Pygmy Reviews #69 – Movies

Playing It Cool (2014)

One Line Description: A guy who doesn’t believe in love falls for a woman who doesn’t want him.

I stumbled across this movie while my wife was out of town on business. I saw the cast (Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Topher Grace and Aubrey Plaza) and decided I should check it out. Seeing Martin Starr, Phillip Baker Hall and Patrick Warburton in the cast sold me. It goes downhill pretty fast though. There is a regular recurrence of people describing stories/dreams/etc. where Evans inserts himself and Michelle Monaghan as the characters. These scenes tend to be super lame, but the whole movie is for the most part. Martin Starr and Aubrey Plaza are their talented selves, but it’s pretty weak. This guy who is so down on “love” gets completely obsessed with a girl, in complete cliched fashion. The idea seems to be that this is “real” and how we all think it works is not. It is like it’s poking fun at every other rom-com ever, but then copies it. By the time this one was over, it was clear why I had never heard of it.

Road Hard (2015)

One Line Description: A broke stand-up comic returns to the road after years away.

Adam Carolla’s brand of humor is one of those that I enjoy in moderation. My friend listens to his podcast daily, and I just can’t do that. But he is funny and I liked his last movie The Hammer. This one is not as good, but has it’s moments. The thing about Carolla movies is that he doesn’t have a-list people alongside of him, and sometimes the cast is composed of unknowns. That isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it makes the movie feel cheap. A highlight for me as a Bill Simmons Fanboy is the parody of his (and Carolla’s) real-life agent James “Baby Doll” Dixon. The movie has some funny moments, but most of them are from Carolla doing stand-up, or telling stand-up style jokes elsewhere. The story is somewhat interesting, but doesn’t get very deep. And the ending feels kind of just “there”. There are really not any supporting characters to get excited about either. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s not particularly good either. I can’t imagine that anyone who isn’t a Carolla fan would actually enjoy it.

Spring Breakers (2012)

One Line Description: Four college girls stumble into a life of crime while trying to get to Spring Break.

I realize that I am not the target demographic for this movie, but man was it weird. It seemed to start focusing on four girls quest to raise money to get to Florida for spring break but takes a weird turn once they get there. The movie is dark and very creepy at times. Nothing accentuates this more than the fact that I didn’t even recognize James Franco until I hit up IMDb. It was definitely a chance for Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez to try and do something off type but this movie didn’t even feel fun most of the time. It feels like someone tried to mash together American Pie and [some movie where regular people become criminals] except that it doesn’t work. It’s like making a peanut butter and tuna fish sandwich. Maybe I am just to old to “get it”, but I like a lot of movies aimed at a similar demographic to this one. But this felt like a big disappointment.

Pixels (2015)

One Line Description: Aliens attack earth in the form of 1980s video games.

Officially the worst (and best by default) movie where Kevin James plays the President of the United States. At some point you have to stop and give this guy credit for continuing to be offered movies like this. King of Queens is a hilarious show, even after many repeats, but at no point is James even the least bit believable as the President. Clearly this movie was not designed to be serious, but this seemed like an unnecessary leap. The expectations for this movie were low, but the fact that such a cool idea failed to clear even the low bar it had is somewhat disappointing. Peter Dinklage is completely wasted, and I would really love to know why he made this. Maybe the pay day was so good or it sounded better on paper. Meanwhile Adam Sandler plays this role he loves where he is just a regular average guy who ends up being way cooler and smarter than the previous 40+ years of his life would indicate. The movie itself was just poorly executed. The idea was cool, and the video games brought to life looked awesome, but the way they defeated each video game character was pretty anti-climatic. Then Michelle Monaghan just starts doing flips and cartwheels on the Donkey Kong platforms, and it’s like “what?”. Kids still seem to love Kevin James and Adam Sandler, and so this movie was probably pretty enjoyable for those under 13. But I thought I would at least enjoy it on a “that was fun” sort of way. Didn’t happen. There are movies that can just be fun. I actually though That’s My Boy was fun, but this movie didn’t feel fun.