Keeping Up With the Joneses Recap

Jamie

I went into the theater for Keeping Up with the Joneses thinking the worst. It would be like Unfinished Business where you hate everyone and the jokes are lame or offensive. I can say that I was wrong. The jokes weren’t offensive in the least (their lameness is a different story) and the characters were at least sympathetic enough that you could sit and enjoy their story. Unfortunately the script was half-baked. Maybe they pushed it out the door too quickly or rewrote it one too many times, but the pacing was way off for what is purportedly a comedy/action film. To the point where a major car chase scene occurs and it plays out like an episode of Chuck (nailed that relevant reference!). Does this all add to a 21% on RT? I don’t think so since I actually liked the characters and somewhat enjoyed watching their story. But, who cares? This is definitely not getting a Razzie nomination, emirite? ….

Keeping Up with the Joneses is a film that could have gotten away with not having a setting since it is set in an innocuous small-ish US city. It almost seems out of sheer laziness that this film ended up being explicitly set in Atlanta, Georgia. This is as ‘meh’ a physical location case as we can get for Settings 101: Fire Engine says “Atlanta”, Georgia license plates, and small ‘Atlanta’ signs next to a hotel and company. Cool story, bro. Straight up C, obviously. Could have been Nashville or Kansas City or Salt Lake City, etc. But since they filmed in Atlanta, why not? As for the temporal setting we know that the entire film is set in a two week span in June. Not only do we see Galifianakis’ kids sent off to summer camp in the beginning (implying June), but a big cookout in the middle of the film is called “Junetoberfest.” Oh yeah, and the film opens with a house exploding and Zach Galifianakis telling us that his neighborhood was “the safest place to be until two week earlier.” So clearly June… probably 2015. While an exact date is not provided to us directly, we do catch a glimpse of an alarm clock that appears to say that the date is June 13th (hard to tell since I can’t pause and rewind a film in theaters). Given that the day when we see the clock is probably Saturday, then we have a soft date of June 13th, 2015 that the film centers around. That also sounds like a C. While both settings are pretty mediocre this does further my conviction that you can probably figure out the setting of almost every film. Given how easily I’ve been able to discern location and (almost) exact date for every film we’ve watched I’m convinced that somewhere out there is a “missing” Delaware film that no one knows is actually set in Delaware. Someday I will find it… someday.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Keeping Up With the Joneses?! More like Making Me Weep and Moan(ses)! We went to the theater to see Boo! A Madea Halloween, but instead got served a big helping of overdone spy spoof. Why-o-why-o can’t the UK have Madea saying “hellur” to me big screen style? We may never know. Let’s get into Keeping Up With the Joneses:

  • The Good – The characters were actually shockingly likeable. A total about face from most recent bad comedies. The storyline was surprisingly fresh considering there have been something like four spy spoofs out in the past year or so. Galifianakis has his moments.
  • The Bad – Places said Hamm did okay, but I found him, Gadot, and Fisher all about the same level of blah. The script reeks of punch up and yet still is surprisingly low on laughs. I got three chuckles and one decent laugh, and the decent laugh was because I was watching in a theater in London and they make fun of British people’s teeth at one point. By the way, terribly old school joke which, again, reeked of punch up. The story is extremely straightforward and they still manage to fall into the voiceover-flashback-to-two-weeks-earlier trope which is just so classically bad comedy.
  • The BMT – Nope. This film is destined to be forgotten and will likely garner zero Razzie noms (unless they throw Gadot a nom in combination with Batman v Superman which I could sadly see, I hate combo noms). It is a lot better than its rottentomatoes score suggests (lower than Tammy which is laughable). It is like a ten most likely and I anticipate its rating will increase as people watch on VOD in the coming months and its BMeTric will reflect it by staying steady around 10.

Let’s get a quick Theater Review in because it was kind of boring. Why? Because I think I literally sat in the same theater as I did for The Mechanic: Resurrection. The gigantic Vue in Westfield was swamped with early Thursday showings for Doctor Strange, but there was still a few people in my theater. They blocked off an enormous section of the theater for “VIP” seats (I ain’t paying for that!) which is I guess a trend where they force you to sit literally on the screen or in the back row unless you pay them extra money. Whatever. There were a few talkers early, but they settled down and I thought the response from the audience was appropriately muted with sparse laugher when a particularly decent joke landed. Good showing all around.

Oh oh oh yeah. And a very quick Product Sklog-ment brought to you by McDonald’s. Da-da-da-da-da, we’re lovin’ it! Because this movie had a few impressive ones in there. Every computer was a Dell, but mainly the gigantic Mercedes logos everywhere. And Mercedes already has obnoxiously large logos. This is how movies like this make money, the chase scene was basically an extended commercial for the car brand. I’ll take my leave there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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