Movie Review – Welcome To Me – Kristen Wiig Shines In This Clever, Well Written Movie With a Clever Unique Plot

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The summer movie season started off strong, despite the fact that only one big budget movie was released. That’s probably because this was the week where unique, compelling story lines and intelligent direction came together to create some truly enjoyable films. Welcome to Me is no exception.

I like to say “it’s all been done’ when it comes to movies. For the most part, it’s true. I can think of very few storylines that haven’t been done. Then, I saw Welcome to Me.

Alice Klieg (Kristin Wiig) is a mentally ill woman who is obsessed with Oprah. She hasn’t turned off her TV in 11 years, has very few friends and spends most of her nights surrounded by old VHS tapes of her favorite talk show diva. Then, she wins an $86 million lottery. After being interviewed on live TV and getting cut off, Alice decides she hasn’t gotten enough time in the limelight. So she uses her money to start her own talk show on a cash strapped infomercial channel. There, she starts Welcome To Me, goes off her meds, and creates the weirdest show that ever existed.

Kristen Wiig has some great, awkward charm and she’s a natural as a comedic actress. That’s why it is great to see her as a leading woman for a change. She plays the part of the mentally ill, off her meds, socially awkward Alice with heartbreaking realism. It’s an unusual movie about an unusual person, and Wiig was the ideal choice for the leading lady.

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Another thing I like was this is a movie about mental illness that doesn’t attempt to ‘solve’ mental illness. It’s a unique take, in that Alice isn’t trying to get around her disorder. She’s actually using it to her advantage to make her show just as strange as her. I like the fact that they didn’t turn it into a cautionary tale about a woman going crazy. The writing is done in a way that doesn’t make us laugh at Alice, but with her.

Wiig is actually so good in this; she carries the show by herself. While there are a few notable stars, (Tim Robbins as her therapist, for example) Wiig is the one your eyes stay on. While she makes questionable decisions, and is a bit of an oddball, she’s endearing and loveable regardless of what she’s doing.

Sometimes, the awkwardness gets to be too much, like with Wiig’s inability to say the word “carbohydrates” or her segment where she neuters dogs on air, but for the most part, it’s all awkward/funny, not awkward/awkward.

I found many of the subplots were unnecessary and could have been left out entirely. Wiig is entertaining enough on her own to carry this unusual plot. It’ which makes it a pleasure to watch…if you get the chance to see it.

This one doesn’t have a high distribution, so if you live in a major city and get the chance to watch it, I’d give it a shot.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars


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Movie Review: Unfinished Business (2015) – No wonder everyone in Europe hates us so much.

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Unfinished Business is something I classify as a ‘frat boy comedy”. That’s mainly because its target audience is a bunch of aging frat boys who love fart jokes. Don’t get me wrong. These movies can be very funny. Sometimes, they get it right, like in the Hangover. Sometimes, it goes really, really wrong…like in this movie.

Unfinished Business stars the well known aging frat boy, Vince Vaughn as Dan Trunkman. Dan is an honorable man with a loving wife and two really insecure kids. When he has to go on a business trip, he takes along two sidekicks, Timothy McWinters (Tim Wilkinson) and the dimwitted Mike Pancake (Dave Franco). They travel to Berlin, Germany, and some fish out of water wackiness ensures.

Let’s start by counting the clichés, to make sure they’re all there. Terrible driving on the Autobahn, confusion due to the language barriers, freaky sexual adventures, giant boobs and someone losing their virginity. Yeah, it’s all there.

No wonder everyone in Europe hates us so much.

Also, why does it always seem to be Oktoberfest when Americans set a movie in Germany?

Then, between all of these perverted shenanigans and complete misunderstanding of European culture, we are also treated to some over the top sloppy sentimentality about the importance of family connections. I mean Jeez, the last thing I want to think about, after I just saw a penis get shoved in someone’s face, is my family.

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And side note? Everyone in Hollywood, stop with the glory hole jokes. We have all seen the trope.

“Oh, I’m an innocent person in a bathroom. What could possibly be in this hole? Let me put my eye right up to it. Oh my god, I just got poked in the eye by a penis!”

Look, Hollywood, I personally promise you, there is not one single person left in the world anywhere who does not know what a glory hole is. This incident will never, never, never happen. Can we please stop now?

Another thing I didn’t like is that Vaughn’s kid in the movie is overweight and the subject of bullying. This is portrayed in a feel bad for the chubby kid kind of way. But then, the movie has no problem making fun of Mike’s character because he’s stupid. Look, I have no problem laughing at a few fat jokes. I have no problem laughing at a few dumb jokes. But when you make it ok to laugh at one, and not the other, you’re just being a sanctimonious prick.

This is a movie written about Europe, that doesn’t feel like it was written by someone who’s ever been to Europe. It’s not Oktoberfest all year long. That only happens in October. The Autobahn is one of the best maintained roadways in the world, and if you can’t drive it, you shouldn’t drive at all. And anyone who doesn’t know what a glory hole is deserves to get poked in the eye by a penis.

Choose a genre and stick to it. If it’s a sloppy bro movie, don’t try and inject a bunch of heartfelt messages. If I wanted that, I’d go see a chick flick rather than an over aged, frat movie with 90% dick jokes.

WE GAVE IT: 2.5 Stars

2.5 Stars



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Movie Review: The Best of Me (2014) – A Recycled storyline, Stilted dialog and a Ridiculous Run Time


Let’s start this off by pointing out my deep hatred for Nicholas Sparks. Sorry, but if that guy was a girl, his novels would be regulated to nothing more than porn for bored housewives. Because he’s a man, his ‘visionary novels’ get made into terrible movie after terrible movie while everyone talks about what a deep and sensitive man he is.

I have a theory. I don’t think Nicholas Sparks exists. I think it’s a name they slap on novels in order to make them sell…and we’re all falling for it.

Anyway, the movie follows the standard Nicholas Sparks format. Dawson (James Marsden) and Amanda (Michelle Moneghan) fall in love when they’re young. Forces outside their control drive them apart. Twenty years later, they meet again at the funeral of a friend. They start yet another mercurial romance and wouldn’t you know it…people are trying to drive them apart all over again.

One thing that drives me crazy about all these movies is the big problem could always be resolved by doing something simple. The heroine just needs to say no. Watch me do it.

Film antagonist – You need to stop seeing him.
Heroine – No.
Film antagonist – But I told you not to.
Heroine – Tough titties. I’m 40 and I don’t need your permission to date.

See how easy that was? Of course, then we wouldn’t get to see a drawn out movie about the elusive power of first love…so it’s a win/win in my book.

Silly storyline aside, there were something significantly wrong with the leads as well. James Marsden, complete with patchy beard, comes off almost a little creepy in this movie. I don’t know if it’s because of the stilted dialog or the clichéd story line, but he feels more like a Lifetime movie stalker than a love interest.

Moneghan apparently only knows how to show sadness by frowning slightly or tearing up. I’m not sure if it’s because she had the majority of her face botoxed for the roll, of she’s just that bad, but she had all the depth of a puddle.


Also, this is one of my pet peeves; the actors playing the young versions of the leads look nothing like the characters they are supposed to grow into. Luke Bracey, who plays the young Dawson, actually looks older than James Marsden.

Maybe that’s why they made Marsden grow a beard? But you’re still left wondering how he managed to actually shrink over a period of 20 years. Lilliana Liberto isn’t as bad as young Amanda, but aside from hair color, still looks nothing like her grown up version.

Shirts are apparently in short supply in this universe, and I can guarantee that you’re going to see both Marsden and Bracey whipping off their shirts for just about everything from swimming, to gardening to dinner in a 5 star restaurant.

Ok, I made the last one up, but you get my drift.

The Best of Me seems to showcase the worst of Sparks, which in my opinion, is a feat unto itself. The recycled storyline, coupled with stilted dialog and ridiculous run time to tell a clichéd story (nearly 2 hours) makes this movie one that you’ll probably want to skip.

WE GAVE IT: 1  Stars: Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below

1 star

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