I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the mockumentary “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul,” the Netflix Kevin Hart comedy “Me Time” and the gritty coming-of-age story “Funny Pages.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to do a pushup! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the mockumentary “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul,” the Netflix Kevin Hart comedy “Me Time” and the gritty coming-of-age story “Funny Pages.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the mockumentary “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul,” the Netflix Kevin Hart comedy “Me Time” and the gritty coming-of-age story “Funny Pages.”
I join NewsTalk 1010 guest host Dave Kaufman on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the mockumentary “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul,” the Netflix Kevin Hart comedy “Me Time” and the gritty coming-of-age story “Funny Pages.”
“Funny Pages,” a new, chaotic rite-of-passage movie now in theatres and on VOD, seems to have taken the advice of one its characters to heart. Early on, an art teacher in urges his student Robert (Daniel Zolghadri) to “always subvert.” Director Owen Kline, in his quirky directorial debut, challenges the notion of a traditional coming-of-age tale in this gritty celebration of life’s outsiders.
When we first meet Robert, he is being mentored by Mr. Katano (Stephen Adly Guirgis), an encouraging teacher who heaps praise on the teenager’s drawings. “Michael Jordon!” he shouts when he sees a drawing he really likes. When Katano suddenly dies, Robert is left adrift, caught between his suburban parents (Josh Pais and Maria Dizzia), who want him to go to college, and his ambition to create “Mad Magazine” level artistry.
One quick brush-with-the-law later Robert quits school, and subverts his life by renting a space in a rundown rooming house, already occupied by creepy roommates Barry (Michael Townsend Wright) and Steven (Cleveland Thomas Jr.). He’s hoping some of the unusual living situation will provide him with the edge he needs to create great art.
While working as an assistant for Legal Aid attorney, Cheryl (Marcia DeBonis, Robert meets Wallace (Matthew Maher), a techy criminal who once worked as a “color separator” at Image Comics. Despite Wallace’s crusty exterior and occasionally violent outbursts, Robert is drawn to his talent and tries to recruit him as his new mentor.
Most coming-of-age stories rely on a certain amount of uplift to provide an inspirational punch to the storytelling. Not “Funny Pages.” This is the kind of movie that offers unlikable characters with no happily-ever-afters. It lives in the fringes of society, and the abrasiveness of the story’s denizens may turn off some viewers, but the richness of the performances is rewarding, no matter how edgy.
The movie’s gritty, grainy look matches its subject matter. There is nothing slick about “Funny Pages.” Like the comic books it reveres, the movie is outsider art unconcerned with the niceties of coming-of-age conventions. It feels destined to become a cult film, much like the movies that movies—“Crumb,” “Ghost World”—and people—Joe Franklin, Peter Bagge—that serve as its inspiration.
“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” is an audacious animated film from graphic novelist Dash Shaw that has been described as, “John Hughes fused with The Poseidon Adventure.” That’s not far off the mark. It’s a bravura, bizarro-land high school disaster flick, unlike anything else you’re likely to see this year.
Animated using a colourful hodgepodge of drawings, paintings and collage, it’s the strange story of sophomores Dash (voice of Jason Schwartzman) and his best friend Assaf (voice of Reggie Watts), writers for the newspaper at Tides High School. A wedge is pushed between the junior Woodward and Bernsteins when editor Verti (voice of Maya Rudolph) offers Assaf solo assignments. To even the score Dash writes a fictitious story about his former friend’s erectile dysfunction. He is suspended and when he uncovers an actual story—their school isn’t built to code—no one will believe him.
No one, that is, until an earthquake strikes, toppling the school into the Pacific trapping everyone inside. Racing to escape the crumbling building Dash and Assaf plus a crafty lunch lady (Susan Sarandon) and school-know-it-all Mary (Lena Dunham), must battle sharks, jellyfish, senior gangs, electrocution and more.
“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” startles with its originality. Visually it’s an eye-bending exercise in collage while the script’s dry wit and explorations of high school hierarchy are bang on the money. High school is about a balance of power and how better to test friendships and power dynamics than to throw everyone into a potentially life threatening situation?