The Vidiot: October 2018 

Wednesday 10th, October 2018 / 16:53

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story 

If any other religious order had Jedi powers they’d just use them to molest children. 

Mind you, the warrior monk’s mind tricks are wholly absent from this sci-fi movie.    

After deserting the Imperial army, wayward orphan Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) cuts his criminal teeth on train robbing with a band of outlaws (Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Jon Favreau). But when a job goes sideways, Han’s indebted to a crime boss (Paul Bettany) and must repay him by working with a smuggler (Donald Glover), a Wookie and an old flame (Emilia Clarke) to steal a supply of hyperspace fuel. 

The long-awaited origin of the softhearted scoundrel, this standalone prequel falls short of expectations. While the tedious tale is littered with endless nods to the character the actor portraying the lovable ruffian looks and sounds nothing like Han Solo.   

Incidentally, the key to smuggling in space is only swallowing NASA approved condoms.   

 

The First Purge 

The first offense you should commit after the government legalizes all crime is marrying your cousin. 

Sadly, the participants in this horror movie have chosen acts of hate over forbidden love. 

When a right-wing party seizes control of the US government they implement a social experiment wherein they will decriminalize crime for a 12-hour period on Staten Island. To get volunteers to remain on the island, the doctor (Marisa Tomei) running the trial offers the underprivileged residents $5,000 to participate in the inaugural event. However, local drug dealers use the pilot project to wage a turf war.  

A mean-spirited prequel that takes it self too seriously, this fourth installment in the speculative franchise is too on the nose with its analogy of modern America. Less horror and more forewarning this origin story is heavy-handed and biased. 

Furthermore, without any police on duty you’re likely to see a decrease in crime.  

 

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 

The big difference between a Disney and a Jurassic theme park is that the workers inside of the dinosaur mascots were eaten. 

An active volcano, like the one in this sci-fi movie, would be another disparity between the parks. 

Three years after Jurassic World was abandoned to its reptilian inhabitants a volcanic eruption threatens to wipeout the cloned species unless Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), the previous operations manager, and Owen (Chris Pratt), a Raptor wrangler, can save them from extinction. However, the solution to move the creatures to a private sanctuary may not be in the beasts’ best interest either. 

While the visuals continue to dominate in this obligatory sequel to the blockbuster reboot of the franchise, Fallen Kingdom falters when it comes to telling a compelling or innovative story to accompany those eye-popping effects.   

Moreover, the only way to ever gain control over dinosaurs is to clone Fred Flintstone.   

 

Uncle Drew

Geriatric athletes are popular these days because they physically cannot take a knee during the anthem. 

Mind you, the old-timers in this comedy can not only take a knee but also slam-dunk. 

Determined to prove his coaching prowess to his rival (Nick Kroll) by winning a street-ball tournament, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) recruits local legend Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) to play for his team. 

But the elderly baller won’t hit the court unless it’s with his equally aged teammates (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson), whom Dax must now get game ready to face the younger teams. 

Based on a Pepsi advertisement, this feature-length comedy is devoid of laughs. While it is exciting to see these NBA players in action, watching them do so in a grey wigs and face prosthetics is just creepy. 

Furthermore, who wants to go watch their sports team play at the Depends arena?   

 

Heats Beat Loud 

The upside to having your father in your band is that he is fully aware of your heroin addiction. 

Thankfully, the only thing holding back the duo in this dramedy is higher education. 

Widower Frank (Nick Offerman) deals with the idea of his daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) going away to college by starting a garage band with her over the summer. While she is hesitant to get distracted from her studies, her girlfriend (Sasha Lane) convinces Sam to record a song with her dad, which, in turn, becomes a minor hit. Now, Sam’s college dreams are overshadowed by this new opportunity.  

While the song recording process captured does serve as an excellent how-to for up-and-coming musicians, the actual songs featured are hardly hit material. However, the characters are real and their relationships relatable. 

Plus, when your dad is in your band he can help repair the hotel rooms you trash. 

 

 

Ocean’s 8 

Female thieves are so successful because they have more body cavities to conceal stuff in. 

The ladies in this comedy, however, are bold enough to wear their ill-gotten gains openly. 

Wasting no time after her release from prison, convicted crook – and sister to Danny Ocean – Debbie (Sandra Bullock) and her cohort (Cate Blanchett) hatch a plan to pilfer a priceless necklace from the Met Gala.  

But Debbie will require a crew of thieves, hackers and counterfeiters (Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Awkwafina) as well as an unwitting actress (Anne Hathaway) to execute her elaborate swindle. 

Although it’s loaded with a stellar cast that exudes chemistry, this all-female spin-off of the Ocean’s 11 franchise comes off as a gimmick that doesn’t have a satisfying enough script to make it memorable or revolutionary. 

Oddly, women never seem to take issue with the disparity between sexes when it comes to sentencing.   

 

 

 

Superfly 

The key to being a successful drug dealer is getting your degree and working for big pharma. 

Unfortunately, the peddler in this action movie couldn’t afford the respectable way to the top.  

In retaliation for a drive-by, local gang Snow Patrol alerts corrupt cops to drug dealer Priest’s (Trevor Jackson) activities, and they soon want a cut of his proceeds. Looking for a way out for him and his girlfriends, Priest turns to his mentor (Michael Kenneth Williams) and his Mexican cartel connection for help in blackmailing the mayor of Atlanta (Big Boi).   

A stylish remake of the groundbreaking 1972 Blaxploitation film, this update doesn’t add to the mystique of Youngblood Priest. It only serves to distract from the original’s social commentary and legendary soundtrack with flashy gunfights, expensive car chases and low-end cinematography. 

Moreover, the best way to get rid of your competition is to give them free fentanyl.    

 

 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  

The reason Mister Rogers wanted to be everyone’s neighbour was so he could borrow endless amounts of sugar. 

Unfortunately, this documentary doesn’t divulge whether or not Rogers was diabetic. 

Fred Rogers was distracted from his dream of joining the priesthood by television. Fascinated by the new medium’s teaching capabilities, the soft-spoken and genial Rogers worked his way up the children’s TV show ladder until he received his own show. 

By addressing current social issues via puppets living within a fictional kingdom, Rogers was able to reach young minds and help them become special individuals.    

Through archival photos and videos of Rogers’ early work as well as interviews with his co-workers and family members, this exploration of the entertainer is as good-natured as he was. While it tackles controversies and myths, this biography doesn’t dwell on them.  

As for his sweater obsession, Mister Rogers couldn’t afford heat on a PBS salary. 

 

 

Adrift  

The best reason to own a yacht is so that you will be able to escape your creditors. 

Fortunately, the couple in this drama won’t have to worry about running in to repo-men. 

Just a short while after first meeting in Tahiti, Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) and her new seafaring beau Richard Sharp (Sam Claflin) agree to sail his friend’s 44-foot sailboat to San Diego.  

Midway through their voyage however the couple encounters a hurricane that not incapacitates Richard and the vessel but also veers it off course. Now it’s up to Tami to steer them back home. 

Loosely based on actual events from 1983, this well-acted and stunningly shot retelling tampers with hard facts to create a cloying narrative that’s more interested in romance than survival. Controversial to be sure, the ending weakens Oldham’s real achievement.  

Incidentally, when lost at sea just start harpooning whales until Greenpeace shows up.   

 

 

 

Hereditary 

If it weren’t for the physical traits we inherit from our parents plastic surgeons would be out of work.     

However, that which is intrinsic in this horror movie cannot be resculpted.  

Shortly after her mother’s funeral, Annie (Toni Collette) loses her daughter in an accident caused by her son Peter (Alex Wolff). While the father (Gabriel Byrne) tries to keep the family from imploding, Annie holds séances to reach her deceased offspring and Peter self-harms to cope with the guilt.  

But over time the grandmother’s shadowy past begins to shed light on the family’s current turmoil. 

While it starts off with some strong performances, inventive camera work and shocking imagery, things quickly go down hill from there: the pace slows to a crawl, the acting curdles and the plot becomes incoherent, bordering on comical.     

Lastly, even if insanity doesn’t run in your family, they can still give it to you.  

 

 

 

Ghost Stories  

The best way to tell a ghost story is around a campfire with flashlights in broad daylight. 

However, light sources of any kind are few and far between in this horror movie.  

As the host of a skeptical television program about the paranormal, Phillip (Andy Nyman) has spent his life debunking the supernatural. But when he meets his childhood idol, Phillip is presented with three uncanny cases that not even his mentor could demystify.  

As he interviews the subjects (Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Paul Whitehouse) Phillip uncovers a hidden connection to his own past that has haunted him in to adulthood. 

While the three stories contained within this British anthology based on a stage play vary in their degree of terror, the overarching narrative that they all feed into does provide the most shocking moment of the movie. 

Sadly, nowadays ghost stories have been replaced by the 24-hour news cycle. 

 

He’s the Lowlife of the Party. He’s the… 

 

Vidiot 

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