Deep in the Valley: Kim Kardashian, Denise Richards, and Chris Pratt??? – Amazon Prime Review

Two roommates get stuck in a world that operates like a 1970s porn film.

SUMMARY (Warning: Written while drunk)

Lester Watts (Chris Pratt while he was still a normal-looking dude) works at a liquor store and also pretty much sucks. His roommate and best friend, Carl (Brendan Hines), is a sad sack with an abusive British fiance (Charlotte “N’Pepa” Salt). They have a beer after work and Lester wins a contest that results in him getting a vintage porn booth belonging to legendary porn star/producer Diamond Jim (Christopher “Shooter McGavin is also a porn name” McDonald). They get in the booth together despite how weird that sounds, but then they’re transported to a magical land populated by all of the porn films that Diamond Jim produced. Jim tells them they’re there until they learn a lesson, because movie has to plot. They quickly run afoul of the law, namely Detective Rod Cannon (Scott “I didn’t need the money” Caan) and dominatrix Suzi Diablo (Blanca Soto). 

The costumes are very traditional.

They manage to escape and hide out at a sorority run by Autumn Bliss (Denise Richards), where Carl meets Bambi (Rachel Specter), an “innocent” sorority girl, relative to the sex-charged others. Bambi and Carl start to fall for each other until a comic misunderstanding. Carl and Lester hide out at the local college and continue to, mostly, evade Rod and Suzi. In an attempt to escape to reality, they meet, briefly, with porn legend Summa Eve (Kim Kardashian) and rapper turned porn-star Busta Nut (Tracy Morgan, clearly playing Tracy Jordan). The protagonists then have a falling out in order to create third-act tension. They shortly reunite and break into Diamond Jim’s mansion, where it’s revealed that Lester is Jim’s son and Carl goes back to reality to f*ck Bambi, a thing that somehow didn’t happen in a world literally run by porn.

The face of local law enforcement.

END SUMMARY

When I put this movie on my list of potential B-movies, it was entirely based on the fact that the three people in the subtitle were mentioned as being in it. I wasn’t sure what the hell happened that would bring those particular people together. Then, I saw Christopher McDonald and Scott Caan in the cast list and I knew I would never be able to live with myself if I didn’t watch this movie. Just as a small aside, why the hell is Scott Caan here? Who did he lose a bet with? Who did he owe a favor to? This was after all three Ocean’s Eleven films. Sure, he wasn’t Danno 2.0 yet, but I can’t imagine he needed the money that badly. The movie isn’t even subtle about how much it appreciates his presence, there are literally photos of him in almost every room in the film, regardless of whether he’s there or not. On the other hand, I completely understand Tracy Morgan’s cameo, despite being 3 seasons into 30 Rock by this point. He is clearly playing Tracy Jordan in this film and, if I’m being honest, he gives the best performance because he perfectly matches the corny tone of a vintage porno. I’ll also give credit to the casting of Chris Pratt, because at this point in his career he definitely seems like the guy who watches porn at work. 

Shooter’s having a good day.

The thing about this movie is, it’s not “so bad, it’s good,” nor is it just “so bad.” Instead, this movie is “almost good.” There were a lot of solid lines and some funny moments in the film, way more than I expected from a movie like this. Almost everything Tracy Morgan says made me laugh, and Denise Richards making a double penetration joke was surprisingly hilarious. Most of the scenes have jokes hidden in the background, particularly on fliers or signs, something that I always appreciate. The problem is that this movie never quite got its tone straight and it relied too heavily on a gimmicky premise rather than using it as a setting to tell a funny story. There’s also a bunch of “gross-out” humor that didn’t work, at all. I really wish I could say it’s a dumpster fire, but it isn’t, it’s just a movie that didn’t quite work. Also, for some reason the R-rated version didn’t have nudity, which was a decision that baffles the mind. It’s a porno setting, you need some boobs.

Tracy Morgan is amazing.

Overall, glad I was drunk for this, but it was definitely not the train wreck I anticipated. Also, Shooter McGavin is still a better porn name than Diamond Jim. Just saying.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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Prime Review – The Tick: Seasons 1 and 2 (Spoiler-Free for Season 2)

Probably the most beloved superhero spoof of all time got his second (Patrick Warburton’s was short lived) live-action adaptation and it is filled with the sweet stench of mighty blue justice.

SUMMARY

Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman) is a mild-mannered accountant… except that he’s not particularly mild-mannered, more neurotic and borderline PTSD. When he was young, his father was killed by the world’s greatest supervillain The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley), who then singled him out for torment before eventually being apparently killed by the world’s mightiest superhero, Superian (Brendan Hines). Arthur believes the Terror is still alive and sets out to prove it, before running into a giant blue man known only as The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz). The Tick is amnesiac, super-strong, nigh-invulnerable, overly-dramatic, and pretty much insane, but with a good heart and a desire for justice. The Tick gifts Arthur with an experimental flying suit he found in a warehouse and, after some initial complications, Arthur agrees to become his sidekick. Together, the two dive into the world of superheroes and supervillains, encountering the villainous Miss Lint (Yara Martinez), the violent anti-hero Overkill (Scott Speiser) and his sidekick Dangerboat (Alan “I’m amazing” Tudyk), Arthur’s sister Dot (Valorie Curry), and culminating in them gaining fame for helping defeat the still-alive Terror.

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He is very abdominal in this episode.

The second season focuses on the Tick and Arthur dealing with the return of the government agency A.E.G.I.S., the best S.H.I.E.L.D. knock-off on film so far, and trying to find their place in the new order.

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He also does the funniest costume change on film.

END SUMMARY

This show is one of the few Amazon Prime shows that were picked up based on their pilot and I don’t think I can tell you how happy that made me. It makes me even happier to say that they really fixed some of the problems that were present in the pilot almost immediately. See, the pilot’s core joke was basically “what if we stuck The Tick in a gritty reboot, but we didn’t make the Tick gritty or serious?” Admittedly, that premise was funny and every second The Tick was on film was amazing, particularly him dealing with realistic criminals in his goofy manner. The only problem was that the world itself was just a hair TOO gritty. One of the best parts of every version of The Tick is the other goofy characters that populate it. The show quickly managed to fill that void with a bunch of great supporting characters, many of whom are comical exaggerations of the “gritty” superhero image, particularly Overkill.

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He has to talk in a deep, gravely voice or his Alexa doesn’t recognize him.

The first season was flat-out hilarious to me once it found its rhythm, although it did take a few episodes to really get it. Griffin Newman and Valorie Curry both subtly adjusted their characters to fit a little better within the post-pilot world the show was developing. Arthur became more similar to his animated counterpart, though with a lot more realism and backstory, while Dot became a badass. Jackie Earle Haley, on the other hand, played the perfect self-indulgent villain from start to finish. I think few things will ever stick with me as well as his line “You don’t kill people because they call you names; you kill them because it’s fun.” It’s literally the most evil but also surprisingly reasonable thing you can say: Evil should be about enjoyment whether it’s at the expense of others or not. After all, why be evil if it’s not fun?

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He literally stops in the middle of a mass murder to harass a child. For fun.

I will say that there are two things in the pilot which did convince me that the show had a lot of potential. The first is the scene of The Tick effortlessly defeating a bunch of warehouse thugs while using his typical goofy dialogue. Second, at the end of the episode, The Tick is monologuing about his future with Arthur as superheroes and says “Destiny’s got her hand way up in their puppets.” That’s basically the perfect line for The Tick’s very specific brand of insanity and spoofing.

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Even the hero poses are perfectly exaggerated. 

The Second Season has the advantage of being able to introduce more of the bizarre and goofy characters that we were looking for because the world has now been expanded enough for someone to just randomly appear with superpowers. They also having a running plotline about coercion that plays out very well.

Overall, I love this show. It’s just a solid spoof of superheroes, particularly gritty reboots. Peter Serafinowicz is a treasure and is just as good in the role as Patrick Warburton was (though that show’s writing was nowhere near the level of this one, Warburton was amazing). If you’ve got a Prime subscription and love comedy, just power through the first 2-3 episodes and then get ready for a great time.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.