Tag: James Franco

Arctic Dogs

Ohhh, box office failures? Guess I have to see it.

Much like you all, I never heard about the movie Arctic Dogs coming out to theaters. It wasn’t given to the press. If it had an advertising budget, it went up someone’s ass.

Arctic Dogs went to theaters on November 1st, and completely bombed. It opened in over 2,800 theaters and currently (at time of writing) has the worst amount earned in an opening weekend for that many theaters at just $2.9 million. Completely, and utterly destroyed by its competition.

But surely an animated film about some doggos can’t be that bad?

Oh. Foxes. Maybe. Never mind.

Swifty (Jeremy Renner) is an arctic fox, living in, well, the Arctic. He is super white, blends in with the snow, and thus, others seem to just ignore him and let him do his own thing.

Oh, yeah, this is a animals as humans movie. And the coolest animals in this small town are the Arctic Dogs super hero animals. What do they do? Oh. They deliver mail and packages to other small towns. Cool.

So naturally Swifty wants to be an Arctic Dog sledder, despite being a fox. And he meets the weight requirements, but isn’t really strong. So he is sent into the warehouse to help stamp packages, looking on the outside in.

Well, one time, Swifty has to send out a package. And it is to a weird Walrus recluse (John Cleese) who has Puffins working for him, all weird. And apparently that is enough for the Walrus to get rid of all the Arctic Dogs, just in case.

Now it is up to Swifty to deliver the packages, and, maybe, one day, also save the day.

Also starring Alec Baldwin, Anjelica Huston, Heidi Klum, James Franco, Laurie Holden, and Omar Sy.

Yep, Walrus on a robot spider bod. The ladies love it.

You see, Arctic Dogs isn’t bad enough to warrant its record. I mean, it is bad sure. But it is straight to DVD bad, not let’s scorn this movie so it never tries this nonsense again, bad.

Voice casting, most of it is uninspired. Not even John Cleese could save it with his wonderful words and accent. Hero is generic. We have had plenty of times someone who wants to be something, that he literally shouldn’t be able to do, but does it anyways because perseverance. But they keep doing it with animals or inanimate objects so that the real message is lost.

At least this time in this movie he didn’t just train hard enough to eventually get the job and prove people wrong. No, he got the job because all of the others were captured. Why? Because of plot reasons that don’t make at all any sense. Why would the villain want to take out all of the mail delivery dogs, when he still needs to get mail delivered to finish his evil plot? … … … Ohhh, because of poor writing.

Our female lead has the personality of Engineer, which is at least slightly different than the personality of scientist. And she unknowingly helps the bad guy the whole time, because I guess she isn’t smart enough to know what she is building? And there could be plot resolved from this earlier, if the main characters could talk better.

Oh, and let’s not forget the bad guys motivations. He is used to represent Global Warming, because its great to have a single source for the blame and make things fixable.

I just…I don’t know why the plot is so, so, so, so bad. The animation is definitely okay/average. But the terrible plot, nonsensical decisions and overdone tenants of the story line make this a disaster from the start. Good thing no one watched it.

0 out of 4.

Movie Roundup – Online Releases 2018

Welcome to a Movie Roundup! A movie roundup features a few films that I didn’t feel like making full reviews for, but needed to get basic reviews out there for completionist reasons. It also helps me deal with my backlog. It may have a theme, and today’s theme is Online Releases 2018! Basically, things that started out on the internet, ideally a streaming website, because it is a loose theme, and I will take it.

Being on a movie round up doesn’t mean a movie is inherently bad, or good, or meh. I can feature any rating on here! So don’t assume the worst! I will also just post the reviews in alphabetical order.

Online Releases 2018

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Can we go wrong with the Coen brothers? Yes, we totally can. But I can’t help but feel something wonderful when they continually try to do something different, or make the normal a lot more eccentric. This time, they went back to the former, while also going back to some of those old timey western roots, which are arguably their best movies. Except this time, it is straight to Netflix, and an Anthology movie with six short films instead. The only connection? Western.

This ends up working really well, even if I can say I didn’t love every part of the anthology. Unfortunately, the best and most fun was the first of the stories, and probably me least favorite was number two. I really enjoyed the one about the prospectors and the woman with her not dog too. When it works, it really works, and when it doesn’t work, it is still well made and a bit beautiful, if not full of fuckery. This is not a happy movie, and it can easily be watched in parts, and deserves praise for its individual shorts that work out amazingly well.

3 out of 4.

None of these people share a scene with the others.

The Kissing Booth

On the other hand, Netflix has made it clear its strategy isn’t to appeal to just the best movie ever, but to instead go for all the demographics so that they all have something to watch, which is fair. Netflix having a shit movie doesn’t mean that Netflix is bad, I just don’t have to watch it…if I am a normal movie goer.

But this movie is something else, and it has crawled out of the pits of hell thanks to some teenage girl. Yeah, it is based on a book, written by a teenage girl, on some website, and now its a movie. An uninspired romance movie, that seems to rely on the kissing booth as a feature, despite not being featured too heavily in the grand scope. It features a love interest who is super controlling, threatening, and uses his fists to solve problems. Ah, what good values to instill in our youth.

0 out of 4.

Help, help, I’m trapped in a 90s movie.

My Dinner with Hervé

Over on HBO, they also like to do movies, and shows, and documentaries. In this one, we have dudes as the stars, with one of them being one of their biggest stars of their biggest show. Makes sense. Peter Dinklage playing a biographical role, of possibly the most famous little person in history (before Peter Dinklage and Verne Troyer), Hervé Villechaize. Made famous for being in Fantasy Island and The Man With The Golden Gun.

Now, this is all according to a journalist, but it is based on the night out on the town with Hervé, where he also recounts his whole life story leading up to the point, his rises, and his many many downfalls. Dinklage does an amazing job of transforming himself, or what I know about himself, and this is an extremely touching tale of a childhood of abuse and sadness, while still trying to make something about it. It never seems to go deep enough into the sadder parts though, and probably skirts around important details. I just knew that it started off way better than it eventually ended.

2 out of 4.

And that is also true about life, I suppose.


Slice might not technically fit this theme, because it came out on VOD, but hey, my themes are loose, and I want it in this post. Slice is the type of movie that is just so out there, it is hard to believe that it even exists. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, murder mystery, pizza store, witches, and such a strange plot and concept. It is the type of movie that when describing it you know will have a cult following and probably LARPing in the future.

But in all honestly, it just doesn’t work out well. The only redeeming factor is that it definitely feels original. It just is a weird mash of ideas that aren’t fully explained because it isn’t fully thought through. It is cool, it is weird, but it is definitely not good.

1 out of 4.

Although, it made me want pizza, so good job there.

The Tale

Finally, another HBO movie (sorry Hulu), that I didn’t even know came out this last summer. I would have never known it existed if it didn’t get nominated for a Spirit award. I mean, it has a big name in it, and it is about sexual abuse when someone was a child. Sure, a fictional tale, but a tale that resonates due to how often similar “tales” have been told by other girls in relation to their coaches while growing up. Hell, the gymnastics scandal was in 2018, maybe even going on after this movie. It is very relevant.

Dern plays someone very vulnerable and stubborn at the same time. It doesn’t end with fireworks, but plays it in a more realistic way. More importantly, the girl who plays the younger version is amazing at her role. Her acting, in normal kid way, amplifies the creepiness of everything. It puts the viewer in a dark place and really helps bring the hate towards these sexual predators.

3 out of 4.

These two adults are now on my despise list, well done!

Overall, steaming platforms put out a lot of duds, and some successes. And especially Netflix, because I will never catch up on on their new releases. Or, maybe I will, if I just keep the review format like this and not larger. But these ones caught my eye for some reason or another and I chose them to watch to review, and never got around to actually writing.


Editor’s note: Since writing this article, which were indeed my first thoughts on the film, unbiased by others, I have read a review of Kin that I can clearly state is better than mine and makes a better point. Read it here at Texas Art & Film. I am almost ashamed because I usually notice issues like this one, but I simply missed it maybe due to the better cinematography and music of the film.

I went into Kin mostly blind. I didn’t really like the name, but I knew nothing about the story, nor did I see any ads anywhere. It felt like a secret release, but hey, I don’t watch a lot of commercials so it is hard to see.

The only thing I knew was two of the main actors listed in the movie. It still was clearly an indie movie, but while watching it, I was surprised at just how many other actors I knew or recognized. It has at least five famous or notable people, none of which are the “lead” in this film. It is surprising given the lower overall budget of the movie.

Sometimes, actors just do lower budget films for less because they like the story or whatever. And James Franco just does it for shits and giggles. I think he wants half of his films to be movies people have never heard about before.

Half of this photo is new, half of this photo is really old.

In the near future, Detroit is a piece of shit. This is true generally always, in every movie, about the near future Detroit. It is also somewhat true about present Detroit.

Eli Solinski (Myles Truitt) is a kid having problems at school. He is a black kid. He is getting suspended. Turns out his mom died recently. His mom being someone who adopted him, and he has had a hard time adjusting. His dad (Dennis Quaid) is very strict, but supportive, and stuck in his morals. His older adopted brother, Jimmy (Jack Reynor), has been in prison for awhile due to stealing some things, and he has been a bit of a stain upon the family.

Well, Jimmy gets back home, and it is awkward. It is also awkward because he needs some money. He took out a “loan” in prison for protection, so he wouldn’t have to worry about getting shanked. And his loan sharks want their money back right away, which he doesn’t have, his dad doesn’t have, but the job office might have some.

Around this same time, Eli, who has been stealing copper from some of the many abandoned warehouses, stumbles upon a strange sight. A gun. An…alien gun? Something that whirrs and boops and is totally not normal.

Long story short, Eli and his brother are going on a road trip. Some bad people are after them, but they have money, guns, and Eli doesn’t know anything bad is going on at all.

Also starring James Franco, Zoë Kravitz, Carrie Coon, Ian Matthews, and Gavin Fox.

Alien guns make my favorite gun sound, pew pew pew.

I really did go into this movie thinking it would be shit, only knowing it was some sort of family film and science fiction. But I was surprised at how hard this film tried to be a contender. It didn’t reach its lofty goals, but it had a lot of good going on with it.

The soundtrack behind it is one that is meant to really draw you in, with an electro pulse to keep tension up in non tense moments. The camera lingered over scenes. The film embraced silence without dialogue constantly to catch us up on their emotions and potential growth. It is a slow build and not just a rainstorm of action scenes to keep the viewers excited while things explode in alien gun glory.

No, it is a film about family. It is slow, and there is some crime and sad killing moments.

Now the ending of the film feels very convenient. The clues are there, and it offers at least one surprise, but it also ends the film in a weird note. Too many things are wrapped up without the appropriate fallout one would expect. It sets up a franchise that everyone can tell while watching will never come to fruition.

And honestly, it is too slow. Build is one thing, but this movie didn’t always build, but instead sort of stalled at points. The road trip felt like it would go on forever, and it was frustrating that things weren’t really moving along faster.

This was a good idea for a film, and clearly care was taken into it. It just could have also been a lot better at the same time.

2 out of 4.

The Disaster Artist

When you claim to watch bad movies so others don’t have to, you often get asked if you have seen certain bad movies. I would say the film I have been asked about the most by a landslide would be Cube. Because I like shit like that, and math. Didn’t see that coming did you? Well I’ve seen Cube now and the first sequel.

The movie most requested after that would easily be The Room, something I didn’t rush out to see. I saw the “best scenes” compilation on YouTube and just put that in a “one day” bucket. Then The Disaster Artist has to go and not only come out but receive awards nominations. shit. That meant I HAD to watch The Room finally. I couldn’t go in blind. What’s the point?

So I saw it still slightly reluctantly. Powered through. I get the appeal but I still won’t see it again. And hey now I can watch others talk about it!

Just not in the goddamn theater, that’d be rude.

Sometime in the late 1990’s, Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) was a struggling young adult. He thought about being a famous actor one day, and he was even taking acting lessons. He just wasn’t any good. At all. At. All. Nothing helped, he didn’t display any emotion, it was a lost cause. But in those same classes, he found a dark and mysterious man named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). Now this is a man who knew how to channel his emotions and really bring that raw talent to the stage.

So Greg wanted to work with Tommy, and Tommy agreed. He was a bit weird, but he really brought it out of Greg and Greg started to feel confident. After years of friendship, they moved to LA, with Tommy financing everything, to become real actors. After it didn’t work out well, especially not for Tommy, Tommy started to write and figure out his own movie. This piece became The Room, a film that is iconic today, and the rest of this movie is how it was made, the trials they faced, and the hurdles that were overcome. Also how Greg began to move on by getting a girlfriend (Alison Brie) and trying to separate from the Tommy umbrella.

And only some talk about being a vampire.

Given the people who made this, it is no surprise how many famous actors are in this film: Seth Rogen, Paul Scheer, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, Charlyne Yi, Bob Odenkirk, Hannibal Buress, Joe Mande, Nathan Fielder, Andrew Santino, Jason Mantzoukas, Megan Mullally, June Diane Raphael, Jackie Weaver and Ari Graynor. I could have also swore a minor character was Margot Robbie, but the credits won’t let me confirm that.

As we learned in The Room there is never a bad time for football.

I wonder how much your perceptions of this film changes based on your opinions of The Room. If you have seen The Room many times since it came out, were totally in that cult movie aspect, I think you will enjoy The Disaster Artist a whole lot more than someone new to the topic. Obviously this is a film where you sort of need to see The Room before seeing it to really get it at all, but there is a huge difference between me watching it a week before The Disaster Artist and years prior.

Because hey, The Disaster Artist is a pretty funny film. The Francos do a good job of setting the stage, building up the Wiseau mythos and so on. And sure, I can agree that James acted well, only because we obviously have a real person/character to compare him to. But if this was just a movie about a bad production, this is the type of thing that would be panned for unnecessarily ridiculous director guy.

So it is a very hard thing to judge. Was it actually well acted only because he acted like Wiseau accurately? Or does well acted need to be something more than accuracy to a subject? It is a hard subject to answer, and not one that I will go into real detail here. But it is something on my mind and something that certainly would tell me that it certainly shouldn’t be winning awards for its acting.

The Disaster Artist was a film that made me laugh and remind me of a shitty film at the same time. It is a very strange genre of movie, very meta, and it will gain its own cult status I am sure. Double features for the next 20 years! However, in reality, I really just want to read the book to get the full story and won’t bother too much with the film version many times in the future.

3 out of 4.

Alien: Covenant

I have never been one of those geeks super into the Alien franchise. After all, that shit is scary, and I didn’t watch horror for the longest time.

I can understand the appeal, but after Alien and Aliens, the only other film in that series I have seen was Prometheus, so there is that. Allusions and references will mean nothing to me.

So I am not excited to go into this film, but I am a bit excited it isn’t just “Prometheus 2” or anything. Because I want my scientists to be smart and not watch the opposite of that. I do want nice scares as well. But mostly, I want a shit ton of Danny McBride.

I hope this isn’t Danny McBride.

Alien: Covenant is set about ten years after the events of Prometheus, aboard the ship named Covenant. It is a colony ship, with a ship ton of bodies on board while asleep. There are also hundreds of embryos frozen and about 15 or so crew members to run the thing if problems arise or when they get close to the new planet. Lastly, they have a lovely robot helper to run their ship while they sleep in Walter (Michael Fassbender), who is totally different than David from Prometheus!

Sure enough, some bad stuff happens, their voyage gets stopped, they have to make repairs, and their captain dies! Oh no! Now Oram (Billy Crudup) is in charge, and he wants them to get back on schedule asap before more bad stuff happens. Daniels (Katherine Waterston) is the new second in command, and she was also in a relationship with the captain so she is pretty upset. Tennessee (Danny McBride) is their pilot/tech guy or something and Lope (Demián Bichir) is some sort of head of security, maybe.

While doing repairs, they received a faded distress beacon from a place not too far away, and according to scanners it is ALSO a perfect planet for them to live at. They decide it is their duty to check it out, saving them 7 years on a different awesome planet would be sweet. Once they get there though, spores, aliens, a lot of problems. But hey, they also meet David, so we get to find out what happened after Prometheus. Ain’t that swell?

And here is a bunch of the crew actors! Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, Uli Latukefu, Tess Haubrich, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz, and Nathaniel Dean. With maybe, MAYBE, about 2 minutes of screen time for James Franco.

Front chest bursting is so 30 years ago.

Alien: Covenant is a film that wants to explore some pretty deep questions in a hypothetical setting. It wants to talk about Rogue AI. It wants to talk about where we came from (like Prometheus before it). It wants to talk about the next stages of evolution for beings. It wants to talk about what it means to be a creator of life, a mother, without necessarily giving birth in the traditional sense. It wants to play on human emotions at the loss of a loved one (because straight up every crew member is apparently in a relationship with another crew member). A lot of good discussions and themes can arise from this film, some of which is subtle and some of which is blasted across the screen into your faceholes.

But you know what Alien: Covenant does not feel like? An Alien movie. Oh, we get a least one Xenomorph in this film, but it kind of sucks. It is defeated easily, with the smaller aliens seemingly posing a bigger challenge. And this movie isn’t scary. We got some gross scenes? Yeah, a bit, but I have seen a lot worse. We have some people flipping their shit of course. And we have a lot of crew members make terrible decisions over and over again, a big problem with Prometheus. But I never really felt scared. I never really felt the tension.

The best elements from Covenant would fall under the Drama Genre, which would be fine if that was the goal of this film, to make it a drama. This is a franchise known for changing its genre between films, and it could have really fucking worked (although, admittedly, people would probably still be disappointed). But it still tries to hype up its action and horror moments which for the most part just fall flat.

The best part of the movie is Fassbender and Fassbender, including the best scenes where he has to act with himself. I probably said something similar in the last movie about the “best parts”. But the twists feel obvious, McBride isn’t even used as a comic relief, it is setting up for a future movie (which I will note I have no idea where it really wants go with), and above all, just not as good as most people would have hoped.

But hey, Ridley Scott wants to make like, six more of these, and he is super old, so I guess that is what will happen.

2 out of 4.

Queen of the Desert

For some reason, I tend to find movies about deserts pretty dry.

No but really, large amounts of a movie in the desert drain the life force out of me. I could not at all enjoy Sahara. It is why I am afraid to watch Last Days in the Desert. I felt like I was dying during Lawrence of Arabia. (Sacrilegious, don’t care).

And Queen of the Desert just looks like the much shorter, female version of Lawrence of Arabia.

Just people, probably feeling miserable. Miserable and hot.

Queen of the Desert is actually a true story about Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman). Not only did the movie just look like a female Lawrence of Arabia, she was basically doing the same thing as T.E. Lawrence and extremely well known for it. Shit, she KNEW Lawrence. We have someone playing Lawrence in this film. (Even the music is reminiscent of LoA, but at this point, I am now in the analysis part and probably sounding annoying).

The connections are never ending!

She traveled the middle easy, helped to figure out borders, dealt with different political regimes, and had some time for romance on the side.

Also starring David Calder, Damian Lewis, Christopher Fulford, Jenny Agutter, Jay Abdo, with James Franco as Henry Cadogan and Robert Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence.

Camels are about as much of a fashion statement as what dull color you will wear to match the dunes.

I probably never gave Queen of the Desert a fair shake, technically, but it really bored me to the ground. Occassionally something interesting would happen, but it is indeed just Gertrude Bell, doing things in the desert, getting famous and talking to political people, and then the movie ends. Sure, there is some potential romance as well. And I laughed when I saw Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence. Mostly because I was not expecting the character, but he was just so well shaven and I watched this movie right after The Lost City of Z, where Pattinson played a different historical figure but with a great beard.

What disappoints me about this film the most is not the dull feeling I had throughout, but instead that it was directed by the great Werner Herzog. He has directed so many qualities film, and to have this one just drag (thank goodness it wasn’t 3+ hours) made me question his purpose. Honestly, it looks like he just wanted to tell her story, and he should have just made a documentary about that subject instead. He is better at those.

I can’t even figure out how to talk more about this. Just pass this film, there is so much better out there. A book about Gertrude Bell will probably be more useful to your time. Or a wikipedia page.

1 out of 4.


Goat is apparently a movie about a frat and about hazing. And honestly, there is only one reason I watched this movie.

To find out if someone fucks a goat.

College? Hazing? Goat as the title? Someone has to fuck a goat right? Right? But they don’t let us know in the description. It is vague. Why the fuck is it called goat, unless someone fucks a goat?

And that is all I needed to convince me to see the film. A 90~ minute run time also helped.

And some men screaming without shirts.

The film doesn’t start with hazing, just a party, where Brad (Ben Schnetzer) ends up leaving early. A dude from the party asks for a ride for him and his friend. He lets them in, not wanting to be a dickweed, and they totally kick his ass and steal his car as a result. Should have been a dickweed!

Fast forward some time, and Brad is now going to the same college as his older brother Brett (Nick Jonas). Brett gets Brad to pledge to his fraternity! Now they can be fake brothers along with real brothers, hooray!

And then hell week happens. Hazing, drinking, humiliation, degradation, and the worst fucking torture ever. This doesn’t seem to bring them closer together, and the hazing might be worse than normal. Hell, people are getting hurt. And before I get too much further, they call the pledges Goats.

Now, that doesn’t mean there is any goat fucking. But it doesn’t mean there isn’t any goat fucking either. I just won’t tell you, because that is the only reason I wanted to see this movie. To see if someone had to fuck a goat.

Also starring a lot of bros, of course! People like Brock Yurich, Will Pullen, Austin Lyon, Eric Staves, Danny Flaherty, Jake Picking, Gus Halper, and a little bit of James Franco.

That goat literally has the word fuck on him!

2 out of 4.

Sausage Party

I wanted to see Sausage Party, I honestly did. I loved the first trailer, avoided all other spoilers, and wrote it on my calendar. But then real life made me miss it and I had to wait weeks to see it. Having kids doesn’t help.

But I didn’t mean to see Sausage Party for today’s review. No, I went to the theater to see Hell or High Water, everyone told me I had to! Well, word of mouth is powerful and it was in a small dinky theater and sold out. Thankfully, Sausage Party was roughly the same time starting, so I easily went ther and just moved it up my schedule a couple weeks.

Hey. Sweet. Now I can have some laughs and review two animated films in a row this week! And also dick jokes. Dick jokes, sex jokes, death jokes, stoner jokes. Hilarious.

I haven’t seen food party this much since Foodfight!

Frank (Seth Rogen) is a sausage. Not just any sausage. A horny sausage, ready to fuck. He has some other wiener palls, like Carl (Jonah Hill), Troy (Anders Holm), and Barry (Michael Cera), who is a bit deformed and smaller than normal. His package is right next to a nice package of buns, including Brenda (Kristen Wiig), his soul mate.

Or fuck mate. They really wanna screw. They want to get picked together by one of the Gods to go into the Great Beyond, outside of the supermarket. And soon is “Red, White, and Blue” day, so their chances of getting picked are high! And of course, the Gods have spoken, and they were chosen together to live out their wildest fantasies.

But then the unthinkable happens. The Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) was returned and he went crazy. He said the Great Beyond was a lie. Everything outside was terrible. And he caused a cart accident. Food went flying, Disaster. Frank and Brenda were left outside the cart to survive on their own. With Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) and Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz), who keep fighting.

Can they determine the truth of the Great Beyond? Or were they punished by the Gods for touching tips? How will their friends survive in the outside world? Can I ask more questions about the food sex?

Also featuring Bill Hader as a Native American stereotype, Salma Hayek as a taco, Craig Robinson as grits, Paul Rudd as a nerdy sales clerk/jerk, James Franco as a stoner, and Nick Kroll as a big douche.

Some say a big douche is just the roll that Nick Kroll was born to play.

Sausage Party at its core is an insane film. Apparently it came out just wondering what a film would be like if food had feelings (something Pixar hadn’t touched on yet), and Rogen realized it would be an incredibly fucked up film. And a fucked up film is what we got.

It is basically the most adult animated film since South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut and even has a musical number! And by adult humor, I don’t mean sophisticated tax jokes, but you know, sex, language and drugs. So 14 year old humor, if you will.

It will make you cringe, make you laugh, and maybe make you cry. The references are out of control, including an amazing visual from Saving Private Ryan. It was constantly surprising with the direction it went, including two different turn of events near the end. You know, when they fight for freedom and celebrate their potential freedom.

Because like I said earlier, they just wanted to fuck. That’s life in a nutshell.

Sausage Party is raunchy and honestly a film I can imagine watching and hiding from my own kids for years to come.

3 out of 4.

The Little Prince

I have never read or heard The Little Prince book before, but that because I had an empty childhood. Just kidding, I had Pokemon and that was enough for me.

I did, however, play a board game The Little Prince: Make Me A Planet before though. Only once. And like, three years ago. But it apparently stuck with me, so that many elements present in the game I was able to remember and notice in the actual film version of The Little Prince.

But let’s get to the issue. This took way too long to get released in America. It was released in the summer of 2015 last summer in France! Agh! Not America! It was supposed to be released by Paramount in March in America, but a week before release they suddenly decided to drop it from their schedule as well. No news on distribution or eventually released. Sometime later, the pros at Netflix said they would handle it and gave it a nice worldwide release, finally in America and other countries. All hail Netflix, bringer of tales, singer of stories.

Prince Prince
They took one long look at the script and declared the crazy old writer to be a genius!

As you would have guessed from the title, The Little Prince is a story about a girl. The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy) is being pressured by her mom (Rachel McAdams) to get into a very good school for kids. The interview does not go well, so they decide to move into a house in the school’s neighborhood, getting in by proxy. The girl’s whole life is scheduled by the mom, to ensure future academic and financial success.

The reason they were able to get the house is because it was next to a shoddy house. In the house lived an old man, an aviator (Jeff Bridges). He was constantly fiddling with his plane and making a racket. Eventually The girl goes and talks to him, finds out he also is an artist. Over time, he tells her the story of his encounter with The Little Prince (Riley Osborne), a boy who lived on a planet barely big enough for a single person.

The aviator learns of his travels around the galaxy, learns some life lessons and so on. And you know what? The little girl is going to learn some lessons of her own.

Also featuring the voice work of Marion Cotillard, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Bud Cort, Paul Giamatti, and Albert Brooks.

“Trust me little girl, I’ve got a beard!”

The Little Prince was unlike most other animated films. Yes, it is accessible to families and kids of all ages, but it seems like something an adult would learn more from than their kids. We have a story within a story, where the inner story is the normal The Little Prince story. The added elements of the overworked girl are completely original and the entire last third act is all about her and her own adventure.

I was worried that it would be too complex for kids but a 5 and 6 year old seemed to enjoy it throughout, despite the slower beginning. The layered stories kept me interested, but the ending wasn’t as good as the beginning and middle.

The animation was different for the different story parts as well, with the animation for The Little Prince segment being unique and fantastic. The rest of the animation is pretty standard CGI and a bit uninspiring. It makes sense for the animation to be different, but one would hope that the animation for the majority of the film was just standard.

The Little Prince is still worth your time, although book elitists may get annoyed at the extra material. My only real annoyance was that the new material wasn’t as interesting in the very end and that the animation was a bit uninspiring in an otherwise inspiring story.

3 out of 4.

The Adderall Diaries

Adderall is a drug designed to help those with ADHD calm the fuck down and get their work done. That is how I understand it at least.

Adderall is also a drug that goes around college campuses or weird professions, where the user will take it in order to focus more on a task. The amount sold under the table on colleges increase more around final exam times. So yeah, people might use it to “study better” or finish an essay or stop looking at their facebook every few minutes. It has also been used by journalists and writers, I am sure.

Basically, the plot of Limitless is the guy takes Adderall5000 and his extreme focus lets him do a shit ton of things. What fun!

The Adderall Diaries, if anything, is a shitty title to a movie. Adding Diaries to something is just unoriginal. This one is based on a book, but the book came out in 2009, so it was already past the point when Diaries was a cool thing to add to a title. So I am going into this movie pretending it is just 1995 and the title was cutting edge.

Of course I was six then, so I probably thought this was how to ride a motorcycle.

Hans Reiser (Christian Slater) might have killed his wife. Who knows. That is what the trial is for.

For some reason, this case drives the interest of one Stephen Elliott (James Franco). He is a writer, who writes stories based on his life. He had a rough child hood, with a dad (Ed Harris), who was abusive, left him to make him homeless, and eventually died. He has a book deal, an advance from the publishing company and more thanks to his wonderful agent (Cynthia Nixon).

But he has writers block. So he wants to write about this case instead. It drives close to home. Not that anyone wants any of that True Crime shit right now. They want his personal stories. While watching the case, he meets Lana Edmond (Amber Heard), a journalist. They start doing stuff together.

Oh and hey. His dad isn’t dead. Stephen lied about that. This creates problems, as other big moments might be lies as well. Add to the fact that he isn’t writing, no one wants the new stuff, and more, his life might come crumbling down as well.

Also featuring Jim Parrack and Wilmer Valderrama.

A VHS tape? Man, getting my head set in the 1990’s is actually pretty easy.

Last year, Franco starred in True Story, where he played a guy who might have killed his wife and kids and a journalist, Jonah Hill, was trying to tell his story. And now he is a writer, trying to get the story of a guy who maybe killed his wife.

Similar? Yes. Annoyingly so? Still yes. Franco loves independent films. So much that he is more of these indie films than he is bigger well known films, and that includes the stoner ones. And for the most part, all of these films he is a part of just seem to be incredibly lacking. It might not all be Franco’s fault…it could also be his agent specifically picking lesser roles.

This film is dull, but in a slow burn way. Franco’s character is all over the place. There are quite a few sub plots and they don’t seem to mesh together fully. There are some tense moments. There is a lot of yelling. There is some classy text over the screen to make sure you are a paying attention. But overall it just feels like the entire story is pointless.

At least in True Story we had great cinematography and a better story. This one just doesn’t seem cohesive and I am left wondering why quite a few scenes even happened.

1 out of 4.