5 Quick Reviews of 5 (Recently) Bad Movies on DVD

This is my 5 Quick Reviews of 5 Bad Movies on DVD and Home Video. You see, I haven’t completely retired the 5 Quick Reviews format. I save it for special occasions. But these aren’t reviews so much as me ranting about how bad these movies are. I’ve seen bad movies. I’ve seen a lot of bad movies. I skip reviewing most of them because I don’t even want to write about them. Or they’re just not worth their own posts.

MI5 takedown

“Who’s not worth their own post?” “Not you. He didn’t mean you.” “That’s right.”

These are five movies I saw recently that weren’t worth a post but I thought I’d mention them here just in case you were on the fence about seeing them. I’m here to talk you out of it. I’m here to talk you off the damn fence. These movies suck.

Pixels Review 2In every single one of these cases, I knew I was about to see a bad movie before I watched it. But for some reason I did it anyway. Like reading the warning as if it were the instructions. Like the word POISON was put on the bottle as a challenge or a dare.

"Hey. Hey. The dumb guys are here. Bring on the bad movies."

“Hey. Hey. The dumb guys are here. Bring on the bad movies.”

But in two of these cases, I just couldn’t do it. I’m getting older and don’t have the time to waste on these things like I used to. But I sat through three of them.

“I have been to the bleeding edge of boredom & disgust and come back. Listen to me.”

To the reviews…

Aloha (Columbia Pictures)

Aloha poster

Written & Directed by Cameron Crowe

Starring Bradley CooperEmma StoneRachel McAdamsBill MurrayJohn KrasinskiDanny McBride & Alec Baldwin

Aloha, um… is terrible. I don’t know about the controversy with Emma Stone playing a character that’s one-quarter Hawaiian. I was more troubled that she was a quarter Hawaiian and a quarter Chinese. That was a stretch. If it was just one quarter Hawaiian and three quarters plain ole white girl, I’m good. But Chinese and Hawaiian… no. Although mostly I was bothered because, in this movie at least, she’s really bad. Bad acting.

Emma Stone in Aloha

“But I thought you were a fan. (sob) Didn’t you want me to win the Oscar?”

And I was a fan. I wanted her to win the Oscar last year for Birdman (that was last year right?). But whatever. It’s all bad. Aloha is bad in almost every way. Except for one… The last scene in the movie is outstanding. Had me weeping. Honestly. So if you can make it that far, (It’s a really really bad movie), that last scene is very cool. last scene right before the credits.

aloha-movie-bradley-cooper-emma-stone

“Is he allowed to like something about the movie?” “Hey, I don’t know. This is new for me. I’m usually in good movies.” “That’s so nice for you. I was in Spider-man and he hated that shit.”

You know what. I’ll tell you guys about the scene so you don’t have to watch it. Bradley spends the whole movie wondering if his ex-girlfriend’s daughter is his. The two give each other knowing looks. Everybody pretty much knows but not really. And then he finds out and the regular movie is over but there’s this throwaway scene before the credits where he’s watching her through the glass outside his daughter’s dance class and she spots him looking and then she starts crying while she tries to keep dancing and he starts crying and there are no words. And it’s beautiful. I wish it were in a different movie. But other than that the movie’s not worth the time or electricity it uses to watch it. For every reason you can think, it is horrible. I’m not even going to waste my time listing them all.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Paramount Pictures)

MI5 Poster

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie

Written by Christopher McQuarrie & Drew Pearce  Based on Mission: Impossible by Bruce Geller

Starring Tom CruiseJeremy RennerSimon PeggRebecca FergusonVing RhamesSean Harris & Alec Baldwin

Mission Impossible is a rehash of all the other MI films. This one would be MI:5 (and now you see why they abandoned that format) Rogue Nation offers nothing more than a new hot girl agent. There’s always a new hot girl agent. It’s formulaic and it’s boring. It’s an action film with chases and fights and shootouts and so-called excitement. But having seen it all before. It has become a paint-by-numbers spectacle of boredom.

Mission-Impossible-Rogue-Nation

“Should I shoot him?” “He’s right.” “I know. But should I shoot him?” “It’s not worth it.”

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a waste of time and money. If you’ve seen one, you’ve see them all. Just close your eyes and take a couple of minutes to remember what it was like watching any of the other films in the Mission Impossible franchise. Any.

Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation

“Should we shoot him?” “I don’t know. I was in Avengers. He likes me.” “I was in Edge of Tomorrow and Minority Report and…” “I get it. You’re Tom Cruise. So I guess we shouldn’t shoot him.” “No. The movie is bad. But let’s keep pointing our guns. It looks cool.”

Now open your eyes. Remember all of those chases and shootouts? I’ve just saved you two hours of annoying eye strain and endless familiarity… and Tom Cruise. You’re welcome. Now go put those two extra hours to good use.

Self/Less (Focus Features)

Self-Less poster

Directed by Tarsem Singh

Written by David Pastor & Àlex Pastor

Starring Ryan ReynoldsNatalie MartinezMatthew GoodeVictor GarberDerek Luke & Ben Kingsley

Self/Less is nothing special. In fact it’s a great big load of humdrum. It doesn’t feel like a Tarsem Singh movie at all. It isn’t visually stunning or even mildly interesting. Did he do this movie as a dare? Is he late on his boat payment? What the hell happened?

Ryan Reynolds in Self-Less

“So I guess we’re pointing guns now?” “Shut up. I was in Green Lantern. I’m no Tom Cruise. This is all I got.” ” Aren’t you in Deadpool?” “Oh yeah. Right. Thanks for reminding me. Sorry about the gun.” “No problem.”

I’m not really a big fan of Tarsem Singh, but at least I was able to say that his movies are works of art, if not particularly good cinema. They are gorgeous to look at. This is just bland.

Self-Less

Sir Ben Kingsley is barely in the movie. And this mirror thing where Ryan’s on one side and Ben is on the other, never happens. Would have been much cooler if it had.

Self/Less is a movie about body swapping and trying to live forever but the body swapping technology isn’t explained enough for even the least attentive to detail, mild science fiction fan. Self/Less is a waste of time. There’s nothing of value here. Move along.

———————————————————————–

And here at the end we have two movies that I couldn’t get through. I couldn’t do it. I can usually find something redeeming about a film that keeps me watching, but with these next two I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t watch.

Dragon Blade (Intercontinental Film Distributors)

dragon-blade-poster

Written & Directed by Daniel Lee

Starring Jackie ChanJohn CusackAdrien Brody & Lin Peng

Okay I barely lasted five minutes here. I couldn’t watch Dragon Blade more than five minutes. But you’ve got to understand, this was a special case. Dragon Blade took five minutes away from my life. It was five whole minutes before I realized I was going to be yelling at my screen for the entire running time and it would have left me in a very bad mood. Five whole minutes.

Jackie Chan in Dragon Blade

“Five minutes? I was shooting this movie for five months. You got off easy.”

Full disclosure. Two of those minutes were the distributor and production company logos and the opening titles and credits. But three minutes after that I easily recognized Dragon Blade would be the worse movie I would ever see. Simply judging from the bad acting (in two languages) and the stupid story. So I spared myself Dragon Blade. And I’ve thanked me ever since. I wake up in the morning and think of this movie and say, “Well done, Mel. You really dodged a bullet on that one.”

Pixels (Columbia Pictures)

Pixels poster

Directed by Chris Columbus

Written by Tim Herlihy & Timothy Dowling  Based on Pixels by Patrick Jean

Starring Adam SandlerKevin JamesMichelle MonaghanPeter DinklageJosh GadBrian CoxAshley Benson & Jane Krakowski

Pixels is a stupid movie. This is some stupid crap. I got about 15 minutes in and thought to myself, “This is a dumb guy movie.” Adam Sandler is cornering the dumb guy market at this moment in history. And the main attribute of dumb guy cinema is that it not only doesn’t have to be good or make any sense, but it makes more money, if it isn’t good and doesn’t make sense. Dumb guy want dumb movie. 

Pixels Review

Videogame console players. Alien invasion. Sounds like a cool idea. But Pixels is some stupid crap. Kevin James plays the president. (It’s that stupid) But you know what? Even dumb guys need to be entertained. So may I suggest jingling keys instead of this movie. Honestly. Jingling keys has more substance than this thing.

So to recap…

These movies are bad. Don’t waste your time.

Happy New Year,

– Mel

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Spared or Spoiled Reviews: Straight Outta Compton

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)

Straight Outta Compton

Directed by F. Gary Gray

Written by S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus, Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman & Andrea Berloff

Starring O’Shea Jackson, Jr.Corey HawkinsJason Mitchell & Paul Giamatti

Straight Outta Compton is a poorly written and hopelessly wordy bio pic. There’s just too much talking. For a story about a rock band (yes I just called them a rock band… it’s all rock people wake up) they skip the fun parts to show the constant turmoil. It starts off good enough. Showing the forming of the seminal gangsta rap group, and that part is fantastic. I love the music and seeing them come together is loads of fun. But then they spend the rest of the movie on their feuds and battles and it’s not even interesting. It’s boring. They’re just talking. The direction and the story are garbage. The acting is not good enough to carry all the drama. And the only time I got excited was when they introduced another of their classic songs. That’s it. Not a good movie at all.

Verdict: SPOILED

NWA in the Studio from Straight Outta Compton

“That was dope, E” “I don’t know. It sounded more like E flat to me.”

SPOILER ALERT

It’s hard to spoil this one because like with the Amy Winehouse bio pic, you know he dies at the end. Easy E dies of AIDS. And this is the only true drama. The rest is bickering and contracts and a cavalcade of look-a-likes. Here’s Pac and Suge and Snoop. It’s like a wax museum exhibit called the History of Gangsta Rap.

Straight Outta Compton Snoop look-a-like

Snoop look-a-like. (fo shizzle)

I was a big NWA fan. But I kept it to myself. Always listened to them on my headphones. Not because they were controversial. Public Enemy were a thousand times more controversial and I blasted that shit as loud as I could. Nah. I grew up in New York. I wasn’t supposed to like the West Coast Rap scene better. But I did. I really did.

Dr Dre and Eazy E in Straight Outta Compton

“Whatchu talkin’ bout Melvin? I thought this was a movie review.”

The clever use of Parliament Funkadelic and George Clinton and James Brown and the swagger in the vocal tracks. This was my shit. Ice Cube’s lyrics were funny as fuck and the imagery was cool. The whole thing screamed “Cool.” Don’t shoot me but West Coast Rap was better. (sorry Atlantic Ocean)

Fuck Tha Police Straight Outta Compton

“We just wanted to inform you boys that there are some corporations in the area. You know how those ‘people’ like to break the law. Just be careful. Don’t sign anything without reading it first,” “Thank you officer. You have a good day now.”

A quick word on the East Coast. Everybody but Jay Z is shit. P Diddy is full on crap. Biggie was largely over-rated. It was sugary and fake. However, if you went back to beginnings. It was all happening in the East. I was a big fan of KRS one and Eric B & Rakim and like everyone else owned all the whack hits of Sugarhill Gang and Run DMC. (But I recognized that their rhymes were childish and their backing tracks were disco).

Tupac look-a-like in Straight Outta Compton

Tupac look-a-like (Tupac lives)

Then Dre started bringing the funk back and Ice Cube introduced bitter truth and not just bragging and trying to get laid. Sure they were still bragging and trying to get laid, but it was less bubblegum and more cigarettes and beer. So my East Coast was P.E. (political consciousness) and my West Coast was real stories from the street. And all the rest of rap can (in the immortal words of Ice Cube) “Eat a Dick.”

Straight Outta Compton Movie

“Did somebody out here just say ‘Eat a dick’?” “Yo homie that’s my line. I trademarked that shit. Just like Taylor Swift trademarked, ‘This sick beat.'” “You owe us some money, motherfucker.”

You may have noticed that I’ve spent this entire review talking about rap music and not about the movie. It’s just that boring. How do you make an NWA movie, about true musical geniuses (I put Dr. Dre in the same class as Mozart or Miles Davis in a heartbeat), and not make it feel like you’ve watched something that was a cross between Boyz in The Hood, Amadeus and Animal House… WTF.

Straight Outta Compton

“Are you the villain in this movie or is it me?” “I’m the only white guy so I think it’s me.” “There are other white people.” “And they’re all villains aren’t they?” “You have a point.”

The music is the only thing good about Straight Outta Compton. The music and the fact that all the actors looked so much like the real people (Ice Cube’s son plays his father in the movie). But they don’t play enough of each song. And these young dudes can barely act. I’m sorry. They’re not bad, but they’re not good enough to spend two hours listening to them talk about contracts and record deals and “bitches & money.”

NWA Straight Outta Compton

One of the best albums of all time. (not just best rap album)

Straight Outta Compton is boring. But the album Straight Outta Compton and the part in the movie where they show the making of the album are awesome.

– Mel

Spared or Spoiled Reviews: Sicario

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Sicario (Lionsgate)

Sicario poster

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Written by Taylor Sheridan

Starring Emily BluntBenicio del ToroJosh Brolin & Victor Garber

Sicario is a throwback crime drama. About the Mexican-American drug trafficking and kidnapping cartels. Emily Blunt is at her badass best and the film drips with suspense mixed with testosterone. This is good film-making. Good writing. And nothing is taken for granted. Sicario is violent and gritty and political and very cool. With an unflinching realism that may leave some viewers cold. Not me. I love that shit.

Verdict: SPARED

Sicario

First of all, Emily Blunt is becoming a top-tier action star. She still has that “Full Metal Bitch” body from Edge of Tomorrow, as she plays a FBI agent who is tasked with being the liaison between government agencies but she suspects the agency she’s working for is the CIA or worse.

Emily Blunt in Sicario

The acting is stellar. Jeffrey Donovan shows up in a small role. And this guy has found a second act that is going to be a joy to watch. With his role in Fargo and now this, I am pumped to see him in dramatic roles. After Burn Notice, I’m loving his choices. Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin play opposite Emily as operatives from an unknown agency and they are fantastic as always. In Sicario, there are great performances all around.

Benecio del Toro, Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt in Sicario

Sicario keeps us in the dark for most of the way, so we know no more than the agent, as she tries to do the right thing; to operate by the book. But she finds she’s always one step behind and still in the dark. The film is brutal in the way it treats her. Trigger warnings. She spends some time at the mercy of mean large men and it can be difficult to watch. But I applaud the film for its unflinching realism. It would be so easy to make her super-powered or unrealistically capable. She’s bad-ass but she’s not a superhero.

Sicario Mexican Border Crossing

Sicario starts out as one movie and then becomes something different. So if you feel that the first half is frustrating, the second half moves like a meditation. A meditation in violence and revenge. But it’s very satisfying. Sicario is like a 70’s cop drama. They were always hard to watch because of the suspense and the sinking suspicion that something extremely violent was always just about to happen. Sicario is the same way. Like something from early Al Pacino or Clint or Bronson but instead of a lawless American city. This is the border. This is Mexico. The tunnels. The drug war. It’s very good.

Emily Blunt gun Sicario

Sicario is gritty and violent and unflinchingly real and Emily Blunt is great in it. She makes a very believable female action-adventure, drama rock star. I want to see her do more.

– Mel

Songs That Define Me: Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell is probably my favorite songwriter. He writes from a place where I spend a great deal of my time. Former addict. Former asshole. Talented fucker.

As part of my Songs That Define Me series, here are five of my favorite Chris Cornell songs. Two solo. Three from Soundgarden.

I love his Temple of the Dog stuff too. Reach Down is one of my favorite songs of all time and the song I want played at my funeral. But that song doesn’t really define me. It’s more of an aspiration.

And I like his stuff with Audioslave… musically. But he phones it in lyrically on every thing they do. Still great songwriting. Great poetry. Just light on substance.

chris cornell

But anyway these are songs that mean a lot to me. They make me feel good. They make me feel like I’m not alone in my experiences and they get me pumped. All five of these song have been known to pull me out of depression. I include the lyrics with each. And for each I chose an acoustic version just because without all the extra production value you can really hear the songs.

The first two are self-explanatory and need no introduction.

Fell On Black Days by Soundgarden (from Superunknown)

Whatsoever I’ve feared has come to life.
Whatsoever I’ve fought off became my life.
Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile.
Sunspots have faded and now I’m doing time. Now I’m doing time.

Cause I fell on black days. I fell on black days.

Whomsoever I’ve cured I’ve sickened now
Whomsoever I’ve cradled I’ve put you down
I’m a search light soul they say
But I can’t see it in the night
I’m only faking when I get it right. When I get it right.

Cause I fell on black days. I fell on black days.

How would I know that this could be my fate?

How would I know that this could be my fate?

So what you wanted to see good has made you blind
And what you wanted to be yours has made it mine
So don’t you lock up something that you wanted to see fly
Hands are for shaking
Not tying, no not tying

I sure won’t mind a change.

I sure won’t mind a change.

I sure won’t mind a change.

I sure won’t mind. I sure don’t mind a change.

But I fell on black days. I fell on black days.

How would I know that this could be my fate?

But I sure won’t mind a change.

———————————————————————

Blow Up The Outside World by Soundgarden (from Down on the Upside)

Nothing seems to kill me no matter how hard I try.
Nothing is closing my eyes
Nothing can bring me down for your pain or delight. No.
And nothing seems to break me
No matter how far I fall nothing can break me at all
Not one for giving up though not invincible.

I know.

I’d give you everything I need
I’d give you everything I own
Then everything could at least be ours alone
I’d give you everything I could
To blow it to hell and gone
Burrow down in and
Blow up the outside. Blow up the outside. Blow up the outside world.

Someone tried to tell me something,
“Don’t let the world bring you down”
Nothing can do me in before I do myself
So save it for your own and the ones you can help.

I’d give you everything I need
I’d give you everything I own
I’d give in if it could at least be ours alone
I’d give you everything I could
To blow it to hell and gone
Burrow down in and
Blow up the outside. Blow up the outside. Blow up the outside world.

Want to make it understood
Wanting though I never would
Trying though I know it’s wrong
Blowing it to hell and gone
Wishing though I never could
Blow up the outside world.

Blow up the outside.

Blow up the outside world.

———————————————————-

This next one is probably my favorite of his songs. This is an acoustic version like all the others but the driving rock version of this song is exhilarating.

No Such Thing by Chris Cornell (from Carry On)

I saw the world, it was beautiful
But the rain got in and ruined it all
Then I tried to be invisible
It was impossible
Even for me

I laughed at love, it was a big mistake
In the absence of I filled it with hate

‘Cause there’s no such thing as nothing
Yeah There’s no such thing as nothing at all

I had the brains not to think at all
But the rain got in
And I thought too hard
On the world, and as usual
I saw too far into the void.

I tried to make everything meaningless
But the rain got in and made it a mess!

‘Cause there’s no such thing as nothing
Yeah there’s no such thing as nothing at all
Yeah there’s no such thing as nothing
But my finger’s on the trigger
And I’ll turn off the world

So what gives me the right
To think that I could throw away a life?
Even mine

And what makes you believe
That you could get away with getting old?
Overlapping me

Maybe to lose or to save your soul
Is a choice of how you fill the hole

But the rain got in…

‘Cause there’s no such thing as nothing
Yeah there’s no such thing as nothing at all
There’s no such thing as nothing
But my finger’s on the trigger
That’ll turn off the world.

—————————————————————–

This next song is political but very personal. It has a triple meaning for me (as an addict and as a schizophrenic). Doing something you know is wrong but doing it anyway. Doing something you know is killing you but doing it anyway. Silencing the voices that say no. At the beginning Chris explains the songs meaning. This is a terrible video but a great version of the song.

Silence The Voices by Chris Cornell (form Carry On)

There the soldiers, in the sunlight
Kill the center of a man in endless suicide.
By the night light, in forever sky
Is a holstered, bridled child spinning around the flame.
Each is loved now or remembered
By the mask they wore years before their future.
And the horse falls in the smoke filled riot
The center of a child grows a new disguise.

Where are the songs from the sane minds?
And where are words from the sound mouths?
I can’t understand how they silence the voices that say no.

It’s a new day, in the old life.
He looks healthy with a tan on the white sheet
Across the table, where the blood dries
Where infinity will greet these earthly confines.

Where are the songs from the sane minds?
And where are words from the sound mouths?
I can’t understand how they silence the voices.

That say no
That say no

It’s a new day, in the old life
In the silence of the absence.

Where are the songs from the sane minds?
And where are words from the sound mouths?
I can’t understand how they silence the voices.

That say no

I can’t understand how they silence the voices.

——————————————————————

This next song is one of those rare songs that make me angry-happy. Just an amazing anthem to the frustrations of banging your head against the wall of being alive.

The Day I Tried To Live by Soundgarden (from Superunknown)

I woke the same as any other day
Except a voice was in my head
It said, “Seize the day, pull the trigger,
Drop the blade
And watch the rolling heads.”

The day I tried to win
I dangled from the power lines
And let the martyrs stretch.

The day I tried to live
I stole a thousand beggar’s change
And gave it to the rich.

Singing one more time around
(Might do it)
One more time around
(Might make it)
One more time around
(Might do it)
One more time around
The day I tried to live

The words you say never seem
To live up to the ones
Inside your head.
The lives we make
Never seem to ever get us anywhere
But dead.

The day I tried to live
I wallowed in the blood and mud with
All the other pigs.

One more time around
(Might do it)
One more time around
(Might make it)
One more time around
(Might do it)
One more time around
The day I tried to live

I woke the same as any other day you know
I should have stayed in bed

The day I tried to win
I wallowed in the blood and mud with
All the other pigs.

And I learned that I was a liar

I learned that I was a liar

I learned that I was a liar

I learned that I was alive.

Singing one more time around
(Might do it)
One more time around
(Might make it)
One more time around
(Might do it)
One more time around
On the day I tried to live

Just like you.

(singing one more time around)

– Mel

Spared or Spoiled Reviews: Amy

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Amy (Altitude Film Distribution)

Amy-poster

Directed by Asif Kapadia

Starring Amy Winehouse

Amy is the heartbreaking and tragic tale of a jazz singer. I was never a fan of her music. Although I, like everyone else, owned Back to Black. The album is amazing. I just wasn’t a fan of her style. I always thought it was contrived and derivative and a horribly pedestrian example of cultural appropriation. But after watching the movie. No scratch that. After watching the FIRST HALF of the movie, I’ve changed my mind on the subject completely. And I have a new appreciation for her genius. She was an exceptional songwriter. Amy is a gripping documentary on the musician… on the extremely talented musician and songwriter. And I was never a fan. But now I am.

Verdict: SPARED

Amy Winehouse Healthy and Talented

The Talent

Amy Winehouse becomes enormously famous. We all know that. Just obnoxiously overexposed and talked about. And her drug use. I make no secret that I had a decade or so of drug use myself. And like Amy, crack was my drug of choice. But I only had my “self” to blame. In Amy, we see a little girl crying out for help from the first frame to the last. From before she becomes mega famous. Even before she’d taken toke one or drink one. But the talent just pours out of her like a waterfall spewing from the side of a majestic mountainside. Wow. The sheer raw talent coming off this little girl. Just wow!!!

Amy Winehouse Healthy and Happy

The Muse

Amy is such a beautiful movie in the beginning. I mean, make no mistake, Amy Winehouse is a mess from the start. But she’s an artistic mess. She’s one of those personalities that you excuse being cruel or weird or abrasive because she is beautiful in every other way and you just want to be near her, near her even when she’s treating you like dirt. Amy is beautiful in the beginning. And the first thing I noticed was her weight. She was healthy when she made that first album. She was a drinker and partyer, yes. But she was a musician first. Music was her drug and you could see how it made her happy.

Amy in the studio during healthier times

The Artist

The second half of the movie, Amy, is just plain painful to watch. She gets every thing she wants. She gets fame and she gets love and she gets to meet her heroes and she gets awards and adoration. And she gets an eating disorder, a dysfunctional relationship with the love of her life, an entourage of enablers that include her family and closest friends, and she gets the love of music, her first love, ripped away from her. It’s fucking painful to watch and I’m crying even writing about it. The movie made me weep uncontrollably.

Amy and Blake

The Lover

But during this time, her writing talent takes center stage and she writes song after song about her relationships with drugs and her addict boyfriend and her tortured soul and her fucked up mind. And these songs are outstanding. Even more so when you see where they come from. Every word has meaning, a reference, a truth. She hides nothing. And you watch her create this magic. The entire movie is found footage, SO YOU GET TO WATCH. (this is the true found footage genre) A collection of personal videos from her manager and friends and family make-up the entire film. There is nothing added. Just a collage of moments in her life captured amateur-ly and sloppily on home video.

Amy and Blake on a boat

The Wife

In Amy, you watch her create this musical magic and at the same time you watch her waste away. And we know the ending. We already know what happens. It’s the beginnings that we didn’t know. And well, the beginning is beautiful. The beginnings of an amazing artist. All I knew was the spectacle at the end. So I had little respect for an artist that threw away that much talent. She didn’t. It’s right there on the tape. She cries out for help in every frame. With every note. With every powerful poem she writes. And they all love her but don’t know how to tell her no. And her manager and promoter don’t want the checks to stop and they can’t say no. And her friends can’t tell her no. And no one comes to her aid.

Amy Winehouse Famous

The Icon

Spoiler Alert but it’s well-known that at one pivotal point in her life she asks her father if she should go to rehab. She needs an adult. She needs guidance. She’s been crying out for it her whole life. So she asks her father if she should get that help, if she should go to rehab. But we already know what he says. Everyone in the world knows what he says.

Beautiful Amy Winehouse

The Tragedy

Amy is a wonderful film about a talented and strong woman looking for someone stronger. Someone strong enough to help her to tame her destructive nature. But she never finds it and eventually destroys herself. It is heartbreaking and hauntingly beautiful and I recommend it even if you’re not a fan… and by that I mean, not a fan yet.

– Mel