Staten Island Summer (2015)
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Critic Reviews for Staten Island Summer
"Staten Island Summer" is one of those films in which virtually every time a supporting character leaves, you wish you could go with him or her.
A refreshingly old school coming-of-age comedy with just enough raunchiness, stoner humor and otherwise dubious behavior to divert movie audiences weaned on violated pies and superbad high jinks.
Rather than offer any insight into what it's like living in arguably the most remote section of New York City, the movie focuses its energy on forcing Phillips and Pearlman to re-enact Superbad.
A movie that won't knock you out with originality but may charm you with its wit.
Audience Reviews for Staten Island Summer
You know how I said The Bachelor Weekend was how you do a male bonding movie without its more offensive elements, this one, to be fair, does play it closer to that cliche of what a sex comedy is. But, at the same time, there's also something really nostalgically charming about this film. It's pretty much structured like an 80s sex comedy with a retro soundtrack and older conventions to pretty much confirm the type of film it was trying to emulate. Because of that, to be fair, this movie doesn't really feel that unique. I don't wanna say it doesn't have its own identity, but its identity is borrowed from other films that came before it. Not that this is much of a problem, Quentin Tarantino's entire identity as a filmmaker is based on movies, or styles, that he grew up loving. But Tarantino writes his films in a way where, while he does borrow a lot of stylistic choices, it still feels like his own, unique vision of what he wants to do. So, really, there's nothing wrong with that if you know how to interject enough of yourself into the movie that it still feels like something unique. To be fair, however, I don't think this film really had any aspirations of setting the world on fire or revolutionizing the genre. I think it's content doing what it's doing and there's something unpretentious about that's something that, to me, is admirable in a lot of cases. The film knows its place and doesn't really try be anything more than what it is. That lack of ambition might be a flaw, but we also have to recognize that not every movie in existence needs to be ambitious in order to be enjoyable. Not that I would call this truly enjoyable, I mean it does have its charms, but it's not a good movie. I just think that the script isn't as funny as it could've been. There's obviously, with a cast like this, some funny moments, but it's not what I would call a hilarious movie in the slightest. I just think it benefits from a really strong cast that brings a lot of energy to a film that covers familiar styles and tropes. I always mention this in these types of films, but the cast enjoying themselves and clearly having a good time only adds to what you are watching, it rarely ever detracts from it. A great cast can take substandard scripting and make a good movie out of it. This isn't the case here, but I think the cast enjoying themselves is an underrated part of films like this. So yes, the cast is real good here, and they're a big part of why this gets the score it does. That and its nostalgic tone and cool soundtrack. I just wish it would've been funnier. But, for what it is trying to achieve, I think this film pretty much does what it sets out to do, even if it's not great at it. I wouldn't recommend it, but it's a better movie than the score implies, it's not bad and, it can be an enjoyable movie if looked at in the right mindset. Still you shouldn't go out of your way to see this, but you can do far worse.
Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live pulled some strings to get this slacker comedy produced. Several SNL alumni and current cast members participate. Colin Jost wrote the script and he appears as a cop. Bobby Moynihan, Cecily Strong, Fred Armisen, Will Forte, and Kate McKinnon have supporting parts. That kid from Bad Grandpa and Fun Size pals around with Armisen for some shtick. And a handful of other young actors lead the pack of dead-end lifeguards clueless about what to do with their futures. It has elements of the Nat Faxon/Jim Rash comedy/drama The Way Way Back and the gross-out humor of National Lampoon's second or third tier comedies, but the stabs at laughs, sexiness, and profound life lessons don't add up to much.
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