VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: In a World… (2013)

Claire: 3/5 stars, 6/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.0/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: It wasn’t bad, but we were hoping it’d be funnier. I enjoyed it for the most part.

Claire’s tirade: This was an interesting movie, but it was QUITE a let-down, as it was billed as a comedy, and we were expecting a straight comedy. Instead we received an interesting movie that occasionally had some funny stuff in it. Another fucking ambush. If I could rate how my expectations were served, it would be 1/5 stars, 3/10.

So anyway, this is about the voice-actor for movie trailers (the ones that always start with “In A World…”) dying, and there being a power play to see who gets to replace that guy, and whether the world is ready to have a woman take that kind of job. It’s a female-written/starring/directed movie in part about gender politics, but I feel like it doesn’t have an audience. The people watching it are already watching a female-created endeavor, so any preaching is to the choir. I guess they’re not preaching. So why not have some more comedy then?

We unfortunately chose this as our “final day of drinking” (we don’t drink during the work week) Sunday-night movie, looking for laughs. Despite the fact that it was written by/directed by/starring Lake Bell (from the hilarious live-action AdultSwim show Childrens Hospital), and also starred usually-comedic actor Rob Corddry (also from Childrens Hospital, among other things) and always-comedic Ken Marino (from The State), it just wasn’t that comedic!

Rob Corddry’s character, for example, had no comedy! It was a very serious side-plot that was completely superfluous to the movie. The side-plot could have had a very beautiful moment, but what would have been the best moment for me happened off-camera. I felt deprived, and it made the characters worth less for me.

I need to stop picking our Sunday-night-drinking movies.

Out of the 4 comedies we were going to watch, this was rated highest. I think that may be a trap I keep falling into. I think I keep picking the highest-rated comedy out of a group of comedic-looking movies I want to watch, and it keeps not actually being that comedic. My theory is that actual comedies get rated more lowly than dramas (because people hate comedies; they always rate way lower than we on comedies). Thus, when I try to pick a weekend-comedy and go for the highest-rated movie, it’s actually rated higher not because it’s funnier, but because it’s not a comedy. This leads me to pick what I think is the funniest movie out of a group of comedies (because it has the highest rating), but all too often is not really a comedy (which is why it earned the highest rating). This happened when we watched Girl Most Likely, for example. It’s happened to me several times in the past few months. I may have to change my movie selection algorithm.

Anyway, despite my complaints — The movie was still interesting, in part because we take voice acting very seriously due to all the cartoons we watch.

But I gotta say… It was a disjointed mess. The comedy, romance, and drama all worked against each other, instead of with each other. This was not the movie I should have watched Sunday night. So I’m warning you: Watch this movie when you’re in the right mood. Not when you’re looking for a comedy. Expect something entertaining but not hilarious or great.

Written, directed by, and starring Lake Bell (Childrens Hospital, It’s Complicated, What Happens In Vegas, 1 ep of Newsreaders, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Tron Uprising)

Starring Rob Corddry (Blake Downs in Childrens Hospital, Hell Baby, Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Rapture-Palooza, What Happens In Vegas, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, The Ten, Blades Of Glory, 1 ep of The Life And Times Of Tim) as Moe.
Ken Marino (The State, Childrens Hospital, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, Flute Cop in Axe Cop, Wanderlust, Hoodwinked, 1 ep of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Gustav.
Demetri Martin (Contagion, Take Me Home Tonight) as Louis, Carol’s coworker and friend.
Fred Melamed (Grand Theft Auto video games, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Sam, Carol’s father.
Tig Notaro (The Sarah Silverman Program, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim, 1 ep of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of The Office) as Cher.
Nick Offerman (Axe Cop in Axe Cop, Briggs from Children’s Hospital, RSO:Registered Sex Offender, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Wristcutters:A Love Story, Sin City, Smashed) as Heners.
Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Dani, Carol’s sister.
Geena Davis (Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise, A League Of Their Own) as Katherine Huling. OMG I DID NOT RECOGNIZE HER. The straight hair, the extra weight, the older face. Wow. She still looks good for her age, but wow.
Cameron Diaz as Amazon Leader (uncredited). For like 2 seconds. Totally missed her.
Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, Safety Not Guaranteed, Toy Story Movies, Wall-E, Run Ronnie Run, MADtv) as Himself (uncredited).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294677/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Smashed (2012)

Clint: 3.1/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

It’s not REALLY a comedy.

It starts out making you think it’s going to be a comedy — and it indeed has funny parts. A lot during the first 25 minutes, and a few peppered out throughout the rest.

But unfortunately it takes turn toward the serious and depressing (and possibly preachy). It’s about alcoholism, and the struggles an alcoholic has to go through to:

1) Admit they have a problem
2) Admit they need help addressing the problem
3) Form a working support system
4) Survive their relationship

It is apparently hard for one person in a couple to admit to alcoholism and try to help themselves, all while the spouse isn’t participating. Now throw in the fact that the non-participatory spouse is Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, and at least the Breaking Bad fanboy-ism kicks in to take the edge off the depressing seriousness of the plot. Plus the girl who wants to get sober is Ramona Flowers from <a target=”_target42764″ href=”https://clintjcl.wordpress.com/?p=5899″>Scott Pilgrim</a>. We also have Nick Offerman and Octavia Spencer.

This movie shows how marriages might not survive because spouses tend to need to grow in the same direction as each other. If one starts to grow in a different direction and the other does not follow — bad things can happen.
Carolyn felt it was a pretty powerful movie, once she realized what kind of movie it was…
Clint knew when selecting this movie that it has the potential to fall into this type of movie… But was hoping it wouldn’t. But it did. However, the funny parts still made it entertaining.
Plus, this was an excellent movie to drink at a greater-than-usual pace during, if only for spite. Our alcoholism isn’t nearly as bad as these guys, fortunately…

Ben W adds: “This was another movie where the trailer was cut in such a way to lead you to think it will be black comedy, which Young Adult also does. Not a serious drama with some funny bits to it. It took me a few days after seeing it to make peace with it. Although I knew going in what it was about, and at the time I was looking at a bunch of stuff about people getting sober. So, I guess I was more prepared for the journey. I can understand the cold-cocking it does to you if you go in blind.

Personally I like the The Lost Weekend for drinking to alcoholism.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2063781/combined