Starting on Friday night I started an epic movie binge wherein I watched 6 movies in 4 days. Some of them were very good, some of them were very bad. Here is a truncated review of each of the movies I watched.
Ant Man has pretty great reviews and I was really looking forward to seeing it because Paul Rudd is adorable and hilarious. I sat down with high hopes that it would be like Avengers with more jokes, less action, and Michael Pena. I was not expecting a REAL action movie. When you hear “Ant-Man” you kinda expect that it is going to be a quirky movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And that was kinda true.
Michael Pena was solid gold every time he was on screen and the movie had some pretty good winks at the audience where they told us “we get it, an ant super hero is mostly nonsense.” But it was afraid to go full comedy. Because of that, 45 minutes into the movie I looked down at my watch and thought ” okay only 1:15 left.”
It was a mixture of action and comedy and it didn’t do a good job of being either. You get flashes of comedy and seconds later it would flash to an action montage. If it had committed to being a zany comedy it would have been a lovely movie. Instead it was just painfully boring.
I will admit that I only saw the Gift because I wanted to know what the big, dark secret was. I had absolutely no hope of it being good at all. The first part of the movie lived down to my expectations. BUT It took an exciting turn and became a captivating thriller about thirty minutes in. It was well acted and surprising. The characters were really well developed. I’d have really visceral reactions towards people and began to sympathize with others.
It was a great mixture of not knowing who to trust and shit popping out at you for a good portion of the movie…Then it kinda took a turn for the worst when they had to start wrapping up storylines. Ending movies is probably hard. If you don’t believe me just watch this one.
I can’t give too much detail about this movie without ruining anything but I didn’t necessarily regret paying to see it.
This. Movie. Was. Everything.
It was hilarious. It was beautifully shot. I will reiterate, IT WAS EVERYTHING.
It follows a trans-woman named Sin-Dee throughout her first day after being released from prison. She immediately finds out that her man cheated on her with a biological woman while she was on the inside and goes on a full RAMPAGE. Every interaction she has is solid gold. Every encounter Sin-Dee has, even with characters that are on the screen only seconds, leads to full belly laughter.
It is rare for a comedy to be both a really good movie and extraordinarily funny but this movie did it. It is quotable and sincere. It ties in all of the storlines really well without ever feeling labored. It was emotional without being exhausting. Although some people I have spoken to didn’t think that the movie would be successful because it is kind of niche, it has widespread appeal. Anyone that sits through this movie will love it and will invariably find something or someone in it that they LOVE.
It was dumpster trash. It was the worst thing I have seen in a long time and I think feel like Cameron Crowe owes me PERSONALLY an explanation. I decided to watch it because I like to be fair. When I hear that a movie is universally panned, I try to go into with an open heart. I assumed that the reason it was getting such shit reviews was because Emma Stone played a Hawaiian and people were so offended by the movie’s cultural insensitivity that they were unable to look passed that.
I was a fool.
I genuinely believe this movie was made as the product of a bet where someone said ” I bet I can make a blockbuster hit by having an A-list cast, even with a horrible script that makes no sense at all and characters that do things for no reason.” Well whoever made that bet lost. But somehow I still feel like I was the biggest loser.
Another example of me giving a universally panned movie the benefit of the doubt ( I am literally a saint.) The difference between Fantastic 4 and Aloha is that this time I feel kind of bad for the movie. It had a 9% of Rotten Tomatoes when I watched it and that seems extremely unfair (especially considering the relatively high ratings that Ant-Man got). I will reveal to you the reason that it got such shit ratings: it was a movie that was made for children and marketed to adults.
There was a kid in my theater and he was wide-eyed the entire time. He was living for this movie even when I was about to fall asleep.
In my adult brain I’m thinking they didn’t spend enough time on the things that actually matter (and they didn’t) but this kid is having the time of his fucking life. So I realized, it’s like if you go into every animated movie thinking it is going to be like Inside Out you are going to be seriously disappointed. Thinking every superhero movie is going to be either The Dark Knight of the Avengers is setting yourself up for similar disappointment.Just because you didn’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not good. It wasn’t made for you foolio.
Best of Enemies
Tangerine was the best movie I saw this week but Best of Enemies was a close second. This movie is about Gore Vidal and WIlliam Buckley Jr.’s debates during the 1968 Democratic and Republican coventions. I didn’t know much about either of these men, much less the events that the documentary covers. I did know, however, that their debates are widely regarded as the precursor to modern day punditry and Cable News. So, as a veracious consumer of cable news I felt like it was my duty to see this movie.
Everyone in the theater was easily 45 years my senior so I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate it. Boy was I wrong. It was a good story, it developed the players, it told you why Vidal and Buckley were the way they were, and impact of the debates. The film was mostly linear but it presented the background information in a way that was both relevant and interesting. Many documentaries feel like homework but this was like a film.
And even though it was a documentary about historical events it is relevant to what is going on today with the news and partisan politics. Whether you love movies or politics, this movie is pour vous.
Go see some or all of these movies (probably not in four days).
My recommendations in order:
- Best of Enemies
- The Gift
- Fantastic 4