Thursday, May 19, 2022

In & Out [post]: The Bad Guys

It's not a butt!

Title: The Bad Guys    Rating: PG    Runtime: 100 mins 

With: Violet (8), Kim (43)  And: Guy Who Sat in Our Seats

What's it about? A group of criminals, who also happen to be anthropomorphic animals, are caught during yet another Ocean's Eleven-style heist (elaborate robberies are kind of their thing) and sentenced to hard time. In an effort to further his impeccable image and standing in town, some little hamster dude named Professor Marmalade vows to rehabilitate the motley crew and make the Bad Guys, you guessed it, good.

What works: From the jump, the vibe is fantastic, with Sam Rockwell channeling peak George Clooney rivaling the breath-taking animation for the coolest thing ever. While my daughter was moderately miffed about some key changes from the book, the story is engaging, goofy and rocket-paced. If anything, it might move a bit too quickly (we've got a some sort of record for double and triple crosses), but overall it's a crowd-pleaser.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

In & Out [post]: Just Mercy

Whatever you did, your life is still meaningful.

Title: Just Mercy    Rating: PG-13    

Runtime: 137 mins    With: HS kids     

Did they read the book? No. No they did not.

What's it about? Hate. Love? Honestly, I'm not sure. Either way Just Mercy tells the incredibly inspirational (and real-life) tale of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson, a recent Harvard graduate who moves to the south in an attempt to overturn wrongful convictions for inmates on death row. Though Stevenson will have many clients throughout his career, the film focuses primarily on the case of Walter McMillan, a black man set to be executed for murdering a young white woman in Monroeville, Alabama (home of Harper Lee, of all people).

Sunday, May 8, 2022

In & Out [post]: The Northman

Remember for whom you shed your last teardrop.

Title: The Northman Rating: R             Runtime: 137 mins

With: my sister, my father (my king?)

Could I actually feel him hating the movie? Fully

What's it about? A seemingly docile Viking boy grows into a laser-focused monster of a man, with the singular goal of avenging the murder of his father. Along the way, he joins some sort of mercenary death squad, aiding in the killing of countless innocents, which should make his quest decidedly unsympathetic. Can we really root for a guy to avenge a senseless murder of someone close to him, if he himself is slaughtering families along the way? Turns out we least for awhile.

What works: Outside of some fantastical elements and famous faces, at times this mfer feels like the most badass Viking documentary ever. Hardcore rituals where the line between man and beast is eviscerated by light angriest campfire in the history of time? Yes, please. Skarsgard disappears into the void (that is Amleth, honestly) and it's, initially, pretty f--king thrilling. Throw in an absolutely manic Willem Dafoe (whose long-rotted severed head still belongs to, rather obviously, Willem Dafoe), an eyeless Bjork (I blame that giant teddy bear back in 1993) and one of the dopest scores in recent times, and good times should be had by all.

What doesn't: While the curveball thrown into the Amleth's quest was definitely appreciated (and likely obvious to you non-morons), it didn't make make his journey any more satisfying, frankly. Ultimately, after all we've been through together, what we're left with amounts to damn near zero, and even if that's the point, it felt kind of...fruitless? Even when we get to the final boss at the Lava Level, which should be the story's climax, I honestly just wanted to get the Hell outta there already (it didn't help that I thought the movie had already ended thrice). I was tired of...everything.