THE SNOWMAN review

Boy, Young Magneto can’t escape masked adversaries can he?

Usually, I’m a pretty big fan of Michael Fassbender, but outside of his X-Men ventures, he doesn’t seem to find a good footing. I mean, seriously, has he done anything good outside of his superhero genre? Hmm, okay, I really liked THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (2016). And now that I’m thinking about it, wasn’t he nominated for his performance in STEVE JOBS (2015)? Oh alright, so it’s not so gloomy, but there’s so many bad or unsuccessful films under his belt. Well, here’s yet another venture of his and it’s not shaping up to be a good turn. And what the hell is Rebecca Ferguson doing in this picture? Damn it, she was supposed to have a spotless record! THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (2016) was supposed to be the worst that she had. Or… maybe LIFE (2017). At least, that’s how my delusions were supposed to work.

The story looks like it’s about a detective looking into a series of murders where the killer chops the heads off of his victims and places them on snowman bodies, hence his alias: the snowman killer. He also seems to spend his time mocking Fassbender’s character, claiming that he could have saved the victims, and gave him all the clues. Doesn’t look… awful, but we’ll see.

Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Michael Fassbender (ALIEN: COVENANT [2017], HAYWIRE [2011], INGLORIOUS BASTERDS [2009], and the upcoming X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX [2018]), Rebecca Ferguson (FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS [2016], MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION [2015], HERCULES [2014], and upcoming films THE GREATEST SHOWMAN [2017] and M:I 6 – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE [2018]), Charlotte Gainsbourgh (NORMAN [2017], INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE [2016], and NYMPHOMANIAC VOL. 1 [2013]), and Jonas Karlsson (foreign projects). In support, we have J.K. Simmons (PATRIOTS DAY [2016], JUNO [2007], THE JACKAL [1997], and upcoming films JUSTICE LEAGUE [2017] and THE BATMAN, no release date announced), Val Kilmer (SONG TO SONG [2017], DEJA VU [2006], and THE SAINT [1997]), Toby Jones (ATOMIC BLONDE [2017], THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY [2016], THE HUNGER GAMES [2012], and the upcoming JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM [2018]), Chloë Sevigny (BEATRIZ AT DINNER [2017], LOVE & FRIENDSHIP [2016], and ZODIAC [2007]), and Jaime Clayton (THE NEON DEMON [2016], video game MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA [2017], and TV show SENSE8 [2015 – 2018]).

Now for the crew.

Overall, this movie is getting a critical thrashing, so I’m hoping for a spectacle.

This is my honest opinion of: THE SNOWMAN

(SUMMARY)

Officer Harry (Michael Fassbender) is a drunken and miserable cop, but a good man and good at his job. He is partnered up with the young and eager Katrine (Rebecca Ferguson) on a case involving a missing mother, leading them to a killer that they call “The Snowman Killer,” and how this case spans longer than either of them realize.

(REVIEW)

And Fassbender’s crappy streak continues. This movie is so bad! But you know what? It’s the kind of bad that you’re not having a fun time with it, but it also doesn’t piss you off either. It’s just… a compelling bad.

First off, the movie is drenched in clichés. A cop who smokes and gets drunk while depressed and obsesses with finding the killer. He pops pills so he can sleep. He was in a failed relationship and forgets his commitments to his rebellious son-figure. He gives such little shit that his superiors keep covering for his bad habits, even though he’s the best on the force. Oh yeah, it’s that character, y’all. Never seen him in a movie before, have you?

But you wanna know the saddest part? If you’re wearing glasses, you might want to take them off. These clichés? They’re the least of this film’s problems. Oh yeah, if this movie’s problems ended with just Fassbender’s character, it might have been alright. But nope!

The first major problem is that this was meant to be a foreign film. This movie is based on a Nordic novel. Hence, the characters in that book probably have Nordic names. However, what I find incredibly bizarre, some of the actors are from Nordic countries, like Ferguson and Karlsson whom are both Swedish, all speak with British accents, and I’m pretty sure the setting of this movie is in Norway. It’s beyond puzzling why the movie didn’t simply take place in London, or some British city. And because of this disconnection, it’s a little distracting when you hear some of the other names in this movie. Like, Harry’s ex-girlfriend Rakel (Gainsbourgh) has a son named Oleg (Michael Yates). Look, I know this movie is supposed to take place in Norway, and Oleg is probably a common name over there, but because the actors mostly speak in British accents, I mostly think this movie takes place in an English-speaking country. So when I hear a teen kid is named “Oleg,” it sounds pretty silly. I can’t name one American or English-born child with the name Oleg. It’s too… European, you know what I mean? But it takes place in Norway, so I shouldn’t be too critical, but the movie has to literally remind me of its setting, which isn’t very often. In fact, I think the setting it only referenced twice in the entire film. If I don’t hear Norwegian accents, or not obvious English accents, I’m not going to remember that it takes place in Norway, or I have to take efforts in actively reminding myself that it does in fact take place in Norway, which sounds exhausting.

Also… Harry Hole? Is this name pronounced differently in Norway? Because in America… that’s an easy name to make fun of. I don’t need to know about Fassbender’s hairy hole! I know this is a considered a great character and part of a long running series of crime novels- in fact, this movie is based on the seventh installment – but that’s a really silly name. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal if the great character that was in the books had translated onto the big screen, but sadly, Harry is written horrendously bland. He has no real personality outside of the clichés that I mentioned earlier. I imagine any fan of the novels is royally pissed off with this flick.

Honestly, all of the problems with this movie can be summed up in the opening scene. You have this kid and his single mother living in a small house in the middle of a snowy nowhere and then a single cop shows up, causing a stir in the two of them. The cop starts quizzing the boy on certain things and every question he gets wrong, he slaps his mother. Then, the boy is sent away as the cop has sex with the mom. The boy peers into the room, the mom sees her son, and then threatens the cop that she’ll tell his wife that the boy is really his son. Then… the cop says, “Fine, then you won’t see me again.” The cop gets up and leaves in a huff with the boy begging him not to leave. You following this, reader? Because if not, you’re not the only one. As the cop drives away, even the mother starts begging him not to leave and they drive after him. She somehow ends up off the road and onto a frozen lake, which obviously ends up breaking. The boy is out of the car, of course, but the mom literally does nothing as she drowns herself. The scene ends and we cut right to Fassbender and his story. Yeah, nothing made even the slightest amount of sense, did it? And you know what’s amazing? I’m not exaggerating. The movie makes zero effort in explaining any of it’s baffling choices like this.

There’s also some incredibly awkward editing. The movie constantly cuts to these scenes that take place nine years prior to the current events. While in the end, you know what those scenes signify and their connection to the present events, it’s way too clunky in its transitions and timing that it just seems like a random deviations with no rhyme or reason. The script is beyond basic. I remember a quick scene with Harry and Oleg in a train and every single line was a cliché. “It’s not your fault.” “You deserved better.” “Listen to your mother.” You know, lines like that. And… as much as I really want to know what’s going on with Val Kilmer’s health, as he did not look healthy in this movie, so I’ll leave this subject alone to be looked up online later, but most of his dialog was dubbed, and horribly so. Like, even people who don’t know what dubbing is will notice an obvious lack of syncing between the lines being said and the movement of his lips.

***SPOILERS***


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I’ve seen more than a few reviews stating that they figured out the ending pretty quickly, that the killer was Mathias. I can’t claim that. I didn’t see him coming. Having said that, that doesn’t mean I think this twist is good. The foundation of a good twist is that the story dropped subtle clues, easily missed, but were still right in front of the audience’s eyes the whole time. Unless I am insanely oblivious to the obvious, which is a possibility, the twist is just stupid. Mathias has been one of the few fairly likable characters in the film, being civil and polite with Harry, helping the guy with prescription drugs to help him sleep, covering for him when he forgets his camping trip with Oleg, he’s a really decent guy. But then when the twist is revealed, that’s when he starts acting like a creepy serial killer, and somehow, no one around him questions his sudden change in behavior. What a freakin’ load!

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***END SPOILERS***

There’s a ton of awkward things in this movie, but I wouldn’t know what to say about half of them. Is there anything good about the movie? Um… some of the cinematography is pretty. But then again, I recently saw WIND RIVER (2017), which had better cinematography, so… not all that impressed. I give credit that most of the actors aren’t… awful. Fassbender apparently started filming this movie two days after wrapping up from ASSASSIN’S CREED (2016), so he just looks tired and doesn’t give a shit. Ferguson is fine-ish. She doesn’t look bored, or anything. It’s too bad that she isn’t given a role that does her any favors. Beyond that, not really. Like I said, this movie wasn’t insulting, and I don’t hate it, but it’s a really bad film and I don’t recommend it in any way. Hard pass, folks. Let this snowman melt into nothingness.

My honest rating for THE SNOWMAN: 2/5

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Quick Reviews: 3 IDIOTAS / DEAN / THE HERO / BEATRIZ AT DINNER

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3 IDIOTAS

Starring: Martha Higareda (NO MANCHES FRIDA [2016] and STREET KINGS [2008]). In support: Vadhir Derbez (HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER [2017])

Co-writing: Martha Higareda

(SUMMARY)

In the present day, two friends are told by a college rival that he knows where to find a friend of theirs who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. In flashback, we’re shown how these friends met and challenged one another to be inspired to do the things that they want to do, falling in love, and challenging what is perceived to be the conventional.

(REVIEW)

On paper, this doesn’t sound too bad, and can even have a pretty strong message if done right. Sadly, it was not done right. The movie is painfully unfunny, what with its overuse of fart jokes. While some ideas are interesting, the rest of the film barely justifies it. Even the romance between characters Poncho and Mariana feels forced. It somewhat breaks my heart to say this because even though I don’t remember liking NO MANCHES FRIDA all that much, I did really like Higareda. I remember liking her performance, and she’s no worse here. But it’s a chore to sit through this. To my understanding, this movie is a Mexican adaptation of an Indian film similarly called 3 IDIOTS (2009). Whereas IMDb gives this movie 3.9/10 (as of 6/15/2017), IMDb has the Indian original at an 8.4/10 (as of 6/15/2017). Wow. That’s an insane contrast. I’m rather interested in seeing that myself just to see if such a rating is warranted. But alas, this quick review is about this one. It’s not funny, makes zero sense most of the time, and even resorts to a crap load of clichés. I don’t recommend this. Not even as a rental. Check out the Indian original. It’s gotta be better than it’s Mexican remake.

My honest rating for 3 IDIOTAS: 1/5

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DEAN

Starring: Demetri Martin (IN A WORLD… [2013], TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT [2011], and TV show HOUSE OF LIES), Kevin Kline (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST [2017], THE ROAD TO EL DORADO [2000], and WILD WILD WEST [1999]), and Gillian Jacobs (DON’T THINK TWICE, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 [2015], and TV show COMMUNITY).

Directing and written by: Demetri Martin (Debut. Congrats.) Co-composing the score: Mark Noseworthy (unknown work) and Orr Rebhun (TV shows ENLISTED and THE CRAZY ONES). Cinematography by: Mark Schwartzbard (TV show MASTER OF NONE).

(SUMMARY)

The story follows Dean (Demetri Martin). His mom just passed away and he’s having trouble grieving, unlike his estranged father (Kevin Kline), who just wants to help him. Instead of grieving, Dean takes a vacation to Los Angeles and falls for a young woman named Nicky (Gillian Jacobs).

(REVIEW)

For a respectable list of firsts for Martin, as writer, director, and star, this is an impressive feat. He has a good sense of character writing and relationships, and every one of his actors are believable in their respective roles. Whether it’s because he was genuinely a great director or it was a great collaboration with his actors, it’s hard to say, but it pays off well. It’s got some good comedy and drama. Jacobs steals the show any time she’s on. There’s even a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. Having said all that, the movie is pretty basic in its design. If you read my summary, the movie is about what you’d expect to get. It’s not saying anything particularly profound, or trying anything all that new, and has been done in better movies that came before. Overall, it’s a safe movie, but it’s an impressive movie for someone who’s never written, directed, or starred in a movie before, and throwing a couple of surprises does elevate the movie to above average. If you’re a die-hard Martin fan, I recommend a matinee screening. Otherwise, I recommend it as a solid rental. It’s nothing amazing as a whole, but it’s not too shabby either.

My honest rating for DEAN: a strong 3/5

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THE HERO

Starring: Sam Elliott (ROCK DOG [2017], GHOST RIDER [2007], and TV show THE RANCH) and Laura Prepon (THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN [2016], and TV show ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and one episode of CASTLE). In support: Krysten Ritter (BIG EYES [2014], TV shows JESSICA JONES and DON’T TRUST THE B— IN APARTMENT 23, and upcoming TV show THE DEFENDERS), Nick Offerman (MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI [2017], HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 [2015], and TV show PARKS AND REC), and Katharine Ross (DONNIE DARKO [2001], BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID [1969], and THE GRADUATE [1967]).

Directing and co-writing: Brett Haley (short films). Co-writing: Marc Basch (unknown films). Composer: Keegan DeWitt (MORRIS FROM AMERICA [2016]). Cinematography: Rob Givens (short films)

(SUMMARY)

Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) is a seventy-one year old struggling actor, seemingly only known for one role for the last forty years, a western called THE HERO, of which he is being offered a lifetime achievement award for the role that made him famous. Despite all this, Lee hasn’t worked that much since, and often finds himself voicing over for commercials. When he’s not doing that, he’s getting high with his friend and drug dealer Jeremy (Nick Offerman) and being reminded that he wasn’t the best father to his thirty year old daughter Lucy (Krysten Ritter). And despite striking up a relationship with a much younger woman named Charlotte (Laura Prepon), as well as finding internet fame for a speech he gave at his award ceremony, he finds himself diagnosed with cancer and finds himself in a situation where he needs to sort his life out.

(REVIEW)

You’d think it’d be incredibly morbid for elderly actors playing roles that tease their deaths, but give credit where credit is due, Elliott owns this movie. You feel every inch of his frustration as a struggling actor and, despite being so popular in one film, hasn’t given him the clout to get better roles. But it is delightfully entertaining to watch him get high off his ass. And usually I get a little queasy watching an old man make out and have sex with a much younger woman, but the characters are written so well that their chemistry does make it very sweet to watch… of course, I have a cousin who might be pretty annoyed with this. Either way, from the small amounts of comedy to the heavy drama, Elliott carries this film flawlessly. And for the life of me, I will never forget, “Lonestar Barbecue Sauce. The perfect partner… for your chicken.” There is sadly some predictability to the film, as in you know how they’ll get resolved and even when. Other scenes drag on much longer than necessary, and one or two questionable character decisions, but overall, this is a good movie. I recommend it and can see this getting Elliott an Oscar nomination next year. It’s not great, but it’s good and worth seeing.

My honest rating for THE HERO: 4/5

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BEATRIZ AT DINNER

Starring: Salma Hayek (HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER [2017], SAUSAGE PARTY [2016], DESPERADO [1995], and the upcoming THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD [2017]) and John Lithgow (MISS SLOANE [2016], INTERSTELLAR [2014], SHREK [2001], and upcoming films DADDY’S HOME 2 [2017] and PITCH PERFECT 3 [2017]). In support: Connie Britton (AMERICAN ULTRA [2015], and TV shows NASHVILLE and AMERICAN HORROR STORY), Chloë Sevigny (THE DINNER [2017], LOVE & FRIENDSHIP [2016], and TV show BLOODLINE), Amy Landecker (DOCTOR STRANGE [2016], DAN IN REAL LIFE [2007], and TV show TRANSPARENT), Jay Duplass (PAPER TOWNS [2015], and TV shows THE MINDY PROJECT and TRANSPARENT), and David Warshofsky (WILSON [2017], NOW YOU SEE ME 2 [2016], and TAKEN [2008]).

Directing: Miguel Arteta (ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY [2014], YOUTH IN REVOLT [2009], and THE GOOD GIRL [2002]). Screenwriter: Mike White (NACHO LIBRE [2006], SCHOOL OF ROCK [2003], THE GOOD GIRL [2002], and the upcoming THE EMOJI MOVIE [2017]). Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh (PEE-WEE’S BIG HOLIDAY [2016], ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP [2015], THE LEGO MOVIE [2014], and upcoming films THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE [2017] and THOR: RAGNAROK [2017]). Cinematographer: Wyatt Garfield (short films and unknown movies)

(SUMMARY)

Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is a massage therapist. She’s had a rough week what with her pet goat killed outside her home and the general stresses of her job at the hospital. But one fateful day, going to a rich neighborhood to take care of frequent client Cathy (Connie Britton), her car breaks down as she tries to leave. Being a gracious host, Cathy invites Beatriz to their dinner party that night to celebrate business deal with their equally rich and infamous Doug Strutt (John Lithgow). Soon, heads clash as Beatriz’s naive and pro-life attitude insights arguments with Doug, who is in love with his job and cares little about hurting others’ feelings.

(REVIEW)

Damn. In some ways, it’s a letdown, but in others, it delivers exactly what it promises: a minority arguing with a Donald Trump-like figure. Why is it a letdown? Because many of the arguments in the movie are pretty contrived and predictable. The movie has solid character-setup. We get a great sense of who Beatriz is when she’s introduced. She’s an animal lover and a passionate healer. When we meet Doug, he’s an asshole and a pig because he’s a rich white guy and he’s shameless about it. But as soon as they’re sitting down enjoying the dinner, you know that the arguments are coming. I know, that’s the whole point of the movie, but every fight ends with Beatriz apologizing and promising to keep a cool head, only to go ballistic again. Granted, for different reasons, but you’d think the first blowup would be indication enough of what kind of company she’s a part of and it makes little sense that she’d stick around. Even when she agrees to stay out of the way for the duration of the party, it’s still never enough for her to keep her mouth shut and continue to be a semi-ungracious guest. Don’t get me wrong, Lithgow is a fiendishly charming guy and Hayek probably delivers the best performance she’s had in recent memory. There is a passionate drive behind this movie and you can feel it in the insensitive-in-a-good-way comedy. I think in different character circumstances, this would have been a truly effective film. As is, it’s not bad, but it’s something a disappointment. It’s worth seeing, if only for the performances, but I think each important scene wasn’t transitioned into very well and that’s the supposed to be the whole crux of the film. I recommend it as a rental.

My honest rating for BEATRIZ AT DINNER: 3/5

THE DINNER review

Boy howdy is there a reception on this one. Already it’s being hailed as a contender for one of the worst movies of the year by early ratings and reviews. Really…? I mean, I’ll get to how implausible that sounds because of the cast, but this movie deserves a little history lesson first. Yes, this movie isn’t just some movie. It’s actually, no surprise here, an adaptation of a Dutch novel that was written back in 2009. Thing is… that novel was adapted by the Dutch in 2013, which was met with mixed reviews, likely more negative than positive. Then in 2014, the Italians adapted this book to, again, mixed reviews, but likely more positive than the Dutch version. So I guess now in 2017 we Americans need a slice of that mediocre pie and it looks like we’ve made the worst version of them all. ‘Murica: Improving on other countries’ shit since never!

It’s hard to believe considering the talent here. Steve Coogan (RULES DON’T APPLY [2016], PHILOMENA [2013], OUR IDIOT BROTHER [2011], and the upcoming DESPICABLE ME 3 [2017]), Rebecca Hall (THE BFG [2016], THE GIFT [2015], and THE PRESTIGE [2006]), Richard Gere (NORMAN [2017], CHICAGO [2002], and PRETTY WOMAN [1990]), Laura God damned Linney (NOCTURNAL ANIMALS [2016], THE NANNY DIARIES [2007], and THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE [2005]). How do you do that?! In support, we also have Chloë Sevigny (LOVE & FRIENDSHIP [2016], ZODIAC [2007], and BOYS DON’T CRY [1999]) and Charlie Plummer (TV shows GRANITE FLATS, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, and PERSON OF INTEREST).

Now for the crew. Writing and directing is Oren Moverman, known for RAMPART (2011) and THE MESSENGER (2009). Fun fact, this movie was supposed to be Cate Blanchett’s directorial debut, but for whatever reason, Moverman took her place. Finally the cinematographer is Bobby Bukowski, known for IMPERIUM (2016), 99 HOMES (2014), and RAMPART (2011). I guess this movie doesn’t have a score?

Overall, yup, not looking forward to this. I ought to brace for some torture.

This is my honest opinion of: THE DINNER

(SUMMARY)

A video on Youtube is posted depicting two teenage boys murdering a homeless woman by setting her on fire. These teens are the sons of their respectable and wealthy parents, Stan (Richard Gere), a politician, and Katelyn (Rebecca Hall), his wife, as well as Stan’s school teacher brother Paul (Steve Coogan) and his wife Claire (Laura Linney). They both go on a double date and discuss what to do about the footage and the crime that their respective children have committed.

(REVIEW)

I paid full price for this.

Holy fuck, this is one of the most despicable movies I’ve seen all year. You read that summary right. That is what this movie is about and there is nothing else to it. It’s pretentious as all fucking hell and has no redeemable values. Get ready for a ton of cursing, folks, because I really hate this movie.

If there was a way for me to instantly hate a movie before the title of the film appears, this achieved that in spades. Already I hate teen archetypes, as if teenagers only ever party, drink, and have sex, but that’s how this movie starts. But you know what, that’s possibly being too harsh. I mean, the opening is only a couple minutes long after all. Out of a 120 minute flick, surely the first couple minutes aren’t all that damning about it. Nope! The rest of the 118 minutes is worse! So much worse!

First of all, I couldn’t get through the first hour before napping. I’m not even entirely sure how much of the film I missed, but I guarantee you, it wasn’t much… or depending on your point of view, not enough. The story doesn’t really kick off until the first hour’s over, and in that first hour, all we get is a shit-load of Coogan narration about who-gives-a-shit. Paul is atrociously unlikable in that he is quick to judge the entirety of the human race and calls everyone “apes.” Yup, apes. As if he is on some grand, higher level of thinking and existence that gives him the clout to look down on everyone around him, when really, he comes off as a petulant child who got one too many hidden Playboy magazines taken from him as a pre-teen. To make matters unbearably frustrating, the movie almost exclusively follows him because that narration of his barely shuts up. His backstory makes no sense either. Paul was a high school teacher who believed that the kids would love him because he would make education fun. But then he goes on multiple tangents about how kids these days don’t want to learn. How can education compete with Facebook, Twitter, and literally rolling off every single social networking site that exists with the surprising exceptions of Myspace and Friendster. The fact that this man is so opposed to social networking and teens with cellphones in general, it’s a gigantic wonder how he even knows the difference between Snapchat and Instagram. Hell, I’m part of that generation myself and I don’t even know the difference! Paul is so pretentious, it’s almost cartoonish, but with zero enjoyment. And you wanna know how we learn all this stuff about Paul? It’s never shown to you in the movie. It’s all done through contrived exposition via voice-over! And in conjunction with the most pointless flashback sequences that I’ve ever seen in a film, I promise any insomniac that this movie will cure the fuck out of you. No promises that it won’t give your soul cancer though.

Notice how I’ve only raved about one character so far. I’d do the same with the rest of the core cast, but honestly, they’re such wallpaper paper in this movie that I can’t find too much more to say. Gere and Hall barely look like they’re trying to act. Gere is so deadpan in his line deliveries and Hall looks like she’s awkward and fucking miserable. Linney’s definitely trying the hardest out of all of them and it almost works, but due to the lack of connection with anyone’s character or motivations, you’re never interested in anything that she, or anyone for that matter, is saying. It’s a bunch of rich people thinking of ways to use their influence and wealth to keep the matter contained and secure their respective children’s futures.

Ugh, and let’s talk about this… apocalypse of logic. These kids are walking around at night looking for an ATM machine, find one, but a homeless woman is sleeping there. The kids are being fucking little shits by poking her, kicking her, which ultimately escalates to them lighting her on fire, laughing at her as she suffers and dies. All of this is recorded and put on Youtube. The video even has a “sequel coming soon” tagline at the end. First of all, I fucking doubt Youtube would condone someone posting shit like that and having stay up for more than a few seconds. That would be flagged like a mother fucker and the police would be called and taking action far before the rich sleazy parents are done with their first glass of million dollar wine and rare Swahili cheese or whatever the fuck. But never mind that horseshit. These kids are fucking monsters, one of them even tries to justify it by saying that it was a joke. I can’t imagine a single real-world parent that wouldn’t march their kid down to the police station to confess what they did and accept the consequences. Why these parents wouldn’t do the same thing for their kids is beyond me. “Their futures will be ruined!” Yeah, no shit! Their lives are going to be ruined anyway! Send them to church and have them be born again Christians when they get out, but letting them get away with murder is only going to invite a mentality that they can get away with it. What, with their probable busy schedules, are they going to do to keep their murderous teens in line? The teens have little to no respect for their parents, so unless they were planning to lock them up in the cellar and beat them with Bibles until the mere thought of harming even a fly is repulsive, all they’re going to do is rebel and do it again.

This movie isn’t even to bad, it’s entertaining. As I previously stated when I said I fell asleep, this movie is BORING. Boredom as a result of horrendous writing that feels like it’s trying to be deep and insightful through cynicism, but comes off as the psychotic ravings of a moody teenager who got his cellphone taken away by mommy and daddy. To complement the bad writing, there’s a great deal of terrible directing to boot. I distinctly remember in the opening sequence with the partying teenagers where the sequence concludes with a pair of cops entering the party and looking around, supposedly to break it up and possibly arrest someone for underage drinking. Thing is, as you watch, the cops enter, they’re so unemotional that you’d swear they were there to join in on the shenanigans. And no teen has any real reaction to them so I’m wondering just how much of my joke is genuinely a joke. And the editing is lame enough for me to notice how bad it is. In this same scene I’m talking about, the very next shot after the cops walk in to the party is our teenage “protagonists” that we’ll eventually see commit horrible things to a defenseless woman. As most anyone knows, I don’t have an eye for bad editing. So if I can spot it, that should tell you how bad it was.

***SPOILERS***

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I don’t think this is a spoiler, but in fear of the idea that there’s at least one person out there that is really excited for this movie and will find it Shakespearean, I will consider this important information that I, as a film-goer who respects the experience of watching a movie in theaters, will treat it as important information. *Sigh* So at first, you think the movie is going to kind of redeem itself when Gere’s character, Stan, is adamant that they turn their children into the police. I don’t know why it took a hundred minutes to get to this point, but fine, something sensible is actually being said in the movie. But then just as your hopes are on the rise that these little wastes of sperm are going to get their comeuppance, it’s fuckin’ Linney’s character that some fucking how manages to bitch and moan enough to change his fucking mind! No! Stan was quickly becoming the best part of the movie, as he was saying that he was going to withdraw his candidacy from being state Senator or whatever the fuck, but no! Reformed-psycho Mom decided the bitch and moan and that was enough to sway him! Fuck this movie, man!

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***END SPOILERS***

Overall, this movie is beyond frustrating and doesn’t make a lick of real world sense. This one hurt, people. It really hurt. The stale acting, the atrocious characters, and a myriad of problems from start to finish make this one of the worst movies of the year. No, I do not recommend this movie to anyone, I don’t care who you’re a fan of. Save your soul from being crushed and skip this forever.

I paid full price for this.

My honest rating for THE DINNER: 1/5

dinner