Category Archives: Movie Review

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: ROUGH NIGHT

I was really looking forward to Rough Night. Even though it looks like a lighter version of a baby making session between The Hangover and Very Bad Things, I love the cast of lovely funny ladies, and am always up for some weird hilarious hijinks. It pains me to say that the movie just ended up being a somewhat chuckle worthy but entertaining one time watch. It seems as though the script was just borrowed from better films and tried to recycle some dick, drug, and fart jokes and have it be more shocking just because it is coming out of Scarlett Johansson’s mouth. I just didn’t laugh out loud all that much because the jokes and the hijinks were just not original. I’m fairly certain they even completely ripped off Weekend At Bernie in some scenes. However, the movie was still salvageable because of all the very funny and lovely ladies involved and one other thing the trailer is not showing you, that ended up being funnier than the girls adventure.

That’s right, what the trailer doesn’t show you is bits and pieces from the male side of the bachelor parts, which I thought was funnier than what the script had in store for the women. This one the one smart thing the script did, was turn a lot of sexist and stereotyping on its head. When the movie went to Johansson’s fiance, Bo Burnam and the best use of diapers as comedy since Raising Arizona, the movie kicked into high gear with the laughs. I won’t get into that situation other than that. The problem I had with the girls’ story is that the script didn’t really take any risks. Without being too spoiler-y, before the incident with the dead stripper arrives, and I mean RIGHT BEFORE, you can tell where the film is going to go by the way one of the characters acts. I don’t think a lot of the general audience is going to notice, but when a twist at the end is revealed, it really wasn’t a twist, as I knew that twist was going to be a possible way for the girls to get out of their situation.

I wanted the script to take more risks. There could’ve been better and smarter ways for the girls to get out of their situation. And better and smarter ways = better hijinks and genuinely funny (and not forced) moments. There is a situation with Demi Moore and Modern Family’s Ty Burrell that could’ve gone a bunch of different places, but instead went to a very cliched and obvious resolution. It was a little disappointing. But as for the girls themselves, I loved all of them and they honestly tried to make the material in the script work. They looked like they had a fun time making the movie, and it shows here.

Scarlett proves that she can do comic and not just be a superhero all the time, although she proved in better in Don Jon. Jillian Bell is….well Jillian Bell here and nothing new acting wise out of her but I’ve always found her hilarious and she brings high energy to this. I love Broad City (which is funnier than this) and Ilana Glazer brought her comedic skills in tact here. And Zoe Kravitz, who I have never seen in a comedy before I think, did fine here as well. And Kate McKinnon, I love her in anything she does, and in this she is one of the better parts of the movie, playing it as an Australian friend of Johansson’s that isn’t too into American culture.

It’s just that the movie could’ve been so much more with a little more focused writing and better, non recycled jokes. It is completely watchable and entertaining, and the guy’s side of the bachelor party is well worth a early bird/matinee ticket price or a one time watch somewhere else. Especially the diaper scenes. I’ll recommend the diaper scenes alone. My expectations were high, and they usually always will be for R rated comedies, because you have the R rating, so you need to take it places that shows off that beautiful restriced goodness and even push boundaries to get to that NC-17 rating. This movie didn’t really push anything, and the entire problem was with the script. But hey, if you ladies out there need a date night with your girlfriends, this movie is perfect for you and I recommend seeing it on that fact as well. You might enjoy it more than I did. Oh, and stay just a little bit after the credits for a funny song by Kate McKinnon. So again, in summary, one time watch for me, might be funnier for you. Depends on your mood and if you’ve had a rough night yourself.

Mid Way Through The Year My Top Ten Films of 2017 So Far…

I know it’s not technically Mid-Way Through The Year until June 30th but I really can’t see Transformers 5 or Cars 3 making the best list (maybe worst?) and if Rough Night, Book of Henry, or Baby Driver happen to get on there, I’ll let you know. ┬áSo here is my best and worst list of films for 2017 so far:

My Mid-Way 2017 Top Ten Films So Far:

1. John Wick: Chapter 2
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
3. Wonder Woman
4. Logan
5. Get Out
6. Split
7. Colossal
8. Alien: Covenant
9. Sleight
10. The Founder

Worst Films of the Year So Far:

1. The Bye Bye Man
2. Fifty Shades Darker
3. Ghost In The Shell
4. CHiPS
5. Table 19
6. Underworld: Blood Wars
7. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
8. Going In Style
9. Rings
10. A Dog’s Purpose

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: IT COMES AT NIGHT

So my friend Kimberly Finke and I usually see all horror movies that come out together. I think I’ve mentioned her “ass out to pass out” in an earlier review, where you can tell instantly how she feels about a certain movie. Well, today, we came up with a new term for how we feel about, not only horror movies, but any film honestly. If we don’t like a film, and almost every other critic does, especially with anything over 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, we are going to say we were “bewitched” by that certain movie. We are getting that term, because last year’s The Witch got solid, solid…SOLID reviews, and Kim and I didn’t care for it at all and wonder why everyone else did. Well, unfortunately, we both were “bewitched” by IT COMES AT NIGHT.

And it’s not like we weren’t warned. We weren’t expecting some zombie horror film where all questions were answered and everything tied up in a bow. We knew going it that it was a slow burning, tense, paranoia little family thriller that happened to contain a fast spreading disease that would kill you, and that it was only 95 minutes long. Well, at 95 minutes, the movie felt too long. I was bored through most of it. But don’t get me wrong, it is a well made film. The acting is incredible, the cinematography and direction is way above average, and the fact that it didn’t explain where the outside world is and where this disease came from was pretty eerie, cool, and commendable. But the movie just didn’t click with either of us.

It mainly didn’t click for me not because of some of the boredom, but because of the ending. If I had to compare the ending to something, I would compare it to the end of Masters of None Season 2, where it just goes in and out of fading out, and then just ends. Not to say there isn’t explanation, because there kind of is, but after a huge tense and crippling climax, to just do that felt like a kind of cheat out other than making the movie five minutes longer and dissecting it just a little bit more. When the end credits rolled, I shrugged and got out of my seat. I didn’t really care for any of the characters to care about their fates or care what happens to the world around them.

Which leads us to another problem. The acting might be incredible, and I might not care about the who, what, where, when, and why of the disease, but I would like to care about the characters. And I just didn’t. There wasn’t enough character development. They tried to make some at the very beginning with a semi gruesome funeral, but it just doesn’t work. The movie is more thriller than scary, which might not have been the way to go. If you think there are going to be a bunch of zombies running around (which the trailer completely leads you into thinking that is the case) you are going to be very, very disappointed. But I heard that was the case beforehand. So I was ready for it and accepting, I was just bored.

Joel Edgerton proves again that he is a underrated acting force to be reckoned with, and Riley Keough here is completely wasted. Edgerton was maybe the only character a “kind of” cared about. And that “kind of” is being very generous. When a 95 minute movie is slow, that’s not really boating well. But hey, if you are a creepy, horror, thriller fan, you might actually like it. In fact, most critics are. This seems to be the weekend of disagreeing with critics and the general population for me, except for Megan Leavey. Agree with most that that is excellent. I don’t think it’s my mood, because I was really looking forward to this film, the most of any film this weekend, and my expectations I don’t think were too high. Just sometimes, it just isn’t in the cards, and we end up being “bewitched” by things. Don’t let me review sway you into seeing it or not. Go with your own opinion. But in the end, I ended up with blue balls, and didn’t “come” at all. *drops mic*

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: MY COUSIN RACHEL

The thing I liked the most about MY COUSIN RACHEL is that it relies solely on its ambiguity to engage its audience. If you are looking for definitive answers whether Rachel is a evil and conniving bitch or not, look elsewhere, because the ending makes you think for yourself. If you are disappointed by a no answers (a la Damon Lindelof) type of movie, then stay far away. However if you want to piece the clues together, even after you walk out of the theater, you might find this as a nice one time watch interesting little mystery with some very good performances.

This movie comes with a sense of dread, paranoia, jealousy, hatred, romance, and dark mystery. Did Rachel poison and drive her former lover mad and then is doing the same thing to his cousin? For what end? Money, power? Or is she really just all that innocent and both men really are losing their minds? I loved this mind game that the movie brought. I kept switching my opinion one scene after another, so the unpredictability is off the charts good. Rachel Weisz and Sam Caflin play off each other extremely well, with Weisz’s charm (but is there a darkness under it) and Caflin’s gullibilty (or is he right) moving the narrative forward while also confusing the shit out of the audience.

Usually these movies set in that old timey era bore me in places, but after this film was over I was left sitting in my seat saying, “wow, that was fast,” and then trying to figure out the movie afterward. I wouldn’t buy this and consider it really just a one time watch, but I definitely recommend it purely because of its unpredictability and the acting. I wouldn’t liked the film to be a little longer and see Caflin’s character plans for revenge against the woman who possibly murdered his guardians gain a little bit more meat to its bones. Instead, she arrives, he is flabbergasted, and it feels like a snap of the fingers where he is instantly in love with her. Eventually I believed it, but right away I was questioning the screenwriters and director’s rush of emotions. I guess they didn’t want the film to get boring?

Definitely a good Netflix watch when it eventually hits that platform. Don’t bend over backwards to see it. It isn’t the be all end all period pieces of be all end all period pieces. It is a little better than average paranoid period piece tiny thriller. The way the film makes you think and the performances keep it from being mediocre and less than mediocre. And isn’t a movie that makes you think at least somewhat commendable?