Thursday 26 June 2014

IMDb Bottom 100 Review – Number 80 Feel the Noise

Movies inspired by, and infused by, music. They seem like the perfect idea on paper. You get a movie. Cool. People like movies. And you get music. That's cool. People like music also. Why, then, does it only rarely work out positively? Where does it trip and fall? In this case, everywhere. It becomes so pointless and half assed, you even forget to not give a fuck half way through. You are just sitting there, idly watching images flicker by, hoping that you can disband this emotional funk you've been lulled into, once it's over. If you still care enough to read on, tonight we are dealing with...

Giancarlo laying down some truth, yo!

I've a hard time with movies that are chiefly driven by music or a musician. Once in a blue moon it works, like Searching for Sugar Man, or I'm not there. But with those movies, the music and the musician in question were both interesting, for various reasons. Nobody in this flick is interesting in any way whatsoever. This is a coming of age story, and it really does have the basis for an interesting development. But for some reason it just never really crosses that magic threshold from dull as shit to interesting and thought provoking. It's hard to put a finger on a specific element, because they all lack in quality. The acting was, generally, pretty abysmal and subpar. I didn't connect with any of the characters. Admittedly I don't expect to after 20 odd movies from this list. But still, it would be nice to be pleasantly surprised once in a while. This was just drab. One little character managed to light up a tiny portion of the movie, but even that wasn't enough to keep the whole thing afloat. And his light was only bright enough based on his other roles. Otherwise I feel that he, too, would have been entirely forgettable.

But mooooooom... I don't wanna go to Puerto Rico!

In this particular hunk of goat doo, we follow young Rob Vega, an up and coming or perhaps just wannabe rapper from Bronx. We aren't treated to a whole big setup of his character, as we are in the movie Fresh or that other one with 2Pac (Juice it was called. I just remembered). We basically learn, that he lives with his mother, and that things are pretty standard ghetto shitty. It's all very blah blah if you should happen to ask me. He seems like he's really sleepy all the time, this Rob dude. I know it's an attitude that's common in that particular milieu, and he's supposed to come off as quietly aloof while simultaneously haunted by the state of his surroundings, but due to lack of acting or whatever, it comes off as just sleepy and dozy. I don't know about you guys, but I'm not a fan of this particular attitude. I recently completely a school assignment with a dude who employed this attitude, and it's really hard to work with. Like nothing really matters. I'm all for not giving a shit, but mostly, or exclusively when it concerns stuff in your own life. If you are involved in an effort that other people rely on, you give at least a small fuck. That's just how I was raised I suppose. But, alas, I am straying further and further off point here. Like any other teenager out there, Rob Vega was threatened on his life, repeatedly. You're loafing along, minding your own damn business and all of a sudden you're mixed up in a massive gang war. So to make a long and boring story shorter, albeit equally boring, Rob Vega's mom gets scared, says he's living with his estranged dad in Puerto Rico far far south of Bel Air.

C.C. getting sassy in the car. She's such a joker, you guys!

Rob goes to Puerto Rico and bunks with his dad, who is married to some lady. A nice lady, as it happens. Now I didn't quite catch whether they had a kid together, or if she had a kid from a previous marriage. I could've skipped back a bit, but the remote was several inches to my left, and I couldn't muster the energy to pick it up. Anyway, another kid is living in the house too, and is the same age as Rob, so it stands to reason that he's related to at least one of the grown ups. He introduces Rob to reggaeton, a mix between reggae, hip hop and the inherently latin beats of Puerto Rico. Rob is immediately enticed, and he and this kid, that I believe is called Nodde, starts jamming together, creating sick beats and ill rhymes like it was nineteen ninety fucking nine. They are joined by the girl C.C. who desperately wants to become a dancer. Together they start rocking it out like regular champs on the Puerto Rico scene. Eventually they get mixed up in some gang shit in Puerto Rico as well, because you can take the kid out of the streets but you can't take the streets out of the kid. Or some similar bullshit. And when the trouble he is in starts endangering his pops, Rob knows shit has hit the fan again. It's time to return to the Bronx, like fucking masters, and reclaim the throne that was never his to begin with. So he does, along with C.C. and the dude possibly named Nodde. They hook up with some hot shot producer, hoping their big break is just around the corner. But it turns out, that corner is still far off. The producer is really only after C.C. panties, and totally could give a fuck about Rob and Noddewhateverhisnameis, because she's totally hot and they are totally just normal fucknuggets with no talent. I mean, him trying to rape her isn't that cool of a thing to do, but he totally called it on the musical duo. They were shit. Depressed, Rob and Nodde wander the streets, and just as things are at their absolutely bleakest, they run into some shitkicker from Puerto Rico. He was involved in a gang hit in Puerto Rico, and Rob and Noddewasit? Helped him out of a tight spot. So he feels like he owes them. He has already made it in the biz, he is in town for Puerto Rico day and he totally hooks them up, and they catch their big break. Happy ending all around. Yay.

Nodde I think his name is, mixing up some sick beats on the old laptop.

I don't know if you picked it up during the previous two paragraphs, but this movie was, or is, insanely boring. It walks the fine line between being hate inducing and being an acceptable watch. And it's that weird no-man's land that's really enervating. I watched this movie, and at no point was I entertained. I was bored from the first minute, and what's more, I really disliked everything I saw, but not enough so that I was annoyed. It drained all emotion from my already fragile mind. I rarely turn off movies I've started, or bail out in the middle of anything. I'm kind of stubborn like that, I guess, and I hate giving up. Hence this blog. But man, I would've probably quit this one, if I hadn't felt a weird sense of commitment to you guys. See what you're making me do? I'm miserable here! Watching crappy movies, and for what? So you lot can sit in your comfy chairs, with a stupid smirk on your prepubescent faces? What has my life come to? I don't even know anymore. But I champion on. Because your approval is everything that matters now. Love me. PLEASE JUST LOVE ME!

"So we agreed. Just the tip, right?"

Alright, I think it's pretty apparent by now, that there is very little to say about this movie, that goes beyond 'I was so bored watching it, I almost forgot to breathe'. Like I mentioned earlier, this was a coming of age story. Rob is a kid in the Bronx, he has dreams that are shattered when he gets in trouble. He is sent off to his estranged father in another country (technically anyway), whom he at first resents for not being the father he needed, but ultimately reconnects with in a moment of need. He returns home, faces another hardship but triumphs in the end. It's a tried and tested formula, that could have easily worked. It did in countless other movies. But not in this one. I think we can credit the director and cast for this failure to achieve what they set out to. The director is an Argentinian named Alejandro Chomski, no relation. His IMDb associated message boards consists of 3 posts, two of which hail him as the greatest Argentinian director ever. I'll freely admit, I haven't seen any of his other works, so I'm judging him based solely on this particular movie. And that judgment is not for the faint of heart. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where this travesty went wrong, but since the director is, ultimately, the guy in charge (generalization, perhaps, but I think we can agree that it's the director more so than others in the majority of the cases) I'm gonna go ahead and hold him personally responsible. The movie is just ball bouncingly dull and without merit. This was, like many of the films on this Bottom 100 list, this particular director's first feature film. There is something about those debut flicks, isn't there?

C.C. realized a dancing contract don't come cheap, and she wasn't up when it came time to pay the piper.

As for the actors, they were a wholly unmemorable lot. Except this one dude. I believe I mentioned him earlier. Giancarlo Esposito, is his name. I knew him from Fresh, also mentioned earlier. He played the main antagonist, a charming but menacing drug dealer. He is more widely known from Breaking Bad, where he is also the main antagonist, and, I believe, one of the main reasons the series was elevated to the amount of success it was. Walter and Jesse were both superb, but Gustavo Fring was an awesome two-faced character. Giancarlo has a quiet demeanor to him, that's pretty cool to watch, and easy to connect to. I like him anyway. He did alright here, even if his role was small.

Trouble is a-brewin' for out hero. Will he prevail? Nobody gave a shit. 

The main character is played by a dude named Omarion Grandberry. Interesting last name. Not interesting actor. Again, I haven't really seen him in anything else, but from what I understand, he is a musician as well. Perhaps that's the better career path, and he should definitely stick to that, because if Feel the Noise is anything to go by, acting isn't a street he should bother walking down. There was, or is, a little controversy about the casting of Mr. Grandberry, because he is straight black, and his dad, in the movie, was Puerto Rican and that's a problem to many people, apparently. Because of race, right? I don't know. To be honest, that was the least of this movie's problems. But I digress. The rest of the cast struck me as being small specks of light in a blur of nonsense. Nobody stands out. The music in this flick is decent at first, but repetitive, and not in the good way. As a big fan of electronic music, I'm a big fan of monotony and repetitiveness generally, but this just went and took that to a whole new level. They even manage to cock up a fairly decent reggae/hip-hop mix. I can't imagine a target audience that would think this movie would be badass. However, a quick visit by the movie's IMDb message boards, tells me otherwise. Every effort on this list, has somebody defending it (with the possible exception of Santa Claus conquers the Martians). Overall, I wouldn't recommend this movie even to the dude who keeps turning down the water temperature in my apartment block. Sure I hate his guts, because a tepid shower is just beneath my standards, but if he dies from boredom watching Feel the Noise, I'll have a rotting corpse stinking up the place. And ain't nobody got time for that!

Giancarlo comes through what whaat? Is somebody cutting onions in here?


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