THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND (2020)

Directed By: Judd Apatow

Written By: Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson & Dave Sirus

Cinematography: Robert Elswit

Editor: Jay Cassidy, William Kerr & Brian Olds

Cast: Pete Davidson, Bill Burr, Marisa Tomei, Steve Buscemi, Bel Powley, Moises Arias, Carly Aquilino, Maude Apatow, Kevin Corrigan, Pamela Adlon, Rich Vos, Keith Robinson, Jimmy Tatro, Dominick Lombardozzi, Colson Baker, Ricky Velez, Lou Wilson

Scott has been a case of arrested development since his firefighter dad died. He spends his days smoking weed and dreaming of being a tattoo artist until events force him to grapple with his grief and take his first steps forward in life.


This is not Writer/Director Judd Apatow’s worst or most disappointing movie, but disappointing to a certain degree.

Saw the somewhat similar BIG TIME ADOLESCENCE where Pete Davidson played a similar aimless character who seems stuck in arrested development and mental illness. That film had a more straight to the point story whereas this seems to be comfortable in the moments. Wherever they go. Which is great for the performers, for the audience it can go either way. Which might be why this film isn’t as good as I had hoped as it feels a little familiar.

One of Judd Apatow’s talent is always getting comedic actors who he wants to work with to kind of write their own stories and movies that are a bit autobiographical and then they can try to tie it to a more central plot-oriented conceit. Allowing them to bring out the talents and charm of the actors. As well as make it feel more real as it is partly based in the leads life. This helping to bring out the best in them and showcase their talents. Usually giving them more depth and heart then they have ever been allowed before. 

He has become so good at mixing comedy and drama he feels like a modern-day James L. Brooks. Strangely Judd Apatow movies are also always reminiscent of John Cassavettes films. As he always wants to cut to the truth of the scenes and characters. Where he also let’s then scenes flow freely from comedy to devastating drama. This usually works when his films are further away from formula. 

It also helps that the characters in these movies might be more comedic and therefore humor but they also feel loved in more than just actorly in performance. 

This is one of the few films he has made that is less high concept. Usually there is a concept and users the comedians personality, charm and instincts to make it more of a character piece.

The film is big yet the main character is aimless. Things happen throughout making the film more eventful but leaving the film still kind of formless. Even with a skeleton underneath. As the film is too long. 

Pete Davidson is pretty much playing a less successful version of himself or his public persona. He is a charming knucklehead who seems charming and fun. Yet has presence and you would be friends with. It never totally understands. 

The cast gives it all but feels like a pilot. As it seems to set up a lot but never quite pull the trigger. so that there seems to be more room for development amongst the characters. 

The film offers comedian Bill Burr a great role close to the leading man and he is excellent in the role.

One wishes Pamela Adlon was in the film more and had more to do. The same with Marisa Tomei. As the film comes off more like a boy’s club. It’s the same fate As well for bel Powley as she is funny and sexy in her role. As a sometimes love interest who gets tired of being used and taken for granted.

The film doesn’t seem to know where it wants to go. As it leads us to various places. Sometimes it stays around, but often makes a pit stop and then moves forward going along and not really looking back too much and it doesn’t really have an ending. An Especially  satisfying one 

Once a plot does rear its head. The film stays with it then takes a turn to allow for some more wandering. Which leaves the film entertaining but makes it feel endless. 

The film leaves a lot of plates spinning. Where some characters appear and then disappear. Which works as it shows once away from the lead their influence is on existent. Their lack of importance to the main character is that small of an important overall to the Film and they almost come off as forgotten by the end. 

Grade: C

BUMBLEBEE (2018)

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Directed By: Travis Knight
Story & Written By: Christina Hodson
Cinematography: Enrique Chediak
Editor: Paul Rubell

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Pamela Adlon, Jason Drucker, Stephen Schneider,John Ortiz, Glynn Turman, Len Cariou, Fred Dryer, Megyn Price 


On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.


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