Monday, October 27, 2014

+1

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! + 1 what?  Damage?  Healing?  What?!?








+1 – 3 out of 5

Whenever I see “plus one” on an invitation to a wedding or birthday party or funeral (I get a lot of those…and they’re usually for my own, which is weird), I always have a small panic attack because I start to wonder who should be my plus one.  I mean I know it should be my girlfriend but James down the street has a go-kart and Sara two blocks over once saw a blimp—and then there’s that guy I always see at Walmart who has one arm.  The point I’m making is that these people are clearly interesting and I would like to take them to a party.  The additional point I’m making is I'm killing time and coming up with a bullshit opening paragraph that kinda/sorta has something to do with the title/story.  I’ll be honest, of course my girlfriend will always be my plus one—she’ll hurt me if she’s not.

We've all been there, amirite?  Please tell me that I'm not the only one who has their
reflection move on its own...
 

David is clearly a shitty friend since he let Teddy
arrive at the party in those pants.
David (Rhys Wakefield) made a little bit of a boo-boo.  When visiting his girlfriend Jill (Ashley Hinshaw), he stupidly kissed another girl and now he’s desperate to get her back--his girlfriend Jill, not the girl he kissed.  He hears she (Jill, not the girl he kissed, get that girl out of your head) is going to be at the ultimate of ultimate house parties and he decides to take his friend Teddy (Logan Miller) to it in order to win her back.  However, after a mysterious comet crash lands nearby, things start to go a little crazy (it's not one of those good comets that are filled with candy and cash).  After a blackout, David, Teddy, their friend Allison (Colleen Dengel), and a girl Teddy hooked up with named Melanie (Natalie Hall) suddenly find that there is a duplicate of everyone at the party and they are reliving all the events they went through.  Now it’s a matter of survival as they must warn the other party-goers before the duplicates catch up in time with the originals.

"How dare we be the same person through supernatural circumstances!"
 

+1 is great in concept form but the execution had numerous flaws for me.  The biggest being the plot and acting.  While the story is interesting and is capable of being pretty twisted, mind-fuckable, and thought-provoking, the actual way the story ends up playing out is a little weak.  Especially when it concerns one of the film’s biggest conflicts:  David’s relationship with Jill.  The very beginning of the film sees David kissing another woman and this, naturally, pisses off Jill and their relationship status on Facebook is changed quicker than the underpants of someone who lives off entirely of Chipotle and decides to one day risk a fart that doesn’t feel entirely like a fart.  Jill’s character has every right to be pissed about this kiss—hell, I’d be pissed if go-kart James had someone else riding his go-kart…or if my girlfriend kissed another dude—however, the problem with this dynamic becomes two-fold.

I'm pretty sure that Rhys Wakefield is actually the Joker.
 

I'm pretty sure she can't even.
Number One) Jill’s continuing reaction over the kiss as the film’s story progresses gets sillier and sillier.  It gets to the point it feels like she is an uptight Christian girl who equals a kiss (with no tongue, mind you) to be the same thing as straight up humping.  Her attitude starts to become very grating and her character quickly becomes less and less sympathetic as the film progressed and I found myself just yelling at the TV, “Jesus Christ, it was one little fucking kiss.  Let it go, you drama queen.  Your eye-rolls and never ending crossing your arms and scoffing are making you look like a turd of a human being.”  While not a huge deal, it just started to become annoying, started to really harm her character, and started to take me out of the story.

Roses are, apparently, hilarious!
 

Number Two) the actual kiss made no gawd damn sense.  Basically what happens is David thinks he was flirting with Jill as she was at the water fountain but it was another girl who was wearing the same uniform Jill was.  This other girl then proceeds to kiss David and he makes no attempts to stop her or point out that no human being in all of existence reacts this way in a misunderstanding.  It’s a very unnatural way to start the film and a very lazy way to create conflict—especially when you consider that could have been saved by making this other girl an ex or someone who had feelings for David or just wanted to ruin Jill’s love life.  The last option could have easily been the best answer because the girl was Jill’s opponent in a fencing tournament in the film but, instead, it’s just this awkward plot device meant to give conflict to this relationship we were just introduced to.  It felt so out-of-place and that is bad considering it’s one of the main elements of the story and the very opening of the film.  It almost sets the standard for the rest of the film and the quality of the writing.

 
It's like she's kissing the Joker.
 

Of course, this isn’t the only part of the story that falls flat…

There is murder in Allison's eyes...
 
There is the real possibility that the story had too many characters to keep track of—shit, it did take place at a house party (and I won’t even get into the ridiculous nature of the party itself because it was pretty ridiculous—even by movie house party standards). 
Just like every house party I've ever been to.
While many of the party goers have some small part to play here and there and they are given enough characteristics to stand out—like one dude has half his head shaved, another is passed out the entire time, and a few are women and known just for being naked or near naked (the film can be a little misogynistic)—these characters aren’t the main players, so having a single characteristic define them and having them only show up for special scenes isn't that surprising.  The reality is the story is focusing only on five of the characters:  David, Teddy, Jill, Melanie, and Allison.  Even then, these five are separated into pairs—for example, David and Jill, Teddy and Melanie, and Allison will have her duplicate (but I won’t get into that because of the dreaded Spoilers and the fact this film decides to dive into a pool of questions that only the bravest of people will ask when they find themselves meeting themselves).

Come on, we all know we would try this if we met our duplicates.
Don't act like you wouldn't.
 

The problem that arises from this is the story lacks balance in telling the individuals troubles they are having with this duplicate phenomenon.  While there is no doubt that David trying to get back with Jill is the number one element the story wants to focus on, the story will create drama for Teddy, Melanie, and Allison but won’t focus on them for large amounts of time to the point it feels like they are just forgotten about—and this complaint becomes double when you remember that there’s not just Teddy, Melanie, and Allison to remember but their doubles as well.  So, this ultimately made the film feel very sloppy and like we were seeing the first draft of the script being adapted and not later, more developed drafts.

One thing the film did well?  That shirt!
 
I know it sounds like I hated the movie but that’s not the case.  The film has its problems and it’s nowhere near perfect but it’s an interesting film.  Sure, the acting is barely passable and a lot of the face replacement special effects that were used to create the doubles is pretty obvious and not the greatest but, even with this and all the other problems, the film is still an interesting experiment and a novel story idea.  Perhaps, with a little more development, a cast with a little more experience under their collective belts, and a slightly larger budget, +1 could have been much better.  However, as it stands, it’s not a bad movie.

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