On the face of it, Dog Days is just another romantic comedy/all lives are connected type movie. It's the type of movie that gets a bunch of your favorite random TV stars and gives them a cinematic vehicle in which they can show Hollywood that they can do movies too.
I'll be honest. Knowing that I was only going to get to see one movie in the theater this weekend, made me want to see BlacKkKlansman. Unfortunately for me, my usual movie going partner didn't want to see that one. So Dog Days it was.
One pleasant surprise was that Dog Days was directed by Ken Marino. Marino is by far one of the funniest character actors in the business and I was excited to see what he would do with such a mainstream movie.
There are a few different storylines occurring that are interwoven throughout the film:
Sure, there's a lot going on. It works though. If you took out any one of the storylines, the movie probably still would have been pretty good. It's really the casting that makes this one work. With plenty of names and faces you will recognize, there's something for everyone.
And who could turn down watching a movie with so many cute dogs in it?
Other highlights include:
While there was one relatively sad portion of the movie, overall it was completely delightful. Not too heavy, not too light. There were a good number of jokes of the sly and some outright laugh out loud moments. If you're usually into this type of movie, but were a little on the fence about it, I would recommend you see it. Maybe not in an actual theater, but you should see it nonetheless.
A few years ago when Lost River was being made, I was really into it. I was tracking its progress, I was following when it was going to come out…and then it got critically panned. Frying pan upside the head panned. I couldn't find one person who enjoyed it. Unfortunately I lost interest after that. There were too many other things to watch and not enough time.
Here we are years later and I finally got around to watching this movie. I was originally excited because it was written and directed by Ryan Gosling. It stars Christina Hendricks, Matt Smith (Doctor Who), and Iain De Caestecker. The trailer itself doesn't do the movie itself any justice. In fact, you should probably avoid the trailer altogether because it tells you literally nothing.
The premise is that a young single mother gets swept into a dark underworld in order to save the family home. Meanwhile, her teenage son is roaming around their ghost town trying to find scrap to sell which attempting to avoid the local gang/bully.
The movie itself is shot in a stark sort of way. Everything is raw and real. This really lends itself to the movie, otherwise you'd be sitting there wondering what the hell is happening. And maybe you still will be.
I can't tell you that I enjoyed it. I appreciated it. I can see what Gosling was trying to achieve and I think that he did so. The movie didn't resonate with me like I had hoped it would. It's a movie that looks towards the art of making movies in general rather than selling you on plot or dialogue. It's visual, occasionally visceral, and hard for me to recommend. It's part fairy tale and part real life.
It may even have been part enjoyable.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Usually during the family summer vacation, we don't venture out too much. Typically we are there to spend time together in the woods and just relax and enjoy each other's company. This year it was too hot. Just, too hot. One of my sisters and I decided to beat the heat by going to a very specific museum. Apparently this museum is only open in four hour increments, two days a week.
Not to be deterred from getting out of the summer heat, we decided to go to the movies instead. Enter Jurassic World.
The movie itself overall is about what you'd expect from the franchise. Humans thinking they know better than mother nature and bad things happen. In this iteration, the dinosaurs that were left on the island is Jurassic World are going to die because of an erupting volcano. Claire and Owen are recruited to go and help catch Blue (who is apparently a super raptor this time around), in order to ensure the continuation of the species.
Turns out (gasp) that the people who hired them are actually nefarious black market dealers who are going to sell off the dinos to the highest bidder. This includes a genetically modified hybrid raptor that is literally laser trained to kill and can be used as a weapon of war.
If you're rolling your eyes at this point, I don't blame you. The whole premise is ludicrous. But you didn't go to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom for its scientific accuracy or believability.
Overall this is a decent action movie. The effects are what you've come to expect and even though technology has certainly evolved over the last few years, it's amazing to me how similar the feel of the dinosaurs are to the original dinos in the first Jurassic Park movie all those years ago.
They didn't redesign the wheel with this one, but it's an enjoyable couple of hours. If you liked the others, you'll enjoy this one as well. Sometimes sequels are a little difficult to get through, but that's not the case here.
And they've totally set us up for the third movie which should be very interesting to see how they pull it off.
The Spy Who Dumped Me
Last weekend I had the opportunity to get into the theater in person for the first time in weeks. Now that I've moved to a smaller town, my options are a bit limited when it comes to the quality of the theaters in the area. That being said, the one that is relatively close to my home gets most of the more mainstream titles so I will at least get to see those.
I've been seeing the previews for the Spy Who Dumped Me for a while. It stars Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon as two best friends who are swept up into a spy vs. spy scenario. The two run to Europe which is where the majority of the action takes place. They find themselves in multiple ridiculous scenarios in order to attempt to save the day.
Here's the deal guys, this movie isn't the best. It's certainly not the worst though. If you're a fan of either of the two main stars, you'll probably enjoy it.
Several things stood out to me in the movie. The first was the dialogue. Most of the time, the dialogue felt flat and even a little mundane. There were some shining moments when it felt like the actors were allowed to riff a little more. One quote from McKinnon's character elicited an extra hearty laugh from me. When addressing the CIA director and the fact that she is a feminine woman in a position of power: "I have so much respect for you that is has circled back around to objectification." When said with McKinnon's wide eyed wonder stare, it quickly became my favorite line of the movie.
I think one of the things that this movie did best was show women supporting women. The two main characters are clearly close. Best friends for over a decade. They lift each other up and help each other out. Typically in these types of movies there is some lie or catalyst that will break the team up only to have them come back together at the end in order to save the day. There is that kind of moment in this movie, but when one of them wants to quit and go home; the other supports the decision with love and kindness…even though she's clearly disappointed. What starts out as a spy movie turns out to be a movie about the power of female friendships.