Shorts! The Prowler, Get a Job, The Walk, and Green Room
The Prowler (1981)
I wanted to like The Prowler more than I did. The director, Joseph Zito is a director I like, Tom Savini did the effects work and they are the highlight of the film, but something kept me from loving the film. The film has the most basic of premises: A WWII vert comes home to find a “Dear John” letter and the guy goes crazy and kills a few people at the local dance. Jump forward to 1980 and kids are getting themselves offed by a killer decked out in army fatigues.
Going by all of this, the film should have been a classic, a film that people still talk about today outside of the cult film circles. I think that the fact that none of the characters are memorable and the film doesn’t have a very good pace to either. I can take crappy characters, but pacing is a huge deal. The kills, however, are great including one where a character is stabbed through the top of his head. When the killer moves the knife up, the guy’s roll back into his head. It is a very memorable kill in an otherwise ok film. I am going to recommend it, but only slightly.
Get a Job (2016)
I hate when films have great actors (except for Miles Teller. That guy can fuck off for all I care) and the film gives them nothing to work with. That is the main problem with Get a Job, a film that was shot in 2012 but is received a release a month ago. The film is about college grads who think that they are owed the world because their parents never taught them any values. So we have to watch these bratty grads as they try to get jobs and mostly failing at that. I see enough of this in real life that I don’t need to see a film about it. Most of the characters are grown, whiny babies who think that they are the shit when they are just shit.
The film has a great cast (seriously, fuck Miles Teller), led by Bryan Cranston. He plays Teller’s father and he ends up losing his job. Instead of telling his family, Cranston just hangs out in a coffee bar trying to speak to the “decision maker”. It is a really good performance. We also have Anna Kendrick as Teller’s girlfriend. She gets fired and then starts smoking pot. That is really all her character does, but Kendrick does what she can with the role.
Skip this film is you value your time because the film certainly doesn’t. The film is all over the place, the characters are poorly written, and there are a lot of scenes that go nowhere. I hated this film and will be putting it on my Worst of 2016 list.
The Walk (2015)
Here is a film that I thought was going to be bad and was surprised by how good it was. When the film was released into theaters last year, it flopped and anyone who did see it said that it was pretty bad. They were wrong.
The film is “based on a true” and involves a Frenchman named Petit who likes to walk on wires. He will put his wire anywhere he pleases and shocks people with his grace and balance. While reading the newspaper one day, Petit finds out that the tallest building(s) in the world is the world trade center. The towers have not been finished but some floors are occupied. He decides that he is going to connect his wire between the two towers and wow all of New York.
Until he walks the wire at the end, the film is basically a heist film, but instead of taking things, the group of Petit’s friends have to get the wire and everything that goes with it, up to the roof. This is actually the biggest portion of the film and I thought that it worked very well. There are some close calls, and because I didn’t see the documentary that this film is based on, I didn’t know what was going to happen.
When Petit finally walks his wire the film slows down and we marvel at his achievement. Robert Zemeckis, who directed the film, actively tries his best to give the audience vertigo. It is true, look it up. Petit walking the wire is one of the scariest scenes I have seen in a long time. The CGI used to recreate 70’s era New York is amazing and we are with Petit every second when his is walking around on the wire. I would not be surprised if that scene takes 20 minutes of screen time.
The Walk is a thrilling film even when Petit is not walking his wire. The characters are a little lean, but that just directs our focus to Petit. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great in the role and all of the other actors are good as well. The trade center walk is one of the most impressive scenes I have seen all year. This is a really good film that shouldn’t be missed.
Green Room (2016)
I hate this film. Just want to get that out there before we proceed. This is a film that does nothing with the premise that it is given and bores its audience to death with its slow, meandering pace.
Green Room is about an indie band that is scheduled to play a gig. When they show up they find that the gig was canceled, but are given the address of a bar where they can perform. The money is good so the band heads to the gig.
Long story short: They perform at a neo-Nazi bar and when they go back to the green room of the title, the find another band in there standing around a dead girl. What happens from there is so contrived that I thought they may be adding plot elements just to mess with me.
The band is stuck in the green room and the owner of the bar and a bunch of hillbilly racists are on the other side. Someone in the band gets most of arm chopped off, but duct tape is applied and everything is better. A bunch of other things happen, a bunch of people die, and…I just don’t care.
Green Room is being hailed as one of the best films of 2016, but I found it to be the exact opposite. The film is slow, boring, and a little bit pretentious. I don’t think that the filmmakers knew what they were doing here. The film has issues with pacing as well as character development. Every character in the film is terrible and the film is terrible too. Stay away from this one.
Jimmy P is an avid film lover and collector. He has been collecting since the mid-90's and has amassed a collection in the thousands. He collects VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray. Jimmy P lives with his wife in Parts Unknown.