By: Henry J. Fromage –
Memorial Day and this weekend offered up the opportunity to catch a few more theatrical flicks I’d been meaning to get to, plus yet another turkey tied to poor Dane DeHaan this year.
190. Logan Lucky
Steven Soderbergh’s return from a “retirement” nobody believed for a second is definitely more in the range of his crowd-pleaser Ocean’s Eleven instincts than his arthouse ones, but ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. This Southern Fried heist flick is never less than entirely engaging and amusing, with a surprisingly stacked cast all committed to delivering both the requisite plot machinations for its well-oiled heist machine and quirky characterizations that endear you and keep you laughing. A damn fun late-summer flick.
191. Tulip Fever
This aforementioned turkey is famous for how many times it has been shifted around the schedule, and finally viewing it this week shows why. There was probably a handsomely staged but perfectly mediocre mid-range Oscar wanna-be in this material at one point, but over the ensuing couple of years since it was finished it’s clear Harvey Scissorhands has lived up to his reputation once again and edited it to shreds. What’s in theaters now plays like a bizarre 107 minute Cliff’s Notes of a probably 150 or so minute original cut. It’s barely a film, but just enough of one to easily top my Worst of the Year list so far. It’s that bad- hilariously so.
I’ve actually only seen snatches of the original, which, sorry, looks cheap as hell, an iconic Tim Curry aside, and Cary Fukunaga getting replaced by Mama‘s Andres Muschietti didn’t exactly inspire confidence in this one. The first trailer for this entirely changed my mind, though- looking disturbing as fuck and melding a real Stranger Things nostalgic fetishization of 80s culture that’s all the rage right now (and perfectly fine by me). I’m happy to report this film lives up to that trailer perfectly, as the horror is positively brutal and Bill Skasgaard’s Pennywise is destined to be the Halloween costume and vocal impersonation of the year, for good and ill. The cast of children is across the board excellent as well, with Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard a particularly hilarious highlight. Sure, God knows why these children keep going into sewers unarmed, a repeated occurrence that is utterly maddening, but you have to get past that, I suppose.
Special shout-out to the dipshits who brought their crying kid to It. Parents of the year.
Yeah, it’s kinda obvious why this one flubbed as hard as it did. While I’m never going to complain about a little Amy Schumer in my life, this clearly never aspired to be much more than the quasi-ethnophobic mother/daughter kidnapping comedy its logline and trailers promised. The film feels like it has enough genuine comic material for a really good sketch, or maybe a recurring series of them that peters out after three or four, but it has been stretched out to feature length to capitalize on the legitimately enticing return of Hawn to the big screen. Now that it’s on DVD, it’s probably the time to strike- say while folding laundry or something.
194. The Last Vampire on Earth
Or you could fire up Youtube and watch this, one of the ultra-cheap knock-offs of recognizable film from Vitaly Versace (a real name, I have no doubt in my mind). While the ultra-cheap production values and clear attempt at capitalizing on the Twilight franchise reminds you of those cheapie sub-Asylum mockbusters that used to dot Family Video shelves the week of a major release, this is something different- a film from a true film believer who also happens to be truly inept. This film, with its uniquely awkward performances, hilarious casting (witness bargain basement Robert Pattinson above), weird plot points and settings, and curious but absolutely serious philosophizing gave me special, special Neil Breen vibes. No greater bad film compliment exists. Can’t wait until The Jungle Book: Make-A-Wish hits the Tube.
PS- They even play super-boring short-range football toss like in The Room!