ARQ (Netflix Original)

This film was recommended to me as “a slow burner, but worth a watch”. And I have to say, that is pretty much the perfect summary for this movie. This is a thriller, so I’m not going to go into detail about the movie so as not to include any spoilers – this is definitely a spoiler free zone. What you need to know is, there is some kind of war going on, there is a machine that could possibly end the war, oh and there is a time loop going on.

arq movie poster

This film runs at just about an hour and a half so to be fair, you don’t get too much more detail of back story other than that. This film focuses on the “this is happening right now” and doesn’t worry greatly about how we got here. Which, for me I actually quite enjoyed. The great thing about this film is the unravelling of the situation. For the purpose of this film, I don’t actually really care how we got to this situation – I’m just intrigued by this time loop and what the hell is going on.

As I said, this film does take a little while to get going. As I guess you might expect from a time-loop scenario. Things do start to seem to get a little bit repetitive for the first few loops, and I was left wondering – where are we going from here? If you do end up watching this film – stick with it. This film does know where it is going, you’ve just got to bear with it while you get there. As with most good thrillers, there are plenty of ooooooohhhhh!” moments, as things start to make sense.

Due to the short nature and lack of backstory, the characters are little bit drab and it is at times a little hard to understand some motives and actions that they do, based on the information we have been given. But as I say, it is the loop situation which is the most interesting thing about the film, so the fact the characters lack a  little bit of depth isn’t a deal breaker.

For the keener eyes, there are some potential holes in the plot, but with the nature of this film, and it’s length, being bullet proof just wasn’t going to happen. There may be fantastic explanations in the heads of the writers for the question marks you have, but there isn’t the time or the need to throw these into the movie. Once you have seen the film, there are actually some pretty interesting theories kicking around the interweb to explain some of the possible holes. Needless to say, make sure you have the seen the film first before you check these out or you will spoil it. If you know the reveals before you watch the film, it really isn’t then worth watching.

It seems like this film has got modest ratings, and that is probably fair. At around the hour and a half mark, you don’t need to set aside a lengthy amount of time to watch this, so it is definitely worth the watch. Although this is not a classic, and I’m not sure how much re-watch value this one has, give it a go, and stick with it – they payoff you get when all is revealed is worth it.

6.5/10

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Sandy Wexler

I’m back in the UK now, although a busy week has meant I still haven’t had time to get to the cinema. So instead, decided to watch the new Adam Sandler movie on Netflix, Sandy Wexler.

sandy wexler movie poster

Growing up, I was a huge Adam Sandler fan – he is the hero of some of my favourite comedy movies, that I still laugh all the way through even now. However, in recent years, it seems the Sand Man’s career has gone off the rails, and has just released a number of medicore (at best) movies. It saddens me really to see someone who used to be so funny, so incredibly average now.

Unfortunately, Sandy Wexler is no different and is yet another bad Adam Sandler movie. It follows the story of hapless manager, Sandy Wexler, who has a stable of pretty talentless talent until he discovers a singer, Courtney, who is bound for stardom. The gist of the movie is it follows Sandy trying his best to help out this rising star despite being completely out of his depth, but never actually really realising it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some funny bits in there, but running at over two hours (far far too long!), a handful of laughs is a terrible effort for a “comedy”.  I thought Sandler played his character pretty well, and Jeniffer Hudson was also pretty good – if the performances had been as bad as the movie I’m not sure I could’ve got through it. And, as always with a Happy Madison production, all of Sandler’s usual cronies are on hand to make an appearance (many of which you only ever tend to see in Sandler flicks) and having grown up on Sandler movies, they are always a welcome sight that brings a smile to my face – even if some of them only get one or two lines.

This film felt like it was actually a pretty good interpretation of where Adam Sandler’s career really is – a man who thinks he is the greatest thing in Hollywood, and that everyone loves him and are laughing with him – but really, everyone is either laughing at him or just feel sorry for him. I really didn’t find the film very funny at all, with most of the attempted jokes being directed at the Sandy characters expense – a lot of the time it didn’t feel funny, it felt cruel. Also finding out after watching the movie that it is a roast of Sandler’s actual real life manager made it feel a bit worse. Finding that out and reading the back story, there clearly isn’t any malice in the content, I think the mark is just greatly missed, or perhaps you need to be a true insider to really appreciate the movie. Hey, after all, the man the film is based on appeared in it, so he can’t have been that offended.

I believe this was the third of his eight movie deal with Netflix (I haven’t seen the other two, but may give them a go), so there is clearly some demand for him, and I am hopeful he can turn it around…

To be honest, I am just getting tired of seeing bad Adam Sandler movies. I’m getting tired of laughing at him for being so terrible, I just want to laugh with him again. Back to the glory days of Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, when he truly was on top form as one of comedy’s powerhouses, when you knew seeing Sandler on a movie meant certain laughs.

Please Adam Sandler, just make one more hilarious movie before you are done to show us you still have it. Please!

Not advisable – 4/10