Mini Movie Reviews From Recent Amazon Prime Film Viewings
Humpday is a film that was seemingly well received, by newcomer Lynn Shelton. She directs and has a small role in the film about two straight men who desire to make a porn art film. Yes, you read that right. These guys, one married and one drifter, decide that to better themselves they should fuck. Makes no sense. Unfortunately, the film collapses as a result. The guys don’t ultimately go through with the deed, I’ll spare you the suspense. Because, really, if you are straight, why in the fuck would you even seriously consider doing such a thing? No clue. The film is probably trying to get you to think about larger themes of openness and sexuality; of what is typical versus what is acceptable; things of that ilk. But you can’t present a premise, which is absurd in the first place, and then not have the characters conquer their deed. Stupid. Additionally, the in your face, low budget style of the film runs its course very soon. Sound crackles and the movie has absolutely no cinematic quality. It’s like watching a bad reality show, with smaller stars. I understand its attempt to try something deeper than what’s conventional, it just isn’t successful in this presentation.
Middle Men (2009)
Middle Men was made for $22mm and earned less than $1mm at the box office. That doesn’t add up to success. Strangely though, the film seemed to garner relatively positive reviews, so I was interested in seeing this for a few years. Unfortunately, quickly after watching, the movie lived down to expectations. The cast is notable in its heft, but the film, which is billed as a comedy, plays much more like a dark drama with voiceover. Loosely based on real people or events, Middle Men stars Luke Wilson as a business fixer who becomes involved in a billing company for porn sites on the Internet. The company shoots to great success and Wilson’s Jack Harris struggles with his relationships all around as a result. From his wife and kids to his business “partners” to the feds to just about anyone else, Jack teeters on getting in over his head throughout. The movie kept my interest, but only as a drama; the comedy aspect was next to non-existent. When Jack’s fate is wrapped up (along with his business partners) after cunning and double crossing, the end was met with a shrug of the shoulders. If this was billed as a drama, I would have enjoyed it more, but I was expecting some laughs and minutes into the movie I knew that they weren’t coming. Oh well, still an interesting enough of a tale to catch on a boring weekend I suppose.
Ridley Scott’s quasi-prequel to Alien has incredible production values and amazing visual effects work. There are some gorgeous vistas and set pieces in this film. The movie has a generally solid cast, including Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace. The film’s plot is even remotely interesting, about a group of scientists out to discover how mankind began – in the year 2089. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is kind of a mess. Fassbender is sterling as an Android named David with a sinister, chilling bent. Rapace is the true star of the film, as the story is really centered around her character. A bit of a surprise given the cast, which includes the heavily made up Guy Pearce as a very old Weyland. Prometheus, the name of the ship, lands on a rock in space and the story becomes jumbled and sophomoric too often. Its fun to see Theron kill someone by lighting him on fire; less so to see an alien birthed during a solo c-section procedure. The story is merely a loose string to attempt (poorly) to connect some beautiful scenery and sets. The film is worth seeing on spectacle and occasional fun, primarily from Fassbender’s David or Theron’s Vickers, but good luck trying to legitimately be moved by any of the events on screen. Too bad, in the end.