SCOTT’S FILM GEEK JOURNAL – Day 3: Hot Tub Armageddon

Scott’s Film Geek Journal is a daily account of all the films I watched in a given day. No full-length reviews here (unless they’re being linked), these are brief rundowns of my daily viewing habits. Some films I’m seeing for the first time, some I’m seeing for the hundredth. Some days will only have one or two entries, some will have more. But this should give a clearer picture of where I’m at on a daily basis. Hope you enjoy it!

DAY 3: JANUARY 3, 2013

hot_tub_time_machine_ver2_xlgHOT TUB TIME MACHINE (2010) – While watching THE SURE THING the night before, I noticed that the pivotal role of “Football Player” was filled by Steve Pink – as in the same guy who has collaborated with John Cusack on many of his productions and directed HOT TUB TIME MACHINE. So that makes Tim Robbins, Jeremy Piven and Steve Pink, among others, who have continued to collaborate with Cusack for more than twenty years. Not saying they didn’t deserve their fame or couldn’t have achieved it otherwise. I’m just saying that Cusack remembers the people he enjoys working with and it pays to be his friend.

I was really shocked when this film didn’t become a huge hit back in 2010. And when it didn’t become a box office hit, I thought for sure it would be a sleeper hit and develop a cult following. I was wrong on both counts – something that happens with increasing frequency.

However, I still think there’s a lot to recommend in this film. In fact, I probably enjoy it more on repeat viewings. The film is funny and features a lot of great lines that get lost in the shuffle during the first viewing. One caveat: even at just 101 minutes (for the unrated version anyway), this film still feels like it runs too long. Despite all the great bits, this would play like gangbusters as a 90 minute flick.   ★★★ (out of ★★★★)

day_xlgTHE DAY (2012)first viewing – After an unnamed apocalypse has caused society to break down, a small group of travelers take shelter from a storm in an abandoned farmhouse. They realize too late that the farmhouse is actually a trap, alerting the nearby tribe of cannibals that their latest meal is ready to be harvested.

Much of this film plays like a smaller version of THE ROAD. The cinematography is similar, muted colors bordering on monochrome. Lots of dampness and overcast skies. And lots and lots of ruminations on the state of the crumbling world. In fact, there was too much of this. By the time we get to the actual siege, the film has barely a half hour to go.

Still, the acting is good. Ashley Bell (THE LAST EXORCISM) in particular does a very good job and I hope she continues to excel. The script is more intelligent than one would expect, even if the cannibal aspect was touched upon in the previously mentioned THE ROAD as well as the After Dark film TOOTH & NAIL from a few years back. Definitely worth a look.   ★★★ (out of ★★★★)

Total films watched in 2013 so far: 8

My soundtrack for January 3, 2013: “All the way….”



Categories: Scott W. Davis, Scott's Film Geek Journal

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