Movie Review: The Rental (2020)

Have you ever just wanted to get away for a weekend? Just sort of get out of the house and have some fun, recharging a bit. Yeah, maybe don’t. Or do, I’m not your mother.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Rental”.

The story here follows two couple (Dan Stevens/Alison Brie and Jeremy Allen White/Sheila Vand) as they rent a nice, big, fancy cottage for the weekend, as a way to unwind and celebrate a bit. But not long after they arrive they discover some sinister stuff going on around, which not only may threaten their lives… but also forces some dark secrets to come out. I like this setup, it takes elements of both a slasher and a domestic drama, which could make for a really interesting narrative… shame it doesn’t live up to that though. Because for most of it I wasn’t interested in what was going on. The story beats themselves are actually pretty interesting, but the way they were handled was just so dull. What’s even more egregious is that when the plot felt like it was picking up for its second act, it ended like four minutes later. So the ending feels very abrupt. And when you combine that with the overall execution of everything else being subpar, you get an overall poor narrative.

The characters in this, like the plot before them, have interesting setups… but in the end I don’t care. They don’t have much going for them in terms of personality, and I’d probably mix them all up if I wasn’t already familiar with some of the actors. I mean, you have Dan Stevens (who I love), you have Alison Brie (who’s good in things), you have Jeremy Allen White (who I’ve heard good things about), they all do fine, even though they got very little to work with. Sheila Vand does fine with her role. And Toby Huss who shows up briefly is alright too. It’s a good cast that does the best they can with very subpar material.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, and I think they did an okay job. It is dark and droning and very reminiscent of their other scores in those ways. So yeah, their score here is fine. Not their most original or well composed, but solid enough.

“The Rental” was co-written and directed by actor Dave Franco, and I think he did an average job. His directing here is fine, passable, serves its purpose in an average manner. This is a bit of an issue when it so clearly wants to be a creepy, suspenseful thriller, and at no point did I ever really feel uncomfortable or tensed up. I do commend his directing in that it has some snappiness to it, no shots feel like they drag or like they rush, I think that stuff is handled decently enough. But good shot composition and half-decent editing doesn’t really make me spooked, despite the movie clearly wanting me to be.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 75% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5.7/10.

Despite a solid setup and a good cast, “The Rental” is sadly a bit of a miss. It has a poor plot, uninteresting characters, good performances, okay music, and mediocre directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Rental” is a 4.60/10. So I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “The Rental” is now completed.

That title is kind of ironic, because this movie isn’t really worth renting.

12 Films of Christmas 2020 (Part 11)

Only one more of these left after today. THANK GOD. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing for you guys. But writing for 12 days straight is a bit draining. So when this is over I’m gonna take a few days off. But until then, let’s talk about the penultimate movie for this series.

So for today we’re talking about a brand new movie (oh my god). That movie is “Happiest Season”, a christmas dramedy about Harper (Mackenzie Davis), a young woman who is bringing her girlfriend (Kristen Stewart) along for christmas with the family… except they don’t know that Harper isn’t gay, so the pair have to keep it a bit of a secret until Harper feels ready to come out of the proverbial closest. Cue the sneaking around, misunderstandings, emotional baggage, and personal demons. While I wouldn’t say that “Happiest Season” is the best movie I’ve seen this year, I still think it’s really solid. It handles its subject matter with a fair bit of tact, giving us a pretty nuanced take on this premise. While the movie primarily acts as a comedy, it isn’t afraid to get a bit more serious, really letting us sit with the characters and their emotions for a bit. And while I do think it gets the balance of comedy and drama down quite well, it doesn’t always hold up perfectly in that regard. When you have serious contemplations about the nature of your relationship one minute and awkward slapstick the next, it can get slightly jarring. It’s not enough to ruin the movie, but it did take me out for a sec.
Also, I just have to go off on one thing for a second. Dan Levy. Dan god damn Levy. This guy is gutbustingly funny. Any time (bar one more serious part) he was on screen he made me absolutely lose it. The rest of the cast is great too, there’s not a weak link in that department… but Levy is definitely the MVP here.
So in conclusion, “Happiest Season” may not be perfect, but it’s still a really solid holiday dramedy that both made me laugh, and made me care about these characters. I’d happily watch it again next year.

On the eleventh day of christmas, I watched something gay
And hey guess what, it was truly quite good, yay

Movie Review: The Lego Movie (2014)

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I grew up playing a lot with lego. I didn’t always know what the hell I was doing, but I had a lot of fun. Most times I honestly improvised and built random things. One time when I was like 11 or 12 I was just bored one day and somehow managed to build a big star destoyer (Star Wars) looking thing. I was proud of it… and then a few days later it fell off the shelf and turned into a million pieces. But my childhood is not important right now! What is important is the fact that in 2014 there was an upcoming movie about Lego stuff. It seemed like an interesting cashgrab idea. To be honest I was really skeptical about it at first, but then the trailer dropped and it looked awesome. So now I am finally reviewing it. So how is it? Is it simply a boring cashgrab or is it a pretty awesome animation?

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Lego Movie”.

This movie follows Lego minifigure Emmet (Chris Pratt). He is just another guy in the crowd. But one day he happens to fall onto a “Piece of Resistance” which apparently is a sign that means he is the “Special One” who will stop the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from gluing together everything in the world. But Emmet isn’t alone! He gets help from badass chick Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), pirate Metal Beard (Nick Offerman) and Old Wise guy Vitruvius (God, er I mean Morgan Freeman). At first the story only seems silly, but as it goes on it adds layers and turns out to be a pretty clever story with some genuinely heartfelt moments. I was surprised with just how clever and even thought provoking it could become. But i really liked it. The only weird thing is that there were some (in my opinion) really weird shifts of tone in the movie. Those dragged everything down a little bit, but not too much.

The characters in this movie are so unique and varied that it’s crazy. I absolutely loved it. Emmet himself is this regular type of guy who gets dragged into all these crazy adventures, so I liked the fact that Chris Pratt voiced him since he really got the sort of “Normal Guy” voice (if that makes sense). I am not going to go through with every character because that would take too long. I will however mention that I found one character surprisingly awesome; Bad Cop/Good Cop (Liam Neeson). He had awesome dialogue (like everyone else) but also really got some really good slapstick when it was needed. I was also surprised at how great Liam Neeson portrayed him in the movie. I know the guy is a great actor, but lending his voice to a kids movie… damn. Overall, all the characters were great and well-acted.

The soundtrack in this movie is pretty great. Since this movie is set a little all over the place, I was glad to hear that they could capture the feel of every location with the music. Want good Wild West music? Got it! Good action music? Boom! This movie got some great pieces of music. And I guess I have to give my two cents on the very popular song “Everything is Awesome” from the movie. It is pretty cool, actually. Not my favorite song in the whole wide world, but it was definitely good.

Since this is an animated movie I will have to talk about the animation in it’s very own segment because that’s how I roll. The animation in the movie is really great! And here is the charming thing about it: It is completely CGI but looks like stop motion animation. Everything looks like Lego, but was made in a computer… how crazy is that!? It all looks fantastic and it gives the movie some much appreciated personality. Everything looks like Lego, nothing looks like added CG, everything is Lego!

Since this is a comedy, is it funny? Yes it definitely is! the comedy is fast-paced and clever… which is why the kids won’t get it. There are a lot of jokes that they will not get, but the adults will probably laugh their asses off at. But kids will laugh at a lot of the slapstick in the movie and also look at all the pretty colors and explosions. This is also a parody of all typical “The prophecy says you are the chosen one” “No I’m not” movies and it does it gloriously. It was also fantastic to see all these characters you recognize from all over the place converge on one place and just… AWWW!

Is this movie well-received? Oh yes! On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has an 83/100 rating. And on imdb.com it has a 7,9/10. The movie is also (at the time of this review) nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Original Song (Everything is Awesome). What? No best animated feature nomniaton? That’s odd.

“The Lego Movie” is clever, hilarious, well-acted, beautifully animated and really charming but is dragged down a little bit by weird shifts in tone. So now I am finally gonna give you my final score. No, Vitruvius, I am over here! OVER HERE! No, not the plant! Finally, thank you! My final score for “The Lego Movie” is a 9,42/10. It is definitely worth buying!
betala-kassa-butik

Review of “The Lego Movie” is now done.

Everything is awesome…