Tag Archives: Jonathan Milott

Cooties (2014) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

Cooties

Directors: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Writers: Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan
Stars: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill

Plot:  A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.
Running Time: 88 Minutes
IMDB Score: 5.7

Why I Watched it: I’ll be honest here itunes at it on for .99 cents, so I gave it a try.

Random Thoughts: This is kind of an odd movie, when it was first coming out I heard a buzz in the horror world and the fact that Leigh Whannell had co-wrote it there was hope this would be one of those rare horror/comedies that would work then it kind of came out and just went and most reviews were negative.  It’s got a good cast but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it gain the horror black comedy is the hardest sub-genre to pull off, you’re almost better to go hard in one direction, just make it a horror that has some humor or do a comedy that has splashes of horror.

What I Liked: I’ll be real honest here for the first third I really didn’t like this film, the jokes didn’t land and it was just bad but to it’s credit it did pick up and things did begin to roll close to the second act and then the third act was fine, once they embraced the horror element(zombie kids) the film found it’s feet.
The cast is good but mostly miscast, the standout is Wood, he’s a genre vet and he makes his very thin character work and once the action starts he’s very good.
The script is a mixed bag, it doesn’t work as a comedy but the action and zombie stuff was pretty well done for of course kind of being a PG-13 horror film, they didn’t have the balls to go all out. The best thing I can say about the film is that it got better and you can’t say that for many genre films, it did improve and everyone was at least trying.

What I Didn’t Like: The script is the weak link here, the characters just don’t work, outside the three main characters no one has more than one character trait, he’s the weird one, poor Jack McBrayer only has that his character is in the closet to play with, I didn’t even know what he taught.  That is why the first half of the film was bad, we didn’t know these characters and really no one was that likable.  The Rainn Wilson was cliched but man he was miscast, didn’t buy him as a former jock at all.  Alison Pill was just bland and really the love triangle thing was the only thing she had going as a character.

The film failed on all levels to be funny and the first 3rd was really not funny, the jokes just did not land.  So has a comedy it was bad, as a horror film it hurt itself trying to be funny.  The directors just didn’t have a handle on the script or what they wanted to do unless they wanted to make an unfunny horror comedy.
Some people might thing it was because it was kids being used as the zombies but I don’t buy it, anything can work this didn’t not because of the source material, zombie can be funny these just weren’t.

Final Thoughts: I made it through it which at points I didn’t think would happen and by the end I kind of not hated it, it was just short of fine.

Rating: 4/10

Bushwick (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

BUSHWICK

Directors: Cary Murnion, Jonathan Milott
Writers: Nick Damici, Graham Reznick
Stars: Brittany Snow, Dave Bautista, Arturo Castro

Plot:  When a Texas military force invades their Brooklyn neighborhood, 20-year-old Lucy and war veteran Stupe must depend on each other to survive.
Running Time: 94 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 49%    Audience  29%

Why I Watched it: I like Bautista and the plot was interesting.

Random Thoughts: So this film has a gimmick, it’s done in long tracking shots and they try to make it look like just one long tracking shot.  Here’s a thing I thought Bautista’s name was Stew and when I see the credits it says Stupe, honestly I heard Stew the whole film.

What I liked: The only reason to watch this film is for Dave Bautista, he’s basically been a secondary guy in his films and this one gives him center stage.  I like him as a presence, of a man his size he’s a quiet actor and he acts small.  Bautista is also a producer on the film, and it makes sense cause he gets an arc and he gets to be a complex character, he’s not just the muscle in the film. The tracking shot gimmick was fine, it got old fast but I give them credit for doing something different and it was nice for a film not to have a million jump cuts.  This does help with the tension and it gives the film a raw feel to it.

What I didn’t like: I’ll stop short of calling this film a mess but man it has a few fatal flaws.  Sure the beginning is jaw dropping but once we get into the main plot it’s confusing and really we have no clue of what’s going on and that’s frustrating to no end.  We don’t know the stakes, we don’t know what kind of movie this is and we don’t get to know the characters much at all. Here’s the other thing this movie is basically a two hander, Bautista and Snow.  Brittany Snow is badly miscast here, she doesn’t have the weight to pull off this role, now I will say her character is not well written but you needed a gritter and harder actress.

The flaw that kills the film is the script and main plot, it’s dumb, sorry but wrapping your head around this plot and also during the third act there’s so many dumb things that people do that it becomes laughable.

Here’s the part that sealed the deal for me, so we follow the two leads trying to get to her grandmother’s house and then to a drop zone so they go to this place and are captured by this gang run by one of the gang member’s mother and they force them to go to this church so they can tell the priest there to meet them at this neighborhood laundry mat so they can meet and join forces.  Now I won’t go through the whole scene in the church which also makes little sense, so they tell people and only the two of them get to the laundry mat and literally no one is there, no one then we get the backstory scene of the one character.  The whole thing was ham fisted and badly written you just shock your head.  Also they get Brittany Snow’s “sister” and man it’s a combo of a bad performance and terrible writing.

Also get your head around a Texas military force invading and trying to take over most of America, just think about it.  There’s a scene where they catch a solider and he tells them and us the plan, and how shocked they were that the people were fighting back, these “soliders” were going house to house and killing everyone in them and they were shocked that people fought back.

Final Thoughts: This was a clear case of a gimmick film that had not much else going for it.  The acting was sub par, the narrative was down right badly down, the action was nothing special and the film has a very downbeat ending that they did not earn at all.

Rating: 3/10