Thursday, September 3, 2015
STATEN ISLAND SUMMER (2015)
Directed By: Rhys Thomas
Written By: Colin Jost
Cinematography By: Anthony Wolberg
Editor: Steve Edwards & Adam Epstein
Cast: Graham Phillips, Zach Pearlman, Ashley Greene, Cecily Strong, Bobby Moynihan, John DeLuca, Vincent Pastore, Mike O’Brien, Fred Armisen, Katie Cockrell, Kellie Cockrell, Jim Gaffigan, Will Forte, Kate Walsh, Gina Gershon, Penny Marshall, Method Man, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Mary Birdsong, Hassan Johnson
Pals Danny and Frank spend the summer after high school working as lifeguards while figuring out their future.
To tell the truth. I really didn't know anything about this movie until all of a sudden it popped up on Netflix. Reading the premise and watching the trailer didn't hold too much of a promise but I liked the cast. Mostly Current and some past SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE cast members as well as some recognizable comedic talent.
This film won me over. As I didn't expect much and it surpassed any expectations I could have had for the film. Not as strange or crazy as WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER. Thigh it fits into the summer camp/job coming of age teen comedy film. It offers all the usual fixings, crushes, beautiful girls, scoring, the big party; coming of age, sex, drugs, booze, vulgarity and nudity
The film oddly reminded me of some CADDYSHACK, MEATBALLS, THE FLAMINGO KID, ADVENTURELAND, THE WAY WAY BACK. Even if not similarly themed not as good as some of those films (though would recommend all of them)
Luckily the film doesn't run into being a loser bunch of skits and sketches, Set around a public swimming pool in Staten Island. It is a full corny with memorable characters and a familiar, yet hilarious story.
The film is set it modern times but feels and looks more like it could be set in the 80's. So that any modern references its how's or uses. It kind of takes you out of the film A bit. Though luckily not in a bad way and not in a way that disrupts the rhythm of the film.
This film could have gone south a bunch of times, but that's to the writing which seems to come up With new ways to keep the story moving and have set pieces that are hilarious a bit Deranged, but usually funny. Not only that but the performances are energetic and engaging. Some might be a bit one note, though most start off that way and end up becoming more rounded. So that you care more about them and the circumstances.
I must admit as a semi-regular fan of SNL. It's nice to see the cast members more staying in character. Rather than just be stock sketch characters. Some also get to have more screen time then they do on the show and It's all the better for them as you get to see their comedic skills and strength of talent in character.
Cecily strong makes a big impression here in her supporting role as the ultimate tomboy. Head writer and weekend update host Colin Jost is more funny and flexible more then I have ever seen him before. (It might be because he alsoe wrote the film.It might be somewhat auto-biographical, Also more profane. The same can be said for non SNL cast member Mike O’Brein who is an actor who seems to pop up in comedic roles all over the place and though playing the same type of character. Here his character has more heart and more of a purpose.
As always Bobby Moynihan is great In his scenes. This film had me laughing out loud more times than not. While it allows for happy endings and might be predictable at least the characters earn their moments. Though the humorous harsh and can be disturbing. In the end the film is sweet.
Watching this film, this is how I wish more SNL films were. That allow for comedic talent though also have a workable storyline, Too many times when stretching out a character from the show. It becomes either rather thin with tired jokes the sketch has already worn thin. Now it just seems like either more exploitation of the character or a greatest hits version that really stretches as we are in their peculiar world. It can seem like an extended version of the sketch that doesn't allow for any growth, but leaves room for other characters for them to interact with in a certain reality. Now of course there are the ones that work, but those tend to be few and far In between. Sometimes i think they should go the route of creating new comedic characters as mike Myers was successful with and failed to a certain degree. Or something like this where younger the talent and find a film where they can shine, but also develops as a story and has something to give not only the audience, but also the film world at large.
While not earth shattering, if you are looking for a good laugh and a nice summer themed film, To go into the last days of summer with a cast of familiar faces. That will remind you of the good times. You can't go wrong with this film. Though might be enjoyed most under the influence of good times and maybe something a bit stronger.