Movie Reviews

Standing Up, Falling Down (2019)

standing-up-falling-down-poster-movie-2019Director: Matt Ratner

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 91 Minutes

Main Cast: Billy Crystal, Ben Schwartz, Grace Gummer, Eloise Mumford, Nate Corddry, Jill Hennessy, Caitlin McGee, Kevin Dunn, Debra Monk

Plot: Mike Wazowski and Sonic the Hedgehog become best friends. Scott (Ben Schwartz) is forced to move back in with his parents as his career as a comedian in LA is struggling. After meeting with Dermatologist Marty (Billy Crystal), the two form an unlikely friendship and help each other with their issues.

My Thoughts:¬† One of my favourite genre fusions has to be the dramedy, a mix of comedy and drama. It was Little Miss Sunshine (2006) that first caught my attention and I haven’t turned one down since. Sure, there have been bad ones but the good ones are often excellent rather than average. I’d never heard of Standing Up, Falling Down until I got an email about it but as a huge Parks and Rec fan, I was never going to shy away from a movie with Ben Schwartz as the lead. This movie might not bring anything new to the genre but I adored almost every moment of it.

I don’t think I’ve seen Ben Schwartz in a more serious role, and I hope he lands some more on the back of this because he does it well, and of course he shines best in his funnier scenes. It was Billy Crystal who surprised me the most, though. His character has gone through so much pain but he tries to take it in his stride, improve himself and find the good in every moment. He has one scene in particular that I won’t mention for spoilers that really tugged on my heart strings. I haven’t watched many of his movies, I have to admit, but I’ll make an effort to.

What I loved the most was that there was a pivotal moment in the movie that I should have seen coming, in fact I’m sure you all will have done, but I got caught up in the daily lives of these two characters and just didn’t want it to end. I don’t know, I think maybe I’m hyping it up a bit too much, but you know when you find a movie with characters you just feel a real connection with? That’s me with Standing Up, Falling Down. If you give it a go I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Oh and one more thing – that Twitter account, @dermatol_OG, is real! Don’t look it up until you’ve finished the movie though.

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Best Bit: Skipping past the emotional, spoiler-filled moment, Scott’s relationship with his sister is so funny. The banter between them is so real and one of my favourite moments is when Scott turns up at the pretzel stand she works at and ends up terrifying her co-worker.

Worst Bit: I know that Marty did some wrongs in the past but man, he didn’t deserve to be treated the way he did by his own son. That scene on the front lawn was so upsetting to watch.

Fun Trivia: I can only find two bits of trivia for this. One is a huge spoiler and the other is a vulgar reference to The Revenant (2015) that I’ll spare you the trouble of reading.

My Rating: 4 and a half Jägerbombs which, UNLIKE the characters in this movie, I know how to make. WAY too much energy drink was used in those ones!

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Movie Reviews

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

sonic-the-hedgehog-movie-review-2020Director: Jeff Fowler

Genre: Comedy, Action, Family

Runtime: 99 Minutes

Main Cast: Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Lee Majdoub, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Frank C. Turner

Plot: Based on the hugely famous video game franchise, Sonic is a hedgehog with extraordinary powers, powers which continually put his life in danger. Whilst on Earth, his powers are detected and mistaken for a terrorist threat, leading the government to put the eccentric Dr Robotnik in charge of tracking Sonic down.

My Thoughts: So I hear that Sonic the Hedgehog is now officially the most successful videogame-adapted movie out there. Huh. I would have preferred Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019) hold that title, but I have to agree with most out there that Sonic the Hedgehog is actually a pretty good movie. And who would have thought, after that initial trailer with the awful design? I’m still not 100% convinced it wasn’t a marketing ploy, but if it was legit – it just goes to show how listening to criticism can actually help in the long term. You listening, Warner Bros. marketing team?

The best kind of family movies are ones that can be enjoyed by both kids and grownups, and Sonic hits the nail on the head on that point. There are fart jokes, Fortnite dances and game references scattered about, and for the adults? We get Jim Carrey. Yes – he’s hilariously miscast in his role, but he’s JIM CARREY. His movies were my childhood, and I’ve missed him so much. He lights up the screen every time he shows up, and yet his appearance never feels out of place. By the end of the movie, he’s also looking much more like his character should. You need to stay through the credits for this one.

So yes. It’s good. It’s probably getting more praise than it should, but I know I wasn’t the only one expecting it to be a trainwreck. It does start a little dull, even with the cliche ‘record scratch, pause, you’re probably wondering how I got into this mess’ trope, but it gets better as it goes on, and I definitely recommend it. Parents, you may as well buckle in, because there’s no doubt we’re getting at least one sequel.

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Best Bit: I have two stand-out moments. One being something that was already in the trailer, the joke with Sonic in the duffel bag, ‘oh yes, there is a child in here, but it’s not mine’. It’s somehow funnier with a crowd! There’s also a moment where Jim Carrey’s in one of his hi-tech vehicles listening to his favourite playlist with a bunch of different green screens behind him – I was laughing so hard!

Worst Bit: So Maddie, our leading female character has this sister called Rachel who just hates Maddie’s fella. Keeps telling her to get a divorce, etc, etc. Why?! I mean, I get that it’s all part of a running joke but like, he’s done absolutely nothing in this movie to deserve that hate!

Fun Trivia: Crazy Carl, the local who’s hunting the “Blue Devil” in Green Hills, shows off a wildly inaccurate drawing of Sonic as a description. This is a reference to Sanic, a pop culture phenomenon about poorly-drawn portrayals of Sonic.

My Rating: 3 and a half tortoises suffering from a severe nervous disorder after Sonic decided to liven up their days a little.

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