Tag Archives: Movie Review

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: KIDNAP

We will get to the travesty of The Dark Tower in a moment, but my real first question is what happened to Halle Berry’s career? She won an Oscar for Monster’s Ball, and had some minor success as Storm in the X-Men films, but she went off and did Catwoman, Gothika, The Call, Perfect Stranger, Movie 43, and you see what I’m getting at now don’t ya? I actually think she is quite a talented actress. And she’s really the only really really bright spot in KIDNAP, a movie that was filmed 3 years ago and should’ve been a Netflix original. It feels like a Netflix film, with low production value, a quick runtime, and just enough cheese to not warrant a theatrical release, but here it is. It’s a decent Netflix watch, but a very mediocre way to spend your box office bucks. At least I enjoyed it more than The Dark Tower.

Also, why in the fucking fuck is this film Rated R? I just used two F words to prove a point. I have now said fuck twice more now than the movie used, and the film has less violence than 10 seconds in one episode of The Walking Dead. Maybe they thought they would have a bunch of teenagers having heart attacks in the theater if they rated it PG-13? No clue, but this isn’t rated R at all, in fact, there were 10 to 16 year olds in the theater asking the same questions once the movie let out.

Plot? Kidnappers kidnap Halle Berry’s child and she witnesses it and as a determined mother she actually goes after the kidnappers before she loses sight of them. That’s it. There are no plot twists (they try and sneak a stupid meaningless one at the very end) an the criminals are dumb, cut and dry, country over the top redneck, and unmemorable. At least the movie doesn’t really waste anytime getting everything moving, but a lot of the movie is Halle Berry sitting in a car looking worried and stressed out, which she does very well.

The criminals make dumb decisions, Halle Berry makes dumb decisions, the filmmakers make dumb decisions, the action is cheap and hackneyed. Look, you’ve seen this film a million times, and done a million different better ways. It isn’t unwatchable, in fact it kept my attention, but this film isn’t anything special and you’ll forget it exists in 3 days. But why is Halle Berry choosing these scripts? She is so much better than this material, we’ve seen it, and we see it here. She looks like she is still in her 30s (she’s 50) and can act her way out of a paper bag, is it that Hollywood doesn’t want to give her anything else? Is she hard to work with? *shrugs*

The film didn’t kidnap my time. I don’t regret watching it, I just wish I had on Netflix and not spent what I pay for Netflix in a month in a 82 minute period. It doesn’t waste anytime at least and there aren’t any slow parts. Honestly, I would probably be shitting all over this film if it weren’t for having to sit through an adaptation of one of my favorite books royally shit on. Netflix only, don’t spend your money.

Documentary Review: Living on One Dollar

Typically I let my movie contributor Zach handle all of the movie related reviews.    However as I to love to watch movies and blog I am going to review this documentary.

The premise as taken from the website

Living on One Dollar is a film and journey that follows our own experience living on $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala.

 

I love documentaries and when I discovered that these guys went to my favorite country in the world I knew I had to watch this film.  It made me cry.  I love my beloved Guatemala, it is truly the country that changed my life in ways that I will ever be able to explain to anyone.   It made me cry because I remember seeing the extreme poverty and this documentary drove it home that it is still a very real issue in many parts of the world.

This is a fantastic documentary where you see just what it is like to live on a dollar a day and support a family something 99.9999 of American’s can’t even fathom yet a vast majority of the world lives this way.  It is a pretty short film but one that if you really let the message sink in you will have a very good understanding of what it is like to live and work in rural Guatemala.

While I only “worked” in rural Guatemala for a short time I did see the extreme poverty it hurts so bad knowing some know real hunger and it can make you question a lot of things, like volun-tourism. Which is why I was in Guatemala.   It makes you question if you can do more, it makes you think of your own countrymen who are starving.  If you see this in real life I don’t know how you can go on living without trying to change.

This was a very well done documentary that I highly recommend you watch.

 

 

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: DETROIT

Just like Dunkirk, I have a feeling that DETROIT will be nominated for Best Picture come next year, and it completely deserves it. It is a masterful, harrowing tale of true events that is so realistic at times it is very hard to watch. The direction by master filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow is nothing less than perfect, the acting is above and beyond what half of movies come up with these days, and everything coming off the screen, you want to look away, but you can’t. And although the third act dips just slightly (some people have said that the third act completely stops the movie, I don’t quite agree), it is a film whose reality at the time parallels our own, and it is…fucking…scary. One of the year’s best films indeed.

The film depicts the tragic events that happened at the Algiers Hotel during the emotional and racially charged 12th street Riots in July of 1967. But it doesn’t just depict that tragic event, it depicts the start of the riots and takes about 20 minutes to actually get to the hotel. This helps the film tremendously in building tension and letting the audience know how desperate and hectic the situation was. Once we get to the actual incident at the hotel, our nails have already ripped out the fabric of the theater seats, and we haven’t even gotten to the worst parts yet. The camera work uses slight realistic shaky cam, but it doesn’t get to the point of Paul Greengrass where it makes you sick. It is basically almost shot documentary style, adding to the realism.

The film has multiple points of views. The film shows the point of view of the racist cops that did some very bad things that night. The film shows the point of view of a security guard (played by John Boyega of The Force Awakens) who happens to be swept up into a situation where he doesn’t belong. And then there is the point of view of the victims, namely a band member and his buddy and a couple of people they just meet that night, including a cook and a couple of white girls. The incident is set off when the black cook decides to use a toy race starter pistol and shoot it out the window to scare the shit out of the police across the way that are already on edge dealing with the riots. Of course, the police follow the sound, and end up at the hotel, and the police are not so nice, and some really fucked up bad shit happens.

I don’t want to ruin the movie, so I’m not going to say exactly what happens, but it is very, very, very, very bad. At times shocking, and a lot of the time, very hard to watch. And it has a ending that you will not enjoy one bit. All the performances are top notch. John Boyega is mostly an quiet but determined outsider looking in, and then accidentally gets tragically swept up in everything. Anthony Mackie plays one of the victims, who is a war vet. But the real performance goes to Will Poulter (We’re The Millers) as one of the racist cops. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets nominated for supporting by when voting comes up. He’s a character that you despicably hate, and the only reason because of that is his performance is masterful.

Everything from the beginning of the riots, to the actual incident, is some masterful stuff. But then after the incident, and the shortened trial, maybe the last 20 to 25 minutes of the film, kind of dips a little bit in value. And that is mainly because of John Krasinski (Jim from The Office) who plays a lawyer trying to defend the racist cops, and I just didn’t believe his performance. It felt like Jim was pulling a joke on Dwight. But I believe showing some of the aftermath was necessary and would’ve felt cheated if it had just showed some title cards depicting what happened next, so I’m giving the very last little extended epilogue act the benefit of the doubt. I think it was necessary for the whole thing to come together.

The real winner in this is director Kathryn Bigelow, who has won a best director Oscar for The Hurt Locker, will sure to be nominated here again, and screenwriter Mark Boal, again, won an Oscar, will probably be nominated here as well. This is a master collision course in terms of filmmaking and sending a message about race relations, then and now. Although hard to watch, I could watch this film over and over again, it’s a breathtaking piece of cinema. Go see it. A very important film.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE EMOJI MOVIE

It has taken me a long time to write a review for THE EMOJI MOVIE because I needed to let it sink in how unnecessary and offensive this movie is. And it isn’t offensive in how you think I mean. It is offensive to the human race. You know the movie Idiocracy? And how every year, whenever shit goes bad or dumb, we go, “Oh shit, Idiocracy is becoming a reality!” And remember that movie that is in Idiocracy called Butt, and that it won a bunch of Academy Awards including best picture? Yeah, The Emoji Movie is our real version of the fictional movie Butt. And the movie inches us ever closer to the fictional reality that was Idiocracy. The Emoji Movie just dumbs down and packages how human beings are today and how they shouldn’t be. Emotionless zombies that spend wayyyy too much time on their phone when we should be having real human interactions.

And there are too many God damn movies about inanimate objects with feelings. We can blame Pixar for that, but at least Pixar does it (most but not all of the time) with some artistic dignity (this is a Sony Pictures animated film, not Disney). I mean, we have Cars that have feelings, Planes that have feelings, Toys that have feelings, and thanks to Inside Out, we have feelings that have feelings! And now, we as a human race, have sunk to a new low, FUCKING EMOJIS THAT HAVE FEELINGS, because, because, get it, Emojis are expressions of feelings? HAHA…HAHAHAHAHAHA…oh so clever and hilarious Sony Animation, did you think of that all by yourself? The movie is offensive by displaying a movie that pokes fun of, but also encourages our zombie like behavior.

I mean look at the plot. A emoji who is supposed to be “meh” actually has multiple feelings of expression. He fucks up expression wise when the teenage owner of the phone accidentally sends a weird fucked up emoji that has one multiple expression to a girl that he likes (because he can’t not be a pussy and just go up and talk to her). So now the race is on between higher up emoji’s to get rid of “meh” and prove that the phone is not defective before the teenager takes the phone to the store and have everything deleted.

Seriously, who gives a shit? I did not care about anybody (even the pussy teenager) in the movie, because not only did it encourage the stupid behavior teenagers have today, but EMOJIS ARE FUCKING EMOJIS, THEY AREN’T FUCKING REAL AND NEVER WILL BE! And I know what you are thinking. You are thinking: “Wait, Zach, didn’t you love Inside Out, Toy Story, and all those other inanimate object movies that have feelings (except Cars, screw those)?” Good point. The difference between this movie and all those others is that Disney mostly knows what they are doing. They make a hell of a story with each one, has likable characters that have real actual dreams, thoughts, emotions, that are subject to real life zombie like behavior, and all the jokes usually hit on the bullseye.

The jokes in this are so obvious that they completely miss the target, and probably aren’t even in the same game arena. We get it, Patrick Stewart is Poop (he’s hardly in this by the way). There have got to be some clever poop jokes other than, “hey, Dad, should we wash our hands?” after going to the bathroom and then when something goes wrong Patrick Stewart yells, “Holy S-” and then it is cut off. I’ll give it to the voice acting though, they tried their hardest and did their damndest, nobody phoned it in. T.J. Miller (making the awful mistake of leaving Silicon Valley) tries really hard here and does a good job as meh but I don’t care about his character enough to give a poop.

The movie isn’t the worst animated film I have ever seen, but it is one that I will never ever watch again. The best thing about this movie is the Hotel Transylvania short called “Puppy!” before the movie. It actually elicited a few laughs from me and was cute. I don’t know who this movie is for. I can tell you that anyone over the age of 25 is probably going to hate this thing. But as I walked out of the theater, I heard 6, 9, and even 13 year old saying that the movie was “boring,” “not funny,” “or a waste of time.” Even a 17 year old jumped up after the movie ended screaming “Oh my God, best movie ever, bring on that bullshit called Emoji 2!” (he was being sarcastic by the way). So judging by the reactions I saw, this MAY entertain your infant to toddler, but anyone past the age of 6 will probably #notgiveapoop.