Tag: 2 out of 4

Occupation: Rainfall

See my interview with the director/writer of the movie here!

A couple of years ago, a film called Occupation released out of Australia. It starred Australian actors, was directed and produced by Australians, and hell, surprisingly, was shot and set in Australia. It was so Australian, a rugby match played a pivotal part of the film. Mmmm, non American sports.

Well, it was hit with relatively big success for an independent film about an alien invasion and a small community coming together to fight the scary aliens away.

And now we have the sequel, set a few years later, starring the same people, and also coming out a few years later. Hey, it is wonderful when that works out like that. Occupation: Rainfall is updating us on the war, years later, with more explosions and pew pews.

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Posing before shooting is the coolest thing you could ever do. 
For real though, aliens invaded, but they aren’t like, that much better than humans. Yes, their guns and ships are better, but they weren’t able to take over the entire world. Last time was saw one community stand up really well on their own against them (and probably had a small force to try and take them out, they weren’t Sydney). But it turns out, a lot of places in the world were able to shoot them and take them down.

So where do we find our heroes now? Well, still in Australia, still working together, but with more tech. And hey, they got some alien deflectors now. They got aliens who are giving them intel and helping them strike back and go for bigger and badder tactics. And they all have responsibilities over larger amounts of people. It is nice they didn’t get fully swept up in the bureaucracy of defending their planet.

Before their issues were about just finding loves ones, but now we have to worry about the survival of the species. And hey, we got some other countries people helping us this time! Will this be the end of the alien scum, will our heroes finally lose, or will neither happen and will we get a third film?

Starring Dan Ewing, Temuera Morrison, Daniel Gillies, Lawrence Makoare, Mark Coles Smith, and Jet Tranter. Also featuring some newer bigger names like Ken Jeong and Jason Isaacs.

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Yep, looks like they got all the lasers and pew pews right here.

The first Occupation film, from my point of view, was surprisingly well done. This was based on my already low expecatations however of an indie film trying to recreate a bigger budget film with clearly not the names or budget behind a normal big budget movie. It was solid, but it did stall out and feel a bit generic in action department by the end. So with the sequel, they are given some bigger names, the same cast and crew, and a lot more money to do the bigger bangs, more aliens, more ships.

And does the sequel deliver on that front? Yes for sure, they amp up everything in this franchise being made from the ground up.

However, with that being said, and with real tactical things being done in the movie, and betrayals and twists and action, it will be great for those who want that in a movie. But I always want something more in my action film and this one doesn’t seem to deliver it to me on that level. It is, unfortunately, chock full of the sort of action that would put me to sleep. The tension created didn’t transfer over to me or put me on the edge of my seat in any way. I did care a little bit about the story elements, and whether some would live or die, but that wasn’t enough for me to fully care about the final results.

I won’t take away the technical achievements this movie has made though. With a bigger budget, it still wasn’t astronomical, and they did a lot with what they had, just like the first film. And the crisp new cameras really help you get immersive in the final polished piece. But from start to finish, I couldn’t tell you after the fact what action scenes happened in this or the first film, and I would describe them all relatively similar because unfortunately none would stick with me.

2 out of 4.

Cruella

I often talk about bias and my attempts to avoid it completely, by avoiding the source material, or you know, letting you know if I have a bias. Like my hatred towards Luc Besson.

With Cruella, ever since it was announced it met me with confusion. But why? Why would anyone want to make a story about the origins of Cruella? The dog killer? I understand they did this same bullshit with Maleficent, someone in the original cartoon who was said to be the biggest evil thing ever, but in Sleeping Beauty, she didn’t do that many bad things. She never attempted to kill puppies. (And, author’s opinion of course, Maleficent was a bad movie, and the sequel was worse, so not worth going down that path too many times).

But in 101 Dalmatians, we can see why she is the bad guy. She wanted to kill dalmatians to make fashion. How the fuck are you gonna redeem that? The only way that could be redeemed would be if you decide to just ignore it…or just say it was a misunderstand and a lie. Neither feel like really strong arguments to run with because there wasn’t really any grey area in 101 Dalmatians for us to see a misunderstanding.

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Based on this hair in the photo, we could have had 101 Cliffords.

Just as a heads up, this shouldn’t be considered a spoiler, as it happens very early on, but this next paragraph has someone people might want to see happen and not know why.

Because this is an origin story, we are going to start with  Cruella’s birth, except her name is Estella and she has that black/white hair out of the womb for some reason. Growing up, she was interested in fashion, and getting revenge on bullies. She got into trouble, all of that. Her mom (Emily Beecham) tried to help her out and encourage her dreams, but they were poor. Then one day, at a fancy party which they weren’t invited too, Estella snuck in to find her mom and the host. Some dalmations were chasing her, and sure enough, they actually ended up pushing her mom off a cliff and she died. Oh boy. See. There you have it. There is an angle. Instead of becoming Dalmatian Lady, she set off to kill them all right? Wrong.

Now Estella is an orphan, but she meets two other orphan pick pockets and they end up living together to run the streets. Now years later, Estella (Emma Stone), Jasper (Joel Fry), and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser), do a lot of criming. They steal, they plan crime, they dress up in outfits, and they get by. What fun, what fun. But Estella wants something more. Jasper sees that, and lies on a resume for her to get her an in job at a fashion store!

And well, a lot more happens. But Estella is going to have a rise to power eventually, change her name, and have reasons to take down the head fashionista (Emma Thompson) in London, with a few balls, robberies, and shenanigans along the way.

Also starring Mark Strong, Kayvan Novak, and John McCrea.

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“There’s no way that could be the same woman with the red hair. There is different hair!”

I really wanted to get it out of my head, but the nagging feeling remained throughout. This lady wants to kill dogs eventually. They didn’t try to paint Cruella as the nicest woman around. She obviously still is a criminal, who steals, vandalizes, and is some punkrock incarnation of fashion in London in the 1970’s. Will they get to the dalmatian part at all? Because Maleficent did deal with Aurora growing up and the curse. The answer is no. This film ends before 101 Dalmatians begins, but it introduces us to those characters, which will at least mean in the future, when they inevitably make a sequel, maybe that one will be the film that will explain why Cruella isn’t all that bad and is misunderstood.

But for this film, it doesn’t get there. There is a reference to killing dogs for their fur, but it doesn’t happen in this movie, and again, it all takes place before the one we know about her. This is a bit of a cop out. I would assume most people are going into this movie to see how they can see how trying to kill puppies is redeemable, but we never get that far into the story, and we just get some strange fashion based Oliver Twist story of revenge.

This tale has twists, music, shenanigans, and more, but I continually wanted it to get to the point, and frankly, I feel like it never reached it. Now, it is not like the movie makers said they would explain why Cruella wants to kill puppies for fashion, just her background, so we got a background, and now I have nothing to do with this information. Again, there will likely be a sequel, and the sequel will be the story I am most curious about given the reference information we were all given over the last 50 years of living in a world with 101 Dalmatians.

The film itself is pretty standard. The look and feel is exactly what I would expect based on recent Disney productions. I put this film down as a drama, but I guess it is labeled as a comedy. Honestly, it is all over the place in terms of tone and plot. It was hard figuring out exactly what I was meant to write about in that section. Cruella I am sure will have an audience somewhere, and although not inherently bad, it is still very messy.

And you know. How they gonna try and redeem a would-be puppy killer?

2 out of 4.

Mainstream

Andrew Garfield, is he the best Spider-Man? Honestly, most people would put him at number three, and those people are fine in my book. I do like him as Spider-Man though. I’d put him at three also, but note that everyone was a good Spider-Man in their own way.

I do like Garfield, because out of the Spider-People, he has shown me to be the best and strongest actor of the three overall. Yeah, I am including you Maguire. And Holland hasn’t done enough to really show what he can do.

But Garfield is in the sweet spot, where he has been in serious films, films that are nominated for awards, some of them because of his action.

So when I found out he was going to play a YouTube sensation that was a bit wild and I guess…accurate to modern YouTube stars, I thought it would be a perfect fit for him, because he is young enough to get that energy, and a good actor enough to have potential layers to his act, and not just parody.

And yet still, Mainstream was barely released to theaters, and pulled quickly out of many of them as no one went to see it. I think people likely

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Also, Jim Carrey 30 years ago could have done this role. 

Frankie (Maya Hawke), for the most part, lives on her phone. She is a bartender at a club, but a budding YouTuber. Like, really budding. Barely any views. She tries to make videos and content but no one cares. So she is just bartending, with one of her best friends, Jake (Nat Wolff).

However, while she was off doing regular human things, she ends up seeing Link (Andrew Garfield), in an animal costume, working who knows what promotion. But Link goes on a fun rant about art and society with the public, which she records and posts on the internet. And because this is a movie, you know that one will go slightly viral.

Now, Link, he has no parents, doesn’t like social media, hates cell phones, all of that. They end up seeing each other a couple of times, and she wants to record more of him to get famous and be a producer. But how can she do that with someone so anti-capitalist?

Well, let’s just say, the rise to the top can be very fast, and sometimes people aren’t who they seem on the outside, and maybe everything is just an act.

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“This is the internet and this –” “I know what phones are, bitch.”

Mainstream is destined to be a film that is mostly hated, and that hate it will have a lot of good arguments. The climb to the top is a bit unrealistic, and the YouTube show itself is really…bad. Just bad. It is not how YouTube channels and shows work. They turn it into a gameshow, that has contestants who agree to do bad things for their phones back? It is the type of show that maybe could work once, but not sure how they’d get to have more than a couple episodes without changing things constantly.

And it is edited like modern YouTube celebrities’, with the quick cuts sounds. I know I am an old curmudgeon, but I don’t see how they put out a product that would get people excited and watching to become YouTube famous. Yes, if things are set in the real world, we often hope for some realism in their plot lines.

Now, the saving grace is that Garfield’s character is interesting and mysterious. A little bit diabolical. It is easy to be drawn into his character, but less his character on the screen.

The ending is a big ole what the hell too, but it ends up working really well for me. A powerful creation had been unearthed on our channel, even if didn’t make total sense the journey to that point. It obviously has a lot to say about commercialism, celebrity worship, social media, and fake stars, but it also feels like it never really drives the point home at all.

Mainstream is a messy film about a messy topic. It doesn’t really overstay its welcome, more so it instead just meanders a bit before getting to the grand finale. Garfield is fine though. He should keep doing his thing.

2 out of 4.

Bad Trip

Bad Trip had a bad accident, and that is currently what most people know about the film.

See, it was definitely another casualty of the pandemic, and pushed back for its release this year. However, unlike most other films, an accident occurred. Amazon Prime accidentally uploaded it to its servers (on the day it was supposed to have a theatrical release), and well, once something is on the internet, it stays on the internet. Unless we are talking about my photos of me as a high school DJ. I can’t find them anywhere.

And so the film was pirated despite Amazon fixing the problem quickly, and torrents took over.

But don’t worry. Netflix eventually bought it, despite the issues, and released it for free anyways in March. And holy fuck, I took awhile to release this review.

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“Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?”

Chris (Eric Andre) is a bumbling nobody after school, working odd jobs to get by, but never really finding a purpose in his life. Bud (Lil Rel Howery) is his best friend and doesn’t have much of stable job either. They are just existing in the world.

And then Maria (Michaela Conlin) walks into Chris’ life at one of his jobs. They went to high school together, he had a crush on her, and this is a big surprise. Turns out she became successful and runs her own art gallery in NYC, and as a gesture, tells him if he is up there to stop by anytime. Chris takes that as a sign that he needs to go to NYC and find Maria’s gallery, and profess his love for her. Clearly it is fate.

So he convinces Bud to go with him on a road trip to NYC. They also steal a car that belongs to Bud’s sister, Trina (Tiffany Haddish), because it should be okay, she is in prison. Until she breaks out and has to chase them down for her wheels.

Oh, and this whole movie is actually a hidden camera movie along the way, in order to do large elaborate scenes with real people for shocks and laughs.

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“Long live the King,” – Mufasa / Tiffany Haddish. 

Okay! A prank movie. Those aren’t that common. They are common in TV Shows and YouTube channels. Outside of that Bad Grandpa and Borat movies, I can’t remember that many of these off the top of my head lately. And usually they are low on plot, and focus only on freaking out the normal people.

And surprisingly, I didn’t think this one was that bad. The thing that really kept me watching and excited was how elaborate some of these situations ended up being. The amount of effects they had to plan, for blood or explosion reasons. How many times they got naked. How one joke must have taken a lot of random prep work on a strange to have a photoshopped image of them at their disposal. Shit, did they stalk that guy?

And yeah, it made me chuckle. I can say it provided some good content in there, while also being pretty weak of a story. I basically hated the story overall. But liked individual scenes.

Andre is a master of this improv arts, as we already could tell with his ridiculous late night show. And it works pretty well for this movie also. No one will go into this expecting great art, but it should provide a few chuckles who are acceptable to this level of humor.

2 out of 4.

Breaking News in Yuba County

Turns out Yuba County is a real county, in California, not near the bigger cities, but up North. It assumed it was a made up county, but there are a shit ton of counties out there in the US, so might as well be a Yuba county. Hell, there might be more than one Yuba County, and only the California one do people care about because the other one is in Idatana or somewhere else.

So for Breaking News in Yuba County, it is supposed to feel like some average sized place, with commodities and businesses and a news, but not a big ass city. Just a regular village in the middle of nowhere. 

What kind of news would be Breaking News in a place like this? Cupcake sale? Doggy parade? Maybe 20 dead in a mall shooting?

Who knows, the sky is the limit, and in this movie, characters are going to have to die I guess. 

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“No please, don’t kill Jimmi Simpson, anyone but him!”

Sue Buttons (Allison Janney) is getting old, and her life is stuck in a rut, but it is her birthday, and she is going to enjoy it, damn it. But the people at her work do not remember her birthday. Her husband (Matthew Modine) doesn’t seem to remember her birthday, and runs out on her in the morning, and doesn’t respond to texts to meet up with her for her birthday dinner reservations! Shit. It turns out he was cheating on her. And when she confronts him in the motel room while doing the dirty deed, he seems to have a heart attack, and dies, right then and there.

Well damn. Birthdays. She is shocked, and a bit dumb struck on what to even do. But she doesn’t call the cops to tell them what happened. Nope. She decides to hide his body instead. Then the next day she can report him as missing.

You see, in the news lately, there has been a little girl missing, and the parents have been all over the news, quite famous really, and everyone is caring hard for them. So she is going to report him missing, knowing that he will never be found. Then she can be in the spotlight. She can be famous. People will care for her.

This main plot line is intermingled with quite a few others, including extortion, mafia crimes, news reporters fighting for scoops, and more. 

Also starring Mila Kunis, Regina Hall, Awkwafina, Wanda Sykes, Ellen Barkin, Jimmi Simpson, Keong Sim, Juliette Lewis, Clifton Collins Jr., Samira Wiley, and Bridget Everett

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Step 1: Lie. Step 2: ??????. Step 3: Fame

Who doesn’t love a good dark comedy? A whole lot of people getting offed, in ridiculous ways, while also maintaining a level of humor and plot of quirky individuals. And honestly, a lot of big names in this cast to potentially get whacked. And that is half of the fun in these films.

But I also honestly thing the lead character in this story is so unpleasantly bland that it is hard to fully enjoy this movie. Like many films, the side characters make it work. The strange workings of the very odd plot. The bad decisions people make. Obviously the main character is meant to be bland and having pretty damn superficial goals, and it is a bit rage inducing. 

A movie can intentionally have characters not fun to watch, but can’t also be mad if we think they aren’t fun to watch. Janney is a great actress and really gives it her all to make this person unbearable. And I can’t bear it.

It is a shame because I do like a lot of moments in this film, but it is just one I don’t think I would ever want to revisit despite the fun events. Fuck, Collins Jr. as a ruthless killer for the mob and he is so great at it. Sykes mostly plays her self but she does it so well. Kunis could have been more ruthless in her role as a reporter and someone close to the scene, but they need a few people to not be outrageous I guess.

Breaking News in Yuba County, watch it once, enjoy parts of it, then move on. 

2 out of 4.

Every Breath You Take

I feel like as a society, we should be at a collective point where people realize that the song Every Breath You Take is creepy as fuck. Sting has already said it is sinister and controlling and not a wonderful love song. And yet people still are oblivious and think its beautiful.

It is a creepy phrase and a great name for a movie. Especially if it involves a stalking romance.

Every Breath You Take doesn’t really involve romance (although there is some sexmance, if you will) and stalking. Maybe not the perfect title for this movie. But maybe the perfect title for a Casey Affleck autobiography?

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Of course you can see every breath they take if you are that fucking close to their mouth. 

Philip (Casey Affleck) is a therapist, and maybe a good one, maybe a bad one. Really hard to tell. He did have one patient, Daphne (Emily Alyn Lind), who was really low and sore and couldn’t open up. And to encourage her to open up, he talked about himself. He talked about his wife (Michelle Monaghan) and kid (India Eisley), and his fears and regrets. He wasn’t trying to make her his therapist. He was just trying to be more relatable for her. And it worked! She talked and got better and he started to tell people of his discovery.

Well, then we find out that Daphne goes and dies. You know. Suicide. Shit was this his fault? We all know people will blame him anyways. Makes sense.

Maybe people like James (Sam Claflin), Daphne’s brother. Who ends up having to talk to him about it, for some closure. But then he just…keeps hanging around. He inserts himself into Philip’s life as they do funeral plans and deal with her belongings. He befriends the wife and daughter and show up in their lives when Philip isn’t around. He seems to have…ulterior motives for being there. Can Philip stop this man from stalking them all, when it would be hard to prove, and when he is doing his own shitty things?

Also starring Hiro Kanagawa and Veronica Ferres.

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“Howdy lady, did someone break your car? What a coincidence. I fix cars.”

At times, Every Breath You Take certainly feels like a movie that was forced to be a straight to DVD film. Which times? Well, at least 90% of the time. Not that those movies have to be inherently bad, because this one isn’t shockingly awful or anything like that. It just never rises to any level worth really getting excited about.

Affleck feels like a broody sad version of himself that is in a lot of films. He did it better in Manchester By The Sea, he did it better in even A Ghost Story. So it doesn’t feel new in that regard at all. Claflin plays a wormy, charismatic, clearly evil being. It is frustrating how obvious it all plays out on the screen, because apparently all of the women in this movie are easily cast into his shady as fuck web. Besides that, the rest of the cast are just smaller parts in this film and not given a lot to work with. They don’t feel believable and this really drags the movie down.

And this is frustrating, because given the story, it could have been a wonderful movie overall, but basically every part of it falls flat. The twists are obvious, and then silly. The thrilling scenes near the end don’t thrill but are laughable. There are elements of people trying, but when those elements are few and far between, it is just a disaster of a film.

1 out of 4.

Final Account

Final Account was directed by Luke Holland, a man who likely have never heard of before. He has directed two documentaries before this one, in the 1993 and in 2000, and this one he finished production in the first half of 2020, after a decade of work and interviews. And then he passed away in June, soon after, before the documentary would premier anywhere.

That is very sad of course, but not the first time this has happened. Just sure hope it is good, you know?

Final Account actually has a very cheery subject matter. Nazis! A relic of the past and yet something so modern and relevant, yay.

Specifically, this documentary features interviews from German citizens who were part of Hitler’s Third Reich movement in Germany. Most of the people involved are dead now, it being 80 years ago roughly at this point. So the people who are still alive and who were involved tend to be the youth who were caught up in the movement, with their Hitler Youth camps and so on. I am sure their memories of World War II and all of that will be just swell.

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Those are some weak ass Hitler salutes. What are you, kids?

There isn’t a lot to say when it comes to the plot of this documentary of course. Here are people who did some Nazi stuff, and here are their stories. Their reasoning behind getting involved. What they believed, or at least, what today they will say they believe. You aren’t going to get a lot of old people in here saying “Oh yeah, Hitler was the best, we should have won the war!” or anything like that. Instead we have people who have lived long lives since then, dealing with guilt, regret, sadness, and hopefully, growth.

Although some of their stories are quite powerful, and they are stories that should have been recorded down and preserved, it still doesn’t necessarily make a great documentary.

Documentaries should teach and put a spotlight on something happening or that happened in the world. It should feature people involved. And this one definitely does these things. But is the type of thing that makes a worth while watch for an hour and a half?

Really, this type of documentary is the type that you have to know you are getting in to. If this sounds like a good watch, you will likely enjoy it. If you couldn’t care any less about what these people have to say, then watching it won’t change your mind either.

I can think something is important, but not necessarily worth while documentary material. It could just be videos on YouTube. Or a collection of interviews in a book. But not really a theatrical experience one would worry about.

2 out of 4.

The Virtuoso

When one thinks of the word ‘virtuoso’ they usually put it towards piano, but it of course can be used for any music. We all accept that. Hell, it could be for any art form. You can be a sculpting virtuoso, or a cross stitching virtuoso, but I can’t imagine anyone likes cross stitching enough to be a virtuoso at it.

And with The Virtuoso, we have a movie about hitmen for hire, killing people. I guess killing people, to make it look like an accident, and never be seen or heard from could be like an artform. They made a game called Hitman, and the ability to cause deaths accidentally is graded on points, I think. I only tried playing it once and I did a bad job at it. Please correct me if I am wrong about the game Hitman. I wouldn’t want such a storied franchise with terrible movies to accidentally have something said incorrect about it.

Back to The Virtuoso. Oh, yeah. The review.

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Some say I am food eating virtuoso. But I just think I’m a picky eater.

 

 

The Virtuoso is about a guy named The Virtuoso (Anson Mount). Awesome. Good plot. Head home.

We don’t get to know his name, or really any other names here. After all, we also get people with names like The Mentor (Anthony Hopkins) and The Waitress (Abbie Cornish). Our hero (?) doesn’t like to use names I guess, makes things too personal, everything is just a job.

He is a real detailed oriented person and secretive. It has a level of difficulty to hire him for a job, but that helps maintain his own anonymity and allows him to have a life outside of the job. And unfortunately, he gets “forced” into doing a rush job without a lot of proper planning, and that really throws him off balance in life, because extra people died who were innocents, and that is not okay.

Eventually he gets put on a new mission, that requires a lot of set up in a small area, and a lot of targets to take out. Maybe this will be his final one. He can’t get over the killing of innocents. Maybe this will be his swan song. 

Also starring Eddie Marsan, David Morse, and Chris Perfetti

 

 

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“Hey! Come back here Mr. Two-Time-Oscar-Winner!”

 

The Virtuoso is narrated by the lead character, but done in a very unique way. I guess we are to assume that we are also the virtuoso, and it is more like a stage summary of events. “You look around the room, and check the exits.” You line up your sights and hold your breath.” This sort of thing. Him describing the process and letting us know what is going on. It was very strange at first, but it definitely grew by the end as an interesting tool and didn’t feel unnatural anymore. And also by the end it has a fun little payoff as well, so it makes the journey feel worth it in that regard. 

The Virtuoso is also relatively slow. The beginning execution where the disaster happens that gives our main character regret is relatively quick, but the main plot after that is a much slower build. I don’t know a lot about Mount in other films (but he was in Crossroads which I keep meaning to watch…) but he seems to be trying to play a role similar to Timothy Olyphant in Justified, in terms of coolness, but a lot, lot, quieter. Maybe it is just because their faces are similar to me. He is a fine lead, extremely stoic, but the side characters do a job of making this story interesting.

And in case you are curious, Hopkins is actually in this movie several times, not just a quick one or two scenes. Not just a big name grab. I did like Cornish in this one as well. She has a much bigger role in this film than anything else I have seen her in, and adds some unique plot to the story. 

Overall, if you are looking for a quiet drama with a handful of twists about an assassin, you will end up enjoying this. If you want something with more elaborate deaths, or more action, or more twists, then this one will put you to sleep. 

 

 

2 out of 4.

 

Dope Is Death

Dope is Death? Yeah, I can imagine that. I assume we are talking about heroin and not cocaine, although I am sure they are both overall death, but based on this movie, I don’t think there was a cocaine problem in NYC in the 1970s and 80s, but I could be wrong there as well, since I wasn’t alive then and I am not a drug expert.

But there was a drug problem, and there has generally been a problem with how the government responded to the problem. Addiction sucks. It usually is hard to break, especially without help.

And if the government treats you like a criminal for being an addict and doesn’t help? That is worse. If the government refuses to provide services to get you off of the drugs that have shown to help? That sucks too.

So this is a story about how a group of people took their health and their communities health into their own hands, because they were tired of being ignored, arrested, and left to die.

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words

In the 1970s, the Young Lords took over a hospital in NYC. They held everyone “hostage” (no one is in danger) and the hospital still functioned, but they had demands. Demands to the police were heard and they opened up a detox center in their neighborhood to help get people off of drugs. It was busy, it was helping, and they also used it to help educate the youth and citizens of that area.

They focused on making sure whatever they could do to get people off dope, that they would try and learn from. The detox usually used methadone, but people became addicted to that instead, or quickly ended up back on the drugs after they finished. It was just a revolving door.

So based on knowledge from China and acupuncture, they copied and used a strategy to basically use acupuncture to detox off the drugs. It seemed to work, it didn’t mess with people emotionally and people seemed happy and content.

And then what happened? Well things got shut down cause of the man I guess, but I will leave what happened with that story for the documentary.

One of the notable people involved with this was Mutulu Shakur, step-father to Tupac, as one of the leaders of the movement before he got arrested in the 1980’s for unrelated reasons.

This documentary tells me a story that I certainly had never heard before this day. It interviews a lot of people involved in the process and gives those first hand expectations. These are all good aspects. But I will say, the clinic story and acupuncture learning and methods was a bit more of the…duller side of this story. I don’t know much about alternative healing, but I am pretty suspicious of it. And to have so much dedicated to that it just becomes something I can daze out a bit more.

I would have liked a lot more about the Young Lords and other movements at the time. More build up to the hospital take over and the other classes and community events they had to build and bring people together. Getting off drugs is cool, but you know what’s cooler? Seeing the positivity a community can generate and grow before the fuckers in charge mess things up.

Dope Is Death does still earn points for actually being about an event I haven’t heard about before, which is fascinating in its own right. A lot of docs tell the obvious story with slight new details, but this one was full of new stories for me to learn.

2 out of 4.

Here Are The Young Men

Click here for an interview with the director, Eion Macken. 

I keep getting the name of this movie wrong, Here Are The Young Men. This is a movie title based on a book of the same name. It is set in Ireland and I certainly have never heard or seen that book before.

However, I keep writing it as Here Come The Young Men. Slightly different, if not a little bit porn-y. That is actually the name of a song though. Unfortunately, I have never heard that song in my life, not even now that it has come up on my google searches a lot. At this point it’d be me admitting defeat.

Instead, let me rush right into this coming of age story. Or should it be an are-ing of age story?

group
Ah good, my crew, my blokes, my entourage.

Dublin is a fun place, assuming you live in Dublin or want to go to Dublin. It is probably not a fun place if you feel like you are stuck there and want to leave.

This story focuses on three friends, right out of high school and ready for the last best summer of their lives. This is the last summer where they might have the freedoms they do, and they get to do it as adults. Matthew (Dean-Charles Chapman) as our lead, Rez (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), and Kearney (Finn Cole) who can be a bit of an extremist.

Their goal is to party harder than they ever have before. Nothing is off the table. Booze, drugs, booze and drugs, clubs, women, all of that, within reason. Only the girls part is within reason, because Matthew actually has a girlfriend (Anya Taylor-Joy). Everything else can be unreasonable. Heck, there can also be acts of vandalism and violence, if the feeling is right.

But this summer is not going to be one without strife, as the friend group also finds that not everything is necessarily alright with the members, and sometimes you got to cut people out of your lives if you want to grow as a person.

Also starring Conleth Hill, Emmett J Scanlan, and Travis Fimmel.

ATJ
“Anya Taylor-Joy is so hot right now. ” – Jacobim Mugatu

To be honest, most people who stumble across this movie are going to do it because Taylor-Joy is in the film and is on a huge rise of popularity now. Which is great to see, but where were you all during The Witch and Split? These films were popular too, not even obscure indie films. That was my main reason for wanting to watch it. I always get curious if a big name in it is actually in the film in a meaningful way, or a couple of scenes and then heavily advertised. Taylor-Joy is the fourth most important character in this film, maybe third most even, but not a prominent character in a lot of scenes either.

Come for the Taylor-Joy, stay for the main two men. Cole and Chapman are both individuals who have been in things that people watch to varying degrees, but probably rarely given this much screen time before this point. They do both give strong performances, in very different ways.

I really loved the final scenes in the club. Once Where Do I Begin hit, it felt like the perfect song for that moment, and the whole film was totally on point as for that moment. While it  does nail the ending, I will say the chaotic way this film was edited and structured did leave me a bit more in the dark on the journey. The repeated talk show interruptions, while I understand their point, didn’t do as much as they probably hoped they would, and definitely began to leave a sour taste in my mouth. Those parts of the movie were the ones where I began to gloss over and lose interest.

Not a standard coming of age story in terms of how it is shot, and the lessons learned are ones most people don’t have to ever learn, thankfully. The chaotic story is shot in chaotic ways, with a real grungy feel at times, which  help enhance the story more than hurt. But at the same time, it is easy to get lost in the chaos at points and wait for a more structured return.

2 out of 4.