Brittany Runs a Marathon
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Already have an account? Log in here
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
No user info supplied.
Practically unwatchable. So this is about two con artists, one small-time (Rebel Wilson) and the other is in the big leagues (Anne Hathaway). A bet is made to see who can successfully con a mark (Alex Sharp) out of a cool half-million dollars. Does this story sound familiar? Well, it should, because this is a remake of the 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, only given the Ghostbusters reboot treatment by making the leads female. Now while I like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, I don't necessarily find myself on the same page of the people out there who consider it to be a classic; it's fun, don't get me wrong, but I don't consider it to be hallowed ground, and I am perfectly willing to go along with an updated version of it. You have to at least try though, and The Hustle is a film that fails at literally every single turn. Now I am actually very familiar with this material; I was the prop master for a local theatrical production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the musical. That said, I was never at any point looking forward to this. The trailers looked horrendous, and let me tell you, they weren't lying. It is like they didn't write dialogue for this, they just knew the major plot points and decided to let the actors coast from start to finish. This leaves Rebel Wilson to handle all of the humor as the funny man and let me tell you, she can't carry it. I even like her as an actress and thought she was decent in Isn't It Romantic, but she just lost a lot of goodwill from me with the way she flounders through this with annoyingness, weak improvisation, and pratfalls, and that brings us to Anne Hathaway. She doesn't have to prove herself as an actress, she has done that already. I can say that this is easily the worst film I have ever seen her in (and yes, I've seen Serenity). Her character in this is really only comprised of two things: she is the best in the business, and she talks in accents when she is on a job. That's it. While you know she's got money from her surroundings, you wouldn't guess by the way she dresses; she is supposed to be classy and elegant, but half the dresses she wears in this don't even fit right. This really comes off more like an Adam Sandler vacation movie more than anything, because it really seems like everybody involved is just there for some R & R overseas. You can watch the trailer to this and know everything it's going to do because it shows its hand miles before you get there. There aren't really even any jokes in this, and that was just about the last thing I expected from this; I thought there would at least be something there. I wasn't going to give this the very lowest rating, because once this is finally wrapping up, it just becomes formulaic gruel which is easier to digest, but then I made the mistake of watching the stinger to this. Instead of just cutting off, they decided to have an outtake from when this movie was failing the hardest, and it just reminded me that there is not a single redeeming element to this film. I mean really, I can't think of one nice thing to say about this, maybe that Dean Norris isn't terrible for his two-minute scene? Avoid this or pay the price.
Back to Derry. So twenty-seven years have passed since the Losers dealt with Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). Everybody has moved on and moved away... well, everybody except for Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), that is. When he sees similar events start to happen again, he calls the group back home to kill this evil once and for all. Now I actually really liked the first movie that came out two years ago; it didn't finish in my top 30, but it was one of the first runner ups. Of course I was excited about this; the trailer looked great, the casting of the adults was pretty spot on, and it looked like they were going to be able to recapture that magic once again. Then the tepid reviews started to come in, and it was also revealed that the runtime was damn near three hours. I finally got around to checking this out, and while there are some quality elements to this, it is going to be hard for me to recommend that you see this with it being such a gigantic time commitment. Look, I did have expectations about this, so maybe it's on me, but I would like to kick this off on what I did like about this. Mostly, I liked the two Bills, Hader and Skarsgård. Hader's comedic timing has always been exceptional, and he is very entertaining in this, bringing the comic relief. Skarsgård is having a ton of fun in the role, and with just the right CGI enhancements, he does bring equal amounts of disturbing and sinister. I also like standalone scenes in this, and I think the apartment sequence and the house of mirrors scene are both standout pieces of the film. From a narrative and structural standpoint, on the other hand, this movie is a giant mess. For the vast majority of the first and second act, everybody is split up, and because everybody is doing their own thing, it makes this movie take way longer than it needs to. In fact, it gets downright repetitive. One character will start their scene, there will be a flashback where they managed to barely get away from Pennywise, and then we will come back to the current time where there will be a jump scare from Pennywise and another narrow escape. It then repeats for every single other character, and after a while, it just gets dull. Because there is such an abundance of flashbacks in this, it really slows down the forward motion of the plot. This tension is also undercut by the fact that almost everything that is scary in this either ends up being unreal or ineffective; sure it genuinely freaks you at first, but the longer it goes on, you just grow numb to it, waiting for Pennywise to actually do something. The things I like about this, I really like, but with such inefficient storytelling, this bloats at 3 hours. You only should watch this if you love the first movie, and even then, you may want to approach with caution in the event that it could possibly taint your original opinion.
Doing it for yourself. Meet Brittany (Jillian Bell). She is known in her circle of friends as being the funny fat girl, but she decides that isn't who she wants to be after a checkup at the doctor's office. She starts to lose a few pounds by training for the New York City Marathon. Now I heard a review on this one and frankly speaking, it checked all my boxes and appeared to be a movie that was tailor-made for me. This was sold to me as a comedy that kept things real, features relatable characters, and all of the theming sounded spot on. I saw this as soon as I can on an opening Thursday night, and sometimes a movie lives up to the hype: I know we are early, but this may very well end up being my favorite film of 2019. This just hit home in the best way possible. Speaking as somebody who has fairly recently taken up exercise, I 100% understand this mindset. In more ways than one, you just eventually reach an age where you have to get yourself together, or at least if you want to have a life with any sort of longevity, and Brittany has crossed the Rubicon. I love all the details in this, as they all are very relatable if you have ever been in a similar situation, and it is not all about the weight, a lot of this also has to do with her surroundings and the people she chooses to associate with. There can be so many negative influences upon you on a day to day basis just because of the company you choose to keep, and there can be so much toxicity you subject yourself to routinely simply because that's what your life has become, just like boiling the frog. I can already tell that this is a movie that I am destined to watch multiple times, and I will very likely go to see this another time around while it's in its theatrical run. It is laugh out loud funny, and I love everything this has to say about body image. So much praise is deserved for Jillian Bell; my impression on her has been good to lukewarm in the past, but she really blew me away with her performance in this, showcasing that her talent has another level altogether. I love this, and I strongly recommend that you support this if you have the chance.
Forming the bond. So this is about an inmate named Roman (Matthias Schoenarts). He doesn't have much in the way of friends or even family, but he is given the opportunity to participate in an in-house rehabilitation program involving training mustangs to sell for the prison's profit. Will he be able to break one of the wildest horses there, even though he doesn't have any background with animals? Now I watched this one pretty cold. I knew that it involved prisoners and I knew that it involved horses, but that was about it. I thought that this was directed by the great Robert Redford, but he is actually only a producer on this, which makes more sense because he is supposed to be retired. I usually connect with animal movies if they can hit the right notes, and I feel like this is one of the better ones out there. Now I do admittedly have a soft spot for these majestic creatures. I think this is slightly better than something like Lean on Pete, and I'm not just saying that because that movie is a Debbie Downer. The Mustang is a movie that is very small in scope, but I actually appreciated that aspect of it. Breaking it down to bare basics, this is just a story of a guy and a horse that are very similar in personality. The horse is viewed as being wild and untamable, and while Roman is standoffish, it's never to the point of being psychotic; a few anger management issues, perhaps, but it is more along the lines that he has just caught a bad break, just like the horse. They got a really good animal actor here, but more than that, I really admired the acting of Schoenarts; I've seen him in the past and liked him, but this took it to another level for me. He's got a mysterious background which makes him more interesting, and they also surrounded him with great character actors, like Bruce Dern, Connie Britton, and Jason Mitchell. Not everything about The Mustang is a home run. There is this subplot involving drugs that really only seems to be a means to show you the nitty-gritty of prison life, and if you subtract that from the equation, they were actually doing a great job of avoiding prison clichés. That is something that I am willing to overlook because everything else is so good in this and it makes up such a small portion of the film. This is a real program in some states, which is a fact that I would otherwise be completely oblivious to, and I loved how this showcases the respect-building that comes with earning the trust of these animals.
Sequelitis. So in case you couldn't gather from the title, there's a lot going on with separate characters in this installment, but since Max (Patton Oswalt) is technically the original main character, he's dealing with a lot of separation anxiety. He also needs to learn how to be brave so as to save a Russian tiger, but that would take a long time to explain. Now while I did like the first movie, I do feel that it significantly overperformed at the box office. Successful animated movies can so rarely just be a one-off, so of course, we're going to get a sequel... the only problem is that Louie C.K. (rightfully) got canceled from any and every self-respecting gig since his scandal dropped. Comedians are just plug-and-play, so nobody is going to care if they recast with Patton Oswalt, right? Well, I do like the decision, but this movie is pretty weak all things considered. Let me tell you what this movie is: this is a bunch of creators who thought that they would be getting a Netflix series where they get multiple twenty-minute segments to tell stories on a smaller scale, only to be told, no, you need to make this work as a movie instead. None of these stories really intersect in the slightest until the last ten minutes, and they don't really have any reason to. This movie is three stories that aren't all that compelling to begin with, and nobody is given enough to do. The runtime is 85 minutes with the end credits, and while I love a short movie, this is barely enough to qualify as a movie. The voice acting is okay, and I don't really fault the actors in this, as they are simply doing the job they were hired to do. The only person I feel can break the mold is Harrison Ford as this crotchety farm dog; sure, he's basically playing himself, but he stands out enough that it feels inspired. This is just the same old Illumination where they have visual gags that are largely hit or miss with not a ton of punchlines, and they make it quick enough to hopefully keep the kids engaged. The Secret Life of Pets 2 is watchable but never memorable. There was never any reason for this to exist, and I would have much preferred that they left the original as a standalone movie. It's never offensive, but they just never had enough to make a movie in the first place. It may or may not entertain children, I'm not the one to make that call, but for me, this really only gets by on Harrison Ford, and he only makes up about 10 minutes of this at the most.