Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Interview (2014)

MV5BMTQzMTcwMzgyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzAyMzQ2MzE@._V1_SX640_SY720_

There are so many ways I can approach this review, but none of them are worth the two hours of stupidity I just sat through. I’m not going the political route, but I do believe the whole “controversy” was just an overambitious publicity stunt. Does anyone else find it a little too convenient that the movie was STILL released after a major information “leak” that cancelled a theatrical release? Think about the buzz that was generated. How many people saw this just because of the decision not to show it in theaters? This is where I get off my high horse because I am one of those people. The Interview was added to Netflix a couple weeks ago, and I decided to watch it. I’m willing to bet money my IQ dropped.

This is one of the few times where I honestly don’t know where to start. It’s totally fine that James Franco and Seth Rogen have a bromance. Some might even find it endearing. But what’s not okay is the fact that they chose a plot that involves killing a notorious dictator, and frequently insulting a whole country. I don’t think that was necessary. Most importantly, this isn’t funny. At all. Not once did I even chuckle. 95% of this is gay jokes, and Franco repeating “Hate us cuz they ain’t us”, which he says that approximately every 2 minutes. Then we get to the real reason for the madness: Kim Jong Un. I’m not rooting for the guy to be portrayed in a positive light, but there’s just something about him being an overgrown man child with daddy issues, and that loves Katy Perry’s Firework that doesn’t sit right with me.

I don’t even know what else to say. I’m not shocked by the subject matter. I’m shocked that something as mind-numbingly stupid as this got so much news and focus. There’s nothing here. It’s two hours worth of bromance and zero substance. I give this 1/5. It’s not funny, edgy, clever, or even remotely interesting. Rogen isn’t horrible acting-wise, but he also didn’t have anything to work with from the start. I’m pretty sure Franco just needs to be institutionalized at this point. Who thought this was a good idea? I would honestly like to know, just so I can find them and beat them for the hours of my life I can never get back. Do yourself a favor: watch anything else except this, and save your IQ.

Horns (2014)

Horns_Official_Movie_Poster

I was super excited when I found out about this being made. I’m a huge fan of the book, and considering the names that are attached to this, I figured it had a shot at being pretty good. Well…it’s not terrible, at least. I think the main problem is a lack of direction and consistency. I’m not sure if Horns is another victim of poor editing, or if it’s just not that great as a movie. But it does have some strong points. The comedic parts are great, and so are the sad, dramatic moments. However the transitions between each of those moments is painfully awkward. We go from sheer absurdity of people often hilariously confessing their darkest thoughts, to the emotional and mental damage Ig (Daniel Radcliffe) suffers after the sudden murder of his girlfriend.

We have two contrasts, and I don’t think they were blended together as seamlessly as they could’ve been. As a result the story comes off as more abrupt and a bit heartless. I don’t think it was the best decision to go backwards and forward without any clear indication to the audience as to why the jumps in time are important. There’s also the religious overtones that are just a bit too cheesy and exaggerated. I believe this is one of those times where a book just doesn’t translate to the big screen as well as it could. I give it 3/5. It’s honestly not a bad movie, but you can clearly see where creative liberties were taken and it doesn’t pan out.

The cast isn’t bad (Radcliffe definitely steals the show, of course), but all of the characters come off as superficial, and we’re not given the time to develop full opinions about the role each person plays in Ig’s life. The ultimate downfall is the pacing, how the plot points are laid out, and the script in general is a lazy version of the book. A good chunk of the movie is just filler, which it didn’t need since it’s almost 2 hours long. I still say check it out because it’s something different and Radcliffe plays an awesome anti-hero, but don’t expect anything else after that.

Hollow (2011)

11166656_800

I’m starting to think I’m optimistic to a fault. Hollow has held only 1 star on Netflix ever since it was added several months ago, but that didn’t stop me from watching it. I can now say that maybe it should have. The biggest issue I have is that this movie clearly rips off elements from other movies, and doesn’t even attempt to try and make those elements its own. The whole thing is basically a carbon copy of The Blair Witch Project, except we have random couples committing suicide, and a dead priest. Our “heroes” are a group of friends that clearly can’t stand each other.

I have to make sure that point is emphasized because the crap that happens in the movie wouldn’t have taken place if everyone was at least civil. Why else would one guy use his own girlfriend as bait in hopes that his crush’s fiancé will cheat on her, causing his crush to run into his arms? Yes, that was his actual plan. Also, what the bloody hell does that have to do with suicides, a creepy tree that houses a maze, or a dead priest? Absolutely nothing apparently. The dead couples and priest are only mentioned once, and we never find out what exactly caused their deaths.

We have about 4 different plot points, and instead what we get is these idiots snorting coke, having a bad trip, and they end up dead anyways. The end. This gets a 0. I’m going to gloss over the whole found footage angle, mainly because that’s a trend in movies that won’t go away anytime soon. The acting is exactly what you expect from something like this, there’s no storytelling, and the characters just flat out suck. I will say watching this is like listening to a 12 year old boy describe his perfect action movie: boobs, partying, and no real resolution. It goes back to what I’ve been saying about most movies out there: just because you can make a movie, doesn’t mean you should.

You’re Next (2013)

Youre-Next-posterIn case you missed it a couple years ago, I couldn’t stand this movie. I paid to see in theaters, I was super excited for it, and then I thought it sucked. I gave people so much flack for liking this because I could not find any redeeming qualities about it. At that point, I believe this was the second Adam Wingard movie I had seen, so that just made it worse. I really like the guy. He’s not afraid to push something as far as it can go, unless he’s having a lazy moment (ahem, Q is for Quack). So did You’re Next deserve the hellfire and brimstone I unleashed on it? I don’t think it did. This is a first for The Lively Mind: I’m admitting I was wrong. I have to say Recollection Row isn’t just saying I still like a movie, or I now hate it. People change. New experiences can shed a new light on old ones, and time passing offers a chance to see things a bit more clearly.

Why the sudden change of heart, you ask? I wasn’t high as a kite when I watched it this time. In August 2013, I was still recovering from a major car accident. My senses were dulled thanks to a mix of morphine, Zoloft, and trazodone. I’m honestly surprised my first review was as long as it was, because I know I was a zombie at the time. So what exactly did I miss in my medicated state? I’d have to say the humor. This was marketed as a black comedy, but I never understood why until now. The one liners are so wrong, but still hilarious. I honestly have to say the film as a whole does show how talented Wingard is as a director, and Simon Barrett is a very creative writer.

I like it enough it to give it 3/5. I can now appreciate Sharni Vinson as the ultimate badass heroine, the rest of the cast does a great job playing off each other, and it’s just fun to watch in general. However, some of the interaction between the cast does come off as a little too cheesy at times, and the dramatic points can be downright hammy. Every other scene also has this weird shaky thing going on, even when things are supposed to be calm. It’s a little distracting, but once things pick up you can kind of ignore it. Overall it’s a good survival/slasher, but I wouldn’t say it’s one of the bests of the last couple years.