Stuber or Stupor

Stuber Poster

 

You know how there are all those stories about Uber rides gone wrong and being entertained. Well, as I’ve said in plenty of times before, Hollywood will look to all paths to find a script to put on the big screen. Tonight, my friends and I checked out the newest comedy that is all about an Uber ride gone wrong, between an unlikely pair of comedians.  Looking like a major comedy fest, the goal as always is for a review to help you determine if it’s worth a trip to local theater to see. Robbie K back in the theater trenches to give you the 411 on the latest movie.  Let’s get going!

 

Movie: Stuber

Director:

Michael Dowse

Writer:

Tripper Clancy

Stars:

Dave BautistaKumail NanjianiMira Sorvino

 

 

LIKES:

  • Pacing
  • Fun Morals Baked In
  • Funny At many Parts
  • The slapstick At times
  • Actors

 

DISLIKES:

  • The Dead Story Points
  • The Rushed Components
  • Shaky Camera work at times
  • The Predictability
  • Some Comedy Being Overdone
  • The Trailers Ruining Much Of the Movie

 

Summary

 

The truth about Stuber is that it is a simplistic comedy that the trailers have sold well. A fast pace helps keeps the laughs in as the “story” begins to work its way toward the final destination.  There are components they are trying to balance into the laughs, and the morals placed in for character development are nice to see to help expand the character.  Yet, the golden aspect of this film is of course the comedy to which many will most likely enjoy in some form or manner.  Stuber is one of those movies that throws as many jokes at you as possible and hope that at least one or two of them sticks.  The slapstick in particular has some great punch to it, primarily because of the commentary and sound effects that accompany it.  So simplistic and yet so funny, Stuber makes it’s mark due to the two comedians that drive the movie to the final destination. Bautista’s yelling and direct line delivery are much like Drax without the Marvel banter and drawn out jokes that accompany the clumsiness they bestowed his character.  Kumail Najiani on the other hand is all about dry sarcasm and delivery of the lines to capitalize on the comedic timing and adding that spice to the words.  The chemistry between the two is great, though I hope it’s not abused, and it will be a selling point for many.

 

Yet the movie is much like my fellow critics said in that there are some dropped plot elements.  For those that don’t care about anything but a good laugh, this section will turn you off, but for those for looking at movies as a whole read it on. Although a good attempt, the story has a lot of dead points that barely roll over the finish line to really give the movie sustenance.  A fantastic pace for comedy, the movie’s short run time and fast movements are not good for developing the other parts of the movie, which is a shame given the potential they were building.  Amidst the action scenes and lots of slapstick, a shaky camera awaits to try to bring you in the moment, but only serves to make dizzying sequences that are not too fun to see.  In addition the story is super predictable, with lots of foreshadowing in the jokes and simple conversations early on in the movie.  The balance in comedy is definitely skewed from one side or the other going too far down one angle, and quickly tipping the other way to not funny enough. Stuber suffers from constantly teetering from one point to the other and never learning that too much of something is not often a good thing.  Why was this the case?  Truth be told, it’s because the trailers have revealed many of the scenes that fill the movie, with a good chunk of the funny parts already been beat into your eyes and memory from the countless trailers and commercials.  If you have been fortunate enough to avoid these showings you’ll be okay, but otherwise, stick to the mantra of there are some parts that are still waiting to be found.

 

The VERDICT:

            Stuber is fun, stuber is simple, and stuber is entertaining to those who want nothing more but to laugh.  The acting combo of Bautista and Najiani are golden, filled to the brim with sarcasm and blunt delivery that should be entertaining. Filled to the brim with jokes, the movie’s main limitation is the difficulty with balance, struggling to fit things into the comedy in such a short time span.  Still, plenty of comedic gold awaits those looking for the simplistic adventure of slapstick and not caring about the movie/story overall. 

 

My scores are:

 

Comedy/Action/Crime: 7.0

Movie Overall:  6.0

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Wanted Luxury And Got Decent: Checking In For A One Night Stay

Hotel Artemis Poster

            What does crime, medicine, and dramas all have in common? Well outside of certain episodes of ER and Grey’s Anatomy, not much to be honest.  However, today those three genres mix together to bring you another movie that will hopefully bring with it some suspense, a little creativity, and some originality that Hollywood needs.  Welcome to another Robbie’s movie review and today we review:

 

Movie: Hotel Artemis

 

Director:

Drew Pearce

Writer:

Drew Pearce

Stars:

Jodie Foster,  Sofia Boutella,  Dave Bautista

 

LIKES:

 

  • Acting
  • Character Dynamics
  • Sofia Boutella and Sterling Brown’s Characters
  • Realistic Setting
  • Action Scene

 

Summary:  Hotel Artemis is a movie largely dependent on its characters, which fortunately are brought to life by the fantastic talents of the various cast members recruited for the project.  Leading roles by Foster, Boutella  and Sterling K. Brownare by far the most in depth and worthy of billing, but even the supporting characters like Bautista and Charlie Daywho bring their usual styles to the mix to alleviate some of the more somber moments.

As the actors bring it to life, the character dynamics start to awaken, establishing the realm of crime in the near-future LA and just how fickle trust can be in the underworld.  Those dynamics by far are the driving force of the movie, trying to help figure out how each of the pawns are connected and what will drive them in this high stakes hospital.  Perhaps it’s the setting itself that forces this evolution of characters, as the dingy oasis from the riot outsides places numerous pressure on the group.  As the outside world grows wilder (documented by occasional news blurbs), the characters are forced to interact and face their own dilemmas.  It’s a well-done drama that doesn’t pull any punches in the 2 hour run time so that it may establish so much.

I mentioned in pre-reviews that this movie looked to have some action to further spur the story on and for the most part… that is not the case.  Yet, there is one action scene in particular led by the sexy assassin herself, that is just epic, tense, and a great fit into the story that feels pertinent to the tale as a whole.  I wished there was more of these moments, but that wasn’t the direction they wanted to go.

 

DiSLIKES:

  • Slow at times
  • Charlie Day/Quinto Rants
  • Underutilization of characters/actors
  • More Action
  • Darker Violence
  • Background flops

 

Like some of the more popular dramas on television, Hotel Artemis’ drama is all about try to build tension through the characters and have politics, emotional fervor, and affairs be the selling point. This takes time to adequately develop, and given all the convoluted ties in this movie, it means a pace that isn’t quite adrenaline fueled. Hotel Artemis has its slow points, that easily could have been tightened to reduce the run time or potentially add some more tension/urgency to the mix.  Had there been more action to speed it up, the pace may not have been as much of a low point for me, but I fought sleep a couple of times.

In addition, a few of the directions that the characters were taken were not my favorite renditions I wanted to see.  Primarily in Quinto and Day’s characters, these players in Artemis’ game are more annoying than engaging, leaving me disappointed with the little contribution they played.  Day just rants and curses like someone hopped on coffee, Red Bull, and methamphetamine, while Quinto is just a big baby.  Not quite as fitting given the other portrayals of the crime gang.  Even worse, a few of the characters are super left out, reduced to a few, unmemorable lines or weak character ploys to get to the climax faster.  Jeff Goldblum’s character was one of these guys, and my fears of too many characters came true.

Which brings me to perhaps my biggest dislike of the film, the rushed background stories and flops.  The Nurse’s story is one of the heavy hitters, mysterious and emotionally charged, you expect it to be the epicenter of the movie.  And while it was a key connector, much of the backstory was not that impressive, alliterated, and lacking any major surprise/mind blowing component.  When the big revelation comes… you almost miss the clues and by this point I was done with all the planning, I needed the climactic finish.  Fortunately Nice and Waikiki’s tale had a little more to it, but even then it was only a superficial scratch to what lied below.  All the potential was kind of flown over, therefore this was the disappointment factor for me.

 

 

The VERDICT: 

 

            Hotel Artemis is weird and dark, no doubt about it, and truth be told it is a crime/drama with characters that are the central pillar to the story.  Despite a fantastic cast acting their brains out and a character centric plot, Artemis’s main flaws come from not having enough time to fully utilize everyone they wanted, and it resulted in plot teasers that could be expanded on in the future (perhaps in a sequel no doubt).  Such complications were only exacerbated by the slower pace, that begs for more suspense, tension, and action to bring it to life.  Truth be told, this could have been better done as a television series than a solo movie, given them hours to further map out the conspiracy web. Overall, not worth the trip to the theater to be honest, but worth the rent if you are into the alternative Sci-Fi/crime scene.

 

My scores are:

 

Action/Crime/Thriller:  7.0

Movie Overall 6.0

 

Do You Have The Nerve?

Nerve

 

The Internet, it was a revolutionary idea that was designed to connect people and share information to expand our knowledge. And then comes the modern era, where information is second nature in response to entertainment, trolling, and occasionally a uniting purpose. In fact, most of us know how the most popular thing on the internet (past pornography) are vines, memes, and other ranting media. Tonight’s film decides to highlight current Internet trends and makes a story that looks dangerous, thrilling, and fun at the same time. My review is on Nerve starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. Let’s get started

 

The GOOD

  • Fun Adventure
  • Great Acting
  • Decent Story

 

When I saw the trailer, I though the movie was going to be more of a serious thriller. Thankfully, I’m very pleased to report Nerve is a very fun movie filled with excitement, energy, and adventure. Our two heroes start their night out performing tasks and stunts that we only dream of performing (for the most part). The dares from the anonymous Watchers are diverse, but mostly remain grounded in the realistic zone. While certainly stupid, and often quite dangerous, our actors looked liked they were enjoying themselves as they became lost in the moment. As a result, I couldn’t help but get reeled into the moments with them and enjoyed the fun atmosphere it painted.

But then like any good movie, the tone switches and soon the fun evening out develops into something much tenser. Multiple tiers begin to form as the mystery unfolds as to what our couple has fallen into. The story takes multiple turns that leads to some decent character development that fits in well with the overall plot. As more secrets are uncovered, the intensity only builds up until it hits a cheesy, overdramatic fight that is both eye rolling and well done at the same time. Nevertheless, the tale takes a few good twists and plays out in a very morale heavy ending. Pay attention and you can see most of the twists coming. Pay really good attention and the audience may learn something that might save the Internet. Again the story is fun, but the twists help save it from becoming another teenage dramedy filled with thrills, chills, and laughs on the way.

And to play out this story is none other than two talented actors who truly brought what looked to be simple characters to life. Emma Roberts portrayal of Venus (yeah interesting name) was fantastic, developing over the course of the film alongside her character. She brought both beauty and emotion to the role and was certainly a fantastic protagonist to follow on this ninety minute journey. Dave Franco as “Ian” was a wonderful counter character who had poise, pizazz, and a sense of suave that was very welcoming. It’s amazing what you can see actors do when they don’t act like idiots (aka Neighbors). Franco’s dynamic acting helped keep his character fun, but also stays in the dark, brooding side that reels you in. The supporting cast was wonderful too, but we need to move onto the limiting factors of this movie.

 

The BAD

  • Not as suspenseful/thrilling as portrayed
  • A few character building moments are rushed
  • A plot point that was kind of worthless

 

Yes I had fun, and the plot did grow darker, but the suspense was much more dilute than the trailers promised. The Watchers certainly were powerful (we are talking well versed in the art of hacking), but their power wasn’t used to its full potential. This mass media entertainment was a bit underwhelming though, whose bark was worse than their bite. I was expecting such expert computer users to lob more threats at the duo, or perhaps pursue them in some Purge like manner. Instead, they chose to use phones as their weapons and film everything that was happening. Sure the phone angle provided some interesting shots and allowed for integration of famous accidents.

In addition, there were some character development moments that also were a bit underdone. Ian himself has a traumatic past, and you would think facing his fears would have a bit more I don’t know struggle to it. Instead, his challenges were a bit blown over, washed away in a fast pace that could have been more. Fortunately Venus’s drama has more gusto behind it and her obstacles require more bravado to overcome. Unfortunately, she has some plot points that were practically worthless despite the setup at the beginning of the movie. There were few explanations to some of the family dynamics, the struggle for choosing a school wasn’t as big an issue, and her introverted nature disappeared rather quickly. Oh well, at least we got plenty of fun thrills and a good morale lesson right?

 

The VERDICT

 

Despite the shortcoming, Nerve is definitely one of the more fun and thrilling adventures I have seen in a long time. The dynamic duo of Roberts and Franco are the shining factor for this reviewer, who really brought the energetic fun vibe to the screen. In addition the multiple levels of the plot also made for some engaging moments, and some rather suspenseful moments. Sure there are some missing/blown over moments, but for the most part this adventure gets a seal of approval for unique fun. Worth a trip to theater? I’m going to have to say yes it is.

 

My scores:

Adventure/Crime/Mystery: 8.5

Movie Overall: 8.0