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Flash Movie Review: Drinking Buddies

We would try to sit together at staff meetings. Our humor was similar though mine had more of a sarcastic edge. If possible we would stop for a bite to eat after the meeting. There was an easiness to our friendship; I not only enjoyed being around them, but they had the same qualities I looked for in a loving relationship. It would take nothing for my mind to venture into a fantasy of us being together as a couple. They showed such supportive, caring, nurturing qualities; I could see us living together, me in charge of the laundry, they responsible for washing the dishes that served the meals we made together. It would be such a perfect life except for one thing–they were already in a relationship. Now I know there are people who do not let that one little fact stop them; I am not one of those people. In fact, I have been the one that was replaced by a newer version in the relationship. Not that I want you to get out the violins and play me a pity song, but I have been replaced more than once. As a result, by default, I feel I am somewhat of an expert and that is why I thought the characters in this dramatic comedy were authentic. Kate and Luke, played by Olivia Wilde (In Time, The Change-Up) and Jake Johnson (21 Jump Street, New Girl-TV), worked together at a city brewery. They always had fun when they were together; whether it was eating or going out for drinks, they looked like a happy couple. There was only one issue; Luke was already in a relationship with Jill, played by Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect) and Kate was dating Chris, played by Ron Livingston (The Conjuring, The Cooler). With easy access to beer, one had to wonder how long they could keep walking that fine line between friendship and romance. Writer and director Joe Swanberg (Silver Bullets, LOL) used the cameras and script to create an easy natural flow to the characters, allowing them to speak in a more natural way. I thought this helped with the excellent chemistry that was evident between the actors. The humor was light and amusing as opposed to laugh out loud guffaws. I felt the movie could have used some dramatic highs and lows, breaking up the low key monotony I was experiencing. Except for one intense scene, there was not much of a deep emotional connection for me to the characters. The ending left me somewhat cold; I wanted something more or better yet, more conclusive. However if I was a drinking man, I could easily see me sitting with these characters and having a good time.

 

2 2/3 stars

Flash Movie Review: You’re Next

Standing across the crowded room you spot your friends talking to several unfamiliar people. As you walk up to them, one of your friends says something that causes the entire group to burst out with laughter. Asking what was so funny, one of your friends tells you the story was too long to repeat; that you needed to be there from the beginning. The laughter has calmed down to a few sporadic chuckles as you stand there feeling like an outsider. I felt the same way as I watched this horror movie. If this film was supposed to be a spoof or a black comedy, I wished someone would have told me, because I might have had a different reaction. Paul and Aubrey Davison, played by Rob Moran (Dumb & Dumber, Shallow Hal) and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond) were having a family get-together at their recently purchased home. The weekend holiday quickly turned into a fight for survival when family members and their guests were being targeted for death by a small group of masked murderers. For the horror movie fans there were more than enough brutal, bloody scenes that also had a creative flair. I was amused by how stereotypical the rivalry was between the three brothers Drake, Crispian and Felix; played by Joe Swanberg (LOL, V/H/S), AJ Bowen (The Signal, The House of the Devil) and Nicholas Tucci (Choose, Undocumented). I will say I liked the angle the writers were going for with the character Erin, played by Sharni Vinson (Step Up 3D, Home and Away-TV). However, I was confused by the script; it was so cheesy I had to wonder if I was missing some big joke. Though I did not find anything funny in this movie, some of the people around me laughed at a few scenes. Most of my time was spent either being bored or cringing at the gruesome scenes. When I think of a horror movie, I consider the elements of suspense, surprise and shock to be part of the equation; there was a limited amount of them in this story. In a comedy, I expect to hear some jokes or see scenes with physical humor; I honestly do not know if the writers intended to instill laughter as part of the viewing experience. So what did I wind up seeing at the movie theater? I honestly did not know nor did I care. There were multiple scenes of violence and blood.

1 1/2 stars

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