Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: BETWEEN TWO FERNS – THE MOVIE (Netflix)

The only way any of you should watch BETWEEN TWO FERNS: THE MOVIE on Netflix is fast forward to the staged awkward celebrity interviews, and then maybe play the Chrissy Teigan non interview part as well because that has to do with an interview that takes place shortly there after (halfway thru the film), and then watch the hilarious outtakes during the end credits, and you’ll be done in about 15-20 mins. I’m telling you this to try and save an hour of your life, because the other hour is absolute garbage and I think foreshadows Netflix’s ultimate doom. To be clear, this is not one of the worst films of the year. I can’t manage to say it, because the very few bright bits that are in this thing, made me lose it in laughter (especially the end credit outtakes). This movie is utterly pointless. This is the same thing that Saturday Night Live did with stretching some of their really funny skits into movies in the 90s (excluding Wayne’s World and A Night At The Roxbury), and then making them not funny anymore. It should’ve just stuck to the couple of minutes that would give it every one in awhile.

Or if Netflix really wanted something feature length so badly to have to do with that fake show, they should’ve had Zach Galifianakis just shoot 85 minutes worth of just those awkward staged interviews. Instead, they tried to write some sort of fucking meandering abysmal plot where not one second of it is actually even chuckle worthy. Basically because of a plumbing problem, an interview with Matthew McConaughey goes haywire and destroys the set on the cable access program. Will Ferrell as a asshole diva version of himself (painfully unfunny to watch) then gives Zack an ultimatum: Give Ferrell ten new interviews within a couple of weeks and not only will he be able to keep his job but he’ll let him have his own late night national talk show. Zack then takes his show on the road to get any celebrity willing to be “interviewed.” The hour that is absolute garbage is pretty much everything but the staged interviews. Zach Galifianakis co-wrote this film with its director Scott Aukerman, clearly focusing on the hilarious fake interview questions and not knowing what to do with the forced plot around it all.

I mean, it’s as though they didn’t even fucking try. Like there is this small bit where his secretary keeps not taking care of the original ferns so she just keeps going out and buying new ones, trying to make the audience laugh by him measuring the length of each and calculating its moisture and then asking if those ferns are the same plants as the interview before. None of it works. He develops friendships with his co-workers on the road trip that is unfunny and feels forced, then the movie does that “nothing to lose” bit where the character is about to give up but ultimately doesn’t, all correlating in a climax you’ve seen in about a million different other films, and they can’t even manage the satire on that shit correctly. Other than the awkward staged interviews, this film is a giant fucking mess.

There are a shit ton of cameos from A-list celebrities in l here, and I’m not going to list all of them as it would ruin the fun. I did though particularly laugh at questions asked to Chance The Rapper, Hailee Steinfeld, Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves, and a few others, with Chance and Rudd really making me have a laughing fit for about a minute. And then there are the outtakes during the end credits, which had me in tears with laughter. Honestly you could probably just get away with watching those and come out feeling you got a decent 2-3 minutes out of the program. But for the love of God, don’t watch the whole thing, I’m begging you. It really is dreadfully, painfully, egotistically unfunny. Someone filming me getting kicked in the nuts is funnier than the majority of this movie. Here is one of the only funny bits, and if you don’t laugh at this, then this movie is DEFINITELY not for you:

(Zack is interviewing Chance The Rapper):

Zach: “Why did your parents name you Chance The Rapper?”

Chance: “My parents didn’t name me that.”

Zach: “Do you have any siblings?”

Chance: I have a brother.

Zach: “And what does he do?”

Chance: “He also raps.”

Zach: “Did your parents name him Community Chest The Rapper?”

This is just another example of why I think that, in two to three years, once all these other streaming services are up and running, that Netflix will be kaput, unless they lower their prices to compete with the others and also stop trying to buy every single thing out there that is available. We need more stuff like Triple Fronteir, I Am Mother, The Irishman (I haven’t seen it I’m just assuming since it is Scorcese it’s going to be great) and Roma, and not crap like Sextuplets, The Last Laugh, The Silence, this movie, and the countless other shit films I haven’t even bothered with giving a chance. Television show wise all they’ve really got is Stranger Things. I mean, they did fuck up House of Cards, and while I still like it, there is a shit ton of people who hate 13 Reasons Why. This is the perfect opportunity for Netflix to create new jobs. They hire people with an actual brain to scan and research the content presented to them before they buy and air it. Don’t just throw money at people and take these mystery boxes. Cut the fucking fat. This movie was basically only had one or two good bites, the rest too tough to chew.


Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: 13 REASONS WHY SEASON 3 (MAJOR SPOILERS!!!)

Before I start reviewing and getting down to the nitty gritty on 13 REASONS WHY SEASON 3, I’m going to warn you of two things. First of all, I am going to go into major spoilers, and yes, I’m going to reveal who killed Bryce Walker, so if you just want a summation, just finish this paragraph and then read the concluding paragraph. I promise not to spoil anything in those. Secondly, I will NOT be diving into my opinions and/or experiences with suicide and what I really think of this whole controversy with some individuals thinking that this show “glorifies suicide.” I will only be delving into what I think the show did to improve upon its image. That being said: 13 Reasons Why Season 3 does the rare “Daredevil Netflix” thing and is the best season of the show thus far. Those put off by the first two seasons, especially the mediocre 2nd one, will be pleased to know that by turning the show into a who-dun-it and tackling more issues in better ways that it completely redeems itself. I say that those naysayers may want to give it one more chance (you don’t have to though, I understand, truly).

And this is coming from someone who thought the first season was masterful (didn’t like the 2nd one that much). I don’t want this to be a terribly long review, so where should I start? Ah, yes. The main focus of the season. As you know, Season 1 dealt with Hannah Baker and her 13 tapes to people on why she committed suicide. Season 2 dealt with the fallout of those people receiving those tapes, and the trial of rapist Bryce Walker. Like both previous seasons, Season 3 plays with time. It starts with taking place 8 months after Season 2, but then switches back and forth between the present, after what happened with Tyler and how he almost shot up Liberty High School at Spring Fling and something that went wrong during Homecoming (revealed much later in the season) and…the murder of Bryce Walker. Yes, one of the worst villains in television history is killed off almost immediately in the first couple of episodes of the season (he’s missing almost right at the beginning).

Changing the show from being a look into why someone committed suicide and the aftermath of a rapist on trial, to a who-dun-it murder mystery, yyet filled with teen angst, issues, and hardship, was definitely the right AND ONLY direction the show could’ve taken (although I do support those that said it should’ve only been a one off miniseries, I can agree with some points of view on that). When Bryce only got 3 months probation this past season for his rape crimes, I didn’t know if I wanted to see what kind of story a Season 3 could tell. But then when I heard that Katherine Langford and co. were done with the character Hannah Baker (she is only referenced several times, there is no past footage of her really, and her mother is only in one episode, Season 2 stretched out her character wayyyyy too much) and then just several weeks ago when the trailer dropped with the tagline: “Who Killed Bryce Walker?” the show immediately caught my interest again. I thought, “oh shit, are they trying to make up for all the anger and frustration of season 2 and they are probably giving this asshole his just desserts, right? Well, yes, and maybe/maybe not.

When I say yes, I mean that yes, they completely make up for their past narrative flaws for season two, and they also make up for the controversial aspects of season 1 by being really careful and handling all the solutions to all the teen problems that are presented throughout this season. The maybe is a bit trickier. With Bryce’s death, they present a question that is asked throughout all the episodes that they resolve by thankfully not having a definitive answer: can people change for the better? When we get to all of these flashbacks of Bryce throughout the season, some of the flashbacks revert to him and his shitty attitude towards life and women, but then, in many instances, it shows that before he died, he might’ve really tried to change for the better…but that the world wouldn’t let him change. It’s a very tricky topic for the writers to put into this season, but then again, if they would’ve had a definitive answer, “did Bryce get his just desserts?”, people would’ve gotten angry at either a yes or a no. They got smart, and instead answered, maybe…but maybe not. It’s up to you.

Now, when starting the season, I immediately noticed that, during the opening credits, there is a separate piece of evidence of Bryce Walker’s murder for each of the thirteen episodes. And then boom!, holy shit, Clay Jensen isn’t the voice of reason this season! Instead, everything is told from the perspective of Amorowat Anysia Achola, or “Ani’ for short, a new student at Liberty High that quickly befriends Clay. Her and her mother also happen care for Bryce Walker’s asshole grandfather, who is sick and mostly resides in bed. So yeah, Ani kind of lives with Bryce. Now some people have had a huge problem with her, especially when you get to episode 7 and it reveals that she slept with Bryce Walker, several times, by not judging him by his past and also revealing the fact that he was actually nice to her. People also love Clay Jensen’s narration as he is the voice of reason for the series and maybe the only almost flawless character.

I’m going to go on the defensive for Ani here, for several reasons. First of all, we need a new voice. I love Clay, in fact I see a lot of myself in him, but in order for him to be a main main suspect in Bryce Walker’s murder, we can’t have him as the narrator this season (I have a feeling they are going to switch back to him for the final season anyway) as it would ruin a lot of the mystery. Also, in order to give some people reason to doubt that Bryce Walker deserved to be murdered, Ani’s point of view is absolutely essential, because without those scenes, the question is answered definitively, and definitely solving some hard questions has been the knife to the throat for the series in the past. But don’t worry, Clay is still a bigger presence than most and has the most screen time. I wasn’t liking what the writers were doing on episode 7 with him, but then episode 8 and 9, they show us their reasons for doing so, and I was completely satisfied with their choices. Clay not being the narrator I feel made him grow as a character this season as well.

The one thing that has been completely constant throughout all three seasons is the incredible acting by the entire cast. Three seasons in and every single person on the show, no matter how part big or small, have all made their character multi-layered, not just one dimensional, to the point where it feels like you might know them in real life. The two standouts though are of course Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay, and surprisingly David Druid, who plays Tyler. As you know, Tyler almost went on a school shooting spree at the end of season 2, and I was surprised how carefully the fallout of that was handled (except for one of the final scenes of the season, where everything could come back to bite him in the ass anyway). Obviously, they hinted that they were going to help him out and intervened before he started shooting up people, but the resolution on how no one found out and how they handle his behavior going forward was pretty realistic and inspirational.

That surprised me because I thought I might have to suspend some belief at the beginning of the explanation but as time went on, that route taken proved to be more than efficient storytelling. I don’t want to spoil anything here, but there is a scene between Clay and Tyler toward the latter half of the season that almost made me tear up. You’ll know which one it is, and in any other dimension, both Dylan and David would get Emmy nominations. Also, I know people don’t like Ani, but newcomer Grace Saif I thought did an adequate job in being our new narrator, and I think she’ll get the chance to maker her character more well rounded and likable next season. And I know everyone loves to hate Bryce, but Justin Prentice gives us his best performance this season, showing a side to Bryce we didn’t even know was there.

Going back to answering questions and having resolutions on many of the trials and tribulations of these teens, this season manages to provide some kind of exploration of a solution instead of definitive answers, which completely works in the shows advantage. There is great tension building with multiple extravagant payoffs that just strengthen the season and series as a whole. I could get into it one by one, but there is even a moment of looking at suicide a way the show hasn’t presented before, with two characters that manage to overcome it and try to get help to make their lives seem better. If there are a couple of episodes that are going to incite controversy this time around those would be episode 2, 7, and the finale, 13. Episode 2 because it tackles abortion, episode 7 I already mentioned that Ani sleeps with Bryce Walker, knowing full well what he had done in life to be the person he is today, and the last episode, maybe, because of how they wrap up “Who Killed Bryce Walker?”

Okay, now is that paragraph where I’m going to reveal the who, what, where, when, and why and how the situation seems to be handled right now (I have a feeling there will be lingering ramifications in Season 4 before the kids graduate), so if you’ve been reading and haven’t gotten to the reveal of who murdered Bryce Walker, and don’t want that spoiled, stop reading and go to the last paragraph. The season tries to trick you multiple times, as everyone has multiple reasons for wanting Bryce dead. In fact, Zach reveals that he beat the shit out of Bryce on the pier, and turns himself in because he doesn’t want Clay, who is innocent btw, taking the rap. Turns out though, after Zach beat the shit out of him, he left him conscious, and records show that Bryce got water in his lungs before he died, and someone comes to the scene right after Zach leaves. Who is it? Alex…with Jessica in tow. Bryce had told Jessica initially that he wanted to meet her on the pier because he had something to give her, and Alex came for back up. Bryce wanted to give her a tape, confessing all his rapes and apologizing for everything, and he wanted to tell her that she could use the tape as she saw fit.

He was claiming he was trying to get better, but as Alex tried to help him up (both of Bryce’s legs were broken by Zach), Bryce unfortunately screamed out that he was going to kill Zach for what he done. Alex took this as meaning Bryce was never going to change, and pushed him over the bridge and watched him drown, as one arm and both legs were broken so he couldn’t swim. And the resolution to all this? Alex gets away with it. The students banded together to frame Monty (the sadistic fuck character that sadomized Tyler with a broom stick last season, the reason Tyler was about to do a mass shooting) after Monty was arrested because Tyler finally went to the police about what Monty did to him. Monty is conveniently killed in prison (I was afraid they were going to show that scene, stirring up more controversy, but again, wise decision by the writers, they didn’t). Alex’s dad is a cop, and put two and two together and knew his son really did it, but accepts the Monty evidence as true. So basically it’s all resolved as a “dead bury the dead” (the title of the last episode ) kind of thing, and cased closed.

Even though there are little hints and clues where the frame up of Monty might not hold up and likely Alex gets his penance for killing Bryce in season 4, I actually really loved the resolutions. Even though it showed a little more of where Monty was coming from with his monster of an attitude in every season (hence asking the question if Monty deserved it, but not giving a concrete resolution), I think the sadistic fuck deserved what was coming him. In many ways, he was worse than Bryce and probably would’ve caused much more harm in the future than Bryce, who was possibly trying to get better. And Monty technically didn’t get killed because of the frame up, he went into prison because of what he did to Tyler, and while we weren’t told what he did to get himself killed, it infers that he probably had an attitude with one of the inmates who didn’t take shit.

Yes, what Alex did was wrong, and he’ll probably end up not getting totally away with it by the time the final season comes to pass, but that’s the whole message the season is trying to ask, “what do we ultimately deserve for our actions?” It also tries to prove that not everything can be tied up in a pretty bow, and I ultimately loved where they went with it. I do want to know what happens in the last season and will eagerly await its release probably about a year or more from now. As Clay says in one of the final scenes, they all maybe deserve some bit of happiness in the future, as the past year or so has been grim and dark as fuck. I really do hope the writers find some way, some logical way, to bring the series to a close with each of the characters, some more than others, finding their happiness. Some of them truly deserve it, I believe. Anyway, discuss with me via FB messenger or in person if you’d like to talk about it further as I just looked to see how fucking long this review was and realize I need to wrap it the fuck up.

In short, I loved 13 REASONS WHY SEASON 3 and could talk all day about why I think it is the best season of the three and how the show has redeemed itself from the awkward storytelling and decisions of season 2 and some of the controversial moments of season one. You can tell I really like a season/series if I’m reviewing it literally the weekend after it was released. It really did strike a great chord with me, and I hope the momentum that writers seemed to have possessed this year just keeps on going and we get a fantastic 4th and final season. I was ultimately surprised on how they managed to not let the story drag, it being still thirteen episodes and not a shorter season like other series have recently done. I’m guessing we will still get thirteen episodes the final season, being that 13 is in the series title for crying out loud, I just hope that these characters find that state of melancholy, they’ve been through some traumatizing shit.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: SEXTUPLETS (Netflix) (My New Worst Film Of All Time)

SEXTUPLETS is the worst thing since AIDS. It is now officially takes the top dunce cap spot as the worst film I have ever seen. It is probably going to be one of the final nails in the coffin of Netflix, which now has maybe two years left once Disney + and other streaming services arrive and take all their content back. You are telling me that Netflix is fronting checks to both Adam Sandler and Marlon Wayans for these types of shit films yet they fucking cancel Santa Clarita Diet? Fuck you Netflix. Once all of these other companies take their content, what the hell are you going to have left? 50 dumb Adam Sandler movies and another 50 dumb Marlon Wayans ones? All you have left is Stranger Things, and after one or two more seasons you won’t even have that anymore. You shit the bed with House of Cards (sort of not your fault) and you cancel everything else after two to three seasons because of financing issues. The only great original films you have produced was Mudbound and Roma. Everything else is absolute garbage except for passable good films such as almost everything you have with Noah Centineo or that one pageant film with Jennifer Aniston I can’t even remember the name of. Embarrassing. And I thought Wine Country was easily the worst film of the year. Sextuplets asked it to hold its fucking wine…

I’m reviewing this film to warn you all: DO NOT FUCKING WATCH IT. If you watch it and hate it, you are just wasting your time. If you watch it and actually think it’s a decent film like some dumb ass critic at Variety, please unfriend me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, wherever I’m linked to you on social media, because I will never talk to you again. That’s how bad this film is. I did not laugh, chuckle, or semi-snort one time. In fact, I was cringing half the movie of how badly it was written and acted. If you must know, the movie is about a guy named Alan about to have a baby, that doesn’t know any of his biological family medical history because he was adopted, so he gets a judge to unseal his adoption records, and he finds out that he is one of six children born at the same time, hence Sextuplets. Marlon Wayans decided to take the Eddie Muprhy/Martin Lawrence route and play all 6 of the characters (and a secret 7th one, but you can guess who he plays 15 minutes in before that character shows up at the very end of the movie). You thought Norbit was bad? This film makes Norbit look like the first remake of The Nutty Professor.

And each character that Marlon Wayans plays gets more ridiculous and more annoying than the last. The film starts out like a plain harmless Netflix comedy with no laughs, but once that first sibling, Russell I believe, shows up, everything goes straight to hell. Wayans plays everyone over the top, ridiculously annoying, somewhat probably offensive and stupid. 2 of them are fat, one of those being a woman (because why not?), one is tiny, small, and fragile (think that dumb film where Marlon Wayan’s face is on the CGI body of a baby) and has a bunch of medical problems, one plays a more mean, gross and perverted version of the original Alan named Ethan (just there so he can cut his hair and look exactly like Alan for some identity mix up stupid hi jinks bullshit), and then the last one plays a conspiracy theory black ginger. I shit you not. Some of these characters are going to be extremely offensive to some people (I don’t get offended that easily, but I can just imagine some people getting flabbergasted) and Tiffany Haddish now needs to sue Marlon Wayans, because the girl sextuplet he plays named Dawn, is basically just a more crass and loud fat Tiffany Haddish. Gun to my head, I couldn’t tell you which of the siblings was the worst, but I rolled my eyes a bunch at Dawn and Russell, and my eyeballs almost fell out of my sockets when we meet Jaspar.

What probably flabbergasted me the most is that this movie was based off a children’s book by the same name by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (I haven’t read it). The word BASED needs to be in bold and in huge letters because there is no way this film contains any of the books content, especially when a couple of F words and unfunny dick and fart joke humor comes flying about. I don’t understand how this film could’ve gotten made. Did anybody at Netflix or the director or any of the otheractors actually read the fucking script before green lighting it? Was Marlon Wayans last Netflix film, Naked, really that good to them (I thought it was meh)? I mean, this script is so, so bad. You have Michael Ian Black and Molly Shannon showing up in this piece of shit, and the latter does some pretty offensive long drawn out quips to one of Wayans’ characters midway through the film.

I just, I just don’t understand how this movie exists from Netflix, yet we will never get anymore of the masterful Santa Clarita Diet. Who is running the show here? The direction is awful, the make up is awful, the music is awful, the dialogue is awful, everything about this movie is abysmal. I then proceeded to look up the director, and of course he directed Marlon Wayans “hits” such as both dumb fucking Haunted House parody movies and the worse Fifty Shades of Black. They even warned other filmmakers in the film Tropic Thunder to stop making films like this with that Jack Black parody trailer, yet they still don’t listen (which I would watch a bazillion times before ever watching Sextuplets again). Please, for the love of God, even if you are laughing at my review and are curious to see how bad this thing is: DO NOT WATCH IT. DO NOT SUPPORT SHIT LIKE THIS. I KNOW I DID, BUT I MADE A SACRIFICE FLY FOR THE TEAM!!!


Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: STRANGER THINGS SEASON 3 (major spoilers)

It’s my birthday, and lately I’ve been getting a lot of notifications on messenger asking me about my in depth thoughts for STRANGER THINGS SEASON 3 (other than my short little tiny paragraph of my summation earlier this week), so here is an in depth review! A present from me to you…on my own fuckin’ birthday. Jk, jk, I love writing these things. But be warned, I’m just going to start running my mouth, and since a lot of people have finished the entire short 8 episode season by now, there’s no telling what I’ll start spouting out, so major spoiler warning from here on out. The third season of Stranger Things is a vast, vast, vast improvement on the very kind of….I don’t know….just there second season which felt like just a retread of Season 1 (even though I still liked it). It doesn’t however beat the glorious first season, and there are reasons for that, which I’ll get to in a bit. But needless to say, I really really really enjoyed Season 3, I just wished that it didn’t have any minor problems where it could’ve completely blown the first season out of the water.

I loved the whole Starcourt Mall, The Meat Monster, Scoops Ahoy, the Russian Commie Thread, Alexei, Billy being possessed, all the new elements that were brought to the table. When Will started getting goosebumps at the back of his neck again when they snuck into see Day of the Dead I was rolling my eyes, hoping that they weren’t going to do him possessed thing all over again a la season 2. Thankfully he just has a ‘sense’ now since he was in the Upside Down for so long and is not the actual entity. Making Billy that entity (who was already established as an asshole last season) and then having a minor little arc of redemption felt a little refreshing. The whole thing is like a giant 8 hour summer, retro horror/thriller, fun for the whole family movie where the first 2 episodes are all set up and the last 6 are fast paced pay offs. The only problem with this is that the whole thing feels a little rushed (although I’d rather it be rushed than strung out into 13 episodes with a bunch of needless filler) and that character development is sacrificed for plot the majority of the time. Let me explain.

Remember the scene in the last episode where Dustin is trying to get that number from his girlfriend Suzie (the joke is that she might not be real), this mathmatical number that will unlock the place where Hopper and Joyce need to get into to turn those keys and close the gate the Russians kept trying to keep open, probably hoping to weaponize the creatures and attack America? Where Dustin had to prove his loyalty to Suzie before she would give him this number by singing with her the theme song to The NeverEnding Story? Made you get all goosebumpy and all memberberry inside right? THAT SCENE IS A GOD DAMN JOKE AND COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. It was a waste of time for all characters involved and if she would’ve just given him the number and then they could’ve sang it to each other, the gate could’ve been closed much faster, it could’ve served both story and character development at the same time, and Hopper might not have ‘died.’ I’m putting ‘died’ like that because, like everyone with a brain, I don’t think they would kill off one of their best and complicated characters. David Harbour is a master in the role, and like I always say, “no body, not dead.” Unfortunately I’m afraid they are just going to resolve the situation like they did with Eleven in season 1 and 2 where she ‘died’ but really just ended up back in the Upside Down place.

Other character development problems: Max and Lucas, who got together near the end of season 2, have virtually no character development between the two this season, they are together the whole time, barely an argument. She has a small arc with her brother Billy but it is completely rushed and half-assed. Eleven and Mike break up for the stupidest reasons other than to get some funny scenes between her and Max. All he had to say was, “Hopper told me to spend less time with you,” and everything would’ve been solved. The relationship between Eleven and Hopper, the father/daughter angle, is good in the first two episodes, and then they are separated the rest of the time, everything meaning to tie together in a sappy yet sweet letter at the end. If there was anything that season 2 got completely right, it was the relationship with those two. The Jonathan/Nancy lover thing, that was again, done better in Season Two, is kind of like the Max and Lucas thing here, they have a couple of arguments, but ultimately love each other and everything is okay. Thank goodness the acting all around, especially from Millie Bobby Brown, is top notch, other wise all these problems would’ve bothered me more.

Fortunately, there are some very, very good character moments that about evens everything up developmental wise. Hopper and Joyce’s relationship is the best it has ever been this season and has a pretty solid arc. And remember that last minute Steve and Dustin friendship near the end of season 2? Here, it is full blown brilliant and is even combined with a great arc between Steven and a new character named Robin (played by Maya Hawke, who looks just like her mom, Uma Thurman) that works with him at Scoops Ahoy (I want to work there). Even though they are in the mall (and the secret Russian underground base) basically the entire 8 episodes, every scene with all of them together work perfectly, including when Lucas’ sister joins the fray later in the season. Also that weird conspiracy theorist dude from season 2 that helped Nancy and Jonathan get together gets a cute, little, but strong and effective arc with a Russian turncoat, a scientist nerd by the name of Alexei, who loves Cherry Slurpees and Burger King but is empathetic with the American’s plight. Also, the CGI and special effects this season are amazing. The Meat Monster is the greatest horror to come out of this series, even more enjoyable than the original Demogorgan.

So basically because of some character development problems and that the 8 episodes went by way too fast, it did not beat Season 1 for me, but at times it came incredibly close. Blew Season Two out of the water, but to be fair, I still do like that season, and love this series. With Season 3, The Duffer Brothers have finally found their groove with the series, relying less on just nostalgia references and more on story and group dynamics. And when there are references, it isn’t just to say, “hey look! Remember this!” anymore, but is often introduced to be a foreshadowing plot point or a joke that hits hard and is immersed in the overall story. And it’s just fucking fun as hell. The 8 episodes went by fast because I completely gave myself to that world and everything in it. I would complain about that long wait times between seasons (it was almost two years! Oct 2017 – July 2019) but if that’s how long it takes to tinker it, and give us a great, almost greatest, season like this one, everyone involved can take all the time they need. Now all they need to do is just end it all next season, or at the most, Season 5, so the whole thing doesn’t become stale. *coughlikeHouseOfCardscough*

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: MURDER MYSTERY (Netflix) (No Spoilers)

MURDER MYSTERY is Adam Sandler’s best Netflix film. But it’s still a piece of shit and one of the worst films of the year. Other than the wonderful Chris Farley tribute song Sandler’s has been doing with his stand up tour and just redid on a recent episode of SNL (the whole episode wasn’t bad either), he has been on autopilot ever since after Funny People bombed at the box office. So when you think hard about his filmography, what is Adam Sandler’s last best film? I myself unfortunately couldn’t come up with just one answer but instead three different films in three different categories: 1. Sandler’s last film where he wasn’t on autopilot but the film wasn’t all that good – Funny People. 2. Sandler’s last film that was good fun but not great and he wasn’t on autopilot – Click. 3. Sandler’s last great best film – 50 First Dates. So if you want to go with option 3, that means Sandler hasn’t made a good film since 2004….Holy….Shit….a decade and a half. Abbie Doobie!!!

If you laughed at those last two jibberish words you probably could’ve once called yourself an Adam Sandler fan. At least when he was doing his jibberish routine in Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, and The Waterboy, he actually made us laugh and was trying to bring the funny. Every film he does now he is either doing it for the paycheck, the ability to take his real family on vacation while he works….or both. And it seems like every time the director yells action in a Sandler film now, Adam pops a Xanax right before he mumbles his first line. Murder Mystery is no different. I don’t want to even explain the plot so I’m just going to give credit to and just copy and paste their one line summary: “A New York cop and his wife go on a European vacation to reinvigorate the spark in their marriage, but end up getting framed and on the run for the death of an elderly billionaire.” See the key word there? Vacation? If you like films that struggle to find endless jokes about Claritin Vs. Allegra, random goats in the road, and aged ham combined with really dumb physical comedy that has absolutely no point, this film is for you. And unfortunately you are also to blame for these types of movies being made.

Unless you are living under a rock you probably know that Jennifer Aniston is in this movie too. And with this and Dumplin’ now under her belt, are we to assume she’s going to be the next once big celebrity stuck in this endless loop of Netflix assembly lined manufactured bullshit? Probably. In my opinion, I don’t think Jennifer Anison has ever been that great of an actress. She showed some potential in the movie Cake, but in everything else she seems like the same character. Again, in Murder Mystery, it is no different. She plays a bumbling wife on autopilot. So you are probably asking yourself if I hate Adam Sandler’s recent movies so much, why in the fuck did I bother even watching this? Gemma Arterton. Probably one of the most gorgeous women on the planet and was the only one in this that felt like they actually wanted to be there and actually tried. I will literally watch everything she does. And in the back of my mind did I have an alterior motive where I wanted another film to add onto my worst list of 2019? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Now I said in my opening that this was Adam Sandler’s best Netflix film, which is true, I wasn’t lying. I will give it two commendations. One, I did not guess who the killer was correctly. I had two theories, both were proven wrong. Two, Adam Sandler’s dumb friends don’t show up in this movie to ruin it. Well, to be fair, one of them makes a cameo as a disgruntled tourist, but the person has two lines, is far off, and I couldn’t tell at all it was Allen Covert until I looked it up, and those lines weren’t memorable for being stupid. So we’ll still count number two as a commendation. The rest of the movie is just filth. Adam Sandler’s arc is that he’s a cop (Sergeant) that has failed his detective exam three times, so I assumed that the movie would use his detective skills to prove he should actually be one in the end. WRONG. Sandler does maybe real detective work in only one scene and that is at the climax in a room where all the survivors are gathered. And that’s a HARD maybe. The rest of the movie characters just come to him and spout off bullshit and in another scene him and Aniston are making up dumb questions to ask the suspects in order for them to possibly confess. There is no real detective work done throughout the entire movie (save for the climax where he is literally putting two lines of dialogue/information together) , and in fact, if I was Sandler’s boss in that fictional world, I would fire his ass for being the most inept lazy cop in existence.

The whole time while watching the movie I was thinking of different and better ways the film could’ve gone, and obviously it didn’t go with any of those options. This entire film was an excuse for Sandler to go on vacation while he does some work on Xanax, while the director gets some gorgeous shots of a foreign city and country side. So other than Sandler, who is to blame? When looking this movie up I was surprised to find out that Sandler didn’t even write the fucking screenplay. But I wasn’t shocked by who it was, James Vanderbilt. He is responsible for Amazing Spider-Man 2, Independence Day 2, Darkness Falls, Basic, and White House Down. Literally the only film he has written that was great was Zodiac, but I have a feeling that was more because of David Fincher’s direction than it was the actual script. So in the end, with Netflix and Sandler, if you have the choice of watching Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler, The Week Of, or Murder Mystery, which one should you choose? Always know that there is the option of not watching any of them at all. Think outside the box, something that Sandler hasn’t done in 15 years.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE (NETFLIX)

Thought this was going to be the Rocketman review didn’t you Sarah? Nope, first I want to talk about briefly the new Netflix Original film ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE that released on Netflix this weekend. And I don’t want to talk about it for the reasons you may think. Just to get it out there, the movie is okay. Not great, but not bad. It is your typical rom-com Netflix fare, with not being as terrible as the recent Someone Great, but not being as great as the recent The Perfect Date either. It stars Randall Park and Ali Wong. Randall Park you might know from Fresh Off The Boat, or as Kim Jong Un in The Interview, or even his great cameo in that episode of The Office where he pretended to be Jim to confuse Dwight. Ali Wong is the great stand up comedian who has some great stand up specials on Netflix and other platforms right now. If you really want to laugh and enjoy her in something, I would suggest to watch those specials, because she isn’t as outrageous in this as she is in those.

The set up is quite simple. They were best friends during their childhood growing up for a time, and then after Park’s characters mom tragically dies in an accident while they are in high school, she hits on him and in a vulnerable moment they have sex with each other. Right after they have sex he says some stupid shit and they stop talking and seeing each other for years. They then run into each other again when Park’s father and him end up installing air conditioning at Sasha’s new home. She’s just getting out of a relationship where her fiance dumped her because he never wanted to get married. They start hanging out again and start to develop their friendship and maybe more over a period of time, until they both end up getting someone else. And that’s where we get into the review where I don’t really talk about the rest of their story. Just know that it is cute yet predictable as hell.

If you haven’t watched the trailer to this film, and this sounds interesting to you, just watch it, as you won’t ruin a fantastic cameo that elevates the film from mediocre to actually decent. And if you are reading this I’m about to ruin the cameo so turn away or scroll to the last paragraph to read my final thoughts. **MAJOR SPOILER WARNING** Keanu Reeves shows up as Ali Wong’s beau about halfway into the film. He plays himself, but a hyper realized fictional version of himself where he is a weird self centered asshole that keeps mentioning his movies and career and likes to eat at weird places where you listen to animal sounds on headphones of the meat you are currently consuming (you’ll see). I’ve never thought of Keanu Reeves as a great actor (even though he tries to bring his A game to every role, here is no different) and even though he is completely over-the-top unbelievably cheesy in this, he is the best part of the film. I literally had a huge smile on my face for the 15 total minutes he is on screen and was wishing there was a spin off where he was playing this fictional asshole self of his. I won’t ruin anything else that happens during the meet and greet, but if he brings this insane energy to the next Bill & Ted film, we are in for a treat.

Anyway, there isn’t much else to say about the film. It’s sweet, and cute, yet completely predictable. The title more plays on the song, “Always Be My Baby” than it actually refers to him always being a maybe to be the man in her life, but that’s okay, it’s a unique title. Other than the cameo moments, I really didn’t laugh out loud that often, just chuckled and thought the film had some charming moments. Randall Park and Ali Wong are good and adorable in it though and have great chemistry and some sweet moments. It’s an easy 1 hr and 40 minutes to kill on Netflix if you are trying to waste some time on the weekend. It is neither offensive to watch or make you feel like you waste your time, but it isn’t the greatest end all be all best romantic comedy ever. It just exists, and isn’t harmful, and I guess with Netflix, sometimes that is the best we can hope for.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE LAST SUMMER (Netflix)

Halston Sage left The Orville because apparently the shooting of this film THE LAST SUMMER, conflicted with her filming schedule of the very popular Fox show, and she decided that this was more important. Or you could believe the highly theorized and sort of proven explanation that what was really going on is that she was banging Writer/Star Seth McFarlane, they had a falling out, and since things were awkward, and he was the lead, Bobs your uncle. Either way, this movie was a completely bad decision on her part (she isn’t even the main, main lead). The first hour or so of this film is actually pretty decent, but then a very coincidental second act twist happens (a really really really dumb and unbelievable twist), and the films falls to all the cliched narrative devices for rom-com-dramedies that you can think of and slips past mediocre into oblivion.

I won’t reveal what that slight twist is, needless to say if you ever end up watching this you’ll know exactly what I meant when it happens. It’s eye roll inducing, very very poor writing just to move the plot along for convenience sake. Before we get to talking about how it completely sinks faster than the Titanic afterward, let’s start with the plot. It’s basically the #MeToo cautionary tale poor man’s version of Can’t Hardly Wait, except instead of stretching it out just one night with a very long party, it’s stretched out a whole summer, the last summer before high school kids go off to college. The main star is Riverdale’s KJ Apa, who is dealing with his iron wrought Dad and basically being forced into going to Columbia, his old man’s old college (She’s All That anyone?). He then runs into a former crush (Maia Mitchell), who is a film student going to a college near him, but she has problems opening up (every rom-com movie ever).

Then you have several more stories all going on at once and intertwined by certain people knowing other certain people. You have the couple (Halston Sage and Jacob Lattimore) that are eventually going to college’s really far away from each other, so they break up at the beginning of summer so they don’t have to deal with even worse heartache at the end of it. They end up finding other people really quickly, but they might not be what they bargained for. You have a girl (played by the wonderful Sosie Bacon, yes, that is Kevin Bacon’s daughter) that is trying to get into a college so she is taking care of a talented child that happens to have a cinema dream diva of a mother. You have a smoking hot looking dude making a sex wish list of girls he’d like to bang by the end of summer. And then you have two nerdy kids that try to make the most of their summer by doing adult things, so they dress up in business suits and go to a bar to try and get served without having to provide and ID, and they both end up with something much more.

Every story wraps up the way you basically think it will. Except for the two nerdy kids, that was an ending I was not expecting at all and glad the movie was able to subvert my expectations on their journey. But everything else is just cliched bullshit mish-mash that you’ve seen in every rom-com dramedy that has come before it. For one, it uses the most simple plot device you could imagine to get people out of their romantic situations so they can be with the person they were meant to be with: cheating. They use the “oh I thought you were special but you were actually cheating on me” card so many times in this film it made my head spin. Why can’t writers come up with a more natural way of splitting up two people with decent chemistry apart other than that one of them cheats on the other? Doesn’t make sense to me.

And then there is the twist with KJ Apa and Maia Mitchell’s plot. It is the most convenient twist I have ever seen come from one these movies in the past decade. I actually exclaimed, “are you seriously fucking kidding me?” when it was revealed. And I should’ve seen it coming too. Well, I kind of did, but was hoping and praying and trying to ignore my prediction thoughts, trying to give the movie the benefit of the doubt that the writers were smarter than that and wouldn’t go in that direction. Nope, they went there. The only saving grace of that twist is that KJ Apa has a dialogue with a different character late into the movie which actually felt real that tried to solve the predicament. Too little too late. My favorite story of the film was easily Sosie Bacon taking care of the younger girl over the summer. Even though that plot is probably the shortest of them all and the most predictable, Bacon’s acting elevates it in a way that it isn’t as bad as it could have been. I wish she was more of a star, she has this natural ability to come across extremely likable and realistic on screen.

The Last Summer isn’t a terrible film per say. The first half is actually decent. It’s just once that twist happens, everything else just falls into place on the cliched board of Hollywood Storytelling 101. It’s really really disappointing, especially when all the performances are good. This film would definitely not have worked in a theater and if it did somehow reach it, wouldn’t have made any money. That’s unfortunately what Netflix has become, the new direct to streaming service of films that nobody really wants to watch or looks forward to. I would recommend it to those just wanting to watching something mindless on a weekend afternoon, but other than that, I have a feeling this one will be another Netflix original lost in the crowd, and it certainly will not be the last one to achieve this status…