Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Middle Man

5 of 6 viewers "Liked" "Middle Man" (2016, USA)
Creature reviews have been minimally altered in an attempt to maintain their voice:

Clark Little - "A vicious examination of art and sanity that works perfectly as a combination of The King of Comedy and U-Turn. Stark landscapes contrasted with lush dialogue enhance the narrative in such a way, that you nearly forget the total carnage that takes place. Jim O’Heir and Andrew J West’s chemistry is a ballet of brutality and is one of the best on-screen odd couples I’ve seen in the past ten years. Ned Crowley’s script and direction is truly a refreshing respite in this age of movie streaming saturation." - 4.5 Stars

Lord Battle - "A comedy about an unfunny accountant going to Vegas to become a comedian sounds like a movie I'd do my best to avoid, but call it a gore-soaked comedy-horror and I'm in. Middle Man is a well composed tale of a well-to-do middle aged man who becomes influenced by a hitchhiker to do stand up in the middle of the desert. What follows feels surreal, impossibly strange, and terrifying in a get on stage and make mean strangers laugh kinda way. I praised Raw for an energetic and very authentic feeling tracking shot through a concert, Middle Man does just that for a first time gallows walk to an open mic stage. This film is an easy watch for a random Netflix & Chill audience, even has enough gore to make a date interesting. But for those paying close attention Middle Man shows its true self as a tragedy-horror, a brilliant expose on the pain that fuels stand up comedy." - 4.5 Stars

Math Mage - "Tragedy is your house burning down after you just remodeled it, comedy is someone else's house burning down after they just remodeled it without insurance! It seemed as if there was an impulse to pull a Fight Club or deliver on the implication that Jack Sparrow is the devil, but none of that went anywhere. Instead, it was mostly a film about a slasher in denial." - 3 Stars

Eddie the Gamer Ghoul - "Da Middle Man was a nice twist of humar meets horrir wift a sprinkle of realizm. Being able to laugh at ones self is something lost ta folks dis day an age, cause'n everyone to be way too sensitive an unable to take criticism. Good movie, not one I'd watch again." - 3 Stars

Wandering Panda - "Middle Man worked for me. It's a tragic film about an inspiring stand-up comic who struggles to make a connection. The offbeat humor and violence turns into a source of inspiration and goes to show that no matter how fucked up life gets you can still look at the brighter side of things. But does it stay that way? No. Like I said, it's a tragic movie with dread in the air, weighing our main character down like baggage." - 4 Stars

Huntress - *Fell Asleep* - 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

To combine murder and stand up comedy in a story is almost too easy. When a comedian succeeds in making a room full of paying strangers laugh, it is referred to as “killing”. To kill is a success. It is the goal.

Stand up comedy, at its core, is messy and naked. It is a single person trying to make many people laugh. Comedy is subjective and to take that through a filter of one person’s perspective, is not an easy feat. A comedian has to be fearless. And the only way to become fearless is… to fail. In order to be a winner, one must lose.

I don’t know if Ned Crowley has ever done stand up comedy, but he understands it. From the painful, mind-numbing absurdity small town open mic night to the humorless gatekeepers of funny, Crowley tells his story with rich layers that long stay with the viewer relaying the simple message: It takes darkness to be in the bright lights.

- Clark Little

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 8/2/2018
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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