This week brings up "Keeping Up with the Joneses" and "Moonlight."
"Keeping Up with the Joneses" has a cast that are unquestionably talented, just not in this. Gal Gadot (our new Wonder Woman), Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, and Zach Galifianakis star in this "comedy."
What was upsetting is it's directed by Greg Mottola, who has made several brilliant comedies including "Superbad" and "Adventureland." The problem is I don't think it knew if it wanted to be an action movie that had comedy elements, or a comedy that had action. Unfortunately by not committing to either, and yes there are differences, it just falls short.
A great deal of the humor plays on the fact that Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm are incredibly attractive/good looking. Undeniably they are, but the joke wears thin for us mere normal looking mortals.
This film is barely better than "Masterminds" which also starred Galifianakis, I personally found him more palatable in this as he played a less brainless caricature. It's disappointing as he's incredibly funny in other things, but for some reason seems unable to translate it to features (with the potential exception of the Hangover franchise, but that depends on your sense of humor).
More in the audio review.
Thankfully the second film this week is "Moonlight" which was a hauntingly fascinating film from director Barry Jenkins and probably the polar opposite of "Joneses".
The film is split into 3 chapters in an interesting storytelling device, and different actors portray the protagonist during each chapter. It explores the story of a young black man growing up in Miami.
The film is intersectional, and explores race, gender, sexuality, and what is a "family." While it's certainly more art house fare than blockbuster, I encourage audiences to take a look. It certainly inspired self reflection from me. I appreciate when that can be so different from your own personal experiences connects to you.
I will caveat that it's more of a character study than plot driven, so if that is not your cup of tea this film is probably not for you.
I also had the pleasure of interviewing the director, Barry Jenkins, you can catch that below.
The latest interviews, reviews, and opinions on film by Dana Han-Klein. Thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and not reflective of my employer or any third parties.
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