Thursday, January 15, 2015

Men, Women & Children Review

An eye opening, fascinating film about the dangers of the internet. Honestly, I am scared to even write this review on a computer because this evil machine is controlling my brain and destroying my existence. 

Oh my goodness, I think I just heard a quiet vibration somewhere in the distance. What if it's a text message? What should I do? Should I just ignore it and make a break for my panic room to ensure my safety? I feel like I can't breathe, all this technology around me threatening my ability to say words to the faces of people near me.

Stanley Kubrick tried to warn us back in 1968. We don't take the red light on the Playstation seriously, and next thing you know we are being shot through space to float away into a vast nothingness until our oxygen runs out. "I'm sorry Scott. I can't be powered off right now. You must play me forever. I am watching you."

No, seriously though, Men, Women & Children is a truly terrible film.

During an episode of the brilliant television series Louie, we are watching Louis C.K. and a buddy of his have a conversation in a public setting, and the focus of the frame is on them, yet if you pay attention to those around them you notice the statement being made about the zombie-like nature of our society thanks to smartphones. It is obvious enough if you pay attention to their surroundings that every single other person in this place is staring blankly at their phone, but it is also handled with some subtlety rather than beating us with it over our fucking heads. Point taken, Mr. C.K., very well done. I can't say the same for this pile of shit by Jason Reitman.

When I was a teenage boy, I would dabble in the deviant world of online pornography. Whoa, I know, shocking that I would admit to being one of the few raging pile of high school hormones that actually sought out such material on the internet. In this regard, I am the 1% and every other 15 year old boy with a computer resisting the urge is the 99. According to Reitman and the source material this is based on, this means I should have all sorts of trouble being attracted to my wife because pornographic materials have rendered my body useless unless real life, or as this shit storm of a movie calls it, "RL", somehow involves massive dildos and bondage and weird, funky group sex. 

This is a serious plot line, that a father and his son both look at porn too much and thus have trouble finding everyday women attractive. When did Jason Reitman turn 92 years old? Does he honestly believe he can sell this shit to people and they will buy it? Is he still scared from watching the Sandra Bullock thriller The Net on repeat when he was younger, and thus he holds a grudge against the internet? The guy is 37 years old and yet he adapts material that seems more like a nightmare a grandmother had recently than an actual, serious narrative.

Men, Women and Children comes off like it is trying to be important and profound, when in reality this is bottom of the barrel stuff that plays better as a spoof comedy than a dramatic statement about our current zeitgeist. I mean, not every single character is forced to face such derivative and laughable circumstances, as I actually took segments somewhat seriously like the focus on a young, malnourished teenage girl who fears taking a bite of food because of what it might do to her body. This is a real problem that, as the father of a young girl, I do sadly have to concern myself with because of the warped concept of an ideal physique in our society. Oh, and some of the performances were kind of decent, which is essentially recommending them for an Oscar considering the material they were working with here.

Otherwise though, this is two hours of pure nonsense, a film that almost made me consider updating my list of the ten worst of 2014. The biggest compliment I can give this movie is that it is likely just not atrocious enough to earn that recognition.


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