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Eagerly anticipating this week ... (36-17)

Eagerly anticipating this week ... (36-17)
Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz's Trophy (2017, documentary)


22 Jump Street (2014) - Lord/Miller's wobbly, vexing, overrated sequel

The two stars look ridiculous in a veritable sea of spring-break youths on this poster for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's 22 Jump Street

Our odd cop partner heroes of 21 Jump Street (2012) are given a new mission, which is like a copy of their last mission, only this time the drug problem is in a college instead of a high school, and once again they will have to go undercover.

22 Jump Street, which like its successful predecessor is based on the 21 Jump Street (1987-91) TV-series, makes it a meta-joke in itself that its plot is so close to the first film. The film often nearly implodes, because the filmmakers behind it also can't take their concoction seriously and stuff it with meta-jokes and references to keep it going.
Much of 22 Jump Street, in particular its editing, music and overall style, seems to have been created by - and for - galling teenagers with ADD. Channing Tatum (Logan Lucky (2017)) has gotten chubbier, and Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)) looks more tired than usual. Many of the scenes and jokes fall flat on their asses.
22 Jump Street seems long and a bit awkward. There are sill a few fun moments, especially scenes with Jillian Bell (Idiotsitter (2014-17)) who is the funniest part of the film. It also has a funny poster sequence for future Jump Street sequels during the end credits.
22 Jump Street is written by Michael Bacall (Project X (2012)), Oren Uziel (Freaks of Nature (2015)) and Rodney Rothman (Grudge Match (2013)), with Hill contributing story elements, and directed by great directing partners Floridian Phil Lord and Washingtonian Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie (2014), both). The two have rightly moved on to other things after this.

Related posts:

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller: The Lego Movie (2014) - Glue and near-robotic square-mindedness gets a kick in the head in the year's surprise family favorite

21 Jump Street (2012) - Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill dish out some loud buddy cop fun
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) - Hefty-paced fun in 3D food lunacy 


Watch a teaser trailer for the film here

Cost: 84.5 mil. $
Box office: 331.3 mil. $
= Big hit
[22 Jump Street premiered 4 June (New York) and runs 112 minutes. Filming took place in Puerto Rico and Louisiana, including New Orleans, from September - December 2013. The film opened #1 to an excellent 57 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it stayed in the top 5 for 5 consecutive weeks (moving to #2-#2-#3-#4) and grossed a huge 191.7 mil. $ (57.9 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were the UK with 31.4 mil. $ (9.5 %) and Australia with 21 mil. $ (6.3 %). The gross far exceeds the 201.5 mil. $ the first film made. The film's budget is listed as 50 mil. $ at Box Office Mojo, but a leaked final budget document lists it as the above, - and since an unreported 34.5 mil. $ tax credit seems unlikely, the final budget document's estimation is used here. Another info from the Sony leaks of 2015 concerns the series' further sequel plans, which are a film ('MiB 23'), which is to mix the Men in Black franchise with the Jump Street characters, directed by James Bobin (Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)). With Bobin's latest major flop in mind, it is uncertain whether this strange crossover film will ever materialize. 22 Jump Street is certified fresh at 84 % with a 7/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of 22 Jump Street?


2012 (2009) or, Giant Mega-Stupid Movie!

A Tibetan monk looks on as an ocean suddenly engorges the Himalayan mountain peaks on this poster for Roland Emmerich's 2012

The Mayan Indians had figured it out centuries ago: Atypical solar activity makes 2012 a fateful year for planet Earth, which reacts with earthquakes, volcano eruptions and monstrous floods.

2012 has one thing going for it and one thing only: Insane CGI effects, SPOILER as when lead John Cusack's (The Paperboy (2012)) limo drives through a disintegrating Los Angeles... As incredible as this is to stare at is the ridiculous, trite and just plain stupid plot around it, which consists of inordinate amounts of screaming, wailing and obscurities.
Danny Glover (Dirty Grandpa (2016)) is the US president, who wants to die. Oliver Platt (Chicago P.D. (2015-16)) is a villain, because he wants to live... Chiwetel Ejifor (The Martian (2015)) has the film's perhaps dumbest role as an idealistic geologist. 2012 is just too asinine.
It is written by Harald Kloser (White House Down (2013)) and co-writer-director Roland Emmerich (Stargate (1994)).

Related review:

Roland EmmerichWhite House Down (2013) or, Duck, Mr. President!

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 200 mil. $
Box office: 769.6 mil. $
= Big hit
[2012 premiered 11 November (9 countries) and runs 158 minutes. About it, Emmerich has said that he "always wanted to do a Biblical flood movie." The 2012 doomsday theory that the film propagates is a Western concept, which draws from the Mayans and their talent for astronomy. The Mayans did not think the world would end in 2012. Filming took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, Los Angeles, California and in British Columbia, Canada, including in Vancouver, from July - October 2008. The film's marketing made use of a polemic Internet campaign that made people think that the world was actually going to end soon. The film opened #1 to a 65.2 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it stayed int he top 5 for another two weeks (both at #3) and grossed 166.2 mil. $ (21.6 % of the total gross). Luckily for the filmmakers, the rest of the world were more thrilled; the film's 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were China with 68.6 mil. $ (8.9 %) and France with 44 mil. $ (5.7 %). It was the 5th highest-grossing film of the year and Emmerich's second highest-grossing film, after Independence Day (1996). Roger Ebert gave it 3½/4 stars, completely opposite this review. The film was banned in North Korea, where 2012 was going to be an anniversary for the nation's founder, and several people were arrested for possessing or viewing the film. Plans for a TV spin-off were eventually canceled. Emmerich returned with the William Shakespeare conspiracy movie Anonymous (2011). 2012 is rotten at 39% with a 5/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of 2012?


Logan Lucky (2017) - Soderbergh returns with amusing, slow hillbilly heist comedy

Why the four stars are in B/W while sitting on a strikingly yellow race-car on this poster for Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky is a mystery

Jimmy Logan is a good guy, who gets laid off from his low-paying construction job and cooks up a plan to rob the local NASCAR race with the help of his Iraq veteran bartender brother, their sister Mellie and the incarcerated demolition expert Joe Bang. Can they break the 'Logan curse' of bad luck?

Logan Lucky is the 27th feature from Georgian master filmmaker Steven Soderbergh (Haywire (2011)). It is written by the mysterious Rebecca Blunt, who seems to be an non-existing person, a pseudonym, possibly for Soderbergh himself. The film marks Soderbergh's return to feature-directing, which he had announced he was retiring from after Behind the Candelabra (2013, TV-movie). He didn't really retire, though: He directed The Knick (2014-15) and is now back behind a feature release.
Logan Lucky is a heist or a caper comedy and thus an extension of Soderbergh's biggest hits yet, his Ocean's movies, Ocean's Eleven (2001), Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). But this film is also almost antithetical to those films, in that it revolves in the Southern 'home-land' area of the US without any hints of glamour or international prestige and portrays a coup that's carried out by some down-on-their-luck country types. There are hicks, (especially Joe Bang's not too bright brothers), and the film delights in the cultural activities of its North Carolina characters.
The movie thrives on a slow pace that's inferred by its characters and setting, but this also robs it of any kind of suspense, which is a shame. Soderbergh, who has also photographed and edited the film himself, relishes the hillbilly quality to the point where he denies his heist film suspense, and that leaves it up to humor and drama to buoy it. The film has humor, and especially Daniel Craig (Spectre (2015)) is enjoyable, immersed completely in the odd Joe Bang character, but it isn't funny or dramatic enough to make up for its slowness overall. Especially not when seen in the context of Soderbergh's usually snappy and very exciting films.
Channing Tatum (The Dilemma (2011)) make women and men swoon over him again in this good guy role as Jimmy Logan, and he shares the film's best scenes with Farrah Mackenzie (You Get Me (2017)), who is really sweet as his daughter. SPOILER When she leaves Rihanna alone and decides to go for Take Me Home, Country Roads at the talent section of her beauty pageant performance, because her father finally shows up, she really steals our hearts.
The film has quite a cast, which also boasts Hilary Swank (The Black Dahlia (2006)), LeAnn Rimes (Good Intentions (2010)) singing beautifully, Dwight Yoakam (Under the Dome (2014, TV-series) as the stubborn, amusing warden with the George R.R. Martin-obsessed inmates, Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy (1998-17)) unsurprisingly apt at playing an intolerable douche, Adam Driver (Paterson (2016)), Katie Holmes (The Extra Man (2010)) and Riley Keough (It Comes at Night (2017)).
Logan Lucky is a pretty good time, and Soderbergh can only thank himself and his many previous great films for having set the bar generally higher than this.

Related posts:

Steven Soderbergh2015 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I]
Magic Mike XXL (2015) - Lots of fun and skin but still no gay as Mike goes to the convention (cinematographer, editor) 
2013 in films - according to Film Excess
Side Effects (2013) - Modern people screw up in excellent thriller 
Behind the Candelabra (2013) - Restraint and extravagance 

Magic Mike (2012) - Soderbergh and Tatum score big with cheeky male strip romp 
2011 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED II]

2011 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I] 
2011 in films - according to Film Excess 
Contagion (2011) - Soderbergh's global pandemic creep-out  

Haywire (2011) - Soderbergh's taut, stylish ensemble actioner is a masterpiece

2009 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess
The Informant! (2009) - Soderbergh and Damon's terrific true-crime dramedy  
Che Part One - The Argentine (2008) - Soderbergh's sober depiction of the Cuban revolution 
Solaris (2002) - A suffering space question mark  

Erin Brockovich (2000) - Roberts, Soderbergh and Grant's triumphant biopic  

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 29 mil. $
Box office: 39.6 mil. $ and counting
= Too early to day
[Logan Lucky premiered 7 August (Tel Aviv) and runs 119 minutes. Michael Shannon and Matt Damon were in talks to star before the cast came together. Only Soderbergh and Driver have vouced that Blunt exists. Soderbergh has called Logan Lucky an "anti-glam version of an Ocean's movie." Filming took place in Georgia and North Carolina from August 2016 - ?. Soderbergh has financed the film with presales to foreign markets and kept a close control of domestic distribution, steering clear of the major studios. He has said that with this tactic, the film would be 'a win' with a 'modest 15 mil. $ opening'. The film opened #3, behind fellow new release The Hitman's Bodyguard and holdover hit Annabelle: Creation, to a week 7.6 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it spent two more weeks in the top 5 (both at #5) and has grossed 26.9 mil. $ to date. The film has yet to open in big markets Spain (12 October), France (25 October) and Japan (18 November), but so far its performance isn't impressive. Logan Lucky is certified fresh at 93 % with a 7.5/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Logan Lucky?


30 Rock - season 4 (2009) - Fey, Baldwin & Co. return for long but often hilarious fourth season


Our five entertaining New-Yorker media personality friends are back for the 4th season of Tina Fey's 30 Rock

The following season run-through contains SPOLERS:

Life and work remains full of hurdles for sketch show producer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey (The Invention of Lying (2009))) at NBC in New York: Actress Jenna (Jane Krakowski (Open Season (2006))) remains a whole lot of fun; as the season opens she is busy making a country-eschewed tennis promo, which is supposed to promote the sport in the South. Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live (2007-17)) is still phenomenally funny in the show's best scenes as station chief Jack Donaghy.
Liz herself suffers stage fright ahead of beginning her Dealbreakers Talkshow, and her show's diva man-child Tracy (Tracy Morgan (Top Five (2014))) decides to aim to join the exclusive EGOT club in slightly disappointing episode 7. In really strange but also funny episode 9, Liz enjoys a visit from her gay cousin Randy, while Jenna dates James Franco (Spider-Man (2002)), who turns out to be in love with a Japanese pillow.
An ongoing plot strand concerns the network's getting bought following its owner Don Geiss' death.
Jack invents women's porn (handsome men who listen), and Liz keeps meeting Michael Sheen (Home Again (2017)), an annoying Brit she met at her dentist. Jack dates both her old Irish Boston flame (Julianne Moore (Still Alice (2014))) and new, snappy Avery (Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers (2017))), and suffers under the pressure of his deceit. Meanwhile Jenna may have found happiness in a man who is also a drag performer who imitates her (Will Forte (Nebraska (2013))).
Liz undergoes some realizations and proposes to Sheen, and voice-performing in Garfield 3 makes Tracy remember his traumatic childhood.
In the season's cooky final episode, Liz falls for a pilot (Matt Damon (The Martian (2015))) and dumps Sheen, while Forte changes his drag act into half-Jenna/half-Cher. Jack decides to go with old flame Nancy, but then changes his mind for Avery, who is pregnant! Kenneth (Jack McBrayer (Conan (2013-16))) gets fired and gives a 'hard' slamming-the-door-on-his-way-out speech.

Season 4 of the beloved backstage satirical sitcom from creator-star Fey is fun and wacky but has too many episodes who only sometimes - though more often than not - do the trick of raising risible laughter.

Best episodes:

Episode 3: Stone Mountain - written by Fey, John Riggi (The Comeback (2005-14)), directed by Don Scardino (Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt (2017, TV-series)
Jack and Liz travel to Georgia to find a new cast member who represents 'middle America.' With Jimmy Fallon (Jem and the Holograms (2015)) and Betty White (Boston Legal (2005-08)).

Episode 10: Black Light Attack! - written by Fey, Steve Hely (Veep (2017, TV-series), directed by Scardino
A darkly funny highlight: Jenna faces her advancing age, while Jack and Liz vie for the same cast member's favor, and Tracy settles a clash in his entourage.

Episode 13: Anna Howard Shaw Day - written by Fey, Matt Hubbard (Joey (2005-06)), directed by Ken Whittingham (Black-ish (2014-17))
The funny Valentine's Day episode in which Liz has root canal surgery at very funny dentist James Rebhorn's (Homeland (2011-13)), and Jack meets business talk show host Avery.

Episode 20: The Moms - written by Fey, Kay Cannon (Girlboss (2017, TV-series), Robert Carlock (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)), directed by Riggi
Crazy-funny Mother's Day episode: Jack gets advice from his mother; Liz realizes that she has to settle, and Tracy casts a mother. With Buzz Aldrin (The Simpsons (1994, TV-series)) and Will Ferrell (Daddy's Home (2015)).

Related posts:

Tina FeyDate Night (2010) - Carell and Fey bring out the big laugh guns
Megamind (2010) - Ferrell leads McGrath's hilarious animation superbly 
30 Rock - season 1 (2006) - NY showbiz satire on speed
Mean Girls (2004) - Lohan, Waters and Fey's high school satire triumph (writer)

Cost: Unknown
Box office: None - TV-series
= Hit - ratings high enough for another season
[30 Rock season 4 had its original release at NBC from 15 October 2009 - 20 May 2010, spanning 22 episodes of an average 22 minutes, totaling approximately 484 minutes. The season's ratings fell from the show's peak with season 3's 7.5 mil. average to a 5.9 mil. average. Baldwin won a Golden Globe for his work in the season, and the show was nominated for 15 Emmys but didn't win any. The show went on for another 3 seasons. 30 Rock S4 is the lowest rated on Rotten Tomatoes: It is nevertheless still fresh at 67 % with a 7.57/10 critical average.]

What do you think of 30 Rock season 4?

Zootopia (2016) - Disney's ambitious, edifying, family-minded 3D animation

Many of the colorful central characters of Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush's Zootopia are gathered on this poster for the film

Our hero is a young female rabbit, who is the first rabbit police recruit ever, who arrives in the major animal city with a head full of dreams, which is put to the test by reality as it is, along with a complex missing animals case that she takes upon herself, partnering with her scheming fox partner.

Zootopia is another irresistible hit from Disney. This one is written by co-writer-co-director Jared Bush (Moana (2016)) and Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids (2011)), with Jennifer Lee (Frozen (2013)), Josie Trinidad (How to Hook Up Your Home Theater (2007), short) and Jim Reardon (WALL-E (2008)) contributing story elements, and directed by Bush, Byron Howard (Tangled (2010)) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph (2012)). Perhaps due to the many good heads involved, Zootopia is rife with creative energy, thoughtful decisions and a wide array of funny and exciting ideas.
The animation is astoundingly handsome and detailed, and Ginnifer Goodwin (Robot Chicken (2005-14)), Jason Bateman (The Family Fang (2015)), Idris Elba (The Losers (2010)), Jenny Slate (Gifted (2017)) and Nate Torrence (Weird Loners (2015), TV-series) give outstanding voice performances. Zootopia, in quite the scoop, also has Shakira voicing and singing the Gazelle pop star of the film, and Shakira's world-famous, positive image and her song here (Try Everything) fit like a glove with the film's idealistic morals: Embracing a modern, multi-cultural society, tolerance, diversity seen as a strength and peaceful co-existance, and against racism, fear-mongering - and drugs, which this ambitious, political family adventure also manages to warn against.
Zootopia is a special, very socially oriented animated crime drama, which also works through artfully executed single scenes, just the right amount of chase-and-escape action scenes, fun and terrific characters.

Related posts:

Byron Howard: Bolt (2008) - Hollywood dog road adventure fun for the whole family!
Rich Moore: Wreck-It Ralph (2012) - Original story gets lost in benign but overly flashy animation

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 150 mil. $
Box office:1,023.7 mil. $
= Huge hit
[Zootopia premiered 11 February (Denmark) and runs 108 minutes. Research was done in two US animal parks as well as in Kenya for the many animals of the film, their movement and looks, and new ground was broken in terms of details in the rendition of fur in the animation. The production took place in a makeshift warehouse in North Hollywood, as Disney Animation's Burbank HQ was under renovation. The film opened #1 in 2D, 3D and IMAX to a great 75 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it remained #1 for 3 consecutive weeks and stayed in the top 5 for an incredible 8 weeks and grossed 341.2 mil. $ (33.3 % of the total gross). It was Disney Animation's biggest opening in North America to date, the biggest March animation opening to date and the 7th highest-grossing film in the market of the year. Its 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were China with 235.5 mil. $ (23 %), - where it became the highest-grossing animation of all time, the first animation to break 200 mil. $ and the second highest-grossing film of the year (behind The Mermaid), - and Japan with 70.1 mil. $ (6.8 %). Worldwide, the film was the 4th highest-grossing of the year (behind Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One and Finding Dory) and the 2nd highest-grossing animation (behind Finding Dory). It also ranks as the second highest-grossing original film of all time (behind Avatar (2009)) and the 5th highest-grossing animation of all time. The film's net profit has been estimated to be 294.9 mil. $ by The film won the Best Animation Oscar (beating Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini and The Red Turtle). It also won a Golden Globe, was nominated for a BAFTA and a Grammy and won an AFI awar, among many other honors. A sequel is in talks. Zootopia was the year's second-highest ranking title at Rotten Tomatoes (after Moonlight); it is certified fresh at 98 % with an 8/10 critical average.]

What do you think of Zootopia?


Zombieland (2009) - Reese/Wernick and Fleischer hit the post-modern bull's eye with undead escapade

Four game stars look ready to create mayhem on this poster for Ruben Fleisher's Zombieland

A phobic, neurotic young man partners with a gun-crazed Texan in America, or Zombieland, after a zombie apocalypse has spread death and destruction everywhere, but is tricked by two sisters.

The highly sarcastic, reference-laden kind of dialog that runs through Zombieland rarely works for movies, as it mostly gets tiring after a while, but somehow it does work here. Certain parts of Zombieland is likely to have made 'Zombie Godfather', New Yorker master filmmaker George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead (1968)) proud, not least the section in the theme park.
SPOILER Best in this great zombie horror-road movie-romcom genre-mixer, however, are the scenes with Bill Murray (Groundhog Day (1993)), in what purports to be his Hollywood mansion, which reaches a level of post-modern brilliance that is wholly unexpected, hilarious and delightful. Zombieland also contains some amazingly cool slo-mo shots of zombie attacks, (cinematography by Michael Bonvillain (Wanderlust (2012))), and may or may not beat Shaun of the Dead (2004) as the great modern zombie horror-comedy, according to your taste. It's a fun neo-classic in my book.
Zombieland is written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool (2016)) and directed by feature-debuting, great Washingtonian filmmaker Ruben Fleischer (Superstore (2015-17)).

Related posts:

Ruben Fleischer: Gangster Squad (2013) or, Good Men vs. Bad Men!

2013 in films - according to Film Excess [UPDATED III]
2013 in films - according to Film Excess [UPDATED II]  
2013 in films - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I]

30 Minutes or Less (2011) or, Idiots and Lesser Idiots

Watch a 2-minute scene from the film here

Cost: 23.6 mil. $
Box office: 102.3 mil. $
= Big hit
[Zombieland premiered 25 September (Austin Fantastic Fest) and runs 87 minutes. Harrelson only took the part in the film on conditions, including that the set be 'environmentally conscious' and Fleischer not ingesting dairy products for a week. Shooting took place in Georgia and in Los Angeles from February - April 2009. The theme park section was mostly shot at Georgia's Wild Adventures Water and Theme Park, with 160 zombie performers in one scene. The film opened #1 to a 24.7 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it stayed in the top 5 for another week (#2) and grossed 75.5 mil. $ (73.8 % of the total gross), becoming the top-grossing zombie film ever there, beating Dawn of the Dead (2004), - until Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were the UK with 5.5 mil. $ (5.4 %) and Russia with 3.9 mil. $ (3.8 %). Roger Ebert gave the film a 3/4 star review, equal to a notch harder than this one. Home video sales of the film in North America alone totaled another 55.4 mil. $. If added to the theatrical gross, it would change the film's status to that of huge hit. Sequel talks began with the film's concluding production, with Harrelson talked enthusiastically of another film. He since backed away from that stance. A TV-series pilot without the stars but with the writers was made for Amazon in 2013 and not picked up for serialization. The writers and Fleischer still seem intent on making a sequel (by 2017). Zombieland is certified fresh at 90 % with a 7.4 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Zombieland?


You're Next (2011) - Wingard's terrific, genre-bending horror fan gift

A blurry, eerie poster for Adam Wingard's You're Next

An aging, affluent married couple's many children and their partners are invited to their remote mansion, - but someone has murdered the neighbors there, and now the quarreling family get terrorized and violently attacked!

You're Next is the 6th film from great Tennessean filmmaker Adam Wingard (Autoerotic (2011)), written by Simon Barrett (Blair Witch (2016)).
You're Next has cool photography (by Andrew Droz Palermo (A Ghost Story (2017))) and effective editing (also by Wingard; it is a smartly conceptualized slasher horror comedy with high pace, surprise twists and a through-going, neat unpredictability. It is made by people, who obviously have fun with the genre, - and who also manage to make audiences have fun with their creation (and its brutal, more or less scary shenanigans.)
The point to You're Next may be that if you have a half-crappy family that's plagued by internal hatred, - you shouldn't bring them together.
SPOILER The film's Australian heroine Sharni Vinson (Bait (2012)) is super-cool in You're Next, (so is her creative - vicious - use of a blender!), and all of her co-stars seem totally game and capable here, too. You're Next is an extremely well-running, surprisingly solid and well-made movie. SPOILER The only thing in the plot that isn't really resolved is; why do the neighbors have to die? (As insurance against alarm, I guess.) The only questionable element, then, is the hunters writing 'you're next' in blood for their next victim, which is quite odd, if you try to make sense of it, but is also forgivable as the film's own frivolous invention, its quirk, its pizzazz.
The score, made by Mads Heldtberg (Teenage Cocktail (2016)), Jasper Lee (The Nobodies (2017)), Kyle McKinnon (Pop Skull (2007)) and Wingard, recalls John Carpenter scores, while plot elements share similarities with Night of the Living Dead (1968), Home Alone (1990) and more films.
You're Next clearly ranks among the year's best horror films and works both as a generational satire and a slasher-smelling blood bath.

Wingard gives an interview about the film here

Cost: 1 mil. $
Box office: 26.8 mil. $
= Mega-hit
[You're Next premiered 10 September (Toronto International Film Festival) and runs 94 minutes. The script due to Wingard's wish to make a home invasion movie, and written with inspiration from Agatha Christie mysteries, screwball comedies and Mario Bava's Bay of Blood (1971). Shooting took place in Missiouri for 4 weeks in March 2011, mostly in and around an antique home that had been standing empty for 12 years. Lionsgate bought the North-American and UK distribution rights for just 2 mil. $. The film opened opened and peaked #6 to a 7 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it grossed 18.4 mil. $ (68.7 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were the UK with 1.8 mil. $ (6.7 %) and Spain with 1.2 mil. $ (4.5 %). Roger Ebert gave the film a 1.5/4 star review, very much opposite to this review and in-line with his poor appreciation and understanding of the horror genre in general. Wingard at the moment is announced to direct South-Korean movie remake I Saw the Devil as well as the coming, major tentpole movie Godzilla vs. Kong (2020). You're Next is certified fresh at 75 % with a 6.5/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of You're Next?

Youth in Revolt (2009) - Arteta's charming, funny indie of escaping virginity

Michael Cera and his double nearly block out female co-star Portia Doubleday on this poster for Miguel Arteta's Youth in Revolt

Teenager Nick Twisp's parents are divorced and ridiculous, and he no longer wants to live as a virgin. On a spontaneous trailer park holiday, he meets the girl who may be the great love of his life. To secure her, he tries a bit of everything.

The party seems to never end with this charming youth sex/romance dramedy. It is ripe with writers' inspiration, based on C.D. Payne's (Invisibly Yours (2010)) epistolary novel Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp (1993) and written by Gustin Nash (Charlie Bartlett (2007)). The third act seems a bit rushed but otherwise this is a knockout work.
The film has some great supporting roles and funny, quotable lines, an unpredictable plot and sweet sequences that use animation and puppets. Michael Cera's (Arrested Development (2003-18)) knack for irony, deadpan delivery and physical comedy is explored at length in this gem.
Youth in Revolt is directed by great Puerto Rican filmmaker Miguel Artetea (Beatriz at Dinner (2017)).

Related post:

Miguel ArtetaCedar Rapids (2011) or, Insurance-Man

Watch a trailer for the film here

Cost: 18 mil. $
Box office: 19.6 mil. $
= Huge flop
[Youth in Revolt premiered 11 September (Deauville American Film Festival, France) and runs 89 minutes. It was shot on location in Michigan and Louisiana from July - September 2008. The film opened and peaked #9 to a 6.9 mil. $ first weekend in North America, where it grossed 15.2 mil. $ (77.6 % of the total gross). The 2nd and 3rd biggest markets were the UK with 2.9 mil. $ (14.8 %) and France with 0.4 mil. $ (2 %). Roger Ebert gave the film a 3/4 star review, translating to a notch harder than this review. It won a National Board of Review Top Independent Film award. Youth in Revolt is fresh at 65 % with a 6.3/10 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]

What do you think of Youth in Revolt?

Eagerl anticipating this week ... (35-17)

Eagerl anticipating this week ... (35-17)
Mike White's Brad's Status (2017)