Category Archives: Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: TULIP FEVER

So being the movie fanatic that I am, and momma and my new son Grayson tucked in for the night, I decided to celebrate my son’s birth by seeing a movie in the theater anyway. I went to see TULIP FEVER, the only new film out this week. Out of my joyous day, this film was the only really really stupid thing about it. Tulip Fever is mind stakingly dumb, treats the audience as if they were idiots, has the worst acting coming out of some of the best actors working today, has an unearned ending, all surrounded by a stupid plot of love triangles, pregnancy deceptions, dumb tulip bulbs, and has dialogue that makes William Shakespeare spin in his grave.

The film centers around a time in Victorian past where tulip bulbs were like Funk Pop Vinyls and Beanie Babies, people obsessed and paying way too much for them. An old rich dude, played by Christoph Waltz, is looking to make an heir to his fortune, since his wife and children died during child birth. He purchases a woman out of poverty, played by recent Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander, to make him an heir, and they try for years without her getting pregnant. To distract his disappointment, he hires a painter, played by Dane Dehane, to paint a portrait of the married couple, which takes some time. Soon, the wife is having an affair with the painter, who gets interested in tulip bulbs to try and get rich quick and get out of that life. Add to that a love story involving the housekeeper and a fish seller, deceiving a fake pregnancy, and a dumb drunk Zach Gilifinakis, and you have one of the silliest and cheesiest movies of the year, and not in a good way.

This movie is basically Casanova starring Heath Ledger, but on a shit ton of steroids. While Casanova was fun and embraced its silly tone, Tulip Fever doesn’t know what tone to take, goes from silly, to serious, to silly, rinse, and repeat, and it doesn’t transition well at all. The plot is unbelievably predictable and bad, with no true antagonist to sneer at, and unlivable protagonists that you don’t want to cheer for. The dialogue is so bad it makes all the actors terrible in this, and strike two for Mr. Dehane, who is not having a good acting year with this and Valerian. And Alicia Vikander must really like taking off her clothes, I’ve now seen her naked more times than I did Kate Winslet back in the late 90’s. she’s not good here either, no one is.

The ending is unearned and insanely dumb, Zach Gilifinakis is truly out of place here, and Judi Dench being there screams paycheck. This film feels like a Lifetime channel film that Lifetime even rejected. It’s laughably bad and will be in a $2 bin somewhere by Christmas. This serves me right for seeing a film right after the birth of my son. Thank goodness it wasn’t IT right? Seeing Tulip Fever won’t make you obsessed with anything this film provides, and it will sure give you a headache that makes you wish you stayed home sick.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: PATTI CAKE$

Out of the two films that you have never heard of that I saw this weekend PATTI CAKE$ is the one I recommend, but maybe wait for a rental. You probably have heard of this movie just forgot what it was called. It is about that plus sized blonde white trash girl that wants to make it with a rapping career. She is a bartender that does catering on the side and on the side of that tries to make good rap music with her pharmaseutical Indian friend and a really nice, kind black guy that also happens to worship the anti-Christ. While it falls into a lot of the tropes and cliches you’ve seen time and time again in a story like this (fairly close to 8 Mile), the movie is very enjoyable, inspirational, funny, heartfelt, that manages a few surprises kept out of the trailers.

And by surprises I mean the Indian friend and the really nice black guy that worships the anti-Christ. I think without those two characters, this movie wouldn’t have been so enjoyable. When they get together (and add Patti Cake$ grandma with a one word hilarious background drop) and form their rap group PBNJ, it feels like a real group coming together. And while the plot does go into a couple of cliches, I am glad it didn’t go the route of “she wants to break up from the group because she is more successfully individually.” The cliched parts come in the form of their rise, fall, and rise, and Patti Cake$’ mother being a has been washed up drunk as a skunk singer.

The acting does really bring the movie together. Everyone is excellent here, especially our main character. Without a top notch performance by her, everything could’ve been an epic fail, but Danielle MacDonald is wonderful in this. Her two friends and grandmother are good two, and even though the mother thing didn’t really work, Amy Shumer frequent collaborator Bridget Everett brought us a side to her we haven’t seen before, and pulled it off in spades.

The music is good, the characters are good, the story is good, so why am I not recommend seeing this in a theater? Well, theatrically, it isn’t worth your box office money. I would say this is THE perfect rental of 2017, but as for direction, shots, what have you, this really doesn’t need to be seen in a theater. Which is a little sad because everything else is there. Stylistically it copies 8 Mile, with some shaky cam work. The movie tries to dab it up with a few dream sequences, but honestly they could’ve been cut out and made the movie a bit tighter. I would totally watch this again, but wait to watch it on a smaller screen, because even though with the main character size doesn’t matter, smaller screen size = saving you more $.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BIRTH OF THE DRAGON

I did see two movies over the weekend, but these reviews will be short and sweet since none of you will ever probably check out these movies let alone have heard of them before. Let’s start with the one I can’t get myself to recommend: BIRTH OF THE DRAGON. What is funny about this film is that it is a “fictional” account of the fight that “supposedly” took place between martial arts legend Bruce Lee and kung fu master Wong Jack Man in 1965 in San Francisco. The problem with this movie is that it is cheesy as fuck, the main character isn’t even Bruce Lee or Wong Jack Man, and the fictionalized account is way too fictionalized for me to even care about anything to do with plot.

The movie should have been more serious. I would’ve loved a very serious, semi-fictionalized account of Lee and Wong’s fight. With them being both main characters and NOTHING else. I did not want a white guy learning Kung Fu from Lee to be the main character, nor did I want his love story with a Chinese slave girl. I mean, if the studio insisted on keeping that stupid plot line in the story, they didn’t need to white wash it all to hell. Make the main character Chinese as well, I don’t need a white guy to identify with him. I don’t need English speaking characters either, Chinese subtitles would’ve been fine. I don’t want to give anything away, but the climax of the plot line with the slave girl is so over the top, dumb, and stupid, I was laughing at the screen the whole time.

This is a perfect made for TNT, TBS, USA or hell, even crap Netflix film. The only good thing in this movie are the fight scenes. The fight scenes are fantastic and in the script, I am guessing this is literally all they had, and writers on set had to fill in 60 minutes of bullshit plot and inane dialogue. So if we are counting, it’s a 95 minute movie, with 35 minutes devoted to Lee and Wong Jack Man’s storyline, and 60 minutes of whitewashing crap. That isn’t good. No one can tell me there can’t be a 2 hour great epic tale about the fight between these two legends, with no B subplot with a white guy who can’t act. We could’ve started the movie early in both of their careers, switch back and forth until we got to San Francisco and then till the fight. Seriously, imagine that film in your head? Could be pretty epic right?

All of the acting in this film is crap too. The guy that plays Bruce Lee does it a little too over the top. I heard Bruce Lee was a over the top personality in general, but there is a way to do that with good acting, look at any character in any Tarantino film. The only good acting is the guy that plays Wong Man Jack. He is the only character that feels fully fleshed out, with the acting complimenting it every step of the way. Keep that guy, throw away the script and start from scratch, and recast everything else, and you may have had a great film. Not to say the film isn’t unwatchable, but if you have a cheeseburger in front of you, and wanted more cheese on it, this film is the equivalent of opening one of those nasty ass cheddar nacho cheese tub buckets from your local movie theater, and just pouring it everywhere. Just….everywhere.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: LOGAN LUCKY

LOGAN LUCKY is easily the best heist film since 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven, and the funny part is that both are directed by the same man, Steven Soderberg. Even making fun of it’s self in the film (at one point a reporter calls it Ocean’s 7-11), this heist film has a hillbilly redneck southern twist to it that makes it much more enjoyable than if everything was played straight. It is a solid entertaining two hours where nothing feels out of place and it even manages to cook up a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. I’m writing this review now seeing that the movie didn’t make all that much at the box office this weekend, which is a shame because you should go out with your friends ASAP and see this. I swear you will have an enjoyable time.

What makes this film so good is the acting. Channing Tatum becomes a better actor with each film that he does, especially if he has Soderberg behind the lens. His country accent and manner is just right, not going too over the top, with a perfect southern drawl and presence. Adam Driver and Riley Keough do good here as well, as well as all the supporting players, Seth McFarlane, Katherine Waterson, Dwight Yoakem, Katie Holmes and Hilary Swank, even though a lot of them don’t get much screen time at all.

But the real winner is is 007 himself, Daniel Craig. He steals every single scene he is in and after Bond he should seriously go into more comedy roles, because he clearly has a knack for what makes an audience laugh. He completely lights up the screen here, with his very funny high pitched accent and mannerisms. He is worth the price of admission alone. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is Oscar worthy (some people have been saying that), I could see Daniel Craig getting nominated for an Oscar at some point in his life, and probably for a comedy and not a drama.

The story and heist is great. It isn’t like Rogue One where the heist is completely done in less than ten minutes. The film takes it’s time, with the entire second half of the film devoted to the heist, every second of which is fun and interesting. And the plan isn’t outlandish either, the screenplay is smart and doesn’t try to treat the audience as if they were idiots. Some critics have been saying it is hard to see that a heist could be planned by a person in real life that Channing Tatum plays, but I say that we all judge a book by its cover at some point, where a man like this could really be smarter and more than what he seems.

I loved this southern fried chicken heist. While not better than Ocean’s 11 or Snatched, it is way way better than any of the Ocean’s sequels and a movie I could completely keep on television and watch over and over in the coming future. Just like The Hitman’s Bodyguard it is a surprise late hit summer fun for me. You all made Hitman’s Bodyguard a modest hit the weekend, why don’t you go back and give Logan Lucky a shot. It is true that this film is being marketed more as a comedy than a heist, but it is both equal parts, with the heist not getting any back burner, and having fun right along with the comedy in the drivers seat.