Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #18: Careful What You Wish For (dir by


(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR!  It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet.  So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR!  She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by Wednesday, November 30th!  Will she make it?  Considering that she only has a day left, probably not.  But keep checking the site to find out!)

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I recorded Careful What You Wish For off of Starz on November 4th.  It’s one of two films in which Nick Jonas appeared in 2016.  (The other film was the underrated Goat, which I really should get around to reviewing some day.  Maybe if I ever finish cleaning out this damn DVR, I’ll finally get a chance to get caught up on reviewing all of the other movies that I’ve seen this year.)

Anyway, in Careful What You Wish For, Nick plays Doug.  Doug is kind of a dorky, creepy guy who spends the summer at his parent’s lakehouse.  His neighbors are the Harpers.  Elliott Harper is super rich banker and he’s played by Dermot Mulroney so you know he’s no good.  Lena Harper (played by Isabel Lucas) is blonde, young, and always seems to be in the process of removing her bikini top whenever Doug comes around.

Doug is soon lusting over Lena and Lena appears to feel the same way.  Soon, they’re having an affair that is probably about as torrid as anything involving Nick Jonas can be.  Lena tells Doug that Elliott abuses her.  Doug says that she needs to get away from her husband.  Lena says that Elliott would kill her if she ever tried to leave…

And then Walter Neff shows up and starts talking about insurance…

Okay, no, he doesn’t.  But he might as well because Careful What You Wish For is pretty much a by-the-numbers film noir.  It’s obvious to everyone what’s going to happen.  Or, I should say, it’s obvious to everyone but Doug.  Doug is such a goony dumbass that his whole reaction to everything that happens can be summed up as: “At least I got laid.”

Personally, I think the film made a huge mistake by not having Doug wear a purity ring that he could dramatically remove before having sex with Lena.  Seriously, this film could have used some moments of self-awareness like that.  (And I do feel a little bit guilty about making fun of Nick here because he actually gives a pretty good performance in Goat.)  But no, instead, we get a scene where a bare chested Nick eats an Oreo cookie and it’s kinda gross because he really gets into eating that cookie.  I mean, Nick really tries to show us every second of pleasure that Nick gets from that Oreo.  But the thing is, Oreo cookies are gross and overrated and to me, there’s nothing more disgusting than watching as someone dips an Oreo into milk and then gets milk all over their chin when they eat it.  UGH!

But, listen — if you’ve ever wanted to see Nick Jonas roll an Oreo cookie over his lover’s bare ass, Careful What You Wish For is definitely for you.

The Things You Find On Netflix: The Loft (dir by Erik Van Looy)


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The Loft‘s journey to Neftlix was a long one.

A remake of a Belgian film, The Loft was originally filmed in 2011 and was meant to come out in that year.  It was due to be released by Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment and Warner Bros.  However, when Silver had a falling out with Warner Bros and moved his operations over to Universal, he took The Loft with him.  And it turned out that Universal was in no hurry to distribute The Loft.  After sitting on the film for three years, Universal announced that they would release it in August of 2014 but, at the last minute, they changed their mind and instead released the horror film As Above, So Below in the spot that was originally set aside for The Loft.  Dark Castle then dropped the film, leaving The Loft in limbo until Open Road Pictures picked up the distribution rights and gave it a limited release in January of 2015.  The critics hated it, audiences were indifferent, and The Loft quickly vanished from theaters.  It’s now available on Netflix.

And, having watched the film, I can understand why the studios weren’t exactly enthused about it.  It’s not the type of film that works on the big screen.  The characters are too unlikable.  The plot is an unstable combination of silliness and melodrama.  The big twists are more likely to inspire groans than cheers.  It’s just not the type of film that you want to spend too much money on.

And yet, it’s the perfect film for Netflix.  What may seem over-the-top and annoying when viewed in a public theater becomes a lot more entertaining when viewed in the privacy on your own home.  The Loft is a film that works best if you don’t spend too much time thinking about how little sense it all makes.  It’s the perfect film to watch while you’re doing something else.

And if that sounds like faint praise, it’s not.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Loft without once mistaking it for being a “good” film.  Instead, it’s an over-the-top melodrama, with all that entails.  It’s ludicrous, it’s silly, and — when taken on its own terms — it’s also a lot of fun.

The film is about five friends and the loft to which they all have a key.  All five of the friends are married and all five of them have secrets.  Vincent (Karl Urban) is the unofficial leader of this group of friends, an architect who is also a compulsive cheater.  Luke (Wentworth Miller) is a nervous guy who appears to worship Vincent.  Marty (Eric Stonestreet) is an alcoholic who always manages to say the wrong thing.  Chris (James Marsden) is a psychiatrist who often seems to feel that he’s morally superior to his other friends.  And Phillip (Mattias Schoenarts) is Chris’s half-brother, a mentally unstable and violent guy who snorts cocaine and may have incestuous feelings towards his younger sister.

The five men use the loft to cheat on their wives.  The men are all confident that only they know about the existence of the loft and that they are the only ones who have a key.  So, naturally enough, they are all a little shocked when a woman turns up dead in the loft.  As the men gather in the loft, they debate who killed her and we get numerous flashbacks to how this all came to be.

Of course, it all leads to many secrets being revealed.  This is one of those films that simply cannot stop with one plot twist.  Instead, every twist leads to another twist until eventually, it becomes nearly impossible to keep up with who knows what.  In fact, the film features so many twists that it all quickly gets a bit silly.  But, at the same time, it’s also undeniably entertaining.  Strangely enough, the fact that it doesn’t make much sense only add to the film’s melodramatic charm.

As for the five men — well, none of them are particularly likable but at least they’re all interesting to watch.  Wentworth Miller is properly strange, Matthias Schoenarts is properly sleazy, and Eric Stonestreet is properly pathetic.  James Marsden often seems wasted in mainstream films (like Straw Dogs and The Butler) but he’s actually very charming when he appears in B-movies like this one and Walk of Shame.  And finally, you’ve got Karl Urban, doing great work and turning Vincent into the epitome of every middle-aged guy who has ever tried to flirt with me while I was waiting at a red light.

The Loft may not have got much respect when it was released into theaters but it’s entertaining enough for Netflix.