The Boss #movieREVIEW

I’m exploring ignoring the critics with new movies I see. As a critic myself, it’s hard to pretend they aren’t there saying things. I’m sure in most cases I agree with them but occasional there’s a diamond in the rough that the critics don’t like. I have to admit I agree with the critics on this one, they are giving it really low ratings and so am I, for good reason.

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R | 99 min | Comedy
Director: Ben Falcone
Writers: Ben Falcone, Steve Mallory
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage

A titan of industry is sent to prison after she’s caught insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget. (IMDB)

I can’t say the last few movies of Melissa McCarthy have impressed me. I loved her in the 90’s dramedy series “Gilmore Girls.” She didn’t do any ft girl splits ar steal food off everyone’s plates as is common in her movies since. I usually chuckle at her films but rarely more than that. “The Boss” is a new low for her body of work and her body has changed too, probably from surgery but I don’t know for sure.

If she did lose weight quickly, it would explain the turtlenecks. My wife pointed this ot to me. She said when people have radical weight loss surgery, sometimes they have turkey neck with the extra skin still hanging. The scenes I liked the best were when she did a dance routine on stage. She’s like the Tony Robbins of real estate and she wants to “make you rich.” I hate those greedy motivational speakers so these on stage performances with the pyrotechnics and such were hilarious to watch. Please note: every other part of this movie is neither funny nor entertaining. I think this is one of the most boring films I have seen in decades. I’m amazed it got made.

The stuff with the girl scouts is really reaching for a laugh. It doesn’t fit with the movie it all even though I kept hoping it would. I have to shine a light of kindness as I wrap this up however: Melissa McCarthy is a hilarious comic. Her slapstick is right up there with Will Farrell and Molly Shannon. Unfortunately she’s accepting some really stupid scripts. Maybe it’s time we see her name on the writer’s credits line. In conclusion, I was bored all the way through this film, except for those stage scenes I mentioned. I suppose I’d recommend it but only if there is nothing else good playing.

My rating: 1 Stars (1 / 5)

Have you seen this film? What’s your verdict?

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

The lives of three young women and why they became punk revolutionaries is the main idea of “Pussy Riot: a Punk Prayer.” Click the play button to hear this episode of my podcast.

Pussy_Riot-A_Punk_Prayer_PosterIt’s a real situation and a real “group” (instead of a band) that protests the Soviet Union through punk songs and performance art. They claim to be non-violent, which is good. In some of their protest situations they have been threatened and violence has been enacted against them. Three visionaries of the group: Mariya Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova occupy the film’s content and their stories are inspiring or enraging depending on your political and moral point of view. I found these three women and their art hugely inspirational. I think we forget in America what freedom is and that at some point, it needs to be sacrificed for.

These three women feel that Russia needs to get more progressive. By that I mean, women should be allowed to have a life with or without men.

They also feel there should be a clear separation between church and state. More than anything, they detest the policies of Vladimir Putin, the current leader of the Soviet Union. Many of their songs decry his regime. I liked the open and forward thinking of the women but some of their techniques, such as the naming of their group and some past indiscretions on film, in my opinion are not as universally embraceable as they could be. I’m writing a review about their documentary but I cringe a little creating the title with the word “pussy” in it. Is there another way we could name this group without fanning the flames of the conservatives? I am no revolutionary but I might recommend to Pussy Riot a slightly more marketable and palatable approach to its persona.

These women spend at least 6 months in jail (I lost track after all the updates and frankly am too lazy to look up this significant particular). When they address the court or the press, it is breathtaking. They scribble tomes while behind bars and nearly every time they read their words, they are met with unguarded applause. These is something to these revolutionaries but the movie feels at times as if much of it is staged. If not staged, the movie sometimes feels like HBO camera crews are betting on a worldwide interest in a documentary. This to me is gauche. Not everything can be captured in a documentary. Would Johnny Rotten want to be followed by HBO? How about Ghandi? Hmmm, maybe? Having said that, this movie reminds me of the times I fought to be outside the “system.” So many people these days, especially our youth, accept their position playing video games and being bored. We don’t have to accept the role society gives us. We can break out and be original. It could start by protesting the things we dislike in society. I wonder if many American kids would risk going to jail to try and make the government change. Let’s hope more American kids get that message from Pussy Riot.

Tusk

“Tusk” is a hideous nonsensical lesson in illogic. It’s one of the more disturbing horror movies produced with novelty in mind but ends being little more than shock value.
Michael Parks as Howard Howe
Justin Long as Wallace Bryton
Genesis Rodriguez as Ally Leon
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith

“Tusk” starts out as a very believable, genuine, underdog hero sort of movie. Wallace, played by Justin Long, Is an internet startup who seeks out weird current stories for his podcast and then flies out to get footage. We don’t get the idea he is very successful at it but he seems to be living life on his own terms and I think many people would say that is a form of success. He cheats on his girlfriend every chance he gets but other than that, he’s a regular American guy making his way in the world. He is on assignment in Canada when his story goes South. This leaves him scraping and desperate for podcast content.

What follows is a serial killer film that starts like Moby Dick and ends like “The Human Centipede.” A man who had an experience with a Walrus in the past now kidnaps and surgically deforms his victims into what looks like the shapes of Walruses. It’s anatomically impossible and takes the movie to a sort of psychedelic hysteria. The walrus is obviously disgusting looking and the writer/director Kevin Smith of Comic Book Men and “Jay and Silent Bob” fame. It’s heinous and I defy you to share any value this film has. Yes, I mean in the comments.

Please note this film is not suitable for children.

postscript: 4/19/2016 6am Upon drinking my morning coffee, I found a walrus whisker in it. Just want to make a note here that while I really didn’t love this film, it is all in the way you filter the movie. I value movies that produce something unique on the screen and this film is definitely that. I guess part of me is always giving a heads up to parents out there. It’s not that kids won’t understand this it’s that they can’t understand it because it’s grownup comic book men playing with latex and truly crazy ideas. I am sure many movie goers will find value in that way.

Tale of Tales


This is a good movie! It reminded me of “The Princess Bride” without the slapstick humor. It’s like a Grimm’s Fairy Tale in that the lessons learned do not always end “happily ever after.”

It’s an interweave of three tales, all dealing in fairy tale like kingdoms. There’s a sea monster and a giant and of course a bit of witchcraft. This is a really fun film, I recommend It.

Walt Before Mickey

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“I am working on a new style of animation that I know you will be interested in.” -Walt Disney

Directed by
Khoa Le

Writing Credits
Arthur L. Bernstein, Armando Gutierrez, Timothy Susanin, Frank Licari

Cast
Jodie Sweetin
as Charlotte Disney
Jon Heder
as Roy Disney
David Henrie
as Rudy Ising

3 stars

Who doesn’t love Disneyland and Mickey Mouse? The mysterious background of the Disney empire is unveiled in the park itself in several exhibits, in books, and other media. Unfortunately it has never graced the silver screen, until now.

This film is a delight to watch but I can’t say the performances are Oscar worthy. It actually presented like the kid of movie you’d see inside the park about Walt. The lines are delivered in a rote fashion and the characters are not  very developed. All this just goes to show you how powerful Disney’s story is. I enjoyed every minute of it.

We see into Walt’s early family life. His father was not supportive. Still later on, he did provide a small financial contribution to Walt’s first company. At one point Walt says, “We don’t know anything about business, but we’ll learn.” He and his hired hands do learn things at the school of hard knocks. He is cheated in a scandalous move by none other than the Felix the Cat creator.

If you ever wondered how Walt Disney got started, this is a good one to go see. Don’t go in expecting an amazing biography but you will see a compelling beginning of a miraculous man’s creative life.