Tag Archives: Jason Sudeikis

SXSW: Colossal

colossal-F71894Other than a major difference in size, Godzilla and a drunk have a lot in common.  They both stumble around erratically, they both have a temper, and they both wreck a lot of stuff.  Though Colossal does not feature Godzilla, presumably due to licencing issues, it does feature a giant monster terrorizing an Asian city (though this time it’s Seoul, Korea instead of Tokyo, Japan).  As you’d expect, the monster’s appearance is big news, so even Gloria (Anne Hathaway) hears about it eventually.  It takes a while for her though because of how drunk she got the night before.

Gloria’s got a lot of problems.  She’s just been kicked out by her longtime boyfriend for drinking too much and she’s been unemployed for way too long.  She’s got no direction and no prospects, so after losing her relationship and place to stay, she heads to her hometown and meets up with her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis).  Since Oscar owns a bar, Gloria stays there all night drinking, and a giant monster appears in Seoul about the time she’s stumbling home the next morning.

Colossal is different than I expected, which is not a bad thing.  Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo has created something unique, something much different than any kaiju movie I’ve ever seen.  Colossal is slow paced and focuses largely on people, not monsters, and the characters’ personal growth (/lack thereof) is a very important part of the story.  I don’t want to say more about what Colossal is or isn’t, as I think trying to figure out this movie is part of the fun.  There are definitely some surprises along the way, and those were high points for me.  It’s always interesting when a movie takes an unexpected turn and Colossal offers a few of them.

In support of the unique story, Hathaway and Sudeikis both deliver excellent performances, and the quality of those performances is why this movie works so well.  Seeing Gloria and Oscar reconnect after all these years, discovering each other as adults, is something we can all relate to but we soon learn that the stakes are a little higher here, because Seoul is in peril every morning.

Colossal is set to be released in North America on April 7, 2017.  If you’re interested in seeing a different kind of kaiju movie, one that is more character study than city-destroying rampage, then Colossal is worth watching.

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Masterminds

Not everyone loved Napoleon Dynamite, but you can’t deny that it was an unprecedented success. Its director, first-timer Jared Hess, hit it out of the park, the movie absorbed into popular culture. He’s been unwilling to accept that he may be a one-hit wonder (same goes for Napoleon star Jon Heder) – the two keep making films at a dwindling rate, each more lavishly terrible than the last.

Jared Hess’s latest failure is called Masterminds, and he convinced a long list of famous names to go down in flames along with him: Zach Galifianakis as la-et-mn-ca-sneaks-masterminds-kate-mckinnon-20150426.jpgthe witless driver of an armoured money truck whose terrible relationship with fiancée Kate McKinnon makes it all too easy for him to fall for coworker Kristen Wiig who manipulates him into working with her confederate, Owen Wilson, who thinks a heist is in order. Galifianakis will do all of the work under the guise of love but will receive little to no reward if Wilson has anything to do with it – he’s got contract killer Jason Sudeikis after him and only the law (Leslie Jones) has any chance of intervening.

It’s “based on a true story” which means that someone once stole money somewhere and that’s excuse enough for this atrocity. With 3\4 of the Ghostbusters assembled, there’s no denying that this is a powerhouse cast, but the trouble is they’ve been given a crumpled up tissue of a story and no one knows in which direction to sneeze. I truthfully confessed to Sean that I zachonly laughed once the entire movie – and it was post-credits, in the blooper reel, not even at a joke that got edited out, but at Zach Galifianakis accidentally hitting his head on a swing set (I console myself that it made Kate McKinnon laugh too, before she checked that he was okay). Only babies laugh at people getting bonked on the head, but I had been in a comedy desert for the past hour and a half and I was parched for laughter.

It’s just shameless and lowbrow and it almost makes you feel bad for the dumb criminals it’s styled after. I have a low tolerance for stupid slapstick and this movie didn’t have a single other trick up its sleeve. Some of the scenes literally feel like an SNL sketch gone on too long, and those are the good ones. I have zero forgiveness in my heart for a movie this bad, and I’ll be expecting some dark chocolate truffles and a bottle of Dom with a heartfelt card signed by all the cast by way of apology soon. But not soon enough.

The Angry Birds Movie

A movie based on an app? Stupidest. Thing. Ever.

Now that we got that out of the way, this movie is better than I imagined possible, having known nothing about the movie or the app. Before seeing this movie, I thought – should I download the app? Might there be some crucial plot point that I need to grasp going in? But then I thought, nay, realized  – nah.

Here’s what I have discovered: three friends live among a flock of super happy birds. But they’re not happy. They’re angry. They met at anger management. Angry-Birds-Movie-750x422Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad), and Bomb (Danny McBride) only get angrier when a ship of green pigs sails out of nowhere (“But there’s no other place besides here!”) and start encouraging them to adopt pig ways. They introduce things like trampolines, slingshots, and helium gas, and I thought – these are the dumbest gifts. Birds don’t need to be hurled about, they already fly!

Then I thought – Oh. Wait. I haven’t seen a single bird fly and we’re 30 minutes into this thing. Are these birds flightless? And then Red, Chuck, and Bomb hiked up a mountain and that confirmed it, yup, flightless (“Ugh, my calves are killing me.”). So they hike up a mountain in order to find Mighty Eagle who might help out with the pig problem because Red does NOT trust the pigs, not one rasher (“Something about those pigs isn’t kosher”).

Anyway. My hat’s off to the screenwriter who pulled this movie entirely out of his ass. It’s easier to make a story out of nothing than it is to make one out of weird, specific prompts: angry birds, pigs, slingshots – Go! And yet here we have it, and it only took 4 grown men to come up with it: John Cohen, Mikael Hed, Mikko Polla, and Jon Vitti. That said, it’s flimsy. It’s better than a movie based on an app should be, because it’s still a stupid concept (confidential to the jerks who want to turn Fruit Ninja into a movie: STUPID CONCEPT!). But it’s a better cartoon than Norm of the North. And Kungfu Panda 3. And Hotel Transylvania 2. And yet worse than the trailer to Finding Dory. Yeah, I said it. It can’t even compete with a Pixar trailer. So what kind of endorsement is this? It’s not much of one, that’s what.

But will kids like it?  I mean, some kids weren’t even born when the app cameuntitled.png out in 2009, and hopefully most kids aren’t already carrying smartphones in their pockets. I know it had a hard time keeping my attention, and I have the attention span of a 3 year old (so: no). But it’s energetic and filled with primary colours, which might impress the 4-year olds but is beneath the 8 year olds. And it’s got some great one-liners that even I could appreciate, and a few sight gags that made not completely resent the film. It’s rated PG for “rude humor and action” and yes, there’s some rude humour. How do you feel about pelvic thrusts combined with sexual innuendo (I know, I know – is there any other kind). But what stopped me in my tracks was that one bird says “Shut up.” Shut up was a VERY bad word in my house, growing up. VERY bad. Awful. Huge trouble. Then again, so was vagina, so that shit’s messed up (is this just me? What was off-limits in your house?).

So yeah. It’s vaguely entertaining. Pretty hollow. Filled with Sean Penn’s grunts. Awkward theme to explain to your kids. And the hallmark of a sub-par animated film: the characters dance to an out-of-date pop song. I’m waving the caution flag, folks.

Horrible Bosses 2

I am in the same boat as Jay when it comes to Horrible Bosses – I do not remember the first movie at all.  That probably means we went to the drive-in and were not watching the movie, which is fine by me!  Anyway, I do remember watching Horrible Bosses 2 because I just saw it last night, and laughed a lot.

I laughed even though this movie is not particularly clever or innovative and really makes no sense when you think about it (spoiler alert: why not try to sell your 100,000 Shower Buddies to someone else?) until you take Jamie Foxx at his word that NickKurtDale are the craziest criminals he has ever met.  They just like doing this sort of stuff and I guess on that reasoning it makes perfect sense that when they run into adversity they start hatching illegal schemes (which may or may not involve zip lines, trampolines and skateboards). bosses2

I laughed because these three guys (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis and Charlie Day) have such good chemistry and clearly are having fun every step of the way, often at each other’s expense.  And I don’t think that’s character-driven, because there isn’t a whole lot of acting going on.  That’s not even a criticism – I wasn’t there to see acting, I was there to laugh, and mission accomplished on that front.  It’s not an Oscar winner but it’s about as much fun as you can have at the movies when the drive-in is closed for the winter.

Well executed and surprisingly good, Horrible Bosses 2 is one to watch, preferably with a few good friends who could help you plan a kidnaping if it ever comes to that.

Live Blogging Horrible Bosses

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

Since we’re attending a screening for Horrible Bosses 2 tomorrow night, I thought it might be good to review the original. I have indeed seen it before and don’t remember much except a vague feeling that I didn’t like it. I asked Matt, who has a crazy-good memory and near-infinite knowledge of movies if I liked this one and he said, basically, no. That I felt the bosses were “too horrible” and thus not relatable. Sounds kind of like me. So here goes.boss

Saw the original for the first time at the drive-in, so even if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have felt too bad about it because it’s two for one, first of all, and second, if it’s bad, we just make out.

Kevin Spacey is very good at being a total fucking asshole. A little too good, if you catch my drift. Jennifer Aniston believable as the evil bitch. Oh yeah, and Colin Farrell and his god-awful combover as the dipshit cokehead son. I can already see what I meant about the bosses being a little too horrible.

I wish my boss harrassed me with 18 year old scotch.

Oh! The kid from Freaks and Geeks is in this. That dude grew up hot.

Okay, so there’s a horrible boss, and then there’s these guys, who aren’t just flirting with inappropriateness, they seem to be firmly in the “illegal” and “crazy hyperbolic caricatures” category.  Eye roll.

Oh I see. The premise depends on these ridiculous heights because otherwise we couldn’t spiral upwards to even more ridiculouser heights. Sure sure sure. Makes total sense. “It’s not murder if it’s justified.” So yes. As long as we accept that statement as fact we can roll right along. Except every ounce of my soul is crying NO! No. No. This is not remotely, remotely in the realm of possibility. Remotely.

How You Like Me Now – most overused song in movies? The Internet says Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You, The Stones’ Gimme Shelter and perennial favourite Stayin Alive are all top contenders as well. Still. I’m annoyed. This sounds more like a commercial than a montage.

Is Charlie Day like, Michael Cera about 10 minutes in the future? Same guy, just with facial hair?

Bob Newhart cameo in the house! Okay, I still do think the bosses were waaayyyyy too over the top (of course, murdering your annoying boss is a maybe a touch over the top as well), but the chemistry and all-round buddyness of our 3 boys is pretty fun. So I’ll be looking forward to that tomorrow night, and crossing my fingers for less Jennifer Aniston. Like, 100% less.