Newly unemployed, middle-aged Nebraskans (!) take a rejuvenating vacation at the same time a would-be supervillain plans to destroy Vista Del Mar as revenge for a childhood humiliation. Barb and Star take turns seducing the villain’s henchman Jamie Dornan and end up saving the town. Probably more than half the jokes hit (Damon Wayans Jr.’s self-defeating spy was in the other half), so we had fun. I would tentatively agree to watch Barb and Star go on further adventures, or maybe just Bridesmaids, also created by Mumolo and Wiig.
Tag: Kristin Wiig
Mother! (2017, Darren Aronofsky)
Ingenious, rage-inducing movie, which I wouldn’t like to ever watch again. Jennifer Lawrence is humbly fixing up her beloved poet husband Javier Bardem’s family house while he searches for inspirado, then the house is no longer their own, as random stranger Ed Harris and eventually his wife Michelle Pfeiffer and murderous children move in. Bardem publishes his new work and fans and media flock to the house to meet him, and he welcomes the chaos, while Lawrence is having a baby then trying in vain to keep it from the insane mob. The movie becomes more and more ludicrous, but in a purposeful way, until it loops back on itself. This is all a Metaphor, everyone agrees, but curiously, the critics disagreed on what exactly it’s a Metaphor for. Script by visionary nutcase The Fountain Aronofsky, photography by grimy underlit-interiors The Wrestler Aronofsky, featuring an appearance by Crazed Kristen Wiig.
Downsizing (2017, Alexander Payne)
Stupid Matt Damon has money problems (you can tell because he stays up late at a cluttered desk frowning at an adding machine) so he decides to get small. His wife Kristen Wiig decides against the idea at the last minute, then he loses his palacial house in the divorce, moves into an apartment below hard-partying Christoph Waltz whose housecleaner is Vietnamese dissident Ngoc Lan (Hong Chau of Treme, Inherent Vice). These three hitch a ride with Udo Kier to the original small colony led by Dr. Rolf Lassgård (A Man Called Ove), which is retreating into a mountain to wait out the impending human-caused global catastrophes. Stupid Matt Damon decides to go with them, then decides not to, then convinces Ngoc Lan he’s in love with her.
Katy says it’s like they asked each actor what they’d like to play (“a sea captain!” “a hard-partying smuggler” “a one-legged humanitarian”) then wrote a script around it. It tries to be a bunch of things at once, not so successfully, and there are awkward and obvious bits, but I appreciate the ambition, and Christoph Waltz looks like he’s having the best time. Second movie we watched theatrically in a row to feature Laura Dern.
The Martian (2015, Ridley Scott)
Every year a new Jessica Chastain movie where Matt Damon’s left all alone on a planet. A Ridley Scott movie with screenplay by Drew Goddard, I was expecting the light tone, the relentless science (this movie loves science), the upbeat ending, the highly convincing Martian landscapes, but I wish the visuals were half as impressive as those in Prometheus. Maybe I needed to watch the 3D version.
Wounded Damon is left on planet by Chastain and Michael Peña and crew, NASA head Jeff Daniels argues with project head Chiwetel Ejiofor and something head Sean Bean on what to do, with further ground help from Kristen Wiig and Donald Glover and Eddy Ko.
I completely enjoyed this at the time, so not sure if it’s the movie’s fault or some other reason that I turned on it a few days later, deciding it was formulaic entertainment and that all movies look the same and I need to start watching new kinds of things before I start boring myself. I’m looking at showtimes for Crimson Peak and Bridge of Spies and Coming Home and Truth and Sicario and Beasts of No Nation and thinking “ugh, how awful” and pondering going on an avant-garde spree (or at least a Nagisa Oshima spree) instead. It’s probably just a phase. In the meantime, The Martian is my Birdman of the year: convincing in a theater, troubling immediately afterward.
Welcome To Me (2014, Shira Piven)
Kristin Wiig goes off her meds and spends her lotto ticket winnings on a talk show with no guests, spending hours each week just talking about things she loves, doing things she enjoys, gradually gaining an audience of hipsters, driving her producers (Joan Cusack, Wes Bentley and Cyclops) insane, and unknowingly insulting everyone who loves her, including best friend Linda Cardellini. More mental illness than comedy, though her televised reenactments of traumatic events from her past (using real names, which gets the studio sued) are good. Wiig gets fired by her psychiatrist Tim Robbins, romances Wes and tears the studio apart, then all gets wrapped up nicely at the end.
MacGruber (2010, Jorma Taccone)
Spoof of bad action movies (all of which I’ve seen) and of Macgyver – the twist being that the hero has no actual skills (turns out he’s good at ripping baddies throats out). Movie plays it totally straight – so straight that there aren’t enough jokes for my liking, just an extended spot-on impression of a Rambo sequel with pauses for gay jokes and talking about butts. Disappointed that The Dissolve suggested this.
Most of MacGruber’s plans involve disguising friends as himself:
Will Forte (Jenna’s cross-dressing lover Paul in 30 Rock), assisted by Ryan Phillippe (last seen in Flags of Our Fathers) and Kristin Wiig (Whip It, Knocked Up), who was the only person I thought managed to be funny. Baddie Val Kilmer (the year after Bad Lieutenant 2) definitely has the ability to play a fun villain – look at his Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang performance – but again, the movie wants him to downplay the comedy. Directed by Booth Jonathan from Girls, aka part of The Lonely Island.
“If you change your mind…”
I did enjoy the part where MacGruber has sex with the ghost of Maya Rudolph, at least.