Friday, December 30, 2016

Real talent. From real life. That's what audiences want to see.

I was kind of all in with Justin and Kelly. Even hung around for Ruben and Fantasia, if you can believe it. Eventually though, like the rest of the world, I grew tired of singing competitions. It wasn't ever the music, frankly, as I unabashedly love a good pop song. I've even been known to belt them out on occasion.

In my car. Loudly. Every single day of my life.

Horrific visuals/sounds aside, the real reason I've thrown in the towel on these damn competitions is every single thing about them other than the singing. Sure, that story about the kid from the small town with big dreams was compelling the first twenty times. But now? Who gives a shit. Sing the f--king song and shuffle back to your van down by the river, okay?

Keep your (nicely packaged) personal tragedy personal. Because, between you and me, I'm just here for the music. I ain't got time for all that other stuff.

Unfortunately, that other stuff comprises way too many of the one hundred and eight (!) minutes of Illumination's latest animated feature, Sing. With a moderately charming trailer (that has been seemingly placed in front of every movie I have seen theatrically since 1985) full of adorable singing and dancing animals, it seemed like writer/director Garth Jennings' flick would not only charm Paula and Randy, but also that a-hole in the v-neck, Simon Cowell as well. Uh, no. Not so much.

*holds hand in air* Thank youuuu....

After a fairly rad opening sequence swooshing all around town and introducing us to the major players. Sing inexplicably rushes through the auditions to instead focus on the failing theater of Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey). Moon, despite being a wee bit sheisty, is a likable little koala desperately holding onto an old theater that's been in his family for years.

Maybe there's an interesting story there, sure, but it grinds any joyous momentum to a screeching halt. Combine this with the fact that our half-dozen contestants are secretly trying to win a separate contest of being the most uninspired cliche in the history of modern cinema, and this one is way off key. And trust me, I know off key.

I hate to use the word, I do, but I was so f--king bored during this movie. Like, I would have been cool with a power outage, theater-crippling flood or even a Russian bear attack - anything to get me the Hell out of there. Luckily, all I needed to do was to remedy this infinite sadness was to look two seats to my right and see my little daughter in her tiny 3D glasses devouring all things Sing. For her, it didn't have the impact that Trolls [review] or Moana [review] did, but it certainly kept her a smile on her face and had her little leg swaying, you know? Nothing wrong with that, I suppose.

If only I had that gun-thing that came with Duck Hunt.
What there is something wrong with, something horribly, horribly wrong that is, are the Yays and Boos. We were so dejected during this dud, we actually stopped eating popcorn and just...sat there. It wasn't that we were full, either. We'd just given up on enjoying...anything.

I don't know if Taron Egerton does his own singing....
but if he does? Whoa.
  • Gimme Some Lovin' has probably been used in over a thousand movies. Yet somehow, it's still f--king awesome.
  • Even if he's bordering into too much, too soon territory when it comes to animated films, I will always cheer for John C. Reily's voice (even when he lends to a throwaway character as he does here).
  • The reason the flyers have a typo on them made me chuckle. Oh, and in 3D? Their inadvertent dispersal was pretty frickin' cool, too.
  • Moon getting up for work in the morning? Well, at least it's a short commute.
  • The audition music was pretty fantastic. Crazy in Love (possibly best pop song ever), Humpty Dance and Baby Got Back (top five hip-hop party songs ever) were super clutch. Throw in a little Dolly Parton and this scene is tits. (that is totally sweet)
  • Okay, so there was this guy who I'd never seen before in my life, trying to return to his seat during the movie. Only when he got half-way down the (totally cull) aisle, did he realize that not only was he in the wrong row, but also the wrong the theater. Hahahaha....dude. Didn't you notice the 40 foot talking animals on the screen when you walked in?
  • The hardest I laughed during this whole movie was when Lizard Lady gets her faced smashed in whilst eating a sandwich. She totally handles it, too. Like, I think she was still giving her lunch a go.
  • Matthew McConaughey drops a verse or two of Call Me Maybe and I was done. More of that, kind sir. More of that.
  • Johnny, the (potentially racist?) gorilla featured above, was my favorite character. Fine, I kind of dug his singing voice...more than a man should, but also because he presented quite the moral dilemma. There was a minute where I was thinking No, Johnnny! Nooooooo! Seriously. I cared.
  • Dude. That squid sound-stage thing was really, really cool. 
  • Yes, it was in the previews, but screw it. Moon's backup career at the car wash kind of cracked me up.
  • I'm not sure if it's really a Yay, but we're given a bittersweet reminder of some of the talent we lost in 2016, namely Bowie and Wham! (and I think there was someone else in there, too...Leonard Cohen, perhaps?)
  • And finally, even if I didn't dig this movie in the least, when the final musical numbers begin, the energy is undeniable. Well, it was during the Taylor Swift number...then it kind of sucks again. I mean, was that an original number? And if we've got Tori Kelly in the cast, could she please sing Nobody Love? Wait. This is the Yays, right?
Old people in movies? Usually terrible.
Old animals in movies? Always terrible.
  • Goodness the characters are bland. Overwhelmed Mom? Shy Lady with Major Talent? Good Guy from Bad Family? Check, check and check. Oh, don't forget Quirky Foreigner. It's not really a shitty party till that guy shows up and dips his wiener schnitzel in the fondue...
  • But the worst character of all? This little wiseguy Frank Sinatra mouse dick-hole, played by Seth MacFarlane. Honestly, this little tail chaser sucks the life out of just about every scene he's in. And his little gold-digging ho-bag girlfriend? She's even worse.
  • I might have laughed, possibly, but that nervous farting bit made me want to shit my own pants. At least I could have left to tend to myself, you know?
  • What's with those Japanese Fox-things? We're they um, mentally impaired, or just tripping balls?
  • Speaking of weird ladies, what's up with Becky? That pointy bitch needs to back up.
  • When the theater falls apart, it really falls apart. Damn.
  • I think that most jobs depicted in film seem to pigeonhole each profession. Teachers? We're poor slobs. Cops? Donut-munchers or drug-riddled psychopaths. Here, we get yet another crack at Bank Employee, or, you know, the most joyless pencil pushers in the history of time.
  • So, uh, Bored Housewife Lady? She kind of seems like a regular mom, right? Until she needs a minute to herself, that is, than she's f--king MacGruber.
  • Remember how I told you that Mouse Guy sucks balls? Like, as a character? Guess what? In the story, he's a thousand times worse. This flick is already too serious, right? Might as well totally murder this f--ker.
  • And finally, what's with the lack of jokes? This movie is painfully unfunny for most of its runtime. It's not even that the jokes are bad (like the farting bit), basically, there aren't any f--king jokes to begin with. You know those bad horror movies where everything is played straight for no apparent reason? That's Sing. Except no shower-boobs or blood-thirsty snowmen.
As I sat here and lamented the fact that I really, truly, genuinely loathe all the backstory bullshit when it comes to something that's supposed to be entertaining, I realized something. The guy who starts all his reviews with some stupid anecdote is complaining about someone else's personal stuff.

But then I realized something else. I realized know what? Why talk when we could have even more animals sing to us?

Fish are animals, right? Oh, what's that? Sorry. *points to radio* I love this song!


  1. Only read the intro (Justin and Kelly, lol) because I plan on seeing this one much sooner, rather than later. I've been looking forward to it since I first saw the trailer.

    1. Man, I was hooked back in the day. I always blamed my students, as if I needed to watch Idol to 'connect with the kids', but straight up...I loved that show. A pretty girl singing a catchy song? That sounds good, I'll have that.

      Be careful. I hate to say it, but they sacrificed the entire movie for that enticing preview. Every single humorous or clever bit was crammed into that two minute trailer. All of them!!

  2. Oh my God I hated this movie. I actually went for refills on popcorn because I had to eat my way through the bordem.

    You're so right about the mouse. WTF was the point of his character other than being a pain in the ass? No one else even liked him and it's not like he redeemed himself or anything at the end. And they did NOT waste Scarlett Johnasson's unique voice on fucking Call Me Maybe

    Ugggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh why did I have a child?

    1. I know I'm like a year late on this comment, but I wanted to let you know it actually made me laugh out loud. I looked like a crazy person after I read it.

      Anyway, I NEVER go get refills on the popcorn as I'm afraid I'll miss the best part, so my wife typically falls on that sword (that's about the only sword she falls on, huh? ZING!....*weeps quietly*).

      Hahahaha...that mouse was the f--king worst. And between you and me...I had NO idea that was ScarJo (not until I read your tweet).

      Damn kids.