‘Weird,’ But True: This is the Most Accurate Movie Review Ever

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Weerd. (CREDIT: The Roku Channel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood, Toby Huss, Julianne Nicholson, Rainn Wilson, Spencer Treat Clark, Tommy O’Brien, Jack Lancaster

Director: Eric Appel

Running Time: 108 Minutes

Rating: Unrated (It’s a little over-the-top, but fun for all ages)

Release Date: November 4, 2022 (The Roku Channel)

What’s It About?: Did you see that fake trailer for a Weird Al biopic when it dropped on Funny or Die back in 2010? Now it’s fake no more! Well, the movie is real, but the trailer is still kind of fake, insofar as it was produced separately from the actual movie and most of the cast is different. Also, much of the biographical aspect of the whole endeavor is purposefully fake, befitting its subject.

Yes, I’m talking about Lynwood’s Alfred Matthew Yankovic, master musical parodist nonpareil! He’s played this time around by none other than Daniel Radcliffe, who doesn’t exactly resemble Al much beyond skin tone (and perhaps comedic sensibility). In case you haven’t figured it out by now, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story isn’t exactly sticking to the facts in the strictest sense of the term. We’ve already been blessed both with musical biopic parodies and with Weird Al sensing his cinematic muscles, so can this latest venture possibly meet those high standards?

What Made an Impression?: I am a Weird Al devotee. Whenever I encounter anything he’s ever done, I’m comforted by a sense of everything feeling right in the world. That’s all to say: Weird was kind of burdened by unfairly high expectations. How I can go on living if this movie weren’t non-stop hilarity?!

But within just a few minutes of the projector rolling, something magical happened: I laughed. And then I laughed some more. This was no mere forced tittering, my friends, but instead the most natural reaction in the world. Pulling this off couldn’t have been easy. We Weird Al fans are by definition uber-savvy about pop culture, so we can spot every predictable plot twist and turn from a mile away. And while occasionally Weird can’t help but be straightforward, there are enough times that had me going, “Whoa, where the heck did that come from?”

One of those bizarre decisions is a propensity towards a multiplicity of shots of characters watching major developments happen on small TVs. That was certainly a directorial CHOICE from Eric Appel, and I’m not sure why he did it, but it definitely stuck with me.

Besides its slippery relationship with reality, Weird‘s other major attraction is its whirlwind of celebrity cameos. You could certainly look them up ahead of time on a thoroughly maintained online database, but I’ll keep it a secret on my little corner of the Internet. Instead, I’ll describe my reactions to seeing these cameos arrive: “Oh wow.” “This is just too much.” “Whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa.” “I hope this never ends.” “There she is!” “How are we so blessed?” “Gah!” “Oh, man.” “!!!” “!!!!!” “!!!!!!!”

And for the record, yes, I did eat a cup of Rocky Road afterwards.

Weird is Recommended If You Like: UHF, Walk Hard, Bologna

Grade: 4 out of 5 Accordions

This Is a Movie Review: The Meg

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CREDIT: Warner Bros.

The Meg‘s reported production budget is at least $130 million, but it sure does not look like it. Oh, it’s certainly professionally made, but you can see it cutting corners in a manner typical of cheapie SyFy creature features. Characters sit around in a submersibles and wait for something to happen, the settings are often confined locations, and the big set piece with a bunch of extras is a little light on mayhem. But while all those dollars may not be visible, The Meg does have enough of a sheen that justifies projecting it on the big screen. Ultimately, it’s disposable, but eminently watchable. Jason Statham spears a giant shark in the eye, Rainn Wilson provides the comic relief (and gets his comeuppance, even though I don’t think he really deserves any comeuppance), everyone on the boats seem like to each other, and they shout crazy exclamations when they’re in imminent danger. Also, there’s a Thai cover of Toni Basil’s “Mickey.”

I give The Meg 15 Chomps out of 25 Overboard.