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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Is The Game Over? Tagging You Into This Review

Tag Poster

            Childhood games and traditions may seem silly, but with them comes a pact that helps solidify the friendships that start with them. Based on true events, today’s review is based on events of a group of guys who played Tag for almost three decades and the craziness that came with it. Another comedy arrives this weekend and yours truly is here to help get your movie going experience on, or not depending on the movie.  Let’s gets started as I review:

 

Movie: Tag (2018)

 

Director:

Jeff Tomsic

Writers:

Rob McKittrick (screenplay by),  Mark Steilen (screenplay by)

Stars:

Jeremy Renner,  Ed Helms,  Jake Johnson

 

LIKES:

Good Pace: A movie about a childhood game requires a good pace to capture that energy and Tag succeeds in securing this.  The movie constantly keeps the gang on their toes, as the crew makes attempts to discover the whereabouts of Jerry (Jeremy Renner) and then execute their plans.  Most of the scenes are high adrenaline bouts of running, with obstacles courses, clever dodges, and a few other moves.  It keeps up the fun of the movie and does little to venture off the course of bringing you back into your youth.

 

Surprisingly Deep: While it is a comedy, Tag somehow manages to take a break away from the silliness by getting into the character stories. As a balance between fun and depth, the movie does a unique job presenting the background history, by using the temporarily lapses in the excitement to interview the crew.  Rebecca (Annabelle Wallis) is an interviewer who gets dragged into the adventure, and to further understand the trend, asks the group how things evolved.  Through this story, the characters evolve, and the relationship dives into something much more emotionally charged than I ever expected.

 

Funny:  Is the comedy funny?  Yes it is, and the movie does a nice job of broadening the comedic styles across the board to not only help each character stand out, but keep the comedy fresh and fun.  I myself enjoyed the physical comedy of the group, which felt like a more ridiculous version of Home Alone’s stunts.  In addition, Hannibal Buressdry, monotone delivery was perfect to offset all the yelling, high drug and angry comedy that the rest brought.  Matched with the energy of the movie, the comedy helped rejuvenate the youthful energy of the movie and keep everything fun to watch.

 

Good Balance of Characters: My concerns for actors getting underutilized was misplaced for once, and Tag was able to keep everyone practically involved in the adventure.  Much of this has to do with the presentation of backstory and modern-day planning, but everyone who gets pulled into the game stays in the game… in a nonthreatening manner that is. And thanks to the blend of comedy styles, every character is very well utilized to further expand the game at hand.

 

 

DISLIKES:

 

Crosses the line sometimes: Some of the styles in this movie are very dark and mature. It’s these elements that sometimes cross way over the line, jumping into topics that aren’t worth joking about.  Super competitive people will relish in the tactics used to win, but for me, the writers sometimes went a little too far in impeding the sanctity of things that needed to be impeded on.

 

Sexual Innuendo Banter: Innuendos are a great device when deployed sparingly and timed right.  Tag accomplishes this goal well, but there are a few moments where the aggressive comedy diverges from the path to just stuff more sexual antics into the mix. One of these times was completely unnecessary, a lead that was doomed to fail and could have been edited out. When the banter about this stuff continues to occur, it got old due to how irrelevant it needed.

 

Over the Top At Times: The whole movie is over the top, I get that, but sometimes it flew sky high into the childish and moronic territories. The game of tag has a lot of stakes to winning, and when competitiveness gets in the way, the adrenaline rush causes one to do stupid things. However, this movie takes it a little too far, leading to yes amusing antics at times, but other times very destructive habits that again crossed a line not only into illegal areas, but stupid territory again.

 

Isla Fisher’s Character: This has nothing to do with the actress herself, but the direction they took her in.  Anna is a firecracker to say it nicely, but the direction had her a little too obnoxious and bipolar for my liking.  At times it came off well, but other times it was just annoying to see her aggressively yell, curse, or sometimes strike a person for no reason. It never got any better for me, and some of my fellow movie goers agreed that her character may have been the weakest link of the group.  Still, you want that firecracker wild woman, you are in the right area.

 

 

The Verdict:

 

            Tag is a movie that doesn’t sell you short on the simplistic, fun, youthful adventure that it is.  It’s a ridiculous, over the top comedy that is incredibly entertaining and should keep you in the film for the entire ride.  With a great ensemble and multiple styles integrated together, one should find a few laughs held in the confines of this game.  Despite the surprising depth to the movie, the ridiculous antics, cursing/dirty comedy still cross the line and Fisher’s character didn’t help to maintain the balance they would have strived for.  Still, the movie succeeds in recapturing the spirit of youth, and is worth a trip to the theater as a group or date movie.  If you can’t catch that together, then save your money for the rental service and wait for next week’s flick.

 

My scores:

 

Comedy: 8.0

Movie Overall: 6.5