Premise: Keanu Reeves plays John Wick, a former mob assassin who quit the business to be with his lady, but then she dies of some illness, and on her death-bed she gives him a dog to help him grieve. Then, through a chance encounter with some jerks who have mafia connections, some goobers rob Wick’s house and kill his dog. John Wick then decides to kill everybody else in the movie. Pretty simple plot. There’s literally nothing else to it, and it doesn’t have any twists or anything. It’s just a revenge movie about a dog. The second one this year actually.
Premise: Bill Murray plays an old cranky guy in an indie comedy who agrees to watch his neighbor’s kid for $12 an hour. He’s rough around the edges, but the kid has plenty of life lessons to learn. And – wait, you were sold after looking at that picture, weren’t you? Why do I even bother…?
Men, Women & Children, if you do not know (I suspect most of you do not know), is the new film from Jason Reitman; a sometimes gifted director, the spawn of Ivan Reitman, and an American doppelgänger of Edgar Wright. It’s an ensemble picture about our overuse of technology (mostly cell phones and websites) within a high school in Texas, focusing on the parents in the community (MEN, WOMEN) as well as the teenagers at the school (& CHILDREN). The movie has way too much going on for its own good, and all of the scattered storylines mixed together made it kind of an interesting mess. Instead of a conventional review, I’ll just quickly rank all of Men, Women & Children’s different plot lines from best to worst:
I’m always surprised when a big budget Hollywood war movie comes along, and it tries to do things in really unconventional ways. Take this film for example, starring Jack Black as a man in a giant tiger costume who meets a lovable woman named Ferna (played by Aubrey Plaza), who also happens to dress up in a giant wolf costume. Sure, the outside world doesn’t understand their lifestyle, or their sexual impulses, but – uhhh. Wait… This is embarrassing… One second…
(leaves the 6:45 pm screening of “Furry” in auditorium 8, and enters the 7 pm screening of “Fury” in auditorium 9)
[Scott walks into an Oberweis Dairy Store. He notices two children are occupying the table with the chess board. He politely asks them if they could let him use the table. They say “no” and laugh at the fact that he’s wearing a full vampire cape. Scott then goes to the counter and tells the manager that those two kids over there are spitting on the floor and putting the chess pieces down their pants. The manager effectively throws the children out, leaving Scott an empty chess table to occupy; since they are clearly the best tables at Oberweis. He opens his green duffel bag with the Ace Ventura stickers all over it, and starts to assemble his vintage 1939 Royal Aristocrat typewriter he purchased at a knockoff antique roadshow / fruit stand last month, where he also obtained some out of season peaches, and loaded it with paper he found on eBay that reportedly were once in Edgar Allen Poe’s trashcan. Sure, he regretted paying $40 for seven sheets of wrinkly paper, but it would no doubt inspire his magnificent wordplay.
The waitress comes over and asks if he would like anything to drink. Scott orders a Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino with crushed Oreo dust on top and gummy worms coming out of it, as if to simulate that he was drinking some sort of delicious concoction made out of dirt and its (normally disgusting) inhabitants. The waitress informs him that they don’t serve that here, so he instead orders a glass of 2% milk. She brings him the milk and says “Enjoy your milk” to which he replies “You too!”, which makes him feel stupid for the next 45 seconds. After wallowing in his own sense of lowered self-worth, he reaches in his pocket and squeezes out a few drops of red food coloring into his milk, so he can pretend he’s drinking blood, pops in his plastic vampire teeth, and readies his hands over the typewriter. He feels a feeling of pure adrenaline rush over him as his fingers touch the typewriter keys, for he was about to, once again, criticize film. He leans forward, calmly lets out all the milky air from his lungs, and begins the review]
It’s time for round two of ABCs of Death! The first time around, the wacky experience resulted in a few real gems, and a lot of “what the hell was that?” and “ewww gross…” I’m sure the second time that 26 filmmakers from around the world gather their work together to show 26 forms of death for each letter of the alphabet will, well, probably be exactly the same, I’m guessing. Let’s sift through the weirdness!
As a companion piece to my theater roundup from Monday, here’s a quick list of all of the movies over the last couple of months that I’ve rented/downloaded/streamed and watched in the comfort of my own home/computer, while I farted at my leisure and got melted popsicle sugar all over my sweatpants. Ahhh, the advantages to not going out to see a movie… Anyway, this finally gets me caught up on my backlog of terribly punctuated (what’s with the semicolons, dude?), heavily under-thought ramblings about what movies I’ve seen lately.