Tag: Clifton Collins Jr.

Nightmare Alley

The last time we got a Guillermo del Toro film is when he directed the one about fucking a fish.

Will someone fuck a different creature in Nightmare Alley? Hard to say based on the title alone. I did not know until a little bit before hand that Nightmare Alley was an older book, and also an older movie from 1947. So we are getting a remake. And honestly, this is the exact reason for remakes in my mind. Often remakes are made for successful film that they just want to try again because people liked the first one. They should do more remakes either based on films that failed, or at least just more unknown work to give them a new fresh light.

Not to insult those of you who know and love the original Nightmare Alley film, but honestly, it isn’t super well known now, regardless of how big it may have been in the past.

This new version promised to be closer to the book. Alright, whatever, I am just hear for the movies. Specifically, Guillermo del Toro movies.

carnyNo, this isn’t a screengrab from the next Indiana Jones flick…
Who is that mysterious stranger, Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper)? The one with the smooth outfit, the clean face, the twinkle in his eyes, the hat? The one who burned down that house for some reason and is willing to just…drift.

Stan finds himself at a traveling show, a carnival, full of lies and deceit. But he sees a geek show, and agrees to help load up for the night for a small payment. And then he gets offered a job to stay along more, because he looks like someone who just needs to be there.

So he stays, he listens, and he learns. Quickly. He learns the tools of the trade. He has plans and ambitions. He has been kept quiet and hidden for so long, he thinks he can take some of these skills and become famous. A celebrity. But if he becomes a man who deals with deceit, eventually, he will be deceited right in the ass.

Also starring Cate Blanchett, Clifton Collins Jr., David Strathairn, Holt McCallany, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, Tim Blake Nelson, Toni Collette, and Willem Dafoe.

blindI bet his eyes aren’t even closed under there. He is using those eyes and his blindfold eye. He is a phony!

Nightmare Alley is so damn aesthetically pleasing to look at. It is polished (some would even say, polished as fuck). I know it is getting harder and harder to really tell how much of a movie is made in front of green screens, but it feels as if this film was mostly main in real places and scenes, using fine cameras to make everything pop. That is what I truly hope and believe, especially since I know del Toro is a fan of using as many practical effects as possible, generally. But maybe most of it is CGI’d, who knows. It looks wonderful.

The big cast works really together. Some in much smaller roles than expected, but still bringing in their all to tell this strange story. It was good to see Perlman get some work in a non straight to video film. Blanchett is in particular quite a force, basically stealing the movie away from Cooper’s character after she walks into it. She is given a really strong role and one that is hard to top. Cooper also does a wonderful job. It takes awhile before his character starts to talk. I wondered if he would be a silent protagonist for the whole film (like Cage was recently in Wally’s Wonderland) but once he started to actual talk, getting him to stop was the harder part.

The actual story for the film is also a pretty good one, if not slightly familiar in some ways. The ending is the type of thing you can see miles away, because they foreshadow everything really hard. However, it is okay knowing how it ends up, because finding out the lengths someone can fall and also rise is often the most exciting part of a film.

Nightmare Alley, shockingly, has no puppet animals, or strange creatures, or any non humans getting fucked. Is this growth? Nah. That was a one time thing for del Toro. Until it isn’t.

3 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. 

shop
“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

news
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.

Waves

I didn’t know anything about Waves going into it except for the vague IMDB description, but I have seen every movie from director Trey Edward Shults. He did Krisha, which I did not like, and he did It Comes At Night, which I loved. So a nice 50/50 going on there.

He is also super, super white. This only matters to me because I read the description for Waves. It begins with “Traces the journey of a suburban African-American family…” wait, what?

I had to ask myself before hand, am I fine with this? I don’t think Shults knows anything truly about the African-American experience. Is it going to be full of stereotypes? Is it going to touch on it at all?

On the other hand, I know that many directors stick to only what they know and that is why we only have mostly White/man stories, since too many directors are just white/men. What we have asked for these directors is to come out of their comfort zone, to tell other stories and represent the real America. And that appears to be what Shults is doing with this movie.

I can’t have it both ways, so I decided to be completely on board with this film and encourage directors to tell other stories.

ocean
And eventually, more movies about mer-people.

Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) is a senior in high school and seemingly has it all. He is fit and loved and popular. He is a star on their school’s wrestling team. His family is rich. He has a girlfriend, Alexis (Alexa Demie), and they are really serious of course. Yep, no problems at all.

Well, his dad (Sterling K. Brown) is sort of intense and involved in every aspect. His step-mom (Renée Elise Goldsberry) is away with work a lot. His sister (Taylor Russell) is nice, but doing her own thing.

But sure enough, one thing goes wrong. And then another. And then another. And then another. And sure enough, emotions, impairments, pain, and sorrow, snowball up until actions can no longer be taken back. Can they recover? Can they move on?

Also starring Clifton Collins Jr. and Lucas Hedges.

church
Maybe Jesus has the answers? Maybe even…Satan!?

Shults is an interesting director. You can tell he wants to do more than just tell a story, but convey emotions and feelings into the audience. The first 10 or 15 minutes of this movie, I felt like a dream. Good times, music, everything is bliss. I honestly don’t know how long parts lasted, or when changes began, but the shift is powerful and he puts in all the stops to make it obvious.

The most obvious way is with the aspect ratio of the movie itself, which starts off full, and changes depending on what is going on in the movie. It might not be obvious when it happens the first time, but eventually it is front and center when the biggest disasters are occurring. And not just the ratio, but the use of sounds and music, the silence, the lighting themes, all of these work together to make a perfect movie for the audience. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are behind the music and it has been their best work since The Social Network, and probably surpass it in my eyes.

I loved, loved, loved our main family in this film. Harrison has never been better in his short career, and Russell puts a surprising amount of heart into this picture as well. The parents relationship felt real, sad, and it broke my heart watching them work through their issues. 

This felt like a real family who loved each other, despite all of the nonsense that went on in their lives.

I definitely cried about four times, just when I became overwhelmed with emotion or during heartfelt scenes, not necessarily my typical obvious cry moments. 

I still dozens of movies to see this year that are going for Best Picture and weeks before 2020, but this is damn near the top of the list for me at this point. 

4 out of 4.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Most reviews for this movie mention fun facts about Quentin Tarantino. And I will spend this time talking about an issue with that. Holy shit, can we all stop going crazy about how many movies he has directed? Let that be his obsession, not ours as reviewers.

Sure, he said he will retire after 10. But plenty of directors have said they would retire and then not.

Outside of a director’s first film, or their second film, I have never seen so many care about their total number after that point. By obsessing over it, we are building up Tarantino to be something bigger than what he really is, and let’s face it, he doesn’t need everyone else stroking his ego.

And with that, let’s talk about Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, his 9th-ish directed movie.

dance
Dance
The year is 1969. Vietnam sucks. Hippies exist. People are famous and rich and Nixon is around as well. We went to the goddamn moon!

But the plot starts in February and ends in August, so most of the film takes place without the moon landing at all. We are talking about aging star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), who was the lead in a Western show for many years in the 50’s and early 60’s, but now is stuck without many job offers and one off appearances in shows as a bad guy who always loses to the hero. It is also about Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), long time friend and stunt man of Dalton’s. Although he isn’t getting as much stunt work, he is still trying and really a personal assistant and friend to Dalton in order to make some money.

The movie is mainly about their struggles, but it is also a little bit about their neighbors, Polanski and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). It is also about a lot of hippies living in abandoned studios. It is about what people need to do to get famous, even if it means doing (shudder) European movies.

Also starring Al Pacino, Austin Butler, Bruce Dern, Clifton Collins Jr., Dakota Fanning, Damian Lewis, Damon Herriman, Emile Hirsch, Harley Quinn Smith, Julia Butters, Kurt Russell, Lorenza Izzo, Luke Perry, Margaret Qualley, Mike Moh, Rafal Zawierucha, Scoot McNairy, and Timothy Olyphant.

bar
Most of all business deals are done in bars with cigars.

Around 2006, when information was coming out about this future movie called Iron Man, people were abuzz with casting decisions. Who is playing who!? One of the most exciting aspects of the whole deal was of course Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury. And then not much else was said about him for a while.

Opening night while watching Iron Man, I remember being so excited the whole film to see SLJ as Fury, and getting to the end of the movie and being confused. “No! They said there would be a Nick Fury!” So as the credits started to roll, I told my friends to sit down. There must be something more in the credits. And lo and behold, at the end of the first MCU film, there was another scene, with Fury introducing the concept of Avengers. At that point this wasn’t established, for something at the end of the credits, I just knew it had to be. I needed my Nick Fury, damn it.

So how does this relate to Once Upon A Time in Hollywood? It relates perfectly I’ll have you know in a second, but let me give you some non spoilery analysis.

This movie is gorgeous. It meanders, yes. It could have been slimmed down. Pitt and DeCaprio give wonderful performances and I won’t forget about them soon. The cameos were fun. Robbie felt like a completely different person and did well at this carefree in the moment feeling actress.

So here are the spoilers for the rest of the review.

Did you know that Charles Manson was in this movie? Well, if you read movie articles, you should have known about it. Because about a year and a half ago, info for this movie started coming out and people were in an uproar that Tarantino was about to do a movie about Manson. There was a bit of backpedaling, like letting us know that he was in it but it isn’t about him, it just has him in it as a subplot or something.

And then I guess everyone forgot about it, because suddenly with this movie coming out, there is this strange aura of spoilers like its Avengers: Endgame. What the hell could really be a spoiler for a movie like this? In the theater, while talking to friends, I correctly guessed the ending of the film before hand as a joke, and uhh, it was correct. It was mostly a surprise due to just knowing what happened with Inglorious Bastards and knowing that Manson was in it. Shit, they end up making pretty obvious references to IB early in the film with a fictional Nazi burning movie.

Anyways, I think it is a mistake to try and make this whole thing a secret. I think it is okay to know that Manson murders plotline is involved, because if you don’t know anything about the real life Manson murders, a lot of the buildup won’t make as much sense. I mean, shit. This movie was actually supposed to come out on August 9th originally, which is the 50th anniversary of those murders. But it was pushed two weeks up in this schedule, maybe to make things less obvious, I have no idea.

I appreciate the level of detail that went into those scenes, using actual lines, character names, times, dates, and places. It is something he has thought a lot about, and it makes sense in QT’s “real world movie series” and still helps explain his “in universe film series” as a comparison.

If you are unfamiliar with that period, whether it is real events, the movies of the time, it will feel like a long drag and never really reach a high amount of payout. But as a movie about the place where movies were made, about an event that affected movies since that time, it has a lot of insight and actual information in a fictional film.

Also, DiCaprio and Pitt are really fun in this one.

3 out of 4.

Triple 9

Say what you will about Triple 9‘s vague title, but I think we can all agree that it is a better title than just 999.

This is one of the rare fun times where I actually know nothing about the film outside of movie posters and actors involved! But the director is John Hillcoat, who also directed Lawless and The Road, two films I adore.

And the cover gives a nice terrorist/angry gunman feel to it. A bit dark, something that feels more like a September film, not a February film.

Cops
Some rumors say this is actually the real True Detective Season 2.

Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his group (Norman Reedus, Aaron Paul, Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins Jr.) are robbing a bank. Why? Well, working for a client. They are all friends, but more importantly, they are all ex-military, special forces, or cops. Current cops.

So they know how to get shit done. However, when they deliver the package to Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet), they don’t get paid, she demands a second, harder job (for more money), and also ends up killing one of the crew to shows he is serious. Michael can’t walk away, because his son is basically a hostage in this situation.

However, the second job involves breaking into a Department of Homeland Security building. They have guards, private security, and the cops have it on speed dial. So they decide that the only way they can pull off the heist is to do a code 999. Kill a cop. Then everyone in the area will report, because every cop wants to get a cop killer. They know who to pick too. Chris Allen (Casey Affleck), who is one of their new partners, just transferred over, and the son of Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen (Woody Harrelson) who is also on their case.

But can they do it? The team is a unique group of individuals. Some are shit, some are good guys deep down in bad circumstances, and some are just train wrecks.

Also starring Gal Gadot, Teresa Palmer, E. Roger Mitchell, Luis Da Silva Jr., Michelle Ang, and Michael Kenneth Williams a transgendered prostitute.

Heist
That last note is really all the reason you need to see this film. Even if it is just one scene.

First of all, let me just talk about Kate Winslet. She is a goddamn chameleon. I had no idea it was her in this movie. Just like I had no idea it was her in Steve Jobs. Her role wasn’t as good as it was in Steve Jobs, but it was unique and I just couldn’t tell it was her at all. I love these surprises in the credits.

Triple 9 has a lot of twists and turns, and honestly, most of them were not easy to predict at all. It was keeping me on the edge of the seat throughout the film. In fact, it begins like we are already in the middle of a story. It can take awhile to catch up, but it gradually gives you bits and pieces to help put the whole story together, to find out why these men know each other and why they are in this situation.

It is a great way of doing things, but it is perhaps its biggest downfall.

Triple 9 is also a crowded film. There are a few plot lines going on, all at the same time, and not everything makes sense. Not just unexplained plot points, but character actions. For the life of me, I don’t understand how a criminal organization, wanting an almost impossible job to be done, would kill one of the five member crew before hand to show they are serious, making it even more impossible. Dumb criminals are the worst, especially when on screen they are played off as being intelligent and calculating.

Harrelson was also disappointing in this movie. His character felt like a shit version of his character from True Blood. Less accent, but all the self destructive behavior. There was no way this man was the lead detective for any precinct, as he acted like some beat cop the whole time.

The action is great, the twists are good, but in all honesty a lot of the plot is generic/incomprehensible. Worth watching at least once, just from the comfort of your own home.

2 out of 4.

Transcendence

Yay Sci-Fi movies. I hadn’t heard a lot about Transcendence, outside of seeing the trailer only once or twice. But it looked cool! Even better, it isn’t based on a book and doesn’t star Tom Cruise. I don’t hate him, he just is in a lot of Sci-Fi films lately, and I demand diversity.

Sick Depp
And all of these white people fill my diversity quota.

Transcendence takes place in the not so distant future. Let’s say, tomorrow or so. A.I. has gone a long way in the last day, and there are many companies trying to make a self-aware computer system. The most famous of these individuals is Will Caster (Johnny Depp), who is almost a celebrity, but not one who really wants it. He just wants a happy life with his wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall).

But a terrorist group strikes. They don’t like this A.I. progression. They think humans need to watch out for that shit. That shit is weak, they say. So an attempt is made on Will’s life and it is basically successful. He has about four weeks left, decides to give up the A.I. research and live his life with his wife. But she says fuck that. No. She is going to put his consciousness into their A.I. system to save him. After all, brains are basically just a series of electric impulses right?!

So she gets their other smart friend, Max (Paul Bettany) to help make code and lots of data, and yay it works! Max is freaked out instantly, but not Evelyn. She has saved her husband. They quickly hook him up to the internet in order to provide more power, and then eventually he becomes a threat to the world. Yay!

A few other people in this movie, I guess. Cillian Murphy is a FBI detective, Morgan Freeman is another A.I. genius. Kate Mara and Falk Hentschel play A.I. terrorists, and Clifton Collins Jr. plays a handy man, more or less.

Bewilidered
Why does he look so bewildered? Because Morgan Freeman doesn’t understand technology, or his role in this film.

The only reason I am having a hard time writing this review, is because I am having a hard time figuring out where to begin with the list of things bad with this movie.

The idea behind it is not a bad one. It can be a great plot. The problems with the story come from how vague everything is. The trailer sets it up to be a very smart movie, but it ends up being a dumb movie about alleged smart things. Maybe afraid of people picking it apart, they went the extremely vague route for all parts of the science. Now, everyone can be pissed off at them for the same reason!

The flow of time is really weird in this movie. Apparently two years pass without any of the pissed off people doing anything about it. Really?

Acting wise, no one seems to care too much about this film, everyone collectively sailing it in. I guess Rebecca Hall is the only one with emotions in the movie, given her situation, but the robotic feeling from everyone’s a pain. I can’t remember, but Kate Mara might only have five lines in the entire movie.

The issues with the bad science means that the ending doesn’t make a lot of sense. They know how to fix it, but again, it’s hard to know why since everything is so vague. Speaking of vague. There is a point right at the end, where the computer says he only has enough energy for one of the two things. If I told you, it would be a spoiler. But if you heard it, you too would know that it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Fuck. TL;DR This movie is senseless.

1 out of 4.

Pacific Rim

Giant Robots Fighting Giant Monsters.

That should be a good enough review for this movie.

If you are like me, the first time you heard about Pacific Rim (Trailer) you bounced around with joy. Sure, some of you maybe bounced on the subject matter alone, which is fine. But I was even more excited about the fact that Guillermo del Toro was set to direct the film. Guillermo means quality in Spanish, I am pretty sure. Just examine the last two films he directed! Hellboy IIPan’s Labyrinth? This guy knows how to tell a story, while also kicking major ass.

Robots
Spoilers: These robots are here to fuck shit up. Monster shit.
In the year 2025, we are currently in the twelfth year of fighting the Kaiju. Kaiju are larger than life mythical beasts that come from a dimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The first one to appear took over five days to kill while it rampaged the California coast. The world realized it would have to stop fighting and work together to stop this threat from taking over completely, which started the Jaeger program.

The Jaegers are giant robots equal to the size of the Kaiju that can be deployed to fight the beasts before they cause more harm. Initially they prove to be quite successful, but the Kaiju have started to appear in increasingly shorter intervals, bigger and badder than before.

Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) used to be a great pilot with his brother. Five years prior, a Kaiju took his brother’s life, so he left the program to become a drifter. Shockingly, the UN is thinking of abandoning their Jaeger program due to the amount of Jaegers that are now getting destroyed. Their idea is to build a giant coastal wall to keep them out (very dumb). With only few months left of funding, Marshall Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) brings Raleigh back in to the fold to attempt one last shot at ending this thing once and for all.

Damn, that was a really good plot description. But there are many more people who have important roles in this movie. Rinko Kikuchi is Raleigh’s new partner once he returns to the Jaeger program. Max Martini and Robert Kazinsky play a father/son pilot team who run the fabled Striker Eureka, the fastest Jaeger made. Charlie Day and Burn Gorman are the main two scientists working on solving the Kaiju problem, a biologist and a mathematician respectfully. Finally, Clifton Collins Jr. is the main control room operator for the operation, and Ron Perlman a black market Kaiju flesh dealer.

Monster?
Spoilers: There is no giant version of this monster unfortunately.
If you don’t like the idea of giant robots fighting giant monsters then I really don’t think you will enjoy this movie. Because the movie gives you exactly that, and just a little bit more.

First off, if you are going to see Pacific Rim (Which you should!), you should watch it in 3D. The fight scenes were so incredible, I thought my eyes would melt. The second fight scene in Hong Kong is probably the sexiest thing I have seen in film this year. They were filmed with 3D cameras, so you don’t have to worry about blurriness mucking up the great action.

The Hong Kong fight is actually better than the fight at the climax of the film. Some would consider that to be a big problem, but I can easily forgive it. The final fight gets points for taking place in a different environment from the rest of the film.

I love the casting choices in the film, in that most of the people are not big named stars. This really allowed the viewer to get involved with the story and not get distracted by the eyes of someone like Brad Pitt.

Sure, there are a few weak plot points, and the acting isn’t always top notch, but the stunning visuals, well choreographed fights, and complete bad-assery from start to finish well make up for it. My biggest plot complaints really come from what was NOT said by a few characters. I was disappointed that the movie didn’t delve deeper into some of the ethical implications brought upon by certain actions, but really, that just allows a sequel/prequel to ask those questions later.

Please. Give Guillermo del Toro your money. Go see Pacific Rim.

3 out of 4.

Parker

I miss sexy movie titles. Just a last name (or even a full name) are boring titles. They don’t even say anything about the movie unless you already know the character they are based on. Parker is actually not the first time this character has been in film. At least five other movies have featured Parker as the main character, based around the crime novels by Donald Westlake/Richard Stark, but most of them at least have interesting titles.

On an unrelated note, I am a little bit interested in the movie Bullet To The Head.” I bet you can figure out why.

Hat
Because Stallone wont be attempting to be a British man faking a Texas accent.

Parker (Jason Statham) is just your ordinary crook with a few simple rules. Don’t hurt anyone innocent, don’t steal from those who can’t afford it. That usually means organizations with insurance, and the money goes to himself, so don’t consider him a Robin Hood character. His girlfriend (Emma Booth) knows all about it, because her father (Nick Nolte) is an ex partner of his, who now just sets up criminals for bigger scores.

Which of course he does with Parker and another group of guys. Robbing the Ohio State Fair, a score of about a million dollars, $200k each. Pretty solid. But it turns out the other four members of the crew (Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr., Micah A. Hauptman) have their eyes set on a bigger prize. Another job for five people, worth millions, but they need some start up cash first, all of what they just got.

Well, they are vague, Parker says no, they try to kill him and run away. But of course he doesn’t die. That would be a sad and short movie. So he creates a new identity, and heads off to West Palm Beach to stop the guys who tried to kill them by killing them first, and of course getting his money back. Shouldn’t be too hard. After all, Jennifer Lopez plays a real estate workers strapped for cash, being chased romantically by a local cop (Bobby Cannavale). Parker basically has his own small army with J-Lo!

Glare
Too bad it will take at least 3 small armies to remove his grimace.

The previews for Parker make it seem like a giant revenge action flick. A crime occurs, guy gets wronged, he goes back for vengeance. If anything, it was the exact opposite. Yes, the heist goes off and he gets wronged, but he doesn’t start killing all the people involved on a warpath. No, he has to plan it all first. Here is where my brain starts to get all weird.

I like that it is planned, that the movie looks before leaping and sets everything up first. That way we get to see how smart our main character is! Smart and his great ability to survive despite all these injuries. But then it became too detailed, and a little bit boring. Honestly, after the two hour movie, I had felt like I was in the theater for four hours. It is hard to describe, but things definitely go way too slow.

It didn’t help that watching every little step of his recovery/run/planning made me  hate the Parker character. Apparently Parker hates people who break his rules and his creed! Well, so much for the stealing only from those who can afford it. It was almost comical, watching him steal car after car, location to location, without actually knowing anything about the owners of any of them. His creed didn’t mean a dang thing when it actually mattered.

His actions ruin the image of the charismatic thief for me, just a bit. Compiled with the snail crawl of the film makes it hard to recommend to anyone.

1 out of 4.

Extract

I forgot Extract had so many people in it. Oh man.

I had never heard of this movie before randomly walking by it. But hey, a giant picture of Jason Bateman‘s head on the cover, you take notice.

But then you see that it is a movie by Mike Judge and you watch that shit as soon as you can.

Jason Bateman
Especially when you find out a major character has some crazy facial hair.

Jason Bateman plays the owner and and founder of a flavor extract company. Clearly the amount of jobs left to have for movies is running dry. Either way, he is kind of successful and living it up. But he isn’t having sex with his wife, Kristen Wiig anymore. Which overall sucks I guess.

But not as much as losing a testicle! Which happens to a worker Clifton Collins Jr., who always felt underappreciated, and well, lost a nut on the job. He doesn’t even want to sue because he likes the company too much. But. He. Lost. A. Nut. Enter Mila Kunis, a con-artist, who doesn’t mind using her body to get that monies (not like a prostitute, but kind of). She gets a job in the factory, steals some stuff, and convinces him to sue for damages using the ambulance chasing lawyer, Gene Simmons.

She also tries to get it on with Bateman, but he doesn’t want to cheat on his wife. His bartending friend, Ben Affleck, tries to convince him to hire a prostitute to seduce his wife, so if she cheats on him, he can cheat on her. He also gets a bit drugged, so agrees and they hire Dustin Milligan.

Pretty fucked up yeah. But Mila is a good con artist in this movie. Eventually everything is found out, and appropriate actions are taken. Just kidding. David Koechner is also in thi movie as a rather annoying and talkative neighbor.

And by the end, someone may die, like all good movies.

Affleck
Affleck gets to play a hipster Jesus as well.

I think this movie is very polarizing. Either you love it or hate it. So of course I say fuck that, and give it a 2. But I totally get it.

I liked the originality of it. I liked some aspects.

But at the same time there was very disappointing parts. Seemed to be missing something that I am used to having from Mike Judge. And it is hard to put a finger on it.

Usually that would be a 1 rating, but I somehow also enjoyed the ending. But still. Not the quality I’d expect overall? Very weird feelings with this movie.

So give it a shot, or not. Whatever

2 out of 4.

Sunshine Cleaning

Definitely another movie I bought, just on the cover.

Sunshine Cleaning shows two women, carrying…the title of the movie, behind some caution tape.

Oooh, how mysterious. And possibly illegal? Here’s hoping for some dead bodies.

Blue suits
Oooh, definitely going to have some dead bodies.

Amy Adams is a single mother working as a maid in a cleaning service. But hey, at least she has a job. Her sister, Emily Blunt, is a slacker and fails at a lot of things she does.

Only real job is that she gets to occasionally babysit Amy’s son (Jason Spevack), while Amy goes to her “class”. And by class, we of course mean having sex with her former high school sweetheart, Steve Zahn. He is a cop and married with kids, but hey, affairs are fun. And he will totally probably leave his wife for her someday, right?

Yeahhh…

Well thanks to her inside connection, she hears that crime scene cleaning can be a pretty nice business, monetarily speaking. She is going to need new money for her kids private schooling, since he has a lot of behavioral problems at public and is getting kicked. But until then, the grandpa, Alan Arkin, will be able to look after him and teach him real world smarts.

Enlisting her sister as an employee, and figuring out the right paper work, they open up Sunshine Cleaning! You know, to clean up dead people blood and stuff. They also get the help of Clifton Collins Jr., a one armed man with a cleaning supplies shop. The film however makes the main characters recollect a lot on their own mothers suicide, and go on their own miniature journeys to self discovery.

Emily Blunt also starts a lesbian relationship with Mary Lynn Rajskub…because she saw her in a picture at one of the houses they were cleaning. Yeah, definitely weird.

Sunshine Cleaning
Needless to say their methods improved throughout the movie.

This film was definitely a lot more dramatic and sobering than I had thought. With such a colorful and sunny cover, it all kinds of come out of no where. There are some amusing moments, mostly between the grandfather and the son. Well, the grandfather and everyone really. Alan Arkin is the hidden star of this film, and is a nice surprise to watch.

I personally didn’t like a lot of the moments with Emily Blunt’s character, not because she is a screw up, but just…weird slow motion falling and sad time parts. There was this weird montage moment in the middle that just felt way overly dramatic and kind of stupid. In my mind at least.

The ending was a good one though, and most of the characters ended up pretty well. Some plot lines I don’t think they answered as well as they should have though.

2 out of 4.