Archive for the W Category

The Wicker Tree (2010) Robin Hardy

Posted in W on October 25, 2012 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $7.75 million

Gross: unknown on exact numbers but was failure in US

So Robin Hardy returns  after decades to the series he created.  That worked so well for other directors *cough George Lucas George Romero cough*

The Wicker Tree is a companion piece to The Wicker Man.  This story is about Beth (Brittania Nicol) who was a Brittney Spears-ish pop idol who has become a born again Christian.  Beth and her cowboy boyfriend Steve (Henry Garrett) go on a missionary trip to Scotland to convert some godless heathens   Turns out the townspeople of Tressock have lured Beth and Steve there for a sacrifice to help with the town’s fertility problem.

Now I’ll admit right of the bat that I was not a fan of the original Wicker Man.  I say that because I don’t want to give the impression I hold the original on some pedestal   I also say that because while I didn’t like Wicker Man, I can tell you that Tree gets everything wrong that Man did right.

I actually have to get a nit pick out of the way before going onto the movie proper but who sends missionaries to Scotland?  I live in an area where the Mormons send out plenty of people on missions and they are usually to places like South America.  You know, places where the indigenous people don’t have much exposure to that sort of thing.  I think people in Scotland know about Jesus.  If you are just preaching to atheists there are plenty in America.  Hell, Beth is from Texas she can take a short drive to Austin.  I also have to wonder why this singing superstar doesn’t bring an entourage to Scotland or why her disappearance doesn’t cause a massive investigation.  Natalie Halloway was a nobody that dominated the news when she disappeared imagine what would happen after Tressock tries Wicker Tree-ing Brittany Spears‘ ass.

But I digress.  On reason why this horror movie fails is because there is absolutely no tension in it.  In the original Wicker Man there was a mystery that our character was trying to solve.  Howie was investigating the disappearance of a young girl but the larger mystery was with the town itself.  It was an understatement that strange things were afoot.  You had people being cryptic or hostile toward him and an odd attempt at sexual temptation.  You didn’t know what was going on but a feeling of dread followed around Howie.

In Wicker Tree we are told exactly what is going on in Tressock and why the townspeople want to sacrifice Beth and Steve.  Now I understand the cat is out of the bag with this movie so you can’t exactly surprise people again.  So either Hardy had to put a twist on the formula or not do it to begin with.  However it doesn’t help when we both know the bad guys plans within five minutes, and our protagonists are some of the most clueless people in horror movie history.  Beth and Steve are completely duped by this town and not for one moment do they suspect anything wrong.  Maybe that would have added some tension having them discover hinky goings on and trying to escape or fight back.  But it is almost comical how absolutely gullible these people are.  For example, by the end Steve finds himself in this ancient ruin surrounded by the townspeople who are completely naked and surrounding him chanting about how the blood is the key and he is standing there going “Derp, all you Scottish folk sure have weird customs!“  This week I have had the misfortune of seeing Warlock II and Wicker Tree; two films which do not know how to convey any tension.  Once again we are sitting around as the movie spins its wheels until the last fifteen minutes when our gullible unlikable heroes get what we knew was coming in the first five minutes.

Tree tries to be satirical and comedic  at times but also fails.  Beth and Steve are badly done caricatures of born again Christians.  There is satirical, and then there is a moronic broad stereotype.  And this is coming from an atheist.  But more to the point you have made our lead characters, the people we (as the audience) are supposed to be invested in, and you have turned them into the comic relief.  Why not make the comic relief the comic relief?  Instead you have us rooting for the equivalent of a Rob Schneider character or Jar Jar.  You don’t exactly want those characters to live.

There is a subplot involving a sexy townsperson named Lolly (Honeysuckle Weeks) and aside from being naked A LOT I’m not sure what her role is in this movie.  I don’t know if she played an integral role in the ritual and there is a plot thread that goes nowhere where she is trying to have seven orgasms in one night with an Italian police officer.  But I won’t look gift nudity in the mouth.  I think I understand what I just wrote and I hope you do too.  Graham McTavish is our resident Christopher Lee (Lee hurt his back and couldn’t be on set) and he doesn’t hold a candle to Lee.  There is some attempt at character development that he does not believe in the rituals and is only doing it to appease the masses but like everything else it is half baked and I don’t care.  Christopher Lee actually does make an appearance for literally about a minute in a horrible green screen add in.  Once again, it is almost comical how short and poorly handled it all is.  Was this supposed to be a satire on shitty sequels to horror movies?

The biggest mystery for me is why Robin Hardy made this movie.  You would think Hardy retired from filmmaking since he made one whole film in between Wicker Man in 1973 and Wicker Tree in 2010.  It is not like there is some big addition to the Wicker mythology and no substantive message to add.  I also don’t think Hardy was trying to remake/reboot the series as nothing is made better in this version.  Even with my bar lowered way down this movie was still a let down.  The characters are cartoons, the acting is ameteurish, the direction is lazy, the satire is half assed, and the writing is no-assed.  The cardinal sin of this movie though is that it is not scary.  Even by bad Wicker movie standards the bar was set by Neil LaBute’s Wicker Man.  I do not recommend this sequel to anyone.

Winnie the Pooh (2011) Stephen J. Anderson, Don Hall

Posted in W on December 15, 2011 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $30 million

Worldwide Gross: $33 million

When I first heard of this movie bombing I had a feeling of the general audience letting me down (as if anyone really owes me anything but anyway…).  Whenever a remake or reboot of an old franchise comes out like the Smurfs or Alvin and the Chipmonks it is usually slammed as being a betrayal of the original source material and god awful marketing crap and blah blah blah.  Meanwhile you get a movie which stays about as faithful as you can to the original look and feel (while simultaneously being a very enjoyable story) and it is a failure at the box office.

But there were many things which let this movie down.  One was the extremely befuddling decision to release this in the summer movie months.  It is hard for any movie to compete against a blockbuster like Harry Potter or Captain America, while simultaneously competing with other kids movies like a Smurfs.  I mentioned earlier when this movie first came out that it would seem a better idea to release this closer to the beginning of the year.  The beginning of the year is a dead zone where most studios dump their crap like Atari dumping so many cartridges of ET.  But that would actually work in the favor of Pooh because there would be no competition for the same audience and parents would be desperate to take them to anything good.  I would certainly want to be opening next to Country Strong, The Dilemma, and The Green Hornet rather than Harry Potter, Captain America, and Smurfs.

Another thing which did hurt the movie was the running time.  Pooh itself is only about 56 minutes.  In theaters I think they had a 20 minute short but on my DVD they didn’t have it.  I know I always talk about how I would rather have an awesome short movie than a mediocre long one.  The problem is I’m not a parent.  I spoke with many friends who are parents and who really wanted to see a great Pooh movie but who didn’t want to go to the theater.  They want something that will occupy their children’s attention for more than an hour and it is especially bad with ticket prices.  Can you really justify spending money on tickets for the whole family, food, and beverages for something that is over relatively quick?  Maybe they should have done another short to pad out the run time even more.  But if there is a silver lining it is that I think this movie is much better suited to the DVD market than the theater market.  It is nothing to rent this from Blockbuster/Red Box/Netflix/Video on Demand/etc. compared to the money you spend at the theater.  It will definetly be more of a hit now.  Now with that being said, let me get on with the review.

Now I usually don’t go in for kids movies much nowadays but I found this rather charming.  You immediately get on my good side for not trying to be in 3D, for having more traditional animation, and not having it be an endless parade of pop culture references.  It’s simple, and I love that.  To me, the animation in this movie is much more beautiful than most faux Pixar movies are.  The characters are classic, and don’t need to be transported to modern times or put in an new setting.  You can see the care and effort put into this movie.  You have some new voice talent like Craig Fergugon for Owl that are really fun in the role.  Even some music by Zooey Daschenel add to the overall charm of the movie.

The story has the characters searching for Christopher Robin as he is missing.  He leaves a note saying he will be “back soon” but is misinterpreted as being taken by a Backsun.  The gang try to capture this Backsun while also trying to find Eeyore’s lost tail.  There isn’t much to the story but it perfectly allows all the characters to get involved in the action.  Tigger wants to fight it, Owl wants to be the leader, Eeyore is…indifferent, and Pooh is wondering if there is any honey in it for him.  Each character has their own moment to shine and the music is actually pretty good.

If you are a fan of Winnie the Pooh, then I think you will really enjoy this movie.  The voice talent is just as good and the material is clever enough to make you rediscover why they were so lovable in the first place.  Care and attention are brought to the producion with is nostalgic and charming.  And while the movie is about 56 minutes, to me it fits the amount of story they had and, as I mentioned before, is better suited to home rental than spending a ton of money at the theaters.  This is a kids movie so I can’t give a total recommendation to it.  But if you love the old Pooh cartoons or have kids then you should definetly check it out.


Whiteout (2009) Dominic Sena

Posted in W on October 13, 2011 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $35 million

Worldwide Gross: $12 million

Whiteout is based on a graphic novel (which I haven’t read or even heard of) about US Marshall Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) who is working at a research station in Antartica.  There are only two days before the station closes for the winter and everyone has to go home when a dead body is discovered.  Carrie has to find out why this person was killed and who the killer is before she is stuck there for the winter.

I like you Kate Beckinsale, but you seriously need to fire your agent.  Pearl Harbor, Serendipity, The Underworld movies, Van Helsing, Vacancy, and now this?  Are you in a competition with Jessica Alba over who can churn out the most shit movies?  Well, to the movie’s credit this movie isn’t complete dogshit.  It’s crap, but it is those dry pellets you can easily clean off your carpet when you are potty training them and not some fluid diarrea.  Okay I am moving off that comparison.  The thing is this movie isn’t aggressivly bad or annoying.  It’s just there.  This was a movie where I was like, catching up on my Spanish lessons or reading about TE Lawrence and when I look up I realize I hadn’t missed anything.  There is nothing to get involved with in this thriller.

The main plot is a mess because right off the bat it has no idea where to go.  You may get the idea this is some Agatha Christie whodunnit or maybe like The Thing (fitting with the arctic theme) of having a cast of about ten people and trying to discover who is the villain.  Both you and I would be wrong in this case.  This is not some small ensemble we get to know about because this is apparenlty a huge research station housing a few hundred people.  We get to know (know being a rather loose term) about three characters and the rest of them might as well be mannequins.  Imagine the shock and horror to learn that Wally who runs the test tubes between Labs 3 and 5 is one of the people involved in the conspiracy.  OMG!  That is really the reaction we are supposed to have to such a bland revalation.

It doesn’t even seem like the movie has a clue as to where to go next in the mystery.  In most of these movies, there are clues in the crime scene which gives our protagonist a place to go next.  It is just a natural way to drive the plot.  But in Whiteout, for long stretches Carrie is just sitting around almost like she is waiting for the writers to plant the next plot point in her lap.  There were moments when I was really asking „Is anything going to happen?“ only to have the killer attempt to kill Carrie for no reason whatsoever.  And just when you think this movie can’t get any more lame, then there is the twist.  Because movies like this ALWAYS has to have one.  Trust me, if you can’t deduce from the whole whopping three characters in this movie who the bad guy is then you need to watch more movies.  The end reveal doesn’t even make a damn lick of sense because it doesn’t match at all the character they have built up the majority of the movie.  I swear it almost seems like the character is apologizing to the audience for how crappy the twist is right after it is revealed.

The movie tries to spice up the bland main plot by throwing in two bland mini mysteries.  The first has the characters questioning what is in this package that has the characters killing themselves.  I would have thought a screen writer with even half a brain would recognize it doesn’t matter what a macguffin is.  Seriously, it doesn’t matter if the package had diamonds, or a nuclear bomb, or a priceless work of art, or the world’s funniest joke.  The macguffin doesn’t matter in a movie like this, the journey is what matters.  The second mini mystery involves what happened to Carrie prior to coming to the station.  Something happened on the job which made her want to give up her career but instead chose to live in this Antartic substation.  I’m not saying a character can’t be mysterious and have things revealed later on in the movie.  But this movie has no interesting characters to start with and they do nothing to make them all that compelling.  The movie actually needed to tell us this “secret“ from her past right up front.  It tells us something important to her character.  It makes her vulnerable and therefore makes her a more compelling character.  By making that story some tight lipped secret, all you have done is keep the main character at arms length from the audience so as to not give too much away.  You make her bland for the sake of a payoff that isn’t even worth it.  That’s how ass backwards this movie is.  It tells you things to make you care about the characters at the end of the movie when you have long since stopped giving a crap.

This movie also feels poorly produced.  When we get poorly rendered CGI planes, storms, and even normal snow then you know you are in for a poor movie overall.  Kate Beckinsale is bland but, as mentioned before, that is more a problem of bad writing rather than anything else.  Tom Skeritt is a welcome addition as he is the only one allowed to have any fun on this shoot.  The rest of the cast is just as unremarkable as the rest of the movie.

Again, I didn’t HATE this movie.  But this movie was in planning hell for about eight years before production and sat on the shelf for another two.  How do you think it will turn out?  While there is nothing in this movie to hate, there is also not anything to like either.  The plot is dull, the production is piss poor, the acting is bland, the action is non-existant, and the mystery is damn near laughable.  This movie has already largely been forgotten by everyone and it should stay that way.


The Ward (2010) John Carpenter Some Spoilers

Posted in W on August 25, 2011 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $10 million

Gross: unable to find

The usual disclaimer that if numbers are found that show this movie made money I will post a correction.  I will also admit this isn’t a usual bomb in that this movie only had a limited release worldwide, consisting mostly of film festivals.  It is sad to say this will not be the only John Carpenter movie that will probably be reviewed by this blog.  Before this blog I did a blurb about In the Mouth of Madness (which I love), but Carpenter has had his share of bombs.  Hell, I didn’t even realize he did Memoirs of an Invisible Man; mostly because I had more respect for him than to think he was capable of making a movie like that.

But to get back on track, The Ward is about Kristen (Amber Heard) who is found by the police burning down an abandoned farm house.  She is committed to a psychiatric ward and is put under the care of Dr. Stringer (Jared Harris).  Kristen starts seeing a ghost around the ward and there is some mystery involving some of the patients and the staff.

It is a shame I have to bash a John Carpenter movie.  John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors making great movies like The Thing, Halloween, Big Trouble in Little China, Assault on Precinct 13 and other fun genre flicks.  It is also nice to see Carpenter return after being away from the director’s chair for about ten years so I hate to bash someone trying to get his mojo back.  But if a movie is bad then I have to be honest about it.

One problem with this movie is that it is incredibly generic.  Normally Carpenter can take a cliché premise and make it great through the writing or by effective directing.  Here it feels like any director could have pulled this worn out script off the shelf, dusted it off, and made this a direct to DVD fare horror film.  There is nothing new to add to the formula and the mystery is not engaging.  When you find out at the end that he is essentially doing his own cheaper take of Shutter Island, then you are even more frustrated.

It doesn’t help that the majority of the horror in this movie are jump scares.  Jump scares are to horror movies what dick and fart jokes are to a comedy.  You can use them as part of your movie effectively, but make a whole movie based on it, then it’ll suck.  You know that tired cliché of a character opening a bathroom mirror and when they close it someone is behind them.  That is this movie.  It is one cliché jump scare after another.

Another problem I had was with the characters.  We are literally told nothing about Kristen because by the nature of the twist ending, it all had to be a big mystery.  Because of that, Kristen is a blank slate with no personality or character.  We have no reason to care about this person other than the fact she is our designated main character.  It is almost not even worth talking about the other characters because they are either one dimensional or non-existent.

I won’t say The Ward is a terrible movie, but it is his weakest film.  The movie tries to have a shocking conclusion, but in doing so sabotages the rest of the film.  For so much of it, the plot feels like it is spinning its wheels so as to not give anything away too soon.  Much of the horror comes from cheap jump scares and does not have any legitimate feeling of dread for the characters.  For horror fans, this is a mediocre film at best.  For John Carpenter fans, I see this as a big letdown.  Let’s hope this is a bump in the road to something that is a little more entertaining.


The Way Back (2011) Peter Weir

Posted in W on August 2, 2011 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $30 million

Worldwide Gross: $20 million

The Way Back is based off of a book called The Long Walk by Slawomir Rawicz.  The book was originally supposed to be a true life story about a group of prisoners escaping a WWII Siberian Gulag and had to walk over 4000 miles to freedom in India.  I say ‘originally supposed to’ because there has been evidence which seriously calls into question the truth of that (which is putting it extremely nicely).

The Way Back is a hard film for me to review because I’m not quite sure how to take it.  I thought inspirational films (if we are counting it as a genre) were about real life stories about beating the odds.  We get our inspiration from the fact someone defied the obstacles put in front of them and did something people thought would be highly improbable.  Miracle, for example, is about a group of amateur hockey players who were expected to take on the dominant Soviet hockey team at the Olympics.  They were able to beat the extreme odds by coming together as a team and conditioning themselves to specifically take on the Soviet team.  It works because we know it happens.  So I don’t know how to really take a movie which I can pretty confidently believe is a complete fabrication.

Even without the historical documents or statements this premise is too hard to buy even for these “beat the odds” type movies.  The movie expects me to believe they are walking for thousands of miles in extreme conditions without good footwear and sometimes going for long stretches without food or water (while they would be expending thousands of calories through their constant hiking).  This would be an incredible task to be attempted today even without the difficulty of having Nazis hunting after you.

The movie itself is solid.  Peter Weir is a director I follow because of movies like Master and Commander, The Truman Show, Gallipoli, Dead Poets Society, and so on.  Weir lovingly shoots all the different areas our main characters trek through (this is produced by National Geographic Films).  The acting is good overall from Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Mark Strong, Saoirse Ronan.  The best actor is probably Colin Farrell, who plays a Russian criminal who tags along with the other escapees.  That makes it worse when the most interesting character gets dumped about half way through the story.  The story overall is well told and you do get to care for these characters despite some problems.  For example we follow our characters through all these harsh ecosystems and horrible trials and then when they get to the Himalayas (what should be the most perilous part) we spend about two minutes on it and quickly cut to the next scene of our characters completely fine.

Despite those flaws, I can’t knock it too much on the technical aspects.  This is a well-made movie and the actors give it their all.   All I can say is that I never really connected with any of the characters.  That is where I end up with in regards to the story not really being true.  Because of that I wasn’t able to really get emotionally involved with the movie.  I can appreciate the work that went into it but can’t get into it on anything deeper than that.

This is one where I think my opinion will differ from everyone else.  If you are interested in seeing this movie (based on the trailer or anything else) then you probably should see it.  Weir is a great filmmaker and he does a very good job in translating the source material to the big screen.  The cinematography and direction makes this feel epic and it helps to have veteran actors to play the underdeveloped characters.  But for me, I couldn’t really get into this movie and in the end, it just felt hollow.

Wing Commander (1999) Chris Roberts

Posted in W on February 10, 2010 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $30 million
Gross: $11.5 million

Sometimes I think we nerds need to shut our damn mouths about what movies we want.  As a kid, the Super Mario Bros. movie was probably my first experience at Lucas-ing up a franchise.  Later, its like “Oh, you want a D&D movie?  Ok, we’ll give you a damn D&D movie.  Enjoy your f*cking Marlon Wayans bitches!”  You don’t have to finish the name Freddie Prinz before knowing without absolute certainty that Wing Commander would suck.  That’s why I don’t get the clamoring for a Halo movie.  I am hoping for the best, but my rational mind can’t think of anything but a Freddie Prinz/Marlon Wayans interracial comedy.  What is really funny is how bad this movie really should have done.  $11 million may not be too horrific, but it could have been worse.  This was one of the only movies to have the Episode I trailer, and many people only paid for a ticket for the trailer.  After seeing it, they would promptly walk out of the theater.  So how much of this gross was from Star Wars nerds?  We will never know.

I was, and still am, a fan of the Wing Commander games.  You don’t get much cooler than dogfights…IN SPACE!!!  Not to mention you had fairly decent cut scenes from actors like Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davis, and Thomas Wilson as the funny Maniac.

There are many things wrong with this story.  For one (and maybe primary) the creator of the games and director of the movie Chris Roberts decided to completely scrap the plot of the movies and start fresh.  Here we get an incredibly bizarre plot about Blair being from an intergalactic race called the Jedi I mean the Pilgrims.  They have the innate sense to feel their way around space (yeah don’t ask).  Anyway Blair is serving on a ship that has to rush to save Earth and have to learn to trust the Pilgrim Blair.  Yeah, for some reason there is a racism against Pilgrims that is loosely explained.  The movie wants to be a kind of WWII war movie complete with Spitfire fighter planes…IN SPACE!!!  Yeah I didn’t know riveted ships were so airtight.  And because we have Jurgen Prochnow, we have to do a scene ripping off Das Boot.  Because this is a text review I have gotten all the vomit out of my system from that last sentence and it is now just dry heaves.

To say this plot is cookie cutter is an insult to my dinosaur shaped cookie cutters.  Blair is yet another Luke Skywalker rip off learning to trust his instincts and be the best pilot evar!  It doesn’t help the tone of this movie is so spastic.  One minute they are trying to be the most serious of war movies and then we have scenes with Matthew Lillard’s *sigh* antics.  I see this as a pulp sci-fi fantasy b-movie; not a gritty space war movie, and not a teen sex romp.  Even the space battles, which should be the highlight of the movie, are incompetent in their execution and end up as just dull.

This leads to my next major problem which is the acting.  Freddie Prinz is his usual whiny teen bitchy self that he has played in every movie since he was born.  Matthew Lillard is annoying as f*ck.  No, that’s an understatement.  Matthew Lillard in this movie sends me into a homicidal rage by how grating he is.  And you want to know what’s worse than Lillard trying to be funny?  Lillard trying to act dramatically and cry.  That was the funniest shit I’ve seen all year.  Seriously if he tried that from the start that would have gotten a lot more laughs.  Jurgen Prochnow is also in this movie and he does absolutely nothing.  He just stands around grunting nonsense.  It just makes me yearn for his more inspired performance in say a Uwe Boll movie.

Then we have the little moments of stupidity that make you wanna slam your head against the wall.  The ships drop down when they leave the carrier.  Hm, I didn’t know there was gravity in space.  Or casting the French Devereaux with a Brit actress, and an American Taggert with a French actor.  What’s up with the comic relief character that gets sexual gratification from shooting down planes?  Why do bombs drop in space.  Yeah, its another gravity gripe but I really can’t get over that.  And why do the Kilrathi look like rejects from Hobgoblins?

Ugh, I hate this movie.  There is nothing to like about it or that is good in any way.  Its another movie that is only about 90 minutes but feels like Andrei Rublev.  F*ck this movie.  F*ck it up its stupid a**.

The Wild Party (1975) James Ivory

Posted in W on February 10, 2010 by moviemoses

Unable to find exact numbers but it is a legendary bomb.

The Wild Party was based upon an epic poem of the same name which was printed in 1925.  The poem was a cautionary tale of Passion in Greenwich Village complete with vivid details about sex and drugs.  James Ivory (of Merchant Ivory Productions) was brought in on an adaptation of the poem in 1974.  The story was changed to one of a cautionary tale of stardom in 1929 Hollywood.  The movie focused on an aging silent film comedian (played by James Coco) and his mistress Queenie (Raquel Welch).  A party is thrown in commemoration of Coco’s last real film effort.  The party degenerates into one complete with open sex and drug use.  The end has Coco’s character killing Queenie over an affair with a young writer.

Being Hollywood, the sexuality of the poem was toned down although the producers still felt they were releasing a riskee production.  The biggest issue was the temperamental bitch which was Raquel Welch.  Special kudos to James Coco, who came up with a near Machiavelli way of dealing with the queen diva.  Whenever they needed to change something about the way she was acting, Coco would subtly plant a suggestion and make Welch feel she came up with the idea all on her own.  Near the end the production was taken out of Ivory’s hands and chopped down from about 2 hours to anywhere between 100 minutes and 90 minutes (depending on the cut).

Is it any good?  This review has been on my shelf for about 8 months.  Not because I haven’t seen it, but because a writer’s block the size of Plymouth Rock has been in my brain.  I get as far as “It sucks” and maybe “fuckballs” before I hit my major stumbling block and just toss it for something I feel more passionate about.  But, I can’t really say I hate this movie.  This movie just had the uncanny ability to fill me with more apathy than I know what to do with.  The Wild Party did not connect with me on any conceivable level.  I did not care.  It is physically impossible for me to give less of a shit about this film.  This film does not deserve words devoted to how it sucks.  It just deserves to die.  I sat there for 90 minutes, counting down the seconds to where I did not have to watch it anymore.

If its one thing I’ve learned about Hollywood, is that they cannot make a film criticizing itself.  There is no real “Spinal Tap” for the film industry or a hard hitting drama about its excesses.  This movie is just pathetic.  Their characters are stock one dimensional characters that are just plain unlikable (not because of any real backstory) but because they are simply written to be unlikable.  They spend the running time doing unpleasant things and yelling horrible things to one another.  The “wild party” in question is just lame and does nothing for the overall statement the film is trying to make.  If I were at this party, I would spend about 5 minutes at the cheese tray, then after being struck with soul crushing boredom I would go home and watch Caligula.  That guy knew how to throw a kickass party.   I wish I could really say more about this but frankly, I just want this albatross off my neck.  This movie is not worth your time so don’t even bother.