Talents: Jason Bateman, Rohan Chand, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Philip Baker Hall. Written by : Andrew Dodge. Directed by : Jason Bateman.
Early Thoughts: I was impressed, I liked it. I like Jason Bateman but I’m not sure if I know anybody who doesn’t . He’s been on television since the early eighties beginning with the classic of all classic tv shows I have yet to see an episode of The Little House on the Prairie. And though this was his first feature film directing gig his first was at the tender age of 18 (the DGA’s youngest ever according to IMDB) on the show Valerie aka The Hogan Family. Since then he’s directed 11 episodes of 7 different TV shows including one episode of Arrested Development. It’s stuff like this that makes me consistently like JB. I assumed that by virtue of his being around long enough, driven by ego or boredom, he’d earned his right to direct but he seems to have taken his time bothering to learn the in and outs. He started behind a TV camera, which makes sense as it’s where he began and working up to running a film set. Based on the strength of this outing I’m tentatively curious to see if he takes a second crack at it anytime soon.
Tiera : Ultimately and oddly enough it’s a tale of revenge but also a solid, nuanced character driven piece against the back drop of a Children’s Spelling Bee. However unlike most revenge movie the structure here allows the protagonist to assemble the building blocks for a life post vengeance. This movie takes place in the real world, perhaps looked at through a darker lens both metaphorically and figuratively. I’m assuming it was a deliberate decision but either way it’s very effective and most importantly consistently executed.
Tiere : As I said before it’s a Jason Bateman movie, though we are treated (?) to a different side of him he’s dependably root-for-able as usual. If you like him, you’ll like the movie. Katherine Hahn, most recognizable from ridiculous comedies, plays this one straight and delivers a steady and impressive performance as his confidant / love interest / therapist. She is a great mirror for the frustration we experience. Also it delves into some interesting and somewhat unique family dynamics without becoming maudlin, we are afforded an insight into what makes the two main characters tick. On a bit of a depressing note, fellow comedic stalwart Philip Baker Hall really shows his age here. . He’s good but I think he may have delayed retirement a bit too long. That’s all I’ll say
Tiero : A lot of ‘Bad Words’ are spouted from all corners of this picture. Jason Bateman delivers some dynamic lines punctuated by his dead pan delivery but by the reactions of his targets. Genuine Jack-ass inspired montage of decadence involving a minor undergoing various rites of passage including underage drinking and a visit to a prostitute. Also some solid bathroom humour including the old lobster in the toilet gag, a couple of cool car sequences and just the right amount of comeuppance delivered to those who deserve it most. As I said, this is a real world picture and it does it’s job well, not that I’m calling it believable but it exists just inside the bracket of great nonsense that makes movies such an effective medium.