TV Review – GLOW (season 1)

TL;DR – An oddly compelling, yet still really raw look at creating a women’s wrestling TV show in the 1980s

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

GLOW

Review

Wow, this came out of nowhere, the first I knew anything about was an odd email alert from Netflix, and even from that all you could tell was that this was something vaguely 80s related. Indeed, I didn’t even know that GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) was actually a real thing until I started doing some research for this review. So I came into GLOW with very little idea of what I was getting myself into, and now that I have finished it, well I can honestly say that this has left a lasting impression.

Setting the scene here is probably more important than usual, because GLOW is very much a period piece, and I am sorry for anyone out who just felt super old thinking that the 80s are old enough to be a period piece. Besides the artefacts of the 80s, this is an amazing time to set something like this because it is this moment of huge transition in the USA. You have the big moves of counterculture born out of the anti-Vietnam War movements of the 70s, which is now crashing into the emergence of the Regan conservatism. So you have this generation of young women trying to reach into the world and get a better life only to get smashed down because of who they are. Within all this, we have Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) who is trying to make it as an actor, and doing everything right but she just can’t get the part, which is because she is the person casting agents bring in to show the director that this is not who you want to cast. But after accosting a casting agent in the toilet Ruth gets her big break when she is told about an experimental project looking for unusual women to play parts. When Ruth arrives she finds that it is not in any way what she thought, for the experimental project is GLOW: Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling. Now you probably have a good idea already if this is a concept that intrigues you or not, but from this point onwards a fair warning that we will be talking about the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] going forward.

This is an award winning performance from Alison Brie

This is an award winning performance from Alison Brie

So let’s begin with the cast, because this is one of the areas where the show shines. Now for a show with such a large cast, and only ten half an hour episodes, it is a real testament as to how well they were able to create so many unique characters that all have clear motivations. You have Carmen (Britney Young) trying to prove she is just as capable as her brothers in her father’s eyes, but even here, her father’s concerns are based in reality, even if they are wrong. Cherry Bang (Sydelle Noel) works harder than anyone to succeed but not only is she a woman but she is an African-American woman in an era where there are not even blacksploitation films of the 70s. To know that no matter how hard you work, you will never be considered for even the superficial roles that existed for women at the time is heart-breaking to watch, it’s also incredibly infuriating. Even those characters that are originally presented as one note reveal a depth that you didn’t expect, like Sheila (Gayle Rankin), in a single sequence we watch as she puts on each aspect of her life, I have not seen a scene like this and as powerful as this since maybe How To Get Away With Murder. Every character has a complicated story, like Sam (Marc Maron) who is desperate to fund his passion projects but no one will really hire him, so he has to make this TV series even though he thinks it is beneath him, but he is still putting his all in, in-between drug filled moments of chaos. Or Bash (Chris Lowell) who is desperate to get out underneath his mother’s oppressive grip and do something that he is really passionate about, though not very successful at. Now, this is not even bringing you the twin forces of GLOW, Ruth and Betty (Betty Gilpin) who are inseparable friends all their lives, that is until halfway through the first episode when Ruth betrays her trust in the most personal way possible. The rapport between Alison and Betty is amazing to watch, you feel their friendship, you feel the anger, then the pain and awkwardness, and all of it is earned. You might tune in for the time period or the themes but it is the characters that will compel you to watch each and every episode.

Now let’s take a moment to look at that time period, now I’m not an expert on the 80s since at best I was a toddler during that time. However, watching the historical documents of the time, it really does feel like they have nailed the time period in both aesthetics and in tone. The outfits, by goodness those outfits all of them feel as if they are right out of a wardrobe of someone living in 1980s California. This is important because for many people watching they lived through that time period and the quickest way of turning someone off is by getting all those little details wrong. This is supported by a wonderful soundtrack that harks but to some of the greatest hits of the time. These songs usually bookend an episode, and you’ll be singing along to The Look, Rock You Like A Hurricane and many more. These songs are not just about getting you into the time period, they help define the episodes, and because this is Netflix, they help push you to watch just one more episode, then maybe one more after that, Netflix is almost the Civilization of the TV world.

GLOW is dealing with issues and themes you just don't see on TV

GLOW is dealing with issues and themes you just don’t see on TV

Indeed it is quite surprising that Netflix would go back to this time period so soon after the juggernaut that was Stranger Things, but when you get down to it they are existing in very separate worlds. While Stranger Things is a homage to the pop-culture of the 80s, GLOW is looking at the political and social movements of the time. However, GlOW looks at these issues in a very clever way that does not present it in a formulaic way like ‘here is our episode on women’s rights’, instead it is always there in the subtext of the scenes. There is this constant tug at the heart of GLOW are the women being empowered or exploited, and all throughout you can find constant examples to back up either position, indeed I think many a thesis will be writing on this very topic. But this dichotomy is important not just because it is consistent with the time, and may I say, still very relevant today, but it provides one of the central motivators for the characters. Indeed this is important, because GLOW deals with some very mature themes, there are sex scenes, all sorts of drugs, there is also a scene in an abortion clinic which may be a first on American TV as far as I know, and GLOW does not shy away from the awkward and sometimes messy parts of life, trust me no matter how messy pregnancy tests are today, be glad you didn’t need to deal with the chemistry sets of the 80s.

Now while I really liked GLOW, there were a couple of things that didn’t quite work as well as they could have. Now I for one don’t care about violence, language, sex etc as long as it is there because of the context and not because you are trying to be salacious. For the most part, I think everything they showed was either contextually fitting or worked because of the setting and time. However, in the first episode, there is a sex scene that is quite explicit, but also didn’t feel necessary to tell the story, it felt like it was more there to shock that anything else. As well as this, because of the shorter runtime quite often they only had time to give small nods to larger issues like racism towards Arab people or lack of knowledge of different cultures, and I really feel that because they get brought up a bit later in the season, that there should have been set up a bit more. Also, some of the big reveals were very easy to see coming, like the man Ruth sleeps with was clearly Debbie’s husband right from the start so that family photo was more meh then oh no.

GLOW 3

This is one of the best ensemble casts I have seen in a very long time

Now one of the great things about GLOW is that we actually get to see some resolution with that fantastic final episode. It is quite interesting because here in Australia we had a similar show on ABC called The Warriors about rookies joining an AFL team. While it covered a lot of similar themes, but from an indigenous perspective, the one thing we never got to see was an actual game of AFL, sure we had a lot of training but the final episode cut with them running onto the field for the first time. Not with GLOW, the entire final episode is their first big live show battle and it is amazing, everything was leading up to this and it did not disappoint.

In the end, do I recommend GLOW, yes I do, it is a fascinating look at some very real issues that still exist in society today. As well as this, the acting is top notch, as is the production, and the story. This being said, it may be very confronting for you in places, and because of that, it won’t be for everyone. However, the best guide for any show for me, is do I want to see more of this? and the answer is you bet ya I do.
 

Trailer – Click Here to View – Language Warning (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Directed by
– Phil Abraham, Kate Dennis, Sian Heder, Melanie Mayron, Jesse Peretz, Claire Scanlon, Tristram Shapeero, Lynn Shelton & Wendey Stanzler
Created by – Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch
Written by – Liz Flahive, Nick Jones, Jenji Kohan, Carly Mensch, Sascha Rothchild & Rachel Shukert
Based on – Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
Starring – Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Jackie Tohn, Kate Nash, Britt Baron, Sunita Mani, Kia Stevens, Gayle Rankin, Ellen Wong, Marianna Palka, Kimmy Gatewood, Rebekka Johnson, Marc Maron, Chris Lowell, Rich Sommer & Alex Rich

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Movie Review – Cars 3 & Lou

TL;DR – It starts really formulaic but then it hits you right in the feels

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a post credit scene

Cars 3

Review
Cars have always been the odd one out of the Pixar films, some found the cartoon cars charming, others heralded it the beginning of the end of Pixar, for me I just found them to be ok, nothing more, and nothing less, the Thor’s of the Pixar catalogue. So it has been six years since Cars 2 a movie didn’t end up seeing because, to be honest, it didn’t sound all that good. This led to a bit of apprehension before seeing Cars 3, was it a chance for Pixar to show that they had learned from their mistakes, or was this just simply another toy cash grab, because Cars merchandise has been a real boon for Disney. Well, can it be both?

Lou is beautiful in every way

Lou is beautiful in every way

So before we really dig into Cars 3 I want to take a moment of time to look at the Pixar short film that ran before Cars, Lou. Lou, or as I have seen it titled in places Lost and Found, is this beautiful and absolutely charming short film. Lou is a spirit living in a primary school’s lost and found box who embodies what is left is left in the box at the end of the day. It tries to get all the lost items back to who they belong to, but there are always items left at the end of the day. The animation of Lou is some of Pixar’s best, the movements are fluid but ever changing given the nature of Lou being all sorts of different items held together. I won’t spoil the story but, I would say that Lou is worth the price of admission alone.

So to set the scene is has been a couple of years since the last film and Lightning (Owen Wilson) is still on the top of his game on the Piston Cup having one of the best seasons along with his friends and fellow racers. Well, that is until a new racer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) arrives on the scene, Jackson is a new breed of racer, fast, sleek, and a bit of a dick. Well soon these new racers are taking over the track and all of Lightning’s friend have retired or been replaced, and in a moment of hubris, Lightning tries to catch up to Jackson only to lose control and crash. Fast forward to the start of the next season and Lightning is back at Radiator Springs sulking in his garage when Sally (Bonnie Hunt) gets him out of his funk and the long complicated road to recovery begins. I do have to say that this is a good start for your movie, however, it is also a really generic opener. The sports star coming back from an injury is a very familiar story and Cars 3 follows that path almost to a tee. Unnecessary fighting, check, a corporate sponsor applying pressure, check, a rival that is an ass so you really, really want to beat him, check, and I could go on. Thankfully it doesn’t stay that way throughout the film as it switched gears about half way through.

What starts of as a straight forward story, thankfully does not end as one

What starts of as a straight forward story, thankfully does not end as one

While the story is important another thing we have to talk about is the animations because they are a very interesting juxtaposition of the overly cartoonish and the super realistic. On the one hand, you have the cars that have an interesting but clearly overly cartoonish in their style. Ok quick aside, honestly how does this world work, like everything is set up for humans but they are all gone, how did the Cars come about, how do they make more Cars, also there are none who could make all the things that need small hands with an opposable thumb to create. Like it is a children’s film I know, but I do get a bit weirded out when the question ‘where are all the humans can get raised’. But back on topic, while we have these overly cartoonish cars, at times they are placed in locations that could be almost photo realistic. You see this the most when the gang gets to Thomasville and starts to drive around the old dirt track and in and around the forest. The amount of detail in what seems to be a very drab location on the surface, well it is a testament to all the animators that worked on this movie.

Now as I said Cars 3 starts with a very generic setup and it continues along on this path till about half way through when it starts to reveal its true nature in the aftermath of the destruction derby. [SPOILERS] It is at this point where all of Lightning’s issues come to ahead and he sees what an ass he has been to those around him, mostly Cruz (Cristela Alonzo) his trainer who frankly has more drive than Lightning. See this is where Pixar excels in its story making, by taking themes that other movies would consider to be too adult for children and then smacking them down in the middle of their films. In Cars 3 you are dealing with becoming obsolete through no fault of your own, getting old and watching the world change around you, how someone’s absence from your life can still have a profound effect on you even years later. Now, of course, Pixar has touched on these in other films like Toy Story, but it used very effectively here because it helps with the trajectory shift in Lightning’s character. As well as this, I liked that there were no real villains throughout the film, sure you have antagonists but they are not villains. Jackson is a dick but he’s not evil, Sterling (Nathan Fillion) might want Lightning to stop racing but that comes from what is a sound business decision from his perspective, even Miss Fritter (Lea DeLaria) isn’t evil, just very passionate about destruction derbies. All of these factors mean that there is a point when the emotions hit, and they hit hard. [End of SPOILERS]

There are no villains, though there are some real asses

There are no villains, though there are some real asses

So, in the end, can I recommend Lou and Cars 3, well yes of course, as I said I would recommend it for Lou alone, and that is just the six-minute short film at the start. Cars 3 lulls you into thinking that it is a very straight forward film, one you have seen many times before and then hits you with an emotional two-by-four.

 

 

Cars 3
Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Directed by
– Brian Fee
Screenplay by – Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson & Mike Rich
Story By – Brian Fee, Ben Queen, Eyal Podell & Jonathan E. Stewart
Music by – Randy Newman
Cinematography by – Jeremy Lasky & Kim White
Edited by – Jason Hudak
Starring
– Owen Wilson, Armie Hammer, Cristela Alonzo, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Tony Shalhoub, Guido Quaroni, Lea DeLaria, Kerry Washington, Bob Peterson, John Ratzenberger & Paul Newman

Rating – Australia: G; Canada: G; Germany: na; New Zealand: G; United Kingdom: na; United States: G

Lou
Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Directed by
– Dave Mullins
Screenplay by – Dave Mullins
Music by
– Christophe Beck
Cinematography by – Adam Habib
Edited by – Anthony J. Greenberg
Starring
– Jim Broadbent
Rating – Australia: G; Canada: G; Germany: na; New Zealand: G; United Kingdom: na; United States: G

 

Movie Review – Despicable Me 3

TL;DR – It has its moments but it lost a lot of the charm of the first two films

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Despicable Me 3

Review

So I should get this out of the way right from the start that I do really like the Despicable Me films, they have a beautiful charm to them, and they have a story that cuts right to the heart of what it is to be a family. Now part of this is probably because I don’t have children which means that I have thankfully not been so inundated with Minions to the point of involuntarily hating the colour yellow. So I came into Despicable Me 3 on a high note after just seeing the great Cars 3 and I was looking forward to another great entry, but well, I don’t think we quite got there, unfortunately.

So to set the scene, at the end of the last film Gru (Steve Carell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig) married creating a very weird but loving family for Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Nev Scharrel). Gru and Lucy work for the Anti-Villain League (AVL) and while they have been able to stop Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) from stealing things like the world’s largest diamond, they can’t seem to be able to catch him. But that’s fine, its part of the course, I mean no one ever actually catches one of the villains, unless they wanted to be captured as part of a convoluted plan to steal something. Of course that all changes when a new director of AVL Val (Jenny Slate) arrives, fires Gru and Lucy, and then Minions leave, Anges starts selling her toys, and a surprise visitor arrives to tell Gru that he has a secret twin brother Dru (Steve Carell). So right from the start, there is a lot to take in, as for Gru and his family everything is changing. Now, this could have been a great starting point for an interesting story but it just does not quite get there.

Despicable Me 3 2

The cast is clearly having a lot of fun with their roles

Ok look it feels like I am starting to get a bit negative with the film, and that is a bit unfair because it outperforms a lot of the rubbish in cinemas at the moment. So before we move on I do want to talk about the areas where I think the film really worked. Firstly, of course, the animation is spectacular, things are adorably cute, and the water is so crystal clear you can see in detail when they kill Nemo at the start of the film. When it comes to the story there is this sub-plot of Lucy trying to work out how to be a mother to three grown girls and when the film is working on the notion of family it excels. Even with the Minions I could not help but laugh along at their shenanigans, to parents of young children I am so sorry. As well as this there are jokes all throughout the film which you will find funny well at least on the first viewing, also there is a complete lack of Russel Brand which is always a bonus, and it is really clear that all the actors are having fun, no one is phoning in their performances.

However, where Despicable Me 3 doesn’t quite work is in its overarching story which has some real issues with consistency. I know this was not what the writers planned but it kind of felt like they got a spin wheel of ideas and through darts at them randomly. So Gru gets fired, but then he has a twin, but his twin is a millionaire, but then his dad is a secret villain, but also there are all these pigs around, but the Minions have run away, no wait they are in jail, oh there is a villain that use to be a villain on TV. All of these different factors create a real issue because there is a lot of inconstancy in-between the different moving parts o top of the film already being quite short. On the one hand, you have the story of Lucy finding out what it means to be a mother, whilst Agnes tries to find a real unicorn which is full of heart and warmth. But then you also have Gru bonding with Dru, which had a lot of potential, but fell flat. This is because Dru is really not that compelling of a character, and feels like a tacked on addition rather than a core component. This is a real pity as it becomes much of the motivation for the final act of the film and it just feels unnecessary. They needed to refine Dru’s character a bit more or at least do something creative with it. As well as this, the villain is fun at first, but he’s clearly written for the parents watching the film and not for the kids. Look it’s not unheard of for there to be adult jokes and references in kid’s film, in fact, it is almost expected at this point, however, since this is still a children’s film and as such they can’t do much with the character other than the references he gets a bit tired after a while.

Yes I found the Minions to be hella funny

Yes I found the Minions to be hella funny

So look can I recommend Despicable Me 3, Yes and No, it does have its moments of adorableness, you will laugh, but it just does not have the charm of its predecessors and the story is too fractured to make an interesting viewing in such a short time frame. That being said there is a Minion sing-along segment, so it might be worth the price of admission just for that.

Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Directed by
–     Pierre Coffin & Kyle Balda
Written by – Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio
Based onCharacters by Sergio Pablos
Music by – Heitor Pereira & Pharrell Williams
Edited by – Claire Dodgson
Starring
– Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Steve Coogan, Jenny Slate, Julie Andrews & Pierre Coffin
Rating – Australia: PG; Canada: PG; Germany: 6; New Zealand: PG; United Kingdom: U; United States: PG

Movie Review – Transformers: The Last Knight

TL;DR – There is a good movie in here somewhere, it’s just not the one we ended up with

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Transformers The Last Knight

Review

Well here we go again another Transformers film and another disappointment, though a slightly different disappointment this time round. What is interesting with Transformers is more so than say the Star Wars Prequels or other bad films, I can actually pinpoint where it was that this series fell apart for me. I was really enjoying the first two-thirds of the first film and then outside the Hoover Dam wanting to hide the AllSpark from the Decpticons the one person who had shown any military understanding up to that point goes ‘Let’s take it to Mission City to evacuate it’ and that was it in one moment my entire suspension of disbelief crashed down around me. It made no sense, sure it led to a visually spectacular action sequence, but given you were surrounded by desert the best option was to take it as far away from civilisation to protect people, and of course, a lot of people died because of that stupid decision. Since then I gave the second film a go because the first film was affected by the writer’s strike, so maybe they would learn from where they went wrong, well no, not at all. From there we had Dark of the Moon which was as bad as its title and Extinction was well more or less a bit meh. I tell you this because I came into this advanced screening with very low expectations but against my better judgement about half way through I found myself actually going along for the ride only to be let down once again.

So to set the scene, it has been a couple of years since the Age of Extinction, and since then the world has fallen apart a bit, maybe, it’s actually not clear because things seem normal but then Chicago is still a ruin and the Midwest is a badland for some reason, they don’t explain it all that well. But with Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) gone and more Autobots and Decpticons falling from the sky with no warning a new T.R.F. (Transformers Reaction Force) is set up to destroy any Transformer they find on the planet bar in Cuba for stupid reasons. So all the Transformers are trying to lay low, if they are not partying on a Cuban beach and some people like Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) are trying to rescue the fallen before they are found by the TRF. It is during one of these missions in the ruins of Chicago that Cade stumbles across Izabella (Isabela Moner) who is protecting a bunch of kids and some fallen Transformers from TRF drones. While Cade was not able to save the Transformers he and Bumblebee do stumble upon a talisman from a time long ago. Because that’s right ladies and gentlemen and however else you identify, the Transformers have been here since the time of King Arthur and oh King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Merlin (Stanley Tucci) are all real. As well as this, we have Optimus Prime who after floating in space for a long time crash lands on a rapidly approaching Cybertron to discover that his maker Quintessa (Gemma Chan) is not happy and she is coming for Earth. So right from the start, you have a lot of competing threads of the story going on, and this leads to many of Last Knight’s major issues.

Bumblebee is Last Knight's MVP

Bumblebee is Last Knight’s MVP

Before we take a deep dive into Last Knight’s issues I do want to take a moment to point out the many places where the movie shined. First I do have to give a shout out to the actors because there are some really great performances here. Stanley Tucci is and always will be a delight no matter where he is cast and here even though it was a short moment I loved every second of him as Merlin. Also, Anthony Hopkins who plays Sir Edmund Burton brings a wonderful class to the film, his scenes with Cogman (Jim Carter) were one of the highlights for me. Mark Wahlberg and Laura Haddock play off each other really well, and that makes the London section of the film really work. As well as the acting, of course, I have to give a shout out to Industrial Light and Magic as there was a lot of work they and their partner VFX studios had to do to get this film looking as nice as it was. Now a lot of people complain about Michael Bay’s directing style, and it has its problems but the man knows his explosions and there are many spectacular explosion for you to partake in.

Ok so let’s unpack where Last Knight went wrong, we are going to start with some of the smaller plot points that frustrated me then we will unpack the big problem that that was the story structure. Now to do this, and also because I am aware that it is not in full release at the cinemas yet, a big preventive [SPOILER WARNING] will now in effect. Ok while we will get to the big story beats let’s look at the smaller things that frustrated me. The first is the world-building, the movie can’t decide if the United States is falling apart or the biggest most advanced power in the world and given how much product placement the US Army, Navy & Air Force is getting, they probably should have cleared that up. Also, why is it that Bumblebee can do the put-yourself-together trick while everyone else is just dead. Another thing at a point in the film ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons are fired at a large structure above all our heroes. Which is problematic because I don’t think the movie understood what nuclear weapons do and how they work, and why everyone should have died at that point, also why the hell would you not try to nuke it before it got to this point. Another issue I had was that the film does not seem to understand how astronomy or physics work, which fine whatever, it’s not a deal-breaker, but if you are going to ignore those things, don’t have one of your side characters be from NASA and go on a rant as to how they don’t believe in mystical rubbish and that they are putting their faith in hard science. Look I could go on, but all throughout my notes I have ‘oh that’s some “rubbish” right there’ but I didn’t say rubbish, and it is not a good sign when that happens.

There are a lot of missed opportunities, and unnecessary plot lines

There are a lot of missed opportunities, and unnecessary plot lines

So there are a lot of smaller problems, but none of these dwarf the biggest problem and that is the story, the structure and how it was all edited together. To give these problems context I have to say I have no real stake in how good an adaptation it is of the source material because I didn’t grow up with the cartoons, my introduction was actually through Beast Wars. So I’m not looking back to some mythical untouchable show that could never be superseded no matter what they did, I’m looking at how the movie works today. Structurally where the film is the weakest is in the opening and closing acts which is really odd. Films can have a bad opening but recover like Rogue One, or start strong and fall apart like The Hateful Eight, or simply be a mess from start to end like Gods of Egypt but I have never seen a film start a mess, get its act together only to fall apart again. So we start in the dark ages, with some big retcon that the Transformers have been here a lot longer than we thought, not the last retcon for the film as well. This section is actually ok, saved by some delightful Stanley Tucci, though the whole King Arthur myth felt like a really unnecessary addition. However, from here we are split between Cade and Izabella meeting, Optimus meeting his maker, Viviane (Laura Haddock) playing polo, and William (Josh Duhamel) going back and forth between being a mole in TRF, to being a US Army colonel, to back again to, look the film does not really know what role he is playing, and then finally we get some Decepticons introductions in a style reminisce of Suicide Squad. The film starts to come together when we get back to the hideout in a scrap yard, we get to know some of the Autobots, then we get a reasonably good action sequence before whisking off to London.

Once we get to London the film finally feels like it is working, there are some wonderfully funny scenes, the plot moves along, we get a race through the streets of the capital, and it sucked me in. For a moment in there I was along for the ride, the whole audience was laughing at Cogman’s musical interlude, and then Cybertron appears and like magic, it all falls apart again. I’m not going to talk about the third act all that much because that is major spoilers but I spent the whole time thinking how nonsensical it all was, though I will say one thing The English Channel is actually quite shallow especially around the cliffs of Dover.

Michael Bay does love his explosions, and there are a lot of them

Michael Bay does love his explosions, and there are a lot of them

Now at the start, I mentioned that there is a good movie in here somewhere, and the second act shows it, but the big issue here is story bloat. There are so many plot lines that could have been streamlined or removed entirely, and the film would have been stronger for it. The whole Cuba subplot with Seymour (John Turturro) added nothing to the film, there was no need for there to be two bad groups to fight, nearly all of the TRF stuff could have been easily replaced with Decepticons, and you would have avoided a lot of the messiness with how the TRF and the US Army interact. A good 45 minutes could have been cut from this movie and you would have had a much tighter and frankly stronger story to place around your many slow motion explosions. Also in a scenario that possibly millions of people died, oddly there was no sense of any stakes, which is an odd scenario to find yourself in. This is not helped by Michael Bay’s style of filmmaking which there is an attempt to be always visually stimulating, which is fine at the start but over two hours in you can’t help but be fatigued and it starts turning into visual noise. It was probably not helped by there being six different editors, so there is no consistency in style throughout the film and it probably contributed to the long runtime. Finally and more problematically, most of the film feels like we have seen it all before in other Transformer films. [End of SPOILERS]

So, in the end, can I recommend Transformers: The Last Knight? Well look it has its moments, the action is at least interesting in places, and there are reasons that it did not score lower than what it did, but then 2.5/5 is not really a great score as well. So if you are going to see a film this week and someone goes ‘let’s see The Last Knight’ there are worse options out there, and there are some fun moments for you to enjoy, but for me, I think I would have much preferred to see The Mummy than this.

Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Directed by
– Michael Bay
Screenplay by – Art Marcum, Matt Holloway & Ken Nolan
Story By – Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway & Ken Nolan
Based onTransformers by Hasbro
Music by – Steve Jablonsky
Cinematography by – Jonathan Sela
Edited by – Roger Barton, Adam Gerstel, Debra Neil-Fisher, John Refoua, Mark Sanger & Calvin Wimmer
Starring
– Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Hopkins, Isabela Moner, John Turturro, Santiago Cabrera, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, John Goodman, Ken Watanabe, John DiMaggio, Omar Sy, Gemma Chan & Jim Carter
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: na; Germany: na; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13

Movie Review – Rough Night

TL;DR – It’s not the best film I have seen, while it has some laughs, it is let down by its highly predictable storyline.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a Mid & End credit sequence

Rough Night

Review

It is the year 2009, those heady days when Balloon Boy was a thing, remember that, oh and Kanye West was an ass at the VMA, wow how times have changed. It was during this year that The Hangover a relatively small budget (35mill) R-rated comedy came out in cinemas and made a metric-ass-ton of cash at the box-office. Since that time there have been a string of R-rated ensemble comedy films that have tried to capture that same draw with 2011’s Bridesmaids being the closest contender. So why do companies keep making them, well they’re cheap, low risk, and a chance at a very big potential reward, but because of this combination the films tend not to be that good most of the time. So today we are going to be looking at the next challenger into this realm with Rough Night which while not being anything revolutionary does have its moments of interest.

Now before we go one I do need to point out that because of its mature content there is probably a very easy litmus test as to whether or not you think you’d want to go see Rough Night. So let’s highlight just a couple of things from the movie, there are male strippers, cocaine, neighbours that are in a very open marriage, and they end up stashing the dead body in a room with adult accessories. As I said at this point I have probably polarised the opinion of the people reading the review, but then that is the nature of these films. Also don’t take your eight-year-old to go see this, come on I didn’t think it needed to be said but apparently not.

The cast has a great rapport with each other

The cast has a great rapport with each other

So to set the scene in college four girls become fast friends and promise to always be there for each other. Fast forward ten years and Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is engaged to Peter (Paul W. Downs) and is running for political office, Alice (Jillian Bell) is a teacher but never really moved on from her college years, Frankie (Ilana Glazer) is an ‘activist’ but it is more for show than anything else, and Blair (Zoë Kravitz) is a successful business women that is going through a bad divorce. They along with Pippa (Kate McKinnon) a friend Jess made whilst studying abroad in Australia have come together in Florida to celebrate Jess’ bachelorette weekend. Jess is just looking for a quiet weekend with friends and is desperately avoiding anything that could damage her election campaign, but of course, the complete opposite happens when the group hires a stripper (Ryan Cooper) and then accidentally kills him. Look as crass as it is, it is still a good setup for a film, you have a dead body, you have everyone having a motive to try and hide the body because there are drugs everywhere, and you even have a question over who some people are. However, while the setup is good, the story does not really take it and run with it as we will see later.

Now it will probably become clear that I am quite mixed on Rough Night, mostly because of its story but one area I do have to give full props to is the cast, who is giving it their all and are really game for anything. For me the stand out was Kate McKinnon and not just because she really rocked that Australian accent which is not the easiest thing to do, but because she was game for anything they throw at her. I look forward to curious Americans trying Vegemite cold turkey, and the hilarity that follows, for our international followers, Vegemite should be consumed on toast with butter and you should build up the doses until you are comfortable with them. Also, I have to give credit to Paul W. Downs who spends most of the film pulling of a rendition of the sad astronaut, I really hope they paid you well. As well as the standouts I have to say the one thing that stood out for me was the rapport of the main cast. They actually feel like they are friends that have known each other for a long time it comes across in their performance. It was interesting to see Demi Moore and Ty Burrell play so off the norm with their swinger couple team and thankfully they are not around too long that the bit gets old and Dean Winters is always a good addition. As well as this, there were some good ideas here, like the TV in the background that gives you hints of what is going in the town.

Rough Night 1

Unfortunately it does not capitalise on its setup

Now while the film has a good set up, and the cast is up for anything, what stops the film from excelling is the story. Now there are some really funny moments in Rough Night, but for me, there were also far too many completely predictable plot points. [SPOILERS] At times it felt like we hit every trope in the genre that you see in film after film. Now while you kind of expect the standard Chekhov’s Gun, though it was interesting to see it in the form of a code word, there were also so many others that are just grating. For example, the story was fine but there was for some reason this really unnecessary conflict about Alice being too possessive over Jess, that either could have been handled better or removed. Sure yes, it inevitably leads to a big blow up and the inevitable catharsis, but this in itself is something you can see coming a mile away. Also, there were a lot of missed opportunities, like we don’t find out the first stripper is dodgy until almost the end when stripper Number 2 (Colton Haynes) appears but this could have added much earlier to the freak out the characters and provide a better source of conflict. Honestly, at times it kind of felt like there was a checklist that the movie had to reach before it could finish. [End of SPOILERS]

Look at the end can I recommend Rough Night, well yes, but only if your other choice is seeing Baywatch which is also out at the moment and has a similar tone. Other than that, well, of course, I have seen worse films, but I have also seen films in this genre that have been much better. It has a strong cast but there are just too many missed opportunities for me to fully recommend it.

 

Directed by – Lucia Aniello
Written By – Lucia Aniello & Paul W. Downs
Music by – Dominic Lewis
Cinematography by – Sean Porter
Edited by – Craig Alpert
Starring
– Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon, Paul W. Downs, Ryan Cooper, Demi Moore, Ty Burrell, Colton Haynes, Dean Winters & Enrique Murciano
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 14A; Germany: na; New Zealand: R; United Kingdom: 15; United States: R

 

Movie Review – The Mummy (2017)

TL;DR – This is a good start for the Dark Universe and I really enjoyed it, but there were just a couple of things that needed to be worked on that held it back a bit

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is NO end credit scene

The Mummy banner

Review

Now from the start, I have to say I do have a lot of love for the 1999 Brendan Fraser Mummy film, I mean I even like its only follow up The Mummy Returns because they were wonderful camp fun with a horror veneer. Indeed I will always remember the first time I saw The Mummy as a kid, it was at a friend’s place and there was a whole lot of people crowded around the TV and VCR and someone was passing around cups of tea when the mummy awoke and it scared them so much tea went everywhere. So whether I like it or not, I’m going to bring those memories and that nostalgic feeling with me when I go see The Mummy because it has to hold up to the ones that came before and for the most part I think that it does. So today we will breaking down how well The Mummy does as a standalone film, how well it does as the starting point for the Dark Universe, and also look at some areas where the film needed improvement.

So let’s begin by setting the scene, well setting the scene twice actually. To begin it is the New Kingdom of Egypt, well they say it was, but then they also say the sarcophagus is 5000 years old which would put it more in the Old Kingdom but I digress. Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was the only child of the King Menehptre (Selva Rasalingam), and all her life she knew she would be Queen and ruler over all the land. She trained every day and night to be a good ruler but then her father had another child, a boy, and in one moment everything she worked for was ripped out from underneath her. So what do you do when your world has fallen apart, well you form a secret deal with the god Set and go about killing your family as a sacrifice. But before Ahmanet could bring Set into the real world she was stopped, mummified alive, and buried in a tomb far, far away from Egypt, which of course is a plan that never goes wrong. Flash forward to today and two very important things have happened, first a crew digging a new railway tunnel find a hidden Knights Templar crypt, and in Iraq two US Army scouts Nick (Tom Cruise) and Chris (Jake Johnson) have stumbled across Haram where something once buried and forgotten now lays in wait and an archaeologist Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) might dig too far. Now, this set-up has a lot of working pieces that have to get into place, but when all three of these plot lines come crashing together it propels everything forward.

Sofia Boutella shows the power of acting with your eyes

Sofia Boutella shows the power of acting with your eyes

One area that I think they did very well was in casting because you have to build a franchise off this and you only have one chance to have your Robert Downey Jr. moment. Now I’m going to start with the big bad because if you have read my Kingman or Star Trek reviews you would know that I am a big fan of Sofia Boutella and her work. Her dancing experience gives her a remarkable physicality but more than that, she has one of the most expressive eyes in the business. Here even under the CGI and prosthetics, she had an amazing performance and honestly, I would have liked to see more of her in the film. As well as this, I did like Jake Johnson, he was perfectly cast as the witty sidekick to Tom Cruise’s Nick, and their banter together was one of the highlights of the film. This might be the perfect character for Russel Crowe because it lets him show his range, from that prim and proper gentleman we’ve seen in movies like Master and Commander, a side note, we need another Master and Commander film, and then also the brawler. Annabelle Wallis is an interesting addition and she holds her own in scenes with Tom which is not easy to do. One possible exception to this is Tom Cruise who it does fell at times that they had him playing a stock standard Tom Cruise action character, which does limit his character arc a bit. However, what you do get with Tom is an actor that throws himself into the action like very few people working in Hollywood do, and you see that here.

Now one of the highlights of the film has to be its action sequences that are peppered throughout. You have car chases, you have escaped from insurgents in the desert, you have monsters in the dark, and of course, you have one of the most spectacular sequences I have seen in quite a while. Now with this, I am talking about the sequence on the plane which I assume they filmed it on a reduced-gravity aircraft, I’m not sure you could film it on a rig but if they did wow that must have been some rig set-up. It is a great scene because first, it has a slow build as we see Chris get sicker and Nick starts to hallucinate, we know something bad is about to happen, but what. This is followed by something to distract you, then bang the first bird hits, and everything goes to hell. Now not every action sequence is as good as this, but it shows you how you can engage the audience and not resort to hundreds of cuts when trying to convey what is happening. Now I’m not generally a big fan of the horror genre because I tend not to find these movies scary, so this time I brought along my mother, and if her reactions were anything to go by there was some scary stuff. Ok even I jumped at that ambulance scene, are you happy, you wrought it out of me.

One of the highlights are the well constructed action sequences

One of the highlights are the well constructed action sequences

One area where The Mummy excelled is in the technical side of the film, the editing, music and effects. It might be a small thing but I am really fascinated in how you cut within a sequence and also how you transition between sequences, and so often no thought or more likely no money is put into making them visually interesting. However, here we have some really interesting transitions, especially between the hallucinations and the real world. I do want to give a special mention to Brian Tyler and his musical score, I’ve been enjoying his work ever since the score of the Dune miniseries and here he is so on point. The music is just as creepy as the movie, he uses discordant strings at infrequent intervals to really put you in the state of unease. Music is such a powerful medium to convey the story and it is really great to see when people use it creatively to effect the mood of the viewer. Of course, I have to mention the fascinating effects from Industrial Light and Magic. From sandstorms, to a murder of crows, to ghouls of all kinds, it is an impressive array of effects. I think the standout, which was a mix of practical and visual effects, was the first steps of the mummy which had almost stop-motion feel to it, a wonderful call back to the films of the past. But more than visual effects I have to give a shout out to the set designers, some of those sets felt expansive, and real and there is just something tangible about them that you don’t often see in this day and age. This was all helped by some great framing and good use of light and dark to create interest as well as contrast on the screen.

When it comes to the issues I had with the film they are not big but smaller little things which persist after you have left the film. The end of the second act and the start of the third did seem to drag a bit because it did kind of feel the movie was put on pause while they start introducing the universe. This meant that the slow build the movie was going for did not quite work as well as it could have. Also what was actually happening in that third act, a bit of explanation was needed. Finally, I just kind of feel that the last scene in the film was missing something, I can’t go into any more details or else I hit spoilers, but it felt like it could have ended on a stronger note.

It will be interesting to see where they go with this Dark Universe

It will be interesting to see where they go with this Dark Universe

So one thing we need to do is talk about how well The Mummy was as a launch platform for Universal’s Dark Universe. Now because this means we have to look at the story more in depth there will be [SPOILERS] in this paragraph. So this is a risky move for Universal, even though the Monsters might have been the first shared universe in cinema back in the day. This is because a lot of their classic monsters are actually in the public domain so there is a chance of them being undercut, also with the dominance of Marvel, and DC only just getting their act together with Wonder Woman, there is a possibility that we may be seeing a saturation in the market. Indeed with Wonder Woman outperforming expectations, there is a very real chance that The Mummy might get overshadowed, which is not where you want to be with your opening salvo. So with The Mummy they take less of an Iron Man ‘spoiler in an end credit scene’ approach to franchise building, and a bit more of a hands-on approach. Now as I said in the last paragraph this does lead to the movie taking a pause but it does give us an insight into the structures behind this universe. Monsters exist, and there have been people hunting them for a while to keep evil at bay, and at some point there is a distinction between monsters that are good and those who are bad, setting up the dichotomy for the future. I’m sure as they swept through Dr. Jekyll’s laboratory you would have picked up more than a few references to those classical monsters of cinema’s past, indeed it will be interesting to see just how many Easter eggs there are. I will say the one interesting thing I noticed is that one of the Books  in the library was the Book of the Dead from the 1999 Mummy film, which raises some interesting questions was this just a reference like the head appearing out of the sandstorm, or is it implying that they are part of these movies canonically. Look more so than in say Batman v Superman I am actually interested to see where they go in this universe from here. Though next time, don’t give away things like Russel Crow’s character before hand, if would have worked so much better if the Dr. Jekyll was a big reveal, instead you leaked it as part of a promotional trailer. [End of SPOILERS]

In the end, I have to say I did enjoy this first entry into the Dark Universe, sure my heart will always be with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz gallivanting around 1920s Egypt. Well we can’t go back in the past, we can only look to the future and I’m interested to see where we go from here.

 

Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Directed by
– Alex Kurtzman
Screenplay by – David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie & Dylan Kussman
Story By – Jon Spaihts, Alex Kurtzman & Jenny Lumet
Music by – Brian Tyler
Cinematography by – Ben Seresin
Edited by – Paul Hirsch, Gina Hirsch & Andrew Mondshein
Starring
– Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Selva Rasalingam & Russell Crowe
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13

Movie Review – Baywatch (2017)

TL;DR – It tries to tread a familiar path with tone and execution, but lacks the charm with its story and Dwayne Johnson’s charisma can only get you so far.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Baywatch

Review

So to be fair, where ever possible I try to read nothing about a film before I go see it, because I want my first viewing to be through my own eyes and not the through the lens of other people’s views, it’s why I avoid trailers wherever possible. However, for Baywatch that simply was not possible as it released a week later here in Australia and the mixed reviews were everywhere. So when I walked into the cinema I was not really expecting anything of great quality, possibly even a dumpster fire of a film. However, I do have to say it’s not that bad, I mean it is not great, or even good, more borderline, but if anything it is just a real missed opportunity. Now throughout this review, I am going to be referring to 21 Jump Street (2012) and its sequel 22 Jump Street (2014) a bit. Now, on the one hand, I do think generally films should stand or fall on their own merit, however in the case of sequels or here when they were clearly trying to replicate the success of a previous movie, well then you can’t help but invite comparisons.

Now before we start I should make it clear that this is a very R film with drugs, swearing and nudity, so not quite in line with the source material, but something you should know before someone inevitably takes their kids to go see it.

There are some beautiful moments of color and framing

There are some beautiful moments of color and framing

So to set the scene, we are here in lovely Emerald Bay Florida, on the first day of try-outs for new lifeguards for the summer season. Overseeing the try-out is Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson), his second in command Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and long-time lifeguard CJ Parker (Kelly Rohrbach). Now they usually only accept one new recruit a season but this time they can accept three new recruits which is lucky for the plot since there are three name brand characters running for the position. Of course there is Matt Brody (Zac Efron) the I don’t want to be here but they are making me but I’ll probably learn a lesson and come to like it at some point recruit, then there is Ronnie (Jon Bass) who has a lot of heart which is code for him not having the same physique as the rest of the lifeguards and who is mostly reserved for a slapstick comedy role, and you have Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) who is positioned as the no-nonsense recruit who immediately calls Matt out on his inappropriate flirting which means they will have a will they/ won’t they flirt off for the rest of the film. All is calm on the bay … that the lifeguards watch… until mysterious businesswoman Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra) comes to town and drugs start washing up on the beach. Ok as far as a set up goes there are some interesting characters, you have a good setting, and you have hired a cast that can really pull of these roles. But on the other hand, you have created a set-up that is so stock standard it feels like I have seen components of this film reproduced over and over again in different and often better films.

So firstly the good parts of the film and the first good point is the acting because I do think everyone here is giving their best even with the story not working all that well. Honestly, I think this is a perfect role for Dwayne Johnson because he gets to show a lot of his strengths, from his charisma to his ability, to motivate others, and he has the physicality that the role needed. Zac Efron plays the cocky overly ripped guy that needed to learn a lesson, basically a role he has played many times in the past like Bad Neighbours and a host of others.  The rest of the supporting cast all have their moments but bar the subplot of Ronnie and CJ the story leaves them all feeling a little one-note.

Everyone is giving their all, even if the story is not helping them

Everyone is giving their all, even if the story is not helping them

When it comes to the technical side of things there were also interesting features, first, it really helps that a lot of this was filmed on location it helps give you that sense of reality that the film needed. Most of the action scenes were competently put together, there was a flow to the editing that made the sequences clear and not the hacky jump cut edits of some movies. For me I think the standout moment was the opening sequence with Mitch rescuing a kite-surfer that hit the rocks, there was a great flow to the sequence and it had a more surreal style that would have worked a lot better had the film employed it throughout, but alas. The music worked well with a mix of orchestral and licenced works which do a good job of setting the scene. One area that they do need to work on is the sound mixing, you could tell the difference between some of the dialogue recorded on site and those recorded later in ADR.

So we’ve talked about some of the things that did work we need to now talk about the big thing that did not work and that is the story, pretty much all the story. Because we are talking about the story there will be [SPOILERS]. Ok, where to begin because there is a lot to unpack, so for starters let’s look at how they adapted this movie from the source material. There has been a big vogue in Hollywood to adapt old TV shows and turn them into movies, to tap into that nostalgia market that has been powering juggernauts like Nintendo for years. We’ve had such gems as the before mentioned 21 Jump Street, or The A-Team, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and this year’s Power Rangers, but also a whole ton of films that just did not adapt all that well to the big screen because of creative decisions like Avatar: The Last Airbender or Ghost in the Shell. What has been happening recently is that to stand out of the crowd movies spice these adaptations up by making them (USA) R-rated comedies to tap into that mindset of what if, imagine Baywatch but what if they were allowed to curse and actually show the things that we always saw in slow motion. It’s a good idea and one that works for about five minutes before the novelty wears off. Part of this is because the writing is just not as clever as it needs to be to pull this off, like there is a scene where they basically riff of some weird scenarios and clearly these were all plot points from old Baywatch episodes but it feels so forced, unlike say the similar thing that was done in The Lego Batman Movie which tipped its hat to the audience to let them know they were in on the joke. Or for example it is quite common to get the old stars to appear in the new film as cameos, it happened in The Brady Bunch Film, in Ghostbusters, in 21 Jump Street, in Get Smart etc. It is one of those things that is there for the fans of the original but one of the reasons that they work is that they are a surprise. But here there is no surprise because you know David Hasselhoff & Pamela Anderson are going to show up at some point because there are in the opening credits and not in a tongue and cheek Deadpool kind of way. Also, the R rating just does not provide anything new to the film like it does in say Logan, it all felt more than a little unnecessary, and took away from the charm the film could have had. For example, save for the unnecessary prison scene, in 22 Jump Street, they used their R rating as a way of highlighting the absurdity of the story not as a crutch to try to prop up the story

While the style is there in places, there needed more work on the substance of the story

While the style is there in places, there needed more work on the substance of the story

This, of course, leads us to the next problem, while the adaptation is one issue, the bigger problem is the threadbare story that is full of inconstancies. Look sure there are some funny moments in Baywatch but it all wears off really quickly once they start repeating the same gags, and everything else becomes really predictable. You have the film hitting stereotypes early and it does not let up throughout, like Ronnie and his often changing body hair. You have sloppy writing like at the start where Mitch points out a sea urchin and goes this will make you super strong and then kill you, and sure Chekhov’s Gun and all that, but it might as well have been labelled ‘This will be important to the final battle’. If it had just been these clunky foreshadowing’s then it might not have been that bad but the lazy writing leads to characters acting out of character just because the plot needed them to. For example Mitch is shown to put the people’s lives above everything, and he gets understandably angry at Matt when his actions led to people’s lives being put in jeopardy, but half way through the movie he abandons his post, and leaves no one watching the beach to run down a lead at the morgue. Also, there is Dave (Hannibal Buress) who is shown at the start to be friends with Ronnie, only just to pop up later in the film as one of Victoria’s henchmen. Finally, also there are those moments where characters just act stupidly with no regards to their lives. While it might not be at Alien: Covenant levels, but in the end, Victoria went to almost the worst place she could have gone to get helicoptered out. Seeing such lazy writing which amounts to nothing is annoying when there are really good examples out there like 22 Jump Street’s meta-commentary on sequels, or Man from U.N.C.L.E.’s exploration of Cold War politics, is just disappointing. [End of SPOLERS]

In the end, look it is not the train wreck I was expecting, but it wasn’t all that good either, so as much as a couple of things made me laugh I can’t really recommend Baywatch. Honestly, it has such a good cast that I really did wish that they had gotten a better story to play around in. So my recommendation is to spend your money elsewhere.

 

Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Directed by
– Seth Gordon
Screenplay by – Damian Shannon & Mark Swift
Story By – Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant
Based onBaywatch by Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz & Gregory J. Bonann
Music by – Christopher Lennertz
Cinematography by – Eric Steelberg
Edited by – Peter S. Elliot
Starring
– Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Jon Bass, Ilfenesh Hadera, Hannibal Buress, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II & Rob Huebel with David Hasselhoff & Pamela Anderson
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 14A; NZ: R; UK: 15; USA: R