Posted tagged ‘review’

‘The Do-Over’ – Sandler Netflix Insanity

June 4, 2016

Adam Sandler’s The Do-Over is a really weird movie. Yeah, I didn’t exactly know what to expect going into this one considering that I knew absolutely nothing about the plot. But after watching it, I would say that it’s … average … I think?

Our protagonist here is Charlie (David Spade), an ordinary guy who hates his life. But things start to change for Charlie when he attends his high school reunion and runs into his old friend Max (Sandler). Max appears to have the life that Charlie has always wanted. So Charlie agrees to go away with Max for a weekend that soon turns into an unexpected adventure.

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It turns out, Max had a secret motive behind the duo’s weekend away. In an actually somewhat interesting and unique premise, Max’s plan was to fake both of their deaths so the two of them could both start completely new lives while taking on the identities of two recently deceased men. But without giving too much away, this quickly ends up becoming much more than they bargained for.

This scenario in the first half of this movie is enjoyable partly as a “what if?’ sort of thing. It makes you wonder what you’d do in these characters’ situations. Would you ever be willing to just completely start your life over? How bad would your life have to get before you were willing to that? And yes, I am in fact suggesting that an Adam Sandler comedy got me to think about complex and depressing issues. I’m just as surprised as you are.

That’s another problem. This movie just wasn’t really all that funny for the most part (and yes, a lot of the time, it was trying to be). The humor seemed to more revolve around the characters getting into crazy situations. And that’s not automatically going to be funny. It still has to be written in a clever way. And the comedy in this movie wasn’t really that clever.

I’m not exactly sure what to think of this movie overall. Would I recommend it? Not really. But can I at least appreciate it a little bit for its ambition? I guess. I’m giving it a 5 out of 10.

‘Kung Fury’ – Entertaining Parody Short Film

January 13, 2016

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Hey Seltzer and Friedberg, before you make your next parody film, sit down and give this one a watch. You might learn a few things.

So Kung Fury is a 2015 independent half-hour film about a cop of the same name. The purpose of this film is to parody 1980s cop movies. In fact, the film’s short runtime was probably one of the best choices the filmmakers made considering that I’m not even sure that they had enough good jokes to fill up 30 minutes, let alone an hour and a half.

Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a funny movie, and one of the more refreshing spoof movies I’ve seen recently. But if I had one criticism to make of it, it’s that it didn’t quite reach the level of nonstop hilarity that it could have in my opinion.

But anyway, why exactly does this short film work as a parody? Well for one thing, it does a very good job at mimicking the style of these ’80s actions movies. It’s cheesy. It’s silly. And it looks like it was filmed with a potato. What more could you ask for? Actually, if you didn’t know going in, you might even think that this was an actual action film from the 1980s.

But in addition to mimicking the style of these movies, Kung Fury also does a fine job with exaggerating the tropes of ’80s action films to an absolutely absurd and at times hysterical degree. For instance, early in the film, they utilize the cliché of giving the cop a partner against his wishes. But for absolutely no reason at all, they give Kung Fury’s partner the head of a triceratops. And it’s just so dumb and random that you can’t help but laugh at it.

Kung Fury also succeeds at general comedy. Firstly, the premise itself is pretty funny. Kung Fury has to go back in time to kill Adolf Hitler as part of his mission. And I’m not entirely sure why. But I think that adds to the humor. There’s also a lot of very funny dialogue. Put all of that together, and it makes for a pretty enjoyable experience.

So overall, I give Kung Fury a 7.5 out of 10. I suggest checking this one out, either on YouTube, or here on Netflix.

‘Bordertown’ Pilot – Unoriginal, Unfunny Adult Cartoon

January 8, 2016

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Imagine if you took Family Guy and American Dad!, meshed them together, and took out anything that made those shows likable. You’d have FOX’s new animated series Bordertown.

Okay, to be fair, I’m just judging this based on the first episode. Maybe it’ll improve as the show continues. But honestly, I’m not sure if I plan on coming back again to watch.

So Bordertown focuses on two Southwestern families living on the border between Mexico and California. Our protagonist Bud Buckwald is a middle-aged man and an open racist. This is where a lot of the humor in the show comes from.

And I often really like this kind of racial humor. All in the Family did it well. South Park has been doing it well for years. Family Guy and American Dad! have also done it well in the past. The problem here is that this episode doesn’t really do much new with this kind of comedy. And it’s not really going to be that funny if we’ve heard these jokes before.

So the main plot of this episode is that Bud’s daughter Becky gets engaged to J.C., the son of the Mexican family living next door. And of course, Bud isn’t happy with this and does everything  he can to try and stop it.

But what else doesn’t work about this pilot? Well, as you might have been able to tell by the above photo, the animation here just has a very unappealing look to it. I feel like they animators went out of their way to make everything to look as ugly and bland as possible.

The voice acting isn’t very good either in my opinion. Most of of the characters voices are just really annoying to listen to.

Then there’s the characters themselves. One problem I have is that some of them are kind of underdeveloped, at least at this point in the series. In particular, I’m talking about Bud’s wife. I feel like I know hardly anything about her. Hopefully she’ll get some more development in later episodes.

Is there anything here to enjoy? Well, despite the comedy not being very good overall, this episode did get a decent amount of chuckles out of me. Some of the jokes are a little clever and amusing. And there were a couple of genuinely funny jokes, mainly towards the end of the episode. But overall, I just didn’t like this very much.

I give this pilot a 4 out of 10.

‘The Ridiculous 6’ – Sandler Netflix Mediocrity

December 29, 2015

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By John D’Amico

I can’t say I really hated this film. In fact, I wouldn’t even really call it bad. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one did well at the Razzie Awards this year. Just saying.

‘The Ridiculous 6’ is a comedy western starring Adam Sandler as Tommy aka “The White Knife,” who one day has to go on a mission to save his deadbeat father (Nick Nolte). Along the way, he meets his five half-brothers who decide to go on the mission along with him.

One of the first things that struck me about this movie was how seriously it was taking itself in the first fourth of the plot. The amount of jokes in this portion of the movie were pretty minimal. At the same time, it didn’t feel like the it was going for straight-up drama either because of the typical Sandler-esque humor sprinkled throughout. I’m not even sure if I’d necessarily call this a bad thing. But it just kind of left me scratching my head.

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But in spite of this peculiar start, the rest of movie is pretty much the comedy that I expected going in. So how was the comedy you might be wondering? Well, it could have been better to be honest. We get some annoying characters like Taylor Lautner as one of Tommy’s half-brothers, some disturbing humor like an accidental decapitation, and some gross-out comedy that I’d prefer not to describe.

But sprinkled throughout the film, there definitely were some jokes that got some genuine laughs out of me. For instance, shortly after the introduction of Terry Crews’ character Chico (one of Tommy’s brothers), Chico makes the decision to confess to his newly found half-brothers that he is in fact a black man.

There’s also a really clever scene where the brothers meet Civil War general Abner Doubleday (played by John Turturro), and take part of the first ever game of baseball. And just for the record, Doubleday didn’t really invent the game, but I’m willing to let that slide considering how well-written this scene was.

Overall, ‘The Ridiculous 6’ wasn’t a bad movie in my opinion. But I didn’t really like it either. It was just kind of meh. I give a 5.5 out of 10.

If you’re interested, you can stream the film here.

Garfunkel and Oates: Pilot Review

August 7, 2014

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So I just got finished watching the series premiere of the new IFC sitcom Garfunkel and Oates. And it’s definitely something that I can recommend.

In this episode, our protagonists Riki and Kate, go on a double date and try to see how long they can go without saying a word. What unfolds from this is a very unique plot which carries the episode very well and makes for a lot of good laughs.

Ricki Lindhome and Kate Micucci both do a good job here. They’re funny, they’re likable, and they sing well.

So check out the show tonight on IFC at 10 pm. Or you could just do what I did and watch on YouTube right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bla7z9odhc0&list=LLAJrsPWHNeQBbuCHnxWXv4w&index=1

By the way, I would also recommend checking out Garfunkel and Oates’ YouTube channel if have not already done so: https://www.youtube.com/user/rikilind/videos.

The Case Against 8 Review

June 25, 2014

So I’m back to blogging again. I’m going to be doing it a little differently this time around. That’s all I have to say about that for now. Onto the review…

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So I just got finished watching the new HBO documentary The Case Against 8, which tells the story of the U.S. Supreme Court case which led to the eventual overturning of Proposition 8, a law which had banned same-sex marriages in the state of California.

The film primarily follows the two gay couples who were fighting in favor of the repeal of Prop 8, along with their lawyers.

The aspect of this movie that impressed me the most was the way that it increased my understanding of how much this issue really matters to these people.

Don’t get the wrong idea; I’ve always been a supporter of gay marriage. And obviously I’ve always understood to a degree that the right to marriage is very important to homosexuals. But by watching this documentary, I actually got the opportunity to witness the real reactions of these real people throughout the whole experience.

Seeing everything that these couples went through whether it was good or bad was very emotional, and inspiring. When the movie was over, I starting thinking to myself, “I want to help gay marriage! I got to go find an online petition to sign or something!”

I think that it would be difficult for someone to watch this film with an open mind and then come out of it not at least reconsidering their position on gay marriage (assuming that person was not already for it).

So if you’re interested in the topic and you don’t mind sitting through a 2-hour documentary, I’d say check out The Case Against 8.

Drive Movie Review

January 13, 2012

So this is a very late review. I missed the opportunity to see this movie back in September. I thought I was going to have to wait for DVD. But I got the chance to finally see this movie in a theater tonight.

“Drive’ is one of the most, if not the most buzzed about films of 2011. People have been raving about it and throwing around words like “masterpiece” to describe it. So I was looking forward to watching it. This is a very, very good film. Is it the best movie of 2011? I’m not sure. Is it a masterpiece. I wouldn’t quite say so.

In “Drive” Ryan Gosling stars as “The Driver.” He’s a stunt driver for movies by day, and a get-away driver by night. One day he meets a woman named Irene (Carey Mulligan) who has a son named Benicio. “The Driver” gets involved in a job alongside Irene’s ex-con husband named Standard.

The opening to “Drive” is in a word, perfect. They way the opening scene is filmed and cut is just extraordinary. I was amazed by this opening sequence. Yet, the rest of the movie, never quite reached the high-point of that scene again.

The movie has a number of individual scenes that are really well-done and just awesome to watch. The movie can get so intense and so violent at times and it’s just a real treat.

Ryan Gosling is intimidating as “The Driver.” And Albert Brooks is menacing as the film’s antagonist. Carey Mulligan, Oscar Issacs, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, and Christina Hendricks also all do fine work.

I’m not sure if “Drive” was exactly what I wanted from it but there is still plenty to enjoy and plenty to admire about it.

I’m not totally certain about this but for my final rating I’m going to push a little and go with a 9/10.

By: John D’Amico


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