Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) is always running late. She works at a hipster coffee company. A hipster coffee company with employees that don’t respect her and don’t work as hard as her. She has two children and a child husband. A child husband who cheats on her online with another woman. When Amy gets fed up with the infuriating mundaity of suburban motherhood, she…does things. Most of them involve parental irresponsibility and middle-fingering the dictatorial PTA president (Christina Applegate). Oh, and plenty of slow motion montages.
Given the premise of this film, I have no real reason to Continue reading Bad Moms (2016) Movie Review →
Ben (Viggo Mortensen) raises his children under a strict survivalist patriarchy in the woods. They wear caked mud as camouflage to stalk and hunt game. They train in knife combat. At night they read books on quantum mechanics and high literature. It is an extreme form of home schooling, in a way, if home was a forest and school taught you how to skin a deer.
Ben is trying, but he is a loving father. The family’s life appears serene in its isolation and in spite of nature’s harshness, but, like the ever-pressing power of globalization, the outside world Continue reading Captain Fantastic (2016) Movie Review →
A divorced mother of two (Kathryn Hahn) hasn’t seen or talked to her parents in 15 years. After all this time, they contact her online asking to see their grandchildren (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould), whom they have never met. She reluctantly agrees on her children’s insistence.
Her children are a cute sibling pair, natural and appropriately childish. Tyler is charismatic and naive, free style rapping with a train conductor and purporting to “sext” with classmates. He desperately wants to live up to a masculine stereotype that he does not truly embody.
Becca is verbose and dramatic with her words as she narrates her way through exposition like a quick knife-stroke through butter. She has recently armed herself with cameras, hoping to tape their week-long visit in a style as close to a professional documentary as she can muster.
Shymalan channels an inexperienced auteur in Becca. Early interactions are light and bubbly as she sets the scene for her “documentary.” It also serves a meta purpose in its intended humor. She explains that with a camera you need to build tension and make people want to imagine what is lingering just beyond the frame. It sounds very much like Shymalan is Continue reading The Visit (2015) Movie Review →
In comedian/actor Jason Bateman’s feature length directorial debut Bad Words, Guy Trilby (Bateman), a grumpy competitive adult, takes on a room full of children in the national spelling bee, having found a loophole in which anyone who has not completed 8th grade by the cut-off date can compete. Meanwhile, Jenny (Kathryn Hahn), Guy’s journalist sponsor, tries to get his story out of him for her online newspaper. Guy is a tough shell to crack, telling us that Jenny will get her scoop once the climax comes.
Guy and Jenny also engage in an unnecessarily strained and awkward sexual relationship, a Continue reading Bad Words (2014) Movie Review →