Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Film Review)

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Film Review)

Something very strange and unexpected happened when I decided to shut my brain off for a while and indulge in watching Hot Tub Time Machine 2.

I laughed.

This was a bit of a surprise. But, there was definitely more than one scene in which I actually laughed out loud, which for me, made this comedy sequel actually funnier than the original.

I know. Who knew?

tub2Hot Tub Time Machine 2 focuses on three quarters of the original cast (minus John Cusack) as they are living it up in their new reality that was created by changing the past in the first film. When one of the gang is shot in the crotch, they must travel back in time (which is actually an alternate future) in order to stop the murderer. It’s a little bit convoluted, the whole story, but really, who needs to discuss the plot of a sequel to a film titled Hot Tub Time Machine?

As with any comedic sequel, there is a play on many of the jokes that existed in the first one, but this time around, they seem funnier. Some of the best laughs occur when the guys see themselves in the mirror for the first time in their new future, and go off on their “You look like…” jokes. We’ve seen it before, and will probably see it again, but it definitely elicited some laughs for me.

Maybe I am getting dumber.

The insanity of the TV game show they participate in is also kind of funny. Shockingly stupid, but kind of funny. That’s the gist of the whole film: impossibly stupid, but kind of funny.

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 - 2015 FILM STILL - Adam Scott is Adam Jr. - Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures/MGM  © 2015 Paramount Pictures Corporation and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

To replace the departed Cusack, Adam Scott plays a larger role in the film, and brings his standard style of wit to the film. He serves as a welcome addition.

In HTTM2, there is exactly what you would expect. Plenty of bathroom and sexual humour. A lot of swearing. Some naked breasts. Many jokes about film references (“This reminds me of Terminator.”). Messing with historical events. Drinking and drug benders that are pretty humorous.

Bianca Haase is Sophie in HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2, from Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. HTTM2-FF-003
Bianca Haase is Sophie 

But at the end of the day, it does provide some laughs. This film is perfect for when you’ve had a long day at work, and want to do absolutely no thinking, but perhaps want to giggle a couple of times at how cruel these friends can be to one another, and the complete silliness that is the story line. Despite universally wretched reviews, I would actually say that this comedy is decent in comparison to the other slew of terrible comedies that are out there. It is tough to make people laugh, but Hot Tub Time Machine 2 did it for me.

And perhaps most surprising of all, I didn’t hate myself afterwards for watching this film.

Adult World (Film Review)

Adult World (Film Review)

Amy loves poetry, and has wanted to be a published poet since as long as she can remember. The only issue may be, despite her thoughts and objections, that she is not very good at it.

Graduating university with a degree in poetry does not exactly open up the world with opportunities, and this is what Amy must soon realize. Spending the majority of her parents money on poetry submissions, she is faced with continual rejection from magazines, but keeps pushing forward intrepidly, without looking at the obvious signs. Eventually forced out of her house by her parents, she must take a job at Adult World, the pornographic video store in town, where she meets an interesting cast of characters that make up her new life, her figurative journey into the adult world that faces everyone once they have completed their higher education.

adult3Adult World is an indie drama, which is quickly becoming the stomping grounds of the young and talented Emma Roberts. Continually shedding the image of the sickly sweet girl she played on TV when she was a tween, Roberts is constantly taking on similar roles in her career that will push her away from her Nickelodeon beginnings, and establish herself as more than a child actress, or just a relative of that other famous Roberts. While Adult World may not be her best work, and she has had some strong roles in her career to date, it is something different for her. Roberts still plays that wide-eyed kid, trying to grapple with the reality of the world, but she does it not as the sweet or cool girl we are more used to. She is painfully awkward, pretty annoying and overbearing, and is constantly buoyed by her false hopes and dreams. I quite liked her performance in this film, despite many of the negative reviews Adult World has received.

adult2Of course, this is nowhere near the best indie drama/coming-of-age story out there, but it is exactly what you are looking for when you want an indie film or quirky coming-of-age story. Central character, slightly broken by the reality of her world, forced into circumstances that are out of her comfort zone, begins to slowly embrace them, while still trying to hang on to her childhood hopes and dreams. Seems pretty much what an indie is all about, if you ask me. She comes out on the other side a stronger and more realistic person. The end.

While the film could come across as being dark at times- it begins with Roberts considering suicide to end her misery- it is provided with good levity from the secondary cast, which includes John Cusack as Rat Billings, a semi-famous poet who lives in the same town as her. He reluctantly takes her on as a maid/protege, and pulls no punches when it comes to her writing abilities. Despite his general disdain for Amy, and for her work, he is able to provide her with the lessons that she requires to actually grow up, and embrace the adult world that now surrounds her. That she needs to grow up, and she needs to experience a life for herself in order to become a stronger writer. Evan Peters plays the role of her manager at Adult World, and while he is not given a ton of dialogue, he plays the role well of being the more knowing person of the same age, and predictably becomes her love interest.

adult4As with many indie films, this serves as a vehicle for the actress, and so much of the strength of this film is dependent on the performance of Emma Roberts. Despite her annoying traits, we still want her to move forward and make the realizations that she needs to as to not completely fail in life, to end up being another crushed dreamer.

Adult World is not perfect. There are some hammy performances, a sometimes struggling script (Roberts does her best to take some of the cheesier lines and own them), a pretty predictable plot, and perhaps a sunnier-than-it-should-have-been ending. But it is still a pretty enjoyable film.