Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Whether you're talking about the amazing job that Disney did in remaking The Jungle Book in live-action or how they made a very disappointing attempt at bringing Dumbo back to life, there's no denying that they aren't slowing down anytime soon. Mulan was their latest to be released earlier this year, but due to many complications, it has now premiered on Disney+. While I can't say it surpasses the animated original in any way, it's absolutely one of the better remakes they've done. I could see this reaching a wide audience over time, but with this particular release strategy, I can't see 2020s Mulan making a big enough splash. Here are my thoughts on Mulan as a whole.
Much like the original film, this rendition of Mulan follows the titular hero as she disguises herself as a man in order to join the war in place of her father. Going against traditional family and gender beliefs, she rises to the occasion and bests everyone around her. She's had training her whole life, so it comes as no surprise at all when she's able to pull off incredible feats, which I feel is the film's greatest downfall, even though it's entertaining. The emotional core is very much present, but things do feel like they're glossed over at times. With that said though, for every minor issue, there was always a positive to balance it all out.
As I said, the greatest downfall is that there's not a single surprising thing to the character of Mulan this time around. On top of that, the absence of music is very much felt here, because they chose to include narration, explaining certain character's choices instead. This felt very pointless to me as it felt like it was dumbing everything down for the audience. I truly feel that these choices did hurt the film as a whole. Still, this is a very well-made movie all around.
From the score to the cinematography, this film feels epic in every sense of the word. Sadly, with it being sent to streaming, the big screen experience just won't be possible for this movie anymore. There are some massive sweeping shots that would've benefited from a giant screen, but it is what it is. For this reason, I found myself attached to the more subtle character moments, which ended up giving the movie a layer I may not have latched onto on the big screen. Maybe that's just me, but I felt the movie's weaknesses were given an accent with this watch-at-home tactic.
In the end, the 2020 live-action remake of Mulan probably isn't going to have die-hard fans preferring it over the one the loved in the past, but newcomers may get a nice story to follow along with. Yifei Liu does a great job in the title role and felt like she was paying homage to the animated film while also making it her own. The original story is still present, but different, which was nice, and the epic scope is absolutely felt, making this a great movie to look at. I will say some of the creative choices/changes didn't quite work for me, but it's still a very enjoyable movie overall. I'd say give it a watch, especially for families.
At this point, it's nearly impossible to not talk about the behind-the-scenes drama that surrounded The New Mutants, especially before diving into a review. Filmed nearly five years ago and given an original release date in the early months of 2018, it's finally playing in theatres as we head into the Fall movie season of 2020, which, in its own right, is already scarce for content. Before Disney purchased Fox, I had enjoyed many of the X-Men films, but I was also ready for a fresh take on the characters. X-Men: Dark Phoenix was the final nail in the coffin for me, and while The New Mutants is nowhere close to being as disappointing as that film was, I feel the effort to desperately find a slot to play this movie in theatres was very unnecessary. Here are my thoughts on The New Mutants.
Held in an institution against their will, five young mutants who are being forced to control their abilities before being allowed to leave, begin to discover a dark truth about this place. Haunted by their greatest fears and learning that the prophecy of the demon bear may actually exist, they must learn to get along and face a greater threat in order to escape. That general concept has been done so many times in different variations that it just seems stale at this point. With that said, I have to admit that it was also this film's strongest point. The premise itself was intriguing and I enjoyed the first act of this movie quite a bit, but the rest of the film was a complete mess to me.
The New Mutants' greatest downfall is the fact that it's very uneventful, given the story at hand. The majority of this film is a series of scenes with characters either being overly confident in order to cover up their past or just downright miserable and depressed, making for many long and slow conversations. Not to say long conversations hurt a film by any means, but it felt like each character sort of learned the same lesson on different occasions, making the film feel long and repetitive, even at 90 minutes. It really isn't until the final 20 minutes when any real action starts, and even the climax felt tame to me. Things sort of simmer down on their own before the credits rolled and I just didn't feel invested by that point.
On top of the very glaring issues this film suffers from, I feel that the biggest culprit lies in the characterizations of each and every one of them. From Anya Taylor-Joy to Charlie Heaton, The New Mutants is loaded with a talented young cast, but they aren't given anything stellar to do, which will leave audiences believing these young stars didn't try hard enough. There are some truly cringe-worthy lines of dialogue here and while they were clearly intentional, this screenplay was just a mess. Right down to their backstories, I never once felt connected to any of them. They were all fairly typical stories of loss and grief. Nothing set these characters apart from one another.
Overall, The New Mutants has a nice little concept that it does absolutely nothing with. The cast is very talented, but they all come off as bad here, due to what they're working with. Director Josh Boon directed the very well-made romance adaptation The Fault in Our Stars, which was a very quiet film and I believe those quiet sensibilities transferred over to this film and made it feel slower than it should've felt. For a film revolving around teenagers having superpowers and being billed as a horror, it should've been far more entertaining. It's not the worst film I've seen that's based on a comic book, but it not a good one either. Sadly, this movie went through a lot of struggle, which built more hype around it as a whole, which I feel gave people some false hope. I can't get myself to recommend this one.
In terms of fan favourites and just raw talent in general, director Christopher Nolan has been one of the best in Hollywood for many years. Every time he is working on a new project people immediately get excited. Being one of those people myself, I was eagerly awaiting his latest film, Tenet. Now playing in theatres in select areas of the world, Tenet is probably Nolan's most complex film to date. Normally, the complexities of his stories are what intrigues everyone and eventually have them loving it upon multiple viewings, but I believe he nearly went too far with this one. Tenet is a great example of top-notch filmmaking, but it's a lot to take in at times. Here are my overall thoughts.
To even attempt to describe this plot in detail will leave people scratching their heads, so I'll simply say that this film follows a globetrotting main character (who is nameless throughout the entire film) who works his way through plots of espionage, all while learning and adapting to the new ways this world works. Playing with the reverse of time in real-time, Tenet is a very heavy movie to take in. There are scenes of expository dialogue that had me incredibly invested and understanding everything Christopher Nolan was going for, but others where I had more questions than any of his films in the past. This was absolutely a detriment to my overall experience, especially upon first viewing, but it also makes up for that in many more ways than one.
The sheer spectacle, cinematography, and in-camera effects are truly what makes this film soar to its highest heights. It really was a true marvel to see how certain action sequences were moving both forward and backward in time. I'm not even sure how they pulled off some of the scenes that they did. Although the complexities took me out of it a little, I was still blown away watching many of the scenes unfold. If only the movie as a whole was even slightly clearer, I might have said I loved it. That said, it's also the kind of movie that I can see myself loving in a year from now if many more viewings assist in my enjoyment.
It goes without saying that a Christopher Nolan film will make you think very hard about what you're watching and at least be enjoyable to a fault. For that reason, I wasn't surprised at all that I liked this film. I was more looking at everything else in the film. From the very good central performance by John David Washington to the always welcome screen-characters by Robert Pattinson, this cast is littered with talent in front of the camera. It was also nice to see Nolan switch up his composer from Hans Zimmer to the likes of Ludwig Göransson. I thought his work here was very inspired and became a character in its own right as the film progressed.
In the end, Tenet is a visual masterpiece that did leave a bit to be desired by the time it reached its conclusion. I was both blown away and puzzled throughout the majority of it, which is why I find it very hard to recommend. It's a very, very well-made film that I absolutely think filmgoers should seek out whenever they can, but be prepared to watch it more than once as well. This is a movie that requires a lot of your time and a lot of your attention in order to win you over. I'm very pleased with the final result, but also scratching my head a day later after watching it. Tenet is a great film that I'm still trying to grasp.
Sequels that come long after the previous installments are very risky to pull off, simply due to the fact that it's possible that it's too little too late. It could end up being a great sequel but have nobody even care about it coming out, or be highly anticipated and end up being terrible. It's very rare that a late sequel garners tons of attention and also manages to please the majority of fans. Well, I believe that Bill & Ted Face the Music is the first late sequel that we've had in a while, that completely honors its predecessors and may even be the best in the trilogy. It's not perfect, but here's why I had so much fun with this film.
Decades ago, Bill and Ted were told that they would one day create a song that would unite the universe. Well, it has been three decades since the last film and they still haven't. With time running out and the universe now at stake, they decide to travel into the future to steal that song from their future selves. With many revelations throughout this journey and a very enjoyable side plot that their daughters take through time, everything about Bill & Ted Face the Music was a joy to experience. These films are meant to put a smile on your face and give you a goofy, silly, and hilarious adventure. This third installment did that better than the first two films in my opinion.
Although you're not supposed to take the majority of this film all that seriously, there was a surprising amount of heart at the backbone of this film. Whether it's Bill or ted realizing things about their lives or their daughters following in their footsteps, there were some moments of genuine emotion here. With that said, the comedy is front and center and I was laughing throughout. In particular, a robot character by the name of Dennis stole the entire movie for me every time he's on-screen. His hilarious arc throughout the movie had me laughing multiple times.
Although he has done much more in the television world, director Dean Parisot has made what I believe to be his best work yet in terms of feature films. Yes, Galaxy Quest was a very fun movie, but I felt like this was his most inspired effort yet. Movies like Fun with Dick and Jane and Red 2 weren't all that terrible, but he never truly stood out to me as a filmmaker until now. I would love to see more comedies or goofy adventures with him behind the lens.
In the end, Bill & Ted Face the Music is the type of film that works if you haven't seen the other two films, but it also pleases fans of them as well. It never misses a beat in bringing these characters into the year 2020. Everything about this movie felt like a natural progression and the climax was very much earned. I will admit that the film ends far too abruptly, but that's a minor complaint. There's nothing here that you haven't seen before in terms of storytelling, but the cleverness throughout the familiar story is what made it so much fun. If you're looking for something short, sweet, and fun to watch, look no further than Bill & Ted Face the Music, now available on-demand.
When it comes down to it, movies with a simple premise that aims to please an audience for 90 minutes usually succeed in doing so. A screenplay would really have to be terrible in order for a movie like that to fail. Now playing in theatres, Unhinged is precisely the type of thriller that aims to grab an audience and give them a fun time at the cinema for a short period of time. This film won't be winning any awards, that's for sure, but I'd be lying if I said you won't get any enjoyment out of it. Here are my thoughts on Unhinged.
The overall premise isn't much to write home about. Following a confrontation with a man in traffic, Rachel (Caren Pistorius) and her son Kyle (Gabriel Bateman) soon find themselves to be the target of road rage. Stopping at nothing to utterly destroy their lives, emotionally and physically, this man begins to get a little too clever for his own good. A movie as short and as simple as Unhinged is, you need performances that will take the movie to another level. Russell Crowe is absolutely the reason to see this one.
Over the last few years, unless you're talking about either Boy Erased or The Nice Guys, Crowe really hasn't had his time to shine. I believe he was well aware of the type of film he was making here because he's completely devoted to this character. He knew he just wanted to give audiences a good time. His performance alone is what made the film worth watching as a whole. With that said, even though the rest of the cast was quite good, their characters nearly ruined the film for me.
For anyone who watches this film and looks at it from a logical point of view, you can pick it apart for days. The film itself plays out very enjoyably, but these are some of the dumbest characters I've seen in a film in a while. Most thrillers try and work around conveniences, but Unhinged doesn't even attempt to on most occasions. From hardly ever involving the police to extras not even caring about a murder that has taken place clearly right next to them, there are a lot of glaring issues. Still, most viewers will look past these things, which I was able to do as well, but they were very much at the forefront and present throughout the entire duration.
In the end, Unhinged is the perfect movie to kick back at the movies and have a fun, disposable time with. I wouldn't say it's anything worth running out to immediately see, but it's worth a rental. This is the widest release film that director Derrick Borte has helmed and I actually hope that I see more from him in the future, because he does have talent behind the camera for sure. In addition to Crowe's committed performance, I actually found myself sucked in by the sound design. The way the sound effects were places felt like it helped immerse you in the midst of the chaos ensuing. This film is littered with issues and it absolutely shows in the final product, but it's still a fun watch. I give Unhinged a mild recommendation.
Much like great comedies, gangster movies seem to be very few and far between these days. From cartels to mobs, it really seems like television shows are covering the bases, leaving no room for a great film to break out. Of course, there are tons of movies like this either being made or trying to get off their feet, so that statement might be a little hyperbolic, but it just seems that way lately. The Tax Collector is the latest film from director David Ayer, which surprises me because I've really liked some of his in the past. Even though this definitely has his style written all over it, this film is kind of a mess.
The basic premise is that a rival gang shows up to reclaim territory and David's (Bobby Soto) family is placed right in the crosshairs. This film could've easily been a lot simpler and focussed on the revenge aspect of the story, but it decided to play out more like a video game. There were multiple times where I felt like a writer from the Grand Theft Auto video games stepped in and decided to randomly throw in side quests for these characters to go on. This in turn made the movie feel very disjointed. Even though it has a short run time of 95 minutes, it still seems to lose focus on the core premise until the final act truly begins.
The anchors of this film are the duo of Bobby Soto and Shia Labeouf.
Labeouf has proven that he's better off investing himself in a meaty role in a smaller project and those films have ended up being some of my favorites from the last few years, so I wasn't surprised to see him deliver a great one yet again. Soto, having appeared in multiple episodes of television shows and a few smaller films, never stood out to me until now. His devoted performance to bouncing back and forth from criminal to family man felt very authentic and I felt for him by the end, even though his actions were atrocious at times. He's definitely an actor I'll be keeping on eye on.
David Ayer is a very good director when he is working on the right project. Whether it was his superb effort on Fury or the very well-done End of Watch, it's lower-budget movies like this that get me excited. With that said, the story here deserved much better dialogue and the look of the movie felt too unfinished in my opinion. I get that Ayer was going for a grimy and simple aesthetic, but it felt too plain to me. I was engaged in the story at first, but eventually lost interest and didn't care all that much about who lived and who died in the end, because the screenplay just wasn't strong enough.
In the end, The Tax Collector is a film that has some very well-rounded characters in a world of crime that was interesting to explore, but the movie just feels like a series of side plots that eventually leads the core character of David on a plot of revenge. That choice made the movie very disjointed and uninteresting as a whole. Some viewers may enjoy the characters enough to look past these issues, but this film just didn't give me enough substance. A nice effort from all involved, but it wasn't truly worth it by the end. Looking at the talent in front of and behind the camera, I must say that I came out of this film feeling slightly disappointed.
I'm a sucker for an original concept revolving around superpowers. I even enjoy movies that most critics pan, like Jumper or Push. For that reason alone, I was looking forward to Netflix's feature film, Project Power. This isn't a perfect film by any means, but if you're looking for some solid entertainment as you're scrolling through Netflix, you can find much worse than this one. Now streaming, here are my thoughts on Project Power.
The film begins by sucking you into this world where new pills have been developed, which in turn give you a random power, but only for five minutes at a time. There are side effects that could lead to death and some will only use it to become criminals, so it's not all sunshine and rainbows. The idea of that alone is what hooked me from the start, but I couldn't help but feel slightly underwhelmed at where the story ends up. At its core, this is just a story about a man trying to get his daughter back, who has been kidnapped by the people who run this new organization. With such a rich world to invest in, the story felt pretty stale at times.
With that said, I was able to look past the flaws in the story and have quite a good time with the action sequences and cool powers people were receiving. Yes, the heart of the story revolves around Art (Jamie Foxx) and his mission to get his daughter back, but I was more interested in the side characters Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Robin (Dominique Fishback). Their dynamic with each other, as well as the screen time Fishback gets with Foxx were easily the most enjoyable aspects. All three of these performances were top-notch, but I was more impressed with Fishback, because Foxx and Gordon-Levitt are usually always fantastic.
Where this film shines and falters at the same time is in the powers department. Project Power can be a really awesome concept when certain powers are utilized to heighten a certain action sequence, but the powers started to feel like plot devices in themselves towards the final act. The powers are supposed to be random, yet certain characters were able to get out of situations easily because they happened to get the perfect power for a specific situation. That made me roll my eyes a bit, but when it comes down to it, a complaint like that for a movie like this is really just a nitpick.
Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman have made a couple of films that I've enjoyed in the past. Most notably with the film Nerve. I thought that film was far more entertaining than it had any right to be, which is why I enjoyed the feel of this movie overall. Project Power is a blast to watch, but it's not without its pretty glaring issues story-wise. Some viewers may not like it for the violence or lackluster overall story, but I just thought it was a fun ride to take and it never felt boring. Project Power gets a solid recommendation from me.
At this point, it goes without saying that 2020 has not been the best year for new releases in terms of feature film entertainment. From Netflix to Prime Video, Disney+ to Apple TV+, and even newcomers HBO Max and Quibi, all trying to be the saving grace for theatres being closed, it still seems that studios are holding back their best projects for eventual theatrical distribution. It has at least been nice to see Netflix releasing films like Da 5 Bloods and Apple TV+ releasing films like Greyhound, so at least some of the scheduled movies are being released in some capacity. One of the most recent films to be given this treatment is the Seth Rogen-lead An American Pickle on HBO Max. Originally supposed to hit theatres but now available to stream, here are my thoughts on this dry comedy.
The film begins 100 years in the past as Herschel Greenbaum, while doing his everyday job in a pickle factory, falls into one of the pickle brines. As fate would have it, that factory becomes condemned and he is left in the brine, being preserved until he is found, alive and well in the present day. Discovering that his family from the past has all passed on, he then finds that he has a great-great-grandson with the same last name as him, as well as being the same age. Seth Rogen plays both characters which makes this film far more enjoyable, but that's also where I have my issues. Although this premise is a wacky and unique fish out of water story, it never quite lives up to its full potential.
The first act of this movie has a very nice, slightly comedic progression that held my attention very well. The problem is that this film takes its premise far too seriously, which is what I actually think is what they were going for in terms of comedy. For that reason, I'll give the movie a pass for trying to be incredibly deadpan from start to finish. It was almost as if they made a Saturday Night Live sketch, stayed serious the entire time, and stretched the sketch to 90 minutes. That might sound like a harsh criticism, but it actually worked for me in that way most of the time. I just wished there were a few more clever jokes. An American Pickle has some nice emotional moments, but it gets way too caught up in the emotional side to the story by the end.
Where this film shines though, is the fact that Seth Rogen has stepped out of his usual comfort zone. Yes, he's shown his dramatic chops in films like Long Shot and Steve Jobs, but I think this is the most committed to anything I've seen him in, outside of straight-up comedy. He plays off himself from two completely different time periods so well that it just felt natural. I bought his modern-day role, which was similar to his usual self, but his 100-year-old self was much more fleshed out and I thought his performance elevated that even further.
Overall, to reiterate, An American Pickle is a very short movie that almost feels like a comedy sketch at times, but benefits from a strong central dual performance by Seth Rogen. Director Brandon Trost, who has clearly broken out with this film, has a solid future ahead of him in my eyes. I think he should've maybe leaned a little heavier on some more humour, but it was also obvious that's not what he was going for. I enjoyed watching this movie, but it's not a whole lot to write home about. It's an easy, breezy viewing experience that's now available to stream.
When first hearing about this movie, the premise intrigued me and upon viewing the trailer, I was absolutely ready to dive into this movie. While it's not a bad movie by any means, Relic is the definition of a film that you shouldn't judge by its cover. It's mentioned as both a drama and a horror on many of the entertainment websites and although there are some eerie scenes and a few chills to be had, this is first and foremost, a psychological drama from beginning to end. This was actually jarring to me as it really does seem like a pretty scary film on its surface. If you're looking for a film to simply scare the hell out of you, this isn't that, but some viewers may find the dramatic aspect to be quite fulfilling.
Relic begins with a mother and daughter living in the grandmother's house, as they search for her whereabouts. After she mysteriously and randomly shows up back home, she doesn't seem right. Dementia has clearly overtaken her in a severe way and it's not only affecting her daughter and granddaughter but the house they are in may just be expressing the side effects of that dementia to them all, creating visions and dreams that may or may not actually be there. I could see what they were going for here and the movie ends on a note that felt very strange, yet earned at the same time, but I walked away wishing that more had been done with the premise overall.
Writer/director Natalie Erika James has crafted a very well-rounded story with a lot of character development. The thing that impressed me the most was that I was able to retrieve a lot of that character development, simply due to the images being shown on-screen. Her writing abilities here worked wonders for the story itself, but I truly don't think the tone of the movie matched the premise all that well. I think how everything was lit just felt like a darker and scarier movie than what was given to audiences. That was a creative decision by the filmmakers, clearly, but it felt off to me.
Bella Heathcote as Sam and Robyn Nevin as Edna are both terrific in their respective roles, but Emily Mortimer, who's usually always great, may have given the best performance I've seen from her yet. Her calm, concerned mood throughout the entire film never once waivered. I was completely enthralled by her performance, even though she probably could've been given more to do. This film feels like a much larger story wants to break through the cracks of this well-done drama. I just kept wondering what the point of it all was, and even though there is a point by the end, I'm not sure I cared enough by the time the film finally arrived there.
Overall, Relic is a movie that's hard to rip apart, because all the right pieces are there and movie, narratively, is quite effective. Sadly, the horror aspect was a huge failure for me and the tone of the movie in comparison with what was actually going on was a little too dark to latch onto. The cast is very solid, as well as the direction and screenwriting, but nothing about this movie felt special enough to praise more than that. This is a very watchable movie that feels its length at even 90-minutes, but if you're up for some psychological sequences and a solid little story, this one may be for you. Personally, I walked away thinking Relic was okay as a whole.
This is the type of movie that's hard to resist. When I originally heard the team behind Greyhound, I was intrigued, but very cautious as well. Tom Hanks, being one of the most likable and talented actors in the history of Hollywood (at least in my opinion), hasn't had that much success in terms of writing screenplays. From That Thing You Do! to Larry Crowne, I've never been all that impressed. Well, Greyhound is absolutely his best effort yet, but I also believe the fast pace of the movie helped the script out immensely.
The premise of this film revolves around the fact that Captain Krause (Tom Hanks) is very inexperienced, but will stop at nothing to captain this ship to the best of his ability. On the hunt by U-Boats during World War II, he must make all the right decisions to prevent as many casualties as he possibly can. This entire 90-minute movie never stops moving. There are a couple of scenes that give some backstory to Hank's character, but this film is like Mad Max: Fury Road in the ocean. Not quite as impressive, but still a highly engaging piece of war filmmaking.
Where I feel this film's biggest issues lie, is as I said, in the screenplay by Tom Hanks. While nothing in the script itself is bad, it's fairly hollow in terms of story. It's adapted from a novel that I have not looked into, so I can only assume this story is further fleshed out there, but the film version was very light on substance. Now, with that said, the quick dialogue that has characters constantly mumbling ship terminology to keep you engaged throughout each and every battle sequence is almost the perfect distraction. This film is about displaying a piece of war and nothing else. For that reason, I give the light and breezy script a pass.
I would almost compare this movie to that os Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. That was a very simple film in terms of storytelling, but the overall experience held you to the edge of your seat. From Hank's devoted performance as always to a bunch of solid supporting characters who come in and out of the film to offer him wisdom or help, any minor dull moment is covered up. When I say this is a very hard movie to dislike, that's because any issues it has can easily be overlooked, due to the exciting nature of it all.
I could sit here and say that there is too much CGI and there are a couple of instances where the ocean itself stood out to me as feeling very fake, but many viewers will not notice things like that. There are a few minor distractions throughout the movie, but the solid direction by Aaron Schneider and the pulse-pounding score by Blake Neely keeps this film from ever feeling slow. It's not perfect by any means and there's not much to take away from in terms of anything thought-provoking, but I had a really good time watching it. If you're looking for a light, exciting watch, Greyhound is now streaming on Apple TV+ and I think it's worth your time.
Half of the audience that watches this film will likely hate it. I'm starting with that because this film is incredibly slow in terms of pacing, which will easily turn off the impatient viewers. Personally, if a film like that has an interesting story, a slow pace actually helps to suck me into a story. First Cow, which is one of A24's most recent releases, has just become available on-demand. While I wouldn't rank it among their best when looking at their stellar catalog of films in recent years, it's still a great movie all around.
First Cow follows a highly skilled survivalist/cook in Cookie Figowitz (John Magaro), as he stumbles upon a group of traders. Becoming close friends with King-Lu (Orion Lee), they illegally take an opportunity to earn themselves a profit. Once a cow arrives on one of the farms, they steal milk in order to cook biscuits for the townspeople. All seems well and good, but they can only keep it a secret for so long. This premise held my attention so well because the film continuously gave you reasons to care about the two main characters. It was that, on top of the slow pace that really kept me invested.
Films like Meek's Cutoff and Night Moves are what had me keeping an eye on director Kelly Reichardt because I found those films showed her true potential as a filmmaker. She's wonderful at bringing out the best in all of her performers. What kept me from loving those two films overall though, was the fact that I found them to be a little too drab in terms of sound design and music. That's clearly her signature because First Cow once again feels a little too much like that. I loved watching this film and everything that happens felt earned and satisfying, but the overall movie can feel a little lifeless at times. That's really my only issue with most of her film that I've seen. She's otherwise an award-worthy filmmaker in my eyes.
Yes, John Magaro and Orion Lee are both terrific and hold this film together from start to finish, but the real star of the show here is cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt. Having worked on her two aforementioned films as well as a few others, his work on Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot and Mid90s is when his name truly jumped out at me. Blauvelt is someone that I will begin researching and anxiously awaiting his next project, simply due to the fact that his work on First Cow was his best yet. The camerawork felt like a character in its own right. From certain ways, characters are framed to extreme wide shots that clearly have deeper meanings, the way this film looks pulled me in more than anything else.
In the end, there are things about the tone that bothered me throughout the entire movie, but the story, characters, and especially the way the film is shot held my attention throughout. It's hard to recommend this movie to those who are casual viewers and were looking to be entertained because I can almost guarantee that you won't be unless you're a film buff and know what to expect. If it wasn't for the dour feel of the whole thing just not clicking with me, I might be saying that I loved this movie. Overall, it's a very, very well-made film that deserves attention, but from the proper audience.
Films that revolve around characters repeating the same day over and over again has grown very tired in my mind. Groundhog Day perfected it and it really wasn't until more recently with Edge of Tomorrow that I really found a film that seemed to stand out among the rest. Well, I'm glad that I can now add Palm Springs to the list of films to put a clever spin on this concept. This film was originally supposed to play at more film festivals around the world and eventually receive a theatrical release, but things being the way they are, Hulu has now released it. Although this may be a film that's hard to find for some right now, here's why Palm Springs is one of the very best movies to come out of this bare year of 2020 so far.
Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) find themselves sort of bonding over the fact that they both really don't want to be at the wedding they're at. He's the date of someone who cheats on him and she is the sister of the bride, who clearly has many issues. Stumbling across a strange cave after the wedding, they both find themselves caught in a time loop that has them reliving the same day over and over again. Certain things are revealed about each of these characters that add a lot more depth to the story and I found myself incredibly engaged from beginning to end.
Where this film shines the most is in the fact that it completely commits to the whole time loop concept, even giving a few winks at the audience. It never once makes any huge mistakes logically, which felt refreshing, especially in the ways it would subvert expectations and most importantly in the way that they choose to conclude the story. The way Palm Springs wraps up was a very entertaining and emotionally earned finale. Now, I feel like I say this about a lot of movies that focus so much of their time on very few characters, but I truly mean that if Samberg and Milioti didn't have any fun chemistry together, this film would've been a disaster. This is probably the most laid back and comfortable I've ever seen Andy Samberg be in a film and it made the entire experience that much better.
Only having written and directed a few short films and a documentary before tackling Palm Springs, director Max Barbakow has honestly blown me away here. With a small budget, a small number of characters, and a small scope, this film felt much bigger than it was. I can honestly see a big future for him in the coming years. I will gladly seek out his next project. On top of his stellar work on this film, writer Andy Siara (who also doesn't have a huge filmography as of yet) added a very funny and clever tone to the whole concept. It was clear that the performers were very comfortable with the dialogue because their acting lept off the screen and that just seemed to be a nice mixture of everything coming together nicely behind the scenes.
In the end, Palm Springs is a film that I was very much looking forward to, but was wary of due to the concept itself. Thankfully, this is one of the best movies that I've seen accomplish this concept in years. I'm not calling it a masterpiece by any means, but for a fun time loop movie, I really couldn't find many issues. At a mere 90 minutes, this movie flies by and has just enough clever surprises for those who may not have been completely engaged. While the idea itself has grown tired for me, this movie is undeniably hard to dislike. Everything about this movie put a huge smile on my face and if that isn't what the world needs right now, I don't know what is.
Off the bat, I'll admit that I'm not all that much of a political person, even though I do follow the biggest news stories that come out of it. For that reason alone, movies that revolve around them are hard to impress me. It truly does take some great writing to engage me in the story they're telling. In the case of Irresistible, it really came down to the fact that the cast worked really well together because I found this movie to be otherwise dull, even though there are some very solid moments of storytelling. While I can't exactly recommend this movie to everyone, here's why I believe some viewers may like it a lot more.
Following Democrat Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) as he is tasked with helping Conservative Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper) realize that he truly speaks like a Democrat and that he should change his viewpoints, Irresistible plays out as a drama, that thinks it's a comedy and falls somewhere in the middle. I personally didn't find the movie itself all that funny, but Carell brings his A-Game here and his subtle humor lept off the screen. If the character of Gary Zimmer wasn't so adamant about getting his way, this movie would've fallen flat on its face. This entire film relies on the fact that he needs to accomplish his goals. Not only Carell, but the rest of the cast shines as well, which I'm positive came down to the fact that John Stewart was at the helm as director.
Admittedly, I have not watched 2014s Rosewater, also directed by Stewart, so this was my first experience with him behind the lens. Just from watching this film, I can see that he has a knack for working with actors. Being an actor himself, he has absolutely picked up some knowledge. I feel that's the case with the majority of actors who take a turn as a director, after a long career of watching how it all goes down. In many ways, even though this story is based on actual events, it really did feel like an independent voice being heard, with Stewart both writing and directing.
Now, here's where my review may seem a little muddled. As I said, I'm not big into politics, but even I was finding myself wondering how a story like this from the pst had any relevance at all in today's climate. The story itself makes for a few interesting or funny scenes and the conclusion was actually quite enjoyable, but the journey throughout just felt like a slow, meandering look at the lower end of the political scene. That wasn't enough to keep me engaged, so I was found myself looking for the comedic chops in every performer on-screen, which definitely held the movie together for me.
In the end, this is a film that would've been so much better with a spin on this true story that related to today's politics a little more. From Steve Carell to Rose Byrne, this cast is a great one and they do the best with what they are given, but the comedy that's trying to break through this slow-moving film just felt off to me. Where the story begins and ends had me interested, but as I said, it meanders far too much. Irresistible could've been a better film with some adjustments, but I do feel that fans of these actors or fans of a political feud between come characters might find a little more enjoyment out of this one than I did. Not a terrible movie by any means, but kind of a dull experience, especially when looking at it as a comedy.
There are far more films being made in today's day than ever before and that goes for all genres, but for some reason, it always seems like the Horror genre as the most. I know that's not true, but seeing streaming services like Shudder dedicating themselves to only Horror films, it's hard to not believe that. For that reason alone, I know there are many more throwaway Horror movies out there than memorable ones. That's actually due to my own personal taste as well though, because a Horror movie really needs to stand out in order to impress me. Much like Superhero movies or Comedies, both of which I love, they need to find ways of feeling fresh and not like the last 10 or 20 to be released. Sadly, one of the latest Horror releases, You Should Have Left, falls directly in between, ending up as a film that's trying to be very original, but not doing enough with the setting to warrant a watch.
Theo (Kevin Bacon), his wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried), and their daughter Ella all take a trip to a house, secluded from society. Susanna being an actress and Theo just wanting to do something fun with his retirement, they choose this place. Dealing with some personal issues as the house decides to play tricks with their minds, this movie is meant to be a huge psychological thriller. Unfortunately, the psychology of it all never really comes into play until the third act and I never once found myself invested before that. Sure, Bacon and Seyfried are giving fine performances and the last 20–30 minutes are somewhat interesting, but the entire film felt like a missed opportunity.
Before watching it, I had only recently seen any promotional material, of which showed some very cool ideas and imagery. With that said, this movie takes far too long to present those images, which makes you wonder if the entire first and second acts needed to be as long as they were. For a feature film and how the overall story ultimately plays out, I absolutely feel this film could've been told as a short story. The funny thing is that it's actually based on a novel of the same name, by Daniel Kehlmann, but the overall premise is different. The changes they made to this story clearly were a detriment because it just didn't feel like a meaty enough story as a feature film.
Getting back to the fact that this is billed as a Horror flick, the Horror elements nearly feel non-existent throughout the first two acts. The movie begins with a scare and a few very minor things present themselves to let you know something is coming, but that's it. There are a few well-done set-pieces, but they don't do enough with them. For instance; There is a sequence toward the end of the film that revolves around a bunch of doors, which I would've loved to have been explored as a movie in its own right. It's cool moments like these that are brushed over in favour of a plot twist that I didn't feel worked all that well, to be honest.
In the end, You Should Have Left presents a solid setting but it doesn't do anything with it. Director David Koepp, whom I have admittedly not seen a lot of his work, impressed me with his fun touch on the film Premium Rush. I found that movie to be far more exciting than it had any right being, which ultimately made me make my decision to visit his newest work. This is a film that suffers from too much drama throughout the first half that really has not much of a payoff by the time the credits rolled. Personally, I found the whole experience to be hollow, which is a shame, because the makings of a good film were all in here, but even at 90-minutes is seemed to be stretched out too long. You Should Half Left is now streaming on-demand, but I really don't think it's worth your time.
When it comes to Spike Lee films, I've now come to expect a film that's at least good. Do the Right Thing is one of my favourite films of all time and BlacKkKlansman easily made my Top 10 list of 2018. It's very clear when you're watching a Spike Lee joint (as he likes to call them). Da 5 Bloods is his most recent directorial outing and streaming seems to be the saving grace for a lot of movies this year. Netflix has recently released it for all subscribers to view, and although a lot of the subject matter may be a lot to take in, I believe, especially due to the timing of the release and how it relates to society today, it is an essential piece of filmmaking.
After losing one of their own in war, four American veterans return to where they lost him in order to uncover his body, as well as try to find the gold that they hid away. After this film sets the overall story in motion, it becomes a long, slow journey from beginning to end, but it's very much worth the investment. Becoming close with what seems to be new allies, a new plot begins to unfold, adding a huge layer of reality to the movie as a whole. It was very hard not to compare the notions throughout this film to that of the ones we're dealing with today, and for that reason alone, I believe this film is even more impactful than it already was upon completion.
This film begins with real images and footage that are incredibly impactful and eye-opening. Throughout the movie, real images are cut to in order to exploit the harsh realities of certain things. That small aspect of the movie alone will be too much for some to handle. There are some horrific images that are not recreated for the movie, but rather just blatantly displayed on-screen, conveying some of the most emotional messages I've seen in a film in quite some time. On top of that, this movie relies heavily on the characters at the forefront of the story and if you don't buy their chemistry and their history together, this movie would've been a mess. Thankfully, there are some award-worthy performances here from everyone involved.
In particular, as most viewers have been proclaiming, Delroy Lindo as Paul delivers one of the very best performances I've seen in a while. His screen presence here is electric and if any of the awards shows were coming soon, I could even make the argument that he deserves to win. He truly brings his A-Game here and I've never seen him better. Granted, this is the most acting I've ever seen from him, so it left quite an impression on me. In addition, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, and the eventual joining of Jonathan Majors, all played off each other as if they were real-life friends. The acting in this film is off the charts.
Written by Danny Bilson, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee, and Paul De Meo, it was very clear that this was a collaborative effort. This film came from the heart and I was most surprised to see Paul De Meo's name attached. He's had his hand in writing video games in recent years, but in terms of feature films, his last notable screenplay was for The Rocketeer in 1991. I really hope to see him return to feature film screenplays in the future. From the way each character interacts with each other to the long monologues given (particularly by Lindo), this movie had me glued to the screen.
In the end, Da 5 Bloods is an eye-opening film, to say the least. The story itself is very telling in its own right, but when you compare certain elements to our daily lives, this can be a huge lesson for some viewers. As I said, certain imagery will be too much for viewers to take in, so be wary if you're either squeamish or know that certain things will be stuck in your mind forever. Filled with a stellar cast, backed by superb direction, and written with a lot of care, Da 5 Bloods is a must-see. It's now streaming on Netflix and I highly recommend checking it out. It's also quite possibly the best movie that will be released for a while as well.
Everyone knows director Judd Apatow for his movies The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up (rightfully so), but I've always appreciated some of his other outings as well, like Funny People, Trainwreck, and for creating the Netflix series Love. This may seem like a big statement and I've only just watched his newest film The King of Staten Island, but I believe it may be my favourite film of his. Full of sharp comedy, raw emotions, and packing a strong punch of reality, I was sucked in from start to finish. With such a touchy subject that may even offend some viewers, this movie chooses a slightly comedic take on loss and I thought that made the film even better. Here's why I highly, highly recommend The King of Staten Island.
Beginning with the fact that Scott (Pete Davidson) has not gotten over the death of his father, he sits around all day, doing nothing except smoke weed and hang out with friends. With his sister off to college and his mom beginning to date someone he doesn't approve of, his hardships become even deeper. Slowly learning ways to cope and move on, he discovers things about himself that were hidden. This film hit me really hard. Not because I related to him in any way, but the fact that Pete Davidson also had a hand in the screenplay, spoke volumes.
In real life, Pete Davidson lost his father in the fires of 9/11. While names, scenarios, and overall lifestyle of Scott in the film was changed to fit a feature film, every line of the dialogue felt like it came from the heart. I could feel the inner pain very present throughout the entire duration and his central performance brought me to tears by the end. The way he handles his grief and bottles it up, trying to make everything into a joke, felt very authentic. I've only ever seen his appearances on Saturday Night Live, but if he's able to channel emotions and comedic chops in other projects like this, I can't wait to see more of him.
Now, this may be slightly biased, but I'm a huge fan of movies that are done well, with hardly any score. The characters are what make this movie what it is and the lengthy 136-minute run time flew by for me. From the terrific direction by Judd Apatow, to the supporting cast like Marisa Tomei and Bill Burr holding up the raw, central performance by Davidson, I just found myself engulfed in the emotion of it all. Yes, I laughed on multiple occasions as well, as this really is a comedy at its core, but it's so much more than that. While not a lot happens other than the arc that Scott goes through, The King of Staten Island had a lot to say.
In the end, looking back on the film as a whole, I don't really have anything that I would say took me out of my experience. The care taken to the subtlety of the camerawork by Robert Elswit was also a nice addition. His work in the past has won many awards though, so that shouldn't come as a surprise. This may seem like a review of something gushing about all the best elements of a movie and not even choosing to touch on a negative, but that's because any minor issues I may have had aren't even worth it. I loved every second of this character study and not only do I believe it's Apatow's best and not authentic film to date, but it's also my favourite film of 2020 so far. I haven't been this positive about a film in 2020 yet, so I believe a round of applause for the entire cast and crew on this one is in order. I can't recommend this one enough.
This has been a strange year for new movies. From studios releasing some of their anticipated films early on-demand to straight-up selling the rights to streaming services, Disney must not have had faith in Artemis Fowl, but nobody thought twice about it going to their streaming service, due to theatres being closed anyways. Well, they have officially dropped their newest original film and I'll admit that I was mildly curious about seeing it since the first trailer. There's no beating around the bush here though, because this film is just really bad, all around. I'm not one to rip a movie apart, seeing how much work really goes into making them, but sometimes the end result is just too much of a mess to praise.
With all the confidence in the world, young Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw) makes it his mission to hunt down the magical fairies that kidnapped his father. I mean, that's the set-up of the film and all, but this movie takes far too many detours to really get a grasp on what's unfolding. The most annoying aspect of this movie is present for a lot of the duration as well. Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) is a character that is front and center from the very beginning, even though he's very far from the main character. They choose to have him narrate at least a good 30 minutes of the film and it's not just to provide context. His narration is pretty much there to describe every detail of the characters and the plot they are in so that nobody misses anything. This movie treats the audience like very little children. On top of that, this movie gets so bogged down in other side plots that the narration becomes useless anyway.
After watching Artemis Fowl, I had to do a double-take when I remembered that Kenneth Branagh had directed it. Although I wasn't a huge fan of his rendition of Murder on the Orient Express a couple of years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed his work on movies like Thor and the live-action remake of Cinderella. His direction has always been strong to me, and I could be wrong here, but there's no way that he had the final say on a lot of this final cut. Over a year ago there was a trailer for this movie and a lot of the footage seen in that trailer was clearly from a different movie. This is yet another movie that has fallen victim to the studio pushing the filmmakers in many of the wrong directions.
For the most part, the visual effects are definitely worthy of a mainstream theatrical release, but they made the movie also feel more childish than the story really was. In addition to that, I'm really not sure who this film is supposed to be aimed at. Obviously it was made for kids in hopes to start a franchise for them, but I don't see many kids being able to follow this film from start to finish. They will have many questions for their parents and I fear that the movie will be so uninteresting for them, that they won't even know how to explain it. This is a complete mess of a story that was taken apart and pieced together multiple times in the editing room, so I'm not even sure who's most at fault for this one. I don't want to single out a particular department here, but I would be fascinated to see a behind-the-scenes documentary for this movie.
Overall, Artemis Fowl is a film that starts out as a Spy Kids rip-off but very quickly becomes this overdone film, which reminded me of how I felt about Jupiter Ascending, but honestly even more of a mess. I could see some solid elements of family trying to jump out of this movie, but anything worth noting is buried too deep to notice. I've never seen young Ferdia Shaw act before, but I hope he is given some smaller roles after this to improve himself because I believe his acting abilities were not to the calibre that a movie of this size requires. Even some of the musical cues in some of the more dramatic moments felt like epic pieces that belonged in an adventure or action sequence. Everything about Artemis Fowl just feels off and I was both uninterested and frustrated pretty early on. Even though it's available to stream if you have Disney+, I still can't recommend it.
It's always a nice surprise when a movie looks a little too campy for its own good and therefore loses my interest in wanting to watch it. Then again, I still like to give most movies a shot, and with Becky, I'm very glad that I did. After seeing advertisements for it, it just seemed like a film that would go straight to digital or even DVD back in the day, and while that's all it's been given the chance to do anyways, it deserves far more credit than a throwaway film like that. Will Becky be winning any awards? Definitely not, but it's an absolute blast to watch if you're a fan of this genre. If you're not into gore and violence, then I wouldn't recommend this one, but if you're up for that kind of thing, here's why Becky is one of the most enjoyable on-demand films of 2020 so far.
After the loss of her mother, Becky and her father travel to their lakehouse with his new girlfriend and her son. Out of nowhere, intruders come into their home, seemingly calm, looking for a key. Within just ten minutes, all hell breaks loose and Becky is now on a mission to take them all out. This film is pretty much if a filmmaker who knew how to really make a gore-fest tried to replicate Home Alone in the woods. The story alone is a little by the numbers, but it works really well in context with the rest of the movie.
Through films like Annabelle: Creation or Netflix's series The Haunting of Hill House, Lulu Wilson has been proving that she's easily one of the best young actresses working today. Her commitment to every roll always leaps off the screen and this film was no exception. On top of that, and probably the most surprising element to this movie was the fact that Kevin James plays the leader of these intruders and this is the first time I've ever seen him portray a villain, let alone a serious role, and he was really, really solid. His subtle work here was kind of great and I never thought I'd say this, but I want to see him do a lot more drama now. If he switches genres and never goes back to comedy, I don't think that would be such a bad thing.
Now, this may be the area that some viewers will be turned off by this movie, but I believe it's probably the most impressive aspect. As the movie progresses, a lot more gore and death begins to occur, and while that kind of thing is absolutely not for everyone, from a filmmaking perspective, I was blown away in certain instances. The practical effects of the gore itself were really well done. There's also a decent amount of shocking and cringeworthy (in a good way) moments. If you're up for that and find that to be an enjoyable element if done in a fun or unique way, then this movie is probably right up your ally.
Overall, Becky is a far better movie than I was expecting it to be. It takes itself seriously and has a few earned, dramatic moments, but it also knows when to loosen up and have some campy fun. It's not exactly a horror movie, but a nice little revenge story with plenty of very well-done gore effects and two great central performances was enough to keep me on board. It's really not a lot better than calling it a great B-Movie, but that was enough for me for this one. Directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion have made an exciting and engaging little thriller that works from start to finish. Definitely recommend this one.
There are almost too many movies that follow a character who works for someone famous, has dreams of becoming as famous as them, but the person they work for doesn't have that same belief in them. For that reason alone, I think it's sort of impressive when one works really well. Supposed to hit theatres, but now streaming on-demand to rent, The High Note is the prime example of a story that feels tired but works really well anyways. I enjoy underdog films, but I'm always worried I'll be able to predict everything. Well, this movie was an absolute catch-22 and here's why.
Maggie (Dakota Johnson), being overlooked by her superstar boss Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross), works on the side, trying to make a name for herself after finding a very talented singer in David Cliff (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). The two of them find passion in their music together and eventually form a romance as well. Not only does this shine a light on the fact that her attention is being taken away from Davis, but it also may lead to a promising future for everyone involved. Through the many trials and tribulations that these films offer the audience, it can feel very formulaic, but I feel that it works very well, and that's due to the characters all being well-rounded.
It does help when your character is written well for you, but Dakota Johnson has been on a roll lately in terms of roles and performances. Before her work on Fifty Shades of Grey made her a household name as an actress, her small roles in The Social Network and Need for Speed always stood out to me more. Once she started broadening her career by appearing in smaller films like The Peanut Butter Falcon, The Friend, and now The High Note, I need to keep an eye out for all of her films. I believe she is becoming a great actress if she's not there already. On top of that, Kelvin Harrison Jr. through film like Monsters and Men and Waves has been on my radar as well. Their chemistry here was really enjoyable and it made the movie worthwhile in the end.
Now, here's where some viewers may take issue. Like many horror films, romantic comedies, and thrillers about kidnapping people these days, stories like this will always feel a little been-there-done-that now. Yes, The High Note plays out exactly as you think it would, but there's a nice emotional backbone to the story and it came to fruition by the end of the run time. I rolled my eyes at a few instances while watching, but this was ultimately a really satisfying and fun movie to watch. Especially right now, I think movies like this need to be watched.
In the end, The High Note is the type of film that's absolutely harmless in nature. A feel-good story about a likeable character trying to find their way. In times like the ones we are living in right now, you can't ask for a nicer story to watch. Is it perfect? Definitely not, but I honestly think most viewers can find enjoyment in this one. The subject matter of music may not entice everyone, but there's more to the story than that. I recommend giving this one a rent if you're looking to smile and have a good time.
Over the years it's been a slow descent for Happy Madison Productions. Whether you're talking about Mr. Deeds or more dramatic films like Reign Over Me, they've had their share of solid entertainment. Aside from thinking Netflix's film Murder Mystery was fine, I'd say every film since Funny People back in 2009 has been a disappointment to say the least. For that reason alone, I've taken a pass on movies like The Week Of and Father of the Year. For some reason, after seeing an advertisement for The Wrong Missy (this studio's latest release on Netflix) I decided to give it a watch. It may not be quite as bad as some of their more recent outings, but The Wrong Missy is all kinds of cliche.
The film follows Tim Morris (David Spade) after he has met the first girl that he thinks he can fall in love with. He then proceeds to text her and hopes to bring her on his work trip. Well, it just so happens that this girl has the same name as a girl he had a blind date with once and they end up on the trip together instead. She can't get enough of him and he can't stand her. Hijinks ensue and I'm sure you can predict every major story beat that occurs from there. By the time the third act was starting, I found myself rolling my eyes. With that said, not everything about this movie is bad.
The premise of this movie is something that could probably work as a very good comedy if it was written better. David Spade and Lauren Lapkus actually shared a few funny moments together, but I found their chemistry wore pretty thin by the end, thus not even caring about their outcome all that much. The first act of this movie was a nice little set-up for the character of Tim, but the way they set up Missy just had me worried that I would have to spend an entire film with this character. I've liked Lapkus in films/shows before and she wasn't bad here, but her over-the-top performance got old pretty fast for me. Still, I have to admit, although not all that great, the first act kept me engaged enough.
Sadly, there really wasn't a lot that added to these passable elements. The set-up was fine and the pay off was incredibly predictable, so I was left wondering what, in any way, was special about this one. Not that I expect a lot of meat to the story with a film from Happy Madison, but you'd think every now and then they would try to surprise everyone with a great one. Directed by Tyler Spindel, who has appeared as small characters in a few comedies and had his biggest hit be Father of the Year a couple of years ago on Netflix, I can probably say that this is his best directorial effort yet (although I have yet to see Father of the Year), but I think maybe he should try his hand at a different genre.
In the end, the chemistry between these two and the nice little set-up at the beginning is what held my attention, but this movie does nothing more to make it worthwhile. I will say this though, even though it's been a long time since Rob Schneider has made me laugh, his glorified cameo in this movie is easily the funniest part. I mean, his character traits feel very very lazy and his character is really just thrown in to garner a few extra laughs, but he worked for exactly that. I really don't have many positive things to say about this film and the few positives I did mention, just wasn't enough to get me to recommend this one. I'd definitely take a pass on it.