Tag: James Ransone

The Clapper

Ed Helms is still getting lead work, despite mixed reviews for his acting in most movies. He is leading big films, and he is leading films you never heard about before.

Films like The Clapper. Have you heard about it? Of course not. It came out some time in 2017, probably straight to DVD, and I found it accidentally on Netflix.

So sure, I like enough of the cast, and I like the concept, it is a good enough movie to review as any.

And it features…clapping I assume.

Getting into acting can be pretty damn hard. But moving to LA is a good first step. And then you might be a waiter or have small time jobs until you get a commercial. Maybe you will be a non speaking role in the background?

Or maybe you will be like Eddie Krumble (Ed Helms), and get a job as an audience member for infomercials. He has gotten to be pretty good. He can laugh on command. He can seem intrigued. He even has had speaking roles. His overall goal is to be very nondescript, so that he doesn’t get noticed across infomercials and their real studio audience feel is seen as a scam.

And of course that is just what happens. A late night talk show host (Russell Peters) is doing a bit on a bad infomercial, and they notice poor Eddie across multiple shows, and turn it into a big deal. He is on there all the time in their clips now, and they begin a campaign to find the mysterious “Clapper.” Eddie wants nothing to do with this, he wants to go into hiding so his livelihood isn’t ruined. If he becomes famous, he can’t be in the audiences, and he will gain 15 minutes of fame and then be forgotten and poor.

He also is in love with Judy (Amanda Seyfried) a gas station attendant, who also won’t be able to handle the cameras and national fame as it disrupts her line of work.

Also starring Adam Levine, James Ransone, Leah Remini, P.J. Byrne, and Tracy Morgan.

The mustache helps him blend in of course.

Honestly, this was a very weird Helms to see. A more subtle, shy, strange Helms. He is normally pretty out there, or extremely weird. He is only slightly weird in this movie, and just plays a simple person extremely well. Like, really well. Like I forgot it was Helms, and instead, just assumed it was a regular person. Somehow with make up and acting he just made himself seem incredibly non-famous, and that is the most notable thing about the movie.

Everything else is pretty, well, standard. Or even below average.

This feels like a film with a $10 budget, even the cool late night talk show host felt like an incredibly fake version of a late night talk show. It felt like it could have been made by teenagers.

The plot didn’t really grow in an exciting way, and it ended also at a relatively lame point.

It is incredibly forgettable. And remember, the higher point is just because Helms knocked mediocrity out of the park.

2 out of 4.


Gemini is a movie I actually knew about before watching! I swear! I heard of this one!

I saw the trailer, once, and it had an electro-noir feel. That will either make a lot of sense, or it won’t. And that is okay, because genres can get real weird. I just learned about post-postmodernism and hysterical realism! Not what they mean, just that they are genres that more than one book or art work fit.

Gemini is definitely a much lower budget, indie movie with one or two recognizable stars in it. It is the type of film that has to rely on a good story to actually get people to watch it, and not warm celebrity smiles.

See? No smiles. Just blue tones and glares.

Jill LeBeau (Lola Kirke) is the agent, PR firm, best friend, and potential lover of big Hollywood actress star, Heather Anderson (Zoë Kravitz). Heather is a big star. Everyone wants her. The paparazzi. The fans. The studios, the writers. All of them can’t get enough of that Heather. And they have to get through Jill to get to her.

In these trying times, Heather is going through a lot, including a break up through her celebrity boyfriend. People really just want to find out why and get in her business, putting her in a more reclusive mood. Jill cannot protect her either, but she can just try to make her feel comfortable.

After a night of drunken shenanigans and loneliness, Jill gets to her bosses house the next day and finds her lying dead on the ground on her own home. And all of the evidence points to Jill. But Jill couldn’t kill her boss, her best friend, her maybe lover, could she? No! There were people who might have done it. Angry writers, obsessed fans, down on their luck paparazzi, all of that.

No, Jill isn’t going to go on some pseudo investigative hunt to find the real murderer. But she is going to ask questions and try to clear her name while wallowing in self pity.

Also starring John Cho, James Ransone, Greta Lee, Michelle Forbes, Nelson Franklin, Reeve Carney, and Ricki Lake.

“No, her future ghost is the murderer!”

For the most part, while watching Gemini I just thought it was an average story pseudo-thriller. The soundtrack resonated throughout it, a sort of techno pulse that was going and going. It reminded me of Good Time, but that is a movie about a guy on the run and it sort of earned that score. This one was way less hectic and just seemed off to me.

Don’t go into Gemini thinking it will be a classic whodunit film where the viewer can follow the clues and pick out the murderer along with our “Detective.” No, it is not one you’d be able to pick up from clues, because there aren’t really any clues, just assumptions and you have to sit and wait for the ride to end before it is fully revealed.

And unfortunately when I was almost done off the ride, the cart went off the rails and left me in the gutter. This is a long metaphor to describe the film, and I don’t apologize for that. The ending is downright terrible. I feel so disappointed in following the story of this film. It was never great or above average even. Just okay. But the ending cost it points and put it clearly as a film I don’t need to see again, nor would I recommend.

1 out of 4.

Mr. Right

Anna Kendrick is in six movies this year. Six! That is a crap ton for a single year.

Yes, one of them is animated, so just voice work for Trolls. And two of them I don’t know a thing about. And a wide release comedy. But then there were two films that had extremely limited release, basically straight to DVD.

Mr. Right, of course, and Get A Job. Now going into Mr. Right, I am super biased against it, because I accidentally watched the trailer and basically cringed through out it. Had I not known anything, I might have been a bit more optimistic. But factors working against it include a cringey trailer, a lame title, and a very big age gap between our two romantic leads. Arguably that last point should be put under cringey though.

Couple bitches
At least the fashion is bangin’.

Oh, Martha McKay (Anna Kendrick), why do you like such assholes? She is ready to surprised her boyfriend at his place, and he shows up with another lady. Great. So now she is drunk and sad and going to be miserable for ever. Not even playing with kittens seems to help.

Then she runs into Francis (Sam Rockwell). Literally. He does something impressive and invites her out on a date. Right then and there, not knowing anything about her, and she says sure. And aww, it is nice. He might be the one. Sure, she doesn’t know his name, but she will find it out eventually.

Francis also used to be a very high paid assassin. However, he grew some morals and didn’t want to do it anymore. Instead, he would go back and kill the people who paid him to kill someone else. Obviously the morals are shaky and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. So people are out to get him now, as he pissed off many groups of people. Hopper (Tim Roth) used to be a co-worker and is the main antagonist here.

Francis likes Martha and Martha likes Francis. And technically he doesn’t like to her when he says he just killed a person, but she thinks it is a joke. However, eventually she finds out, conflict, some action stuff, and then some more romance. Typical, you know?

Also featuring, as mostly bad people and hitmen, RZA, Michael Eklund, James Ransone, Jaiden Kaine, and Anson Mount.

Gotta have a killing trademark, I guess.

Mr. Right was written by Max Landis, that guy who did American Ultra and other writing things that people love. He is super active in Hollywood right now (not Anna Kendrick active, but high for a writer). American Ultra was weird and unique but still landed to be just okay. Mr. Right is average, kind of dumb, with the occassional great moments. That is not a good sign for Mr. Right.

Again, there are some amusing moments. Kendrick goes super adorkable at points, babbling, making funny noises, sure. But that is not a complete movie. Rockwell doesn’t feel charismatic and the couple together never feel great. I can’t see why Martha becomes so smitten by him so quickly. The only real reason we have is just because the writers say so, but they don’t show it in the film well.

As a comedy it is subpar. As a romance it is almost non-existant. And as an action, well, the action is okay. But it is romcom action, not straight up epic action that purely action movies provide. It is mostly just some hand to hand combat fight scenes with a few Rockwell and RZA jokes thrown in.

They should have made some element really stand out. And Rockwell talking to people in a fight is not enough. Mr. Right is overall very forgettable.

1 out of 4.


When I first heard about people talking about this hip new film named Tangerine, my first thought was “Oh yeah, that foreign one!”

You remember the 2015 Academy Awards right? Well, one of the films I never saw and didn’t win was named Tangerines. I didn’t know what it was about, but clearly it must be the hip new movie they were all hyped on. But then I was wrong. Yes, within a year, there was a foreign film named Tangerines and an American filmed named Tangerine. Both nominated for awards. And of course, the plots have nothing to do with one another. Or tangerines for all I fucking know.

Silly me. Getting confused over something so fucking weird.

Fun fact! This movie was filmed on three iPhone 5S smartphones! I had to added the word smartphone, because I didn’t know how to pluralize “5S”.

If I made an attempt, people would argue and debate it for decades.

The story is actually about Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), who yes, is a female transsexual prostitute. She just got out of jail, 28 days, for a posession charge. She is happy to be back on the streets, and more excited to see Chester (James Ransone), her pimp. She is in an exclusive relationship with him, outside of the hooking.

But according to her best friend, Alexandra (Mya Taylor), Chester has been sleeping around with another woman! Not only that, but a white woman. A “REAL” woman. Some Dinah (Mickey O’Hagan) chick.

Fuck that. Sin-Dee went to jail for Chester. And he couldn’t wait four weeks. What a prick. So she goes on a campaign across LA to find Dinah and find Chester to confront them to see what the heck is their issue.

Also we have the story of Razmik (Karren Karagulian). He is an Armenian taxi cab driver, and he has a thing for prostitutes, including Sin-Dee. He loves her so much, he would leave his own Christmas Eve family dinner to find her to get his fix on. Also featuring Alla Tumanian and Luiza Nersisyan as his family.

Spoilers: She finds the girl and treats her badly.

Tangerine was an in your face, realistic movie. Yes boobs and yes penis. Yes language and yes uncomfortable situations. Yes very argumentative people and constant bickering. When I say realistic, I of course only mean that everything seems natural and with the addition of drugs, I can see all of this happening in real life at some point. Not realistic in the sense that I actually know anything about this stuff. It is all foreign to me.

The most surprising aspect of this movie is that James Ransone was in it. He isn’t the most famous actor by any means, but damn it, he was in Sinister and the star of Sinister 2. Everyone else in this movie are unknowns and first time movie people.

I thought the chemistry between all of the actors was pretty strong, including our two leads who knew each other in real life (I think).

Despite all of this, Tangerine is a movie I can never see watching again. It was a fine art piece, but mixed on the entertainment. The acting was decent, but I can’t imagine these people playing any other role with the same passion.

Either way, it is nominated for Best Picture, Actress, and Supporting Actress for the Spirit Awards, so you should definitely check it out on your own on Netflix. Make sure the kiddos aren’t around though.

3 out of 4.

Sinister 2

Back in 2012, there were a lot of shitty horror movies. In fact, The Apparition, The Possession, and The Devil Inside would have all made my worst of the year lists if I did them back then.

But there was some hope. We received Sinister. Sure I only gave it a 3 out of 4, but in reality, I think what they did with it was very innovative. It featured Ethan Hawke, who I tend to love or hate (this time was a love). The cinematography was wonderful. The world they built was just overall eerie, and it didn’t feature a lot of jump scares. Just everything in general was scary and creepy as fuck. It was my favorite horror film of the year obviously and I was totally ready for a sequel.

However, maybe the filmmakers or studios weren’t ready for a sequel? Sure, they didn’t rush it out, as they waited 3 years for the next film. I am happy they didn’t try and make this a yearly affair. Those wither up and die rather quickly. Despite my own excitement for Sinister 2, it received barely any pre-screenings for the public or press, which is generally a sign that they know they are releasing a terrible film and just want to get it over with.

The PR company probably just wanted everyone to show the film in small kid focus groups instead. That must be it!

Given what happened in the first film, we don’t expect a direct follow up from our last family. Obviously. So less star power. But hey, we do have our Deputy (James Ransone), who still doesn’t have a real name. But we can call him Ex-Deputy now. He left the police force after the awkwardness of the first film and is getting obsessed with Bughuul and his myths. He is burning down houses to prevent more families from being killed. If no one new can live there, he can protect them! He heads to a farm in Springfield Illinois that had a bad church based accident, but wouldn’t you know it, a family is squatting there. Fuck.

Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon) is living there with her two kids, Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan). They are hiding from the husband/dad (Lea Coco), who of course was an angry man and slightly abusive. Of course Bughuul and his posse of kid ghosts are trying to get the smallest kid, Dylan, into turning slowly evil. He is being peer pressured into watching creepy videos of death scenes, a few of them a lot more graphic and fucked up than the first film.

Now Ex-Deputy really doesn’t know what to do. He wants to protect the family, but weird stuff will happen while they are in the house, but if they leave, the real tragedy will take place. Fuck. While dealing with that, he is also interacting with Dr. Stomberg (Tate Ellington), who has information on potential Bughuul sightings in Norway with Ham radios. Weird. Also Lucas Jade Zumann plays head kid ghost, Milo.

The power of motion capture compels you!

Sinister 2 is not as good as Sinister. Everyone anywhere will agree with this fact. But just because it is technically worse on every level does not make itself a bad film.

Specifically on what is worse, the cinematography is just completely average. A regular movie. What really built the tension in the first film involved these sleek sexy shots. The fear didn’t involve jump scares, but appropriately creepy scenes and the occasional movement, sure. Outside of creepy videos in the sequel, the only scares came from very expected jump scares.

Not just jump scares, but a lot of them were audio based jump scares, where my ears were blasted with terrible sounds. Their way of doing eerie music during the kill videos was just a scratchy record player attached to the olde fashioned camera. Maybe my theater just made everything stupid loud, but regular objects being freakishly loud to attempt scares got really old, really quick.

In terms of plot, it was interesting to have the abuse plot. It was good to have something not focused on the evil spirit, but halfway through it made me wonder if it would have better if they still stayed in the abusive house. You know. Cause demons. It was also enjoyable to have a link to the first film, in regards to the deputy, although I definitely forgot about his character completely. Another good note is they didn’t try to go into the backstory of the demon. No, we focused on the dead kids and a point of view of a kid instead of one of the adults. It was a nice change, just still not as good as the first.

Also, the last scene was stupid. Setting up for a future movie with a different twist. It was just dumb. True fact.

2 out of 4.


Generally I am able to separate the real world from the movie world. I know that I won’t get sucked into a video game, and that I won’t be chased by a serial killer (because hey, why would anyone want to kill me?). But then we have certain movies that say, “I’m gonna to take something you love and make it scary for you, so that you can always think about the fear every time you do that task!” I like to call those movies “jerkfaces”, and that is what Sinister did to me in regards to watching movies. It is probably the same exact thing The Ring dids, but I wouldn’t know because I value my sanity.
Fucking Sinister.

Thinkaboot it
Presumably this is the same thing that happened after The Ring, but fuck if I’m ever gonna watch that.

Our story begins quite creepily with four members of a family being hung from a tree on a very old looking roll of film. Well, now that the mood is set, we introduce the actual new family, moving into a new house with a very familiar looking tree. Great! Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) is a famous-ish author, who got his big break when he began to write true crime style novels. His book, Kentucky Blood, based on a real murder and his own research actually helped bring a criminal to justice and got him mega bucks!

But he just hasn’t lived up to his former glory since then. His books haven’t been as good and local cops now hate him. But this time, this time he has it! Hell, he actually picked the murder house to live in instead of just being in the same town! The family was murdered (by hanging) and the youngest daughter is now missing. He could be a hero!

After this book he has promised to quit because his wife (Juliet Rylance) is tired of it and his kids (Michal Hall D’Addario, Clare Foley) are tired of moving. Not to mention their son now has night terrors. What a creepy kid.

But when Ellison finds a box in their attic entitled “Home Movies” with reels from the 1960s to 2011, his curiosity gets the best of him and gives them a watch. Each tape begins the same way, a nice family scene, spliced with the murder of said family.  They also all feature the youngest child missing in the murder scenes, hmm.  These series of murders take place all around the country, and with the help of Deputy So-and-So (James Ransone) he might be able to find a connection between them all, and save the day! Or you know, die himself. It is really 50/50 at this point.

Oh yeah, also this shit happening. Fuuuuuck.

This story also is about an ancient pagan demon who steals the souls of children. He also lives in any pictures of himself, including movies, and can move between them and out of them. Great! Movies are now forever ruined for me!

The movies drops enough clues for you to understand everything that is going on, so you should be able to figure it out halfway through. But don’t worry, if you still didn’t get it by the end, it is fully explained to you. Based on the ending, it also looks like this film is a “one-and-done” series. That should excite a lot of you, because it means we won’t soon get flooded with ten sequels to a new original horror movie!

Most of the film is Ethan Hawke walking around his house at night, with so little light, and it is absolutely terrifying. I wish he would have turned on a light more often, but when you are drunk you make poor decisions. I personally felt paralyzed when I watched the screen, afraid that if I moved I might be the next to go. I am disappointed that it did resort on more than one occasion to the sudden pop up scares, most notably at the end of the movie. It could have ended on a classy note, but instead went for one last “boo!”

The best part to me is that this horror movie actually has a plot that is believable enough in the world it created. That means it might actually make you think while you shriek. I’d definitely call Sinister my favorite new horror movie this month, and the one you should watch on Halloween night.

3 out of 4.