47 Meters Down: Uncaged
Blinded By the Light
Max (Jacob Tremblay), a sixth grader, and his middle school friends, Thor (Brady Noon), and Lucas (Keith L. Williams), desperately to learn how to properly kiss a girl. While Max's father (Will Forte) goes away on a business trip, they use his drone to spy on a teenage neighbor, Hannah (Molly Gordon) and her friend, Lily (Midori Francis), hoping to catch Hannah making out with her boyfriend, Benji (Josh Caras). Their plan backfires and Hannah confiscates the drone, but Max and his friends retaliate by stealing their illegal drugs known as Molly.
Good Boys is a crude, rude and lewd screwball sex comedy that's painfully unfunny. The witless screenplay by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky that tries to push the envelope by resorting to the lowest common denominator. Do you find it funny to watch 6th graders cursing and using dirty language? Or how about when they get into inappropriate situations, i.e. by wearing bondage paraphernalia? Does the audience really have to hear Lucas shrieking at least three different times? It's not funny the first time he shrieks nor is it funny the last time he shrieks.
Anyone comparing Good Boys to South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut wouldn't know what smart, witty humor is if it were to hit them over the head. South Park doesn't feel lazy or asinine like Good Boys does. The fact that the MPAA gave this an R rating and not an NC-17 rating like it deserves is a testament to how unreliable they are when it comes to shielding such filthy garbage from the masses. Yet they gave Blue is the Warmest Color and NC-17. Any parent who dares to take their child to see Good Boy would probably be considered a form of covert incest. Who is this movie for, anyway? It's too inappropriate for children and too dumb for adults. There's Something About Mary also pushed boundaries back in the 90's with its risque humor, but at least it featured adult characters in adult situations and had a consistently laugh-out-loud and witty screenplay. In the Loop pushed boundaries with its dialogue, but it had a brain to boot. Good Boys zaniness and shock value alone isn't enough to generate much-needed laughs. It's a mindless sex comedy that tries to be poignant during the third act, but it's too little, too late and comes across as contrived.
Screwball comedies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, i.e. Bringing Up Baby, took more risks than Good Boys does because it buried its risque humor under innuendos many of which were subtle. There's nothing subtle about Good Boys sex humor. It's in-your-face and tries too hard to be funny while falling flat on its face. Perhaps it could've worked as a 5 minute short, but as a 90-minute feature length film, it quickly becomes tedious and quickly overstays its welcome. Good Boys is one of the worst comedies of the year. It's a new low for comedy and humanity.
Gwen (Eleanor Worthington-Cox) and her younger sister, Mari (Jodie Innes), live with their mother, Elen (Maxine Peake), on a farm in North Wales. Their father has gone off to war, their mother develops an unknown ailment all of a sudden, their crops suddenly die. On top of all of those predicamants, they're at risk of losing their farm.
Gwen is a stylish, slow-burning psychological thriller that's ultimately less than the sum of its parts. The screenplay by writer/director William McGregor withholds a lot of information from the audience, so the first hour or so of the film feels a bit confusing as supernatural events may or may not be occurring. McGregor does a great job of creating a foreboding atmosphere through the cinematography, musical score and the landscape alone, but it culminates with a third act that's very dark, yet not particularly shocking. Too much of the film feels monotonous, and there's not nearly enough comic relief to provide much-needed levity which leads to both tedium and exhaustion. Every film, even a war film, needs comic relief. Midsommar offers plenty of that, although some of it is in the form of bad laughs.
Gwen doesn't veer into silliness nor does it rely on shock value like Midsommar does, but beyond its stylish cinematography, it doesn't have much else that's captivating. Sometimes style can be part of a film's substance, however, that's not the case with Gwen. At least the performances are solid, so the modicum of poignancy comes from that element rather than the screenplay. At a running time of 98 minutes, which feels more like 2 hours, Gwen is an underwhelming psychological thriller that never rises above mediocrity.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette