Tag Archives: Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE BOOK OF HENRY

So other than Jurassic World (overrated to some) and Safety Not Guaranteed (good but too small to measure), this is the last films we get from director Colin Treverrov before he starts making the final installment of the new trilogy, Star Wars Episode IX. A lot of reviews on the internet are being very unkind to this film, in fact the hatred is so bad that there are now petitions to get Mr. Treverrov to be fired from co-writing and directing Star Wars, nervous that he’s going to fuck it up worse than Return or Revenge. While I am a little nervous that this filmmaker doesn’t have a lot to warrant this final film in the trilogy (I think they should’ve just kept Rian Johnson), I don’t think THE BOOK OF HENRY is that bad of a film to warrant him getting kicked off the project. In fact, I don’t think the film is bad at all, it is actually pretty decent. Not enough to warrant a buy from me, but saying that this film is “beyond ludicrous” is pretty ludicrous in itself.

It is just a simple family tale that does change tones several times throughout the film, however, I do feel those tone changes are warranted. If you watch the trailer to the film very, very carefully there is a twist that happens mid movie that you’ll be able to see happen from far away. But then again, a person that loves movies such as me, it is hard to get things past me anymore. But the tone is light, charming, and funny at the beginning, tragic in the middle, and a little thrilling in the end, but goes full circle and back to light and charming at the end. But like I said, the film earned it. I mean, with all the superhero shit, sequels, rip offs, remakes, reboots, you would think that something a little original that people would embrace, and if not think it’s fantastic, at least appreciate it for what it tries to do.

And the reason that the films works more than it should is the acting. Naomi Watts, Lee Pace, Jaeden Lieberher, Sarah Silverman, Dean Norris and Jacob Tremebley are all solid and at moments, incredibly moving. Nothing over the top or outlandish. I think the plot point of Naomi Watts, with an “elaborate” plan from one of her sons, setting out to kill her neighbor who is sexually molesting his step daughter. The way that plot point ended I thought was the most logical, and if it would’ve ended any other way, it probably would’ve brought the film to the true outlandishness these critics are thinking that the film actually brings currently.

It’s just a story. A lot of stories you have to leave your brain at the door, suspend your belief, etc., and if you don’t and take everything seriously, you’re not going to enjoy yourself. At some points, yes, you have to suspend your belief with this film. But for me that was okay, but I thought the film was entertaining for what it was. And with people worried that Colin is also writing Episode IX, he didn’t even write this movie, just directed it. Now yes, it worries me that he did co-write the overrated Jurassic World, but I don’t think Lucasfilm would bring him aboard if they didn’t have some confidence in him. Now they could always fire him, they did that to Josh Trank, but I think that was more to his behavior on the Fantastic Four set than it was on the actual product. Every actor that has worked with Colin seems to have enjoyed it, and he does bring out good performances, so I mean, let’s give the guy a chance. If he does fuck up Episode IX, then we can bring the pitchforks.

But in conclusion, The Book of Henry isn’t something to rush for the theater for. But it isn’t the abomination that the critics are making it out to be. In fact, it is a enjoyable afternoon Netflix watch. And something you pay attention to, not just put on in the background while you are cleaning your house. The quick 105 minute runtime flies by, and the ending ending of the film might bring a lump in your throat or two. But as we have all realized with Heath Ledger, some other casting and directing choices, we could be surprised. So let’s give Colin a chance, because really, he hasn’t made a terrible film yet.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: CARS 3

Everyone knows that Pixar’s Cars series is basically a prostitute of the highest order. It is an unashamed sell out whore in all of the Disney company. These films are made specifically to cash in on the toy market. Little kids love the damn Cars toys more than they do the actual movies. And this wouldn’t really matter, if the Cars films were actually any good (the first one kind of is, the second one is abysmal trash). And so we are given a Cars 3, before we even get an Incredibles 2, which is bullshit. And while Cars 3 is a lot better than the STD infested Cars 2, it is so utterly predictable and filled with recycled plot points, twists, and storytelling devices, that if you take your kids to see it, you might want to use protection.

I don’t think Disney will appreciate that I’m comparing their Cars series to disease infested prostitutes but I don’t think anyone at Disney will ever read this review. Let me give you a brief insight one why the first and second Cars movie don’t really work. The first Cars movie is a personality redemption story that had been done too many times before it. Ego-driven person/place/thing ends up as a fish out of water at a place they’ve never been too and redeems his/her/itself by the end of the film and everyone/everything involved comes out the better. The voice talent, effects, and some of the emotion saved that film from being complete drivel, into something halfway decently watchable. The 2nd film made the mistake of taking it’s focus from character Lightnin’ McQueen and instead shifted it to the more annoying Tow Mater, the Jar Jar Binks of Pixar. And the fact that it tried to move that character into a stupid predictable recycled spy storytelling plot was even more ludicrous and lame.

So now we come to the third Cars movie, and while it does right by the switching the focus back to Lightin’ McQueen, it films acts like it is really Cars 4 or 5, recycling the “I’m so old story but I can still make a comeback/be kickass” plots we have gotten from Indy 4, Rocky Balboa and Creed, Live Free or Die Hard, basically any movie franchise well past the third movie where the actor/actress has gotten old and have to prove themselves. And by doing that, everything about Cars 3 is predictable. EVERYTHING. The movie starts out by this new race car name Jackson Storm winning the races over McQueen, and McQueen gets so frustrated by this he tries too hard one race and ends up crashing pretty badly. He then wants to use the non-racing season to get back to what he once was and even better, just to beat Jackson Storm. See where this is going? Even Jackson Storm and other racers start to use the “new technology” storytelling angle to be better racers, while McQueen prefers the old school, analog way. The only really exciting scene in the movie is where Lightin’ McQueen and his new trainer Cruz go to this Demolition Derby (shhhh, they don’t know it’s that, they think it’s a regular race) and compete not to get smashed.

If you don’t see the ending coming, then you don’t go to enough movies. Going down this road and being this predictable doesn’t make the film not watchable, because it is, but it makes it kind of lame and not really all that exciting. Which for a Pixar film, is a crime. The only other Pixar films that are in league with the Cars films for being okay and not that great are probably Monsters University and The Good Dinosaur. Both of those combined with the Cars films are definitely on the very bottom of the Pixar greatness totem pole.

The effects are good and the voice acting is solid, and I like the way they basically made Tow Mater’s role in this akin to Jar Jar Binks in Attack of the Clones, but none of that is enough to sustain this film. We need more original Pixar films (thankfully one called COCO comes out this fall). We don’t need Toy Story 4, or a third Finding Dory, and depending on the quality of Incredibles 2, we might not need that either. What happened to great story ideas like Inside Out? That film is a masterpiece and isn’t a sequel? Can’t we just keep doing original content and go back to doing what Disney did in the 90s and if there is a sequel make it inside different animation studio owned by Disney and make it direct-to-video (thank God they did that with Planes)?

Disney/PIXAR, if anyone is reading this, please for the love of God don’t make a Cars 4. I’m tired of these non-original entries from your company. John Lassiter needs to go away and you need to hire new writers and directors with fresh ideas. We need great films from you again like Inside Out, Wall-E, Ratatouille, Up, and so on. Stop making these films just because you are killing it in the toy market. Parents, stop buying your kids Cars toys so we stop getting this mediocre schlock from Pixar! Buy them Hot Wheels (which are better toys) instead. If we keep going down the same road, we are going to get the same results. Time to take a detour.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: 47 METERS DOWN

47 METERS DOWN was an okay one time watch….until it broke THE NUMBER 1 CARDINAL SIN OF MOVIE MAKING!!!! And it is a cardinal sin of the highest order. Movies stopped doing this in the 90s it was so bad, and the only other movie that has done it (that I can remember) in the 2000s was Repo Men starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. Aron Seeley, if you are reading this you know exactly what I am talking about. And it bugs me that I can’t tell you this sin, as it is a major spoiler for the film and really the only twist that the movie had to offer. I will give it credit for not just ending on that said twist and for going on a little bit longer to wrap some things up, but the twist was still a cardinal sin. And because of it I cannot recommend this film, at all.

And that’s a shame, because there are a lot of things to like about the movie. Claire Holt and Mandy Moore are actually really good in this (even though when Mandy Moore is freaking out and breathing hard it sounds like sex noises). The shark effects are the best I have ever seen. The movie does bring about real tension even though that tension is cliched and has been dumb before. And at 85 minutes, the movie doesn’t overstay its welcome.

That being said, along with the cardinal sin that it makes in the movie, there is a lot to not like about the film. Even though the acting is good, the characters are extremely fucking dumb. They make so many dumb God damn choices in this movie I didn’t want them to make it out of their situation alive. The beginning was slow and the movie set up a relationship divide between the two sisters that really didn’t pay off in the end (the cardinal sin is partly to blame). There is a little fling with the two guys that get the girls on the boat to go shark sight seeing that really didn’t pay off either. Didn’t establish any relationships with them and after the girls go into the water they aren’t really seen all the much again. And when they are it’s again part of the cardinal sin.

The cardinal sin also ruins some of the great tension that the film brought along with it. Not all of it mind you, but about 10 minutes of it. If you’ve seen Repo Men or have followed the context clues I have given you, you can probably figure out what the cardinal sin is. If you have no clue, and see the movie, you will know when it happens, and then shake your head in shame.

If they can take those shark effects they used in this film and put them in a better film, it could be one of the best shark films ever made. In my mind, there are only two shark films worth seeing, JAWS and DEEP BLUE SEA. Never has a shark film even come close to beating those two classics in the ocean thriller genre. The Shallows, which I did not care for, is better than this film. And you know what all three of those sharks movies have in comparison to this one? They didn’t break the cardinal rule of film making/storytelling. There were many ways that this film could have went without having to go that route, and I can’t believe they didn’t take them. I can’t recommend this film because of it. And unfortunately I will never forget this film because of it either.

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.