Tag: Melanie Lynskey

I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore

Hey! A new movie, on Netflix! That means this bad boy didn’t go to theaters, it just appeared in our lives, and in some film festivals. Because I had quite a few critic friends talking about it, and I had no idea why.

When I heard the words I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, I groaned. Last thing I need to see is a bunch of twenty-somethings bitching about the tiniest inconveniences and quoting Futurama. I then assumed it was some indie movie opening in five theaters across the USA, and only decided to watch it when I got on Netflix and the film slapped its dick in my face.

And even then I had reluctance. It was that little boy from those ring movies that made me want to watch it.

Actual footage of man me and girl me glaring at the movie from afar. In my car.

Ruth (Melanie Lynskey, indie movie princess) is pissed off at the world. She is a nursing assistant, but that doesn’t matter right now. She lives alone, has some friends, and people piss her off. People cut in front of her at the supermarket, dogs shit on her lawn, people spoil the book series she is reading, and someone broke into her house, fucked it all up, and stole some of her things.

Oh yeah, that is a pretty big one. She is shaken up about the whole thing, even more upset that the police (Gary Anthony Williams) seems to not give a shit about it, taking her statement and not giving her hope for restitution.

So she sets out to finding the culprit on her own, footprints and all. And after a brief tiff, she enlists the help of a neighbor, Tony (Elijah Wood), who is upset over theft in the neighborhood. They have hacking skills, ninja stars, and they are pissed off at the world. They will find out who took her stuff and there will be some sort of payback. Maybe a stern talking to.

Also starring Christine Woods, David Yow, Devon Graye, Robert Longstreet, and Jane Levy.

Nothing like book spoilers to spoil ones appetite as well.

Despite my rantings about indie films, I really didn’t know what to expect. Elijah Wood has been doing a lot of this darker, trippy stuff in his post Hobbit career. There was Sin City, there was Wilfred, Cooties, and now this. And of course Tobey Maguire was in The Details, which is kind of the same thing since they are similar. I didn’t expect this film to be a dark comedy, but once it started, it delivered hand over feet.

It has a few shocking events, sudden escalations, death, violence, and a bit of realism. If there is a fight, both sides are getting hurt and in unexpected ways, as they realize they are NOT superheroes. There is real danger for the characters involved and a lot of morally gray areas as well. And morally very very black areas, but we get through those as well.

This has got to be Lynskey’s best work to date. I am not going to call myself a super fan of hers or anything, and I have only seen a handful of roles, but most of them are side characters, reserved, and forgettable. In this film, it is HER movie, she grows as a character, she starts to take charge, and it is a good change.

If this film had problems, it would mostly just involve the ending. How everything ends up resolved might not match the tone from the rest of the film. It also took me awhile to really get into it, the build up being necessary, but still unexciting.

3 out of 4.

They Came Together

Heh. Heheheheh. They Came Together. That title. Oh man. Oh boy.

I’m done. I can’t even think of a good intro because of that.

However, I would feel like an asshat if I didn’t first mention that this movie had already been reviewed on my website. Yah! Here is a link! Because I totally have guest reviews on my website, not a lot, but they are there. And from them, of the seven, one I had reviewed already, one I reviewed soon after, and this one I reviewed way way later.

I think I am just stalling.

Like how I am avoiding cleaning up my leaves in my yard.

This movie is your classic romcom. And that is how they sell it. It is literally a spoof movie on romcoms, and they basically say that in the opening scene.

It is your classic boy meets girl. Joel (Paul Rudd) is a big corporate man working for a candy shop. Molly (Amy Poehler) is a klutz and owner of an independent candy shop. Oh my goodness, conflict!

Joel has a long term girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) who doesn’t love him like he does. Molly has an ex-husband and a kid.

Joel has a best friend (Jason Mantzoukas) who introduces him to a girl from work. Molly also has a best friend (Melanie Lynskey) who also wants to do that same thing!

Joel has a group of best friends who help him decide relationship advice. Molly has a black coworker friend (Teyonah Parris) who helps her keep it real.

Joel also has to deal with his younger brother (Max Greenfield) who is busy following his dreams and not making a living. Molly has other options, like a banker (Ed Helms) who wants to get closer to her.

I think you get the gist. It has a lot more people in it too! Like Christopher Meloni, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Michael Ian Black, Kenan Thompson, Jack McBrayer, and Ken Marino.

Bear Suits
I don’t have a joke here. I just like the picture a lot. 🙁

I felt ridiculous writing this, because in all honesty, it was a ridiculous movie. I actually put off watching it for so long, because I thought I wouldn’t like it, or it would be as average as a romantic realistic indie movie. And hey, it was weird and unique! So that was good.

It is hard to find a nice spoof movie nowadays. And I think They Came Together gave one of the better attempts at it. I did laugh at quite a few of the absurdities, and found it pretty funny. But, by the end, I thought aspects of it were going too strong and the joke was losing its luster. A bit. You know? Maybe too much of a good thing. Hell, I even had a good time explaining some of the jokes to others, but I didn’t think this is a movie I could really watch again and enjoy it as much of the first time. I think it will quickly stale out.

This is all conjecture. I might love it forever. But if anything, these reviews are first impressions and my impressions can often change through time. I usually don’t like changing a review later, because who would notice and ehhh, apathy. This time I am pretty sure that I would only enjoy this movie once though. And that is why it is just an okay film in that regard. Without staying power, I don’t want to buy it. If I don’t want to buy it, then is it really that great?

2 out of 4.

Happy Christmas

Shit. I should have saved this movie for actual Christmas. Jeez. What is wrong with me? I blew it, clearly.

Happy Christmas is an indie movie, so of course it makes sense to come out on July 25th, which I guess is the “Christmas In July” day, but I don’t get that concept at all.

Either way, we are going to have a movie about Christmas now, damn it. I don’t care what holidays are nearby.

But I hope the baby is the main character. Like Santa. Santa is a baby right?

Jenny (Anna Kendrick) is just a girl, standing in front of her brother, asking for a home. She is having some troubles in her life, but she just needs a break from it all. Thankfully Kevin (Mark Webber) has room in his house for her to crash. His wife, Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) is a novelist, but right now she is taking a break to be a stay at home mom because they have a baby! Yay babies!

And yay Jenny in their house. That means automatic free babysitter. Kind of hard to accept free rent without helping out.

But just one night in, Jenny gets blackout drunk and embarrasses her good friend (Lena Dunham), requiring the help of her brother late at night to get her. Some reliable baby sitter, huh?

Well, these old coogies can’t seem to accept her young hip ways and she finds herself constantly disappointing them, despite trying her best. And hey! She wants to help Kelly get back on the writing thing.

But seriously. Can she just not fuck up once? Maybe by Christmas? Or will she just be fucking the babysitter? (Joe Swanberg)

She ate all of those pretzel bites the night before. What. A. Night.

Quintessential indie film. Some comedic moments, a lot more dramatic ones, everything really close to reality, very few actors, and overall, just okay.

I mean, there are truly fantastic indie movies out there. This year we were able to get Obvious Child and Locke. After watching this film I was left wondering “Is that it?

I guess with their lower budget they just want to tell a simple story, but a lot of times I am not left wanting more just because it was such a great story and I am super invested in the characters. It is more me wondering why any of it even mattered?

Oooh, a group of people learned to accept each other by the end. And there was awkward moments. (Awkward moments are key to indie movies).

As I already said, Happy Christmas was okay, but borderline on boring and disliked. So a low 2, if you will. You can tell my indifference, as I couldn’t even write 500 words about this one.

2 out of 4.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

When I first heard about The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, I just assumed it was some indie high school coming of age comedy, that would appeal only to hipsters and hippies. Technically my assumption was not wrong. I was wrong to use the word only, because after seeing this movie, I can see how this movie would appeal to everyone.

Perks of Gravity
There are many factors that can be attributed to the broad appeal, including this broad.

Set in the 1990s, Perks is the story of a boy named Charlie (Logan Lerman) who is the youngest child in his family and about to start his first day of high school. His older brother is now off to college, and his older sister (Nina Dobrev) wants nothing to do with him at school. She is also busy going through a vegetarian phase with a pacifist boyfriend (Nicholas Braun).

Charlie’s one chance of fitting in rested on the shoulders of the school quarterback (Johnny Simmons) who used to be good friends with his older brother, but still, no dice. Heck, it looks like his only friend will be Mr. Anderson (Paul Rudd), his freshman English teacher.

But then something wonderful happens. He meets strange people. Namely an eccentric senior Patrick (Ezra Miller) who is willing to talk to him, and his step sister Sam (Emma Watson) who begin to introduce him to a world based on non-pop music, and unconventional fun. However, the closer he gets to his older friends, the more they get to learn about how troubled his past actually is and how deep his madness goes.

Sorry, I made that sound like a horror film. This also features Mae Whitman as one of his new group of friends, and Melanie Lynskey as his influential aunt.

Hand in Lap, check
How to be awesome at parties. Find couch, sit, and wait.

The first thing I noticed about this movie is that I knew practically everyone in it. In fact, I’d say some of my favorite young actors have rolls in this movie. Everyone know who Emma Watson is and her famous franchise. I’d say Logan Lerman is pretty well known, as both Percy Jackson, 3:10 to Yuma, and Three Musketeers. But Ezra Miller? Well he was Kevin in We Need to Talk About Kevin, a very upsetting movie and novel. Nicholas Braun has been in Sky High and Red State. If they would have just thrown in a Michael Angarano I might have died from good young actor overload.

But you don’t care about past performances, you care about right now. Well their acting in this movie is definitely top notch. I was surprised at how drawn into the story I became, wanting to know the personal histories of every fictional character. The movie was very relatable, but don’t worry, the events in the film never happened with me. The feelings of longing, love, and loneliness are universal emotions that everyone can say they had their share of in high school.

While watching this movie I can personally attest to crying at least four times in the theater. It draws you in and doesn’t let you go for the entire 102 minute run time. There were probably eighteen people in the theater when I saw it, yet when the credits hit only three were able to get up right away and leave. I’d like to assume the rest of us were just trying to compose ourselves before going back out in public. It wasn’t an entirely sad movie though; half of the tears probably occurred thanks to scenes being overly beautiful.

I felt so strongly about this movie that this is the first time I actually want to read the book that the movie is based on. If you like this movie, I would also recommend It’s Kind of A Funny Story, also dealing with high school depression, but in a much lighter tone.

4 out of 4.

Away We Go

Again, a movie with a thousand tags. But I will explain it very simply for you so that is all makes sense. The plot of Away We Go it turns out is pretty damn simple to understand. More time for analysis (if I choose). Hooray!

Love and vagina
It’s about love. And finding your love’s vagina.

John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph are an unmarried couple, but guess what, they are having a baby. She doesn’t want to get married, but still truly believes they will be together forever. They had moved to be closer to John’s parents (Jeff Daniels and Catherine O’Hara) to have some sort of relative in the babies life, since her parents are dead.

But when she is 6 months in, they find out they are moving to Belgium. For two years. Making their living arrangements kind of pointless. Afraid that their lives are fucked up and bad, they agree to go on a mini vacation to different parts of the country to visit their other family memmbers and friends, to see if they would be good places to live.

First to Arizona, to see Maya’s old boss and her husband / family (Allison Janney and Jim Gaffigan) who seem to be drunk a lot, and not too happy with life, and her sister. Then to Madison, for a job interview, where they also meet John’s cousin and husband (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Josh Hamilton), who are way too extreme on the hippy side.

Then to Montreal, to visit their mutual friends (Melanie Lynskey and Chris Messina), who have adopted many children, due to the unfortunate nature of Melanie’s ability to have a child (multiple miscarriages). Finally, a trip to Miami, to visit John’s brother (Paul Schneider) and help him out of a bad situation.

The whole time they are traveling they are dealing with their own problems, and wondering about their own inadequacies. And by both of them, I mean Maya. Because John is way too swell of a person, and optimistic, he is constantly making things better, all while looking like a hipster.

Exhibit A.

Their final destination choice I will let remain a mystery. Because fuck you, that’s why.

I thought the movie was pretty enjoyable. I laughed a lot more than I expected, thinking it would be a lot more heavily drama-nated. But man, there was many great scenes, and it all felt incredibly real. Hopefully their love in this fictional universe of the movie carries on after the birth and throughout their whole life. You are given a nice feeling that they have found true peace and happiness with their decisions, and everything will work out for the best.

Also, a lot of vagina talk.

3 out of 4.

The Informant

I bought this movie because the cover made me laugh. Mattttt Damonnn just looks ridiculous.

The Informant Cover
Look at it, in all its glory.

And it seems hilarious. Didn’t read the back, no idea on what it was about, just his ridiculous ridiculous face. I think not knowing anything about it a much more enjoyable experience.

The movie tells of Matttt Damonnn, working for a company, which happens to be doing some illegal shenanigans. Nothing that important, just that his company has been involved with price fixing. He decides to tell the FBI. He didn’t think it would turn out to be such a big deal. He thought he could let them know, and be done with it. Nope. They needed proof. This causes him to become one of the most cooperative informants they have ever had. He is SUPER awkward though throughout it. And it is great.

Unfortunately some of the details he gives them are not adding up. Bunch this up with the fact that he is a weird guy, sometimes forgetting meetings, and avoiding people. Is there more shit going on? Maybe. His wife is played by Melanie Lynskey and the FBI agents are Scott Bakula and Joel McHale.

Mattttttttt Damonnnnnnnn

You keep asking yourself “WHY are you doing that???” Without trying to spoil anything, the movie gets pretty deep with its subject material. You just can’t stop watching the train wreck, thinking it can’t be real. You also never really know exactly what is going on.

It was good to be on that ride. What made it even more funny was Damon’s random thoughts throughout the movie, said through voice over. Generally these thoughts had nothing to do with the current scene, and it could make you miss important information. But the only thing you could do was nod along and think, “Huh. Why IS that?” It is also based on a true story (or at least the books about the true story), which I didn’t know until the end. Shocked I tell ya.

I should say ridiculous again.

3 out of 4.