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

Beauty and the Beast: There’s Something There

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Beauty and the Beast is a movie taken in with some care. I thought the movie worked because of the acting, music, set design and special effects. The funny thing is that those elements of Beauty and the Beast sometimes threaten to swallow the movie up. Ultimately (and thankfully), that doesn’t happen but I was holding my breath up until the ending.

The last time I saw the animation was when I was about five years old. So I don’t remember much of it. However, I did read about what the remake added from the original after seeing the movie. Sadly, the majority of what was added to the story doesn’t add to the overall quality of Beauty and The Beast, it was just there. What was perhaps the most important addition was the origin story of The Beast himself which is how the movie started.

The Music: The Hits and The Misses

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Not in Beauty and the Beast but “Kiss from a Rose” would be the most on-the-nose track for this movie 🙂

Beauty and the Beast is a spectacle and it knows it. Every song in this movie is meant to express grandeur and splendor more than anything else. There are songs in which there is a large ensemble bellowing out tunes from the top of their lungs and the tips of their voices. The songs “Belle”, “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest” are times when it works and others like “The Mob Song” where it doesn’t.

The music ends up being essential to the movie and overall it does work. However, it’s music coupled with the special effects threaten to make the movie feel bloated and threatens the swallow up the story of the Beauty and the Beast. It doesn’t end up doing that, but I was afraid at times it would.

The Special Effects that Are so Special

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As you can see the CGI (and especially the set design) is godamn meticulous. Lots of browine points here!

I can imagine that the accountant responsible for creating the budget saw the line “Expenses: CGI- Spare no expense” and having a heart attack while the CEO said “Just trust me” as a validation. Beauty and the Beast commit to the special effects so much that judging the film goes hand-in-hand with it. It is abundant and it works.

The special effects are mostly colorful, believable and inventive. The best use of the special effects would go to the song “Be Our Guest”. Beauty and the Beast do manage (barely) to balance those special effects out. If every song was inundated like “Be Our Guest” was, I would have had to wash all those colors out of my eyeballs in a sink. Thankfully, Beauty and the Beast did not turn into “Alice Through The Looking Glass” from that perspective.

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Thank God Beauty and the Beast isn’t as oversaturated in colour like Alice Through the Looking Glass. Even though it boarders along that line.

 

The weakness in the special effect department was Beast himself. Main it’s because of character movement and facial expressions looking mechanical and not natural. There are sequences where he looks stiff and other moments in the climax where he had the agility of someone a quarter of his size.

Overall there was enough entertainment value in Beauty and the Beast to recommend, the acting is good (Josh Gad as LeFou gets the best lines so I’d listen to what he says) and the production and set design is rich and detailed and the music mostly works (unless you are fan of quiet and subtle music). It’s not in the musical leagues of Sing Street or La La Land, but Beauty and the Beast undoubtedly works and is fun ***1/4

Kong Skull Island: A Deliciously Deep Fried Chicken

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Kong: Skull Island is like a delicious piece of fried chicken: Easy to digest, satisfies you for a couple of hours, but not expected be great for you. That is totally fine. I have eaten fried chicken knowing it wasn’t healthy. I eat it because it is delicious. If having a thrill ride is your mantra, Kong: Skill Island will achieve that goal.

The film opens with a montage of war and postwar history from the Second World War to the Vietnam War. This is interspersed with the actor’s names printed on the screen. The way that was shot combined by who was in it (Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and especially Bree Larson) made me believe that Kong: Skull Island was going to be fantastic. I thought that it would be a perfect blend of action and story.

Is Kong. Is Good.

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Apocalypse Kong

Instead, we get a lot more action than the story here. The action was entertaining to watch and I had fun with it. The story was mildly interesting at best. Ultimately, Kong: Skull Island is a success because it never drops the ball and doesn’t make bad mistakes. Combined with the fact that Kong: Skull Island moves at a brisk pace and never bored me made it a pleasing experience for me as I watched it.

The best thing in Kong: Skull Island was easily the cinematographer and the special effects. What was interesting about the cinematography in Kong: Skull Island was that it took a lot of inspiration (and even copied a scene) from Apocalypse Now. From the bright, musky, orange-red sunsets to the aerial bombing of a jungle while playing on-the-nose music. At least the filmmakers were smart enough to use things from a great film while not using it as a crutch, I just wish it wasn’t done that way so obviously.

The special effects and the action sequences were also done well. It was good but nothing close to spectacular of different. They make a jump scare that was actually frightening and the climatic fight felt visceral and I easily bought it. They had one weird moment where King Kong was eating a giant octopus and the tentacles were hanging from his mouth which was odd. Finally, the best moment in the film for me involved a suspenseful, ingenious scene involving the sounds of flash photography and big bad reptilians.

Kong Be Better Next Time

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Mummy Where’s my Barbie!

The frustrating thing about Kong: Skull Island is that they play so safe that it’s not funny. There is no character development whatsoever despite the fact that the characters were well-established. I got that Hiddleston was playing a hunter and explorer but that was it. Larson plays a pacifist and a photojournalist, but that was it. Knowing how well they established these characters combined with the overall quality of this movie, I know the filmmakers could have easily pulled off a character driven story with great action simultaneously. That would have been awesome. Logan is a movie that did just that while Kong: Skull Island doesn’t. It sticks to the failsafe formula it knows it can achieve: A popcorn action movie.

So overall, Kong: Skull Island is a good movie to watch if you are thinking about watching it. If you weren’t thinking about watching it, you probably won’t enjoy it. If you have time on your hands and want to be entertained for two hours, Kong: Skull Island will do just that ***1/4

Who Killed Captain Alex? Bizzarly Works

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I am reviewing something quite odd. When I first heard about, and saw snippets of, Who Killed Captain Alex? words couldn’t describe it but I had to watch it. It is like Cool Runnings and The Gods Must Be Crazy on acid.

Is Who Killed Captain Alex? flawed in its storytelling, sequential editing, music selection, special effects, convincing dialogue, cinematography, and acting? Well yes but if you’re given the context about the making of the movie, Who Killed Captain Alex? brings a whole new perspective. Most of the cinematic errors are forgivable in my eyes due to the context on how the film was made.

The Context and the Plot

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The production budget

The Context: Here is how dedicated the director was in making Who Killed Captain Alex? This movie was made in Uganda where the director sold everything he owned for a camera so he could film. The director also made his own computer so he could edit. The entire production budget was 200 dollars and all the actors were just excited to be in a movie and did it for free.

Who Killed Captain Alex? is not for everyone. I can understand that, but this is unbelievably crazy. It’s so crazy that it works. The reason it works is that, given the context of the making of this film, it captures the spirit of filmmaking and it commits to its crazy cinematic style. This is the film that xXx: The Return of Xander Cage wishes it could be.

The plot: Captain Alex is a soldier who was hired by the government to kill the drug cartel group The Tiger Marfia. Unfortunately during one of his raids Captain Alex is killed. It is now up to captain Alex’s brother called Bruce U (Uganda’s Bruce Lee) to defeat the Tiger Marfia and end the mayhem once and for all.

Who Killed Captain Alex? and the Enormous Effort

There is a narrator throughout the movie called the video joker. His role, from what I was hearing, was to say things that were completely random (and funny) in his Ugandan voice. During action scenes, the video joker said things like “Supa Fighter” and “Movie! Movie! Movie!”, it’s like Deadpool without the wit while retaining the humor. He constantly breaks the fourth wall left right and center. It works. It actually freaking works. I was stunned.

The Actors: How they try so hard.

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I think all of the male actors know karate and it surprisingly half decent.

I remember in high school how there were people who were in their first production. They tried so hard because they were not offered a drama course. Who Killed Captain Alex? reminded me of that moment. They were trying so hard to be great that I am giving them points based on that principle. As I have said. This movie works because it reeks in the spirit of a joy in filmmaking.

Some of the actors are alethetic in their fighting sequences. I believe that Jackie Chan could take some of these actors under his wing with his stunt crew. There is a training montage with Bruce U, that reminded me of the training montage of The Karate Kid (the 1980’s version). I saw effort in that guy. It wasn’t smooth, but the energy from his performance shows and because of that it’s admirable that he tried.

When I finished Who Killed Captain Alex? I knew I watched something special. Nor great, but special. It was incompetent filmmaking mixed with ambition and the result is something oddly charming and magical ***1/4

Groundhog Day Tw- uh… Before I Fall Review

 

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Remember when Bill Murray wakes up at 6:00 am every morning to this Sunny and Cher song “They put your little hand in mine, there ain’t no mountain we can climb.” Oh Before I Fall, you certainly created an unassailable mountain climb with that premise of yours.

Although I can say that Before I Fall acts in good faith by trying to be its own thing and having good intentions, it embellishes itself into the sad state of reminding you of better films that you could be watching. The one film that Before I Fall reminded me of the most was Groundhog Day because the premise and plot points are exactly the same and therefore predictable.

The Plot: Zoey Deutch plays a self-centered teen and only wants to socialize with other self-centered girls. After a night out partying and making fun of people the girls retreat to their car and by 12:39 am, she gets involved in a fatal accident that wasn’t so fatal. She wakes up the next day and relieves it over and over again until she realises she needs to be a good person to break the curse of reliving the same day.

I wish Before I Fall was better: A lot better

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This is Before I Fall: Stuck in the timewarp both as a story and as a movie unfortunatly.

What Before I fall does differently to Groundhog Day is the dramatization. It goes for the route of finding moral redemption in a world where it’s hard to find. It works at the end, but it stumbles across the line with narrative cliches and shoehorning their messages across (There’s a poster on the wall that says something along the lines of “Be yourself” or “Be different”)

For what it is, Before I Fall is mildly interesting overall but I didn’t find the supporting characters too interesting, the cinematographer loves to shoot in shades and hues of blue (except for the party scenes which are in a completely red tint like being in a photo lab) and lines of dialogue were sometimes ill-timed (but not cringeworthy). In other words, lots of little things really hurt the movie’s overall quality.

I understand what the Before I Fall is intending to communicate it’s target audience (young adult females) and I like the intention. I am mixed about the movie for what it is, but Before I Fall suffers in the sense that it constantly reminded me of far better movies (like Mustang, Groundhog Day etc.) and it does absolutely nothing new with its premise. This, sadly, makes Before I Fall cinematic mediocrity **1/2.

 

Monster Trucks:As Insightful as the Title

Written by Nelson Cumming

It’s January and there is a film called Monster Trucks What more do you need to know? My expectations were low and they were met. I predicted how bad it was by giving Monster Trucks a star rating in my head before watching it and that star rating stayed after watching it.

I will provide a plot summary despite the fact no one cares. After an oil drilling problem due to a new species, the entire rig gets destroyed. That is because the new animals love oil. Meanwhile, a teenager called Trig (Lucas Tiller) builds a truck and finds the motor he needs in the animal called Creech. That is because Creech loves to be in fast trucks.

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Where is the Team America: World Police soundtrack when you need it?

To the soccer mom who will defend this by saying “It’s a kids film!” Yeah, it is. Monster Trucks is for dumb kids (I think). Have a guess who came up with the story. It was a four-year-old kid. The former president of Paramount and his son developed the concept of this film.

A 115 million dollar money pit

If a film that is released in January or February has a nine-figure budget ($100 million of more) it is just not going to financially succeed. What I want to know is where the money went.

The release of this film is purely for Paramount to lamely did themselves out of this money pit. However, they are trapped deeper than the miners at Beaconsfield.

A lot of the money was probably spent on the CGI to generate the monsters. But Monster Trucks breaks the cardinal rule. The made the monsters ugly when they should have been cute. Kids immediately associate cute animals as good guys and the ugly creatures as bad guys. I don’t know what were the filmmakers thinking?

The first time I saw the monster up close is when Trig, believing the monster is a bad guy, baits the monster by placing oil rigs on a car crusher. The monster lies on the crusher drinking the oil make stupid high-pitched grunting noises. it looked like Jabba the Hut doing the chair pose in Flashdance.

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You know the song: “First when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream in a world made of steel what a feeling”

I prayed for the monster to be crushed. Trig thought it that piece of slime was cute. It brought a new meaning to “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

A Broken Vanity Project of Dialogue

Here is how bad Monster Trucks was, the quips in the movie are nearly as bad as London has Fallen. They were so unfunny and sudden that there was an awkward silence that lingered on for one painful second. It was begging for the “buh-dum-tiss” drum soundtrack to fill the one second of silence.

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The face of profound confusion. For a split second I thought I was looking in a mirror.

I also heard from a review that Monster Trucks will teach the kids about the natural environment. Monster Trucks used multisyllabic words like “Biodiversity” “Ecosystem” and “Molepole” to describe the natural environment. How is a five-year-old supposed to understand that? The dialogue just boggled my mind.

It was transparently clear watching it that no one gave a crap filming this picture except for the overblown string musical arrangement that was forced in. Without a doubt in my mind, Monster Trucks is an absolute DUD.

La La Land: I smell an Oscar or Four

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Written my Nelson Cumming

La La Land is absolutely fantastic. It is worth all the hype it is getting. At the Venice Film Festival last year where La La Land premiered the audience gave it a standing ovation. That did not sell the film to me as standing ovations at film festivals are not uncommon. Now that I have seen it I see why it would get a standing ovation anywhere.

I think the only reason it did not happen at my screening (It was packed) was because no one was brave enough to start it. Myself included. La La Land is a movie with high ambition that cleared every bar it sets out to achieve in spades.

The film is a story about Mia (Emma Stone) who is an aspiring actress and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) who is a jazz enthusiast. They develop a relationship which is tested by their own carriers as they life in the glamor of the Hollywood.

Because of how La La Land is shot, it is easy to be swept away. Director Damien Chazelle went for unrestrained romanticism with a ton of upbeat energy. This style can become easily tiresome but it works because I have not seen anything quite like La La Land. He must have spent ages perfecting the movie’s tone.

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The overall tone of La La La. There is a ton more colour to the film than this. Hopefully this will give you a rough idea.

The only movie from 2016 that La La Land reminds me of is Woody Allen’s Cafe Society. I liked Cafe Society, but La La Land is on a whole new level.

Not only can I find anything bad about it. I don’t want to find anything bad about it because it looks so picture perfect. From the opening shot which is an entire music number set on the motorway during traffic to the final montage is so colorful and vibrant that it blew my mind.

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That is what my eye looked like after seeing La La Land

La La Land is the kind of gem that it’s impossible to pinpoint the best scene as you are watching it. The movie always seems to trump itself. I thought the second scene “Somewhere in the Crowd” was going to be the best scene. There were about six scenes that were better (especially the finale). It is rare for any movie to have one great scene. La La Land was one great scene after another and it feels like one long stupendous sequence.

The chemistry between Stone and Gosling is so charming it is nuts. The amount of talent that radiates between them separately is enough, let alone the two together. They have so much class and talent. Gosling knows how to play the piano and stone knows how to sing and tap dance. The both, with their talents, created a story that gave a new meaning to an old ending.

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Gosling trying to convince Stone that jazz is not dead. If I had a significant other, I would try to convince my future significant other that pro wrestling is not dead. Gosling manages to persuade Stone on his passion. But I am no Gosling. I am much better than Gosling.

There are dozens of other things to praise La La Land for such as the colorful costumes, the seamless camerawork, the songs and the camaraderie which helped make an old story feel brand new.

Chezelle has achieved something magnificent here. He has shown the glitz and glamor of old school Hollywood and makes it look like the focal point of La La Land when it reality it is about the struggles of success and realizing that life is not as perfect as the exterior he masterfully presents.

Damien Chezelle’s face. See it, remember it. Given this and Whiplash, he will be in many acclaimed movies to come.

Chezelle is like the antihero of his generation of filmmakers that has gained mainstream acceptance. He is against the grain but has cleverly made his way into the minds the major film studio executives. He won’t change their minds, but he was in the picture after Whiplash. Now they would have wholly accepted him after La La Land.

Judging from his movies, Chezelle has a huge artistic vision that can now be easily funded and executed. He is guaranteed to make whatever he wants for his next effort, have a lot of artistic freedom and easily get millions of dollars to support it. Something most directors only dream about. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Written by Nelson Cumming

J.K. Rowling has decided to make the transition from an author to a screenwriter, at least for her own book. Is she as good a screenwriter as she is an author?

Well, I think she is a good comedic writer no doubt. I mean that with sincerity. Everything that is meant to be funny is, in fact, funny. The slapstick with the animals (specifically the gem seeking Niffler) provided some comic relief which is backed up by Dan Fogler who plays the only no-maj (a muggle) in the wizarding world who blunders his way through the wizarding world. Fogler was the best performance in the film bar none.

Rowling is also a good writer in expressing the themes and ideas she wishes to explore. A lot of the themes in this movie revolve around political powerplay, divided societies, isolation and repression. She presents that aspect of the story during the first third of the film. I was highly anticipating how it would progress and conclude.

…and then the cliff came.

The one major letdown this film has is that it never comes full circle. All the themes I have mentioned Rowling illustrates. But she doesn’t really progress those ideas further and with all the separate elements of the plot, they never come together.

The subplots: An outline

Without spoiling it. The first thirty minutes is basically plot progression which illustrates the society of witches and no-majs and how divided they are. There no-majs want to eradicate wizards and break their wands. Wizards are forced underground to practice their magic and live with each other.

After that there are comedy skits with the beasts and that element of the story is barely mentioned again. That was disappointing. A subplot involving a boy called Credence and the main antagonist Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) That plot element focused on powerplay, manipulation, isolation, and fear. Yet that subplot doesn’t get a proper emotional payoff by the conclusion.

Rowling also wants the kids to have a good time as well because she wants to show all the beasts that get released and the comedic elements in catching them. The goes for the cuteness factor as well with all the animals. Expect girls and kids to say “awwww”

An Archery Analogy

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Arrows represent the themes and elements to every film. Left is a 5 star movie that hits you to the core. Right was Fantastic Beasts. Yes, they hit, but the elements are never together.

So you can imagine how frustrating it is when all these elements appear in their own scenes but never really come together. This also affected plot progression, traveling from one idea, leaving it behind, and moving on to the next.

All the elements that Rowling decides to dabble into works. That is enough for me to be entertained. But what Fantastic Beasts really suffers from a lack of putting all the plot threads and thematic elements together. That was disappointing for me. It wasn’t about what the story did, it’s what it didn’t do. ***1/4

P.S. The final reveal sucked. It didn’t make sense in both the story and the internal logic in the story.

Arrival- A Thematic Pool

Written by Nelson Cumming

Arrival had a lot of promise. So much so that I paid a lot extra to see it on a wider screen, thinking I would get overwhelmed by the grandiose mis en scene. That didn’t happen. Despite this, Arrival is a very interesting and highly original film.

Oddly, the movie it reminded me of was The Tree of Life by Terrance Malick although it is not anything like it. To use a book title from Douglas Adams, The Tree of Life concerns itself with “Life, The Universe and Everything” whereas Arrival explores the inner-workings of communication, language and pre-determinism. The latter of which I didn’t get until much later after I saw it.

Unpacking the Plot- A headache that was worth it

Adam’s using her linguistic powers to understand the alien language. Initially this was my favorite part of the film.

I’m gonna be honest. I didn’t get the subplot of the movie at all until I did a bit of research. After looking it up I thought “Damn, Arrival was going for the gold” The main plot and subplot are completely non-linear (like The Tree of Life) and I was wondering why the subplot even existed for a while. I’ll outline both the plot and subplot before explaining further.

So the main plot involves Amy Adams who plays a professional linguist sent by the US military to communicate with these aliens that have bordered earth. A lot of the film involves Adams and Jeremy Renner (who plays a theoretical physicist) decoding the language and understanding why the aliens have come to earth.

As Adam’s learns of the aliens language, Adams has visions of her daughter which serves as the subplot of the film. When the twist comes, I was wondering why she was having visions of her child in the first place. The movie raised more questions than it answered for me. It didn’t seem to add up.

That is a broadly specific as I can be without ruining it. You need to know the subplot to fully understand the meaning of the film.

The Tree of Life analogy

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The subplot felt a little spinny to me. It messes with time and space. Only after I saw it did I understand it.

I saw Arrival as more of an atmospheric film about how the intricacies of communication changes meaning and how you need to get both linguistics and the meaning behind language to reach understanding. The best moments for me were when Adams were decoding the alien language, trying to understand their purpose of existence.

Only until after I saw it I realize I was only scratching the surface. It’s like the Tree of Life in that both the plot and subplot are non-linear and one of the plots have to do with the world around us and the other side of the story revolves around a family and with Arrival, the two didn’t stories did not connect well enough for me to understand.

That was until I realised why Adam’s character has all these visions. Once I knew that all of Arrival’s ideas just seemed to connect and fall into place. It really is a thinking movie and I might like it more if I saw it again. It explores the philosophical concept of pre-determinism vs. fate. Unlike most films, Adams choose with her final word in the film when she is asked a very abrupt (almost comical) question.

However, I can only judge based on what I saw initially and I liked it for the cinematography, Amy Adams performance and how the lead characters slowly develop an understanding with the aliens. If I see it again, now knowing the movie fully, I would like it even more. That I am certain of. However, I must rate it based on what I was feeling at the time and while I liked it overall there were a lot of moments I was scratching my head on how she has the conceived of her visions in the first place ***1/2

Amateur Night: No. Just No.

“Based on a true story… mostly” is the subtext of the Amateur Night title card. Once I saw that I knew they were going to use creative license so much that it’s not even funny. I later found out that the story is directed by the people who have involved in the true story themselves.

The key question I asked myself about Amateur Night wasn’t “Is most of this story really based off a true story?” it was “Why did this story need to be told?” because, to tell you the truth, I wish I hadn’t seen it.

So anyway the story is Guy (played by Jason Biggs whose career is in freefall) is an architect who is struggling to find a job and with a baby on the way. He gets a job on Craigslist to drive prostitutes to bachelor parties and acting like a pimp in his pink salmon shirt.

In come the sight gags.

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One of the cleaner scenes of the Biggs cleaning dildos. I decided for the view not to show the zip-lock bag all the dildos came in

So Guy does these things for the prostitutes that only a desperate man would do. He cleans all their dildos and there are a lot; he gets squirted in the face (You can imagine the source of the squirting) and collects all the money and the panties from the floor during the bachelor party.

This is one-half the problem with Amateur Night. They just settle for gross. When an R-rated sex comedy decides to go for the easy laughs it is just so tasteless. A note to filmmakers: the more tasteless you are, the smarter you have to be. When you are tasteless and stupid, your movie becomes horrible and it turns into a pissing contest to see how horrible you can be.

When a sex comedy decides to dabble in bodily fluids just for shock value you get no winners but the most morbid of people. There are piss, vaginal fluid, and lube gags in this movie. None of it comes off as funny. Some scenes like when Guy is cleaning all the dildos are elongated, cringeworthy and painful to watch.

Despite all the unfunny and lazy sight gags, it wasn’t the worst part of the movie.

Yes, you heard me.

The most hateful performance of the year: Janet Montgomery.

Montgomery is just lucky this movie is so small and so forgettable that it won’t damage her career irreparably.

Nikki (Janet Montgomery) is the lead prostitute and I absolutely hated her. From the time she is introduced to the very end, I hated her. I hated her so much. There is a scene in which she blackmails Guy into continuing being the host of the bachelor party. From that moment on I had a seething hate to the point of no return. At the end, the film embodies the “hooker with a heart of gold” cliche in a sad and pathetic attempt to care for her. She was completely mean-spirited with no leanings that she was anything but.

It wasn’t that Montgomery was a bad actress but just her character embodied vile manipulation to the point where I not only detested her but the whole movie. She crossed the line from dumb raunchy comedy to dumb and hateful raunchy comedy. With the combination of dumb sex jokes, bodily fluids, and Montgomery’s performance, Amateur night reminded me of Dirty Grandpa and that’s really saying something.

In my eyes, Amateur Night was merely a vanity project created by a couple to tell their own story and the actors are there so desperate for a paycheck. Biggs hasn’t made a movie in four years and the directors Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse are a real life couple retelling their own experiences living in Hollywood in this hot mess.

At the end of Amateur Night, I thought of a song called “Lost in Hollywood” where the main line was “All you maggots smoking fags on Hollywood Boulevard” because sometimes I wonder how some movies in Hollywood get made. This was just the epitome or a bad sex comedy turned horrible -*1/2