Tag Archives: The Cubicle Escapee

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: LIFE OF THE PARTY (a Rhyme Review, spoiler free)

Another negative review, for that I am sorry,
But I am about to bash the new film LIFE OF THE PARTY.
It stars Melissa McCarthy as a mom going back to college,
Her daughter in tow, archaeology part of her knowledge,
To be blunt, the movie isn’t funny,
The son of a bitch stole my time and my money,
I know it was geared towards Mother’s Day weekend,
But with only Breaking In, the film lineup was quite thinned,
But I’m not giving Hollywood the benefit of the doubt,
They know better than this shit, need to take a different route.

What blindsides me even more is the writers and director,
It was McCarthy herself, bringing her husband as a connector,
But those two have proven their collaborative efforts are crap,
With Tammy and The Boss being before, Admiral Ackbar screaming “It’s a Trap!”
The film is entirely ad-libbed, scenes going on for far too long,
It’s like they only had a two page script, hoping they could do no wrong,
But the ad-libbing doesn’t work if the chemistry isn’t there,
All the characters one dimensional, very dull and very square,
The conversation and banter didn’t make a whole lot of sense,
Trying to use cliched confrontations to make funny situations tense.

Gillian Jacobs didn’t seem to want to be there, taking just her paycheck,
She probably read the script beforehand, knew it was a clear train wreck.
The only actress that had any energy was SNL’s Maya Rudolph,
But she was barely in it, only there to yell and chew heads off,
Melissa McCarthy does nothing new here, just the same old clueless character,
One though that isn’t rude or crude, hoping that the audience will register
It didn’t work for me, it could for you, if you brought your daughter or Mom,
But males in general won’t get anything out of this film, we know its a bomb,
I’m glad that McCarthy and Ben Falcone are keeping their marriage together,
But next time stay out of the movies, try S&M with a whip made of leather.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: TULLY

TULLY has an ending that completely ruins the film and what came before it. I am not going to ruin this ending for you people reading this that actually still want to see it. I won’t even hint at the ending, because if I mention even one movie it reminded me of that basically did the same thing, it would completely give it away. Let’s just say that a bunch of movies have had this ending, and two I can think of worked well for it, and the rest haven’t. I will put Tully easily in the rest that haven’t category. It undermines everything logical the movie was trying to say about motherhood and how extremely fucking difficult it is. Even with that ending, the film also was a little boring and pointless, other than Charlize Theron’s excellent performance (the only reason to mainly watch it, and Theron never phones that shit in). It’s just disappointing that another Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody collaboration didn’t work.

In fact, with director Jason Reitman’s career, in my eyes, he has really only made three great films: Thank You For Smoking, Juno, and Up In the Air, the latter two being masterpieces to me. Everything else that had come after, such as Labor Day, Men, Women, and Children, and Young Adult have been ho hum affairs at best. Tully might be his worst film for me, and it really does pain me to say that, and it is all because of that fucking stupid ass ending. However, I really blame one hit wonder Diablo Cody (she won an Oscar for Juno). For the first 3/4ths of the film, Diablo Cody has a completely relevant and important message about motherhood and what it does to families and the environment surrounding them. Just those last 15 minutes…fuck, it messes up that message to the extreme. I really want to tell you what this ending is….and again I won’t (just message me privately if you really want to know), but I will give you one more clue: pay really close attention to the film with characters and their interactions and you could probably figure it out, like I did, around half an hour in.

The movie is about Charlize Theron about to have and having a third child with her husband, played by Ron Livingston. Livingston’s character brings in the bacon and clearly loves his kids, but he is gone out of town because of work alot and when he gets into bed he plays video games until he passes out. Don’t worry, the movie doesn’t spring up that he’s been cheating on Theron the entire time, he is just utterly clueless about her pains in trying to be a great mother, he is actually a sympathetic character and father. Anyway, Charlize Theron gets overwhelmed, so on the advice of her brother she hires a “night nanny.” This night nanny, played well by MacKenzie Davis, basically takes care of the baby at night and watches her while mommy and daddy can get sleep or do other things that they need to do. Theron and Davis end up sharing a bond that teaches both of them things about life they never would’ve learned other wise.

Based on some context clues in that paragraph, you could possibly figure out this ending. And when I say this ending undermines every message, piece of dialogue, and every plot point that came before, I do have specific examples. But if I gave up those examples, I’d have to give up the ending. And I won’t. Just believe me when I say it is one of those “what was the point of everything really before then?” kind of movie moments. Charlize Theron does give one hell of a commanding performance though, and if you want to watch it, she’ll keep you awake. I’ve always loved Charlize Theron as an actress, I think she is incredible in everything that she does. And she’s incredible here, I just wish it was a different movie.

Jason Reitman’s direction is fine, because he always gets great performances out of his lead actors, but like I said, he has made much much much better films. So I’m only giving him 20% of the blame, and that 20% of the blame is that he didn’t ask Diablo Cody to come up with something different at the end to make it a tighter, better, and non eye rolling feature. She and her screenplay make up the other 80% of the blame. Reitman needs to go back to writing and directing his own screenplays,  and maybe he can get back to Up In The Air quality again. Diablo Cody…it’s time to stick a fork in her, I believe I don’t want to see anything she has written again.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BAD SAMARITAN

BAD SAMARITAN is a movie you probably aren’t likely to see (or hell, maybe haven’t even heard of), but as one of the only 3 new releases this week, and between this, Tully, and Overboard (did not see that and am not going to), this is definitely the one to see. It’s a nice little “how far would you go to prevent something” type of cat and mouse with a dash of techno thriller with really, really great performances by Doctor Who’s David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, you most of you ladies probably know as Simon from the Mortal Instruments movie.  The movie starts out extremely strong yet ends a little weak, and it is about 20 minutes too long, but you could get much worse entertainment, like an unnecessary remake to a Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell movie that should never have been greenlit which I will NEVER EVER see. It’s a half way solid thriller that is extremely entertaining.

The movie is about two guys that use their car valet business for restaurants as a way to steal from the people that go into these restaurants to have a long expensive dinner. They find the addresses to these people in these expensive cards, and if their homes are close enough, bust in, and rob some things from the place. And they usually will only rob rich assholes, not families or people that don’t really deserve it. And they only rob a little, and usually things that the people really wouldn’t notice were gone or thought they had just misplaced. This is where David Tennant’s Cale comes in, playing a really rich asshole with a really bad attitude, leaves his expensive car, so Robert Sheehan’s Sean Falco goes to the house, only to discover there is a woman beaten and chained up in Cale’s house. He has a dilemma, save this woman and risk having his green card taken away for his crimes, or leave her to die. Let the cat and mouse game begin.

What I really liked about the film was Robert Sheehan’s character Sean Falco. Yes, he does try and alert the police by an anonymous phone call to try and save the woman, but right as he realizes that it won’t work and he can’t save her himself, he goes straight to the police and the FBI, trying to find someone to believe him, not caring about his consequences. I loved that, and his solid acting sold his very redeeming character. David Tennant I have always thought was good, from the episodes of Doctor Who I have seen to playing Peter Vincent in the remake of Fright Night back in 2011. He plays that psychopath Cale to perfection here, a really sinister psychotic person that seems to be one step ahead of Sean in every single way.

I liked the both characters made actual smart choices throughout the film, usually choices that are made completely missed opportunities by screenplay writers in other films. I also liked the police and FBI’s role in the movie as well. Usually, they are hardly in the picture for these kinds of things, but they actually listen to Shawn and follow up on his claims and are in the film quite a bit. Hell, the FBI a even talks about having to get a warrant at some point during the film to enter private property and would not go in until that warrant was signed by a judge. You NEVER see that in a movie like this, with the FBI or police just coming in guns-a-blazing. It was a really nice change of pace.

The movie does have its flaws. While the first hour is damn near perfect, the second hour kind teeters in and out of brilliance. I didn’t like the relationship or predictability of Sean Falco and his girlfriends character Riley. Eventually Cale uses Riley to get to Sean, but he also uses Sean’s family. The character of Riley could’ve been cut out completely and Cale could’ve just tormented Sean’s family and that alone could’ve worked and ten minutes could’ve been cut right there, making the film tighter. Also, the end is kind of anti-climatic. The bad guys talks too long, does a monologue where characters could take that time and get the one up on him. Doing that monologue was out of character for Cale, considering how many smart moves the character made before the finale.  Some of that could’ve been trimmed as well and it would’ve made a much, much better picture.

Also, how did Dean Devlindirect this film after giving us the piece of dog crap that was Geostorm and having his hand in the Independence Day 2 screenplay? Was he filming this and Geo back to back and had his heart more into this? I think so. This was expertly directed while Geostorm seemed like he just didn’t give a fuck. This film makes me forgive him (directing wise) for that…well almost, we’ll see his next feature and then I will completely decide. He didn’t write this so I haven’t forgiven him for the screenplays for ID4-2 or Geostorm yet.

But I will take what I can get and really still recommend this. With all the shitty thrillers out there we get year after year and where this one holds my attention for about 75% of the time, you just have to give it a chance. Especially the brilliant first hour. And even though the finale is flawed and one story line could’ve been completely cut out, the acting and what came before it nearly makes up for everything else. And at least it didn’t have the clusterfuck ending Tully has…(I saw Bad Samaritan the day after).

SPOTLIGHT: The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson

Summary: After their mother can no longer care for them, young Phaedra and her older sister, Dionne, are exiled from Brooklyn to Bird Hill in Barbados to live with their grandmother Hyacinth, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual practice of obeah.

Dionne spends the summer in search of love, testing her grandmother’s limits, and wanting to go home. Phaedra explores Bird Hill, where her family has lived for generations, accompanies her grandmother in her role as a midwife, and investigates their mother’s mysterious life.

When the father they barely know comes to Bird Hill to reclaim his daughters, and both Phaedra and Dionne must choose between the Brooklyn they once knew and loved or the Barbados of their family.