Skip to content

Tag: Cinema

MOVIE REVIEW: Like a Boss

Score

2.5: Pretty Bad

Summary

A not-funny comedy. Skip it.

Vitals

Release Date: 10 January 2020
Studio: Paramount
Official Site:
http://likeabossmovie.com/
Director: Miguel Arteta
Writers: Sam Pitman, Adam Cole-Kelly
Rating: R
Running Time: 1h 23min
Starring: Salma Hayek, Rose Byrne, Tiffany Haddish
Genre: Comedy

Review

 Base Score: 2 (pretty bad)

I didn’t go into this movie with high expectations. It didn’t disappoint (because I was expecting it to be bad. It wasn’t bad as much as not good. I would have given it a base score of 3 (meh) but the movie had some actual problems.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start over.

Come see this movie and you could win a trip to Atlanta! Huh? First off, why are you trying to bribe me to see this movie? Is it that bad? Secondly… Atlanta? Is every other city bombed out? Did California and New York get consumed by fire? I don’t watch the news, so I’m not up-to-date on our Trumptastic Nation. Let me go check. Nope. They’re both still there. So let me go back to my second question.

Atlanta?

All right. I’ve done some research (on the Googles) and it looks like they are doing another promotion with a free trip to New York. Ok, ok. I retreat to my first question: “Why are you trying to bribe me to see this movie with a free trip?” And now there’s another question. Why did my area get tempted with a free trip to Atlanta and not New York? Was Disneyland even on the table? Maybe some place in Death Valley?

Ok, so you might have figured it out from review so far. I’d much rather talk about something other than the movie. That’s just how good it was.

Let’s dive right into the problems with the movie. Let’s look at the things that make you go, “Hmmmm.”

Two friends start a company. They have a half-million dollars in debt. They are in danger of closing. An investor wants to bail them out, and they ask for 51% of the company. That seems like a classic “Shark Tank” kind of move. You messed up your finances. You’re being offered a second chance. Why is this businesswoman (Selma Hayek) being portrayed as a less-than-nice person?

She backs down to 49%, on the grounds that the friends stay together. If they have a falling out, she get 51% again. So you know what is going to happen next. And we know the motivation of our angel investor.

I won’t spoil any of the rest of it, but that’s not the only time I cocked my head to the side. I said under my breath, “Yes, that’s how business works.”

The movie was also needlessly sexualized. Were they trying to be “cool” or “gritty?” The jokes certainly weren’t funny, sexual or not. That’s not entirely fair. I chuckled twice. The other guy in the theater chuckled four times. The two women in the theater did not laugh any times, that I heard. For those of you counting, the movie was attended by four of us.

Modifiers

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? Please don’t waste your money on a special screening. I don’t even think it’s available in 3D.

Would I see it again? No. I saw it. I’ll never see it again. If somebody recommends it, I will tell them it wasn’t worth it. (-.5)

Should I rent it? Buy it? No need to rent it. Wait a couple years for the “edited for TV” version to be played. Play it in the background while you are having another conversation. It will make good background noise.

Is it family safe? No, not even close. No nudity, but sexual talk and situations. Mild drug use. It wasn’t pornographic, but it wasn’t appropriate.

Did it have “the look?” No, it was just a standard comedy.

Did it have “the feels?” I had a tingle that might have turned into excitement. Then… no… maybe it was gas.

How I Score Movies

I love movies. I have my entire life. A darkened theater is my happy place. I have seen a lot of movies. I have a strong opinion about what makes a good movie and what makes a bad movie. In my experience, most movies are have something good in them.

I don’t like horror movies or very violent movies. I just don’t see them.

Over the years, I have developed a scoring system to tell one movie from another. Based on the old “5 star” method, I rank films like this.

5 Star = Excellent, Must-See
4 Star = Pretty Good
3 Star = Meh, Mediocre, Neither good nor bad
2 Star = Bad movie
1 Star = Horrible, very bad movie

I usually give 1-star ratings to any horror movie I am tricked into seeing. I do not like them, Sam I Am.

I start with this base score, and then I add different modifiers…

Modifying the Scores

Is it worth 3D, IMAX, or any other special viewing? Some movies were made for a huge screen. Others were made for 3D. 3D really shines where there are a lot of particles on the screen at one time. Dr. Strange was a good example of this.

But you have to spend more money to view in 3D, IMAX, or a special screen. For that reason, I only pony up the cash if I know it’s going to be good in that format. Or if the movie played really well in 2D and I’m going to see it again. “The Avengers: Endgame” was a good example of that.

Ultimately, movies are a 2D medium. I don’t hold it against a movie if it’s good or bad in 3D. I don’t give bonus points if it plays well in 3D. I don’t reward the rich, I just call it out.

Would I see it again? This is a good test of a movie’s “strength.” If I want to see the movie again, it’s a keeper. I give a +.5 score adjustment to one of these. On the other end, there’s some movies I actively discourage others from seeing. For these, I will take away .5 points.

Good recent examples are “Spies In Disguise” (a Must-See) and “Midsommar”…. the latter was so horrific, I almost contemplated never seeing a movie again. I wondered, “Is this the current state of films?” I finally returned to the theater (it’s my happy place!), but I no longer make it a point to see every film.

Should I rent it? Buy it? This is another measure of a movie’s strength and staying power. It can also be a measure of a movie’s mediocrity. You might want to skip the large screen and dive into the small screen first. You could have a perfectly acceptable movie that just isn’t worth spending your hard-earned folding money on.

Maybe you should own a copy and add it to your own collection… This is especially true of really good movies or family-friendly movies (“Yes, kids, we can watch ‘Barney Goes to Jail’ one more time”).

If it’s not strong enough for the big screen, I take away .5 points. If it’s worth buying, I add .5 points.

Is it family safe? It’s hard to find a family-safe movie nowadays. Movies are pushing PG-13 and R. It seems like everything wants to be “gritty” and “real.” Bleck.

What’s wrong with a PG movie? What’s wrong with a G movie? I applaud the family-friendly movies with a .5 point boost.

Did it have “the look?” I am an artist. I dabbled in film work. I can spot some dazzling camera work, costume design, and set design. Some movies just have a unique style and look to them. Movies that do a particularly good job get a .5 point adjustment.

Also watch for these films to perform well at the next Oscars.

Did it have “the feels?” I can feel when a movie is good. It hits me right in the chest. If it’s particularly strong, it brings tears to my eyes–not because it’s sad. Because it’s awesome.

Usually, a triumphant moment where characters work together toward a common goal creates this feeling. It can elevate a movie from “pretty good” to “must-see.”

This one is hard to explain. A movie either “has it” or it does not. The first “Toy Story” movie made me cry because it was just so cool.

5+ and 0- Movies

Yes, it possible to have movies that have more than a perfect score or less than a horrible score. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles. You have one movie that just has something special. You have another movie that’s many levels of horrible. That’s why we do these here movie reviews.

With an evening movie running $20, you should do a little research.

If you go to as many movies as I do, you should consider Regal Unlimited, but that’s a topic for another day.

What if I Don’t Agree with You?

My movie reviews are polarizing. I don’t know why. I just write what I feel.

Some people really agree with me.

Some people really do not agree with me.

I haven’t seen a lot of in-between.

What kind of person are you?

If you find that you hate my reviews, you’ll find a list of movies that are “Must-See” for you.

Enjoy!

Featured image photo by Nathan Engel from Pexels

This article was also published over at Medium.com