Completely Random Move Review “Young Adult”

young adult movie posterWarning: Spoilers

Occasionally I like to watch random movies that I have never heard of.  Yesterday I was in one of those moods, so I randomly selected a movie from Netflix, and what popped up was the move “Young Adult”  starring Charlize Theron.

I was immediately intrigued by this movie because it begins with Mavis (played by Ms. Theron) going through a morning routine. My husband and I were laughing because it was almost identical to what I do in the mornings.  Then we discover that Mavis is a writer, a ghost writer actually, of a series of Young Adult books that are extremely popular.  As she reads her e-mail we can see that the series is ending and she is writing the last book.  Also within her e-mail is a baby announcement sent from her ex-boyfriend in her home town.  She is obviously disturbed by this announcement and prints the picture of the baby.

After some thought, a talk with a random friend who is only in the one scene of the movie, and a one-night stand, Mavis decides to pack up and drive back to her hometown of Mercury, Minnesota. When she arrives she calls her ex…his name is buddy…tells him that she is in town for a “real-estate thing” and invites him to have a drink, which he accepts, but tells her he can’t meet her until the following day.

She ends up at a bar and sits next to a man named Matt who was someone she went to high school with.  His name is Matt and he walks with a cane and a limp because in high school he was the victim of a hate crime because the jocks at the school thought he was gay.  It left him permanently scarred.  They get into a conversation and after a couple of rounds of drinks, Mavis tells Matt that she is there to hook back up with her ex (Buddy).  Matt tells her that Buddy is happily married with a baby, and Mavis tells him that she doesn’t care because she and Buddy were meant to be together.

The following day she meets up with Buddy at a local restaurant and they have a kind of awkward conversation.  Buddy then asks Mavis to join him the following night to a bar to watch his wife perform in a rock band made up of local mothers.  She agrees.

The day they meet up at the bar, Mavis is dressed very provocatively.  The band begins (and they are really bad) and Mavis spends a good deal of the night flirting shamelessly with Buddy and drinking.  Matt is also there and warns her to back off.  At the end of the evening Buddy’s wife says she is going out with the band for awhile, so Buddy takes Mavis home. They are both drunk, and the evening ends with them kissing.

In the following days Mavis confides in Matt, telling him about the kiss, and abut her plan to get Buddy back.  Her plan simply consists of her dressing like a slut and flirting, all the while implying that the baby isn’t even Buddy’s.

Then she receives a phone call from Buddy asking her attend his baby’s “naming ceremony”.  She decides this would be a perfect time for her to profess her love, so she goes to a spa, gets a full treatment, buys a new outfit, and brings a gift for the baby.  When she arrives at the party she asks Buddy if she can speak to him privately.  He reluctantly says yes, and when she has him alone she confesses her love, and tries to kiss him again.  He pushes her away, tells her that she is pathetic,and asks her to leave.  She doesn’t leave.  What she does do is get drunk and scream at Buddy’s wife.  It is at this point that we learn that when Mavis was 20, she was pregnant with Buddy’s baby.  She lost the baby at 12 weeks, and exclaims that Beth (Buddy’s wife) is leading the life that should belong to Mavis.  Everyone at the party is stunned into silence, and Mavis storms away.

She ends up at Matt’s house.  She tells him what happen, and she and Matt end up sleeping together, but the next morning she decides that it is time to start her life over and drives back to her home in Minneapolis.  The movie ends rather abruptly, but with the implication that Mavis is ready to move on from being a “young adult” to a woman.

I liked that the movie wasn’t all that predictable.  I really thought that at some point there would be another love interest that comes along…and Matt does not count as a love interest.

This critic gives this random movie a solid 3.5 stars

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Random movie review “Occupant” 2011

occupant-movie-poster-2010-1020710354

I enjoy watching “scary” movies that are not too mainstream.  I often browse Netflix or Hulu searching for something scary to add spice to my day.  Such was the case with Occupant.

Warning: spoilers

This film begins with an older woman, in her bed, dying…apparently afraid of something.  Cut to a scene of a man who is in New York being filmed by a complete stranger for a vlog.  He tells her that he is on his way to identify the remains of his grandmother.  He tells the girl to stop filming him, and then tells her where he works and other random details about his life.  He identifies his grandmothers remains…stating that he didn’t really know her.  Enter Joe.  Joe is a doorman for the building.  He tells Danny to get a lawyer because the apartment is huge and rent controlled and the lawyer can fix it so that he can live there for the same low rent.  Danny meets with lawyer, and the lawyer tells him it will take twelve days to get the court order…so for twelve days he cannot leave the apartment or they will kick him out.

He moves two duffel bags full of stuff and a cat into the apartment and suddenly things get weird.  Not only do they get weird…but the viewer is left much of the time just scratching her head.  There is a man who is not Joe, but who is dressed as a doorman, who comes into the apartment and leaves a Bible.  This is never explained.  Danny starts to hear strange noises coming from the closet, and discovers a hole in the wall of the closet.  He staples wallpaper over it and it appears to breathe.

Then, out of nowhere the chick with the vlog shows up.  She apparently had gone to his work where his boss just gives her his address.  They have a spontaneous dinner…followed by spontaneous sex…which she films…and she gets up in the middle of the night to snoop around his apartment.  She pans the camera and the viewers see a human figure in a doorway…this is never mentioned or shown again…after that she is attacked by something which her camera does not catch.  Danny wakes up in the morning…notices the chick is gone…but figures she left during the night.

Later though he finds her camera, watches the footage…does not seemed bothered that she filmed them having sex…and sets the camera up on a bookcase, hoping to capture something on film. The next day the camera is found on the floor…broken

Meanwhile, Joe is buying his groceries, his grandmothers shoes keep disappearing and reappearing, the cat acts strangely, and the landlord threatens to have him evicted.

There is one part of the film where Joe brings Danny painting supplies…tells him to make it his own.  He begins to paint the bedroom….incidentally there are three bedrooms in the house yet he chooses to sleep in his grandmothers bed…where she died.  Anyway the paint is bright red…and he paints about 5 feet of the wall and is distracted by a noise.  The hole in the closet is back.

He never returns to painting…so there is just a big red splash of paint on the wall for the rest of the movie.  He shuts the closet door and pushes a dresser in front of it.  His eyes start to look tired…he is irritable…and he is paranoid about the landlord kicking him out.

Then there is a scene where a painter falls to his death.  This is never explained or revisited.  Danny tells Joe about the noises and then Joe calls an exterminator. The exterminator shows up and tells Danny it will take an hour.  Danny apparently falls asleep.  The exterminator finds the cat in its crate and goes to spray him…to kill him.  The viewer is led to believe that the cat dies…but the camera view switches.

Then Joe wakes Danny up and asks if the exterminator is still there.  Danny takes a look around his apartment and finds the exterminator dead in the closet, with his feet in the hole in the wall.  His mouth is covered with yellow foam, indicating that he was killed with the exterminator poison. Not wanting to deal with police, he wraps the body in a carpet and drags it down the stairs…leaving it in the stairwell.

On his way back into his apartment he runs into his neighbor, who says something like “funny seeing you twice in one day”  this confuses Danny who doesn’t recall seeing this man before.

Later we see Danny feeding his cat…not dead after all.  There is a scene where Danny is talking to himself in the mirror…giving himself a pep talk about how they were not going to get to him.  Then he looks away…but the reflection is still looking straight ahead.  This is also never explained.

Later Danny goes to feed his cat, and cant find him.  He does find a bloody claw and then goes crazy, hacking a hole in the red part of the wall because he thinks his cat is in there.  Then the doorbell buzzes and it is the neighbor with a cop…telling him to keep the noise down.  They ask him what the smell is…and he says dinner.

He goes into the kitchen, opens the oven and pulls out a casserole dish which contains his cooked cat.

After that he goes a little insane.  He asks Joe for wire and cutters, and places wire all over the apartment.  He makes crude weapons, and barricades himself inside the wire fort.

The twelfth day arrives, but Danny cannot get a hold of the lawyer…and because he has gone insane in twelve days, decides to kill himself by placing nails in a plank of wood, suspending it in a doorway, and just before he impales himself he has flashbacks…him with the girl…him with the cat…him in the apartment…and a scene of his grandmothers death.  Then he cuts the rope and dies just moments before his lawyer delivers the court order.

Then a new family moves in.  A boy finds the camera, and the laptop, plugs the sd card into the laptop and watches the video.  We see Danny dragging the body of the girl down the hallway, the he sees the camera and throws it.

This leaves the viewer with a few answers…but more questions.  Apparently Danny is a sleep walker.  He killed his grandmother, as that is the only explanation for why he flashed back to her death, he also apparently pushed the painter, killed the girl, and killed the exterminator when he tried to kill the cat…but then he himself killed the cat…all while asleep.

This does not explain the weird guy with the Bible, the mysterious hole in the wall that appears to breath, or the deal with the shoes.

In conclusion it is a slow movie with a few scary parts, it leaves the viewer unsatisfied and filled with questions.  The acting was mediocre.  This critic gives it 2 stars.