Aimless Artistic License That Might Be Perfect For Target Audience. Beach Bumming It Up

The Beach Bum Poster

 

You have those actors that draw people in right? These movies that utilize this card sometimes take the path last taken and offer a… unique twist to tell a story. Welcome to Robbie K’s movie review, and tonight’s movie utilized this tactic quite well in the form of  Matthew McConaughey.  Bringing the wild Lincoln showman to the screen, they hoped to take a very unique concept to the silver screen and wow us with a movie about drugs.  What is in store?  Well stick around to find out as I review:

 

Movie: The Beach Bum 2019

 

Director:

Harmony Korine

Writer:

Harmony Korine

Stars:

Matthew McConaugheySnoop DoggIsla Fisher

 

 

LIKES:

 

McConaughey can act stoned

Funny… at times

Less than 2 hours

Artistic Approach

Good Musical Score

 

SUMMARY:

 

As stated above, The Beach Bum is certainly an experience that tries to point out the “fun” life can have if you have power to get past illegal actions. The lead continues to show he can play a variety of roles, with a legitimate stoner role being added to his resume.  Moon dog the carefree spirit was a very unique role and I think that McConaughey succeeded in the free spirit approach that it required.  At times, his ramblings, drunken stupors, and facial expressions were entertaining, some well-timed jokes matching perfectly with the theme. Yet there were other moments where Snoop Dogg was able to steal the show just being himself.  This Bum was able to get some laughs at, but it didn’t quite leave me in stitches like other comedies do.

Instead, the movie does get points for the “experience” component of it.  Moon dog’s journey does have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that once it arrives turns out to be a semi-inspirational message that I think will please the target audience.  However, the path to get there is not going to be for everyone, but fortunately the movie has a couple of other high points for me that might make it better.  One of them is the fact that the movie is under 2 hours long so we get to the end hopefully faster.  The second and probably best thing for me though, is the great musical score that spans a number of decades that really sells the feelings that Moon dog is putting down in his sequences.  That track listing has a good toe tapping theme to it and it works so well for this reviewer.

 

DISLIKES

 

Aimless wandering

Very Slow

Very Ridiculous

Horrible Means

Lazy Writing

Cameos are okay

Graphic displays of life

Not as Witty as I was hoping

Too Artistic Overall

 

SUMMARY:

 

Taking artistic approaches is a gamble and sometimes it will only hit the target audience, and that is the case for me for this film.  With Moon dog being a free spirit capable of hitting so many avenues he aimlessly wanders around in the film, with little to no point to his amblings. The result is a movie that feels like it’s going nowhere for me, with pacing that feels slow as molasses with the minutes dragging by.  Perhaps it’s the ridiculous concepts and the horrible means by how the stoner accomplishes his goals is not the most entertaining or plot driven component. If that’s the kind of style you are looking for in a movie, then you’ll find great joy in this movie.

Other components that did not work well with me started with some of the lazy writing.  Moon dog and company don’t have the best vocabulary.  While this may work well with the mindset he established, hearing the copious number of cursing and graphic metaphors did nothing, but grow stale for me by the first third of the movie.  In addition, watching Moon dog do horrible things to people, wasn’t even that fun for me, with the carefree debauchery more revolting that thrilling to watch as the sad story continued to progress.  Perhaps the cameos could have saved it, but again the movie didn’t quite utilize in the means I was hoping to get from the glimpses the trailers provided. Most of the celebrities were just as sad of messes, offering little more than more bouts of lazy writing and stupid risk taking that was a sad spectacle. Other times, it merely involved McConaughey’s character taking advantage of the extras and side actors, in displays I care not to have my eyes exposed too for long bouts.  The Beach Bum’s first third felt much like a porno, which isn’t my cup of tea when going to see most films.  In addition, we all know that comedies can sometimes be designed for stupid fun, but this journey lacked any sort of wit and resorted to simplistic stoner techniques that did nothing for me in terms of comedic gold .  As such, the bottom line comes down to the movie being a little too free spirited itself to make for an engaging story or adventure to tell.

 

The VERDICT:

 

I agree with the other reviewers that the movie is artistic and a little more original in its approach than most movies will take.  However, I don’t think the risk paid off well when it came to this reviewer’s preference for a movie.  Unlike Seinfeld, this movie about nothing but living life just didn’t entertain, and the meandering around the state of Florida doing nothing but smashing the rules, acting stupid, and acting as a PSA for the repercussions of chronic substance abuse are not my idea of a theater movie.  Perhaps if left to made for television or streaming it would get higher, but in regards to the other comedies coming out I recommend passing this one up for something else that is worth the price of admission.  My scores are:

 

Comedy:  5.5

Movie Overall: 3.0

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Wonder Park or Blunder Park?

Wonder Park Poster

 

Fan of Roller coaster Tycoon, or Simulation coasters?  Were you one of those people who had an imagination that could take you to anywhere you wanted to think of?  Have you wanted to go to a place of wonder where girls didn’t blow up to blueberries?  Well tonight’s movie attempts to bring all of this to you in a package that looks to people overwhelmingly cute.  Robbie K back with his thought on yet another movie to hit the silver screen in hopes of not getting lost to the reruns of the theater.  Let’s get started!

 

Movie: Wonder Park (2019)

 

Writers:

Josh Appelbaum (screenplay by), André Nemec(screenplay by)

Stars:

Sofia MaliJennifer GarnerKen Hudson Campbell

 

 

LIKES:

 

Cute

  • Voice Work
  • Special Effects
  • Animation
  • Energy
  • Jokes
  • Imagination
  • Message

 

Summary: Disney movies make it difficult to try to bring animated features out because of the not so big budget or army of animators/ideas.  Nickelodeon is able to still work some charming magic into this piece though, managing once more to bring the cute factor into their film and get the feelings going.  It’s got some surprising emotional work, with voice acting and story coming together to sell the feelings lying deep in the fun, cute charm that the trailers show. Much like the opening scene of Up, Wonder Park has some surprisingly deep messages that will hopefully motivate the young and refresh the older generations on the importance of imagination and wonder.

Sap fest aside though, the movie accomplishes the goal of still being fun, managing to inject the wonder of imagination in terms of visuals and adventures.  Nickelodeon’s team injects a lot of kid friendly energy into the mix, making an infectious, thrill seeking ride that is perfect for the intended audience.  The smooth animation, with high paced speed keeps in time with the nature of the animals and imaginative girl, while the design manages to bring in the magic that theme parks and kids movies have.  All the unlimited potential of a child’s imagination is unleashed in this film and it is certain to bring you back into the world of pure imagination.

 

DISLIKES:

 

  • Predictable
  • Too Simple
  • Lacking Intense Suspense
  • Short

 

Summary: As we have talked about, animation movies require a story to be very dynamic, fun, and have a sense of adventure that takes us out of our world.  While Wonder Park does semi-accomplish this, it doesn’t quite do it as well as some of the other bigger studios have done.  For one thing the movie is predictable, all the symbolism, mystery, and potential twists are easily discernible and lacking the finesse and mind-blowing moments that the sister studio is famous for. In addition, despite all the fun that Wonder Park did in helping you relive your childhood, it was a little too simplistic in the adventure department, not quite having the drive or dive that Pixar and DreamWorks is able to concoct.  This means for me that there was not too many suspenseful parts in the mix, most of the chases reduced to quick bouts of falling, or lost in another joke.  All the dark challenges and impasses are very diluted avenues, that act as symbolic psyche components of humans rather than true antagonists.  Yet the main thing that is semi disappointing, is how short the movie is. Clocking in at just around 80 minutes, this film certainly moves fast, but not so much in the good way as the content feels a little lacking to be honest.  Oh well, it got me out a little early, but the length may not be the most bang for your buck in terms of the expensive movie ticket price.

 

The VERDICT:

 

            Wonder park is certainly an important illustration about the important components of life, including the importance of maintaining your imagination and wonder.  It makes great use of the kid friendly energy, yet has a few things for adults to latch onto, especially those touching, pull at your heart string moments. Yet despite all the fun I had in this movie, the film still feels like a Nickelodeon tv special that could have been left to the network.  It needed some more adventure, it needed more suspense for me, and more importantly it needed more of that magic they talked about.  Wonder Park certainly has the makings for a fun merchandising series, it just needs a little more finesse to finish the deal.  Worth a trip to the theater?  Hmmm kind of, but this one is probably waiting for streaming for most.

 

My scores are:

 

Animation/Adventure/Comedy: 7.5

Movie Overall: 6.5

Five Feet Apart From The Other Films In Romance/Drama

Five Feet Apart Poster

Teenage romance movies always hold special places in a lot of people’s hearts, but depending on the decade your familiar with, the elements and presentation are a little different. Eighties brought comedy with emotional drama, nineties was the Nicholas Sparks beginning with the cute, cheesy tactics, early 2000s were all about the Nicholas Sparks, super dramatic stories that hold a lot of places in the hearts of the public.  Then came the 2010s and the twist was now romance, but put some type of terminal illness with it to sweeten the deal… So tonight’s movie continues this current trend, taking another story in hopes of invoking tears and pulling the heart strings of the audience at the same time.  Yes, tonight is Five Feet Apart and yours truly is here to write his reviews as always and share his opinions.  Let’s go:

 

Movie:  Five Feet Apart (2019)

 

Director:

Justin Baldoni

Writers:

Mikki DaughtryTobias Iaconis

Stars:

Haley Lu RichardsonCole SprouseClaire Forlani

 

 

LIKES:

  • Acting
  • Character Use
  • Comedy
  • Appreciation of Art
  • Beautiful
  • Romantic
  • Nice Surprises

 

SUMMARY: The latest movie fills the formula of sad, drama meeting the romantic teenage plotlines. Fortunately, the acting is there to bring a fantastic dynamic to latch onto in the form of Cole Sprouse and Harley Lu Richardson.  Their chemistry is amazing, bringing the two sides of the romantic cone to life in a very sweet, charming, and surprisingly realistic way.  Five Feet Apart takes these characters and does a fantastic job advancing them past the carbon copy templates most of these films do.  The supporting cast does a wonderful job of being integrated into the story, their own tales and dynamics meshing well to bring out the main characters in new ways.

Of course the movie somehow manages to add on to the simple romantic story by appreciating other dynamics that can be included in romance movies.  The comedy is simple and classy, fitting very well with the tone of the movie without being too forced.  For those enjoying symbology in the visual arts, the rooms and works of our proverbial Romeo and Juliet have plenty of artistic bite that is quite impressive to behold, instigating a little jealously in my mind about their artwork. 

As for the romance component itself, again I give them props for finding a way to bring love and beauty into a realistic way that was both poetic and fun to behold.  Five Feet Apart takes most of the cheese factor out of the romance, and instead makes it an adventure that is fun to go on.  The ordeal of the disease contending with the blossoming love is a driving force of the film and somehow manages to be fresh despite how plotted love tales are. Perhaps it is also the surprises that come in at points that assists with keeping the adventure going, finding ways to divert from the film, without going too far away from the tale at hand. With all these components it works very well for me.

 

 

DISLIKES:

 

  • Predictable
  • Cheesy At Times
  • Scientific Stretches
  • The Parent Components?

 

 

SUMMARY: No surprise, the movie follows much of the same formula, and my friend and I were able to predict much of the movie based on the trailers we had seen.  Fortunately, surprises were able to help with this, but they still held some trouble keeping the romantic movie cheese fest from happening. Five Feet Apart leaves much of the mushy, gushy, Nicholas Sparks like drama that is difficult to get away from, which is a selling point for most going to these movies, but for me could have used a little more spice up. 

In addition, some of the scientific plausibility for one with my mindset are difficult to get over in terms of the miracles vs. the statistical chances of the real life.  Some of the interactions, primarily in the ending occurring the way it did, was very unrealistic and seeing these miracle moments only added to the cheesy coincidences that this series is famous for.  If that’s not something that bothers you, no worries on this, but for me this is just something to warrant on.  As for the parents, they were okay, but I felt that for something as intense as the themes in this movie, some more involvement would be seen. Five Feet Apart’s weakest characters are actually the parents, reduced to a few lines of dialogue and the background images.  Sure, it’s not about them, but in the other films similar to this, the parents were very active in the support of the kids.  What happened here?

 

 

The VERDICT:

 

            Overall, Five Feet Apart was much better than I had anticipated, with a lot more heart, artistic beauty, and adventure than many of the romance/dramas that I’ve seen.  A strong cast, character usage, and surprises in terms of comedy and plot were the selling points for this reviewer in regards to this film.  It still has predictability and cheese factors, primarily in the scientific stretches, but the good far outweighs the bad for me in regards to this category of movies.  I think this is one for the theater in regards to dramas.  If not check this one out for a rent/stream because it’s got the heart that movies are known to have.

 

My scores are:

 

Drama/Romance:  8.0

Movie Overall:  7.0