“The Laundromat”, starring Meryl Streep, Antonio Banderas, Gary Oldman, and directed by Steven Soderberg, is one of the new films on Netflix. It is billed as similar to “The Big Short” because it tells the story of how shell corporations out of Panama ruined people’s lives. Based on its pedigree this film should have been good, but that wasn’t so. Like “The Big Short” there is narration, done by Banderas and Oldman, but it is more annoying than informative. Slow and not compelling. The only thing I liked about it was a surprise at the very end. Normally when I don’t like a movie I say wait for HBO. For this movie, don’t waste your time.
It is not a good thing to be bored while watching a movie. Unfortunately it happened again last night while I was watching “Ad Astra”. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see this film based on the previews, but decided to give it a try because I think that Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones are good actors. The story concerns father and son astronauts in the near future. The special effects are good, but the story line and acting are boring. I don’t think anyone spoke with any inflection in their voices. If this film had a pulse rate I would recommend electro shock! It’s such a waste of talent!
I saw three movies this past weekend. The first, “The Goldfinch”, was my least favorite. It’s the story of a boy who is caught up in a series of unfortunate events. The set up is kind of interesting, but then it goes south. Slow does not begin to describe it! The cast is made up of talented actors, but they seem to be sleep walking through the picture. Only Luke Wilson as the scum bag father shows any real emotion. The plot twists are interesting, but not enough to make me want to recommend seeing it.
I don’t usually give a scathingly bad review to a movie, but “The Art of Self Defense” deserves one. This one is a stinker! It’s an independent film with a very different plot, but it is slow, completely underplayed, and offensive to the sensibilities. Other than that it is fine. Jesse Eisenberg plays a 35 year old loser who, after being mugged, decides to join a karate club that is run by a guy who is stranger than he is. The club is kind of a cult. The story gets darker and more off-putting as it goes on and the ending is truly weird. The acting is dead pan and none of the characters are relatable. Jesse Eisenberg is at his most annoying and quirkiest. I not only wanted to ask for my money back, but also for the time I spent.
“Holmes and Watson” is the latest Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy. It is their version of Sherlock Holmes in Victorian England. It has a few funny moments, but overall it is mediocre. If you really want to see a movie starring these two, I suggest streaming “Talladega Nights” or “Step Brothers”. Don’t waste your time on this one.
I have a new definition for disappointed: “The Front Runner”. How could a film starring Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons and written and directed by Jason Reitman be boring? And its subject was a piece of modern history that many of us lived through! Well, it was hard to sit through; I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Telling the story of Gary Hart, while he was running for president, and his affair with Donna Rice, it had the makings of a juicy, compelling film, especially in these tabloid times. First, Jackman did not have the charisma of a politician who was very popular. Second, the film is very episodic. In the end it was told with no oomph. Very disappointing.
“Sorry to Bother You” looked like an interesting and entertaining premise. A young black man gets a job as a telemarketer and becomes wildly successful when he uses his “white” voice. The usual happens; he changes when he starts to make money. Most of these things happen in the first half of the movie and they are funny, but there is a weird subtext to everything as a huge company is constantly advertised on T.V., billboards and everywhere the characters go. The second half of the movie is actually quite disturbing. It’s not the usual selling out story; it’s the ultimate selling out story. The huge corporation has a plan to exploit its workers in a very unusual and grotesque way. This is when the film falls apart. Instead of being an innovative comedy it becomes a surreal horror story. It is as if the filmmakers are trying to come up with a new “Get Out!” and they fail miserably. The best part of the film is the cast, especially the lead, Lakeith Stanfield. He plays the part as an innocent who is mesmerized by all that is happening to him. I do not recommend this film at all.