“You have to remember something about the will of the people… It wasn’t that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena”
“You have to remember something about the will of the people… It wasn’t that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena”
I am writing the first draft of this review in the cafeteria of my new school, MacEwan University, in between my Human Interaction class and my Introductory Japanese class. I have no idea how my unscholarly self got into one of my better universities in Western Canada, but at this point, I’m just enjoying the experience until they (Whoever they may be) inevitably figure out that I’m a hack and kick my dumb ass out.
Speaking of hacks…
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, hours and hours of both horrifying and hilarious entertainment)
Produced by: Marc Bienstock, Jason Blum, M. Night Shyamalan
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Genre: Comedy, horror
Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn
Music by: Paul Cantelon
Plot: 15-year old Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her brother, 13-year old Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) are sent off to some hick town in Pennsylvania by their mom (Kathryn Hahn), a single mother who’s taking this time taking this time to go on a well-deserved vacation. Becca is a wannabe documentary filmmaker, thus giving an excuse for this movie to fall into the tired “found footage” genre (Although now that I think of it, how many 15-year olds do you know that give a shit about documentaries?), and Tyler is a rapper who is not shy at all about sharing his…Um…. “Talents”
While in rural Pennsylvania, the kids visit their grandparents (Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie) who, at first, seem like regular, kind old folks. However, when the sun goes down, a different side of them emerges… And it’s discovered that Nana and Pop-Pop are completely bananas, even for most people.
I’ll be here all day, folks…
The rise and fall of M. Night Shyamalan has been so well-documented that I probably don’t need to mention it. I will though, because I’m a sadist.
After skyrocketing out of obscurity with the classic thriller The Sixth Sense and following hat up with the great deconstruction of superheroes that is Unbreakable, and fooling everybody into liking the critical and commercial successful crap-fest that is Signs, Shyamalan found himself on shaky ground with the massive cock-tease that is The Village before vomiting out absolute dogshit like Lady in the Water and The Happening. Lessening his tiresome shtick of twists that got less intelligent with each movie, M.Night tried his hand at two mainstream blockbusters: The Last Airbender (Based on one of my favourite TV shows of all time) and the Jaden/Will Smith nepotistic fever dream known as After Earth. Both of them failed miserably critically and commercially, with the former frequently featured on lists of the worst movies of all time. Shyamalan’s propensity for boring, exposition-ridden dialogue, wide-angle shots, pointless, insipid twists, and tendency to to somehow suck the talent and charisma out of supremely talented actors like Mark Wahlberg and Will Smith made him the butt of many jokes told by critics and internet commenters the world over. It didn’t help that Shyami has (Or had) quite the ego, inserting himself into Lady in the Water as a monumentally important writer, and writing a character for the very same movie that is little more than a caricature of a snarky, miserable critic who gets devoured by wolves.
I admit to getting in on the act of hating relentlessly on M.Night for quite a while. For further proof of his, see my angry, incoherent review of After Earth from two-ish years ago (Actually, please don’t). But, now that I’ve blossomed from a misanthropic, untalented and childlike 17-year old into a misanthropic, untalented and childlike 18 3/4-year old, I’ve gained a new perspective on this supremely important issue. While I still think that pretty much every movie that he’s done after Unbreakable is pretty much irredeemable shit, I appreciate that he comes across as someone who really loves his craft and wants to entertain. And with The Visit, Shyamalan seems to be returning to his roots, making a small-budget, semi-satire of horror movies set back in his home state of Pennsylvania.
And it’s not a classic, or anything, but hey, even a merely good movie is a monumental improvement over Airbender and After Earth, so rejoice remaining Shyamalan fans! Your king has taken baby steps towards reclaiming the glory and respectability he enjoyed at the turn of the century!
I found that it greatly increased my enjoyment of the movie when I didn’t think of it so much as a horror movie, but as kind of a dark comedy. Odd that Shyamalan would delve into comedy when his attempts at comic relief in his recent movies are the only parts that DIDN’T leave me laughing hysterically, but there you go.
From what I’ve heard, Shyamalan directed two cuts of The Visit. One of the two is pure horror (Yuck) and the other is pure comedy. Apparently, the finished product is a blend of those two cuts, and in the comedic aspect, it works very well. Not only is the humour very well-written (!!!), Shyamalan also willingly parodies himself, showing that he’s maybe realized some of his mistakes from his past projects…
… And his self-critique proves surprisingly effective. The problem with that is that the strength of the comedy actually exposes the weakness of the horror.
Granted, I really fucking hate 99.99% of all horror movies, so maybe I’m not the one whose opinion you should be seeking out out on this aspect of the movie, but for all the elements of shitty mainstream horror movies that The Visit does a good job of poking fun at, there are plenty of cliched horror elements that do sneak in that kind of take me out of it. There are plenty of stupid jumpscares to go around, to my chagrin and, to be honest, the horror element was extremely tedious compared to the story progression and the humour. I felt like I had to suffer through the horror (And to be fair, there was a fair bit of good humour injected into the horror) until I could get to the humour.
The combination of black comedy works well enough… Until the climax, when things kind of fall apart, tone-wise. At that point, the horror and comedy go to such opposite extremes that it really is extremely jarring.
And while the writing is good, one must always remember that this is still a post-Unbreakable M.Night Shyamalan script, and while it’s not as off-putting as, say, the script for The Last Airbender, of which I have been known to buy multiple copies of to burn in a bonfire while laughing maniacally and mainling pure ethanol, this one, while solid and frequently clever, does suffer from some noticeable plot holes. Nothing that serious, but definitely a detriment.
That said, there are some legitimately touching moments to be found, and the characters are well-written enough that they don’t need massive amounts of exposition. Not only that, but Shyamalan, who hasn’t exactly built up a reputation for being an actor’s director…
… Gets some pretty great performances out of his actors this time around. The older folks are terrific and suitably creepy, but the chi;d actors are really good. Like, Haley Joel Osment good. Granted, this and The Sixth Sense are very different movies, but… Well, you get the idea.
Olivia DeJonge is awesome as a character who I suspect is supposed to be sort of a parody of Shyamalan, but even better is Ed Oxenbould as the younger brother. I know that I lost most of you when I said that his character is a rapper, an believe me, I get it. It is fairly annoying and cringe-worthy at first, but I figure it’s kind of supposed to be that way. Nobody puts a 13-year old rapper in their movie and expects you to take them seriously. That’d be like the inverse of putting a Holocaust scene in a movie and screaming “LAUGH DAMMIT! WHY WON’T YOU LAUGH!!!” when they won’t stop sobbing.
Overall: The consensus seems to be that this is Shyamalan’s best movie since Signs or The Village. These people are under the mistaken impression that Signs and The Village are actually good. While not a great movie, The Visit is Shyamalan’s best movie since Unbreakable and is an extremely welcome return to form for the much-maligned director, One can only hope that he keeps his second shot at respectability going.
“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”
– Mel Brooks
“What do tigers dream of when they take their little tiger snooze? Do they dream of mauling zebras, or Halle Berry in her Catwoman suit? Don’t you worry your pretty striped head, we’re gonna get you back to Tyson and your cozy tiger bed. And then we’re gonna find our best friend Doug, and then we’re gonna give him a best friend hug. Doug, Doug, oh, Doug, Dougie, Dougie, Doug, Doug! But if he’s been murdered by crystal meth tweakers….. Well then we’re shit out of luck.”
– Stu Price, The Hangover
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
– Groucho Marx
I don’t care if you think I’m racist. I just want you to think I’m thin.
-Sarah Silverman, Jesus is Magic
So, because the Golden Globes are unclear on what exactly a comedy is, St. Vincent got nominated for Best Musical or Comedy instead of, say, Top Five, and I have to review it. Ah, well, once they nominate The Tourist, I suppose every other complaint looks nitpicky by comparison.
Directed by: Theodore Melfi
Produced by: Fred Roos, Jenno Topping, Peter Chernin, Theodore Melfi
Written by: Theodore Melfi
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher
Music by: Theodore Shapiro
Plot: Oliver Bronstein (Jaeden Lieberher) is not having the best of times. His parents have separated, and he has had to move away with his mom (Melissa McCarthy) to Sheepshead Bay, New York, and tries to fit into his new school, always a tough thing to do for a kid. It’s no real cakewalk for his mom either, obviously, who is swamped with her job. So, to help lighten the workload, she hires her retiree neighbour, Vincent MacKenna (Bill Murray) to babysit him after school. Problem is, Vincent isn’t exactly the best example of a good role model for a 12-year old, being a drunken gambler who seems perpetually grouchy about something or other.
I really wish I had more to say about St. Vincent, because it is a good movie, but aside from some very good performances from Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy, it’s just that. Good. Not great. Not extraordinary in any way, and certainly not original. Just good.
I guess I should start out by complimenting the actors, who seem to be the focus of the majority of the praise directed at this movie, and it’s hard to see why not. The child actor is fine, and heads or tails above most child actors, but he’s not about to pull a Quvenzhané Wallis, as there were some slip-ups from him in the delivery of his lines, but that’s to be expected. You can’t really ask for much more from child actors.
Bill Murray was ideal casting, and he plays his part perfectly in this movie, and I can totally see why he was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Comedic Lead Actor, because he was just the embodiment of this cranky, cantankerous, yet sympathetic old man, even if, again, his character isn’t the most original. However, there is a point in the movie when his character undergoes a very drastic change that Murray performed excellently, and which may have ended up as one of his better performances.
Melissa McCarthy makes up for at least part of Tammy with a solid performance that was much, much more dramatic than one would expect from the lady who helped bring us Bridesmaids. Fine performance, but again, nothing particularly special, although it does give me hope that she can do better stuff than do her worst Will Ferrell impersonation for an hour and a half.
Naomi Watts is fine as well, playing Vincent’s Russian prostitute buddy, but it was surprising to me that she got so much critical acclaim, even a nomination for a SAG award for Best Supporting Actress. That’s really stupid. I mean, she was good, yeah, but award-worthy? They couldn’t have maybe given it to Jessica Chastain? Carmen Ejogo?
Also, I appreciate that the filmmakers decided against the tiresome trope of having Oliver’s Catholic school be the big baddie through all this. It’s not that I’m Catholic or even religious, it’s just that “Evil orthodox religious schools” are tied with “The government”, the “monolithic, evil corporation” and “environment-destroying, non-redeemable humans” as my least favourite clichéd movie villains.
Murray’s performance is phenomenal, obviously, but the main beef I have with this movie is that we’ve seen this story before. It’s the black sheep with a heart of gold, of course he’s gonna meet up with a nice yet pitiful kid and teach him something about himself, and of course the little kid is gonna return the favour and get him to open up to human kindness. Even when what I thought would be an earth-shattering event in the story occurred, it didn’t, really. It just kind of kept moving forward in the auto piloted fashion it had started off on.
None of this is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just been done a million times before, and it’s been done much better. I dunno, it was a good movie, it’s not like I was expecting another Lost in Translation, but it also wasn’t particularly gripping or interesting for me. I can’t think of anything offhand that I disliked about the movie. I like the characters, I like the performances, it was funny when it needed to be, sad when it needed to be. It does everything right, just not particularly well enough to itself particularly memorable, especially among all the other awards contenders. It’s a solid, feel-good movie. Just not necessarily a special one.
Overall: Look, St. Vincent is a good movie. It’s just not a particularly original or exceptional one, apart from Bill Murray’s performance. Will I hold this movie close to my heart? No, but it’s a nice movie to put on if you just need a warm, fuzzy feeling in the cockles of your heart.
If you read my review of Boyhood, the presumptive favourite for the Best Picture award at the next Academy Awards, you know that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the movie (It’s great, just not the best movie of the year, in my opinion). Knowing this, you may be itching to think what movies I think are good enough to displace what some are calling the best movie of this current decade?
I’d say Birdman is a pretty solid bet (And Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. And Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America…).
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Produced by: Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole
Written by: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo
Genre: Black comedy
Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, Naomi Watts
Music by: Antonio Sánchez
Plot: Birdman revolves around a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s short story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The play is being written and directed by Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), who is also starring in the lead role. Riggan used to be one of the biggest actors on the planet, back when he was the star of the crowd-pleasing Birdman franchise, which he left after the third movie, languishing in obscurity ever since. His bid for newfound relevance is being threatened by prima donna actors (Edward Norton, Naomi Watts), his temperamental daughter (Emma Stone) and his own overblown ego.
Alejandro González Iñárritu has made a name for himself in Hollywood, directing weird, dark foreign movies that are nonetheless accessible for mainstream audiences, such as Amores Perros and 21 Grams. Birdman is Gonzalez’s first entirely English-language movie, and has gained quite a bit of publicity since debuting at the Venice International Film Festival in August. In many ways, this is a turn towards more conventional storytelling for the director, as he sacrifices his trademark epic, non-linear. intertwining storylines for what is essentially a frequently darkly comic character study of Michael Keaton (Kinda).
That doesn’t mean Gonzalez doesn’t try to put his own personal fingerprint on this movie, because it has his heavily stylized fingerprint all over it. The usual orchestral score music one would find in most award-bait movies is replaced by some maniac frantically playing the shit out of his drums, even making several appearances throughout the movie itself. Instead of conventional film editing, that is, carefully selecting shots and arranging them into sequences to create a finished movie (Like a loser) Gonzalez decided to go the really strange route of, through extremely clever editing, making the entire movie look like it was filmed in one continuous take, with no noticeable separation between scenes. It’s weird. It’s unconventional. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.
I FUCKING LOVE IT.
The frantic pace of the music, editing (And the movie as a whole, really) really compliments the rest of the, relatively short, film perfectly. It’s very rare that the fact that a movie felt longer than its runtime is a compliment to the movie, but in this case, it absolutely is. This movie throws SO much stuff at you in its two hour runtime, which would get boring and/or exhausting if every. Single. Goddamn. Thing that happened on screen wasn’t so visually captivating, or if damn near every line of dialogue spouted by the fascinating characters wasn’t so interesting and/or intellectually stimulating.
I do mean that last sentence, by the way. As I was leaving the theatre, so many themes from the movie were swirling through my mind, and none of those themes felt tacked-on for dramatic effect. The dilemma of fame is brought up. The idea of staying relevant and the human desire for immortality is referenced abundantly. Blockbuster movies versus “high art” mediums too. Hell, even the usual theme of a parent-child relationship gone sour is fitted in among all this other stuff. And you know what? It’s all done fucking beautifully. As much as I loved 12 Years a Slave last year, and it was my favourite movie of 2013, and as much interesting things it had to say about the human condition, I can watch it maybe once every six months or so without getting horribly depressed and angry at humanity in general. What I’m getting at is: As great as 12 Years a Slave is, it doesn’t have very much immediate replay value. In fact, more often than not, I just want to put it out of my mind after watching it.
Right after watching the matinee showing of Birdman, I was fully prepared to pay full price for an evening ticket, just so I could analyze the movie’s themes again. The only thing that prevented me from doing so was the fact that I had already spent all my money on comic books by the time evening rolled around.
I guess what i’m trying to say is that I think that a movie about the harrowing conditions that slaves faced in the United States before the civil war wasn’t as interesting to me as a movie where this happens:
Admit it, you can’t take your eyes off of Edward Norton’s bulge either. It’s okay, none of us can.
Good storytelling can go to shit without good characters, though. Thankfully, this movie delivers on that front as well. All of these main characters are written so well that by the end of the movie, I genuinely like each of them, and want to see everything go well for them, even when they’re being the biggest collection of dickbags on the planet (Which is often). Zach Galifianakis erases my memory of his crappy turn in Are You Here with a great performance as Riggan’s lawyer and best friend, while Naomi Watts is also great as a first-time Broadway actress trying desperately to make something of herself.
The three performances that seem to be attracting the most Oscar buzz, however, are those of Keaton as Riggan Thomson, Norton as a superbly talented, yet pompous asshole of a method actor who could make or break the play and Emma Stone. As much as I hate mindlessly conforming the the general consensus, I’ve gotta say that I agree with everybody else. They’re all fantastic, and I would be more than happy to see them nominated come January.
However, while Norton and Stone seem to be facing some very stiff competition from their peers, Michael Keaton is straight up eating the competition alive. It’s great to see Keaton back doing prominent work again (Not that he was dead in the water or anything, it’s just he wasn’t as big of a name as he was back when he was doing Batman), and even better to see him totally owning a role that is pretty obviously meant to be portrayed by him, even if it’s not always a portrayal that most would consider flattering. Needless to say, he absolutely kills it in this movie. Even if I do joke that it’s basically Michael Keaton playing Michael Keaton, he still disappears into the role and breathes life into what could have easily been a pretty phoned in performance. The only real competition that I’ve seen so far that can really stand toe-to-toe with him is Eddie Redmayne, but more on him later.
Overall: Watch this movie. Do it. Drop whatever you’re doing, drive to whatever independent theatre is showing it in your hometown, pay full price, and plunk your ass down in the theatre seat to watch it. I guarantee you will not regret it.
So, in order to fulfill my endless need for masochism, I have added a new segment to my poorly disguised outlet for schizophrenic ramblings. In this segment, named, “Bad Movie Bi-Monthly” (Or, “BM₂” for short) I pretty much do a review of a movie that was deemed by critics and/or audiences to suck. I define criteria for “sucking” as at least two of the following:
Why am I willing to put myself through this torture? Well, because I, like every other self-proclaimed critic, love yelling at bad things. Also, I’ve had my fragile self-esteem broken by various childhood traumas.
Also, I should probably mention that it probably won’t be bi-monthly despite the title. I just really wanted to call a column about shitty movies “BM₂”.
Anyways, for the very first edition of “BM₂”, I have chosen to review a movie that I actually had a ton of fun with when I was little, but was brutalized by critics, earning a 11% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for…
Directed By: Dennis Dugan
Genre: Sports Comedy, Gross-Out Comedy
Starring: Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Heder, Jon Lovitz, Nick Swardson, Craig Killborn, Molly Sims, Tim Meadows, Amaury Nolasco, Reggie Jackson
Legacy: Joy at hearing Reggie Jackson speak, nausea at hearing David Spade speak, and an end to any relevance for Jon Heder.
Quick Plot Summary:
Gus, Clark and Richie (Rob Schneider, Jon Heder and David Spade, respectively) are three thirty-something lovable losers. (Wow, you can barely tell this movie was produced by Adam Sandler!) Gus is a married landscaper who is trying to have a kid with his wife (Molly Sims). Richie is a video store employee whose hobbies include being completely useless around girls and handing out lesbian porn to women at the video store (Actually, those two go hand in hand). Clark is a paper boy who still lives with his mother, who makes him wear a bike helmet at all times. He is also a man-child who eats his own boogers. Needless to say, both Richie and Clark were picked on as kids.
One day, Gus and Clark witness a bunch of nerdy little kids attempt to play baseball be harassed by a bunch of Little League bullies. They chase the bullies off and decide to get together with Richie to play ball. However, the same bullies appear and challenge them to a game. Despite the fact that there are only three of them and that Clark and Richie both suck horribly, the three adults win thanks to Gus’s excellent hitting and pitching performances.They are challenged by another team’s bully coach, but they win again. I can’t help mentioning that this would be a hell of a lot more impressive if they weren’t three times older then their opponents.
The three friends are approached by one of the nerdy kid’s father, Mel (Jon Lovitz). A billionaire and a nerd himself, Mel reveals to them his plan to have the three men (Henceforth known as the Benchwarmers) play in a tournament against all the meanest, most competitive Little League teams. The winners of the tournament will get a new baseball stadium all to themselves, and if the Benchwarmers win, it will be designated as a place for nerdy kids to play ball. With the help of the nerdy kids and Reggie Jackson, the Benchwarmers start their journey to the finals of Mel’s Tournament.
When I first saw this movie at age 11 or something, I loved it. I was a baseball fan, and this was a baseball movie that included nut-shots. I really couldn’t have asked for any more.
Needless to say, I am dissapointed by this movie now. It’s not like I ever expected much from Happy Madison Productions, but I was at least expecting something that was a guilty pleasure like Van Wilder or The Expendables. There are just too much things wrong with this movie for me to really recommend it. My three main problems are the premise, the acting and the unfunny offensiveness.
The premise doesn’t bother me so much as it confuses me. Three older men defeat ten year olds at baseball in order to take a stand against bullying? That seems a little bit too much like trying to wrench somewhat of a love story out of a movie about a gigolo.
No one expects a Adam Sandler-produced movie to have memorable acting, but it bears saying that the acting in The Benchwarmers is, at best, bad, and at worst, atrocious. I don’t actually have too much of a problem with Rob Schneider in this movie. He’s pretty mediocre, but not Little Man or European Gigolo bad. I really have nothing good to say about David Spade or Jon Heder in this movie. Spade just all-around sucks, while Heder is just milking his Napoleon Dynamite character. And as someone who thinks that Napoleon Dynamite is one of the shittiest, most overrated pieces of trash ever to be called a comedy, I REALLY hated Jon Heder in this movie.
Perhaps my biggest problem in this movie is the offensiveness. Now, I am a believer in the South Park philosophy that there should be no safe targets for ridicule. However, I also believe that a joke has to be funny to justify it’s offensiveness. This movie makes fun of agoraphobics, homosexuals, Latinos and midgets, and in none of these instances can I think of a funny moment.
As a person of Hispanic descent, I was probably most offended by the walking stereotype of Carlos (Amaury Nolasco’s character), a 50-year old Dominican alcoholic who plays against the Benchwarmers by bribing the umpire. He cheats, he drinks on the field, and he is a divorcee. The only way to make him a more clear stereotype is to give him a fear of border guards and a cocaine habit.
Now, I will be the first to admit that there is comedy gold to be had with the age-tampering that goes on in Latin America (That is, baseball players desperate to make some money for their families falsify their birth certificates in order to appear younger, therefore more attractive to big league scouts). However, this is not the way to do it. The filmmakers fall short of the handful of chuckles they would have needed to make this character worthwhile, and instead end up with incredulous stares.
While it does have some semblance of a heart, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t find myself almost cheering for the Benchwarmers, the absence of consistent laughs, and lack of a premise or a justified offensiveness leave the movie dead in the water.
Here at PKTM Inc., we (I) rarely stray into serious topics.About the most serious article I’ve posted is a review of the 1989 Batman movie, and I spent half of that post raging about Bat-Nipples.
Because I’m a mold breaking visionary, I have decided to review a movie that is (sort of) about teen suicide. Being a teenager, this is an issue that could have serious repercussions on me and those around me. I say “could have” because it hasn’t actually affected me. There isn’t a ton of teen suicides being reported up here in Canada, and when they are, it’s usually only pretty girls.
Okay, I may take a lot of flak for this, and I’m about one year too late in talking about this, but Confession Time: I didn’t really give a shit about Amanda Todd. Any more than other teen suicides, I mean. Before Amanda Todd, tons of teens were cyberbullied or just plain bullied and a lot of them committed suicide.
For example, this kid.
Check the above link if you want to go into specifics, but long story short, a fourteen year old high school student in New York State committed suicide because a bunch of assholes wouldn’t stop teasing him for allegedly being gay. So, did the western World erupt in anti-bullying mania?
Nope. Know why? Mainly because a) He didn’t make a dramatic, heartbreaking YouTube video that nobody gave a shit about until it was too late, and b) the poor kid wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Amanda Todd.
Am I saying that no pretty girl has committed suicide before? No, I’m just saying that (And don’t quote me on this, I’m just a bemused observer) that they would have less reason to right? Again, I am completely lacking in scientific proof of this, but it seems to me that a girl who looks nice would be more popular, and doesn’t it make more sense that someone who is more popular would be less likely to kill themselves then someone who is picked on for being ugly, gay, a minority, a nerd etc.?
And am I saying that Amanda Todd is just some dumb bitch that killed herself for no good reason? No. Not only no, but FUCK NO. I think it’s absolutely tragic that anyone who was their whole life ahead of them is driven to the unthinkable by (In this case) some perverted, sadistic, psychopathic piece of infectious human waste who took some sick pleasure out of seeing a kid degrade herself. And I’m certainly not on the side of the assholes who think that she deserved it for exposing herself online. Nobody should have to pay for a mistake that shouldn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things and that someone makes when they’re a fucking teenager.
But, I digress. I guess what I’m trying to say is R.I.P. Amanda Todd, R.I.P. all other unreported or ignored teens who ended their lives, Fuck you bullies. There is no excuse for what you do and you oughta be ashamed of yourselves and Fuck you, Pedophiles, there is nothing you do that is positive in any way.
Anyways, this fucking movie…
Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait
Genre: (Very, VERY) Black Comedy
Starring: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Evan Martin, Lorraine Nicholson, Henry Simmons, Henry Simmons, Geoff Pierson, Mitzi McCall
Legacy: Shocked parents who assumed this was gonna be a Mrs. Doubtfire kind of deal. Film-goers never thinking about Daryl Sabara or Juni Cortez without thinking of auto-erotic asphyxiation and Scheiße porn. (Please, for the love of God, don’t search that.)
Quick Plot Summary:
Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) is a mild-mannered English/poetry teacher and aspiring author, who declares in his narration that this is his fifth and final attempt at writing a novel. He is also a divorcee and a single parent who lives with his 15 year old son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara). Now, understand that while all teenagers are at least partially unstable (Take my word from it, I am one.) Kyle is severely broken in the head. Along with doing the usual teenager things, like disobeying his parent, being a retard, failing his classes and jacking off to internet porn, Kyle is also fond of insulting and belittling his dad and his friend Andrew (Evan Martin), telling a girl that “[her] pussy is not gonna eat itself”, enjoying scheiße porn (Again, please, please do not search this if you value your sanity) and, um, auto-erotic asphyxiation. That is, choking yourself in order to achieve orgasm. Isn’t the internet wonderful?
Interestingly enough, he also appears to think that everything and everyone is “gay” or “faggy”. That includes his dad, his dad’s writing, watching porn while not choking yourself, Bruce Hornsby, Heavy Metal, music in general, Andrew , not liking scheiße porn, America and vaginal sex. Because any authority on homosexual culture will tell you that the gayest thing you could ever do is have heterosexual intercourse.
In addition to his job as a completely unappreciated father, Lance’s poetry class is extremely unpopular. This may be because poetry was placed on this earth by cavemen as a way to fuck with future generations. On the plus side, Lance is also engaged in a noncommittal clandestine relationship with a younger teacher, Claire Reed (Alexie Gilmore). Unfortunately, he is getting jealous of Claire’s friendship with Mike Lane (Henry Simmons), an athletic black dude whose Creative Writing class is miles more popular then Lance’s Poetry class. To add insult to injury, he is also a successful writer.
One day, when he gets back from a date with Claire, he checks on his asshole son only to find that he has accidentally choked himself to death during auto-erotic asphyxiation. In order to save Kyle and himself the humiliation, he makes his death look like a suicide and drafts a deeply intellectual suicide note. Through a leak in the police, or something or other, the note is revealed to the public, much to Lance’s dismay.
However, in a shocking twist of fate, the students at Lance’s high school fall in love with the image of Kyle as a troubled, misunderstood poet. A personality cult starts growing around his image as a dopey-looking Kurt Cobain and as a result, Lance’s poetry class gets a million times more popular. Taking advantage of the sudden popularity of “Kyle’s” writing, Lance releases a “long-lost journal” of his son’s. The excellently written (And completely bogus) journal brings Lance national fame…. And a growing sense of guilt. (This is what is known in the business as “predictability”.)
The first time I watched this movie was at the tender age of 11, where my mom picked it out thinking it was going to be a Mrs. Doubtfire kind of deal. Obviously, it was not. It was promptly turned off, but I revisited it a few days ago when I found it on Netflix.
What’s my first impression after watching it? Well, mainly that I can see why my mom didn’t want me watching it. This movie is the exact definition of a black comedy, and then some. The movie’s humour is very dry, though not nonexistent, and the overall tone is dark as all hell. I actually like dark or black comedies, but I feel like sometimes this one takes it a little too far.
Two things I liked about the movie were the performances from the two leads, Robin Williams and Daryl Sabara. Starting with Sabara, who plays Kyle Clayton, and is excellent at making himself completely, wholly despicable, almost to a fault. All memories of Juni Cortez in Spy Kids are erased upon seeing this sociopathic asshole be his vile, despicable self. And Sabara does a very good job, such a good job in fact, that it’s kinda hard to resist jumping for joy when he dies.
Fortunately, Robin Williams is able to counteract Sabara’s ugliness extremely well as Lance Clayton. He is pleasantly restrained (Unlike, say, in Aladdin) and well, very dry and subtle. This is, needless to say, quite unusual for a Robin Williams performance.
Also, bonus points for the Krist Novoselic cameo.
Though it’s not particularly involving, it can sometimes be too dark for comfort and is definitely a joyless movie, World’s Greatest Dad covers up its flaws well through the strong performances of its two leads.