Shimmer Lake: Hooked, lined but a sinker.
On the surface Shimmer Lake, one of the more recent feature films released on and from Netflix, looks like an interesting noir kind of mystery, with enough well known actors and a creepy enough trailer to get you to stream that bad-boy on a ho-hum Tuesday night. Throw in Rainn Wilson, arguably the second best character (there will never be another Michael Scott) from the hilarious and much beloved The Office… I was revved up and ready to go (that’s what she said!).
Unfortunately though, Shimmer Lake didn’t meet expectations (that’s what she said again… wait a minute) and after watching the first 10 minutes or so you start to realize we’re getting the Dwight Schrute from season 9 of The Office and not the slaughterhouse beet-farmer we affectionately love and adore from the previous 8 seasons (although that final season was more of the writers mailing it in than bad Rainn Wilson).
I mean he looked like he was acting in quite a few scenes and you may say well Vic he’s an actor, yeah true but good performance remove acting from the equation and you just see characters in a story and this happened a lot throughout the film and with multiple characters.
However, there is a hook to this murder mystery that revolves around a bank robbery and that hook is having the story told in reverse fashion starting with Friday and heading backwards to the beginning of the week, with each new day ending with a characters death.
Other notable names that join Rainn Wilson in this crime drama was the gorgeous but underwhelming Stephanie Sigman (Columbian Journalist in Narcos) who apparently is the love interest for the entire town, as well as the hilarious duo of Ron Livingston (Office Space) and Rob Corddry (Daily Show, Hot Tub Time Machine) as bumbling FBI agents who get this… weren’t even funny!
It’s like starting a movie with XXX in the title and when you come to watch it’s a completely different film than you expected, however, you linger around because maybe during that big finale Versace may fall to the floor but it never does and instead it’s just Vinny Disel flexing his muscles in a mirror (what the fuck did I just watch!)
But I digress…. Basically I wasn’t the biggest fan of the film but I did stay around long enough to catch the twist ending but by that time you’re kind of like the characters themselves… ho-hum.
First viewing I was not that impressed but believe it or not there were some breadcrumbs throughout the film that had me thinking about it after. Most notably our non-humorous FBI agents first encounter with the lead Sheriff Sikes (who I totally forgot to mention.. oh well.. he played Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer) later in the film that actually takes place on a Tuesday or something.
After Sheriff Sikes gives the agents this is my town my rules kind of speech they look back at him and go sure. “We’re basically the B-team,” where the Livingston character interrupts “I would say lower… More like the E team. We’re just gonna hang back and let you do the work (paraphrasing).”
And to that degree it make me laugh and oddly enough I found more respect for a film willing to poke fun at itself and in my opinion be truthful. You got an A-rate title with a B-rate cast who gave C-rate performance within D-rate script.
There’s probably an E-rate something there too but fuck it… I’m done with Shimmer Lake.
Master of None: Netflix Series (Seasons 1 and 2)
Just finished the first two episodes of season one of Master of None staring Aziz Ansari (Indian dude from Parks and Recreation) and it’s pretty damn good. Ill admit, I have a biased against New York themed comedies (exception of Seinfeld… sorry Girls and that show with talking animals on HBO) guess I like my west coast stuff but probably has a lot to do with national media going gaga over the Yankees, Sox, Tom Brady and the NFC East (how the Knicks doing these days! Ahh yup… my bias is because of sports. That’s right).
Where am I going with this? Ahh, New York Comedy following Aziz in friends trying to make it in show biz while coming of age in their late 20s, early 30s kind of thing (The millennial way).
Pilot episode was decent and was mainly used to bring you into their world. A world where you’re afraid to have kids and prefer to be the nice uncle type. A world where the condom breaks during a one night stand and you freak out trying to find an open drug store late at night to find a morning after pill while being driven around in an Uber. A world that seems all too familiar and funny at the same time.
Throw in a hilarious episode II that traces back the origin story of AZiZ’s father in Indian and his actor buddies father from Taiwan in a series of dark, quickly edited comedic scenes and it had me rolling and wanted more… eventually wanting more because there’s 2 seasons and 18 more episodes to go.
It’s good… but not Stranger Things Good. I’ll pace myself on this one as should you.