Author Topic: Sorry to Bother You (2018)  (Read 2469 times)

newbridge

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Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« on: July 23, 2018, 12:58:52 AM »
Is there no thread for this yet? It may only be on limited release in the U.S. right now.

Anyways, it's the long awaited writing/directorial debut of the magnificent Boots Riley from rap group The Coup.

Ignore the trailer, the trailer is not great. The film itself is fantastic, but difficult to describe. I recommend going in without reading anything about it in advance.

In short, it's a surprisingly funny comedy with an unabashed left-wing political message. Starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Terry Crews, and Armie Hammer, and voices by David Cross and Patton Oswalt.

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2018, 08:00:51 AM »
Voices by?
Intrigued.

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 08:23:12 AM »
Have you read a plot synopsis? That would explain the "voiced by" bit. I would watch pretty much anything with Lakeith Stanfield in it, and the other cast is great as well

Blumf

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2018, 10:59:17 AM »
Review here should help:

https://jacobinmag.com/2018/07/sorry-to-bother-you-boots-riley-review
Quote
I’ve been rooting so long for somebody to make an anticapitalist black comedy that I’m shocked somebody finally did. Writer-director Boots Riley — front man for the Oakland-based communist hip-hop group The Coup, which has given us such cult favorites as “The Guillotine” and “Kill My Landlord” — makes his feature-film debut with Sorry to Bother You. This socialist-must-see indie film is earning so much money and critical acclaim that the press is all over Riley — including one of those reverent profile pieces in the New York Times that lets us know there’s a new star in the heavens.

If we lived in a sane country with a political system that made any sense whatsoever and a media to match, this film wouldn’t be generating so much excitement. But we don’t, and we haven’t seen a mainstream pro-union film since, uhhhhhhh . . . Matewan in 1987? That fact alone makes Sorry to Bother You a riveting experience.

Mister Six

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2018, 02:30:42 AM »
Saw this a couple of days ago and really enjoyed it, although I didn't love it - which is surprising, because I like all its constituent parts of anti-capitalism, magic realism, Gondry-inspired playfulness and (of course) the magnificent Lakieth Stanfield, who shines here just as brightly as he does everywhere else. It just didn't click, but I'm entirely willing to say that's my deficiency, not the film's.

The less you know about it going in the better, I think, but I will say that it feels a bit like something made in the 80s or 90s - something like Repo Man or The Killer Tongue; a bit rough-and-ready, manifestly unpolished* but definitely a unique vision expressed as its creator intended it.

Also it was shot for $3.2 million, which is fucking astounding to me. I assume Boots pulled in a lot of favours and got people to work for scale, because this movie doesn't look like it was shot for peanuts at all.

Anyway: recommended. Has anyone else seen it?



* I say this more about the script, because it looks great.

Mister Six

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2018, 02:36:41 AM »
Review here should help:

https://jacobinmag.com/2018/07/sorry-to-bother-you-boots-riley-review

Bit weird that they identify Stanfield as being in The Purge: Anarchy and Selma, and not Straight Outta Compton, Get Out or (particularly) Atlanta. Gives the impression that whoever wrote that article doesn't actually know anything about cinema or TV.

EDIT: Also...

Quote
(although I loved discovering that once upon a time Morgan was the one who wanted to use the node zapper and Alex was the one who wanted to destroy the station - making his end, should you choose the detonation option, all the more pathetic and affecting... he's )

Wasn't that Michel Gondry-esque practical work? Gondry's a big inspiration (note the name of the director on Steve Lift's animated video) and it looked like that...

Mister Six

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2018, 05:57:21 AM »
Fuck, that quote was from another post of mine.

I was referring to the bit about furniture and CGI in the review.

hermitical

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 07:04:36 AM »
I'm patiently waiting for a UK release but it hasn't got overseas distribution yet afaik - because "black films don't travel"

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2018, 10:22:31 PM »
This is 'available' now, just watched it and loved it to pieces. Will ramble on more later, but I'd recommend everyone watch it asap.

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2018, 10:26:47 PM »
Oooo thanks for the heads up!

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 12:20:12 AM »
Some of that film was good. And then there was the horse stuff.

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 01:04:11 AM »
Some of that film was good. And then there was the horse stuff.

Ah what that was one of the best factors for me; was laughing for a day or so post-film about how no one could predict that plot twist. That and the term "equisapien"

Great film, really chilled and laid back and lots of parts that arent selfurinate funny but just make you go 'heh.'

Was reminded of charlie Kaufman and gondry in that 'not that different from this world but also completely different from this world' ethic they often employ.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 01:41:57 AM »
Ah what that was one of the best factors for me; was laughing for a day or so post-film about how no one could predict that plot twist. That and the term "equisapien"

Great film, really chilled and laid back and lots of parts that arent selfurinate funny but just make you go 'heh.'

Was reminded of charlie Kaufman and gondry in that 'not that different from this world but also completely different from this world' ethic they often employ.

That's how I felt, I was enjoying the film a lot but then the horse stuff took it to another level.

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 08:16:52 AM »
That's how I felt, I was enjoying the film a lot but then the horse stuff took it to another level.

Well, it seems I’m in the minority then.

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 09:30:39 AM »
Well, it seems I’m in the minority then.

Thats ok :)

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2018, 09:44:00 PM »
Was reminded of charlie Kaufman and gondry in that 'not that different from this world but also completely different from this world' ethic they often employ.

TBH that kind of spoiled it for me, inasmuch as the likes of Gondry and Kaufman do this sort of stuff so much better.

non capisco

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2018, 12:54:38 AM »
I thought this was absolutely fucking ace. Relentlessly inventive without ever coming totally off the rails. Funny, angry, vital. I don't know if it was an influence but it reminded me a hell of a lot of 'Repo Man' in feel and my avatar probably suggests why that might appeal to me.

non capisco

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2018, 01:01:51 AM »
the likes of Gondry and Kaufman do this sort of stuff so much better.

There was an explicit acknowledgement to Gondry being a stylistic influence in one scene but I certainly wouldn't say that Boots Riley's work on this film was in any way a dilution or a pale retread. Why do you think so? There's so much creativity and artistically channelled rage popping out of 'Sorry To Bother You' and yet as far out as it ends up going it maintains its coherency. I was blown away by it. (I'm not that articulate describing films I really loved watching, I'm afraid. I don't know why that is.)

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2018, 09:36:19 PM »
I felt that this seemed less focused compared to Gondry's work. Yes, there was an awful lot of creativity in it - I just felt that perhaps not all the creativity was pulling in the same direction.

Will definitely be keeping an eye on Riley's future work, though.

Large Noise

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2018, 10:46:49 PM »
Just saw it.

I agree with most of what's been said on here. Similar to Repo Man and They Live, and Gondry (who is effectively name-checked at one point). A lot to like about it, but could've done with stronger supporting characters, and it's amusing rather than laugh out loud funny. Thought the spoiler: "we want you to be their MLK, but really you're working for us" idea could've been developed into a pretty crazy and interesting plotline, but it would've required a whole lot more special effects than they probably could've afforded.

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2018, 01:41:31 AM »
Watched this tonight and found it oddly, unfortunately flat.

I can kind of reach towards the Repo Man and They Live comparisons but, having watched both those films this year for the first time, we found it no where near as fun, pulpy, knowingly-trashy, high octane, creative and enjoyable.

I could sense the peculiar kind of flatness I was in for when his uncle, closing an already clanging and exposition-heavy exchange, signed off with something like: 'Fuck you, ass hole.' It didn't seem to suit either the blue-collar uncle or the obviously good-natured Cash, but worst of all it was the mic drop of the scene, and really nothing.

Somehow it felt to me, both in the script and the way it was shot (and perhaps especially in the way it reached visually for things it couldn't quite pull off), like what might have been an interesting comic book.

I know the script won a prize a few years ago. After watching the movie I happened to hear the Brett Easton Ellis podcast discussing it, and he opined that they hadn't spent the intervening years working on the script. Got to agree. Feels like there were shadows in there of plots that were dropped or half-baked as well (STDs being one).

Intriguing as a first film (I think?), but from these ingredients I feel like there are three or four different films it could have been. All of them maybe a little more low-key and achievable than what we got. Also, can't quite see what Boots' thing would be in a bigger budget showing. No amazing performances, no great lines in the script, good ideas not quite chased down, etc.

Have to say I found the MESSAGE-ness of it a bit heavy, as well.

Your main guy is gonna be absolutely fucking huge, though. I hope to God it's not in a Marvel film or something.

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2018, 01:55:31 AM »
I don't know much about The Coup, but whenever I hear or read about them I'm always reminded how great MySpace was back in the day. I discovered My Favourite Mutiny via the theme song on the page of a friend who got in touch, and it really impressed me.

I've just posted on the thread about memory, and it occurs to me that despite being an avid fan and user of MySpace - I honestly can't remember when or why everyone stopped using it?

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2018, 11:35:14 AM »
.
I've just posted on the thread about memory, and it occurs to me that despite being an avid fan and user of MySpace - I honestly can't remember when or why everyone stopped using it?

Gradual shift towards Facebook. Iirc FB started out as something you could only use if you were part of an institution (my uni friends were the first people I knew on it) and I think because of that geographical connection that a lot of people on the platform shared, a social element naturally came with it. A kind of closed club feel. Also, MySpace was considered emo and juvenile in most quarters, where FB (unbelievably, now) was more proper and grown up, and I think that allowed it to capture a wider cross section of people than MySpace.

Thread derail but it’s so weird to think back to those days and how thrilling things like early MySpace and Facebook were for a while.

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2018, 02:41:39 PM »
Just watched it this eve, very good performances. I mean the main character getting ahead, with people in his circle getting affected, was not treading new ground at all, yet it subtly made up for it with the mad twist.

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2018, 03:37:29 PM »
A treat of a film.  Charming, funny, well-earned surrealism.  Bubbling energy and inventiveness (pumped up by an, thank god, utterly apt Tune Yards score). 

Almost went past my radar.  Wasn't sure about the voice-overs at first but as the gag developed it made more and more artistic sense.  Big laughs throughout.  Wow.  More please. 

zomgmouse

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2018, 02:05:37 PM »
Cooool stuff. Not all of it entirely added up but massive points for originality and weirdness and politics. The rap scene was one of the funniest things I've seen in a film this year I think. Lots of little touches worked well, like the changing photo. Very recommended.

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2018, 07:32:19 PM »
Yeah I thought this was fantastic.

Managed to combine funny, surreal inventiveness with real solid anti-capitalist anger.

Like a Charlie Kaufman film by a passionate black guy rather than a cynical white guy (I say this as a fan of Kaufman (with the exception of Anomolisa) , but it's still refreshing).

kittens

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Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2018, 01:14:39 AM »
i thought this film was okay. really not seeing why everyone says it's so great. it felt like it was made to teach dumb people that unions are good. thought army hammer was very handsome though, so i give it five stars

Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2018, 10:39:32 PM »
Watched this tonight and found it oddly, unfortunately flat.

I can kind of reach towards the Repo Man and They Live comparisons but, having watched both those films this year for the first time, we found it no where near as fun, pulpy, knowingly-trashy, high octane, creative and enjoyable.

I could sense the peculiar kind of flatness I was in for when his uncle, closing an already clanging and exposition-heavy exchange, signed off with something like: 'Fuck you, ass hole.' It didn't seem to suit either the blue-collar uncle or the obviously good-natured Cash, but worst of all it was the mic drop of the scene, and really nothing.

Somehow it felt to me, both in the script and the way it was shot (and perhaps especially in the way it reached visually for things it couldn't quite pull off), like what might have been an interesting comic book.

I know the script won a prize a few years ago. After watching the movie I happened to hear the Brett Easton Ellis podcast discussing it, and he opined that they hadn't spent the intervening years working on the script. Got to agree. Feels like there were shadows in there of plots that were dropped or half-baked as well (STDs being one).

Intriguing as a first film (I think?), but from these ingredients I feel like there are three or four different films it could have been. All of them maybe a little more low-key and achievable than what we got. Also, can't quite see what Boots' thing would be in a bigger budget showing. No amazing performances, no great lines in the script, good ideas not quite chased down, etc.

Have to say I found the MESSAGE-ness of it a bit heavy, as well.

Your main guy is gonna be absolutely fucking huge, though. I hope to God it's not in a Marvel film or something.

I came to say I was really disappointed with this film but this post is pretty much exactly what I think point by point.

I would add though my overall take from it, is that the whole was a bit of a ball-ache and if I was the kind of person not interested in unionisation and work-place exploitation this film would do nothing to sway me to show an interest. It is also way less funny and smart than it thinks it is.


Re: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2018, 01:45:53 PM »
Saw this last night. I actually went to see it on the last night the GFT were showing it, only to find it was sold out. I thought it was rather good.