The Vidiot Reviews January 2019
If you want to critic the way a woman’s body looks become a beauty pageant judge. Unfortunately, the contestant in this comedy is adjudicated both on and off stage.
Raised by her Dolly Parton obsessed grandmother, plus-sized teenager Dumplin’ (Danielle Macdonald) is a big disappointment to her beauty queen mom, Rosie (Jennifer Aniston). So when her grandma dies, Dumplin’ shows her resentment towards Rosie by entering the teen beauty pageant that she is judging. But in order to get her body-positive message across, Dumplin’ needs some stage advise from her grandma’s friend, a Dolly Parton impersonator (Harold Perrineau).
Netflix’s adaptation of the 2015 bestseller touches on some important social stigmas and features a toe-tapping Dolly laden soundtrack, however, the ham-fisted directing, low-production values and childish antics of the script diminish the message of inclusivity.
Incidentally, now that there’s diversity in beauty pageants we can finally see some hot 80-year-olds.
White Boy Rick
Thanks to wild dog packs, the most popular drug in Detroit today is the rabies vaccine. Fortunately, this crime-drama occurs when the Motor City’s drug of choice was crack.
Fourteen-year-old Rick Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt) sells modified machine-guns to street-gangs for his father Richard Wershe Sr. (Matthew McConaughey). When the FBI (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rory Cochrane) approaches Rick about becoming a drug informant for them, he agrees so long as it keeps his father out of prison. But Rick’s ratting on a kingpin (Jonathan Majors) costs him more than his dad.
The true story of the FBI’s youngest informant, this adaptation of Rick’s biography provides great insight into his home life and the state of the city in which he dwelled. Less lavish than most drug-dealer yarns, it’s the performances that keep this low-level crime story interesting.
Luckily, Detroit roadways are now in such disrepair that drive-by shootings are impossible.
The best thing about sharing a body with another entity is sticking them with all of the wiping. However, the visitor in this sci-fi thriller is more likely to just remove your genitals.
Disgraced journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) bonds with an alien that grants him amazing powers and an appetite for brains. But when the scientist (Riz Ahmed) who brought the extraterrestrial here from a passing comet comes to claim it, Eddie and his parasite must get help from Eddie’s ex-fiancée (Michelle Williams) before the Earth is enslaved.
While this origin story behind Spider-Man’s most popular villain is less convoluted than previous attempts, Marvels beloved antihero feels rudderless without the web-slinger around to torment. So, instead, audiences are left to endure the torment of the cheesy SFX, cringe-worthy dialogue and hammy performances all alone.
Incidentally, any aliens living inside of humans will soon be exterminated by Type 2 diabetes.
In order to successfully hunt humans you must first cover yourself in their urine. Or, you can do like the tracker in this sci-fi thriller and bring some hunting dogs.
Quinn (Boyd Holbrook) disarms an alien and mails its armour to his son (Jacob Tremblay) stateside. But when the captured creature escapes confinement, it comes looking for its property. With help from a biologist (Olivia Munn) and some dysfunctional marines (Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane), Quinn tries to keep his kid away from the alien and a duplicitous bureaucrat (Sterling K. Brown).
Serving as a direct sequel to the first two films in the franchise, this jokey instalment doesn’t surpass either predecessor. While the action is intense and the subject matter timely, there’s very little plot and character development to substantiate this follow-up.
Moreover, the only human who can really stop a predator from harming a child is Chris Hansen.
The House with the Clock in Its Wall
To avoid strange noises coming from behind the walls of your new home don’t use mafia-affiliated contractors. Fortunately, the mansion in this fantasy movie was wholly constructed with magic.
After his parents die, Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) is sent to live with his eccentric uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in his creepy manor. But Lewis quickly learns the estate’s eeriness is due to the fact it is sentient; and that his guardian is actually a warlock. Now, Lewis, his uncle, and their enchanted neighbor (Cate Blanchett) must locate a clock inside the house’s walls before it undoes humanity.
While the potential to make this adaptation of the YA novel great is there, horror director Eli Roth is unable to transfer his skills to the more family friendly genre; making for a pretty terrifying kids movie filled with joyless acting.
Besides, Airbnb users are more concerned about houses with cameras in the wall.
The Equalizer 2
The key to keeping every thing equal in society is to treat everybody like crap. However, the egalitarian in this action movie levels playing fields with firearms.
Rideshare operator Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) does more for his neighbours than simply taxi them around in his vehicle; he also uses his past military experience to settle scores for them. But things get personal when an old colleague (Melissa Leo) of his is killed while investigating the suspicion death of another government agent. To get his retribution, McCall must face his past head-on and heavily armed.
With its plodding pace, infrequent action scenes and boilerplate plot this sequel is much less gratifying than the 2014 adaptation of the 1980s television program. In summation, this outing’s biggest setback is that it is more cloak and dagger than street-level vigilantism.
As for the difference between the two, vigilantes tie their neckties around their foreheads.
The best way to get drug dealers out of your neighbourhood is to open a methadone clinic. Mind you, the mom in this action movie is more interested in dismantling the cartel.
When her husband gets mixed up with a kingpin, mild-mannered mom Riley (Jennifer Garner) loses both him and their daughter in a drive-by shooting. Frustrated over the lack of police involvement in the case, Riley takes matters in to her own hands. After months of combat training and target practice, she returns to the streets looking for payback.
While Garner does a serviceable job of working with the hackneyed material, this derivative tale of retribution is par for the course, save for the female lead. However, the melodramatic nature and improbability of the whole affair is pure cult movie material.
And now that the drug dealers are off the streets, it’s finally safe to open recreational cannabis stores.
A Simple Favor
The hardest part of being a mother is updating everyone on how hard it is being a mother. Luckily, the child bearer in this thriller has a blog to keep the world abreast.
Single mom Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) becomes enamored with Emily (Blake Lively), her author husband (Henry Golding) and their lifestyle after their sons share a date. So when Emily asks Stephanie to pick her son up after school, the mommy blogger is more than happy to comply. But when Emily never comes to collect her child, Stephanie finds herself drawn into a world of sex, lies and secrets.
While the overall mystery has a twinge of intrigue at first, the final reveal reeks of movie-of-the-week cliché. Moreover, director Paul Feig adds so many comedic elements and misplaced jokes that it’s hard to take anything serious.
Incidentally, once your mommy blog starts making money you can hire a nanny.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
The worst part of being a spy in the President Trump era is that he constantly posts your identity on Twitter. Fortunately, the agent in this action movie has an array of masks to hide behind.
IMF team lead Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces his most difficult assignment yet when his decision to save his teammates (Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) lives over intercepting a briefcase of plutonium has put the world in peril, and tarnished his reputation. Partnered with a no-nonsense CIA operative (Henry Cavill), Ethan must redeem himself by retrieving the radioactive element before a doomsday cabal can weaponize it.
Reveling in nostalgia this lengthy sixth installment of the long running franchise based on the 1960s TV show revisits Ethan’s past missions with mixed results. While the action scenes can be enthralling, they are sporadic and heavily green-screened.
Besides, spies only reexamine their past missions when they contract chlamydia.
The easiest way to tell a nun is haunting you is by slow dancing with no room left for the Holy Spirit. Mind you, the pious pair in this horror movie is doing more running than grinding.
When the Vatican gets word of the deaths of two Romanian nuns, it dispatches Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) to investigate. At the abbey, the Father and Sister each experience a demonic episode that’s later explained through the convents occult history – and its relationship with a possessive spirit.
An offshoot of the Second Conjuring, this fifth installment in the paranormal investigative franchise has a spooky setting, capable actors and an opportunity to tell a great origin, but aside from a few jump-scares the sluggish narrative contributes very little to the overall universe.
Moreover, churches are so desperate nowadays I’m sure they’d welcome a few demons to the congregation.
The Happytime Murders
The simplest way to murder a puppet is to sever the hand shoved up its ass. However, the murderer in this comedy has more elaborate eliminations in mind.
When googly eyed cast members of The Happytime Gang sitcom start dropping dead, Phil, a dishonoured puppet cop turned PI, must re-team with his human ex-partner Connie (Melissa McCarthy) to find the killer. But as the felt bodies pile up the FBI (Joel McHale) start sniffing around and Phil finds himself the prime suspect. Now Connie and Phil’s sectary (Maya Rudolph) must prove his innocence.
While the concept of an R-rated Muppet Show from Jim Henson’s son sounds provocative, the end result is anything but. Plagued by gross-out jokes concerning the bodily fluids of marionettes, director Brian Henson tarnishes his family’s name for the sake of this vile venture.
Incidentally, the lifeless corpse of a murdered puppet makes one helluva dust rag.
He’s a No Talent Scout. He’s the… VidiotA Simple Favor, Dumplin’, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Peppermint, The Equalizer 2, The Happytime Murders, The House with the Clock in Its Wall, The Nun, The Predator, The Vidiot: January 2019, Venom, Vidiot, White Boy Rick