Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: LONG SHOT (comes out May 3rd)

When I say that LONG SHOT is Seth Rogen’s best comedy since Knocked Up (best performance since 50/50), please know that I am telling the truth. In fact, I’m willing to go far as saying that I don’t think another Rom-Com will beat it this year for me, it’s just that sweet. It is just that funny. It is just that enjoyable. Without Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, I don’t think this movie could’ve worked. In two hours, this movie completely convinced me that a woman as beautiful, strong, and independent as she is could fall for a guy so goofy, nerdy, weird, yet lovable such as he. It’s all thanks to their chemistry and for the movie not just trying to force a relationship upon the audience without any real merit. It avoids all the pit traps that most romantic comedies fall into to make them mediocre nowadays.

That’s not to say it isn’t predictable. You know exactly how this movie is going to end. But the journey is just so damn good that you kick that notion to the curb with very little effort. If you haven’t seen a trailer or TV spot for this, the plot is pretty simple. Charlotte Field (Theron), the Secretary of State, is going to make a run to become the first female President of the United States as the barely in the middle of his first term male one just announces that he doesn’t want to seek re-election in another year and a half. She bumps into journalist Fred Flarsky (Rogen) at a Boyz II Men banquet, and after reading his former published articles, hires him after he just quit is job to help her punch up her speeches and launch this new effort into saving the environment. She doesn’t just bump into him though, back when she was 16 and he was 13, she babysat him, and she was Fred’s first real crush. Anyway, they get to know each other and a romance starts to blossom. But can she really run for President with a goofy, nerdy, weird looking, pot smoking guy like him by her side?

Like I said, if you think you know how this all plays out, you are definitely right. But stay for Rogen and Theron, as their chemistry is unreal (in the good sense). This movie is completely funny from beginning to end without any lag in laughs. Rogen hasn’t been this funny since Knocked Up and has never been this charismatic. Theron, as always, is at her best here. There is this one ten minute scene where she is on drugs, where in a sane world, she would be nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars for a comedy role. She completely steals every scene she is in. Speaking of scene stealing roles, give it up to Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., to steal every scene he is in as well. After this and Straight Outta Compton and Ingrid Goes West, I have a feeling he is going to become more famous and a better actor than his father. I would love this movie to spin off into another just about his character. His character introduction provides one of the biggest laughs of the entire film. Also be on the lookout for an underused yet funny Alexander Skarsgaard and a unrecognizable Andy Serkis in strange roles. They get their moments to shine as well.

Be warned, this movie is very very crude, but unlike the recent Netflix film Someone Great, this one is actually smartly written and the jokes all land and land hard. They don’t feel forced. It is plainly obvious that there was a lot of ad-lib here, but Rogen and Theron are pros, and it all feels natural, like it was written in the first place. It’s literally a perfect date movie for 2019. Do not see this by yourself as you will wish someone was with you to share the laughs with. Charlize Theron is definitely an actress of our generation, as even if the movie I see her in isn’t good (Tully), I still loved her in it. Also forgot to mention this one was directed by Jonathan Levine that also directed Seth Rogen in 50/50, which was my favorite film of the year the time it came out. I can’t wait for this to come out on home video as I already want to see it again and know it has fantastic repeat watch value. Oh boy did I love this movie.

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Zach’s Zany Ranking Of All The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films To Date

My list might be controversial in some areas, but fuck it, everyone else is making a list why shouldn’t I? If you don’t like my list, I really don’t care, LOL, make your own!

21. Thor: The Dark World

I think most of us could agree on this one being here right?

20. The Incredible Hulk

A slog to get through, the end is decent though. And a great after credits cameo at the time.

19. Iron Man 2

Another slog to get through, only the part with Black Widow at the end is truly something special. Feels like a gateway film just to get to The Avengers.

18. Iron Man 3

Feels like Shane Black misfired with the whole Ben Kingsley character deception. Has some cool moments but again, this is kind of a slog to get through. Being the first post Avengers story didn’t help.

17. Captain Marvel

I swear I’m not a woman hater, the entire fault on this is the script and the direction. Brie Larson made the best of what she had, but this movie should’ve been something special and wasn’t.

16. Doctor Strange

Yeah, yeah, Benedict what’s his face is great and the visuals are spectacular but the story is too straight forward, ho-hum, and Rachel McAdams was truly wasted here as an actress. I liked the funny ending though. Huge villain problem in this.

15. Ant-Man and The Wasp

Was it me or did it feel like Paul Rudd was pushed to the side to make way for an all Evangeline Lilly movie? I mean it’s fine. Paul Rudd is still great and Lilly is great too and their chemistry is great. But the story is BLAH. It had one of the cooler after credits, but that isn’t a movie.

14. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Basically the same movie as the first but with robots instead of aliens and in a different country. I do think though that this is the point where Marvel Studios knew where they were headed, hence that really dumb Thor cave scene explaining the Infinity Stones. A couple of good action beats, but it felt like studio tinkering with Joss Whedon’s vision (hehe, pun). Also, Ultron who now?

13. Ant-Man

I really would’ve loved to see Edgar Wright’s version of this film. But I think he wanted something really wacky and out of the norm, and Marvel Studios wasn’t buying it. Instead we get a half way decent heist film with some good Paul Rudd moments. Who doesn’t love Paul Rudd?

12. Thor

If you watch Thor and Thor The Dark World back to back, it is just amazing how the first Thor still holds up pretty well. Chris Hemsworth’s performance, stunning visuals. This is when Marvel was finally getting a little weird. Two Words: Tom Hiddleston. The ending left a lot to be desired though.

11. Black Panther

I think we are about a little halfway through the list and yes, this film is definitely overrated. Should not have been nominated for best picture, but is still pretty decent. Good performances by all, especially Michael B. Jordan, giving us one of the best villains ever in Erik Killmonger. If only the ending didn’t have really shitty CGI.

10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I know this film has a lot of detractors, especially for the films true villain not being revealed until the climax, but I had a lot of fun with this film. It has a bunch of cool moments, and a killer soundtrack to boot. And the gang still felt like the gang. Can’t wait to see what James Gunn has for Vol. 3

9. Thor Ragnorak

For some reason most of my family hates this film. Well, they are in the minority. I loved this. Easily the best Thor film. I loved the drastic change, and it felt like Chris Hemsworth finally embraced the wackiness of his character. Director Taika Waititi did an amazing job and gave us more of the weird Jeff Goldblum we know and love. Loved Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, only thing the film needed more was a little more Cate Blanchett.

8. Captain America: The First Avenger

Can’t believe we have gotten this high on the list and finally got to a Captain America film. They are that DAMN GOOD. This one is a nice throwback to adventure movie films. This made Chris Evans a star, and it reminded me a lot of The Rocketeer. All good things.

7. Guardians of the Galaxy

Yep, the first one is high on here. No doubt about it. Marvel going full wacky, and it works. The group dynamic is perfect, and the visuals and story left us wanting more. Wish there was a better villain though.

6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Some of you have this as the best MCU film. While I disagree for a number of reasons, I still rank it high as fuck. It’s has that whole great Hydra reveal, and the action was top notch and on point (the directors of this went on to Infinity War and Civil War). I just maybe wish there was more to Winter Soldier’s story. Well there is, but it is in another movie…

5. Captain America: Civil War

This one! That story I wanted told was in this one! A two-three punch on the list. Although this feels more like Avengers 2.5 than anything, I loved almost everything about this film, yes even the “you killed my mommy thing at the end.” I wish Baron Zemo was in it more as he basically divided the Avengers until possibly Endgame. The whole airport scene and intro to Black Panther and Spider-Man were just fucking great.

4. Avengers: Infinity War

You thought I had this at #1 didn’t you? Shame on you. Infinity War is great, and there will never probably be a greater downer ending in the MCU after Thanos’s snap. All the stories of all the characters we’ve come to know culminates in this and their even distribution weight between their stories is near perfect. The one thing that bothers me is the Starlord decision writing. I don’t think that character would’ve done that, but that’s just me

3. Iron Man

The original. The first MCU film. Still holds up incredibly well 11 years later because of Robert Downey Jr’s very special and incredible performance. Also reminded me of the great Rocketeer with all the suit experimentation before getting it perfect the way he wanted it. This is one of the best if not perfect origin stories of all time.

2. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Maybe the best Spider-Man film yet? Possibly a toss up between this and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2? The debate will range on, but one thing is for sure. This gets everything about Spider-Man completely right. Tom Holland is a superstar, and you are not. Michael Keaton also made a great villain, and the little twist reveal at the end I did not see coming at all. Kudos, Marvel.

  1. The Avengers

Well, to me, the best MCU film is the first one where all the introduced heroes so far teamed up. You got a great bad guy with Loki coming to the forefront to lead a giant Chitauri army against New York. Perfectly directed by Joss Whedon, this film has the most replay value. Everything about it is as perfect as a movie could get. That is until Justice League came out…..HAHA, just kidding, fuck that piece of shit movie, this will remain a superhero classic for decades to come. I’m glad I was along (and still am) for the ride. Seeing this on an IMAX screen was just something else entirely.

WHERE WILL ENDGAME END UP? FIND OUT FRIDAY 4/26!!!

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: SOMEONE GREAT (Netflix)

I’ll start this off by saying that I am really not this films target audience. At all. So if you are interested in watching SOMEONE GREAT, maybe with someone great (especially if you are both women and are both women besties and have ever been through a tough break up), I encourage you to still watch it. If you still read this review before or even after watching it, and if you liked it after watching it, take my opinion with a grain of salt. I did not like this movie all that much. It’s only an hour and 30 minutes, and doesn’t really know what it wants to be narratively until the final 15 to 20 minutes where it gets itself together in the climax. The rest of the movie just feels like incoherent dribble, a bunch of “pish-posh” road trip movie scenes to try and get to a good central idea and a wonderful speech by Gina Rodriguez. In these “pish-posh” scenes are three women that try too hard to curse as much as possible and be very, very crude as much as possible. It is fine if it feels natural, but all of the jokes and outlandish things these girls were saying felt forced. Sorry.

And it is a shame because other than the last strong 15-20 minutes, the three leads, played by Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin), Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect), and DeWanda Wise all feel like they have great chemistry. And the one real supporting actor, Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta) is good in his scenes too. The whole thing is just out of focus. The movie centers on Gina Rodriguez’s character, having just woken up after her boyfriend of 9 years broke up with her. She needs a day to get herself together, so her and her two besties take off work and try and get tickets and go to a very exclusive concert while she analyses the shit out of her past relationship. She also mainly wants to see her friends again because she is about to move for away to a job she got with Rolling Stone. The movie dips into cliched road trip movie shenanigans trying to find tickets to this musical event, followed by one crude joke after another that keeps missing its target (I don’t think I laughed once during this movie, and I love crude humor).

Other than the great message about relationships, love, etc. etc. in a wonderfully worded dialogue speech at the end that I mentioned earlier. I didn’t really feel like I got to know how exactly Gina and Lakeith’s characters break up happened other than the fact that she was moving away and after 9 fucking years he doesn’t think he could make it work or would move with her (not like his job was that important). Like they show a couple of flash fight scenes between them, but sappy music plays over them and I can’t really hear what they are fighting about. I just don’t understand why they broke up. Seemed like they broke up for plot convenience. Now on the other hand Brittany Snow’s character, who gets a small tiny arc, wants to break up with her long time boyfriend, and after just two scenes, I got EXACTLY why. When you have the focus of the film being about whey the two main leads broke up, might want to make your message a little more crystal clear to EARN their reason for doing so.

All I am saying is that this movie should’ve added some scenes, and maybe gone through a couple of more rewrites. Definitely take the jokes out that felt forced and were not funny. But comedy is subjective, and maybe just this time it didn’t work for me. It’s not a terrible movie by any means, but it is pretty dull, bland, and forgettable until the weird strong climax, which 100% worked. That detail, style, and effort I wish was in 80-90% in the rest of the movie. Not to say that writer/director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson didn’t try. She clearly has potential as a writer and director with the climax and the chemistry between the leads, this just feels like a blueprint for later, much more superior work. I looked her up on IMDB and all she’s written really is episodes of MTV’s Sweet/Vicious…and I don’t watch MTV anymore for pretty good reasons. I’ve never seen that show, but maybe if you watch it and love it, you’ll love this? Someone Great should’ve been something great, but is only something eh.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA (no spoilers, and yes it is a Conjuring Universe film)

So they say that in early marketing of THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA that studio heads were trying to present it as a film on its own and not a part of The Conjuring Universe and that they wanted to save the reveal in the film that it actually is one a surprise. But then fans started to question whether this film was or not, especially when the poster released and it said “From The Producers OF The Conjuring Universe” and then a trailer came out that included a character that looked strikingly familiar and played by the same actor that showed up in the first Annabelle film. That was several months ago. When their goose was cooked, I don’t understand how they didn’t just go full monty on the marketing and let people know that yes, this is a part of The Conjuring Universe. They still tried to sell it as vague and they probably just missed out on a whole bunch of money, because on its own, this film is a dull mess, but within The Conjuring Universe…wait, well, yeah it is still a dull mess.

At least it isn’t as bad as The Nun or the first Annabelle film. This films problem is the screenplay and the non-stop cookie cutter cheap jump scares with absolutely no substance. If the film would’ve had some substance, it could’ve ranked high on my The C.U.F. list (that’s what I’m calling it instead of typing out everything for the umpteenth time). And the frustrating fact of this film is that it uses a good real premise, a real Mexican folklore, and has the opportunity to expand on that myth and spin it into a pretty sturdy C.U.F., but other than the mention of the actual lore and a couple of ways to keep evil demons and spirits away from your home, it doesn’t expand on shit. It’s as if the producers said, “ok, you got this great premise, get the story out of the way in the first 30 minutes and then just hit the audience with jump scare after jump scare until the end credits. That’ll make a great movie!” Well, it doesn’t.

And I think the director, Michael Chaves (who is going to direct The Conjuring 3), knew this, and at least tried to spice up the film with his own cinematic flavors. The movie contains really, really good camera work. Excellent style. Excellent long take shots. The film looks good. I guarantee you Chaves was looking at the screenplay, muttering “oh shit” into his head, and at least tried to figure out a way salvage what he could out of the dull story, dialogue and jump scares. It is saying something when I really don’t like a film but believe that the director would be better suited with a meatier screenplay, that’s why I think The Conjuring 3 will be in good hands, because that will not have the same screenwriters as this. While the Mexican folklore this film is based on is creepy and scary, the spirit/demon/entity haunting families and drowning kids in this looks silly, not scary, and not once was I scared or did any of the cheap jump scares actually made me jump. In the entire 3rd act of the film, instead of doing something different, we just get a home invasion type spirit, spooky spooky schlock we’ve seen 1,000 times before.

There is another positive of this movie, and that goes to actress Linda Cardellini (Velma from the live action Scooby Doo films from years past). Although her character is essentially another one dimensional mother that eventually believes her kids and that something supernatural is happening to their family, she makes what she can out of it. Her tears, frightened expression, and her trying to save shitty dialogue is what elevates this film from the mediocrity or shitty-ness of The Nun and Annabelle. Her kids were pretty good too. The person that doesn’t do a great job acting wise is Raymond Cruz, who plays an ex-priest in this. I don’t buy any of his fear or what he is saying in this, seems to be in it for the paycheck, which is a shame because you may know him for his excellent portrayal of Tuco Salamanca in Breaking Bad and a guest appearance on Better Call Saul.

Like I said before, this film isn’t terrible, it’s just dull and uninspiring. It has no substance, just telling you the Mexican folklore and quickly getting it out of the way so the movie can satisfy dumb ass millennials that buy into the whole cheap jump scare bait shit. It is unfortunately what sells. I’m curious to see how much bank this film makes when people living under a rock for some reason figure out they need to go see it because they’ve seen all of The C.U.F. and need to check it off their list. Anyway, you have this. But don’t fret, there is another C.U.F. before The Conjuring 3 next year: Annabelle Comes Home. And if they can somehow make it better than the far superior sequel to the first, Annabelle: Creation, then we are in for a huge treat, maybe. I mean The Warrens are featured in it, how bad could it be…right?

My Opinion Rank of The C.U.F.:

  1. The Conjuring
  2. The Conjuring 2
  3. Annabelle: Creation
  4. The Curse of La Llorona
  5. The Nun
  6. Annabelle

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE PERFECT DATE & THE LAST LAUGH (both NETFLIX)

I am combining two Netflix movie reviews into one because their isn’t a whole lot to say about each of these movies and I feel like the length of both of these will equal one theatrical review. So here we go (spoiler alert: one review is kind and one review is not kind at all)

THE PERFECT DATE (Netflix)

THE PERFECT DATE just came out on April 12th 2019 on Netflix and completes what is being called the “Noah Centineo Trilogy”. No, this isn’t a real trilogy with the same character, it is three different movies, all on Netflix, that happen to star Noah Centineo. The first one was To All the Boys I’ve Loved before (saw it and really liked it), the second is Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (haven’t seen it, going to now though), and this film completes this so-called ‘trilogy.’ There is one thing that I can positively state: Noah Centineo is one charming ass motherfucker. And that’s why these movies work so well even though they are cliched as fuck as all get out chick flick rom-coms, is his performance. If this guy can charm the pants off a straight dude like me, you know he’s the real deal. If he and Laura Marano weren’t in this, and the chemistry wasn’t there between Centineo’s character and those around him, this movie wouldn’t work.

And the reason why it wouldn’t work is because the set up of the movie isn’t fully fleshed out and leaves a lot to be desired. The movie is about this guy, played by Centineo, who really wants to get into Yale after high school but needs to write a good admission essay and needs the money. After being paid to be on a date with a high school hot shot’s cousin (played by Laura Marano), he and his friend create an app where he will be a “stand-in” on a date. No, he’s not a pimp and none of these dates are sexual, the app is designed for women to choose what kind of personality he is to be, how’s he’s dressed, what kind of function he’s going to go to, for some kind of purpose. Maybe the girl wants her parents to hate the stand-in so that when she reveals her real boyfriend, they’ll accept the guy, or a girl wants to go on a pretend date so that she’s not nervous when she actually starts dating, or the girl just wants someone to talk to.

All of this sounds interesting right? Well, there is basically one montage of him being this stand-in and becoming these people that lasts about maybe 4 to 5 minutes, and that is it. We really don’t see him doing it all that much, instead the movie switches gears fast to get to the journey and endgame of whether or not he gets the money, gets into yale, and gets the girl he has a crush on (Camila Mendes from Riverdale). And I think the main problem is that at just 90 minutes, the movie is too short. If 15 to 20 minutes were added of showing him going on several full fledged stand in dates, mainly for the audience to get invested with the premise, it would’ve been great. They could’ve thrown a girl wanting sex from him at the end of the night or a girl falling in love with him kind of problem and done more with the app. Instead, the app literally has no problems, and the friend gets attention from his app making skills. Too tied up in a complete bow. In this day and age, there is no way a app like that would go smoothly.

But I realize it is a rom-com, and its a Netflix original, and it is predictable as hell, which means that it isn’t going to go that deep, so you have to judge the film on whether it entertained you or not and whether or not it is better than films in that same genre. And in that case, it is. Noah is charming as fuck, the dialogue (at times) feels like high school kids actually talking to one another, and the 90 minutes flies by with how entertaining it is. So as far as Netflix originals go, I’d definitely would recommend that you check this one out, it’s quaint and charming.

THE LAST LAUGH

What isn’t so quaint and charming is this other Netflix original that was released early January, THE LAST LAUGH. Since I guess we are counting Netflix films now in movies seen and top ten or top worsts lists, this now beats Pet Sematary as worst film of the year. I am not going to talk about it too long because that’s how terrible it was. It stars Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss as old friends that meet up when Chase is sent by his granddaughter to live in a retirement home. They are old friends as that Dreyfuss’ characters was a comedian doing stand up acts 50 years ago and Chase was his manager. As they see people they love dying around them, but Dreyfuss’ character as ‘funny’ as ever cracking jokes, Chase takes Dreyfuss out on the road to do a stand-up comedian comeback type of thing. Past things and emotions come up, trouble endues, but you know how it is going to end, it is dull and painfully predictable as well.

I did not laugh once during this film. All the jokes are painfully unfunny and Dreyfuss doesn’t do a great job playing a character that was once a stand up comedian. Chevy Chase is worse here, looking like he doesn’t want to be there, and acting like he wants to go home and kill himself. All the performances in here are painfully dull. Chris Parnell as Dreyfuss’ son and Kate Micucci who plays Chase’s granddaughter are cringe worthy here. Terrible performances. I didn’t buy anything that was going on, especially one part where a older woman, played by Andie McDowell (wasted here) has a small love thing with Chase. They way that Chevy Chase just looks bored there and spits out his lines, there is no way any woman would go within 10 feet of that guy. Chevy Chase had that one great season on SNL, he had the Vacation movies, Fletch, and a couple of good moments on Community, but other than that, his career was a giant misfire. And still is. And he should be old enough to know when to call it quits. I expected more out of Richard Dreyfuss but maybe he’s at that age where he doesn’t care anymore and a paycheck is all he needs to get off his ass. This is one of the worse Netflix Originals since the awful Adam Sandler ones the past couple of years, and that is saying something.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE HIGHWAYMEN (Netflix)

You might have noticed I’ve been reviewing Netflix movies a lot lately. Damn straight, I pay for the service don’t I? And I can just watch Friends, The Office, and Parks and Recreation over and over and over again. And I have a lot of To Be Determined on my top movies of the year, and need to fill it out without spending my money at the theater on shitty films like Miss Bala or Dumbo. Anyway, this just came out like last week, and I’ve seen the original Bonnie and Clyde with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, and was interested to watch what the other side did to *spoiler alert if you aren’t a history person* gun them down in the end. It’s directed by John Lee Hancock, who is hated by my many Austin movie friends on Facebook (they think he is a giant hack). Well, I mean, at least he made it into the business guys. But I agree, he’s a just point and shoot director with no vision. He’s directed only 6 films, and I’ve only really liked two of them. The Founder…and this is #2.

While The Highwaymen is just another point and shoot affair by him, the material is elevated by the screenplay, the acting from both Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, and the cinematography. I didn’t live in Texas back then, but I heard the whole thing was shot in Texas, and it feels like it. It captures that essence perfectly. And the ventual take down of Bonnie and Clyde I read was filmed right where they were taken down, which was pretty damn cool. The problem with Bonnie and Clyde, and why they got captured was that they had too much of a pattern, and these two retired Texas Rangers, played by Costner and Harrelson, picked up on it super fast when a lot of other people of authority couldn’t.

This film isn’t the be all end all of Netflix films, mind you, but it is quite good. Harrelson and Costner usually always bring their A game and here is no different. I also loved the way Bonnie and Clyde are represented. They barely show their faces, they are mostly dark silhouettes, monsters without a face, killing innocent people. How the movie with Beatty and Dunaway made them not seem too bad, even though they killed a lot of people, this movie makes them the monsters that they deserved to look like back then. They are a mean, powerful force, making them mythical ghosts that people at that time thought were impossible to kill. That part of the film is quite interesting.

The film has several slow parts (it could’ve been shorter and not 2 hrs and 12 mins long), especially when the movie tries to bring an arc and humanity to Costner and Harrelson’s characters…you know, those obligatory scenes where they talk about their past and how they might’ve been monsters themselves at one point even though they were upholding the law. But that’s okay, because if that was missing from the movie, I, and other critics, would just complain that it was missing that aspect. It could’ve been spruced up a bit. And I would’ve loved to see more of Kathy Bates than her literal two scenes playing first Woman Governor of Texas Ma Ferguson. Best part she’s had in years and she’s in it for less than 10 minutes.

Anyway, it’s a pretty solid Netflix view. Unless you really hate the director, who hails from Texas, then this film will not change your mind about him (you know who you are). But everything other than some slow parts are good, and I love that you could kind of watch this film with the original Beatty Bonnie and Clyde as a double feature to give you some perspective on the whole manhunt from both sides. I’m sure a better screenwriter and better director could’ve made a masterful film, but other than superheroes and sequels, what studio other than Netflix is going to take on a film like this these days?

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: PADDLETON (Netflix, and not the bear movie, f*** you Kim)

PADDLETON is not Paddington, no matter what Kimberly Finke tells you. Paddleton came out late in February on Netflix, and the only reason I knew to watch it in the first place is because my favorite movie reviewers, Jay and Mike on Red Letter Media/Half In The Bag did a review on it because they found it and really enjoyed it. And I liked it too. Not as much as they did, but I did think it is a well made, and extremely well acted and realistic little movie. It stars Ray Romano and Mark Duplass, and it is about both of them finding out that Duplass’ character has terminal cancer and only six months to live, so they take a little road trip to get this assisted suicide medication that is only legal to get there.

They aren’t lovers but actually real good friends and neighbors, as Romano’s character lives right above Duplass’ in a apartment complex. They play a made up game together, called paddleton, that deals with bouncing a ball off the wall and getting it into a black barrel on the ground. Anyway, Roman’s character is kind of strange, probably has undiagnosed Asberger’s, Duplass’ being a bit more normal. They have weird ‘what if’ conversations, and some of it is funny, and some of it is serious, and it all feels very realistic. The film is co-written by Duplass, who admitted that 87% of the movie was improvised, all the scenes mainly had outlines and the actors just played off each other. While other films, like 2016 Ghostbusters remake, you can completely tell the improve, this feels just like two friends conversing, having a good time.

There isn’t much to say about the film, it’s a tight 90 minutes, and the movie doesn’t have any twists are turns, its very simple. The end is very emotional and a little hard to watch emotionally, but I appreciated how real it all felt. The acting is extremely good, with Ray Romano again being a standout like he was in The Big Sick. I’ve never had a problem with Ray Romano, I never really watched Everybody Loves Raymond, and kind of found him to have lousy sitcom acting, but he definitely knows how to make a character. I hope to see him in even more dramedy’s in the future. Mark Duplass is good as well. But yeah, if you want a little emotional, yet a little funny movie, and have 90 minutes to kill. I would recommend this, definitely above the just reviewed by me and just released by Netflix Unicorn Store.