Tag Archives: Justin Long

A Case of You

What had happened was:

  • Sean and I agreed it was finally time to watch Hereditary. Which we’ve been saying for a month. Which we’ve been avoiding since it screened last March at SXSW, and having already reached my terror quota with opening night’s A Quiet Place, I just couldn’t bear, even though my beloved Toni Collette would be in attendance. But as soon as we had the mouse hovering over Hereditary to select it, I lost my nerve and ran away to heat up soup, challenging Sean to find a suitable replacement. Or any replacement
  • Sean and I flipped through the entirety of Netflix, knew intuitively that we’d already watched anything worth watching, so chose Counterfeiting in Suburbia. “Based on a true story” about teenage girls literally just printing and then passing off dollar bills to fund their wildest shopping dreams. It felt like a movie your friend put together for some hokey class in high school, and will maybe receive a C- for, if the teacher is feeling generous. The script is basically just the worst thing ever, but since it’s delivered by wooden puppets, it doesn’t even get the benefit of human warmth. Just kidding. I think those were actual girls. We turned it off after a brutal 12 minutes.
  • So we went over to Amazon Prime, where we found the remnants of Justin Long’s career. Someone still believes in this guy? Weird. Anyway, he plays a fledgling writer named Sam who goes to his local coffee haunt to not write the next great novel. And he obsesses over the barista, Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood). When she gets fired, he decides that he can’t just ask her out like a normal person, he has to turn mv5bztmyzdbjmjktmtk5nc00nmexlwe5mdetnjezzde0ngixmwu4l2ltywdll2ltywdlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymzg3mja0njm@._v1_into her perfect man first, and he does this by stalking her on Facebook and getting into, or claiming to get into, every single thing she ever mentioned. It’s gross. And not just because it’s Justin Long, though that doesn’t help. Anyway, the most random cast of characters enables this travesty: an emo Peter Dinklage, an inexcusably Sam Rockwell, a puzzling Sienna Miller, and Vince Vaughn very much as you’d expect. Anyway, it’s hard to buy into the rom-com aspect when to romance is actually criminal harassment and the comedy makes itself scarce.
  • In conclusion, do not believe that our watching A Case Of You to completion is an endorsement of it over Counterfeiting in Suburbia. It’s not. It’s just that Sean was giving me a back rub and we couldn’t find the remote.
Advertisements

Yoga Hosers

If you thought the nepotism in Donald Trump’s White House was bad, you haven’t seen Yoga Hosers. Kevin Smith’s daughter met Johnny Depp’s daughter in Hollywood Schoolhouse kindergarten, and now we’re all paying for it.

They play “the Colleens” in Yoga Hosers, two Winnipeg high school sophomores obsessed with Instagram and yoga. After school they work at the “Eh to Zed”, a convenience store they often close to hold band practice with their 35 year old drummer Ichabod (Adam Brody), hanging a sign on the door telling customers “Urinary tract infection – back in 10.”

yoga-hosers-johnny-deppThe two Colleens, reprising roles from Tusk, the first film in Smith’s True North trilogy, played by Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp (their real names, honest to god, as only celebrity parents could name them), are pursued by a couple of cool high school seniors…who turn out to be serial-killing satanists. So we don’t feel too bad when little killer wieners go up their bums and kill them first.

Okay, yes, that sentence was confusing. Everything about this review is confusing FAQQSFbbecause the movie makes NO sense. I’m doing my best. So the wieners are called Bratzis because they’re foot-tall Nazis dressed as Mounties (Canada’s Royal Mounted (on horses) Police) made from bratwurst stuffed with sauerkraut. They’re tiny little people-sausages, motion captured by Smith himself because everyone else had the good sense to refuse. It’s the reason we all saw Kevin Smith’s naked face for the first time in…ever?

Anyway. Both of Lily-Rose’s parents appear in the film. Both of Harley Quinn’s parents appear in the film. Some of their siblings as well. Plus some Kevin Smith mainstays like Jason Mewes and Justin Long who literally have nothing better to do. The film is improved by none of these things.

Apparently some Hitler-sympathizer cryo-froze himself 70 years ago and has been asleep underneath the Eh To Zed all this time until accidentally awoken by the Colleens, and now the little Bratzis are on the loose and killing everyone, even though they’re supposed to be targeting only art critics, who hurt this guy’s feelings over half a decade ago. Or something like that.

Yoga Hosers, as you may have guessed, is terrible. I mean: it’s bad even for Kevin Smith, post-2000. He may be trying to revive some Clerks nostalgia, but he’s failing. This is pretty much unwatchable. And, because I must: as a Canadian, this is just annoying. Not a single Canadian I have ever met across this vast country of ours talks like that. The only people I have ever heard say “aboot” are Americans pretending to be Canadian. I can’t even imagine where that stereotype comes from but it’s time to retire it. And while Lily-Rose Depp and her mother Vanessa Paradis speak flawless French, it’s the wrong freaking French! It would be like an Australian passing for a southern American: they’re both technically speaking English but holy mother of god it’s not the same. If this movie had been mocking, say, Japan, the same way it mocks Canada, there would have been an uproar: laughing at our accents, our culture, our history. And “white-washing” us to boot – not a single actual Canadian among the cast. Don’t try to tell me Martin Short wasn’t available! In fact, it’s possible that the lack of uproar was only due to no one seeing this movie. Kevin Smith shot it entirely in California, so it’s possible Canada hasn’t even heard of this monstrosity, and if you have any feeling for Canadians at all, you’ll keep this dirty secret.

Don’t see this. Not even out of morbid curiosity. It’s not so bad it’s good, it’s just SO BAD.

Frank And Lola

Frank and Lola are a newish, happy couple. He’s older, takes care of her. They’re lovey-dovey, meeting parents and wondering about saying I love you. Until.

Until something prompts Lola (Imogen Poots) to confess that she was raped by her mother’s ex-boyfriend not long before meeting him. Frank (Michael Shannon) is already feeling jealous, and now he’s got this black stain to focus on. If only he could have protected her – would things be different between them? Better?

frank-and-lola-michael-shannon-02Then Lola’s new boss (Justin Long) drops an opportunity in his lap: an interview in Paris, which is conveniently where rapey ex-boyfriend (Michael Nyquist) lives. Two birds, one stone? The movie is billed as a “psychosexual noir love story” but all you had to tell me is “Michael Shannon.” That man makes some damn interesting choices and I’ll always go along for the ride.

The film has obvious themes of love, obsession, sex, betrayal, revenge: all the ingredients for a psychosexual noir love story, I suppose. Tonally, it’s very dark. Shannon is so gravelly, so good at pained expressions, allows us to wear Frank’s obsession like a second skin so that it feels dirty and urgently real. He brings intensity and suspense to a movie that is otherwise only second-rate. Writer-director Matthew M. Ross has something to say about the male psyche, but perhaps lacks the maturity to give Frank the inner life that would truly express it. He does, however, have an eye for the seediness of life, and the depravity of people. But with each twist in the plot, the emotional investment is diluted.

Setting the film in both Paris and Vegas gives an authentic flavour to the proceedings. Vegas lends itself to broken characters and a certain loneliness amid busy-ness. Watching Frank And Lola is an exercise in lie-detecting: do you think you’ll pass?

 

Ghost Team

A man obsessed with the paranormal (Napolean Dynamite himself, Jon Heder) decides to put together a “crack” team, including Justin Long, Amy Sedaris, and David Krumholtz, to do a little ghost-hunting himself.

27-ghost-team_w1200_h630The team are meant to be losers and comically so, but that doesn’t explain away the incredibly bad acting, particularly by Justin Long who was never great to begin with but now has fallen down into the boggy ditch-water of has-been celebrities.

You may remember Justin Long’s brief time in the sun: 2006-2009. He’s Just Not That Into You was probably the pinnacle of, and the virtual end of, his career. The world just wasn’t that into him anymore. He’s continued to work, sporadically, nearly invisibly, in pity projects that his old friends throw him, like scraps to a dog. And god knows he does have those puppy dog eyes. But even among the B-listers in this movie, he’s a stand-out bathed in a spotlight of inferiority.

Anyway, the one interesting thing about this movie is that it fails on so many levels: it fails to be a juicy ghost story, it fails to be a decent horror, and it definitely fails to be remotely funny. It’s ostensibly trying to make fun of those paranormal “reality” shows but doesn’t have a goddamn thing to say about it, really. The jokes are paper thin. There’s a third act twist that’s almost good fun but they misuse it by throwing it in beyond the point of our caring. Most people will have turned Ghost Team off well before they ever see it. And truly, it’s not worth hanging in for. Nothing is. This straight-to-video waste of time is better left unwatched.