BARE BONES: COLOSSAL (2016)

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COLOSSAL (2017)

Very weird flick from Nacho Vigalondo (Time Crimes, Open Windows) has troubled alcoholic Gloria (Anne Hathaway) getting the boot from her boyfriend (Dan Stevens), prompting her to move back to her family house in her home town. Not only does she reconnect with childhood schoolmate Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), but is shocked to find a gigantic creature is attacking Seoul, Korea. In a weird turn of events, Gloria soon finds that she and the gigantic creature are somehow connected, as it mimics her actions and only appears when she is in the park where a fateful event once took place a long time ago.

Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo concocts a very strange tale that almost works. It’s first half is oddly engaging despite the really weird premise and we are eager to find out what this strange beast has to do with Gloria, who is struggling to get her life together. It’s in the flick’s second half where Sudeikis’ Oscar shows his true colors, that it becomes a rather unpleasant movie as Oscar becomes more and more abusive towards Gloria. We do get some answers to our questions, but the film, at that point, stops being fun. One can appreciate Vigalondo’s boldness and the originality of his tale, but when it goes from Gloria’s whimsical and comic attempts to unravel a “colossal” mystery to her conflict with the mean-spirited and bitter Oscar, both creature and movie lose their grip.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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REVIEW: SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE (2015)

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SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE (2015)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Offbeat romantic comedy tells the story of Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis). Twelve years ago they lost their virginities to each other in college and never saw each other again, until reconnecting twelve years later at a meeting for love addicts. Now, despite that neither of them can stay faithful in a relationship, they form a bond which may lead to the thing they both have been running away from since that fateful night…true love.

Writer/director Leslye Headland delivers a rarity, a romantic comedy that is not only cleverly funny and delightfully raunchy, but has some very heartfelt emotions that are never intrusive or overbearing. The film tries to avoid many of the clichés we are used to seeing in the more mainstream rom-com flicks and when it can’t, it uses them in a fresh and offbeat manner. Best of all, it is raunchy as can be, but unlike most flicks these days, there is some definite wit behind the raunch and thus it rarely, if ever, slips into the just plain vulgar, like so many other flicks fall right into. It gives us two very eccentric, troubled but very likable characters in Lainey and Jake and we are rooting for them to finally get together as we watch them avoid the inevitable, by continuously entering in relationships that aren’t right for them. The banter between Sudeikis and Brie is really crisp, funny and very well written and the delivery by both actors is impeccable. There is also a genuine heart to this flick that makes it work so well without ever getty sappy or overly sentimental. Sure it stumbles a bit in the last act, but regains it’s footing and gives us a satisfying conclusion fitting the eclectic characters.

This brings to the forefront the skilled cast that Headland has assembled. Community‘s Alison Brie is endearing as sweet but, very love-challenged Lainey who avoids risking her heart by pursuing a man (Adam Scott) with his own commitments. Sudeikis is really good as the kind-hearted ladies man, Jake, who avoids putting his heart at risk by sleeping around and breaking off anything that starts to resemble a relationship. He has some really clever dialogue and delivers it masterfully and has a nice self deprecating humor that keeps the character humbled despite his numerous conquests. He and Brie have a great chemistry together and their conversations are engaging and often hilariously dirty. There is also a definite spark between the two stars and you can see their feelings bubbling beneath all the evasiveness and denial. There is also top notch support from Amanda Peet, Adam Scott, Natasha Lyonne and Marc Blucas as the various people around our leads. All slightly eclectic characters that refreshingly avoid the stereotypes that usually populate these movies.

I really enjoyed this flick. Not only was a it an engaging romance, but was delightfully offbeat, cleverly written and very raunchy and funny. It had a sweet love story at it’s core surrounded by some eccentric but endearing characters. Filmmaker Leslye Headland gives some needed wit to the dirtier material and gets great chemistry and performances out of her cast. She also films New York with a loving lens and it makes you fall in love with the city, as well as, the characters she’s let loose inside it. A really entertaining indie romantic comedy.

-MonsterZero NJ

  3 and 1/2 green tea bottles…just watch the movie.

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