First up is “Tully.”
Marlo (Charlize Theron), a struggling mother of three including a newborn, is gifted a night nanny by her brother (Mark Duplass) to help her get some much needed sleep.
Hesitant to take him up on the offer at first, Marlow eventually succumbs and calls into service a thoughtful yet quirky young nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis).
Well this is definitely not a movie to go see if you’re on the fence about having a baby.
I’m not a parent myself, but this film makes the experience of caring for a newborn seem absolutely horrifying.
It certainly felt like the story came from a place of experience. And considering the movie’s writer, Diablo Cody, is a mother of three, I’d say she probably has a solid understanding on the subject.
Charlize Theron is fantastic in this role.
Everything about her character seems so real. You can’t help but feel the stresses of motherhood radiating off of her, just from the expressions on Theron’s face.
Even before she has the new baby, her life is just one giant ball of stress.
Theron’s character has to deal with a young son with some kind of undiagnosed developmental condition, plus a daughter on the verge of becoming a teenager, which is a whole other mess in itself.
Frankly, it comes as a massive relief when Tully finally comes into the picture and gives this poor mom a much needed break.
But the film doesn’t stop there.
All that is just the beginning, and what starts out as a movie that seems to be about a mother simply getting her life back together, turns into something far more intriguing in the end. Especially with Tully.
At first she just seems like a perfect, if unconventional, caregiver. But as the film goes on and Tully’s and Marlo’s relationship grows, it slowly becomes clear that everything about this peculiar nanny isn’t exactly what it appears.
Mackenzie Davis does a wonderful job bringing this character to life.
Yes, she does oftentimes fall into the overly quirky stereotype you’ve probably seen dozens of times in other movies.
She never becomes annoying though and I think the way the filmmakers handle her character turns out to be downright clever.
I wish I could go into more detail, but I really don’t want to give it all away.
Suffice it to say I think this is a movie very much worth watching.
If you have the chance to go see it, I highly recommend it.
“Tully” is rated R.
Next is “Bad Samaritan.”
Sean Falco (Robert Sheehan), a valet who uses the cars entrusted to him by his clientele to rob their homes, suddenly finds more than he bargained for when he breaks into the house of a billionaire (David Tennant), only to discover a woman bound and imprisoned inside.
Determined to do something, Sean does everything in his power to rescue the trapped woman. But as a result he becomes the new target of the sadistic kidnapper who systematically sets out to ruin Sean’s life.
This movie feels like a terrible waste of a really interesting concept.
I loved the idea of this film going into it.
In a lot of ways it reminded me of 2016’s “Don’t Breathe.”
Both star sympathetic burglars, except instead of a ruthless old blind man with a hapless young woman trapped in his house, this time it’s a ruthless trust-fund billionaire with a hapless young woman trapped in his house.
Sadly this movie has neither the style nor the suspense of “Don’t Breathe.”
This movie just fails to build any tension whatsoever. I lay most of the blame with the camera work and editing.
It doesn’t surprise me in the least that both the cinematographer and editor have pretty much exclusively worked in television their entire careers.
Not that I’m saying TV can’t look fantastic, in fact I’d say some shows can be better produced than many theatrical releases.
But this film is barely one step above a made for TV movie in appearance.
Instead of the camera framing and transitions adding suspense to the narrative, it completely snuffs out all tension. Tension that would have been present in the hands of better filmmakers.
Which is a shame, because the actor’s performances themselves aren’t half bad.
Robert Sheehan does well as the valet turned burglar and makes for a very sympathetic lead character.
David Tennant definitely has his moments as well.
I love Tennant as an actor and early on in the film he comes across as very threatening.
Sadly his billionaire baddie persona becomes about as menacing as a Scooby Doo villain towards the end.
He might as well have said “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling burglars.”
It was such a silly and unimaginative ending to a story that I thought had so much more potential. I couldn’t help but be disappointed.
All that said though, I don’t think this is a bad movie. I’m sure many people will enjoy the film just fine.
For me though, I can’t help but feel the whole thing is just a massive waste of a good concept.
“Bad Samaritan” is rated R.
Last this week is “Overboard.”
Kate (Anna Faris), a single, working mother of three is hired to clean the luxury yacht belonging to a selfish, spoiled and wealthy Mexican playboy named Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez).
After unjustly firing Kate, Leonardo falls overboard one night and wakes up on the beach with zero memory of who he is.
Seeking revenge against Leonardo, Kate shows up at the hospital claiming to be his wife.
If this story sounds familiar, it’s because it probably is.
This movie is almost an exact remake of 1987’s “Overboard” with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, except instead of the the woman being the spoiled rich one, this time it’s the man.
It’s pretty striking how similar these movies are. Entire sections of the films are word-for-word exactly the same.
That won’t be an issue for most people though. I doubt too many have watched the original recently, not unless you’re really into older Kurt Russell comedies.
I’d say the biggest difference between the old version and the remake is that almost half the dialogue for this new film is in Spanish.
There are a ton of subtitles here. If you don’t like reading, this movie will be a nonstarter.
On the other hand if you’re bilingual, this movie is tailor-made for you.
There were quite a few Spanish speakers in the audience when I saw this comedy, and as far as I can tell, they all seemed to have a wonderful time watching it.
In a lot of ways this movie reminded me of last year’s “How to Be a Latin Lover,” a comedy that also had a ton of Spanish dialogue.
Which makes sense because not only do both of these films share a studio (Pantelion Films), they both share a lead actor (Eugenio Derbez).
But compared to the studio’s last film, I had a much harder time getting behind the concept of this movie.
The plot of “Overboard” just seems so cruel, both in the original and remake. It took me a long while to find humor in what was essentially forcing someone with a head injury into slave labor.
Luckily for this new film, Eugenio Derbez is a very charismatic actor and his performance adds a huge amount of charm to the whole production.
Sure, the humor is silly. In fact it’s very silly at times, and there’s tons of low effort comedy with a fair amount of physical humor thrown in.
It’s all relatively harmless though. Despite a cruel concept, the movie itself isn’t really all that mean spirited.
It took a long time, but I’d say in the end the movie actually started growing on me.
It’s not a smart comedy, but you can definitely do worse.
Heck, if you speak Spanish and English, this film is specially made just for you.
This film probably won’t end up in my favorites as far as comedies go this year, but for what it is, I didn’t think it was half bad.
“Overboard” is rated PG-13.