Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Movie Review: SpiderMan Homecoming (PG13 – 143 minutes)

At this point, you should have a pretty solid base knowledge of SpiderMan. He was created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, orphaned at a young age, raised by his elderly Aunt May and Uncle Ben, bitten by a radioactive spider which gave him superpowers, and used his considerable intellect to build gadgets to go along with his new powers.  After first using his new powers for his own popularity and financial gains, the murder of his Uncle Ben by a criminal he could have stopped causes him to realize that “with great power comes great responsibility”, which becomes his center – and the reason he’s easily one of the most relatable superheroes out there. Peter is a quiet, shy, nerdy ‘wallflower’ who has to deal with the struggles of day to day existence, but SpiderMan allows him to help those he can.  He’s had several different incarnations on TV and in movies – and while Sam Raimi’s first movie nailed the origin story, my favorite incarnation is still the animated series from the 90s, which paired with the XMen animated 90s series.

After the third in the first series ruined one of the best villains (here I of course mean Venom, no one cares about Sandman) and one reboot too many (look, we all like Andrew Garfield, but so much of those two movies was wrong), Sony decided to make a deal with Marvel, and allow a new Peter Parker to join the MCU.  I was hoping for Miles Morales – but – Once I saw Captain America Civil War, Tom Holland completely won me over.  And the eyes on the outfit moved! Amazing!

Even after that debut, I wasn’t sure we needed another SpiderMan movie so quickly, but I have to say, again, I was won over, and this is easily one of (if not the) best SpiderMan movies.
The movie picks up just after the events of Captain America Civil War, Peter has returned home to high school, eagerly awaiting more work from Tony Stark and the Avengers. He spends his time at school during the day, telling all his classmates he has an internship with Tony Stark that is preventing him from attending too many after curricular activities. He then spends the afternoons and evenings chasing bad guys around and generally being a ‘friendly, neighborhood, Spiderman’. 
Meanwhile, Adrian Toomes, a construction company owner had a huge city contract to clean up after the ‘incident’ in New York, you remember, when the Avengers battled the Chitari army?  Well, a shady new government/Tony Stark organization called Damage Control steps in to take over the contract.  Furious, Toomes resorts to stealing bits of tech and teaming up with some of his crew to make and sell new and elaborate weapons to make ends meet.

One of his evenings out, SpiderMan encounters criminals using these weapons.  He attempts to warn Stark through Happy Hogan, but that doesn’t seem to go very well.  During a party at a classmate’s house, he ends up trailing and tagging some of the criminals as they were about to make a deal – this puts SpiderMan on the radar of Toomes who has used some of the found tech to build himself Vulture-like wings and claws that aid him in his thefts. 

Following his tag, while also on a school Academic Decathlon trip to Washington D.C., Peter finds that the crew is stealing the tech from Damage Control, and ends up learning there will be another deal made back in New York on the Staten Island Ferry.  He shows up to stop the deal, ends up interrupting what was going to be a big sting and almost loses the ferry and everyone on it in the firefight. However, Iron Man shows up to save his butt, and chastise him for not listening when told to stand down earlier. Peter tells him he just wants to help and knows he is capable of more, but Stark is convinced Peter is not yet ready - and takes back his fancy suit.  This leaves Peter to decide whether or not to pursue one final showdown with the Vulture, without his fancy Stark Industries suit. Spoiler Alert – he does.

The movie is fast-paced and fun, which is important for a flick that’s over two hours. The action is wonderful, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated not going through the origin story yet again – we are all aware of the radioactive spider bite – we don’t need to see it one more time (looking at you, every Batman movie).  I also appreciate the effort made to tell a localized story – often with stand-alone Marvel movies, the question is often why the lead hero wouldn’t simply call the other Avengers. Here, SpiderMan operating alone makes perfect sense. Director Jon Watts was clear that this was going to be a more high-school Spiderman than any other, and that he was looking to John Hughes movies for inspiration, and what a great choice. The cast around Holland is just as fantastic as he is and manage to steal several scenes.

  • Tom Holland is a wonderful Peter Parker, and at 19 when they started shooting, is the most age appropriate Peter Parker to date. The others have all been closer to 30 attempting to play a teenager. Holland has a background in dance and gymnastics, and makes the movements and action believable. He’s also a great actor, and really makes you feel his conflicting excitement and nervousness.  I can’t wait to see both his appearance in the Infinity Gauntlet movie, and his next Spiderman outing.

  • Michael Keaton is absolutely fantastic as the Vulture. Now, I was for sure not in favor of using the Vulture as the villain, but what a great way to update him. And Keaton, just amazing – so sinister, but for so many of the right reasons. He is just incredible and I am so happy he was in this movie.

  • Robert Downey Jr. continues to blur the lines between RDJ and Stark and really does a good job being concerned about, disappointed in, and then proud of his protégé. He’s wonderful in this – and quite honestly, if we never get another stand-alone Iron Man movie, but he keeps popping in from time to time like this – I’d be happy.  Speaking of which - Jon Favreau brings back his continuously irritated Happy Hogan, and I loved his bits in this.

  • Marisa Tomei plays the youngest version of Aunt May to date, and she’s pretty charming and fun, and much more sassy that I’m used to Aunt May being.

  • Zendaya plays Michelle, a classmate of Peter’s who truly doesn’t care about what’s going on with everyone around her, and I really loved her character so much more than I expected to. Indifferent and hilarious, I am really intrigued to see where she goes next (please dye her hair red).

  • Donald Glover, who campaigned to play SpiderMan back when Garfield was cast, gets rewarded for his campaign with a small role in this movie. He plays criminal Aaron Davis (who is known as the Prowler in the comics, and is the uncle to Miles Morales).  His character helps SpiderMan learn where he needs to go next, and that he needs to work on his interrogation skills, and mentions his nephew lives in the area – which means at some point, Miles will show up!

  • Jacob Batalon plays Ned, Peter’s “Guy in the Chair”, what an excellent job this kid does. He’s so entertaining and so genuine. He’s got Peter’s back before and after learning his secret, doing what he can to assist SpiderMan whenever possible.

  • Laura Harrier plays Liz, Peter’s crush in this movie. She’s smart and pretty, and also willing to give Peter a chance or two, which of course he blows because of his SpiderMan-ing. That’s how that usually goes for Peter.

  • Tony Revolori plays this version of Flash Thompson, and since they are now at a high school for math/science/engineering – he’s smarter this time around, but still the same old bully.  I loved this version, and thought Revolori was perfect.

  • Abraham Attah plays Abe, another student on the Academic Decathlon team who is there to keep Flash in place, he also stole the few scenes he was in.

  • Bokeem Woodbine plays a version of the Shocker, and again, would not have picked the Shocker as one of the many SpiderMan villains that should come to screen, but they did such a good job of giving him just a little to do that I ended up entirely on board.  Plus, seeing Woodbine again made me want to rewatch the Big Hit.

  • Tyne Daly shows up as the head of Damage Control in a role I would call very Amanda Waller-y. I look forward to her role being a through-string in more MCU pieces.  I am intrigued to see what else she does, as she seems to have a lot of alien tech at her disposal.  I feel like bringing her into one of the New York based Marvel Netflix shows would be really interesting.
  • Hannibal Buress plays the gym teacher at the school, and Martin Starr plays the Academic Decathlon coach and both of them were incredibly hilarious in their small roles.

I loved this movie, I really did.  I wasn’t expecting to, and I think that’s why it snuck up on me.  Stay all the way through the credits (duh.) for an especially self-aware hilarious post-credit sequence.  I can’t wait to see more SpiderMan movies with this new crew. SpiderMan has such a wide range of villains, you can go a long way without retreading what has already been done (please no more Green Goblins!!).

9 out of 10 – near flawless.  It is a little long, even though it didn’t feel like it.

Bonus – cast interviews!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Movie Review: The House (R – 88 minutes)

Every once in a while we get a fun little comedy that stars a bunch of friends and seems more like an excuse for them to hang out rather than to make a real movie. They’re mostly entertaining to watch, but almost always have the effect of making you wish you could hang out on set with these folks.  I would say that last year's Sisters felt that way.

The House fits in that category.  Scott and Kate Johansen seem to be a pair a clueless parents with a daughter about to head off to college.  The problem is, they were counting on a community scholarship to pay for college, and that suddenly gets canceled as shady community leader Bob shifts the money to a fancy community pool instead. Outvoted, since most townspeople are more interested in a fancy pool than sending their daughter to college, Scott and Kate are confused and desperate – also, they seem to have been terrible at financial planning.  This lines up perfectly with their friend Frank, who is recently divorced from his wife Raina and falling apart because of a gambling problem.  Frank’s house is mostly empty since his wife took just about everything, so he gets the idea to turn his house into an illegal casino. 

It starts out harmless enough, with the local townspeople enjoying the opportunity to blow off some steam and spend their money.  However, soon enough things start to get out of control, and the underground casino draws the attention of both local gangsters and local police – eventually leading to a showdown with the crook who shifted the scholarship away from the Johansen’s in the first place.

The story is straightforward and simple, again, you don’t need a ton of plot here - just a set up to let some very comedic actors play around in and bring their own punchlines.  The movie is directed by Andrew Jay Cohen, who has been mostly a writer up to this point (Neighbors, Mike and Dave need Wedding Dates).  Here, he frames each shot to make the most use of the actors in it, and I have to believe that most of the movie was improv-style, making me want to watch all the outtakes. Yes, there are some over the end credits – but I feel like there are tons more somewhere!

  • Will Ferrell plays Scott Johansen and delivers a solid performance – I actually prefer him as a regular guy slowly going crazy then an absurd character.

  • Amy Poehler plays Kate Johansen and of course, delivers another solid performance as a woman who wants to do the right thing but also gets sucked into the casino life.

  • Jason Mantzoukas plays Frank, and is all crazy brilliance as he slowly pulls it together through running an illegal casino.

  • Ryan Simpkins plays Alex Johansen and actually does a good job as a kid who just wants to go to school, but also wants to hang out with and not disappoint her parents. I enjoyed the scenes of her with her friends.

  • Nick Kroll plays Bob Schaeffer, the crook who shifts the scholarship away from the Johansens. Kroll excels at playing this type of horrible person, so he’s perfect in this.

  • Allison Tolman plays Dawn, Bob’s partner in crime/conscious.
  • Rob Huebel plays Officer Chandler, a nice neighborhood cop who gets caught up in Bob’s shadiness, but does the right thing at the end.

  • The townspeople are played by various talented comedians and sketch artists – this helps provide the most comedy possible, even for small scenes: Rory Scovel plays Joe, Lennon Parham plays Martha, Cedric Yarbrough plays Reggie, Kyle Kinane plays Garvey, Michaela Watkins plays Raina, and there are plenty more with essentially cameos.
  • Jeremy Renner has one ridiculous scene as Tommy, the gangster who seems to attempt to move in once the Johansens start to lose control and take on semi-gangster alter-egos.

I really enjoyed this movie, I thought it was silly and fun, and with an 88 minute run time (perfect for comedies), it’s a quick bit of entertainment.
8 out of 10 – gained points for Renner, I wish he was in the movie more.  Lost points for the townsfolk almost immediately starting up a fight club in the casino – apparently there was a lot of buried resentments!

Cast Interviews!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Movie Review: Baby Driver (R – 112 minutes)

Edgar Wright has made a lot of really fun movies starting with his “Cornetto Trilogy” in the UK – Sean of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End.  He moved on to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which was a really fun adaptation of a graphic novel.  This movie is a little bit different than his previous work, but stills feels familiar in parts.

Baby Driver begins with a heist – Baby, yes, he goes by Baby, is a getaway driver.  He does all his getaway driving to music he carefully selects and plays on various MP3 players as well as recording various conversations and mixing them into original tracks. The opening heist seems to go smoothly, and the three bank robbers, Buddy, Darling, and Griff, hop into the car and Baby drives them away from the scene and the cops.

Baby meets a waitress, Debora, and they bond over music.  We learn that Baby is staying with and caring for his elderly and deaf foster father.  We also learn that Baby is working off a debt to ‘Doc’, the man who sets up these robberies for which he drives getaway.  Doc tells Baby he has one more job before he is done, and sets Baby up with a new crew, featuring Bats, No Nose, and J.D.  Once again, Baby does some incredible driving, but Bats turns out to be a bit of a maniac, and surprise surprise, Doc decides that he will not let Baby out of their deal.  He goes so far as to threaten both Debora and his foster father. 

Baby tries to make plans with Debora to run away – but gets pulled into another job by Doc with Bats, Buddy, and Darling. The job goes sideways, and Baby has to evade both the cops and his crew, get his foster father to safety, and meet up with Debora, just in time to get arrested.

Honestly, that’s about it for the plot – there’s not a ton of story, and there doesn’t need to be. The magic of this movie is the in between moments.  It is what director Edgar Wright does with the actors and action.  The movie is ultra slick and extremely polished.  Every action sequences is set to the song that Baby is listening to, right down to the gunfire matching the drumbeats of the song. It is a very unique way to frame a movie, and makes the action sequences particularly engaging. He manages to cast people who perfectly fit his story.

  • Ansel Elgort plays Baby, and his burgeoning DJ career probably helped him work with the music in this role. I think my dislike of Ansel Elgort carried through to Baby.  That’s not really his fault – it’s mine. He does a wonderful job portraying a kid who went through a painful childhood capped off by a car accident that killed both parents. He does a great job portraying Baby as disconnected and distant, but at the same time, yearning for a connection and finding that through music.

  • Jon Bernthal has one scene in this movie as Griff – the wildcard in the first crew. I found this interesting since it felt like he featured heavily in the marketing.

  • Jon Hamm plays Buddy – who at first seems to be a decent guy, but once he loses his love, he goes dangerous scary.

  • Eiza Gonzalez plays Darling – Buddy’s girlfriend and sidekick and partner in crime.

  • Lily James plays Debora - she’s sweet and gentle and quickly won over by Baby’s genuineness. Baby for his part, is won over by her sweetness, and her similarities to his mother, based on what we learn via flashback.

  • Kevin Spacey plays Doc who begins as a villain holding Baby’s future hostage, but has a flip at the end that seems to indicate he feels a bit protective of Baby.

  • CJ Jones plays Joseph, and he’s charming and concerned as Baby’s foster father. The most touching moments in the movie were between the two of them.  He really is deaf, although not really as old as he plays in the movie. He is an absolutely fascinating man, born one of seven hearing children to two deaf parents, however, did eventually lose his hearing at age 7 to spinal meningitis.  He has been an actor for years, has toured the world with a one-man show, and gives motivational speeches to colleges and companies.

  • Jamie Foxx plays Bats whose main character motivation seems to be that he’s crazy. He’s crazy and distrusting, which is a bad combination in a bank robber.  I can’t tell if it’s a good use of Jamie Foxx, or if they should have let him go a little further.  

Overall I liked the movie, I didn’t love it – but I will certainly agree that it is fantastically put together, and a great ride.  I was missing a bit of the sense of fun that some of Wright’s earlier films had as this was a bit more serious all the way through – which doesn’t take away from the movie, it’s just not quite the tone I was expecting. I enjoyed the very Edgar Wright-y parts, the quick cuts and zooms. I also found this to be one of the cases where I felt disconnected from the movie because I didn’t really like any of the characters.  All the crew members were equally insane and untrustworthy; Doc seemed to be the big bad for the front part and at the end has some sort of out-of-nowhere flip to sacrifice himself for Baby. Because I was still hating him from the beginning where he straight up threatened to kill Baby’s foster father, I felt like that came out of nowhere.  All that said, it’s absolutely worth seeing, because it’s Wright’s assembling of familiar pieces in a unique way that makes for an original movie.

7 out of 10 – gained points for the music integration – lost points because I disliked all the characters.
Cast Interviews!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Movie Review: All Eyez On Me (R – 140 minutes)

Tupac Shakur was a rapper and actor who was born in East Harlem, NY in 1971, and died in Las Vegas in 1996 at age 25.  He was incredibly prolific in his short life, releasing multiple albums and appearing in seven movies.  Because he was such a skilled rapper, a magnetic person, and was killed so young, a movie was inevitable. There has already been a documentary made called Tupac: Resurrection, that was released in 2003.

A biopic has been in the works for some time, and finally we have All Eyez On Me. Originally it was going to be directed by John Singleton (who had written Baby Boy for Tupac, but went with Tyrese after Tupac’s death). However, Singleton had some creative differences with the production, although did have the full support of Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s mother.  Tupac was a fascinating man, and deserves to have his story told in a really well-made epic movie.  This however, is not that movie.

The movie starts with a reporter interviewing Tupac while he was in prison from 1993 to 1996 as the result of a sexual assault charge – of which he continually said he was innocent.  The interviewer asks Tupac questions about his mother, Afeni, who was released from prison after defending herself as she was pregnant with him.  Through the device of the interview – we get snapshots of Tupac’s early life in New York, interacting with his mother’s Black Panther Party friends and colleagues, then moving to Baltimore – where he struck up a friendship in high school with Jada Pinkett.  His mother’s drug troubles began, and suddenly Tupac and his half sister had to move to Los Angeles, where his career began to take off as he started as a roadie, background rapper/dancer for Digital Underground.

The movie then stays with the interview, right up until Tupac tells the reporter how he ended up in prison, then that mode of storytelling is dropped when he gets released and the movie shifts to a more ‘normal’ narrative as we follow Tupac signing with Death Row records in L.A., interacting with Suge Knight, being friends with, and then enemies with Biggie Smalls, and continuing both his rapping and acting careers.  The movie does not mention his first marriage at all, but does bring in Kidada Jones, who he was engaged to at the time of his death. The movie goes right up until he was shot in Las Vegas, and then mentions that he died in the hospital a few days later.

This movie is directed by Benny Boom, whose previous experience is mostly music videos – and it is not badly directed, and it’s not badly acted, but it does seem to be assembled and written poorly.  The movie jumps from event to event, and really attempts to fit in way too much in the two and a half hour runtime.  This results in skipping some pieces of his life, and having several characters show up with little to no introduction, be key for a few scenes, then disappear.  Because the movie attempts to cover so much, it really would have been better served by being a TV mini-series, similar to the New Edition story earlier this year.  The cast is decent:

  • Demetrius Shipp Jr., whose father actually did work with Tupac, plays Tupac, and he really does look like Tupac. He does a good job with what is written, but because Tupac was so charismatic, he falls a little short, which is only really noticeable once the movie plays a clip of an interview with Tupac over the end credits.

  • Danai Gurira plays Afeni Shakur, and Tupac’s relationship with his mother is complicated and well documented. Gurira does a good job of attempting to show how strong and determined Afeni was early in life, then the struggle as she encounters her drug addiction, and her return to strength after reconciling with Tupac. Again, it’s a little overly dramatic  here and there, but she does well with what she was given.

  • Kat Graham plays Jada Pinkett, prior to her being Jada Pinkett-Smith. Jada has come out and stated that several scenes in this movie are fictionalized – but that she appreciates the performances of both leads. I’m not surprised that scenes were invented – it’s not a documentary, it is a movie, but I did think their friendship is portrayed pretty well.

  • Hill Harper plays the interviewer in prison – and I just could not wrap my head around the fact that was the storytelling device for the first half of the movie, but then completely dropped for the second half.  Harper’s job in this consists of asking questions and looking very interested as Tupac answers.
  • Annie Ilonzeh plays Kidada Jones, and the movie doesn’t really explain why she fell for Tupac – we see them have one interaction at a party, where she accuses him of saying horrible things about her father, Quincy Jones, and then one date, and then they seem to be engaged. As I said, the movie has to move really fast to get everything in that they wanted to cover.

  • Keith Robinson plays Atron, Tupac’s early manager prior to his signing with Death Row and he may have been my favorite character in the movie. He tries to be the voice of reason early in Tupac’s career and tries to steer him away from making bad decisions.

  • Jamal Wollard who played Biggie in Notorious does reprise the role here, and the movie really makes him seem unintelligent and confused most of the time.

  • Dominic Santana plays Suge Knight, who really could be the subject of his own movie some day because he’s such a villain featured in both this and Straight Out Of Compton. In particular in this movie, he has a Death Row dinner party and beats a dude during dinner for not being loyal enough while Tupac and Snoop look on uncomfortably. I did have an issue where at first I thought he was wearing a terrible bald cap, but then I thought maybe his head was just weirdly wrinkly.

  • Cory Hardrict plays Nigel – and Nigel is one of the characters who shows up out of nowhere, starts getting Tupac some money, then seems to set him up for the crime that he would eventually go to jail for, then disappears.

Overall, the movie is interesting, but way too long, and just not as well executed as it could have been. It's a hard R, thanks to the language, violence, and naked groupies. It really did need to be a miniseries so that more of the story could be told in better detail. I wasn’t a huge Tupac fan, but I did respect his ability, talent and charisma. I learned a few things from this movie – but some of the characters and stories that happen could have used some more development.  No, it’s not completely accurate, but it’s worth a rental.

5 out of 10 – too long, and poorly written, but decently acted and directed.

Bonus, Poetic Justice - a movie I really enjoyed, that Tupac is really good in, but was not mentioned in the movie at all...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Movie Review: Rough Night (R – 101 minutes)

Let me say right off the bat, the ads for this movie state that it is “funnier than Bridesmaids” – it is not. And, let’s be honest, not every comedy that comes out with a mainly female cast needs to be compared to Bridesmaids, that’s doing them a disservice. In this case, yes, the situation is slightly similar, but it is still an unfair comparison, as Bridesmaids was able to combine hilarity and heart into a near perfect comedy.

Rough night starts out by demonstrating the closeness of four friends in college Jess, Alice, Blair and Frankie.  Jess and Alice are best friends, Blair and Frankie are a couple and together the four of them are shown winning a beer pong tournament during a Halloween party and then hanging out in a dorm room to demonstrate the depths of their friendship.  Years later, Jess is running for senate and about to marry her fiancé, Peter – incidentally, she’s coming off as ‘robotic’, so losing the campaign.  Alice decides to throw Jess a weekend bachelorette party in Miami and invite the old gang.  Jess also invites her Australian friend Pippa, with whom she spent a semester abroad. Each has grown up, though not necessarily matured. Alice is now an elementary school teacher, Blair is going through a custody hearing after a messy divorce, and Frankie seems to be an activist for something or maybe everything?

Once reunited in Miami, the friends rent a house that happens to be next door to a couple of swingers. After hitting some restaurants, clubs, and doing some cocaine, the girls decide to hire a stripper for Jess.  A man shows up at the door – and after showing him in, they accidentally kill him (yes, like in the 1998 Peter Berg directed movie Very Bad Things) – and thanks to the drugs and alcohol, they decide it is better to try to hide the body then report it.  Hijinks ensue, but not necessarily hilarious hijinks.

The movie has a lot of vulgar humor, and tries way too late to add some heart into the story.  It almost would have been better to commit completely to the over-the-top physical and toilet humor and use a ‘Weekend At Bernie’s’-style adventure with the dead body. Instead, the movie hovers just around the uncomfortable mark, going from bizarre situation to bizarre situation and then suddenly forcing in the relationship resolutions right at the end.

Directed by Lucia Aniello, who also did some episodes of Broad City, the movie is clunky and can’t decide if it wants to be a crass comedy or a dark relationship dramedy.  I think I was disappointed because the cast is wonderful, so I expected more from them.

  • Scarlett Johansson plays Jess, and while she may seem an odd choice for a bawdy comedy, she certainly is game and does well with what she is given.  Jess is the ‘straight-man’ at the center of the lunacy, and since the story revolves around her letting loose, Johansson is a good choice.

  • Jillian Bell plays Alice, and she is perfect for these random comedies, but what surprised me were the quieter, more genuine moments. She’s good there too, and I expect she will continue to be the latest comedienne on the rise.

  • Zoe Kravitz plays Blair, and since the movie really revolves around Jess and Alice, and their drama, Blair’s story about her divorce and custody battle seems forced in, and is not given the time it needs. Also – the side plot of Blair distracting the swingers next door so that she can recover security tapes is more than a little bizarre.  She does a good job with what is there, but there’s very little there.

  • Ilana Glazer plays Frankie, and her story gets even less time than Blair’s. She just seems to be mostly insane, coming up with the cocaine as soon as the girls head out for the evening.

  • Kate McKinnon plays Pippa, Jess’s Australian friend. Why she’s playing that role instead of one of the others, and they didn’t just hire Rebel Wilson for this character is a bit beyond me.  However, McKinnon is more than capable and does well with the material – but as good as she is, it would have been interesting if they had given her a little more to do.

  • Paul W. Downs, who co-wrote the script with the director, plays Peter, the finance. He’s appropriately bland enough, and I did enjoy how he and his groomsmen were having a low-key wine tasting while the girls are going insane. However, once one of them convinces him to ‘sad astronaut’ down to Miami to see Jess, his piece of the story gets a little annoying.
  • Ty Burrell and Demi Moore play the swingers next door – and you’ve already guessed their one-note joke.

  • Ryan Cooper plays Scotty the stripper, who gets killed pretty quickly after showing up.

  • Patrick Carlyle, Eric Andre, Bo Burnham, and Hasan Minaj play the groomsmen.

  • Enrique Murciano and Dean Winters play the two police officers who show up partway through the night to make things even more awkward.
  • Colton Haynes plays the stripper who shows up halfway through the nonsense.

Overall, the cast was capable, and they certainly committed, and yes, there are some funny parts to this movie, but overall I was disappointed because I think it could have been better with this cast and the premise. I think it should have been non-stop laughs, instead of chortles from time to time.

5 out of 10 – gained points for the cast, lost points for not being funny enough. We’ll see how Girls Trip is when it comes on out July 21st, hopefully stronger than this one.