Tag Archives: movies to stay the fuck away from on Netflix

Swiped

You should swipe left HARD on this movie. HARD.

James (Kendall Ryan Sanders) is a nerd at college where he is immediately bullied by his roommate Lance (Noah Centineo) and his mean boy cronies. They force him to code a new hookup app called Jungle that will allow them to sleep with women, no strings attached. Jungle has a whole bunch of stipulations: girls must post photos of themselves in underwear; no names are to be exchanged; no date or activity or expenditure of money is necessary; one night stands only. And for some reason, every single man in the entire world feels entitled to these conditions, and for fear of being alone, all the women go along with it.

This movie is an anti-feminist pukefest. I could barely stand to hate-watch this. The writing is bad, and with the exception of Noah, the delivery is terrible. If you cast this from a sign-up sheet in any high school, you could not do worse that this assemblage of blatant first-timers. But let’s focus on the writing, because it is truly among the worst and the most offensive I’ve ever come across. Imagine in 2019 green-lighting a movie that has an 18 year old virgin mansplaining romance to a roomful of women. Clearly the only reason this movie got made is because it was lucky enough (or early enough) to attach teen heartthrob Noah Centineo in a lead role. Sure he plays a douchebag, but then again, 100% of the males in this film are complete and utter pigs. He just gets the most screen time.

I’m disgusted on behalf of all women of their portrayal in this film as weak, meek, and totally clueless. But I’m also disgusted on behalf of a good 40-60% of men who in fact would not be so shallow, short-sighted and slimy. If this movie is supposed to be satire, and believe me, that’s a big IF, it has completely missed the mark. It doesn’t have any of the insight or intelligence required to pull of satire. Instead it just reads as a reckless endorsement of a dating app gone wrong. It makes the folks at Ashley Madison look like angels. In fact, Ashley Madison, morals aside, is a site that offers people a choice. IF you’re married and you’d still like a side piece, sign up. But Jungle’s mission statement acknowledges that women won’t consent to this under normal conditions, so the goal is to make it so they don’t have a choice. Which is a much higher level of sleaze than anyone really wants to admit.

But the good news is: no one can force you to watch. This movie is a dumpster fire and a black hole of entertainment. Keep swiping. Netflix is the purest embodiment of ‘there are plenty of fish in the sea’ – they’re not all winners, but there are occasional gems, and frankly, it would be nearly impossible to do worse than Swiped.

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Space Jam

It’s fitting that LeBron James is taking the Space Jam reins from Michael Jordan, since last week James passed Jordan in career points scored and the two have always been compared since James was in high school.  Jordan would have scored many more points if only he hadn’t taken two years off in his prime to try his hand at baseball.  Rumour has always held that Jordan went to play baseball in order to avoid a gambling suspension, mainly because it made no sense at all for the notoriously competitive Jordan to have “retired” at age 30 (Jordan would retire twice more before his basketball career was over).

Jordan’s baseball career features prominently in Space Jam’s loose plot, as if he had been playing basketball at the time, the evil aliens from the Moron Mountain amusement park would have taken Jordan’s skills and he never would have been able to help the Looney Tunes gang.  But because Jordan was retired, the aliens had to steal other NBA players’ talent, space-jam-bill-murrayincluding Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues and Shawn Bradley.  Jordan is then recruited by Bugs Bunny to play with a bunch of other cartoon characters, with some help from Bill Murray and no help at all from Wayne Knight, as the cartoons take on the aliens in a basketball game to determine whether the aliens will enslave those loony ‘toons as an amusement park attraction.

This movie was probably never any good but it has been made worse with age.  The animation is dated, the green screen work is horrible, and worst of all, the “stars” involved in this movie, other than the great Charles Barkley, have been forgotten by all but the most attentive New York Knicks fans (who would punch me in the face for saying anything bad about Ewing and who will never forget LJ hitting a clutch four-point play against the Pacers in 1999’s Eastern Conference Finals).  Space Jam also really highlights how much the Looney Tunes feel like variations of one another (cat/duck and man/pig in particular) and pale imitations of their Disney counterparts.

Even with only a 90 minute run-time, a significant part of the movie feels like filler, including an opening scene with a 1- year old Jordan, about 5 minutes of Jordan highlights during the opening credits, and a subplot of sorts that features some really terrible acting by the three kids playing Jordan’s family (like so bad that you figure they have to be Jordan’s real kids, but they’re totally not – I checked).

lebron-vs-mjIf LeBron’s career arc is any indication, the next Space Jam is destined to be technically superior to Jordan’s original but lacking the same emotional core.  That doesn’t bode well for the reboot when there was no substance or emotion to the first Space Jam at all.  Watching it again only makes one wonder why anyone bothered to make it in the first place, as well as why James would want to invite any more comparisons to Jordan’s six for six NBA Finals record against LeBron’s three wins and six losses in his attempts (which I don’t begrudge but I’m in the minority on that point).  On the other hand, since the original Space Jam has nothing to offer, the reboot can’t possibly be worse!

The After Party

Owen (Kyle Harvey) is known as Oh! when he’s rapping, and he’s hoping that as his high school career wraps up, his rap career will take off. For now, he’s working at his dad’s burrito shop. His best friend Jeff (Harrison Holzer) is acting as his “manager”, getting whatever amateur\talent show gigs for his bud that he can. But then something amazing happens: Wiz Khalifa turns up at one of his shows, and brings party favours. Which seems like the best thing ever until Oh! projectile-vomits on Wiz during the show, and collapses into a seizure on stage. It’s 2018 so that shit goes viral, and pretty soon Oh! is still a nobody but “Seizure Boy” becomes a laughing stock, even sparking a (very insensitive) dance craze.

MV5BNDgxMjE5Mzk0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODQxNzYwNjM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1499,1000_AL_Discouraged, Owen decides to join the Marines, and Jeff has one last night, a French Montana concert and its after party, to get Oh! in front of the right executive and secure him the deal that will save him from his broken dreams.

I have a feeling The After Party is supposed to be a fun ride but oh my god I hated it. Possibly because of Jeff, who was often in the driver’s seat. What a terrible human being. Casual narcissism and misogyny aren’t much fun to watch, especially when no one acknowledges his flaws. His $800 jeans are allowed to stand in lieu of personality. But Jeff isn’t my only beef, he’s just the beefiest.

There’s also a cheesy, contrived plot that relies on this friendship when the script makes it awfully hard to believe in. And makes it hard to root for these two knuckleheads. And I often found myself wondering who this movie is for – there are eye-rolling and probably already out-dated references to dubstep and Venmo meant to establish some youth cred, but alongside  cameos from Rakim and DMX, it feels like maybe the film makers aren’t sure which demographic they’re trying to appeal to. Frankly, when we have Donald Glover’s rapper-manager dynamic in Atlanta for comparison, The After Party just doesn’t stack up. It feels forced, superficial, and not particularly grounded in reality. Despite some recognizable rap faces, The After Party is just another annoying, uninspired, raunchy teen comedy in a  hip-hop costume. If this was on a mix tape, you’d have a free pass to fast forward through it every time. Hard skip.

Ibiza

Harper gets sent to Barcelona on business, and I believe that her boss intended for her to do some actual work but instead her give-a-fuck meter is pointing to zero, which should have been evident the minute she invited her two best friends on her very important, very serious business trip.

Things that Harper (Gillian Jacobs) and besties Leah (Phoebe Robinson) and Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) do in Spain instead of work: sun tan, sun burn, rate nipples (Bilbo Baggins, Little Bo Peeps, Honeydews, Rhi-Rhis, and Daniel Craigs – which are you sporting?).

And that’s before they skip town entirely, chasing after a hunky DJ because Harper felt a “connection.” Hence, Ibiza.

This movie is almost entirely drugs, beats, black lights, confetti cannons, and naked sushi. Have you ever risked your career and future to get high and get dick, not necessarily in MV5BNjE3MDk1NTQ3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTMzODI0NTM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1491,1000_AL_that order? Priorities, people! Now imagine, for a moment, being the HR lady back at Harper’s PR firm in New York. Imagine being Harper’s mother. Imagine being Harper’s urethra! Imagine being Harper: putting yourself in a series of really sketchy situations, and then having the privilege to call it “adventurous” and “risk-taking” because you had the good fortune not to get raped. Netflix wanted to dip its misshapen little toe into the raunchy comedy genre, and it did it EXACTLY as you’d expect it to.

To say this film is loosely structured is to loosely blaspheme structure. Twenty five minutes in, I still didn’t have the foggiest what this movie was going to be about. Ibiza puts a lot of faith in Gillian Jacobs’ ability to carry a film, to truly be its star, and as you can tell, I have absolutely no chill for this entitled character and her complete disregard for her colleagues, her clients, her dignity, her vaginal health, and worst of all, for me and my time and my vaginal health. Just kidding, about that last bit. My vagina is the only part about this with any genuine charisma or girl power, so go me, and also, don’t watch this movie.

The Kissing Booth

Oh my god I want to kill myself.

 

The movie made me say that, and actually I said it more than once. Sean thought it was a sufficient review.

Is it though?

I’ll give you just a touch more:

A girl and a guy, both virgins and best friends, have a couple of strict rules to their friendship, the most important one being don’t fall in love with each other’s siblings, so oh my god guys, guess what happens!

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She totally falls in love with his hunky older brother, and a lot of the plot revolves around a kissing booth at their high school carnival, but I’m struggling to tell you why this was important.

Anyway, there was some dialogue so bad it still wasn’t good but I did laugh, in a gaggy, kill me now, can we turn this off kind of way. It feels written by someone who never even went to high school, and who doesn’t care if they damage female self-esteem for an entire generation. The stuff that happens is infuriating and improbable and I’d rather pull out my own toenails and eat them than watch this again.

The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

It’s hard to imagine a movie more out of touch with the greater culture right now. In the era of #neveragain, this movie puts an assault rifle in the hands of a gleeful, stupid 12 year old, and expects it to be funny.

Buck Ferguson (Josh Brolin, 40 lbs heavier, with an inexcusable mustache) is an asshat hunter who makes his living making juvenile hunting videos caught on film by his faithful manservant\camera man, Don (Danny McBride). Now, I don’t care for (white) featured_legacy_whitetail_deer_hunter10hunters any day of the week. Unless you’re preserving a (native) way of life, food can be purchased in a civilized manner at the super market, and anything else is just fulfilling a latent desire for murder. So I already despise Buck and his way of life, but now he’s bring along his son Jaden (Montana Jordan), ostensibly to “reconnect” after divorcing his mother, but actually because he hopes it’ll be ratings gold.

If arming a preteen doesn’t nominate Buck for worst father of the year already, he’s also just checked out and uninterested. His son has plenty of other hobbies, but Buck either ignores them or flat-out forbids them (or tosses them in the river, because he’s an intolerant bastard). The only acceptable form of bonding is hunting, and the only acceptable form of hunting is to stalk a beautiful animal and then watch the life leave its frightened eyes as it bleeds out all over your boots.

I would like to believe this kind of insensitive fatherhood and unfathomable personhood is a dying way of life, but whether or not I’m right, it’s definitely no joke. I’m pretty sure I didn’t crack a smile this whole entire movie because as long as a trigger is twitching near fingers that aren’t even finished growing yet, I could not take my eye off the gun(s). It made me angry. As tens of thousands of kids walked out of class to protest their continued slaughter at the hands of fellow students, armed to the teeth, the world just doesn’t have room for this kind of “entertainment”, or for the kind of people who would be entertained by it. Shame on Netflix for picking this one up.

Unleashed

Did you ever feel so lonely you wished you could legally date your dog?

Did you ever watch an American episode of Shameless and wish there was worse writing, and no pants?

Sean can’t hardly believe that I actually watched this one, but I did. Nor can he believe that I’m about to tell you there’s a worse movie than November Criminals on Netflix right now, yet here I am. Yesterday I skewered a movie based on a book I sort of remember reading. I can’t lawfully, for reasons of libel, tell you the director of November Criminals is illiterate. But what I can suppose is that he’s not much of a reader, so he got an unpaid intern to give him the Coles notes version over avocado toast, and he made a movie based on the parts that he could remember without having taken any notes.

Unleashed, on the other hand, feels like it was pitched by my adorable, precocious 3 year old nephew Jack, who proposed something like “I dunno, maybe it could be about a dog and the dog gets to turn into a human, and then there’s a lady and they kiss and get married and stuff (to which my 4 year old nephew Ben would undoubtedly shout “too many ladies!” – that was his legit criticism of the Smurfs movie). Unleashed in fact has a woman, Emma (Kate Micucci, of that terrible nun movie I complained about a few days ago), who is such a dating disaster she “wishes” her cat and dog to life, and they turn into two “hot” guys. I put “hot” into quotations because they’re played by Justin Chatwin and Steve Howey, a couple of chuckleheads from Shameless, which means they’re the kind of “hot” that you can buy quite cheaply. Chatwin, being “pretty,” is the cat of course, so naturally he takes up modelling and being a bitch. Howie gets to be the big dumb dog. I have absolutely no respect for either of these actors and I still think this stuff is beneath them; their “performances” better suited to kindergarten ice breakers. And while it might be adorable for 3 year old Jack to just magically transform a dog into an eligible bachelor, it doesn’t play as well on screen, where mysterious astrological reasons are alluded to but certainly never addressed, because there’s no Coles notes on the sciences behind that.

A major plot point of Unleashed is how much they miss licking themselves AND YET NEITHER REFRAINS FROM LICKING HIMSELF.

I refuse to dignify this movie with any further discussion. Instead, let’s check out pictures of my real-life dogs and talk about who would play them if they were mysteriously brought to life.

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This is Herbie. He’s the effortless alpha of his crew, reigning with a gruff nonchalance. He’s cool and aloof and everyone’s crazy about him. Of course, he plays hard to get. Hard to impress. But fiercely loyal to his Jay and a secret softie.

 

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Gertie is a cutie. She has a big heart and she’s always taking care of others. She’s nurturing and maternal but can be a fierce disciplinarian when needed. She’s very curious and VERY smart. She can do anything she puts her mind to but her greatest trick of all is manipulating you into doing things for her. She loves attention and isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants.

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This is Fudgie. He may be small but he’s quick and he’s agile and he has an insatiable appetite for catch. He’s 100% lovable and 102% neurotic. His biggest anxiety is that you don’t love him enough, so he’ll lure you in with a cute as heck pose and then steal your heart forever by exposing his belly for you to rub or kissing you up the nose, if you’re lucky!

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Here’s Bronx. Born a runt, he’s visually impaired but that doesn’t stop him from running around like he’s bonkers-bananas. He has sad and soulful eyes but his heart has truly never known a single moment of sadness. He’s pure gladness and love and he’s not afraid to express his feelings with constant displays of affection.

 

Which actors would play these dogs?