The Addams Family and all the images you see in this review are owned by United Artists Releasing
Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan
I’ve actually been looking forward to this movie for quite some time. Not in a BIG way, but everything I saw at first was very promising. The new designs were quite good and the initial teaser seemed to have the right tone that retained what worked about these characters in the first place while making something that worked in a modern context. After that though, once we got the trailers with more of the plot (and those terrifying human characters), the skepticism started to creep in and my enthusiasm waned as my attention turned elsewhere (*cough* Maleficient 2 *cough*) in the last month or so. Still, a mediocre trailer is hardly a good barometer to how a movie will ultimately turn out (especially with so much of the marketing knocking it out of the preceding months), so were my negative feelings ultimately unfounded or did something go horribly wrong (and not in the good way) with this latest Addams Family venture? Let’s find out!!
The Addams Family are a bunch of wealthy eccentrics who basically act like spooky monsters year round instead of just on Halloween. The family consists of Patriarch Gomez (Oscar Isaac), possible vampire queen Mortitia (Charlize Theron), their daughter Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz), their son Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard), Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), Gomez’s mother (Bette Midler), the zombie butler who is IN NO WAY of any actionable resemblance to Boris Karloff known as Lurch (Conrad Vernon), and… I guess their OTHER butler who is just a hand called Thing. Are they goths? Murderous blue bloods? If they were made in the mid nineties, would they all be Juggalos? These are questions we may never get the answer to, but rest assured that whatever box they would most comfortably fit in, it’s one that will freak out the normies of the world whenever they happen to come in contact with them. Said normies by the way are a bunch of nameless and nearly faceless upper middle class yuppies that built a community around the Addams family mansion and are just now realizing that there’s a spooky castle full of weirdos on top of the conspicuously nearby hill, and the head of the yuppies named Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) is none to please about it. While this little pot of… I don’t know, spooky-phobia I guess, is brewing outside of the house, the Addams family itself is having a bit of tension as well as Gomez is trying to teach Pugsly a sacred family ritual known as The Mazurka but Puglsy seems to have no gift for it, and Morticia is trying to keep young Wednesday from falling into the wrong crowd; the kind that embraces unicorns, the color pink, and young pop stars. Can the family stick together through these trying times both inside and out of the house? Just how far will Margaux go to keep her little community nice and conformed now that this family has thrown a wrench in those plans? Will The Addams family adjust to their new surrounds and join the rest of us in the living nightmare we all must suffer through under late stage Capitalism, or is that the wrong kind of terrifying for them?
The Beach Bum and all the images you see in this review are owned by Neon
Directed by Harmony Korine
Did you know that I once asked John Waters a question at one of his shows? Yeah, unlike people who actually do this for a living, I don’t have any celebrity stories to speak of, but I saw him at a show once and he picked me during the Q and A. Anyway, my question was whether I thought his work had been a major influence on modern filmmakers and if anyone in particular came to mind. He said that he doesn’t really see himself DIRECTLY influencing people, but that he did break down barriers for others who would come later… and he also said that Todd Solondz as Harmony Korine have PROBABLY seen his films. I don’t know if that means much in relationship to the latter’s most recent film, but I figured this is probably the best chance I had to tell that story, so there it is! As far as Mr. Korine himself, I’ve only ever seen Spring Breakers which I actually liked quite a lot, though I haven’t seen it in years and I get the feeling that it’s more uncomfortable moments don’t hold up all that well, but that’s why directors solider on and film NEW movies such as this one here! Is The Beach Bum another success for this unique voice in Hollywood, or has his worst tendencies come to the forefront even more so than usual? Let’s find out!!
Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) is just some dude who spends his time in the Florida Keys bumming drinks off of people, sleeping on the beach, and finding joy in life wherever he can find it. Oh, and he’s also a famous writer, super rich, and has a loving family who he can go back to any time he needs to dry out from his latest binge. His wife Minnie (Isla Fisher) adores his free spirited attitude towards life, love, and the law, but that last one kind of gets them in trouble as the two end up drinking and driving on the night of their daughter’s wedding (Stefania LaVie Owens) and Minnie ends up dying in the crash. In her will, she tells Moondog that he won’t inherit her vast fortune until he finishes his latest novel which he’s been procrastinating on for some time, so he decides to do just that. Of course he’ll be getting drunk, having sex, and… well doing what he’s always been doing as well, but he’ll find time to write a few lines here and there! With adventure, drugs, friends including his buddy Lingerie (Snoop Dogg), is there anything that can keep Moondog down? Will he eventually finish his book before he runs out of whatever money he has left as well as the goodwill of the people he’s met throughout his wild and bombastic life? You know how some movies are clearly made so the filmmakers can take a vacation? Why do I get the feeling that was the case here but less luxury hotels and more drinking tequila under a bridge and calling it “research”?
All Eyez on Me and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment
Directed by Benny Boom
If there’s one thing that we know Hollywood is good at it’s driving a good idea into the ground, and with the record breaking success of Straight Outta Compton, imitators were bound to pop up to try and ride its coattails. Now that’s not to say that piggybacking off the success of one film is necessarily a bad thing; especially when the film being made is good enough to deserve the attention it wouldn’t otherwise get by following in a successful movie’s wake. I know nothing about Tupac Shakur, but from what I understand he’s just as influential in the world of hip hop as NWA was in their day which makes his story ripe for adaptation. Does this movie manage to live outside the shadow of its most obvious influence and stand on its own as a great biopic, or will this fail to find an identity outside a Straight Outta Compton cash in? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows the life of Lesane Parish Crooks, also known as Tupac Amaru Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr), who rose to prominence as a rapper, actor, and black liberation advocate in the early and mid-1990’s. Starting out from a young boy, he saw the horrors that institutionalized racism inflicted on his community and his own family as his mother Afeni Shakur (Danai Gurira) and step father Mutulu Shakur (Jamie Hector) were prominent figures in The Black Panthers Party. After growing up in Baltimore where he met Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham) who remained a lifelong friend, he was eventually forced to move to California which is where he took off as a rapper and became part of the Digital Underground which is where he started to branch out as a solo artist and make a name for himself in the wider public. Of course, being a huge success comes with its own caveats and Tupac has to face a corrupt criminal justice system, disloyal sycophants who want to suck him dry, and even his own personal demons which are brought to the forefront once he becomes a household name and a superstar. Does this retelling of the life of the legendary rapper manage to capture all the nuances of the man behind the headlines? What can this man’s story tell us about how broken the system is even to this day? If this movie is anything to go by, was the dude even a human being or simply a demi-god walking among mere mortals?
You may recall a jaunty little tune from 2011 called Young Wild and Free by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa. If you saw the music video, you might think that it’s making fun of dopey movie soundtracks because scenes from what appears to be a REALLY terrible high school movie are being played during the video. What a great gag, right? Harkening back to the days when soundtracks would overshadow the terrible films they were written for! Wait, they actually made that movie? And it’s on Netflix? And Timmy is trapped in a well? I’m not sure how to solve that last thing, but I guess I now have to watch this crap. Get ready everyone, because we’re about to take a look at Mac and Devin go to High School!