Super-Relatable for Runners of All Racing Stripes: ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ Review

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CREDIT: Amazon Studios

Starring: Jillian Bell, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Michaela Watkins, Micah Stock, Lil Rel Howery, Alice Lee

Director: Paul Downs Colaizzo

Running Time: 103 Minutes

Rating: R for Some Fun and Sexy Times in Between the Marathon Training

Release Date: August 23, 2019 (Limited)

Brittany Forgler (Jillian Bell) has never been much of a fan of exercise, but somehow she finds herself training for the New York City Marathon mere months after she first takes up running. I’ve been running since I was in sixth grade, and my current goal is to complete the 2020 New York City Marathon. Our origins are very different, and yet we are one and the same.

Brittany Runs a Marathon understands certain core tenets about running, particularly that no matter how in shape or out of shape of you, the next challenge is always daunting. And no matter how much running becomes a part of your routine, the next run still feel sublime. That’s important, as it makes up for the fact that much of the non-running moments of this movie are kind of soul-crushing. As we watch Brittany make her way through the gig economy and deal with roommate issues and learn how to be an adult who regularly visits the doctor, we mostly get a cinematic effort that’s about at the level of a dimly lit sitcom, or a dramedy of malaise, or what have you. But when Brittany conquers the huffing and the puffing and the indiscriminate sweat as she makes her way through the five boroughs, a bit of transcendence manages to sneak up on us.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is Recommended If You Like: Cheering on runners of all skill levels

Grade: 3 out of 5 Sweat Patches

This Is a Movie Review: ‘Game Over Man’ Posits: What If ‘Die Hard,’ But with a Scene of Analingus?

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CREDIT: Cate Cameron/Netflix

This review was originally posted on News Cult in March 2018.

Starring: Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Neal McDonough, Jamie Demetriou, Aya Cash, Rhona Mitra, Sam Richardson, Daniel Stern

Director: Kyle Newacheck

Running Time: 98 Minutes

Rating: Not Rated, But It Would Be a Hard R for Nudity Leading to Violence, Leading to More Violence (Basically Both Naked and Clothed Bodies Are Mutilated and Exploded)

Release Date: March 23, 2018 (Streaming on Netflix)

Suppose you want to shamelessly rip off Die Hard. It’s a reasonable enough desire. Plenty of folks have done it already. It was practically its own sub-genre for a while there. The knockouts have tapered, but the original is still there for new generations to discover and grow up loving. Thus the Workaholics trio of Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, and Anders Holm have delivered to the bowels of the Netflix original realm Game Over, Man! in which the height of action thriller cinema is crossed with video game excess. What results is less a narrative movie and more a bizarre wish fulfillment fantasy.

Instead of off-duty cop John McClane, Game Over, Man! gives us The Dew Crew, three hotel workers thus named because of their affinity for a certain soft drink (even though we almost never see them drinking any Mountain Dew). Fashioning themselves entrepreneurs, they attempt to get financing for their “Skintendo Joysuit” (basically a full-body video game controller) from a vulgar celebrity (Utkarsh Ambudkar) partying at the hotel, but that is all derailed, of course, by a team of big-time thieves.

The Dew Crew get the McClane role by virtue of happenstance keeping them away while all the hostages are rounded up. So of course we know they will end up saving the day, but it is a wonder that they do not end up killing themselves instead. DeVine, for one, can never get beyond the mindset that they are in a real-life video game, as he remains singularly focused on getting the kill that the other two have already achieved. Anderson and Holm manage to have a little more awareness of the severity of the situation, but their survival is still mostly attributable to coincidence.

Anderson, DeVine, and Holm have clearly been given free rein to be as graphic as possible, and they take full advantage o. Body parts are variously mutilated and exploded, while there is plenty of male nudity, including one detached member that plays a pivotal climactic role. The shock routine is clearly meant to draw the laughs out, but the trouble is, there is no zest, no finesse to the deployment. Extremity for extremity’s sake can serve the purpose of disrupting snobbish tastes, but when you have an already receptive audience (which the Netflix algorithm will work to ensure), the effect is just numbing.

Game Over, Man! is Recommended If You Like: Excessive Violence and Excessive Comic Nudity

Grade: 2 out of 5 Vapes