Podcast: SJ 248: Big Brother; So You Think You Can Dance; Dead To Me; Big Bad Mama; Sextuplets; Good Boys

White Background LogoSwanner and Judd talk about Big Brother; So You Think You Can Dance; Dead To Me; Big Bad Mama; Sextuplets; Good Boys.

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Good Boys

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Swanner: Three tween boys try to figure out their lives during that last year of grade school. Max has become girl crazy, while Thor is all about his singing, and Lucas isn’t ready to change yet. When Max is invited to a party with girls and kissing, he gets the other two invited as well. Now the boys have a day to figure out how to be cool and how to kiss girls. This is a common story in boyhood and definitely one we all live. Good Boys tells the story of going from boyhood to manhood. And it does it fucking hilariously.

Judd: Good Boys was written by Gene Stupnitksy and Lee Eisenberg who have teamed up before for Year One and Bad Teacher and both with producer credits for man for many great – and not so great – adult comedies, and this is Stupnitksy first time directing a feature film. The laughs come frequently, but at the end of the day, I’m not sure this is one that I would want to see over and over.

Swanner: Good Boys is this summers Girl Trip or Bad Moms. It’s funny and showcases a group of people who usually don’t get to have this kind of fun in films. The film keeps crossing the line of what’s appropriate for tweens. It’s what I expect from producer Seth Rogan. If you’re going to make a comedy about the angst of being a boy in today’s world, I want Rogan a part of it. The three boys…I’m sorry, the three men playing the leads are all well cast and deliver big laughs. I know people are comparing Super Bad, another Rogan project, to this film and they’d be right to. It’s about a couple days in a crucial time in a boys life. This film can’t get as nasty as Super Bad but they sure kept trying. 

Judd: I hate to write disparagingly about the movie, because I did enjoy it, but the whole movie is a single joke carried throughout. Boys on the cusp of puberty encountering sex-related situations (with some drugs thrown in for good measure) that they’re still too innocent to understand. A little diversity in their encounters would have given Good Boys longevity instead of being a funny, yet disposable, late summer movie. 

Swanner: To us most movies are disposable. The fact that this film is hilarious and under 90 minutes is outrageous. It’s August and you’re being picky…who are you?  The only flaw I can see with the film is that the audience the film is about can’t see the film. Doormen are going to be pulling out a lot of tweens out of the LOL comedy.

Judd: I agree, and this movie is going to be the “naughty movie” that the “cool parents” will rent for boys who still have sleepovers.

Swanner: 3 ½ stars
Judd: 3 stars

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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Swanner: On Halloween 1968, six teenagers break into the old Bellows mansion – a house built 70 years earlier by the family that founded the town. While wandering around the house, the teens find a secret room where Sarah Bellows was kept. Sarah was different and dangerous. The legend says that after children in the town started dying, her family locked her away. Seventy years later, her spirit still remains and tells stories to the modern kids who dare take their lives in their hands. For if you hear one of her stories, you will perish. The teens find Sarah’s book of scary stories and, foolishly, they steal it. Then, one by one, each of them disappear as a new stories write themselves. BWAHAHAHA!!!

Judd: Jesus, that’s a convoluted set up – unfortunately, that’s exactly how the movie goes. Oh, and don’t forget to add in a runaway mother, the Nixon election, the Vietnam draft, and a healthy dose of racism from back in the days when America was still great. Most of this excess felt shoehorned in to make the movie “relevant” when it only served to detract from the scary stories – which were actually pretty good. The movie was written by Dan and Kevin Hageman, Guillermo del Toro, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, based on the novel by Alvin Schwarz. Directed by Andre Ovredal, known for the 2010 international hit, Trollhunter.

Swanner: If Nixon’s election night does scare the shit out you not much more will. There was a lot of “relevant” things happening but the scary stories are the stars. The film gives you an anthology of stories to scare smaller children with an arc bringing in the Sarah Bellows story. It’s not quite as scary as Trick R Treat was but the PG-13 rating probably removed some good stuff. The cast does great with their performances and it has a great older horror film feel. 

Judd: If the movie would have stuck to the stories and flowed from one to the next as well as Trick R Treat does, this would have been a great introduction to horror for the tween crowd, but it’s the characters that get in the way. The only time I checked my watch is when we were trying to figure out who was going to die next, while something Nixon related was in the background or Ramon was being insulted. The social commentary should have been more artfully incorporated, or left out altogether.

Swanner: The film comes from Guillermo del Toro. He likes to tell these stories and he tells them well. I was hoping for a different ending but it is based on a novel. I would have liked it to be scarier, but the cast really worked with the scares and made them believable. I just think that if they keep pulling back on what makes horror movies scary then we’re going to end up with film where nothing happens. (see or rather don’t see “It comes at night”)

Swanner: 2 ½ stars
Judd: 2 stars

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw

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Swanner: When I think Hobbs and Shaw, I remember the police station they destroyed trying to kill each other in one of the Fast and Furious films. Now they are asking us to believe they can work together to save the world. I’ll believe anything, so bring it on. So, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham) are assigned to finds a virus that was stolen by an MI6 agent before the bad guy (Idris Elba) gets it and precedes to lessen the world’s population. Think Thanos but on a much larger scale.

David Leitch (Deadpool 2) directs the screenplay from writer Chris Morgan (Furious 7). Leitch and Morgan keep the Fast and Furious franchise moving forward with this big budget spin-off. It’s very loud, with ridiculous stunts. The acting is over the top, along with the silliness in the script, and familiar story. That being said, it does feel like it is a part of the franchise. Johnson and Statham seem to be have a good time on screen, and Elba is a solid villain.

Having arch enemies working together is hard to swallow, so the film makers have added bitchy bantering as a way of letting us know that they still hate each other, but are willing to work together for the payday. When I say payday I do mean saving the world and not just making the actors rich. First off, with the exception of Vanessa Kirby, this is a wiener-fest, with muscly eye candy for those who like that sort of thing. Like the Fast and Furious films, Hobbs and Shaw is meant to entertain and it does that well. It’s a big screen popcorn movie for those dog days of summer.

Swanner: 3 stars