A Call To Action

There is a reason people say “They don’t make great movies anymore” For me, it’s because it has been proven time and again that people like the familiar, which is fine, but it reaches a point to which people watch the same thing over and over again to the point where we watch for the entity and not the story. That is a creative killer.

Hoverever, recently I have seen some blockbuster movies that have squashed the mundane expectations that major film companies have benchmarked themselves for so long. I want this to continue but I don’t have any power to change that. Only the people can.

The last month and a half have been the best period for movies in the last sixteen months of reviewing movies by a country mile. I have had entire months without a single excellent movie (four stars or more). In the last five weeks, I have seen five excellent movies in a row. They are:

1. Spiderman Homecoming
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. War of the Planet of the Apes
5. The Big Sick

For me, to watch two excellent movies in a row is rare. To watch 5 has been unprecedented. To see two movies in a row that have gotten 4.75 stars from me is unreal.

I don’t rate movies on a bell curve. I call it like it is. I was wondering if it was just me and my positivity influencing these unusually high ratings. That is until I saw a video by the Double Toasted Podcast (Who have reviewed movies for a lot longer than I have) and they came to the consensus that this short period was the best period of watching movies they have had in the last several years.

I personally don’t know if this is going to be a recurring pattern but I hope it is. In the last month, these movies have curbed a lot of their vapid, uninspired movie making and have either gone for a stripped back approach, (The Big Sick) a reinvention, (Dunkirk) classic fun, (Spiderman Homecoming and Baby Driver) or a bit of everything (War of the Planet of the Apes)

Each one of these movies is completely different, memorable and engaging in their own way and that is when movies start to hit the stratosphere. To do that, a movie must take its chances to become either a great film or a film that burns to ashes.

If 2016 was any indicator to me, the movie industry was not willing to take that chance. Ultimately, they knew that to protect their investment these businesses they turned to advertising and repeated the same old formulas that get tiresome after awhile. This is where you, the reader, come in.

Movie industries (As well as any other industry) care about the money you make. They (like any other industry) fear it when a wave of people complain about their crappy product. With preview screenings, creative decision-making and statistics by their side, the movie industry listens intently. So it’s up to you to make a response.

I hope people these days want a new twist, something that is different that you don’t expect. It does not have to be a completely original or unheard of idea, but maybe go for a movie that has that’s familiar but a little bit different creatively. The above movies, aside from Dunkirk are not reinventions but old stories told in a new light.

Movie studios will only keep making these excellent movies if you the consumer ask for it. And I am behind that. It is easy to stay in the comfort zone of familiarity in movies but that gets old really fast. My advice: Don’t fear excellence, embrace it. To paraphrase from Field of Dreams “If you demand it: The movie studios will come”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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War of the Planet of the Apes- Wow!

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War of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best films of 2017. It intends no less than to go for broke and reap the rewards. It is a movie determined to go out with a spectacular bang and boy is this movie strong in that aspect. This movie is so brilliant that it has a good chance of being the best blockbuster that I see in 2017.

Why is War of the Planet of the Apes so fantastic? It masters the basics requirements of what makes a great movie. It has great action, special effects, characters, and drama. Most blockbusters can barely get one of these things right let alone all four.

What glues all four of these cinematic aspects together is a great story about the ape Caesar (Andy Serkis) wanting revenge against a ravenous Colonial (Woody Harrelson) seeking to kill apes whom he believes caused a virus, leaving humans with the inability to speak. The tension rises when the Colonial hatred starts to reflect Caesar’s and aims to consume him. The moral complexity ensues from there which makes this film so great above all that made the movie great.

This film is both, equally, about understanding and misunderstanding. This is why I don’t consider Woody Harrelson’s as a fully-fledged villain. He kills apes as he believes it stops spreading a terrible disease. His actions come off as hateful but his intentions do not. It’s within his interpretation of a crisis situation that causes the pain and misery that festers throughout the film which is the inability to understand that the apes are not savages.

From this story, you can see how much influence Apocalypse Now had on this movie. There even graffiti that says “Ape-pocalypse now” sprawled across an underground wall. My favorite movie last year was also inspired by that same movie but War of the Planet of the Apes is a more hopeful film, a film that has the epic feel to it. This movie does not back away from the brutality and pain but it does remind you there are sparks of hope along the way.

This movie ultimately shows us the consequences of condemning things that we do not understand. We can fear the unknown but we have no right to judge it. This movie actually reminded me of how AIDs victims in the 80’s were societal outcasts because humans feared they could get the disease through touch. Then I looked online and people have compared it to many other historical events like the Holocaust and slavery. Ultimately, War of the Planet of the Apes is a great story combined with a brilliant spectacle. It shows the best of a blockbuster in an era where normally the blockbuster is mundane. ⭐⭐⭐⭐3/4

The House Review

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Comedies like The House make me yearn for R-rated comedies to succeed in being funny. That is because The House has some entertainment value in there yet not enough of the material translates into laughter, at least not for a feature length film. The House has the acting talent, but the talent is not enough to rise the movie above the repetitive gags.

The story is that (Will Ferrell) and (Amy Poehler) and (Jason Matzukis) are running an illegal gaming operation in order to cover each other’s debts and expenses. This means raising half a million dollars in 4 weeks. Ferrell and Poehler want to get their daughter into college, Matzukis was to avoid foreclosure.

Tell me if you have heard of any of these stock characters before:

1. The cop who is so idiotic that he is not believable in any way.
2. The corrupt leader of the local council who hooks up with his co-worker behind closed doors.
3. The optimistic stoner who is both dumb and happy-go-lucky (every Jason Mantzoukas character ever)
4. The parents who will become overly rebellious when the chips are down.

Those are all the main characters in the movie and the gags are an assembly line of water down gags that are associated with those stock characters.

To be fair to Ferrell, Poehler and especially Mantzoukas, they try to make it work. This was the main reason I could watch this movie to the end quite easily. I have seen comedies in which actors were apathetic and lazy knowing their material was not funny.The three actors have chemistry, but they lack a funny script that translates well on the big screen.

Laughs exist in The House, but they are few and far between. The first 20 minutes beginning does not work at all and I was expecting a trainwreck. Fortunately, things do pick up from there with the best bits starting to come in when the trio start to make some money and it became mildly entertaining for awhile. But The House does not achieve the belly laughs it intended to do.

Sadly, The House does not have enough laughs or entertainment value for 90 minutes. Enough for a TV show maybe. The actors stopped it from being a disappointment, but this movie will easily be forgotten ⭐⭐1/2

The Lego Batman Movie: Deadpool for Kids… Sort of.

 

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The Lego Batman Movie is a unique entry in the superhero genre, not only because it’s a Lego animation but also sees the story in a kid-friendly, light-hearted manner. It’s such departure from other DC movies of Batman in that it’s hard to make a comparison of this movie to other Batman films. Instead, I will be comparing The Lego Batman Movie to Deadpool.

Both The Lego Batman Movie and Deadpool are inherently well written as the characters are witty, both movies wink at the audience with the breaking of the fourth wall and all the inside jokes and finally, both aim to give the audience a feeling of joy and fun while the superheros do their superhero stuff.

Lego filmakers Love Joy

Michael Cera as Robin and Zack Galifinakis as The Joker. The casting director is a genius

The plot: Batman is the poster boy for saving Gotham that all the children love him and sing his praises. Batman (Will Arnett) just laps it up and is arrogent (He brags to have a 9-pack. Yes, a 9-pack) . What we find out early on is the reason Batman is self-centered is because he is afraid of committing to a quiet, family life. Batman is on the mission to save Gotham once again from The Joker (Zack Galifianakis), only he cannot save Gotham on his own this time. He inadvertedly adopts a child (Michael Cera) who turns out to become Robin and they both try to save Gotham.

The bottom line is that The Lego Batman Movie succeeds in what it attempts to achieve. That is because it is so committed to a tone that aims to be lively, child-like and fun that it’s hard to not buy what The Lego Batman Movie is trying to sell. I was buying it for the majority of the movie. Like Deadpool, The Lego Batman Movie does this through fourth wall breaking, witty and funny characters and an arrogant, ego-driven yet charming main character.

The jokes: Faster than a Speeding Bullet

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Tylor Goodwin holds the world record of the number of jokes told in an hour with 571. The Lego Batman Movie might have beaten that record. That is not a good thing if you are trying to keep up

The Lego Batman Movie succeeds to a lesser extent than Deadpool due to the inability for the movie to control the barrage of jokes and the narrative pacing. The main problem with The Lego Batman movie is it either scattershot with jokes that move so fast that you couldn’t keep up or the momentum of the movie would slow down to a near halt.

The scriptwriters also decided that Batman should break the fourth wall five times per minute, which I grew tired of by the end as I was constantly reminded that I was watching a movie and therefore made it hard to suspend my disbelief. Deadpool had the perfect balance of breaking the fourth wall by dropping the intensity of fourth wall breaking considerably after the first act. In The Lego Batman Movie, the filmmakers didn’t get that memo.

The uneven narrative pacing and the overuse of jokes are the two main things The Lego Batman Movie could have improved upon and it did hurt my overall enjoyment of it.

The Running Gag: A Killing Joke

Barman: The guy that doesn’t so “ships” as in “relation-ships”. He is the Dan Bilzerian of life. Just swap women for fighting and they are a mirror image 🙂

Aside from that, there is not much else that is bad that I can think of. The story between The Joker and Batman in this movie are unique, especially the character motivations of The Joker. It somehow manages to work even if it shouldn’t on pen and paper. As always, The Joker wants Batman to hate him as much as the Joker hates Batman, only they make their own twist. It’s a romanticized story in a oddly comedic way where destroying Gotham is like courting Batman to take part in a hate relationship. I loved the angle The Lego Batman Movie takes with that and It was my favourite part of the film.

With all this in mind, I believe it’s the best movie DC has put their name on since The Dark Knight Rises. I still don’t believe it’s as good as a lot of Marvel movies, but it’s a positive step in the right direction in my opinion ***1/4

Room Review

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Written by Nelson Cumming

A single word can a sentence can change the meaning of a sentence completely. That was the first thought that entered my head as I started typing. Why is that? Well, that’s because if I added the word “The” before “Room” as a typo then people will mistake it for me reviewing one of the most ineptly made films of all time. If I simply say “Room” well people will now think I am writing about one of the best films of the year. Of course, that is what “Room” is all about.

As I threw the DVD disc (yeah they still exist) into my drive I was thinking it was an escape/thriller movie based on the trailer, however, it is much more than that. “Room” follows the story of five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) who has lived in a confined shed his entire life. He lives with his mother Joy (Brie Larson). The reason they both live inside the shed is because of Jack’s abusive father who locks them inside the shed.

“Room” is not only the title of the movie but it’s also the name that Jack and his mother give the shed. Room Jack believes is the entire world and Jack interacts with inanimate objects in Room as a way to socialize. He even say “Goodnight plant” and “Goodnight Lamp”

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Jack’s (Jacob Tremblay) world that is called “Room”. He has lived there his entire life.

There are a plethora of reasons as to why “Room” works so well. One of which is the premise which is both innovate and creative, a rarity in films of recent years. The other is chemistry between Larson and Tremblay. I believe their chemistry was perfect. Despite the fact that they live in social isolation, they don’t act like damaged people. Both act (especially Larson) like a normal mother-son relationship which subtly indicating that “Room” is affecting their relationship. I got immersed in this movie quickly because of the two together.

What made the film more engrossing to watch was the dialogue, scriptwriting and narrative twists that go against the grain of cliché. The dialogue is purely written dialogue that the writers knew extensively about how mothers and sons speak and how they speak to each other.

There is a moment in which Joy tries to teach his son things about the real world and Jack denies it to the point where Joy loses patience and Jack cries. Larson is them frustrated at herself for lashing out. It’s an example in “Room” of humanity. It is written with a great observation of human behavior while retaining its narrative form and function.

“Room” is a very rare movie where the cast members are good to perfect, the narrative quickly and thoroughly engrossing, the writing was humane and sublime in its simplicity, and has believable twists that you don’t see coming. All the makings of not only a great film but one of the years best *****

Extended Editions: Extending Our Wallets?

The critical consensus is that Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was negative. However Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was, I fear, the inadvertent catalyst for something ten times worse than the movie itself:

Extended editions that are hyperextended.

You probably don’t know what I mean. I’ll explain the shift from extended editions then to extended editions now. Then I’ll explore how people might react should these ridiculous cuts be a normality.

Extended Editions Then

 

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“Hey our movies were awesome, lets put in some extra stuff just to please our hardcore fans” 

 

Extended editions have existed for decades and normally, the extra scenes are easter eggs for fans of a movie. They normally don’t add anything to the plot, character development or even the action. The added scenes were there for fans to enjoy. There were exceptions like Blade Runner and Once Upon a Time in America but normally, that’s the status quo.

I personally didn’t care about that one way or the other. I never buy a movie just to see what was left out. I usually buy a movie to watch what I already saw because what I saw was magnificent. But hey, at least the studio throws a bone to those people who want it.

Extended Editions Now.

 

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“Rats, we messed up. Let us try to fix it with the footage that we had in the first place.”

 

Now, with the extended editions of 2016, it seems that it needs to improve on the story, character development, and plot. It is like remaking the film just to make the story clearer which they should have done the first time. It has happened to Batman vs. Superman, Ghostbusters, and Suicide Squad.

I believe, especially with Batman vs. Superman, that they made the extended editions with the intention to please the fans of the franchise. What I am deathly worried about is studios catching and extended editions of that nature will be a trend by major film studios purely to fix filmmaking errors. There is a strong financial incentive to do it as it could be the defibrillator that boosts their DVD and Blu-ray sales in a dying market. If that is the case, consumers will lose in such a huge way.

There is a strong financial incentive to do it as it could be the defibrillator that boosts their DVD and Blu-ray sales in a dying market. If that is the case, consumers will lose in such a huge way.

Possible Consumer Reactions

If studios decide to take this route (and that isn’t a huge if) what I wonder is how consumers would react to it. There is a multitude of consumer reactions that could happen. I’ll start from the worst possible reaction and end at the best possible reaction

1. Consumers only accept extended editions

 

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The only benefit to this (aside from the home video market) is we may not need to see those cringeworthy “Thank You” ads that you can’t bloody skip.

 

If consumers decide to only accept the extended editions of films when they come out on disc or online distribution the cinema is going to really suffer. I can see why people would do that. People could conclude that if the best cut won’t be in cinemas then there would be no point in going there.

I know some online critics on YouTube who has whimsically said “I wonder when the extended edition of this will come out” almost with their eyes rolling. It tells me that people are losing faith with the movie makers and the studios. It also tells me that people perceive the cinematic release of movies as second-rate compared to the redone version.

2. Consumers Fall into Sheep mentality and jump on the bandwagon.

 

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I will be a sad man if this is the consumer mentality in the future

 

This isn’t as bad as the first scenario as people will still be going to the cinema but it’s not great either. As any business would normally do a lot of things to make a profit, it will not hesitate if consumers decide to watch a deliberately, poorly made movie only to buy the movie when it comes out.

Consumers may feel left out if their friends are talking about the movie before they have seen it. They may watch a poorly made movie to get involved in the conversation. This means that people might pay twice the money for half the enjoyment knowing that what they see in the cinemas isn’t the studio’s best work.

3. Consumer Boycott (or the threat of one)

This scenario is the one I am would look forward to because consumers would have decided they don’t want to be ripped off. Studios would then have to respond quickly to consumers. They will stop the “deleting key scenes in movies to only put them in later” routine.

At the end of the day…

I don’t know what will go down in the future. I am not a fortune teller. I am not saying that studios are undergoing this type of direction but it is certainly possible and it is not as farfetched as it once seemed. I hope that it doesn’t happen. I would like to know what you guys think about this potential issue and if you think it will happen. At least there isn’t a Transformers: Age of Extinction Extended Edition wondering around.

Masterminds Review

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Written by Nelson Cumming

I am not a dead-inside film critic when I say Masterminds is unfunny and forgettable. I was watching Masterminds with around thirty people who were trying very hard to have a good time and find the movie funny. For the first thirty minutes, there were half-hearted chuckles and then there was complete silence. It’s an eerie, sad experience when it happens to comedies.

The whole story revolves around David (Zack Galifianakis) who works driving armored trucks filled with money. David has fallen in love with a new co-worker (Kristin Wiig) and she has friends (including Owen Wilson) who want to rob millions of dollars and she manipulates David to do be a part of the robbery. They soon double cross David once the robbery is done. David has to avoid a hit man (Jason Sudeikis) and law enforcement to get his revenge.

You can tell the scriptwriting is so bad that stars like Zack Galifianakis, Kristin Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis and Kate McKinnon cannot make the material funny. Sudeikis and McKinnon get it the worst. I felt sad for them on what they had to do.

McKinnon plays a stereotypically dumb redneck blonde who is David’s fiancee and she deliberately made her facial expressions look mechanically fake. It was just looked so weird. What’s even worse is Sudeikis, who plays a hit man sent to kill David, Galifianakis’ character. All he added was a layer of comedic awkwardness on material that just failed to land.

What is also not believable is the storytelling. To advance the story you have to believe the main characters are impossibly dumb. There is also a massive eye rolling moment when you realize that the assassin sent to kill Galifianakis stops his plan when he realized that Galifianakis is his brother. It’s almost akin to Batman vs. Superman when Batman stops fighting Superman when Superman says his mother’s name.

Masterminds is the comedic film where nothing works. The overuse of slapstick doesn’t work, the dialogue doesn’t work nor do the characters have the chemistry to make what little they had funny. Although the characters and their motives are entirely believable in the movie’s internal logic, very little laughs materialized from the audience. At least Masterminds was not boring.

When I left Masterminds I left with the most positive bad reaction. I just said “Well that sucked” in a care-free way. It’s not boring, nor is it hateful. It’s kinda messy but coherent enough to not make me lose complete faith. Most importantly, it’s just not that funny *1/2

Deepwater Horizon Review

 

Written by Nelson Cumming

I originally didn’t care about seeing Deepwater Horizon until a friend recommended it to me and when I learned about the subject matter. I’m glad I listened and learned. Learning is good. Listening is good. Everything is good. There are good performances, tension, and explosions. Yes, you heard me, explosions. I praised explosions.

Well, explosions are what you expect when you mix gallons and gallons of crude oil spurting out at high pressure with a single spark. This movie is based on the true story of the BP oil spill and the majority of the story consists of the workers trying to escape the oil rig that’s burning down in front of them.

Explosions, Explosions, Explosions

To elaborate on the explosions I believe they helped add narrative stakes to the story. In other words, I believed in the threat of death that the majority of characters are trying to avoid. There are about twenty to thirty minutes of explosions during the narrative climax. That’s enough to make Michael Bay jealous expect that in Deepwater Horizon, the explosions served a purpose.

Dedicated Cinematography

What I also cannot believe is the effort a cinematographer called Enrique Chediak does. He is doing long shots of the oil rig and spins the camera nearly 360 degrees around the large area, he gets the low angle close-up shots of the workers being flung around the room like a ragdoll, he also gets into the ocean and shoots footage of the pipes from the inside struggling to handle the pressure. He was awesome.

A Trinity of Good Acting

The other thing I have to compliment on is the performances of Mark Whalberg, Kurt Russell, and John Malkovich. Whalberg plays his role as the hero with determination, knowledge and empathy for his workers; Russell is the Commander in Chief and he is just a legitimate tough guy when you see what he does under adversity and Malkovich is good at playing the cringeworthy, bad guy. Malkovich plays a BP worker.

There is great chemistry with Malkovich and Russell. You need to see the political game Malkovich tries to play and how much Russell tries to relent. Russell’s reaction to Malkovich when he realizes he caused the explosion was the best part of the story. After all the business pressure and the physical damage, you fully realize Russell is the Winner and Malkovich is the loser. The performances were not Oscar worthy but they were admirable.

Minor Criticisms: I am Picky

Despite all this praise, the movie did have a lot of little problems. Most of which happened in the first quarter The dialogue for the first 20 minutes was boring to say the least and the foreshadowing scenes were so obvious that I nearly felt patronized. They were little things but a lot of them were only mildly annoying like the feeling you get when a fly is buzzing around you constantly. At least it wasn’t as painful as a slap to the face or a kick to the crotch.

Does Deepwater Horizon match up to a lot of the great disaster movies I have seen in recent years: No. Does Deepwater Horizon leave me happy to have seen it: Yes ***1/2

Storks Movie Review

 

storks-posterWritten by Nelson Cumming

Storks is one of the films that is scattershot (throwing things at the walls and seeing what sticks) but works. It has enough humor and heart to make it likable. This is a departure from the normal material of adult raunch comedies from director Nicholas Stoller but it never has a “first-time director” feel to it which is a plus. He juggles the material not so smoothly but gets the job done nonetheless

The film is all about storks who are birds who delivered babies to aspiring parents and it is run like a manufacturing business- you know, the kind of thing you believe as a kid where babies come from. Well that used to be the case until there was a stork that was over passionate about the baby and accidently broke the tracking device that contained the address to the baby’s family

18 years later the business model has completely changed and the factory no longer makes and delivers babies but they deliver all sorts of items that is run like a Fed-ex factory. Junior (Andy Samberg) is a carrier ambitious bird, climbing the corporate ladder and is about to take over the factory from his smug and arrogant boss (Kelsey Grammer). The baby is now a teenager called Tulip who is the only human and is a little clumsy. The boss makes a deal with Junior: Fire Tulip and gets promoted to “boossssss”

The problem is that Tulip accidently starts up the baby making part of the factory and a letter comes from a kid called Nate who longs for a baby brother who has “lots of ninja skills” because his parents are too busy with their home business to take care of him. So the story then becomes Junior and Tulip trying to deliver the baby to Max

Storks is funny in odd and weird ways

To describe how the filmmakers try to make Storks funny would take awhile because there isn’t a cohesive direction in the comedy but it strangely works here. There are adult comedy elements but there are no sexual jokes. There are business jokes that any adult could relate to, yet there are gags that were so overly childish that I couldn’t believe I laughed at. There are several gags with wolves and let’s just say “their methods of transportation” that had me laughing.

This is a film where the comedy is both rooted in reality and fantasy and darts in, out and around the two. You have to be willing to go from understanding the logic the movie creates to completely suspending disbelief to capture the movie’s zaniness. If you need a little consistency and logic in the humor then this is probably not for you.

Despite these lack of consistent brand of humor Storks is witty enough with good charact development between Tulip and Junior. This is a decently fun movie where a lot of things work in the unclear direction ***3/4

David Brent: Life on the Road

Genre: Comedy
Year: 2016
Rating: MA
Runtime: 96 minutes
Main Cast: Ricky Gervais
Ben Bailey Smith
Production companies: Entertainment One
BBC Films
Written and directed by Ricky Gervais

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Written by Nelson Cumming

David Brent: Life on the Road left me at a loss for words by the time it ended and not in a great way. I was left utterly befuddled by the entire movie and it’s strategic direction in both the story and the comedy. This movie has a tone that is deliberately unsound (pun intended) and the story lags on before it does a full 180 and changes direction by the end. I laughed at some of the gags, but I felt bad for laughing at them. David Brent was a mess but not an unpleasing convoluted mess.

At least the story is simple. It’s about David Brent (Ricky Gervais), a man who works in sales but leaves to reform his old band called ‘Forgone Conclusion” (You can see where he ends up here) but the members are the siblings of the original lineup. He pays everyone handsomely, which is the only reason anyone puts up with him. The problem Brent has is his performances and his lyricism: they both suck. Badly.

This entire premise is done in a mockumentary fashion that will remind you of “This is Spinal Tap” mixed with “The Office”. I am not joking. Brent’s band members are half his age and have completely different interests. Brent also has these songs that are very racist and bigoted out of ignorance but not hatred (which makes this movie at least watchable) and he paints himself as the social outcast whenever he interacts with someone.

Ricky Gervais is good… too good.

What I have just described is Rickey Gervais wet dream. He wrote, starred and directed this movie and it shows. From “The Invention of Lying” Gervais has shown that the social discomfort zone is his comfort zone. He loves it to bits. I, however, am not so sure. Gervais is great at what he has to do. He gets everyone feeling awkward about his comedy and leaves us an air of discomfort, but in this movie, he goes so extreme that it was unbearable to watch.

He has songs about African Americans being victims of colonialism (in great detail because he wants to be “factually accurate”) jokes about the disabled (including people “who eat out of a straw”) and just about any other minority you can think of. It was hit-and-miss. But when he dies on stage I cringe and when he dies on stage again I cringe harder. When I laughed, I felt bad for laughing and when he wasn’t funny I was cowering into my notebook in shame.

To sum that up, Ricky needs to fine tune his comedy. Not in the timing, dialogue or the acting but in moderation, not exaggeration. The movie is awkward so many times in this movie that I felt really uncomfortable as I was leaving.

Character Development: There is none

After the first five minutes, I liked the David Bennet character, after about fifteen, I wanted him to change because he gets annoying. That is because I thought he was naively innocent, then I realized he is just stupid and not funny. Gervais himself said in an interview that his character forms his band as a vanity project. His characters mantra is to throw money at things to solve his problems. It doesn’t look great on the screen.

So I expected “Hey at least he will hit rock bottom and he will become aware of his problems and learn from his mistakes” Nope. That does not happen. Instead, as I will explain later, his bandmates suddenly feel sorry for him and try to cheer him up. Throughout this whole film, you realize he learns nothing after screwing himself over. The execution of that was also done poorly due to…

The Pacing: So, So Bad

The movie’s pacing is terrible, to say the least. Takes a while to get going (about 20 minutes) and when it reaches a point, it stays there for 60 minutes before the story suddenly flips in the last 15 minutes. This is the basic structure that I dislike in comedies. It happened in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Zoolander 2. It’s a structure that’s predictable, and uneven.

David Brent: Life on the Road is a movie where everyone hates him but then people love him instantly with no reason as to the change in attitude. The only reason this happens is to try and get audience members to leave happy whereas when you spot it, it feels so flippantly placed

Overall I will admit, there are laughs in this movie, but the cost of uneven pacing and cringeworthy, awkward moments exceeded the enjoyment. Ultimately I would have to say I didn’t like it but the gags do achieve the desired audience reaction, it’s just not the reaction I desired *3/4.