Useless Humans

At the Movies Blog

They’re not going to ride their bikes like in E.T.

I like that filmmaker Stephen Ohl kind of tips his hat to fun sci fi films we love, like Shaun of the Dead. It was fun that the film score, by T. Mathew James, reminded me of a B-movie from the ‘50s. It was also nice that, on what was obviously a low budget, the film wasn’t horrific to look at.

When a group of young people get together to hang out, sometimes it creates incredible results. I love the humor of Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island stuff (see his recent Palm Springs). Yet I never like when Richard Linkaleter gets youth together. He’s a great filmmaker, but Dazed and Confused, and Everybody Wants Some didn’t work for me. That’s because the characters weren’t interesting or funny. If I wouldn’t have wanted to hang out with them when I was that age, why would I want to watch them on screen for a few hours now?

It’s Brian’s (Josh Zuckerman) 30th birthday. His group of friends used to always party together, but in a series of clips, we see how each of them has become so busy in their lives (one character, who looks like Mira Mesa singing legend Leonard Patton, isn’t doing anything but throwing up from partying or getting beat up by the police). Yet they all show up in the mountain cabin to reflect on things. [that made me just think how much I loved The World’s End, when middle-aged men reluctantly get together for a pub crawl, and end up dealing with an alien invasion]

The woman Brian pined for brings her new boyfriend, who is also her boss at some greenpeace-type job she has. And of course, he’s a complete d-bag. That’s always annoying in films because we wonder why a cute woman, who is smart, would be with such a fool. And you really have to buy character logic on screen. I don’t care if you want to have aliens attack, I can buy that. I should be able to also buy the motivations of the characters presented to me. With this, I did not.

Since the writing is so poor, no chemistry is created among this group of friends, either. That means as my wife and I sat there watching this, we just kept making comments about how annoying they all were.

Now, 82.3% of all movies (not a real statistic, just one I made up), have barfing scenes. This had one 10 minutes in. And that’s the example of the kind of screenwriting we’re getting. Barfing gags, or people going on drunken tangents that aren’t interesting. 

I laughed a few times. One scene involves a birthday card from his dad, which was humorous. I think the best thing about this movie is that it made me think of an episode of Flight of the Conchords and their song about robots:

The humans are dead

We used poisonous gases, and we poisoned their asses

The humans are dead (they look like they’re dead)

The humans are dead (I just confirmed that they’re dead)

The humans are dead (so that we can have fun)

The humans are dead (Affirmative, I poked one with a stick and it was dead).

This movie, which you can see on VOD, gets 1 star out of 5. The Flight of the Conchords, any season, gets 5 stars.

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