MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA review

Um… yeah.

What’s with this movie? This looks like it should be a Youtube short, not a theatrical release. I mean, really now? Hey, I’m all down for a “wtf” movie like this, but this is a little more out there, even for “out there” movies.

And look at this cast! Jason Schwartzman (THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL [2014], SAVING MR. BANKS [2013], and I HEART HUCKABEES [2004]). Lena Dunham (DON’T THINK TWICE [2016], THIS IS 40 [2012], and TV show GIRLS). Reggie Watts (PITCH PERFECT 2 [2015] and TV show ADVENTURE TIME). Maya Rudolph (CHIPS [2017], THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE [2016], SISTERS [2015], and upcoming films THE NUT JOB 2 [2017] and THE EMOJI MOVIE [2017])?! Susan god damned Sarandon (THE MEDDLER [2016], TAMMY [2014], and THELMA & LOUISE [1991])?! Am I high?! Did someone throw some coke in my popcorn or something?! How did this line-up of talent get roped into this?!

Now for the team that put this together. Writing and directing is Dash Shaw, making his feature-length debut. Congrats, sir. Finally, the composer for the music is Rani Sharone, known for TV movies, documentaries, and shorts.

Overall… I have no idea how this is going to be. I feel like the animation style will bug me, but as I keep saying, a good story is more important than most anything else.

This is my honest opinion of: MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA

(SUMMARY)

The story follows Dash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman). He is a typical school-hating sophomore. He works on the school newspaper, writing ridiculously stupid articles that he thinks are brilliant alongside his best friend, Assaf (voiced by Reggie Watts). Well, Assaf wants to cover real stories, and when he suspects that the paper’s editor Verti (voiced by Maya Rudolph) has a crush on Assaf, who seems to have a crush, and wants Assaf to cover those stories solo, Dash feels betrayed and publishes a spiteful article about Assaf out of jealousy. After getting this stunt put on his permanent record, he attempts to fudge it, only to find blueprints for the new gymnasium and an inspection document that says its construction does meet the proper codes. As a result, the construction causes seismic activity and the high school, which sits on the edge of a cliff, gets thrust into the ocean, and as the school sinks, people start dying and Dash and company must race to the top of the school building in hopes of finding help.

(REVIEW)

Yeah, my opinion didn’t change much now that I’ve seen it. I still have no idea how this movie got to be on the big screen. Is it bad? Kinda. Do I dislike it? Not really. I just don’t think I understand why I saw it in a movie theater instead of on Youtube.

Alright, so some positives. I can’t deny that there’s a bit of a charm factor to the… “Dr. Katz” animation style. You know, the spazzing outline of the characters. I don’t know if I can explain why I don’t have a problem with it. Maybe it’s an acknowledgement that it doesn’t look like anything else out on the market right now and due to its different look, I welcomed it. There are some pretty trippy visual moments, as well as a funny enough animated fight scenes, and over the top violence of dead or dying people. I’m sure not hoping that this style catches on and more movies get made like this, but as a one-shot, I liked it more than I didn’t.

But there’s not many positives to draw on, in my opinion. The voice acting from everyone is noticeably dull. Everyone delivers a monotoned line like they’ve been doing better voice work and this movie was the last session of the day and they’re tired. Even in situations that call for some emotion, it’s just not there. I’m also not sure where the humor is. If you watch the trailer, there’s a quote from a critic saying “One of the funniest movies I’ve seen this year” or something to that effect. But… I have no idea where that humor is. “My legs are caught under this bookcase!” “Oh no! I’ll have to amputate!” “Dude, just lift the bookcase!” “Oh… right… okay.” I see comedy attempted to be written, but this example is the kind of humor that’s written. It’s not funny. There’s by no means immature humor, so I’m grateful that this movie didn’t stoop that low with its own writing, but I can’t imagine how many people busted a gut watching this when the dialog sounds like it was written by a teenager.

To make matters worse, as a result of the bland voice-acting, the movie is ultimately boring. While I stand by the visuals being interesting enough in some areas, hell, I feel like this would be a fun video game to play through, there’s still nothing to keep you emotionally vested into the main characters. If any of the main characters died, you wouldn’t give a single crap. Dash isn’t likable, the side characters are uninteresting, and since this is supposed to kind of be a character-driven story, it doesn’t work. So unless the visual style of the movie is all that you care about, then half your enjoyment is cut to ribbons.

It’s hard to be utterly angry with the film as it’s too boring to get mad over, but as a whole, it doesn’t really work. I’m not entirely upset that I saw it, as I can appreciate the attempt to put out something new and different, but I can’t imagine seeing this movie again. I don’t recommend it, unless you’re an animation junkie, then maybe you’ll find something of value here. Clocked in at an hour and fifteen minutes, it’s mercifully short, so not a whole lot of time will be wasted if you check it out, but wait for a rental if it’s something you just have to check out.

My honest rating for MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA: a weak 3/5

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