Monday, April 6, 2020

Madness in the Method (2019)

Streaming Service: Prime Video
Movie Name/Year: Madness in the Method (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Length: 99 minutes
Rating: NR
Production/Distribution: Autumnwood Media, Happy Hour Films, Hawthorn Productions, Red Rock Entertainment, Straightwire Films, Cinedigm
Director: Jason Mewes
Writer: Dominic Burns, Chris Anastasi
Actors: Jason Mewes, Vinnie Jones, Jaime Camil, Gina Carano, Kevin Smith, Danny Trejo, Mickey Gooch Jr., Stan Lee, Brian O’Halloran, Teri Hatcher, Esther Anderson, David Dastmalchian, Blake Harrison, Matt Willis, Dean Cain, Judd Nelson, Nick Nicotera, Harley Quinn Smith, Zach Galligan, Edmund Kingsley, Casper Van Dien, Matthew Sterling Nye, Evanna Lynch

Blurb from IMDb: Jason Mewes, attempting method acting in order to gain more respect for himself in Hollywood, slowly descends into madness.

Selina’s Point of View:
The month that Madness in the Method came out, it was #1 on my Top 20 movies to look out for. I have no regrets. I’d still put it at #1 for that month.

The trailer made it look like Madness in the Method was going to be a full-on scattered comedy. There definitely was a lot of that. You could feel the Kevin Smith (The Disaster Artist, Clerks, Dogma) influence in some of the scenes – but it evolved into something different. It moved Jason Mewes (Noobz, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Shoot the Hero) – as a director – away from Smith and steadily into his own creative being.

I’ve seen Mewes in a lot of films outside the View Askewniverse. So, I had a better chance of expecting something great from him here than someone who only knows him as Jay from the Smith films. I’ve been surprised by him in the past and that means that I wasn’t surprised here. I expected him to succeed, and he did.

There was a lot of the cringe/raunch comedy that you would expect. I’ve never been a fan of cringe, but I do enjoy some raunch, especially when it gets dark. There was a LOT of dark in this film.

If you do not like dark comedy, don’t even bother. This one’s not for you.

Now, I know that the critics trashed this film. I’m going to avoid my usual ‘fuck them’ comment and point out something interesting about that instead.

On Rotten Tomatoes, critics gave the film a 25%. It’s easy to just take that number and run with it, but you have to take into account the audience score also – which is 61%. I’ve talked about this kind of thing a little bit, and I think this film review is a great time to go a little further into it.

When there’s a big difference between the critic and audience scores, then you know the issue isn’t the content. Let me give you a more well-known film as an example.

It’s probably no surprise that The Boondock Saints (1999) has a 91% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, but the critics… oh they thought something different. In fact, they hated it so much, that it’s sitting at a 22% critic rating. If that doesn’t make you wonder what the majority of critics are smoking, I could list hundreds of other examples.

Most mainstream critics do not view a film with entertainment in mind. They’re viewing it with a specific, rigid list of qualities that need to be met. That list doesn’t tend to change from movie to movie, either. So, they’re judging a new director against the same standards as they’re judging the giants of the industry. They’re pitting every thriller against each other, regardless of the plot. Every comedy must meet strict standards and there’s no room for anything ‘low-brow’.

This is why I think mainstream critics are ridiculous. They’re practically parodies of what they’re supposed to be. They’re trying to think for their readers and leaving no room for debate. There’s a little bit of self-fellatio going on in most of their articles, too.

If you insist on following Rotten Tomatoes, never look at just the critic’s score. Look at the whole picture. If there’s a huge discrepancy between the critics and the audience – there might just be a reason.

In this case, the reason behind the discrepancy is clear. This film has dark, cringy, raunchy humor. It’s got a relatively specific demographic. It’s an alternate reality piece about an actor that the majority of critics have already written off as a typecast. What are the critics missing? They’re missing the most important piece of the whole damn puzzle.

Madness in the Method is fucking entertaining. That’s why we HAVE non-documentary movies. They’re entertainment. Sure, some also trigger emotions and have a lesson to be taught… but all the emotions and lessons in the world don’t matter if they can’t hold your interest. Entertainment is the foundation all films are built on. Jason Mewes excels at that.

You will be hard-pressed to find someone that is a fan of dark cringe comedy that doesn’t like this flick.

But don’t take my word for it. I’m here to offer suggestions only. Head over to Amazon Prime Video and watch it yourself. Let me know if you think the critics are wrong.

Cat’s Point of View:
Snoogans! I just had to get that out of the way.

I’m working on purging all that awkwardness out of my system so that I don’t blurt out something utterly dumb upon proximity with Jason Mewes at Geek’d Con this year. (It’s an August thing, so I’m firmly keeping hope alive that plans will continue. As of now, everything’s still a go.) I have hope for the convention and my composure. Hey, I managed not to say ‘Humperdink, Humperdink, Humperdink!’ to Chris Sarandon (Fright Night, Safe, I Smile Back) year before last. I digress…

I am, however, excited that this is Mewes’ first full-length feature film under his directorial belt. Selina and I both had this movie in our Top 10 movies to look out for in August 2019. We were both happily anticipating this movie would be great. I wasn’t disappointed.

Mewes is a highly underrated actor. This movie pretty much illustrates exactly that – poking fun at it and hitting the nail on the head at the same time. Most of his roles have been as the caricature character of Jay, alongside Kevin Smith as Silent Bob. After so much success in that persona, I imagine it’s inwardly frustrating that it’s all most people see him as.

That aside, the movie itself was a combination of surprise and hilarity for me. The situations that Mewes, as a fictionalized version of himself, gets into are just crazy. It’s something entirely up his alley while at the same time showcasing other sides of his range that audiences don’t often get to see.

Another bonus for this movie is the plethora of cameos laced in. I believe that this is one of the last live-action projects that Stan Lee (Ultimate Spider Man, The Reflection, Big Hero 6: The Series) worked on before his passing. It was both funny and heartwarming to see him on the screen with this production. I think my favorite cameo, though, has to be Danny Trejo’s (Grand-Daddy Day Care, Bare Knuckle Brawler, Big City Greens) character.

IMDb has this movie listed as a crime drama, though I found that it actually has shades of horror to it as well. It’s definitely more of a horror-comedy than a crime procedural for sure. There’s some pretty graphic stuff in there. It doesn’t really get heavy, though, because it doesn’t stop long enough to dwell in those moments. The film fearlessly charges forward so that the next moment you’re laughing through your exclamations of ‘oh my god.’

If there were flaws in the movie, I don’t think I noticed them. I felt like the production quality was exactly where it should have been for this kooky story. Some parts are cheesy, some more serious. It’s over-all a fun ride. If you love Mewes and Smith’s work, I would definitely recommend that you give this one a watch.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 25%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 61%
Metascore – 42/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.8/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R

P.S. Some scenes during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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