The Muppets. Pretty sure I watched more of the Muppet Babies cartoon than any actual muppet movie or show. And by pretty sure I mean 100% positive. I have seen many episodes of that cartoon, and no episodes of the old Muppets show or any Muppet movie before. Just wasn’t raised on them, my bad.

So needless to say the only preconceived notions I had on this movie was that A) a lot of people loved it and B) the title was dumb/vague.

I like that dog one myself.

In this world, I guess Muppets are just real things. I couldn’t tell if all things that were Muppets like were known as Muppets, or if only this select group of /things/ were known as the Muppets. A third option is that they are more or less identical to real people, and the people who were part of the show The Muppets are the Muppets. I think that is the real answer? Kind of weird though.

The story is about a “Guy” named Walter, who clearly is a muppet. Or at least a weird looking human. He is best friends with Jason Segel‘s character, and they are roommates for like, forever. Jason has been dating his girlfriend for 10 years, Amy Adams, and on their anniversary they are going to the magical land of Los Angeles. She also happens to be a school teacher, and I was weirded out when it was her and NOT Alyson Hannigan.

They invite Walter along too, because he is lonely, and wants to see the Muppet studios. He is obsessed with that show. Like, really obsessed. That is all he talks about. Kind of makes sense why not many friends. So of course all he wants to do is see the studio. Amy Adams main goal is to finally have alone time with her boyfriend and maybe get a proposal finally. But shit goes wrong. Turns out an “evil” man (Chris Cooper) is about to but the old studio, because there is oil underneath it. And in the original contract, they have until some time next week to buy it again for $10 million.

Walter flips a shit, and wants to try and stop him. So he finds and convinces Kermit to “Get the band back together” and that people “Still care” about them, and hopefully try and save their studio. So they get all the Muppets they can and work on getting a telethon the day before to hopefully raise enough money, with a lot of musical acts, and host Jack Black!

Also, eventually Jason stops being such a jackass, and realizes he is dating Amy Freaking Adams and does the right thing. Don’t worry.

Tons of cameos of famous people playing themselves or other weird roles, including Rashida Jones, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Kristen Schaal, Donald Glover, and Emily Blunt.

Look at this noob. He is too fanboyish to be a real Muppet.

Honestly, I thought the plot was pretty weak. The ending didn’t seem to make much sense to me. Heart warming, sure, but nonsensical. I don’t want to spoil it, but feel free to ask me if you saw the movie, haha.

BUT. I did like a lot of the jokes. When they were getting all the muppets, and needed to do it in a montage? That was great. And map travel. I also enjoyed a lot of the music. The songs involving Amy Adams and Jason Segel were my favorite, but the Muppet only songs during their telethon were pretty entertaining as well. Especially the barber shop quartet.

But out of all that, it just means I might be more willing to buy* the CD, and not really care about watching the movie again. It was decent, probably a lot better for those that you know, grew up with the muppets though.

2 out of 4.

It’s Kind Of A Funny Story

It’s Kind Of A Funny Story is, surprisingly enough, a comedy. It also stars some guy I have never heard of before. I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to fit in the trend of “Comedy movies about serious topics that might be more sad than funny”, like Funny People (which I hadn’t watched) and 50/50 (which is great). I will get to Funny People eventually, but what I have heard isn’t positive. So I really hoped this one wouldn’t be shit.

Well I mean, because I hope every movie I watch is good. I guess that was obvious.

Zach G
Oh yeah. And Zach Galifianakis.

The story begins with Keir Gilchrist killing himself. Nah, not really. But thinking about it. He is also thinking about how disappointed his family would be in him if he did it. His family (parents of Lauren Graham and Jim Gaffigan) are disappointed in him a lot, and want him to strive to be smart and get into the best schools / summer schools, to be successful.

He goes to the hospital instead (attaboy!) and tries to get help for having the thoughts, thinking he’d get a pill or something, but actually voluntarily checks himself into the mental ward of a hospital for a week. (“Oh! I get the title now…” – reader) He at first meets Zach G, who claims he is just there on vacation. He also meets Jeremy Davies, who I think is a crazy too, just a head crazy of some sort. Then again, he might just be a chill doctor. I am not sure. But what really catches his eye is another young person who is crazy hot (see what I did there?) in Emma Roberts.

Its also good to note that his two best friends are Zoe Kravitz and Thomas Mann, the former a girl who he has crushed on forever, but is dating the latter, a boy who in all accounts is always more successful than him without much effort.

The story tells of his week, trying to overcome his depression, and figure out what he actually wants in life. There are other nice stories, such as living with a roommate who is afraid to leave his bed, Zach G trying to interview to move from the ward to a group home, and other subtly uplifting things. Also the deal with his love life and what he will do after his week in the ward, of course.

Or during. Hah!

So, somehow this story, which was just enough parts funny and just enough parts aww and thoughtful, I loved. This is my favorite kind of moment, watching a movie I have known for a long time, and finding out it is awesome. Everyone does such a good job and the movie also doesn’t take depression in a zany tone.

Other patients are seen as both crazy and sane at the same time, helping the main guy on his path. It also doesn’t just wash over his issues and say “Okay he is cured! Only took him a week to cure depression guys, its not serious!” I don’t know how a person with depression would feel about this movie, but hopefully not offended.

The only other movie I could compare it too would be The Beaver, just because also about depression and kind of a dark comedy.

But you should check this one out first.

4 out of 4.

Puss In Boots

Hooray, CGI movies about cats and swords!

As you probably already know, Puss In Boots is a prequel to the Shrek tales, but has nothing to do with Shrek. Just…Puss In Boots and how he got those boots.

Errm egg
And you know, uhh…Other tales.

Antonio Banderas reprises his role as the sword swinging feline. He is wanted for petty crimes, but bitches can’t catch him. He wants to steal a big prize, but not from old people or children or anything. That is when they let him know about…the magic beans.

Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris) have found the beans and plan to plant them. Why? Because beanstalks, that’s fucking why! They want to go to the land of the giants, who are long dead, and get some of that golden goose/egg stuff.

But when he is about to steal them…another cat! Who I want to call Batcat but is apparently Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek). They have to fight over getting to the beans and both fail. Lots of fighting / dancing later, we also get to find Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) an old character from [I don’t know how to grammatically say this right, and it feels awkward] Pusses past. He wont have any of it and storm off.

But eventually forgiveness happen, and the three set off to get the magic beans, go up the beanstalk, and become rich and help the poor!

Softpaws. Mmm.
This also tells the tale of creatures addicted to ‘Leche’

There are some other fairy tale things in here, but I don’t want to give them away. Overall, I could say it was a very decent movie. But I had some problems with it.

Flashbacks. Part of that word is flash, making me think at least it shouldn’t be a long thing. Well the flashbacks in the movie were incredibly long. We hear the whole story of his birth, meeting Humpty, becoming friends, and eventually not being friends. All in one ridiculously long flashback. Bah. It is already a prequel. Might as well tell that shit in a better order. Because that long portion was boring as crap.

I also felt a bit disappointed by the main story. I think they could have done something more epic than the search for magic beans / golden geese. Maybe the large desert portions also took away a bit from the nice CGI that went into the movie. When you have excellent CGI, you don’t want it to be a sexy desert.

Overall I thought it was decent, but man. A rollercoaster in terms of interesting plots.

2 out of 4.

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