Category Archives: Movie Review

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Movie Review – Adrift

Category : Movie Review

Director: Baltasar Kormakur

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin

Year: 2018

Sometimes you really should have seen it coming, and this is one of those times.  I’m not talking about plot twists, I’m talking about quality level, with which Adrift has a major problem.  And again, we should have seen it coming, because the signs were pointing toward ‘problematic’ from the get go.  Both of this film’s stars were made famous by YA dystopian novels, and its director could barely make Everest something other than a snooze fest.  Not good, and not improved by bringing all parties together, tackling a true story (that’s not very interesting), and trying to make audiences believe that Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin look like/are regular, schlubby people.

Tami is a free spirit, has been since she left home when she was a teenager, a kid set on seeing the world outside of San Diego and not being pinned down by her family’s dysfunction.  Richard is a Brit who roams the globe in a sailboat, whose own family story isn’t much prettier, a young man who loves being alone in the middle of the blue.  The pair meet each other in Tahiti, fall in love, and begin to think that two lone wolves might be able to coexist in a very small pack.  When Richard is offered a lucrative job sailing a yacht back to the States, he can’t turn it down, and he can’t leave Tami behind.  But when a storm hits the small ship, the couple will have to battle the waves in order to survive, and will need each other to hold on to any sliver of hope.

The first problem comes in the form of the story, which isn’t all that fascinating.  Survival on the ocean, sure, that’s mildly cool, but this isn’t a famous story for a reason, we’ve never heard of these people or their plight because it’s not very awesome.  I couldn’t go through what they did, I’m not saying that attempting to survive at sea is easy, I’m just saying that, in order to make the tale into a film, there ought to be some other element that compels us to watch.  That may have been intended to be the love story, that was perhaps the hook, but I never really cared that much, and it’s most likely because of the actors.

Neither is that good; I feel like that’s something we ought to be ready to acknowledge.  Woodley has attempted to come out of her Young Adult shell, specifically with an adult role in White Bird in a Blizzard in which she did really well, but it hasn’t exactly worked further yet.  Claflin has tried the same, was OK in Their Finest, but hasn’t yet had his coming out.  This was their chance to shine, to catch our eye, but Woodley especially only caught it for the wrong reasons.  She was affected, that’s the simplest way I can put it, she’s an affected actress who has a hard time giving an honest, unfiltered performance.  It’s almost a gut reaction, audiences can feel when you’re not completely authentic and aren’t melting into your characters; I just don’t think she has the ability to reach the same plane as some of her contemporaries.  So the movie didn’t work, mostly because she didn’t work, and generally because we weren’t given enough reason to care.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Beauty and the Beast (2014)

Category : Movie Review

Director: Christopher Gans

Starring: Lea Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, Eduardo Noriega

Year: 2014

A tale as old as time, as they say, and the story has been redone so often that it has begun to lose its sparkle.  Disney even redid their own retelling, which might have been a step too far, even if I enjoyed the movie as whole, especially Dan Stevens as the Beast.  But I digress, mostly becomes he’s dreamy and Evermore is an awesome ballad.  Anyway, we all know the story, but it’s a French tale to begin with, so why not let some talented Frenchmen (and women) give it a go.  It may not be musical, but it is magical, and you’ll be surprised by the originality of what on the surface looks like just another fantasy film.  This version is fanciful, but it is also enjoyable, so don’t write it off too quickly.

A lovely girl named Belle lives with her wealthy family, her father being a merchant of great repute.  But when his ships sink, the family is left with nothing, paupers when a day before they were princes.  They move to the country to a place they can afford, the father, the three brothers, and the three sisters.  Belle is beautiful in both appearance and in temperament, never complaining that life has changed so much.  When her father goes to buy trivialities for his other daughters, Belle asks only for a single rose, a present he is glad to bring back.  But when he takes it from an enchanted castle, the price is his life, or Belle’s, when she decides to take his place.  The Beast who lives there has a secret that holds him back from love, instead wallowing in self pity as the years pass by.  Belle’s compassion brings out his best, and the story of his past, until she begins to fall in love with this creature who was once both more and less.

This version is slightly different from what we know from Disney, bringing in some of the original tale; the merchant, the ships, the six children.  But then it goes out on its own branch, with a story about the Beast’s lost love that has haunted him until the day he meets and then falls for Belle.  There’s a Gaston-like character, but a different plot there, so expect some variety, but also enough to recognize.  The whole film is done in a fantastic style, with vivid colors and over-the-top extravagances, but in a way that is really fun to watch.  Lea Seydoux is an odd choice for Belle because she has such a strong presence, but it somehow works, as does Vincent Cassel as the Beast, which shouldn’t be a surprise at all since he’s insanely talented. Enjoy the visuals and the opulence, as well as the dream sequences where we learn the Beast’s backstory, those are very enticing portions of the tale.  Basically, have fun with something a little different and you might surprise yourself.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – No Country for Old Men

Category : Movie Review

Director: The Coen Brothers

Starring: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

Year: 2007

It took me ten years to really appreciate No Country for Old Men; that’s a shockingly long time for a Coen Bros. movie.  They are living legends, their films are masterpieces, they create some of the most original content and adaptations in Hollywood; when one of their movies is released it should be a spontaneous national holiday.  But even magicians can miscast a spell sometimes, and the Coens are no exception.  There have been a few clunkers along the way, and when I first saw No Country, I thought I had just experienced one.  It was like Fargo but without the kooky, killer humor, a depressing march toward death without the relief of comedy.  But now that I’ve watched it again, I can appreciate the mood that’s developed in layers from the very beginning, from the first lines to the last scene, and I didn’t mind not laughing.

Murder in the Texas back country; a dismal affair without a clear winner.  Local hunter Llewelyn Moss stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong, with dead bodies strewn about and bloody trails leading off into the distant.  Moss follows along and discovers 2 million dollars left in a satchel, the result of no one being alive to claim the money.  He takes it, hides it, and prepares, because he knows that powerful people will be around to look for the cash before too long.  But he doesn’t count on the ruthless talent of Anton Chigurh, an assassin who is completely out of his mind.  Moss runs, Chigurh follows, and a sheriff named Bell tries to figure out what the hell is going on, before everyone winds up stiff & cold.

I do still prefer quirky Coen, funny Coen, weirdly original Coen.  This take on a Cormac McCarthy novel is darker than usual, or at least it doesn’t have the breaks for breaths that are typical of the Coen Bros.  That’s what threw me at first, when I saw it as it came out, that it was so stark and sad without any relief.  But this time around, I think I began to understand what was happening.  It’s like audiences are in a grave, and each scene is a shovelful of dirt that slowly covers us over time, the pressure building until we want to scream.  I appreciated that sense of dread this time around, that despair when there’s nothing you can do to stop something dreadful from happening.  The directing was great, obviously, and the cast was something special: Brolin, Bardem, Jones, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Barry Corbin, Stephen Root, and even Caleb Landry Jones in a tiny role at the end, but where you can definitely see a kid and you go “hey I know him!”  I’m glad I sat down to experience No Country again, because it’s a complicated, nuanced, slow-building film that deserves the time and effort it takes to like it.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Dances with Wolves

Category : Movie Review

Director: Kevin Costner

Starring: Kevin Costner, Graham Greene, Mary McDonnell

Year: 1990

Kevin Costner has directed three films in his career; Dances with Wolves, The Postman, and Open Range.  I’ve never seen Open Range, but The Postman is one of my cult closet favorites, and Dances with Wolves was one hell of a directorial debut.  It was nominated for twelve Oscars, twelve!, winning seven and cementing Costner’s place as a Hollywood star.  Now, he’s not even a good actor, I think we can all agree on that, but there’s something about the guy, some reason that we want to watch him, and no amount of talent (or lack thereof) is going to stop us from loving him.

In the final days of the Civil War, Lieutenant John Dunbar is shot in the leg, and rather than have it amputated, he risks his life for one more ride past the enemy, not caring whether he lives or dies.  Well, he lives, and his act of heroism earns him a post at any fort in the nation.  He chooses one of the westernmost he can find, a station on the edge of the frontier, just so he can see a wild land before it is tamed by all the settlers traveling steadily toward the sinking sun.  In this harsh but beautiful land, Dunbar finds friends where he never thought he would find them, love where he least expected it, and a part of himself that he never imagined was there, all brought into the light by the native people of the plains and the magical serenity of the open prairie.

I don’t even know why this movie is good, it just is.  Not very professional, I know, but that’s the way it is with Costner some times, take Field of Dreams for example; it’s iconic and so enjoyable, even though its star really sucks.  Costner is a bad actor and a worse director, but he captures the spirit of the American West accidentally well here, allowing audiences to experience a taste of history and of what would become a cinema icon.  This history might not even be that accurate, how would I know, but it feels real, and it feels heartfelt, and it works on some level that can’t even be explained.  The music, the landscape, the characters, the happiness that Dunbar finds; it’ll get to you if you let it, it’ll melt your heart and shock you into clapping, even if you’re not sure why.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Deadpool 2

Category : Movie Review

Director: David Leitch

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Julian Dennison, Josh Brolin

Year: 2018

Deadpool was a big deal, in that it knocked some barriers down with a few, well-placed f-bombs and opened up a genre we didn’t even know we could have.  Amidst the Marvel uprising (of which I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical, never really being a comic book fan until these movies became better and better and eventually coerced us into fandom), Deadpool was a rogue warrior, kind of tying in with some others, pushing the comedy to a sinister place, owning its R rating, breaking the fourth wall, completely shocking the senses in very good way.  GOTG had been funny, Logan would go dark, but Deadpool was an original through and through, and it more than deserved a sequel.  So here we are with the second installment, and while it’s not in improvement on the first, it’s still an action-packed middle finger to the industry, while still somehow working as an early-summer blockbuster.

Spoiler Alert if you haven’t seen the beginning of this franchise; Wade and Vanessa are together, they are happy, Deadpool is successfully killing bad guys left and right, and all is well.  Until one killer who got away comes back for revenge, and destroys Wade’s whole world.  Depressed and in pieces (literally), DP is saved by Colossus and persuaded to join the X-Men.  His first mission; pacify a mutant teenager named Firefist who wants the entire world to burn; and here’s where it gets complicated.  Deadpool can’t stop thinking about Vanessa, Firefist is out of control, the X-Men want one thing, the newly-formed X-Force wants another, and then this angry guy named Cable shows up from the future for revenge, claiming that he’s got to kill the kid to stop him from turning into an evil psycho.  Just another day in the life of the Merc with the Mouth.

I really enjoyed the first film, and it’s not really hard to explain why.  It was funny, it went too far, it pushed buttons, it didn’t care, it shed the juvenile, and it still delivered X-Men action from a badass character in a way that audiences didn’t know they were dying to see.  That’s just it; we’ve been waiting for an R rated comic book comedy, we just didn’t know it, but somehow Deadpool did.  The second follows in the footsteps of its predecessor fairly well, with some slo-mo action, a ton of asides, barrels of blood, wisecracks, asscracks, ass jokes; I could go on.  But if you’ve seen the original, you know what to expect from the sequel, and I can’t imagine any fan coming out of the theatre disappointed.

I wish I could end the critique there, but not everything was picture perfect.  It might have been impossible to top the first, especially because it was so entertainingly shocking, but the second just can’t quite compare, and although that’s not its fault, it’s still something that it has to accept.  Wade was cool, Dopinder cracks me up, Cable was awesome, and the surprising guest star near the end was a ton of fun.  But I didn’t really like the X-Force, that was silly, Domino was only OK, and a quick word about Julian Dennison as Firefist, because something particular really bothered me.  I’ve seen Hunt for the Wilderpeople, I loved it, but I don’t understand why they recycled some of the exact jokes from that movie into this one.  Ricky Baker has an obsession with Tupac, we know that if we watched Taika Waititi’s flick, but if the references in this film were meant as homage, they sure felt lifted instead.  Just a small thing maybe, but it made Firefist seem like a leftover character to me, not something fresh.  The entire feature comes across as a little stale, a little done, because it has been, and that’s just something audiences have to deal with.  It shouldn’t stop them from having a good time though, not at all, because there’s a lot here to enjoy, and when we get Deadpool 3 and X-Force, we’ll be sure to dig those too.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Solo: A Star Wars Story

Category : Movie Review

Director: Ron Howard

Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson

Year: 2018

The Star Wars revamp was such an extreme success that the universe was deemed ready to support off-shoot films.  The Force Awakens worked, Rogue One was solid, The Last Jedi caused more than its fair share of stir, and the newest project was aimed at Han Solo, his origin story and another peak into a galaxy far, far away.  Audiences will never get quite enough of this franchise, we will always be willing to hear the roar of the Falcon, the scream of a TIE fighter, any variation on the theme music.  We will always be up for more information about the characters that make up this world, regardless of the director of the movie, regardless of whether or not we really needed the details.  Solo gives us what we want, which is simply more, and we are willing to ask very few questions regarding the project’s actual value.

This is the story of the young Han, his youthful escapades and the adventure that set him on a fateful path to meet Luke Skywalker.  Han was an orphan on the planet that built Star Destroyers for the Empire, and that also housed some of the most ruthless crime syndicates in the galaxy.  During the time between the fall of the Jedi and the complete rise of the Empire, crime lords controlled the systems, and you either worked for them or kept out of their way.  Han escaped the planet, leaving a love behind, vowing to return once he became a pilot in the Empire’s army.  He did eventually, but soon ran afoul with the wrong people, which almost cost him his life.  Now, partnering up with the same crew that almost sentenced him to death, Han will help them on an important job, with the knowledge that one big score might be enough to buy his own ship, his way back home, and the freedom of the girl he left long ago.

I saw it said that we have unfathomably witnessed a Star Wars film that we could forget about the next day, that was fun but not near canon, that added nothing to the universe, that you could either take or leave.  That’s a serious insult, even if it was partnered with some slight praise; that a film from this franchise could be seen or not, that it wouldn’t matter to pop culture or to future references or to the rest of the stories.  This is maybe the greatest series of films ever made, they’ve impacted the human timeline in a way that no entertainment ever has before; to think that a new edition could be a bump that you barely notice is shocking.  I only partially agree with this take, because I enjoyed Solo quite a lot, but I also see exactly where this voice is coming from.  The worst that can be said about this film is that it is unnecessary, because it is in no way an awful movie.  But are we so needy for more from this world that we’ve given up caring whether the quality of the new meet the magic of the originals?

Solo is complicated, not only because we probably don’t need it but we still kinda want it, but also because it’s a rather botched attempt to make something special, and somehow the result is still something good.  It’s Star Wars, audiences get pieces of what we’ve experienced before, but it also aims at other genres, like Rogue One did, becoming a Western/heist/action/adventure/sci-fi/space opera/dromedy that can’t make up its mind but also seems not to care.  There was a lot of drama in production, that could have caused the chaos, so we’ll forgive it for being a little frenetic.  And it does enough right to make up for what it gets wrong, I think that’s ultimately why I had a fun time and came away ready to give it a solid rating.  Ehrenreich is a star, Chewie stole the show, it’s always great to see the Falcon, we are set on a path towards the movies we grew up with, double crosses abound, blasters are blasted; if you’re prepared to be a fan you will walk away happy.  That’s how I sat down; prepared to enjoy myself despite whatever mess led up to the final product, regardless of the fact that, although we always ask for more, we didn’t necessarily mean/need this.  I didn’t dig Lando or L3, that bridge was weak, and it seemed like those characters were written in at the last minute without any fore-thought or after-editing.  I can’t say how super fanatics will react, you never can quite tell, but Solo is very much like riding a new roller coaster; you didn’t really need a new package, it isn’t actually better than the ones you’ve ridden before, but the feeling you get when you’re flying sideways doing 80 is one that you never can say no to.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Wailing

Category : Movie Review

Director: Hong-jin Na

Starring: Do-won Kwak, Jung-min Hwang, Hwan-hee Kim

Year: 2016

My critics’ group nominated The Wailing for Best Foreign Language Film of 2016, with audiences here and in South Korea raving about the quirky, twisted, darkly-entertaining mystery, critics and aggregates agreeing that it was a modern masterpiece.  It came out of nowhere, with Na, the director, taking a 6-year break between movies, having only helmed three ever, including this surprise hit.  All signs pointed toward an experience I should be upset that I missed, so I made sure to keep The Wailing on my list, to not let it slip by.  But although I’m glad I watched, I can’t join the throng in singing this film’s praises.  It’s basically a very confusing and very long zombie movie where demon’s do the infecting instead of killer viruses.  I’m all for that strange concoction, but the movie still left me feeling flat, unsure how I should react to something so bizarre.

In the small village of Goksung, South Korea, a series is gruesome deaths shock the community.  The victims are hacked to pieces, the murderers seemingly insane, but the epidemic only continues, with no real root surfacing to explain away the tragedy.  Police officer Jong-goo attempts to follow the trail, as patchy as it is, but this only results in his own daughter contracting the illness; a rash, increased hostility, and soon, violent tendencies.  The signs seem to point to a Japanese man who has recently come to the village, and who is rumored to be in the forest eating the animals, praying to some unknown force.  But when Jong-goo confronts this man, things only get worse, so bad that he hires a shaman to cast out the evil spirits from his daughter and stop the Japanese Man’s wicked ways.

It makes very little sense, even after the climax, even after reading a film summary.  I get what happened, at least the events of what happened, but I still don’t know why, or what, or which now?  The story is all over the place, with evil spirits and mistresses and policemen and priests and daughters and mothers-in-law; if you blink you might miss who is going into the woods to hunt down demons next.  And then there are the genres, so many genres, that this movie touches.  It’s a melodrama, a zombie movie, a horror flick, a comedy at times, a very unique South Korean point of view that’s refreshingly different than Hollywood, that’s for sure, but always an odd assortment of styles that didn’t keep me on my toes as much as it put me off balance.  I would have liked the film more had it been more grounded, more centered, or perhaps if I had been prepared by a friend before sitting down, like “man this is screwed up, just ride it.”  That might have made everything better, so if that warning helps you, then you’re welcome.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The King’s Speech

Category : Movie Review

Director: Tom Hooper

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter

Year: 2010

The King’s Speech is a film monument, nominated for twelve Oscars, winning Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.  It was released on Christmas Day of 2010 with the purpose of being an Academy Award winner, of becoming a movie that portrayed history while making its own.  That plan doesn’t always work, audiences don’t always react the way studios imagine they will, but we couldn’t help love this story and its cast of tremendous actors, a perfect combination that doesn’t come ’round as often as we’d like.  This was director Tom Hooper’s first major picture, and I’d say it was an uncommon success, a spectacular cinematic achievement that deserved its honors then and, fortunately, still holds up now.

King Edward V of England is nearing the end of his life, and he leaves behind two sons; David the Elder and Albert the Stammerer.  Albie has always been known for his stutter, his inability to speak at all on occasion, and this defect has always been seen as a weakest of character, of a sign that he simply isn’t a man who could someday be King.  But King he will be, when he father dies and his brother abdicates the throne, choosing to marry a divorcee, which is strictly forbidden under the Church of England.  So Albert becomes King George VI and Britain enters a war with Germany; now is the time for a monarch to calm and lead his people.  But Albie can’t even speak to them, so he begins to work on his stammer with the help of Lionel Logue, an Australian who specializes in helping those who have lost their voice.  With Lionel’s aid, Albert begins to find the roots of this problem, as well as the courage within himself to become a King.

A multitude of stellar pieces came together to form this terrific film, and that’s what set it above its contemporaries, what afforded it all those awards.  For my money I’d have picked Black Swan or even The Fighter, but The King’s Speech is inarguably deserving, and it’s not hard to see why.  The music is incredible, the costumes are rich, the sets are stupendous, the cinematography is perfect, the flow of the film could not have been better, and the cast is one of the strongest British companies you will see on screen: Firth, Rush, Carter, Derek Jacobi, Jennifer Ehle, David Bamber from Rome, Michael Gambon, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall.  Pretty impressive, as is the ability to seize this massive moment in history and stage it in such a personal way, to show us a man overcoming his demons while the world prepares to do the same.  This film is already an icon, a feat of arts, and will live on as long as the life-changing events it portrays.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Novitiate

Category : Movie Review

Director: Maggie Betts

Starring: Margaret Qualley, Melissa Leo

Year: 2017

First-time feature director Maggie Betts throws a Hail Mary with her small-scale film Novitiate, but the pass is caught, the prayer is answered, the cliché is complete, because the movie is a no-joke success, a stunning accomplishment that reveals and questions in steady measure, that captures our attention with a simple story that longs to be told.  This isn’t real life for the vast majority of us, but Betts dives into a transformative period for a specific group of people, paints a picture of their lives, and dares us not to judge.  Novitiate is almost an exposé or a documentary, the action seems so real and so realistically unfathomable, a mix of hatred and love that we can all respond to, even if the setting is as strange and uncomfortable as an alien planet.

Cathleen wasn’t raised in the church, but her single mother took her to mass on occasion and even enrolled her in Catholic school, mostly as a way to give her daughter a quality education and to keep her away from the troubled life that no mother wants to pass on to her daughter.  But Cathleen took to the church in a way that her mother never expected, even feeling a calling from God to join a monastery to begin her training to become a nun.  First was the postulant period, then the novitiate, a time for girls to seek the word of God before taking their final vows and promising to never leave the abbey again.  At the same time as Cathleen’s confusing adolescence, the Catholic Church seeks to become more moderate by changing some of their stances, practices, and beliefs.  Many nuns feel abandoned by these new rules, and Cathleen doesn’t understand her place in all this, not hearing God as clearly as she once believed she could.

There are a couple independent segments to discuss when critiquing this film.  One is the nunnery, their history, their silences, their methods, their madness.  At least, that’s the way I look at it; complete and utter madness.  How a person could want this life, could treat others this way, could believe that this is what God is asking them to do, is unfathomable.  Religion is fucked up; that’s the simplest way to put it.  And this film shows that to us in unblinking fashion.  Next is the acting, which is hit and miss, hot and cold, at times wholly supporting the story and at times letting it down completely.  Leo was phenomenal, Qualley was OK, but the rest of the girls and her mother were pretty terrible.  Quinn from Glee made an appearance, and that was weird, but she actually held her own, even if I had a hard time believing her as a Sister.  So the acting was a mixed bag, but I was fascinated by the film itself, and the directing was on point, so the positives strongly outweigh the negatives.  A touch of sexuality, a look at abuse in varying forms, a bold slap in the face to the Church; Novitiate has a lot to offer, especially for an indie film, and it deserves our attention.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Keeping Up with the Joneses

Category : Movie Review

Director: Greg Mottola

Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot

Year: 2016

The director of Superbad is a cool dude in my book, so I’m more than willing to watch a much more tame, suburban, cookie-cutter comedy if Mottola chooses to helm it, in the hopes that it’ll accidentally be awesome.  Keeping Up with the Joneses will probably never be called that, but for my hour and forty-five minutes, I’m willing to call it solid.  It’s an unoriginal comedy about regular people interacting with hot people and hilarity ensuing; we’ve seen it before and we’ll see it again.  So while nothing in this movie will stick with you the next day, the content it funny enough to carry audiences through for a short while, and sometimes that’s all we need.

Jeff & Karen Gaffney live a quiet, predictable, safe life in the suburbs with their kids, on a cul-de-sac where everyone is friendly and nothing bad (or even exciting) ever happens.  Jeff works for a big company in HR, Karen is an interior designer, they may be a little boring, but they’re also pretty happy.  But things are riled up a bit when a new couple move in next door; the Joneses.  Tim & Natalie are attractive, interesting, attractive, spontaneous, attractive, worldly; they have it all.  Tim warms up to Jeff really fast, and he’s curiously curious about his job, who he talks to, and what they say.  Turns out, the Joneses are actually spies, and, get this, Jones isn’t actually their last name.

Watched expecting nothing more than a simple good time, Keeping Up with the Joneses delivers a few laughs and some mild entertainment.  While that doesn’t sound like (and isn’t) much, it’s something that too many other comedies fail to deliver, so let’s be thankful for what we get.  Galifianakis cracks me up, Fisher is funny, Hamm is a good actor, and Gadot is fine, though it’s obvious having watched Wonder Woman that she can do so much better, that she was only cast for her looks.  Speaking of, this movie is surprisingly sexy if you like looking at Fisher and/or Gadot in minimal clothing, so keep that in mind.  The story is silly, the end is predictable, but you weren’t anticipating anything more anyway, so sit back and enjoy just because; you could do worse.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆